Category Archives: Inspirational

HEAVEN ON MY MIND


HEAVEN ON MY MIND
Parson to Person

The Lyrics of a gospel song include the words: “I woke up this morning feeling fine; I woke up with heaven on my mind.” What an inseparable duo! They are cemented more securely than “love and marriage” or “horse and carriage.” When thoughts of heaven and of the Good Lord are founded solidly on the eternal Word, they become the substantiating of heaven on earth. How else could one feel then but fine, mighty fine! Think about it!
David described the blessed man as one who meditates in His law day and night, Psalm 1:2. That is feeling fine, mighty fine! When others dish out unfair treatment, instead of being discouraged, consider the marvelous meaning of the words in Psalm 119:78, “Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause but I will meditate in thy precepts.” This turns personal hurt and discouragement into feeling fine, mighty fine! When the forces and “friends” of this world bring pressure to think and walk perversely, remember Psalm 119: 15, “I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.” This severs a bad situation and leaves one feeling fine, might fine.
Some folks are comparable to a reed shaken by the wind. They bend and sway with whatever force is predominant at the time. Others are more comparable to a mighty tree, realizing that even though evil winds may not be stopped, one may, but the grace of God, stand strong and not bow down to them. It is incumbent upon every Christian to know who he is through identification with the person and words of the Lord, not by simple, blind acceptance of the tenants of a church where he may belong.
In the classic movie “Gone With The Wind,” Scarlett dealt with unpleasant or difficult situations by procrastination: “I won’t think about that today, I will think about that tomorrow.” That mindset can only make matters worse by creating a vacuum evil is eager to fill. By all means, take the initiative!
Taking the initiative then to be in control of spiritual and mental matters, one will find himself marching in cadence with the Pauline instructions that speak so pungently to this point. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Now there is the subject matter having come full circle. With goodness and heaven on one’s mind, life is fine, mighty fine!

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A MILLION $ FOR YOUR THOUGHTS!


Parson to Person

A MILLION $ FOR YOUR THOUGHTS!
Wow! Inflation is worse than figured! Not long ago it was a penny for your thoughts! So how could thoughts be worth a million dollars? First, thoughts have to be forwarded into action, so, think with me and I will show you how it can happen.
I have asked several groups of people if they knew the exacted price from those who run over a chicken in Germany. None knew. The guilty party not only pays for the chicken, but also for all the eggs it may have laid over its lifetime. That is considered the value of the chicken. This principle applies across the board of life.
When anyone places a dollar in the offering plates at church, he not only gives up the dollar, but also the interest it would have earned over his lifetime. That is the value of a dollar.
So suppose one tithes his income, or more, for a lifetime. Also consider that each dollar given might have earned an average of six percent annually over his years. If those tithes are $50, $100, $200 per week, and that was begun in early to midlife, just do the math. It becomes astronomical. Now consider that Jesus said that whatever one gives up (houses, lands, etc.) he will receive a hundredfold, Matt 19:29. Now multiply your astronomical number by 100. The world has never offered such an investment return, and material things even as fine as His, are the very least of the Lord’s offerings.
Two things must combine here: first, one’s heart, then his treasure. Jesus taught us that where one’s treasure is, there will his heart be also, Luke 12:34. Some complain that they cannot afford to give such amounts. That indicates a heart problem. Everyone must remember that the gold and silver; the cattle of a thousand hills; yes, the earth itself, and all therein; the money, too, belongs to the Lord, Psm. 50:10, 24:1, Hag. 2:8, I Cor. 10:26. He who demanded the tithe under the Mosaic Law provides opportunity for us all under grace to exceed that in church support, benevolence, mission work, and reaching out to others in need. Such are opportunities rather than obligations, and the cheerful giver who seizes upon them is indeed wise. He is accumulating great treasure in heaven which is both secure and eternal. Put into proper action a million dollars may be a pittance for your thoughts!

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The Murderer Who Became a Missionary


An Excellent Read – repost from the cripplegate

The Murderer Who Became a Missionary

PersecutorSome time ago, when preparing a sermon on the life of the apostle Paul, I came across the story of Sergei Kourdakov. Today’s post is adapted from the illustration I used as the introduction to that sermon. 

The year was 1969.

A lot happened that year. It was the year Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. It was the year my parents got married. And it was the year that John MacArthur became the teaching pastor of Grace Community Church.

It was in that same year that 18-year-old Sergei Kourdakov, a Russian orphan who had distinguished himself as a leader in the Communist Youth League, began his term at the Soviet naval academy. Given his natural leadership ability and his commitment to the Communist cause, it was not surprising that Kourdakov was soon approached by the KGB, who put him in charge of a secret branch of the city’s police force.

As a secret KGB unit, Kourdakov’s squad of fellow soldiers was largely tasked with targeting church meetings and the Christians who attended them. These “believers” posed a threat to the state and to communism itself, or so Kourdakov was told. As such, they had to be found and stopped by whatever means were deemed necessary.

Over the next two years, Kourdakov would carry out more than 150 raids on Russian underground churches and Christian communities. On one such occasion, he and his men hid while an outdoor baptism service was being conducted. As soon as the baptisms were over, his men attacked. The Christians, of course, did not fight back. But that didn’t stop Kourdakov’s unit from treating them with brutality. Within minutes, all of the believers were beaten and bleeding, lying on the ground.  The pastor himself was dead, his body floating in the river where he had just performed the baptisms.

As the attacks continued, Kourdakov was shocked to notice that many of these believers were young people – even as young as he was. He was also startled by the fact his raids were not effective in stopping Christian meetings. To his surprise, people who were beaten and arrested at one meeting would later be found attending subsequent meetings.

It seemed that the more he persecuted the church the more the church grew.

In each of these raids, in addition to beating and arresting the believers, Kourdakov and his men would confiscate any Bibles or other religious literature they found. These would either be destroyed or sent back to KGB headquarters.

One day, Kourdakov himself was curious about what these Christians were reading. So he picked up one a few pages of Christian literature and snuck them back to his room at the naval academy.

What he read shocked him. The pages were from the gospel of Luke, and they changed his life forever. Here is what he said of that experience:

At the first opportunity I had, lying in my bunk at the naval academy, I opened up those pieces of paper and began to read them again. Jesus was talking and teaching someone how to pray. I became more curious and read on. This certainly was no anti-state material. It was how to be a better person and how to forgive those who do you wrong. Suddenly the words leaped out of those pages and into my heart. I read on, engrossed in the kind words of Jesus. This was exactly the opposite of what I had expected. My lack of understanding, which had been like blinders on my eyes, left me right then, and the words bit deeply into my being. . . . Through the days and weeks ahead, those words of Jesus stayed with me. I couldn’t shake them, hard as I tried. I wished I hadn’t read them. Everything had been so organized in my life, but those disturbing words had changed something. I had feelings I never had felt before. I couldn’t explain or understand them. (Sergei Kourdakov, The Persecutor)

He was now conflicted. Soon he began to realize that the communism to which he had dedicated his life was nothing more than an empty façade.

With the words of Christ piercing his soul, Kourdakov knew he had to get out of the KGB, and if possible, the Soviet Union.

Soon he had his opportunity. After graduating from the Soviet Naval Academy, he was stationed on a cruise ship patrolling waters off the western coast of North America. He thought that if his ship came close enough to land, he might be able to jump overboard and swim for shore. On September 3, 1971, Kourdakov jumped off of his ship into the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean. The next morning he washed up on the coast of British Columbia. Amazingly, he was alive.

While still on the Soviet ship, Kourdakov had purposed in his heart that once he escaped he would serve the very Jesus he had persecuted so vigorously. True to that promise, he began attending an English-speaking church in Toronto, Canada. He also visited a Ukrainian church where he was given a Russian Bible.

Kourdakov immediately recognized the Russian Bible as being the same type of Bible that he had often confiscated from the believers in Russia. He asked where it came from, and was told that it was distributed by a missions organization known as Underground Evangelism—a California-based ministry that helped to smuggle Bibles into communist countries.

Soon after, Kourdakov himself moved to California where he worked with Underground Evangelism.

Incredibly, the man who had persecuted Christians, who had been involved in the beatings and even murders of believers, was now helping a missions organization do the very thing he had once violently opposed!

God had graciously brought Sergei Kourdakov to faith in Christ. Just a few months later, the Lord would take him home. On January 1, 1973, Kourdakov was found shot dead in his room. Based on threats he received before he died, he was almost certainly assassinated by KGB agents who wanted to silence him.

Kourdakov’s testimony is pretty remarkable: A man who violently persecuted the church for a cause he thought was right, only to find that the cause he had so passionately pursued was false and he had actually been fighting against the truth.

Confronted with the words of Christ, his heart was dramatically changed. He left his former life behind, and joined the very movement he had been persecuting, promoting the work of Underground Evangelism so that more Bibles could be sent back into the Soviet Union. In the end, he was killed by the agency he had formerly served.

In many ways, the story of Sergei Kourdakov parallels the story of the man whose life we will be looking at in our message today. That person, as you might have guessed, is the apostle Paul.

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HOW MANY HUSBANDS/WIVES???


 Parson to Person

HOW MANY HUSBANDS/WIVES???
An experience common to modern man is that of occasional wondering just who it is that is staring back at him in the mirror. One preacher said that each time he wants to look into the mirror; some old man beats him there. Once while visiting an old friend in the hospital whom I had not seen in many years, he said, “I know I look different, and some things have changed, but I am still the guy you knew years ago.” Such is the often amazement of the aging process. In response to a question to one man by his wife: “will you love me when I am old and gray,” came the reply, “certainly; I have already loved you through six other colors!” On a more serious note, medical science tells us that with the exception of brain cells, every cell in the human body dies and is replaced every seven years, and it is the oxidation of cells creating imperfect replacements that accounts for the aging process. Hummm, every seven years! No wonder then that my wife has had eight husbands, and I have enjoyed eight wives! But alas, when brain cells die, they are not replaced. Could that mean there is a lot of short-circuiting going on between the ears? We are indeed a changing people in a changing world.
But, hold on, and rejoice! Our Creator/Savior is the same yesterday, today, and forever! So unchangeable also are His promises! The universal laws of sin and death are also unchangeable in the world of men. As the operation of those laws cause the human body to spiral downward into the clutches of death, so do they cause the very planet and all therein to spiral downward. It is called the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the most provable law of science. But something else is potentially going on. Potentially, that is, to those who may not know the Lord personally in the free pardon of sin, but reality in those who do. In Holy Writ it is so stated: “. . .but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” 2 Cor. 4:16. This is shouting ground! This is the ultimate defiance of the Second Law of Thermodynamics! It is the essence of everlasting life in the here and now that shall continue to be enjoyed in eternity.
It is a blessing to enjoy the multiple spouses all in one person that the aging process produces, but it is an exponentially greater blessing to know the eternal presence of spiritual life in Christ, and the exciting, invigorating hope it produces.

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SOURCE OR FACILITATOR?


HEBREW HONEYCOMB
SOURCE OR FACILITATOR?
From the inspired pages of antiquity there comes powerful, spiritual lessons for individuals and churches in today’s Christian world. Consider the symbolism of the candlestick, It is chief among the many objects used to identify and illustrate the Lord’s New Testament Church. It was the instrument of light in the Holy Place of the wilderness tabernacle and later the Old Testament Temple. Among misunderstandings about the candlestick is that it is a light source. Now hold on! Think with me!
The candlestick of Bible times references the Jewish menorah. But the menorah (candlestick) was not a light source as many presume. Rather it was a light facilitator. That is, it was especially constructed for the purpose of facilitating the flow of oil through its pipes to the terminal bowls where it was ignited. It was the fire then produced by the combustible oil that created the light. The portable construction of the candlestick allowed positioning for light in specific places. In like manner, the Lord’s church, metaphorically called a candlestick, is not of itself a light producer. It is a facilitator of God’s light of truth to a lost, dark, sinful world of condemned men. The light it can only offer is the light (truthful content) of God’s Word, and its effects in life. The church supports the veracity of the Holy Word, by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit that has resided within and upon it since Pentecost. Additionally, it is the ministry of the Holy Spirit to give understanding through the Word to saved men, and to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment to come. As men repent of sin and are enlightened by the Holy Spirit through the Word, they are not to obscure that light, but to be joined to the candlestick thus becoming a part of the great conduit/facilitator of truth and light.
In the first half of the last century, light in homes was furnished by burning oil in glass lamps. Sometimes that process blackened the chimneys of the lamps requiring them to be cleaned frequently. That process ignored, the lamp ceased to be an acceptable facilitator of light. Sometimes, the appearance of men to others is that of a dimmed light; a life that needs the cleaning of repentance and forgiveness. Christians are not light sources. But the question remains: how are they as facilitators? How bright or dimmed is the light of the candlestick? God help us all to be clean, excellent facilitators of the heavenly light!

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ONE VERSE PREFERENCE


 Parson to Person

ONE VERSE PREFERENCE
If I could have in my possession only one verse of the Bible, which one would it be? Hands down, it would be John 3:16. It is so comprehensive that it pretty well covers all the bare essentials for fallen mankind. It is the key to evangelism. Think about it with me!
It begins, “For God.” Here is the presentation of the eternal, creator deity. There is no need to try to prove God. He doesn’t! He is, and it is literally the fool who does not know this.
It continues, “So loved.” Here is the essence of what God is. I John 4:8 says “God is love.” There is one God. He is the creator and eternal judge, and His essence is love. That draws me.
“God so loved the world.” Here is the object of His love: the inhabited world. It is unlimited to the world of men. As a part of that, I am then the object of His love. I am grateful, and I rejoice!
“That He gave.” Love is giving. Love is sacrifice by its own definition. God, the Creator is a giving God, not a taker. Rather than quake in fear, I run to Him in expectation.
“He gave His only begotten Son.” Love gives! It is not a trivial gift. It is not an expensive gift that would be trivial compared to His universal riches. It is His only begotten Son. The gift is the one and only expression of mankind who could pay the penalty of sin and did so from the depths of His essence of love and grace. It is as the scriptures put it, an “Unspeakable gift!”
“That whosoever.” What a wonderful word! Whosoever includes me! Whosoever excludes no one. The invitation to goodness, righteousness, life is indeed universal to the offspring of Adam.
“Believeth in Him.” The required prerequisite to everlasting life is to believe in Him. One might quibble about the degree of belief under consideration, but the term “believeth” is present tense, and means to trust for that which is eternal, and over which no mortal has control or authority in himself.
“Should not perish” Here is the opposite outcome for failure to believe in Him. Moreover, it is a divine statement that such belief produces the opposite of whatever ideas may be associated with “perish.” But for God, to perish is absolutely, universally certain!
“But have everlasting life.” Life: goodness in awareness minus any of the evils associated with present earthly life and sin. Life! Everlasting life! It is perfection, immortality, awareness in total righteousness without interruption or end. The very idea is overwhelming, but this is the greatest story ever told, the greatest gift ever given, the greatest hope of any human heart.
If I could have only one verse of scripture in my possession to love, live by, and share with others, it would be John3:16

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THE COMPOUNDED EYE


William Andrew Dillard

HEBREW HONEYCOMB
THE COMPOUNDED EYE
As a small child in the community of Jenny Lind, Arkansas, a particular delight infrequently occurred by having a nickel to spend at one of three local stores. Clark and Bailey General Store sat on the west side of the highway traversing the community, and Presto Skinner’s store, later Griffin’s sat on the east side directly across from Clark’s. South about a block was Marion Matthews’ General Store. They were small buildings as most country stores were in the 1940s, but each of them had a large, glass, candy counter displaying all manner of delectable delights. Spending the nickel was not going to be easy because it demanded a decision to select one above all the others that must be left behind. With nose flattened against glass, the chore began. Imaginary tasting of each potential selection took a while much to the impatience of the proprietor. Finally, a choice was made, a purchase competed, and a happy kid walked out of the store with his sweet prize tickling taste buds on the walk home. What does this have to do with anything? Think with me!

 

Good decision making requires correct, studied information and good judgment to achieve a single eye. The prophet Elijah saw so many of his countrymen caught in the trap of the compounded eye, I Kings 18. His challenge to them was: “How long halt ye between two opinions?” They could not serve God and Baal. Their eye of life was compounded, and as Jesus taught, they were full of darkness, Matt. 6:22-23. That continues today as the religious offerings have increased exponentially together with a thousand other things vying for time and attention, offering promises that may or may not be true.


Your life is your nickel, and the world is filled with a myriad of offerings, brightly colored and touting themselves to be worthy of your interest and your years. It is the fool who spends it frivolously, but spend it each one will while often the compounded eye remains, or is narrowed in focus wrongly.. So long as one’s eye is compounded, full potential will never be achieved, and those whose eye is single, but focused on the wrong things will suffer eternal loss. Life is your nickel. Be very careful how you spend it: what you focus on as truly important. Narrowing the compounded eye to single vision with eternal hope can only be accomplished as Jesus, His person, words, and works are the focus!

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Our father’s God, to Thee, Author of Liberty…


Samuel Francis SmithAmerican Minute with Bill Federer

“My country, ’tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
From every mountainside,
Let freedom ring!”

This hymn was written by Samuel Francis Smith, who died NOVEMBER 16, 1895.

A Harvard classmate of poet Oliver Wendell Holmes, Smith went to Andover Theological Seminary and became a Baptist minister.

While a student in 1832, Samuel Francis Smith admired a tune while translating a German Hymnal – the same tune was used for British, Canadian, Russian, Danish, Swedish and Swiss National anthems.

Smith stated:

“I instantly felt the impulse to write a patriotic hymn of my own, adapted to the tune.

Picking up a scrap of waste paper which lay near me, I wrote at once.”

In proclaiming “Let Freedom Ring Day,” July 3, 1986, President Ronald Reagan recalled the hymn’s 4th stanza, stating:

“As the golden glow of the Statue of Liberty’s rekindled torch calls forth…throughout our land, let every American take it as a summons to rededication, recalling those words we sang as children:

‘Our father’s God, to Thee,
Author of Liberty,
To Thee we sing,
Long may our land be bright
With Freedom’s Holy Light.
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, Our King.’”

If you are interested in quotes on
“My Country” see below:
“If it be the pleasure of Heaven that my country shall require the poor offering of my life, the victim shall be ready, at the appointed hour of sacrifice…But while I do live, let me have a country, and that a free country!” – John Adams

“While my country calls for the exertion of that little share of abilities, which it has pleased God to bestow on me, I hold it my indispensable duty to give myself to her.” – Gouverneur Morris

“I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” – Nathan Hale

“I shall anticipate…the place to be assigned me in the history of my country, and die contented with the belief that I have contributed… to…prolong the duration of American liberty.” – Andrew Jackson

“I implore the Spirit from whom every good and perfect gift descends to enable me to render essential service to my country.” – John Quincy Adams

“The ends I aim at shall be my country’s, my God’s, and Truth’s. I was born an American; I will live an American; I shall die an American.” – Daniel Webster

“I will never forget that I am an American fighting man, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.” – President Eisenhower, Code of Conduct for Military

“No, this is a service for my country, and it doesn’t matter whether I do it as an officer or as a plainsman. The big thing is to do it.” – Kit Carson

“No personal consideration shall induce me to abandon the righteous cause of my country. Tell Governor Gage it is the advise of Samuel Adams to him no longer to insult the feelings of an exasperated people.” – Samuel Adams

“Our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality…I dwell on this prospect with every satisfaction which an ardent love for my country can inspire.” – George Washington

“I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.” – Thomas Jefferson


Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.

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PLANET EARTH: MY MOTHER!


By: W. A. Dillard

HEBREW HONEYCOMB
PLANET EARTH: MY MOTHER!
There is a natal bond between planet Earth and mankind. From the initial days in Eden it speaks of his prime directive or purpose. Think with me!


Adam (mankind) was the name of the first human. Add the feminine ending (ah) to that word in Hebrew and one has “Adamah” which is translated “dust, soil, dirt,” the substance of the planet. So, Earth is the mother of mankind, and God is the Creator/Father. He was made to be Adam from the same elements as the soil, and God breathed into his nostrils the breath of lives: (yes, lives, plural) physical, mental and spiritual. Thus was Adam made the lord of the life sustaining planet. Inquiring minds want to know why. 


Previously, the earth was under the care of Lucifer and the myriad of angels under his command. Lucifer coveted the position of the Son, originating opposition to the Will of God; hence, sin! It is believed Lucifer is responsible for wrecking to the point of utter chaos what was a perfect, life-sustaining planet , Gen.1:2.


Logic would indicate that a controversy over ownership of the planet ensued between God as Creator and Lucifer claiming it was given to him. There being no other super powers to settle the argument, the planet would thus speak for itself. Of course, being without brain, or mouth, that seemed impossible, but here is where the import of the bond becomes underscored. God caused the planet to give birth as it were to one like itself, but who could reason, speak and make decisions. That would put Adam into the position of being a walking, talking dirtball, which seems a little humiliating. Actually, it is an extremely exalted position. He would speak for the planet since God as Creator is not an arbitrary God.


So man must be subjected to the influences of God and of Lucifer. Eve being deceived and Adam choosing her over the word of his Creator brought sin to the species and a yielding up of the lordship of the planet to the fallen archangel.


But the story does not end there. The Creator chose to become one of His created beings and succeed where Adam failed. Since it was a decision of commitment that brought sin, it is a decision of commitment that brings life and righteousness. It is also the purpose of the Creator to bring man to a high level of spiritual maturity that will enable him to do in the millennial reign of Christ, what he should have been doing from the beginning. He will rule the earth in righteousness to the eternal glory of Jesus, and the astonishment of his unfathomable grace. Paul says in Romans 8 that the creation groans in travail, awaiting the glorious liberty of the sons of God (its offspring) in which it also will be finally freed from the power of bondage. There is good reason earth is called “Mother Earth.”

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PASTOR, PASTORS, POPES, AND DEACONS


HEBREW HONEYCOMB
PASTOR, PASTORS, POPES, AND DEACONS
Much that is made in history over strict orthodoxy in the church both in practice and in names seems to be falling by the wayside in the modern dumbing down of churches through what seems to be endless expansion of definition of terms. I reference primarily the term “pastor.” Are you ready to think with me? Please do!
An illustration of the subject matter at hand is the recent abandonment of the office of Pope by the head of the Catholic Church. According to them, he is the vicar of Christ, successor, of the apostle Peter. That title designates a single authoritative individual succeeding the previous one at death. . . . until now. So, the Pope decided for whatever reason, he did not want to be Pope any longer. A new one must be elected, but the former one is still alive and so designated as that successor. Now there are two living popes. Confusing? Rather! But this is an illustration. On the other hand, what is going on in the Lord’s churches?
A New Testament church has two divinely created offices: pastor and deacon. God calls men into the gospel ministry qualifying them to be the pastor of one of His churches. Churches select men (deacons) to serve them in various capacities as they have need. This has been the biblical and time honored status for the past two thousand years, but things appear to be changing in many churches.
Nowadays, some churches, large or small, have weakened the meaning and exclusiveness of “pastor” by designating others not having a life calling of God to that office as a youth pastor, a seniors’ pastor, a worship pastor (song leader), perhaps a nursery pastor, as well as a senior pastor who usually is the God-called minister and spiritual leader, but not always senior in age. The stripping or expanding of the strict definition of a church pastor to include most any and everything surely lends much deterioration to the meaning and respect of the office and office holder. This usually emanates from a desire to exceed Bible elevation of those who serve in various ministries of the church or else from a desire to lessen the exclusiveness of the God-called leader or both, and it is not good (strange as it seems, this practice makes some unseasoned pastors feel important). Soon every Sunday School Teacher will be known as a “Class Pastor” which leaves only the folks in the pews. Surely they will become known as “Pew Pastors.” If a title must be bestowed on those who serve the church who are not the God-called, spiritual leader, then what is wrong with “deacon?” It is a good, biblical word and it literally means “servant.” It would be so much more fitting and honorable to them who are not called of God into a separate life of spiritual leadership as is a God-called pastor, but are so selected by the church that they serve which may define the description and duration of their duties. But then, what is the real purpose in any action such as this multi-pastor title in the first place? Doubtless, every extra-scriptural action consistently yields increased, undesirable, and possibly unscriptural results. Chalk this writer up as a voice of old-school Baptists.

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