Pastoral FAQ

What is your view on the role of a pastor in the local congregation?

The pastor serves as the spiritual and administrative leader of the congregation.   He (and that is gender specific) is responsible for preaching, prayer, and the ministry of the Scriptures.  His qualifications include temperance, integrity, ability to teach, gentleness, evangelistic work, faithfulness as a husband, and other qualities (1 Timothy 3:1-7).  Administrative tasks include providing oversight to the congregation on matters that affect the congregation (1 Peter 5:1-4).

What does the Bible say about the roles of men and women in the home?

Ephesians 5:22-23 exegetes Genesis 2 for its pre-Fall understanding of the man-woman relationship.  Genesis records the wife’s role of submission to her husband as a loving act of obedience to God.  Paul repeats this perspective in Ephesians 5:22-23.  God created men to serve as the head of the home, cleanse the home of impurity, and answer to God for the worship (or lack thereof) of the home.  God charges husbands to disciple their family members.  The wife is called to submit herself to her husband for the purpose of harmony, unity, and mutual service.  The wife is to be the husbands great ally as they seek to serve the Lord.

When the first husband and wife fell to sin, their roles were distorted.  As a result, husbands rule by dominating their wives and wives rebel by subverting their husbands.  Husbands and wives tend to become entangled in a battle for supremacy, control, and self-serving ambition.  God created men and women equal in worth but unique in their roles.  The Christian home represents God’s original design of male headship, female submission, and mutual affection, love and worth.

What does the Bible say about homosexual “marriage”.

Genesis 2, 1 Corinthians 6:9, 1 Timothy 1:10, Jude 7, Romans 13:13, Romans 1: 26

The Bible clearly defines marriage in the pre-fall context as the union of one man and one woman covenanted together under God’s blessing, set aside for continual monogamy, sanctified as a blessed unit, ordered according to God’s making, for life.  Marriage, so defined, stands the test of time as the groundwork upon which strong societies are built.  The question of our day is not so much about homosexuality, which has always been around, but is about marriage and divorce.  The tidal wave of failed marriage has created a vacuum in which the biblical definition of marriage seems not to work.

Homosexuality grows in the absence of strong marriage.  Divorce mangles our children and confuses them about their masculinity and femininity.  Homosexuality refutes the basic created anatomy of God and is rebellion at its most basic and absurd level.  The Christian response to homosexuality and its push for legal marriage status should be to strengthen our own marriages, redemptively refute the teachers of false doctrine who promote the view, and teach our members truthfully and lovingly the Scripture.  We cannot accept homosexuality as normal, genetic, or otherwise just to salve our concern for a family member struggling with the issue.

What do you see as the chief struggle of American churches in our day?

The chief struggle of today’s church is its love for being big and doing big things.  We have become like “big government” in some ways.  Instead of relying on the individuals to accomplish ministry, we tend to rely on the organization to spawn ministry.  The problem is that our church organization cannot provide the personal touch needed by our neighbors.

“Emphasizing the small”, that is the individual responsibility of each believer with the Gospel, restores the vigor and personal responsibility with which the Gospel pushes outward.  “Emphasizing the large” continues the cycle of consolidating the personal responsibility of each believer in favor of institutionally motivated Gospel activities.  This is the bitter root.  Emphasizing the large causes a loss of perspective.  Emphasizing the small encourages grass roots advancement of the Gospel to neighborhoods, workplaces, and friends.  Big, vibrant ministry must grow from the small, individual Gospel work of each member.

Calvinist, Armenian or What?

The question of Calvinism or Armenianism is complex to say the least. The Scripture teaches about God’s predestination (Romans 9, 1 Peter 1, etc.) and about human choice (Rom 10:9). I am a non-Calvinists but appreciate the influence of Calvin on theology and, especially, the doctrine of perseverance (once saved, always saved). So while God will not be surprised at those saved, people also have to hear/read the gospel from other believers. One’s hope comes from his trust in the sovereign work of God in Jesus, but one’s faith comes from an ongoing response to Christ’s revealing work through the Holy Spirit. The work of the church, then, is aimed at missions and evangelism and discipleship because of the necessity of the Gospel call. People need to hear of Christ and will not without the work of the church.

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