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I Don’t Trust Pastors

Elizabeth Esther writes:

I don’t trust pastors. I want to trust them – but I’ve experienced so much church-related devastation that I doubt if I can ever again believe the best about their motives, preaching or how they conduct their lives.

My trust is utterly broken.

Still, the last thing I want to do is pass that disillusionment on to my children. I don’t want to cheat them of having a solid faith identity simply because Mommy can barely sit through a sermon without having a panic attack.

I know of families who drop their kids at church while they go have coffee or run errands. I can’t do that. Because while I believe that authentic faith is more about inner transformation and relationship than it is about how frequently you attend church when I did take a break from church, it just wasn’t ideal for my children. They missed me. They begged me to come back.

Going to church is something we’ve always done together as a family. Not only is it part of our faith practice, it’s also inextricably woven into our family identity. We go to church and then we go to lunch as a family. This is what we do.

When I took a break from church, it was a major departure from our established family tradition. It was like letting disillusionment win. I’ve since started going back to church with my family. It’s my way of saying yes. Yes, there are traumatic divisions within our faith, but if we can’t find a way to work through this, who will?

Yes, I am hurt and broken, but I still want to find the good  and yes, I still believe the good exists. Of course, peaceful Sundays will never be easy for me. But maybe that’s the whole point of faith: It’s not all about me. My faith and the faith of my children won’t grow in isolation. We need each other.

Mother Teresa said, “If we have no peace it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” Going to church with my family is how I remind myself: We belong to each other. Elizabeth Esther, a mother of five, writes a weekly OC Moms column about faith and motherhood.

(Via The OC Register)

How sad.  But this story is repeated thousands and thousands of times be people that have felt burned by the church.

How would you respond to Elizabeth?

Todd



63 Responses to “ “I Don’t Trust Pastors”

  1. Dave Jacobs says:

    I wonder what happens more, parishoners being burned by pastors or pastors being burned by parishoners?

    • janiskw says:

      I was thinking… “I don’t trust church attenders…”

      • A. Amos Love says:

        Was wondering…

        In the Bible…
        Did anyone ever “Attend Church?”

        • Eric says:

          Amos
          Reading your writings brings sadness to me that you have been either very hurt by “church” leadership some where along the line or you are so deceived that you pick the scriptures apart to prove your mis-guided theology. You dwell on no titles in scripture and mention Paul, Peter, etc. were called servants; and yet they were also clearly leaders as their writings of encouragement and admonishment prove.

          Leadership by definition is simply ” a person who holds influence” and Paul among others certainly qualifies as a leader on that account whether he took that title or whether it was placed upon him as identification by others. Having a structure with servant leaders is not anti-Christ. Yes there are mis-guided leaders but you paint every church as un-Biblical by having a pastor. That is un-loving and un-biblical to do so.

          Please open your heart to those who serve Christ and His church, His bride, and realize that a man having a title does not define his heart towards the Lord nor dose it rule out His being a servant. How you fail to see men leading the early church is beyond any scope of reason, therefore one is left to conclude that you either are deceived or intentionally trying to cause conflict.
          The way you write your comments consistently reveal a haughty and “Know better than anyone else” spirit. The words you use reveal the heart of the writer; i.e. “thingy”, “Hmmmm”, etc. Amos, you have Love in your name but display none in your heart or understanding.

          As I stated before I have been hurt by leadership in a church on 4 occasions and some did not even claim the title of pastor.

          Read 1Tim.1But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
          6 For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion,
          7 wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.

          Paul claimed to be a teacher, which means he lead a class. Paul also in that same letter addresses deacons and elders, leadership positions. Your time would be better spent reading scripture while asking the Holy Spirit for understanding while doing so, rather than “fighting this fight over semantic’, which only wastes the time that you could spend “building up the body”.

          I will not respond further to your writings as I would be guilty of the same at this point. Please realize that although the words that I have written may prick, they are written in love to open your eyes to Truth. If I am way off in my writings I will let others comment and correct.

          Eric

          • A. Amos Love says:

            Hi Eric

            Thank you for your words” written in love.” But – You didn’t answer the questions.

            In the Bible…
            Did anyone ever “Attend Church?”

            And it was Jesus, NOT me, that taught His Disciples NOT to be called Leader.

            I just asked the question…

            If someone calls them self a leader?
            Or thinks they are a leader?

            Are they one of *His Disciples?* Hmmm?

            Why isn’t what Jesus said important? ;-)

          • Fred says:

            Eric, Amen – Good word, well written and thought out – great leadership in this situation!

      • A. Amos Love says:

        Trust Pastors? Why?

        Cursed be the man that trusts in man
        Jer 17:5

        And, I NO longer trust pastors because…
        They teach lots of things NOT in the Bible.

        But – I cudda missed it. ;-)
        Maybe y’all can help?

        Where – In the Bible, Did..
        One of His Disciples, ever…

        Join a church?
        Lead a church?
        Go to a church?
        Attend a church?
        Tithe to a church?
        Give money to a church?
        Sign a membership form?

        Have the “Title” Pastor?
        Have the “Title” Senior Pastor?

        Jesus loves me this I know…

  2. Todd Rhoades says:

    Good point, Dave. I’m sure it’s a two way street.

  3. Dennis says:

    Dave is right, both get burned… and there’s a ton of it going on out there. Pastor’s aren’t allowed to be human, and parishioners are burned by a lot of NPD pastors out there who see the church as an oyster to be harvested for their egos. Lots of pastors out there who couldn’t work in a secular job, they couldn’t stand not having the abundance of accolades and entitlements poured out upon them. Many pastors are just plain jealous and desperately want to be the next headline speaker at some stupid conference. They know their church of 200 will never get them there so they use it as a steppingstone to get to the “next level”.

    There are countless Elisabeth’s out there… So tragic.

  4. Dave says:

    I get the sense that Ms. Esther views church as a ritual (perhaps a good one) rather than a community. When I attended College some profs were better than others and some courses were better than others, but some of the greatest lessons I learned came through experiences with classmates as we did life together. I know many students who attend the same school as their parents not because of a particular professor or even the same major, but because the learning community produces positive outcomes. I can honestly say I have found the same thing (in varying degrees) at churches I have joined. [Simply attending doesn't do it, one has to engage as a participant in the body life of the congregation]
    As long as one views the church as a Sunday “performance” done by an “actor” then the potential of a faith community will be missed.

    • j. says:

      “As long as one views the church as a Sunday “performance” done by an “actor” then the potential of a faith community will be missed.” well said…

  5. Cliff says:

    As a pastor, it’s painful to hear how we can cause such struggles for people with our sinful failures. We need to be better shepherds.

    But I think Elizabeth (me too!) needs to fall more in love with Jesus. As long as going to church is seen as a family tradition rather than an expression of love for Jesus and His Body (because He first loved us), I don’t think she’s going to make much progress in being healed and restored from past hurts.

    I think that’s why Paul didn’t pray we’d find a church that makes us feel good, but rather that we’d know (experientially) the love of God in its fullness: “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:14-19)

  6. Bob says:

    As a pastor’s kid and as a pastor of 24 years myself, my experience is that the vast majority of pastor’s love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength and the neighbor as themselves. A few bad apple’s can spoil the whole bunch. Take 20 local evangelical churches in your area, I bet most of them are ordinary pastor’s fulfilling the above verse, filled by an extraordinary savior, Jesus! The gates of hell will not prevail against my church, someone special once said.

  7. Erin says:

    I wonder what type of church she attends. How are the pastors selected? Hiring committee, appointment? Is there’s a system or a process that’s dumping “bad” pastors all on the same church? Is she talking about multiple churches over a span of time and distance?

    One thing that I know people do when they’re not wild about the pastor is to be in church, is to be really busy doing things (serve in the kid’s church program, hospitality committee, work in the nursery, etc.) so that they minimize time with the pastor on Sundays but the family can still attend together. In an appointment church, you just need to be able to wait the “bad” ones out. Sad, but it happens.

  8. Gustav vonChristiaan says:

    I am a “Lay” Preacher (Lord Anointed Yeoman). Some pastors R narcissistic, drawing attention 2 them from the pulpit rather than lifting up The Lord Jesus Christ for us to see His Glory. Heed John 3:30! On 1 hand we r not to 4sake the assembly, but if the asembly has become more of a Sunday Social Club, how do we grow in Love & Grace? I still believe that Kerygmatic Sermon is Key to Church Growth as a whole & individually. I come from the Greek Orthodox tradition-more mystical than others. Christ is King Creator, the PantoCrator.

  9. Dan says:

    What a good round of responses.

    I have been burned out on a lot of people and organizations. I am fried from being burned from politicians. And the IRS. And my local grocery stores. And my gas station that I used to get gas for cheaper than the Shell at the corner. And the schools where I teach.

    I do not mean to belittle her frustration and pain she is experiencing because I often feel the same toward the churches I have been a part of in the past.

    In the end, Elizabeth’s piece reads more like venting from someone who has had a bad day (or a series of days). Sometimes I go through periods like this too. Being a Christian in a fallen world working with fallen people is hard work. I don’t like telling a hurting person to “buck-up!” but Scripture teaches that this world is a war zone, not a play ground.

    I think Dave is right in that she might view church as more of a ritual than a relationship.

  10. Dennis says:

    “I think Dave is right in that she might view church as more of a ritual than a relationship.”

    I didn’t take it that way at all, she even says:

    “I believe that authentic faith is more about inner transformation and relationship than it is about how frequently you attend church”

    She’s just hurting… unfortunately, she doesn’t specifically say what happened.

    • Dan says:

      Dennis, yes she does point to inner transformation and says church is more than frequency of attendance. I guess I don’t really see “frequency of attendance” necessarily as ritual. Not knowing what tradition she is following it is hard to tell the degree of ritual that is being followed.

      I do agree that she seems to be hurting but the lack of anything specific about her experience with the pastor(s) makes any real diagnosis difficult. All she really says is that her trust is “utterly broken”.

      Not knowing what we are talking about makes me hesitant to conclude that she is right and the pastor is wrong. Did she see the pastor driving angry and aggressive? Did she see him entering a motel room with a prostitute? Is her sister a waitress at Denny’s and this pastor is notorious for being a bad tipper? I’m not trying to be flippant but just to point out how difficult it is with the paucity of information to make an evaluation.

  11. Alan says:

    I think government is the only other entity that is so convinced that the people they are to serve are always wrong, are always to blame, and give feedback that is to be ignored.

  12. Dennis says:

    Oh man Alan, that is amazingly cynical, but after being out of full time “PAID” ministry for a while now, you may be right. Pastors do not listen very well, and they only hear what they want to hear – that which puts them in a positive light. There are many great and humble pastors, but there seems to be an increase lately of some bad apples.

    • Keith says:

      it’s simply this: the bad apples get more attention, and the good apples get forgotten. It is typical of us humans that we remember being wounded with greater clarity that we remember all the quiet, small, faithful things done for us from childhood up.

  13. Jan says:

    I agree with Dan, in that disappointment with people happens. There are plenty of corrupt politicians out for themselves, but I haven’t given up on the U.S. I’m not seeking to be a citizen elsewhere, and I still believe that the constitution is an amazing document.

    Too many people equate the church with a disappointing pastor. And often times the expectations of that pastor, and his wife and his family, are just a set up for failure. Either a pastor is placed on a pedestal to hero worship or to take pot shots at. Neither is good.

    So, disappointment in church leadership means I now have an excuse /reason to abdicate my call to the church? Uh no… but that seems to be acceptable nowadays.

    You don’t like the leadership? Then find a church where you can serve and BE the church under leadership that you respect. And dare I say? Quit making excuses and whining around. Then and only then, we might see Christians actually impact the world to the glory of God.

  14. A. Amos Love says:

    You ask…
    “How would you respond to Elizabeth?”

    I would agree with Elizabeth about NOT trusting pastors. A good start. ;-)
    Then I would ask her to do her own research…
    to see what “The Bible” has to say about “Pastors.” Oy Vey!!! :-(

    I would give her some questions to think about when searching the scriptures.

    In the Bible, How many people are… called pastor?
    In the Bible, How many people have… the “Title” pastor?
    In the Bible, How many people are… ordained as a pastor?
    In the Bible, How many people are… hired, or fired, as a pastor?
    In the Bible, How many congregations are… “led” by a pastor?

    And every pastor I’ve met also has the “title” Reverend.
    Can’t seem to find anyone with the “Title” Reverend in the Bible either. ;-)

    I would then have her read Ezek 14:1-1, about “Idols” of the heart.
    Then read Matthew 23:8-10 where Jesus teaches “His Disciples” NOT
    to be called Rabbi/Teacher and Master/Leader, for there is “ONE” Master…
    the Christ… {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Then I would share my experience with pastors – where…

    “Titles” become “Idols”
    “Pastors” become “Masters”

    Pastor/Leader = exercise authority = lord it over = abuse = always

    Then I would point her to Jesus as her Shepherd… :-)
    Where she can be His sheep, hear His Voice and follow Jesus…

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall “hear My voice; “
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Fold – One Shepherd – One Voice – One Leader

    Now Jesus is a Shepherd I can trust. ;-)

    • Chad says:

      I felt compelled to reply to your post A. Amos Love. I could not read such such thoughts and ignore them. You say you have never met a “pastor” that didn’t call himself “reverend.” That suggests you have met very few. The title “reverend” often goes with pastors in particular denominations, but not all. I do not use the title “reverend” and never will. I feel only God deserves such a title. However, the words pastor, elder, presbyter, shepherd, and overseer all appear in Scripture. I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ – that is what I do. Am I not a minister? I shepherd the flock of Christ. Doesn’t that make me a shepherd? I oversee the church of God. Am I not an overseer? Those are not titles – that is what I do. Those words explain my call, purpose, and work in the Lord. How many pastors have you had connection with? Your words give me the impression that this is less an issue of trust in pastors and more an issue of difference of interpretation of Scripture. Would it not be more prudent (and Christ-like) for all of us to get to know those we differ with and what is in their heart before we declare them untrustworthy?

  15. Leonard says:

    Chad, I hope this comes across with gentleness, but Amos has a cut and paste response here and a on at least one other blog. They all look nearly the same and come across the same. I pray he heals.

    As for Elizabeth, I pray she heals too. Not enough here in the story to give much more.

  16. A. Amos Love says:

    Chad – Leanard

    Thanks for the response, concern, and prayers.
    And Leanard, I hope you’re enjoying the “winds of change” of your adventure.

    Chad, seems we have many understandings in common. Some a little different.
    That’s a notable miracle. Yes? :-)
    Much agreement with “to get to know those we differ with.” I would add…
    And why we differ. Iron sharpens iron. And the wounds of a friend. ;-)

    But as far as trusting a human who takes a “Title” NOT in the Bible…
    Well… There are many warnings about…
    1-False apostles. 2- Many false prophets. 3- False teachers. 4- False brethren.
    5- False Christ’s (false anointed ones). 6- deceitful workers. 7- Evil workers.

    Why would someone take a “Title” and “Position” NOT found in the Bible?

    Jeremiah 17:5
    Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man,
    and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.

    Found out the hard way – Jesus is the only Shepherd I can trust. ;-)

    Chad – You write…
    1 – I do not use the title “reverend” and never will.
    I feel only God deserves such a title. …Me too. ;-)
    …holy and ** reverend** is his name. Psalm 111:9 KJV
    Here’s a thought – If someone takes, and uses, the “Title” reverend…
    Are they taking “the name of the Lord thy God in vain?” ;-)

    2 – I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ – that is what I do.
    Am I not a minister? — Yes, you are a minister; if you see yourself as a servant.
    Isn’t the word minister in the Bible the same word for servant?
    … Me too. :-) I’m also a minister, a servant of Christ. That’s what I do. ;-)

    3 – I shepherd the flock of Christ. Doesn’t that make me a shepherd? Hm? NO.
    I feed the flock of Christ also. But I’m a sheep and a brother. NOT a shepherd.
    I believe that “Title” also is reserved for Jesus alone. The Shepherd of my soul.
    And I can’t find anyone with the “Title” shepherd or called shepherd. ;-)
    All disciples of Christ called themselves “servants.” Why isn’t servant enough?
    None called themslves pastor, or shepherd, or clergy, or reverend. ;-)
    Isn’t the Bible to be our standard?

    You might not like the menu But…
    Aren’t I feeding you the “Word of God” and pointing you to Jesus?
    Does that make me “Your Shepherd?” Or, are we brothers feeding one another?
    You can be fed by brand new believers, and the least, can’t you? ;-)

    4 – I oversee the church of God. Am I not an overseer?
    Those are not titles – that is what I do.

    Now, believe it or not, I have an opinion about elder/overseers. ;-)

    Would like your opinion… If someone doesn’t meet the qualifications for
    bishop/overseer in 1 Tim 3 and Titus… What should an elder/overseer do?

    What should I do if I know an elder/overseer doesn’t meet the qualifications?

    Jesus… I’ve returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of my soul…

    • Chad says:

      Amos,
      You take my words to mean something they do not. I wear no title in any way. I may pastor people, but I do not call myself Pastor nor do I want people to call me Pastor. I do not even want the title Brother put in front of my name, which is what some minsiters do. I want no title to my name. I introduce myself as Chad and nothing else. I do not call myself a shepherd, but I do shepherd people. A shepherd is one who leads by example. I take no title, nor do I want one. My actions and my heart show who I am, not a title.
      My whole point to you was that it was inappropriate to reject Pastors because they wear a title. Many are taught to wear such titles. For most, it does not reveal their heart. Do some wear a title because, for them, it gives them a sense of authority and superiority? Yes. But we cannot know why until we have spent time with them. Does it not show a judgmental heart to say you do not trust pastors because some wear a title when you do not know their heart. I have known too many men in ministry (that often wear titles) that have a heart closer to Jesus’ own heart than other men I have known. I can think one such man right now, who did not call himself Reverend, but used it. He is a man more like Jesus than any other human being I have ever known. Your judgment is unjust.

  17. A. Amos Love says:

    Leonard

    Yes. Sometimes I do cut and paste… Is that a bad thing? ;-) Says who? ;-)

    Yes. I ask these questions often and NOT once has anyone answered them.
    Almost all the time they have something derogatory to say about me. Hmmm?
    Aren’t we to admonish one another? Warn one another? Love one another?

    I’m thankful that someone had the courage to challenge my beliefs
    about taking the “Title” pastor, about leadership, about making disciples?

    Found out I was in bondage to “The Traditions of Men” NOT in the Bible. :-(

    So they find fault with me, find fault with cut and paste, find fault with
    my having a broken heart suggesting I’m not seeing the scriptures correctly…
    They use all sorts of tactics – anything to change the subject…
    But they never answer the questions…

    They are fairly simple… Maybe you could be the first… :-)

    In the Bible, How many people are… called pastor/reverend?
    In the Bible, How many people have… the “Title” pastor/reverend?
    In the Bible, How many people are… ordained as a pastor/reverend?
    In the Bible, How many people are… hired, or fired, as a pastor/reverend?
    In the Bible, How many congregations are… “led” by a pastor/reverend?

    How about these questions…

    In the Bible, Can you name someone… called pastor/reverend?
    In the Bible, Can you name someone… with the “Title” pastor/reverend?
    In the Bible, Can you name someone… ordained as a pastor/reverend?
    In the Bible, Can you name someone… hired, or fired, as a pastor/reverend?
    In the Bible, Can you name a congregation… “led” by a pastor/reverend?

    Ps 118:8-9
    It is better to **trust in the LORD** than to put confidence in man.
    It is better to **trust in the LORD** than to put confidence in princes.

    Pr 3:5*
    **Trust in the LORD** with all thine heart;
    and lean not unto thine own understanding.

    I’m in agreement with David… The Lord is my Shephered.

  18. A. Amos Love says:

    Chad – Leonard

    Yes. Sometimes I do cut and paste… Is that a bad thing? ;-) Says who? ;-)

    Yes. I ask these questions often and NOT once has anyone answered them.
    Almost all the time they have something derogatory to say about me. Hmmm?
    Aren’t we to admonish one another? Warn one another? Love one another?

    I’m thankful that someone had the courage to challenge my beliefs
    about taking the “Title” pastor, about leadership, about making disciples?

    Found out I was in bondage to “The Traditions of Men” NOT in the Bible. :-(

    So they find fault with me, find fault with cut and paste, find fault with
    my having a broken heart suggesting I’m not seeing the scriptures correctly…
    They use all sorts of tactics – anything to change the subject…
    But they never answer the questions…

    They are fairly simple… Maybe Chad or Leonard could be the first… :-)

    In the Bible, How many people are… called pastor/reverend?
    In the Bible, How many people have… the “Title” pastor/reverend?
    In the Bible, How many people are… ordained as a pastor/reverend?
    In the Bible, How many people are… hired, or fired, as a pastor/reverend?
    In the Bible, How many congregations are… “led” by a pastor/reverend?

    How about these questions…

    In the Bible, Can you name someone… called pastor/reverend?
    In the Bible, Can you name someone… with the “Title” pastor/reverend?
    In the Bible, Can you name someone… ordained as a pastor/reverend?
    In the Bible, Can you name someone… hired, or fired, as a pastor/reverend?
    In the Bible, Can you name a congregation… “led” by a pastor/reverend?

    Ps 118:8-9
    It is better to **trust in the LORD** than to put confidence in man.
    It is better to **trust in the LORD** than to put confidence in princes.

    Pr 3:5*
    **Trust in the LORD** with all thine heart;
    and lean not unto thine own understanding.

    I’m in agreement with David… The Lord is my Shephered.

  19. A. Amos Love says:

    Chad

    Sorry for the misunderstanding. As I stated, there is lot’s that you say where I’m in agreement with you. I really like your stance about “Titles.” And NOT using them. ;-)

    I’m also in agreement with knowing those who have the “Title” pastor and really love Jesus and have a loving heart. And I’m also in agreement that many take the “Title” because along with the “Title” comes “authority and superiority.”

    BUT, just because they are nice guys who love Jesus does that negate the fact: there is NO one, in the Bible, with the “Title” pastor, there is NO one, in the Bible, hired or fired, as a “Pastor/Leader, there is NOT one congregation, in the Bible, “Led” by a “Pastor/leader?”

    And by their example, teach others it’s okay to be a “Pastor/Leader.” A “Title” and “Position” NOT found in the Bible. And thus lead young believers astray?

    Jer 50:6
    My people hath been *lost sheep:*
    *their shepherds* have caused them to *go astray…*

    You write…
    “My whole point to you was that it was inappropriate to reject Pastors because they wear a title.”

    I don’t reject pastors because of the “Title.” In fact I don’t reject pastors at all. I work with pastors who can’t do it anymore. And are burnt out. Trying to please the denominational leaders, please the congregation, and the congregational leaders, And please their family.

    That’s tough – serving so many masters – yes?

    Did you know that 80% of pastors say the ministry has been harmful to their families. 80% of wives wish there pastor/husband would choose a different profession. 70% battle depression.
    70% don’t have a close friend. And this list goes on… and on… and…

    I don’t reject pastors… I warn them, admonish them. Your “Title” and “Position” is NOT in the Bible. And, if you assume the position of an “Elder/Overseer” there are some tough qualifications to meet in 1 Tim 3 and Titus. And if you don’t meet “ALL” the qualifications then you can remove yourself and be a good example to the flock. ;-)

    When they understand they were taught a lie, and believed a lie, that they were a special clergy class… a leader class… a teacher class… an overseer…

    When they know the “Truth” the “Truth” sets them free to heal.

    I warn them because they assume the “Title” that belongs to Jesus, ”Shepherd.”
    And cause folks to look to a man as their shepherd and NOT look to Jesus.

    And I warn believers, and encourage them to check the Bible to see if “**Today’s** “Pastor/Leader” can be found in the Bible. And I warn believers if someone says they are an “Elder/Overseer” they have every right to check to see if they meet the qualifications for “Elder/Overseer.” It’s the right of every believer to “know”those who labor among you. ;-)

    I believe that Jesus is our standard and example…

    Jesus humbled Himself, made Himself of NO reputation,
    and took on the form of a servant.

    I’m Blest… I’ve returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of My soul… Jesus…

    • Chad says:

      You said here that you do not reject pastors, yet in your first post you say you “agree with Elizabeth about NOT trusting Pastors” and then regailed everyone with your opinion about the use of titles. Saying you do not trust pastors is a rejection of pastors. Maybe this was not your intent and you simply chose your words poorly, but at least admit to the impression your words gave.

      Interestingly, Paul called himself an Apostle. Jesus had too many titles to address here. Most of those who wear the “titles” that you refer to, wear them only because it explains what they do rather than wearing them to declare their value, authority, or superiority. It seems to me that you are focusing on semantics and missing who these men are. They are not untrustworthy simply because they use a title to help identify what they do. It is obvious that you take this issue personally. I do not negate your feelings on this subject, but I do take issue with your admitted lack of trust for these men simply because of a title. I will let these words by my last on the issue. I do thank you for your work with ministers. Your kind of work brings healing and great benefit. I know I appreciate it.

  20. A. Amos Love says:

    Chad

    In my experience… “Titles” are very dangerous.
    Dangerous for both the “Pastor/Leader” and those who honor that “Title.”

    “Titles” take the focus off Jesus and put the focus on a mere fallible human. :-(

    Let me not, I pray you, accept any man’s person,
    neither let me give *flattering titles* unto man.
    For I know not to give *flattering titles;*
    in so doing my maker would soon take me away.
    Job 32:21 KJV

    In my experience… “Titles” become “Idols.” Ezek 14:1-7

    And cause walls of division and seperation?

    Don’t “Titles” say, I am, you’re not?
    Don’t “Titles” say, we are, they’re not?

    Baptist, Lutheran, Assemblies of God; — I am, you’re not?

    Reformed, Evangelical, Charismatic; — I am, you’re not?

    Clergy – Laity;— I am, you’re not?

    Leaders – Followers;— I am, you’re not?

    Pastors – Sheep; — I am, you’re not?

    Jesus said we are “ALL” brethren. Mat 23:8 KJV

    Just try an experiment.
    Inform all those nice guys you know who have the “Title” pastor that it’s NOT in the Bible and their “Title” is an “Idol.” See what happens. Ever try telling a Senior Pastor that? Ouch!!! :-(

    If someone says their “title” is not an “idol,” just ask them, well if it’s not an “idol” then just get rid of it, lay your “title” down. Lay down your – Power – Profit – Prestige – Honor – Glory – Reputation – Recognition – that comes with the “Title.”

    Walk away from your reputation, become a brethren, become “a servant of Christ,” and become “a disciple of Christ.” Jesus said in order to be *My Disciple* you must forsake “ALL.”

    And didn’t Jesus make himself of no reputation,
    and take upon himself the form of a servant
    and humble himself? Php 2:7-8

    Don’t “titles” make a reputation whether you want it or not?

    Didn’t Jesus say I receive not honor from men?

    Don’t “titles” create honor whether you want it or not?

    Did anyone have the “Title” pastor in the Bible? Hmmm?

    You’ve changed my mind – I do “reject” pastors – And what they stand for.

    Seperation and division.

    And I don’t “trust” pastors – they lead people astray.

    Jer 50:6
    My people hath been *lost sheep:*
    *their shepherds* have caused them to *go astray…*

    Peace…

  21. jack says:

    What about untrustworthy church members?? I guarantee you I (as a pastor) have been screwed, lied to, lied about, manipulated, gossiped about, dragged through the mud, and HURT by more church members than you have by pastors.

  22. jack says:

    You don’t trust pastors? Ha! I don’t trust church members…

  23. Rochele says:

    I hate preachers. They use the pulpit to personally attack people who don’t agree with their bad behavior. I will never trust another preacher. I wish the lord would send a lightning bolt and strike them all.

  24. fredup says:

    Many churches are filled with lords and hireling NOT Servants of the Lord. Thought Jesus said the greatest among us is the greatest servant, not those who lord it over people and their wallets.

    I was in one church where there was Pastor’s Anniversary, Pastor’s Birthday, Pastor’s Wife Birthday, Pastor’s Anniversary, Expensive Tickets for Banquets and endless cost to attend expensive Conferences, Pastor’s Appreciation, Founder’s Convention, The Church Building Fund where you had to pledge money to expand the bldg. plus Tithes and Offerings. The Pastor said cut back and give more but bought a brand new car and another vacation house. This appeal for money for some new thing went on every other month ( and this Church was in a lower income area). I finally was so tapped out. I had a choice between feeding my family, or continue being a member of this church.
    It took one whole year before they sent me a post card wondering why I was not tithing any longer. I called and told them I had given my notice of withdrawing my membership months back. I was promptly hung up on without so much as a pretense that we miss you and not your tithe money.
    NO thanks to organized religions anymore! I can pray and read my bible at home
    Sincerely,
    From Fred Up

    • Heather says:

      Dear Fred Up,

      What a horrible experience! God doesn’t think that is o.k.! Jesus was very angry about similar behavior in the temple, religious leaders making His “house of prayer a den of thieves”. I haven’t experienced that at a church before, but I have experienced other forms of abuse. I hope that you will continue to seek God, seek to know His Word and people who know God and care for people the way He does. What you experienced is not God’s plan for His church, and was an abuse of power. We do not have to put ourselves under the influence of people who do not show care for us, and I am glad you left that church and have warned others about that kind of abuse.

      Know that there are pastors who do serve the way you expected. My former pastor used his retirement savings to go into full-time ministry. He faithfully served as a Bible teacher, Biblical counselor and pastor for over 8 years. He continues to serve as a Biblical counselor and God has continued to provide for him financially. He has yet to recoup his savings but instead has almost drained his retirement, gone without in many areas, and may have to seek other employment in the future to financially provide for himself and his wife. I hope you meet and are encouraged by men like him, and support people like him, who are faithful in word and deed.

      Sincerely,

      Heather

  25. Dennis Dale says:

    Never should a Pastor Lord over or abuse the sheep , but never should imperfect sheep demand perfection from the human shepherd .

  26. Rich says:

    Well said Dennis. Pastors are human and not perfect but they are ordained to add value to people. Years ago, I had to leave a church I’d attended for eleven years because ‘my’ pastor and his wife think they are gods! They became so arrogant and I got choked by their vaunting pride. I couldn’t trust any pastor thereafter and it took me 5 years before God could restore me to Christian service. Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith, not pastors.

  27. Mick says:

    How sad are the commentaries here. Children of God hurt, hurting, and upset at how they have been treated by church leaders.

    The original question of how we would respond to this lady.
    Elizabeth, our Father is a God of restoration, and He will restore your spirit towards Himself. For we know that scripture teaches us that it is about our relationship to Him first and foremost. I believe that you will find that as He heals and strengthens you that He will also present to you opportunities to minister to others in the situation which He is bringing you out of. As you do that you will be strengthened in your faith and even in your witness to your family and friends.

    The problem isn’t just the pastors Elizabeth (and Rochele) it is also those who sit under their “ministry” are not being “Bereans” and searching the scriptures to make sure that the pastor(s) are teaching and leading Biblically. The great failure of the church in the end days will come (and now is) the lack of healthy, balanced, church bodies and leadership operating in harmony to teach, reproof, and even rebuke as needed.

    Don’t give up on God’s glorious bride! Commit yourself more to His perfect plan and at the same time hold the leaders to that same plan, for to do so is to love them and the church.

    There are Godly leaders, they are just hard to find. Some are “burnt out” by their efforts to keep their flocks “spiritual fires” burning, others have left the ministry, and yet there are those who quietly serve faithfully. Find them, pray for them, and then serve along side them.

    My wife and I have been through a fair number of experiences along this line, and we are stronger for the trials.

    Amos, I believe that you believe in the position that you take. Please my brother do not get snarled up in the idea of titles or no titles in the scriptures. It is obvious that the early church had leadership. (i.e. Peter, Paul, James, etc.) Jesus is the shepherd but there are also under shepherds, accountable to Him. The scriptures can be a snare if we read them “woodenly” without the living teaching of the Holy Spirit. It appears to me that the presentation of your points, although honest in sincerity, lack the appearance of humility and even border on an arrogance. Please remember that with out Love we are but a noisy gong.

    Amos, those who lead are to do so in humility of heart but with boldness of presenting the only Truth that can save. Please set aside your concern with titles and take your obvious passion and find a ministry where you can serve God by serving His people.

    I submit the above in humility and love to those who are hurting, both pastors and body.

    • Heather says:

      Mick, Thank you for your post. I have had similar experiences and second your post (minus your comments about Amos, although I didn’t find the post you replied to helpful).

  28. A. Amos Love says:

    Mick

    Thanks for your concern. You write…
    It is obvious that the early church had leadership. (i.e. Peter, Paul, James, etc.)

    Well, this Leadership thingy is NOT so obvious to me – Or – Peter, Paul, and James.

    Haven’t you ever wondered? Why? In the Bible?
    Jesus taught His Disciples NOT to be called Leaders?
    For you have ONE leader – the Christ?

    And NONE did… In the Bible, NOT one of His Disciples called themself leader.
    In the Bible, ALL of His Disciples called themselves Servants. ;-)

    Mat 23:10-12 NASB – New American Standard Bible
    Do NOT be called leaders; for ONE is your Leader, that is, Christ.
    But the greatest among you shall be your servant.
    Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled;
    and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

    The Message – Mat 23:10-12.
    And do NOT let people maneuver you into taking charge of them.
    There is only ONE Life-Leader for you and them—Christ.
    **Do you want to stand out? – Then step down. – Be a servant.**
    If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you.
    But if you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.

    Jesus instructed **His disciples** NOT to be called **leaders** and NONE did.

    Rom 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ,
    Php 1:1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ,
    Col 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ,
    Tit 1:1 Paul, a servant of God,
    Jas 1:1 James, a servant of God
    2Pe 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant

    **His Disciples** all called themselves **Servants.**
    None called themselves Leaders. None called themselves Servant-Leader.

    If Jesus instructed **His Disciples** NOT to call themselves leaders?
    And someone calls them self a leader? Or thinks they are a leader?

    Are they one of *His Disciples?* Hmmm?

    Why isn’t what Jesus said important? ;-)

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall **hear MY voice;**
    and there shall be ONE fold, and ONE shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Fold – One Shepherd – One Voice – One Leader

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    • Heather says:

      Thank you for your thoughts! I do think that we need to rethink our view of leaders, or identify what our view of leaders is/has been and compare that with what God says about leaders. I am encouraged by Christ’s example, Paul’s leadership as a servant, and I have been encouraged by servant-leaders in my life who have restored my ability to trust proven servant-leaders, and have a clearer lense and better discernment. I don’t feel like I have to trust someone because it’s right, or “believe the best” or “look for the good”. That is subjective. Instead, I get to receive care and teaching from servant-leaders as I get to know them and develop a relationship with them etc. And yes, my foundation is in Christ, He is my Rock, Leader, Counselor, Provider, Care-Taker of my Soul….

  29. Cheryl Riddle says:

    When I hear about people who left the church over poor leadership and other people-problems, it makes me so sad. I know what it’s like to be hated by people, maybe even pastors, for no apparent reason.

    I wish people knew how to treat their members, and fellow-members right.

    Sometimes they’ll treat you right for the most part, for a long time, then one day, “BAM!” The door of kindness slams right in your face.

    I don’t know why God allows it, either, friend.

    All I can hope is that someday you’ll realize a better life for yourself, and find a church or group where you can feel truly loved and cared for.

    But, no matter what, don’t blame God , just because some people who call Him “LORD LORD” are a bunch of selfish, arrogant, and rude jerks. K?

    Not all pastors are like that.

  30. Steve Nestor says:

    I can fully understand the pain coming from both sides of the pulpit. As a pastor, I too have been hurt, lied on, and abused by the very people who called themselves Christian. Truthfully, the ones that I have come to distrust are those in higher leadership positions, i.e. district superintendents and their other associated cronies. Politics have long been a problem in the church, but its getting worse. As most pastors struggle to survive, guide the church into “paying their fair share”, and fight the everyday of keeping people in the church, the “leadership” seems only concerned with themselves. They have much higher salaries, and more benefits than the average pastor, and still expect the local church to fund their vacations, and lavish lifestyles. It is downright sickening. Trust is a hard word….but I will continue to trust in the Lord; even in the things I do not understand.

  31. jackpickel says:

    I don’t trust pastors either. – and I am one! I’ve seen pastors do horrendous things – not just adultery & financial misppropriation. Such things as lying, sheep-stealing, manipulating, empire-building, etc. On the flip – I don’t trust church members either. I’ve been lied to, lied about, dumped on, hurt, stabbed in the back, etc by so many church members it’s pathetic. So…guilt falls on both sides of that fence.

    • Heather says:

      I was dissapointed in your answer, since you are a pastor. Is that how you would respond to a person you pastored, who had a concern with a pastor’s leadership or with you? I expected that you would show care for the woman. We don’t know what happened to her or why she lost trust. We do know that she is still struggling and not bashing pastors, but trying to make sense of her experience. It seemed that your answer minimized what she experienced. It didn’t validate her need for discernment, learning from her experience, restoring her relationship with God and others etc.

      What I thought was most concerning about her letter was how she related her faith to faith in people. As a pastor, doesn’t that concern you? I didn’t hear her assigning guilt. She just wrote that her trust was broken.

      If you have been a faithful pastor and not had the faithful support of individuals within your congregation, that makes me very sad. Has God brought healing in your life? How have those events affected your view of yourself, God and others? I pray that God would affirm you as His servant-leader, and bring men and woman in your life who would encourage you in the plan God has for you. For the people who were abusive to you, did you have support from others, accountabilty for them? How has God cared for you during those damaging experiences? What have you learned?

  32. Sue says:

    I would say to Elizabeth first, that it is good to acknowledge our traumas and the wrongs of others that have hurt us. But then, when/if she were willing to listen, I would point her to the scriptures which let us know that this is to be expected among sinners, which we all still are, and that’s why Jesus commanded us to forgive as we have been forgiven (an act of will, not feelings) and to commit to love one another as he has loved us (another act of will, not feelings) and to put my trust in Jesus who will work in those commitments in our hearts as well as in others. Really wise Christians already know the pastor is a failure, as is the head deacon, the pastor’s spouse, the music director, etc because we are all so easily led astray, and they pray for those folks and are just as aware of themselves as sinners. We need to be lifting up those folks who already know that as leaders. So yes, I’d say to Elizabeth we’re all broken, and we’re all broken-hearted, and the essence of church is to know that, to know why, and to hear Jesus’ victory over it. And then, if I still had a hearing, I’d point out that wallowing in our hurt and the failures of others is exactly where the enemy of our souls wants us.

    • Heather says:

      Dear Sue,

      Ouch. You may not realize it, but it is that kind of response that keeps many people away from the Church and perpetuates abuse in the Church. While it is true that we are broken and hurt people, and hurt people hurt people, God has A LOT more to say about it than that. Our hurting others was so grevious to God, that He destined us to be punished forever, since the person we have offended the most is God. He then destined His Only Son to die, and be separated from Him, to take on the punishment for our sins.

      “Really wise Christians already know the pastor is a failure…”. Really? Ouch. That is an ontological statement that God doesn’t make about us. God doesn’t define us as “failures”, but as His creatures, made in His image, and those who identify themselves with His Son, He calls His children. Do we fail as Christ followers? Yes. Are we therefore failures? No. We are His children, and He cares for us and our feelings just like many parents care for their children. Yes, we fail, and we fall short of the glory of God, yet God does not call us to hit a mark, but instead to live for Him by trusting in His Son and His Word. He did make a way for us to be saved from His wrath, and to go from being God’s enemies, to God’s children.

      Failing does not make us “a failure”. Failing and not learning from our failure can lead to more “failure”. Moral failure and lack of repentance can lead to more moral failure that is harder to recover from and has more serious consequences. Having unrealistic expectations of ourselves can lead to perceived failure.

      Read Timothy 1 and 2 and 1 Corinthians 4 about God’s expectations for leaders. Read 1st Corinthians about how to deal with immorality in a church. The teaching is consistant throughout Scripture. There is such a thing as church discipline, accountability and judgement for wrongs done, on this side of heaven as well as in the next. It doesn’t sound like the pastors that hurt Elizabeth were held accountable for their actions. She didn’t even name the wrongs that were commited that caused the “devestation”. God tells us to call evil evil and good good, and not to minimize sin, because He doesn’t. We need to care for our hearts in this way, and trust God to care for our hearts in this way, so we can care for others, like Elizabeth.

  33. It all begs the question: how do these sick pastors get into the ministry and what do you do with them?. (Other than shuffle them around endlessly to congregations to hurt even more people). There are an exceedingly high number of NPD’s in ministry; denominations are not doing enough to prevent them coming in and are doing virtually nothing to stop them once they are in (power). Let’s face it, NPD’s hurt as many people as pedophiles do, just in a different way.

  34. A. Amos Love says:

    .
    Well, we just celebrated – Back to Church Sunday – Invite someone to Church.
    What a Great idea – I would just love to see this going on…

    Peter Pew-Sitter – talking to – Friend Freddy Freeman…

    Peter —– Freddy, I’m inviting you to “Go To Church” with me Sunday.

    Freddy — Why should I “go to your church?” Why do you “Go To Church?

    Peter —– To learn what the Bible says. To learn about Jesus.

    Freddy — Hmmm? Did anyone in the Bible “Go To Church?”
    Peter —– Errr… NO.
    Freddy — Did Jesus teach anyone they should “Go To Church?”
    Peter —– Errr… NO.
    Freddy — Did any of His Disciples “Go To Church?”
    Peter —– Errr… NO.
    Freddy — Any buildings in the Bible called church?
    Peter —– Errr… NO.

    Freddy — Peter, Tell me again – Why should I – “Go To your Church?

  35. A. Amos Love says:

    .
    Yes – Back to Church Sunday – Invite someone to Church.
    What a Great idea – I would just love to see this going on…

    Peter Pew-Sitter – talking to – Friend Freddy Freeman…

    Peter —– Freddy, I’m inviting you to “Go To Church” with me Sunday.

    Freddy — Why should I “go to your church?” Why do you “Go To Church?

    Peter —– To learn how to make Disciples of Jesus. The Great Commission.
    Freddy — How do your “Church Leaders,” teach “you,” Peter, to do that?
    Peter —– By teaching folks what Jesus commanded His Disciples. Mt 28:20.
    Freddy — Did you know, Jesus told His Disciples NOT to be called “Leaders?”
    ———— For you have “ONE” leader – Jesus – Mat 23:10 NASB.
    Peter —– Errr… NO.
    Freddy — Do your “Church Leaders” teach NOT to be called “Leaders?”
    Peter —– Errr… NO.
    Freddy — If your “Church Leaders” are NOT teaching folks???
    ———What Jesus commanded His Disciples – NOT to be called “Leaders?”
    ———For you have “ONE” leader – Jesus?
    ———Are your “Church Leaders” making Disciples of Jesus???
    Peter —– Errr… NO.

    Freddy — Peter, Tell me again – Why I should “Go To your Church? :-)

  36. A. Amos Love says:

    .
    Peter Pew Sitter – talking to – Friend Freddy Freeman…

    Peter —– Freddy, I’m inviting you to “Go To Church” with me Sunday.

    Freddy — Why should I “go to your church?” Why do you “Go To Church?

    Peter —– To learn how to make Disciples of Jesus. The Great Commission.
    Freddy — How does your “Pastor/Teacher” teach “you,” Peter, to do that?
    Peter —–– By teaching folks what Jesus commanded His Disciples. Mt 28:20.
    Freddy — Did Jesus teach His Disciples NOT to be called “Rabbi/Teacher?”
    Peter —–– Errr… Yes. – In Mat 23:8 NASB.
    Freddy — Does your “Pastor/Teacher” teach NOT to be called “Teacher?”
    Peter —— Errr… NO.
    Freddy — If your “Pastor/Teacher” is NOT teaching folks???
    ———What Jesus commanded His Disciples? – NOT to be called “Teacher?”
    ———For you have “ONE” Teacher? ALL shall be taught of God? Jn 6:45.
    ———Is your “Pastor/Teacher” making Disciples of Jesus???
    Peter — Errr… NO.

    Freddy — Peter, Tell me again – Why should I – “Go To your Church? :-)

    • Mick says:

      Amos
      Your comments continue to demonstrate the unfortunate fact that you are not allowing the Holy Spirit to be your teacher and guide to the living Word of God. Scripture is the organic living written Word of God, and can not be accurately understood in a line by line literal reading only. This is what your writings demonstrate.

      One fact is correct, the church is the people not the structure. Under shepherds (church teachers/leaders) are repeatedly noted in scripture. Most people are brought to a saving knowledge of Christ through others, which is the manner which Jesus commanded. They by default become leaders, and that is Biblical.

      Amos, I pray that you will focus on your relationship with Christ through the Holy Spirit rather than attack His church. You are either mis-guided or intentionally devisive over your singular interpretation of scripture.

  37. A. Amos Love says:

    .
    Peter Pew Sitter – talking to – Friend Freddy Freeman…

    Peter —– Freddy, I’m inviting you to “Go To Church” with me Sunday.

    Freddy — Why should I “go to your church?” Why do you “Go To Church?

    Peter —– To learn to save “The Lost.” The un-believer. Evangelism.
    Freddy — Who taught you “The Lost” are the un-believers?
    Peter —– My “Pastor/Teacher” taught me “The Lost” are the un-believers.
    Peter —– Why everyone knows ‘The Lost” are the un-believers.
    Freddy — Have you ever thought God’s Sheep could be “The Lost?”
    Peter —– Errr… NO.
    Freddy — Have you been a Berean, checking the Bible to see if that is true?
    Peter —– Errr… NO.
    Freddy — Did you know, God’s Sheep are Led astray by “their” shepherds?
    Peter —– Errr… NO.
    Freddy — Did you know the prophet Jeremiah called God’s People?
    ————– “Lost Sheep.” Lead astray by “their” pastor/shepherds?
    Peter —— Errr… NO.
    Freddy — Check out Jer 50:6 – My people hath been “lost” sheep:
    ————-**their shepherds** have caused them to go astray…
    Peter —– Errr… That sucketh…

    Freddy — If your “Pastor/Teacher” is NOT teaching folks?
    ———NOT to be called “Leader” for you have “ONE” Leader – Jesus?
    ———NOT to be called “Teacher” for you have “ONE” Teacher – Jesus?
    ——— ALL shall be taught of God? Jn 6:45.
    ———God’s People are “Lost sheep?” Led astray by “Their” shepherds?
    ———Could your “Pastor/Teacher” be just a “Bad” teacher???
    ———Or, could your “Pastor/Teacher” just be a “False” teacher???

    Peter —– Errr… Hmmm… Ahhh… ooohhh… Weeellll….

    I think I’ll refuse to answer on the grounds I might be Excommuncated and Shunned by my loving Christian “Church Leaders” who love me and watch for my soul – Until I dis-agree with them…

    Of course they would shun me for my own good. Out of Love…

    Freddy — Tell me again – Why should I – “Go To your Church? :-)

  38. A. Amos Love says:

    Mike

    Thanks for the prayer when – You write…
    “Amos, I pray that you will focus on your relationship with Christ
    through the Holy Spirit rather than attack His church.”

    FYI – I do NOT attack His Church, His Ekklesia, His Body, His Sheep, His called out ones, His Disciples, His Ambassodors, His Kings and Priests. You and Me – “WE,” His Church. – I do admit to challenging the 501 (c) 3, non-profit, Tax Deductible, Religious Corporation, that the IRS calls church. :-)

  39. A. Amos Love says:

    Mike

    Now – I believe that everyone has to hear this for themselves…
    From Jesus…

    But – Here is another thought about “The Institutional Church.”
    And why “The Institutional Church” can NO longer work for me.
    And why I can NO longer recommend “The Institutional Church” to anyone.

    pastor/leader/reverends.

    Todays “Abusive Religious System” also Damages, Abuses – pastor/leader/reverends. And the families of the – pastor/leader/reverends.

    Many say there are – Healthy Institutional Churches – You just have to look.

    Well maybe – But – Can you have a – Healthy Institutional Church?
    If the – pastor/leader/reverend – Is NOT Spiritually Healthy?
    If the – pastor/leader/reverends – Family – Is NOT Spiritually Healthy?

    Today there are over 300,000 congregations in the USA meeting weekly.
    http://hirr.hartsem.edu/research/fastfacts/fast_facts.html#numcong

    Most have – pastor/leader/reverends – running the show – to some degree.
    And NOT one of His Disciples had the “Title” pastor/leader/reverend.

    And the statistics for – Hurting pastors – and their families – Are Horrific.
    Seems most – pastor/leader/reverends – Are NOT Spiritually Healthy.
    And most – pastors families – Are NOT Spiritually Healthy.

    And Jesus is the only “ONE” in the Bible with the “Title” Shepherd.

    So – Can you have a – Healthy Institutional Church?
    If the – pastor/leader/reverend – Is NOT Spiritually Healthy?
    If the – pastor/leader/reverends – Family – Is NOT Spiritually Healthy?

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall “hear My voice; “
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    One Voice – One Fold – One Shepherd

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

  40. A. Amos Love says:

    Mike

    This is info from a website helping “Hurting Pastors and their families.”
    Francis A. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development
    http://www.intothyword.org/articles_view.asp?articleid=36562&columnid=

    80% of pastors feel unqualified and discouraged in their role as pastor.
    77% of pastors do NOT have a good marriage!
    70% of pastors constantly fight depression.
    50% of pastors are so discouraged that they would leave the ministry
    ………*if they could,* but have no other way of making a living.
    40% of pastors have had an extra-marital affair since beginning in ministry.

    And we wonder why? Most “Spiritual Abuse” comes from – Power hungry pastors – Who have NO “Power – Control” over their own lives – So that have to try and exercise “Power – Control” over my life.

    Yeah – These pastors want me to “Obey my Leaders” – Them…
    Why should I – For the most part, these guys are screwed up worse than me?
    I feel sorry for these guys – But – I NO longer trust pastors – At ALL.

    Come on folks – 50% would leave if they could. – Does that sound healthy?
    These stats do NOT instill a lot of confidence in me for todays – pastors.

    How can I recommend someone to go to – “The Institutional Church?”
    When these – pastor/leader/reverends – are so messed up?

    What are the odds on finding a “Healthy Institutional Church?”
    With healthy – pastor/leader/reverends?

    So – Can you have a – Healthy Institutional Church?
    If the – pastor/leader/reverend – Is NOT Spiritually Healthy?
    If the – pastor/leader/reverends – Family – Is NOT Spiritually Healthy?

    No thanks – think I’ll stick with Jesus as the “ONE” Shepherd.

    Jer 50:6
    “My people” hath been “lost sheep:”
    **their shepherds** have caused them to *go astray,*

    1 Pet 2:25
    For ye were as *sheep going astray;*
    BUT are now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

    I’m Blest… I’ve returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of my soul…

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

  41. A. Amos Love says:

    Mike

    Here are more heart breaking statistics for – pastor/leader/reverends…
    These folks and their families are paying a horrible price.
    While taking a “Title/Position” – NOT found in the Bible.

    This “Abusive Religious System” just eats them up and spits them out…

    Pastoral Care Inc.
    http://www.pastoralcareinc.com/statistics/

    # 80% of pastors’ spouses wish they would choose a different profession.
    # 80% believe pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families.
    …………..Many pastor’s children do not attend church now
    ……………because of what the church has done to their parents.
    # 50% of the ministers starting out will not last 5 years.
    # 33% state that being in the ministry is an outright hazard to their family.

    #1 reason pastors leave the ministry — Church people are not willing to go
    …. the same direction and goal of the pastor.

    “Of course I’m the leader – Says so – right here on my Diploma.

    Come on – 50% do NOT last five years – That’s gotta hurt…
    After paying all that money to a Seminary – or is it a cemetery?

    And these guys are required to “Manage Well” their family. 1 Tim 3:4-5.
    And “Manage Well, ESV” and “Rule Well, KJV” is Greek – proistemi
    Which also means to be a protector, guardian, care for – WELL

    Come on – “Manage Well?” You gotta be kidding – with…
    80% of pastors’ spouses wish they would choose a different profession.
    80% say pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families.

    They are NOT “Managing Well” their families – That’s gotta hurt.
    They are NOT guarding, protecting, careing for their families – Well…
    That’s gotta hurt. –

    No wonder 70% constantly fight depression.
    And 77% do NOT have a good marriage.

    Can you have a – Healthy Institutional Church?
    If the – pastor/leader/reverend – Is NOT Spiritually Healthy?
    If the – pastor/leader/reverends – Family – Is NOT Spiritually Healthy?

  42. You may be very wise in not trusting, as indeed, there are a high percentage of ordained folks who are very ill people (with NPD, for one example). The ‘Church’ as a whole remains willfully ignorant of the vast damage personality disordered pastors do (not to minimize child sexual abuse, but NPD damage is far more vast). I would tell her to continue to distrust ordained people, and work at getting to know them well before offering trust. Also: go to work to educate the church about NPD pastors.

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