Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Problem With Preachers...

For preachers (teachers, apostles, bishops, pastors…whatever the chosen title), James makes it clear that when one steps into this office, they are held to higher standards and will be judged more strictly. I am not sure if James was including the fact that people will judge leaders more harshly as well, or if he is just cautioning people who are thinking of going into ministry of God’s decrees. But people watch, and they can be quite critical. 

It is not just preachers…when we call ourselves “Christian,” we should hold ourselves to a higher standard and rise above what the world has to offer. More plainly, we should strive to act according to that Scripture dictates.

Do you have problems with that? 
The Good Lord knows I do.

I am not very good at turning the other cheek. When someone insults me, my first inclination is to pull out the sword of sarcasm and snark. And even if I don’t say anything directly to my offender, we can be pretty sure I told them off in my head. I’ll have to work on my fleshly humanity…it is a daily battle.

Preachers/teachers live in a body of flesh as well, so like the rest of us mortals, they aren’t going to be perfect. Invariably, however, there will be people who expect them to be, just as they expect perfection out of anyone who says “I am a Christian.” And they will expect the preacher to live up to higher standards… standards they do not live up to themselves.

In a previous post, I mentioned a local (unnamed) pastor and his choices in music. I may have been wrong to write about it. When I found myself even more bothered by one of his subsequent posts, I decided it was time to unfollow him (and pray for him) instead of fighting my feelings and wondering if I am judging him. Pastors do not have an easy job…much is expected of them (often too much) with criticisms that are fast and harsh, but approval and encouragement are often not given.

I said all of the above to get to this point: The world around us is watching. We need to be light to them and not add to the darkness. We can’t lead while we are sitting on the fence wondering what this world is coming to; we must get off the fence and on the path of righteousness! All Christians are called to be leaders, whether or not we hold the official title of teacher.

It is impossible to be light when we become as polluted as our environment. We have to renew our minds daily through scripture and prayer. We cannot renew our minds when we fill up on rated R movies, or television shows and music that promote, glamorize, and glorify sin. If you sit down to pray or read your Bible after the pollution of Hollywood, you’ll find that Hollywood is foremost in your mind, and it will be hard to put those things out of your mind.  Chances are that when you’ve spent hours contaminating yourself, you won’t be spending much time in God’s word. 

We alone must make the decision as to what is more important to us.


  1. St. Francis Assisi said it well "preach the gospel, and if necessary use words." Our actions are more watched than the words we day. Those who are accountable for "flocks" will be held to a higher standard when they meet Jesus face to face. Same with government leaders, etc. Hebrews 13:17 comes to mind. "Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you." We do have to remember though that they are human, whether a pastor/teacher/governmental leader, etc., and they are going to mess up. Being ready and willing to admit their short comings, asking for forgiveness, and then truly trying to repent is necessary as people continue to watch them.

    (nice to see all these posts from you)


    1. ...and for sure "they" are watching us, and its not always to watch us fail. They are searching for something (Jesus) and we are the only Christ some folks see, that's why it's so important to be diligent to help/be kind to others.

      Thanks, Betty! You are my faithful friend.


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