BAD PASTORS: How Can We Deal With Them?

The news of “Bishop” Eddie Long has gone around the world by now, no doubt.  Many of us are debating this whole debacle–with friends, family, co-workers, and church family.   Of course the media and bloggers are devouring it as well. 

What is the meaning of this thing that has happened to this “pastor”, at this time and in this way?  Is God warning us about how we are to serve Him, from the pulpit to the pews?   And if God is talking to us through this great falling down off the throne of Eddie Long,  do we as Christians have ears to hear what “thus saith the Lord”? 

I wanted to find a guideline of sorts, written by some obscure laborer in God’s vineyard.  Someone who may have a bit of experience or knowledge about this issue of bad pastors.  What should we look for in a good pastor and what we should look OUT for in a bad pastor.  Since all Christians are to serve the Lord, then we all should seek to know His will, which is readily available to us in His Word.  I was able to find a good link concerning the things we should look out for in a pastor.  The following article was very thorough and well written.  I’m sure there are many more things we should be aware of but this seemed to be a good start, in my opinion.  

http://www.davidcox.com.mx/usa/our_promo/guidelines_for_discerning_a_bad_pastor.htm

This can’t be overstated–as Christians we have to be familiar with the Word of God!  If we don’t want to be taken advantage of by the abundance of wolves flexing their muscles, their intellect, even their knowledge of the Bible, we need to know the Word for ourselves.  Rather than being overwhelmed by this, we can start small.  Start in the book of John.  Or go back to the book of John.  Study a chapter of it, and think about what it seems to be saying.  Meditate on passages that grab your attention.   Reread them.  Look up the words you don’t understand.  God will surely reward you with a deeper understanding of that chapter!  After you have studied, then no one, whether a pastor or not,  will ever be able to lie to you about what God is saying in that chapter! 

 We don’t want our natural human emotions to be manipulated so cruelly by greedy cultic charlatans masquerading as Christian “Bishops” and “Prophets” and “Pastors”.  We can’t afford to be spiritually devastated because we wouldn’t make time to understand just a bit of the Word of God and to learn a bit of what God has given us!  The cost of that kind of devastation is much too high and it can take many years to overcome it.  Sometimes a person will never be able to overcome it!   Imagine the number of people in the Bishop’s megachurch who may be too devastated to even come out!  Too broken to admit what is truth staring them in the face.  The “Bishops” of the world will most certainly come and pimp you and leave you half dead if you allow yourself, through ignorance of the Word, to be pimped!  Don’t allow it!  The following article breaks down the types of things one might see in his or her pastor if he or she is moving towards idolatry.

http://brevia.com/Spiritual/Idolatry.htm

Praying to a Loving God is the thing we can do and it doesn’t cost us anything except the effort to do it.  We don’t have to be a part of a megachurch to talk to God.  We don’t need a theologian to instruct us on how to talk to God.  We don’t need degrees in ministry to speak to the Lord.  We can just say whatever is on our mind to the Lord in a respectful manner.  Ask Him to help us understand what’s going on.

I pray that in the midst of this horrible attack on the integrity of the church, that we as Christians would do even more to come together and love one another.  That we would also have the courage to speak up with a heart of love and an eye towards restoration (if possible) whenever we see our ministers doing that which we know is wrong.  I pray that we work hard to allow integrity and commitment to God to guide us as we strive to do God’s will here in the earth.  Let’s not fall for the lies that those wolves in sheep’s clothing will continue to bring to us, and let’s not allow them to manipulate our natural desires for their own greedy gain.

 

 

17 Comments Add yours

  1. EnSayn says:

    Why are we at a point in our time where a pastor, bishop or prophet is still needed? A teacher is needed. Jesus was often called Rabbi coming from the word Ra’ab, meaning teacher or to teach. Torah (the five books of Moses) comes from the word A’rah indicating teaching. So, what is the need for a pastor? Unless one is a sheep? We need teachers and teachings…IMO.

    1. Anna Renee says:

      “So, what is the need for a pastor? Unless one is a sheep? We need teachers and teachings…IMO.”

      Very Interesting, brother!
      Let me meditate on this…

    2. Anna Renee says:

      I’m ready now, brother Ensayn!

      Here is what I believe you’re sayn:

      Hebrews 5:12-14 KJV:
      12For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

      13For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

      14But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
      —————————————————————
      Paul not only expected that the people should learn from their teachers, but that by reason of that learning they ought to be able to teach themselves! Jesus placed the Kingdom of God WITHIN us, that we can access His wisdom and understanding!

      Yet because “they still useth milk” (or rely too heavily on being pastored), they themselves are unskillful, and still are babies in the things of God–therefore easily duped by the “bad pastor”

      But strong Meat (wisdom and knowledge of God’s Word) belongs to them who have put in the time to study FOR THEMSELVES and have exercised their senses through studying and are able to see evil when it presents itself, no matter what clothing it may be wearing!
      Whew!

  2. Reggie says:

    There will ALWAYS be less than perfect pastors, because all pastors are men (or women). There are no perfect men (or women), only perfect intentions. Perfection just doesn’t exist, we’re all imperfect. Of course most of us don’t have sex with children or people of the same gender.

    I think the real problem that most people are having with these scandals is that we’re attempting to elevate people to what may be a wholly unrealistic status. A status above ordinary men and women. For whatever reason this status placed on these men and women enboldens them to destructive behavior. Not all of them, of course; but certainly enough of them.

    I can certainly understand why the flock would want the shepard to be a little more perfect…….but it’s probably an unrealistic expectation. In short, perhaps we shouldn’t be disappointed…..maybe that’s a stretch?

    Those people in the congregation are letting those pastors down, just as much as those pastors are letting them down.

    It is what it is.

  3. careycarey says:

    Good pictures and a great message. Don’t ask your neighbor and don’t rely on a man (any man). READ READ READ, and find out for your self! then and only than, can a person make a rational qualified decision. If not, we are frequently led by our emotions and/or the whims and opinions of others. And generally that’s a road map of confusion.

  4. Anna Renee says:

    @Reggie, I don’t think is that the flock are elevating these pastors, but rather that the pastors are manipulating the flock to see them as elevated.

    I think it has much to do with manipulation–of our fears, our needs, our desires, our dreams, our unfulfilled longings. We as humans are open books and trusting if someone says what we want to hear. Generally speaking.

    @Carey, I agree that we have to do our own research and use our rational faculties–because these mega-pastors all have the mind control thing down pat. They’ll rev up our emotions in a minute!

  5. lin says:

    Greetings Sista Westsiiiiide!

    Most people, with a fair amount of intelligence, spirituality, curiosity, enlightenment, and common sense eventually find the God-voice within themselves. You know, That Voice that tells you right from wrong, & throws LOUD-AZZ hints when something or someone AIN’T right, regardless of the robes they may wear? Some people need leaders, that’s true. But no leader IS God, and no leader is so pure of his or her heart that there’s no other agenda.

    So, it behooves us all to spiritually smarten up & begin to LISTEN to our own God-Voice!

    One.

    1. Anna Renee says:

      Hi Brother Eastsiiide!

      “But no leader IS God, and no leader is so pure of his or her heart that there’s no other agenda. ”

      Like Brother Ensayn said, at some point we ought to stop needing “pastors” and rely on good teachings. We have to “do our own research” as I like to say.

      Jesus told us that “the Kingdom of God is Within” so I’m meditating on whether He meant for us to have to continue to be “pastored” forever. At some point we have to rely on this Kingdom that God placed within us! To discern evil from good, despite what personality we are looking at!

      1. careycarey says:

        I am following this theme, and I have something to add. If I can look at your words “the Kingdom of God is within”, I believe those are fairly simple words to understand, but you know what, although I say that, I called my pastor before I spoke to soon.

        But first let me address the need of a pastor. Anna, I am sure you know the scripture that says many are called but few are choosen. Meaning, we all have a charge but only a few are called to deliver God’s words as a Pastor. Pastors have a pastors, in one form or another. In one of your comments, you reference scripture that spoke of going out and speading the word. Consequently, those that choose to do that, may not be pastors, but ministers. There is a difference. Pastors are choosen to hear the revelations and then pass them down. I do not generally use scripture to move a point, but if one desires to know more about the job and position and purpose of a pastor, they can read Mathew and Mark. And then call their pastor for a deeper understanding.

        Back to “his kingdom”: In it’s most basic form, it’s akin to in his likeness/ “God created man in his own image”. If we are to believe in the principles, morals, and goodness of God, then his kingdom represents all of that. Then if we believe those things, and walk that way of life, consequently it’s “within us”. Straight with no chaser.

  6. Anna Renee says:

    So there it is! These pastors have the greater responsibility to lead their flocks to greater understanding of God! They should guide them towards studying God’s Word so that they can gain wisdom and insight and maturity! Then they move on to others who are babies in the things of God!
    The pastor should see fruit in the people he has pastored: they should be starting ministries and discipling others! And so it grows exponentially. This is what Jesus must have meant by “Go Ye Into All the world and make disciples”!

    But we see the mega-pastor, who is doing the opposite–keeping his flocks ignorant and dependent on him. He constantly flaunts his superiority and their need for him and they remain childlike in the things of God.
    He doesn’t want them to study the Word of God, but to listen to his false interpretation of the Word. This fits in to our desire to have someone else do the hard work for us, but in the end those who follow this method end up profoundly stunted.
    Thank God He always has the means of escape though, and that remains going to His Word and studying! It’s the same thing–whether we do it at the beginning or whether we do it at the end.

  7. EnSayn says:

    Agreed, if there is to be a pastor then the “flock” should be full of people new to the “word”, newly won souls if you will.

  8. EnSayn says:

    Thanks for your response Anna Renee.

  9. James McCoy says:

    If Bishop Long had even an ounce of deceny left in his body,he would resign and get whatever help he needs in understanding where he went wrong.

  10. James McCoy says:

    My tolerance for folks like Bishop Long is very short,too much work is needed in our communities and for someone of his ilk to exploit those in need of guidance is almost unforgiveable.

    1. Anna Renee says:

      Hey Big Mac! Whachu doing still up? I’m at work and that’s my excuse! 😉

      Unfortunately, Brother, this kind of exploitation is BIG BUSINESS! A brother at the I’m Speaking Truth blog
      gives a devastating breakdown of Eddie Long, since he once was a follower of his for many years before escaping. He breaks down how it is that E.L. does the do and his latest posts shows just what the New Birth “Church” really is–he shows what’s in the “Bishop’s” articles of incorporation! Explosive! New Birth was never set up as a church, but as a non profit organization whose purpose is to “receive and maintain real and personal property”! Religion is somewhere down the line, an afterthought.
      Go to my blogroll to get the link to the brother’s blog, it’s worth reading as he is very thorough in his breakdown of the Pulpit Pimps.
      http://imspeakingtruth.wordpress.com/
      It’s a sad thing that so many are exploited this way.

  11. James McCoy says:

    Thanks for the link,I usually get up a couple hours before I head out for work and read and realized I have not read or blog in a few weeks.

  12. Susan Dumbill says:

    Hi Anna and thanks for your article about bad pastors. I’d like to say though that the issues you raise applies to pastors of all races and is a wider issue. The enemy will use areas in some pastors lives which are not yielded to Jesus and exploit the flock – to steal, kill and destroy – if he can. The enemy wants to segregate racially (another form of division, which we don’t always recognise). I have found that there are some very dubious white pastors and big ministry leaders who I believe are very dangerous, and would avoid them as I would a snake pit. We need to be “as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves” (ironically!!) I am learning, after having been damaged by some pastors (of various ethnic groups, including white English) to observe them to see how they lead. Do they drive and manipulate or worse, or do they lead by humility and by example? How to they react if you don’t give much money? ( I currently give a tiny amount to the churches I visit, save my tithes and give these to those in real need elsewhere). How do they react if I question anything in the church – do they respond with calm in a reasonable manner, or do they get agitated and suggest I’m “attacking” them? Thanks again, and God bless. Sue Dumbill, Liverpool UK.

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