ch42 Destitution of Pastor

The Destitution of the Pastor

Considerations and Reasons in which the Pastor should leave his office.
By David Cox
[Ch42] v1 ©2011
You may freely reproduce this tract for non-profit purposes.

Many times there are problems in church between the pastor and the members. In general, it is the pastor who governs and directs the church according to the light that God has taught him. In this, the concept of “pastor” is to direct (govern) the flock of God. The Bible does not indicate that the church can remove him because they do not like something that he does, especially when it is of minor importance. But the pastor likewise is not without his obligations and responsibilities. He cannot just do whatever he wants. For some, the pastor is “untouchable”. Once he enters, there is nothing except God in heaven killing him or the very same pastor renouncing that can remove him. But things are not like this.

Is it biblical to destitute the Pastor?

We start in 1 Timothy 2:11-15; 3:1-7; and Titus 1:5-9 where the Apostle Paul explains the requirements for the bishop, who is that person that spiritually cares and governs the church. In making requirements, God makes us understand that (1) not everybody is qualified to be a pastor, and because of this, there are requirements befote entering the office of bishop. (2) if a pastor who is officiating and ministering as bishop becomes disqualified, then he has to step down from that position and ministry. It is not valid to destitute a pastor because one does not like what he does. Each individual leader has “his style” of leadership and of doing the ministry, and being pastor, it is his privilege to direct things as he sees prudent. The destitution has to come because he doesn’t fulfill his obligations, or for the reason that he broke with the biblical standards and norms, he is no longer an example of Christ (according to the majority of spiritual men in the church). In 1 Timothy 5:19-20, the Bible clearly commands us to reprimand the elder openly before all, so even pastor-elders are not “untouchable”. See my tract CH26 “Don’t touch the anointed of God”.

“Also be first proved” 1Tim 3:10

Many times wolves or immature men can deceive with their astuteness, and because of this, God says that deacons and the pastor should be first submitted to a trial, and then exercise their ministry if they are blameless (1Tim 3:10). Paul put “these also” with the deacons to understand that the test or trial is applied to the pastor as well as to the deacon. Equally, we read in Jeremiah (19 times) and in Ezequiel (9 times mostly in chapter 34), that God rebukes the errors and failings of these pastors of Israel (the chief spiritual leaders of the nation). God rebukes and speaks repeatedly of their destitution, and God Himself with exchange them for a man of God that will do the will of God. Jer 3:15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

1Pet 5:2 Feed the flock of God…3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

The pastor is a live example (local for examination) of Christ. If this isn’t so, he should step down. His leadership and ministry is one that should demonstrate the will of God by his actual example in his own life. In other words, before there is the spiritual authority before he teaches or preaches, the pastor has to BE the type that teaches and preaches BY WHAT HE SPIRITUALLY IS. It is invalid, “do what I say, not like I personally do things.” This then is the foundation of his ministry, and when a pastor doesn’t live the norms and standards he teaches from the Bible, he is no longer an example of Christ and should step down. Let’s look at some of these.

The Requirements for Pastor

According to 1Tim 2:11-15; 3:2 it is expressly prohibited that a woman occupies the place of the pastor, presides over the assembly, direct things, preach, or teach in any manner where she ministers to adult men. Women are prohibited from speaking and teaching before men in an official, authoritative capacity. The work of the pastor is a man’s job, and women are prohibited.

Equally, pastors are prohibited if they are not a “one-woman-man”. Homosexuals, adulterous men, or divorced men are excluded from the ministry. It is impossible to hold and teach these biblical norms if the pastor himself fails here. He must teach and counsel by his deeds and character as well as his words. This includes men who “change their minds” after having correctly entered the ministry. These flip-floppers should step down or be is destituted from their position. God demands that the pastor be “blameless”, and this means that the pastor is an example of Christ, and no have any glaring defects, stains on his testimony, nor have a bad testimony. We all sin, but the pastor has to be a person who has spiritual success and victory in his own personal life in following Christ before he can stand before a congregation and tell them how they should live their lives. He is not a person of addictions, alcohol, vices, or other bad habits. He is free of these things.

The Character of Pastor

Even though it is the privilege of a pastor to direct a group as he sees fit, there are conditions associated with this. First, he cannot use his ministry as a shield for covering his sins, or his failure to fulfill the standards of God. These norms are obligatory for every believer, whomever that might be, but the pastor has to especially be a living example of them. For example, it is amazing how many pastors refuse to weekly, regularly go out witnessing “because he is the pastor.”

One requirement here is to be sober, meaning to not be high minded, or look down upon the rest, so that he is not concerned about their lives, feelings, or well being. The pastor’s principal purpose is to “be there” for the sheep, which means social, emotional, and spiritual support from God. His purpose for being a pastor is exactly this, to take them spiritually to a place of spiritual well-being, to care for them in their problems and difficulties, and to resolve whatever problem they may have. It is the pastor’s job to fix what is broken, to mend what is broke, to put them back on the right road of God’s will. If there is no “fixing” (like a death) then the pastor is there to comfort and console, to hold their hands in their sorrows. Likewise, the biblical pastor is marked from the wicked pastor by his prudence, and his “good behavior”, everything in order, and his being hospitable (1Tim 3:2). Prudence is to say the correct thing at the correct time, to act nobly and to have healthy speech that heals, builds, and comforts. The world judges the prudent as acts well. To have “good behavior” is to have things in order in your life. To be hospitable is to be “pro-people”.

The biblical pastor wins others to himself so that he can bring them to Christ and serve the people of God by “being on their side”, and not fighting against them at every turn. Sometimes the pastor has to take a strong stand against issues, sins, conduct, attitudes, etc., and this comes across very strong, but if the pastor has done his job of winning the people to himself beforehand, then the people will accept the rebuke from God via the words of the pastor. The pastor has to have already established his “pro-people” love, care, interest, and dedication, and then, and then alone, will the people understand his harsh words are really being motivated by his love for God and for his people. He highly desires to see them walk in the will of God, and he has NO DESIRE TO HURT, DESTROY, OR MAIM THEM. The difference between a pastor and a wolf is exactly this, the wolf rejoices in maiming and destroying the sheep, the pastor doesn’t. God has ordered that pastors live of the gospel, but the difference between a pastor and a wolf is their attitude towards the will of God and the sheep.

The good pastor wants to be the instrument of God to benefit and edify the sheep, so that they arrive at maturity, being spiritual adult Christians. Because of this, the pastor refuses all caprices, temper-tantrums, or explosions of anger and strong foul words like old women’s language. The requirement of not being a novice (1Tim 3:6) enters here because the pastor is a person with experience already under his belt that demonstrates his spiritual and emotional stability. Titus 1:7 mentions “not soon angry” as a particular character requirement of pastors. This means he is not easily angered; he is not emotionally explosive, always ready for a fight, discussion, or disagreement. He is not a striker (1Tim 3:3) which means he is not a person who finds pleasure and daily exercise in fighting and winning over others, showing his superiority over them. The good pastor is not like that but is controlled, showing the way of God by his own character in his own life (the idea of “prudence”).

2Tim 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all [men], apt to teach, patient 25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And [that] they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

In 1Tim 3:3, Paul specifically declares that the person who occupies the leader-example of Christ for the church should be “patient, not a brawler” which means being meek, gentle, mild in character, patience, not imposing his will forcefully on others as a rule. His life shows a calmness and patience of Christ, and if not, he should not be a pastor. Isa 40:11 also refers to this quality of being gentle and smooth as the norm between pastor and sheep.

Greedy dogs, never have enough

Isa 56:11 Yea, [they are] greedy dogs [which] can never have enough, and they [are] shepherds [that] cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter. Moreover, the false prophet always has his eye on the money, to take it or control it, and this is always more than is justly his. The man of God is a person who “not covetous… not give to filthy lucre” (1Tim 3:3; Tit 1:7).

How do you get rid of a bad pastor?

There are two possibilities here, in a friendly way, or in an ugly way.

The Friendly Way.

When the pastor is truly saved and no longer qualifies, he will of his own will, step down to not cause harm to the work of God. 1Pet 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech [you] as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by [your] good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. The true Christian would not harm the testimony of God’s work. This situation means the man steps down voluntarily.

The Bad Way.

Unfortunately, a wolf has no such conscience, and very simply, when he has taken the position, he is like a dog with a bone. The only way to get him to surrender it is if a true pastor comes along and gives him a good sound smack on the top of the head with the shepherd’s staff, and even then, there will always be a nasty fight involved. Tit 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith. Because of this, the process of selecting a pastor should be a calm, prayerful, tranquil time when God’s people pray much, and act slowly and only with direct leading from the Lord. The work of God comes before our own personal preferences, and what is easy is not a consideration when the alternative is what is right.

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Ch42 Destitution Of The Pastor V1
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