While there are several pastors I admire, there is not a single pastor I am jealous of.
Pastoring is a tough life, if done correctly.
And if the pastor isn’t living right, I don’t admire what’s ahead for him. Or her.
Some clergy and pastors are complicit in child molestation, and some support the heresy of abortion.
Some even deny the deity of Christ.
The greatest asset a pastor and layperson alike can have, is personal humility.
The greatest threat to a church is not the Devil, but an arrogant or cowardly pastor.
A church can’t be a safe place if the clergy is arrogant or cowardly.
Matthew 23: 1 "Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. 5 “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others. 8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers."
"9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."
This lesson is not against rabbis or priests or pastors as such. It is against elitism in the church.
Humility is the single most important attribute that a flawed mortal can bring to the pulpit.
There are some people in every religion that become religious leaders simply because they want to feel important.
And some of those people see importance as a route to wealth. Jesus spoke against this self-promotion.
Jesus doesn’t want people using the pulpit to promote themselves. Every church, no matter its good works, should first be about Jesus.
All of Jesus’ chosen personal disciples but two, died a martyr’s death, and one of them was Judas the Traitor.
Let's see how Paul used his title as Apostle:
2 Timothy 1:1 "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life in Christ Jesus, 2To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
Notice, he didn’t say, “I, Apostle Paul…” He said, Paul, an apostle of Christ". Christ then, becomes more important than the human in the office.
And in Galatians 2, Paul spoke about Peter:
“11 When Cephas (Peter) came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.”
And John, an Apostle of Christ said this in the beginning of the Book of Revelation,
4 "John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits[a] before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
Notice that unlike today, where one clergy will introduce another clergy as: (title) Brown,
Paul and John just used their names, not their titles.
I have actually seen clergy get offended when someone called them by their given name without using their title in the greeting.
They are just ordinary people with an extraordinary office to fulfill.
The person doesn’t make the office important, the office makes the person useful.
Note: Galatians 2 is also the reason I don’t believe in papal infallibility.
Should pastors have a limit on personal income?
Paul spoke to a helper named Titus:
Titus 1:5 "For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: 6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. 7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; 8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; 9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. "
Eric J. Rose