At the Koinonia Blog the weekly feature “Monday’s with Mounce” includes an excellent induction of the topic of ministry and waiting on tables as read in Acts 6:2. Often gifts in the New Testament are structured in order of importance in our modern implementations. Rarely, do we see the gift of this or that exalted above Preaching/Teaching. Bill Mounce of ‘Basics of Biblical Greek’ fame states,
‘Is preaching more important than serving the widows? I know the quick, evangelical answer is, “Of course it is.” But what is James’ answer? “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their time of trouble.” What was Jesus’ model? Do we see him giving a significant priority to preaching over helping people? I don’t think so.’
All of us have good reasons why we do things. These reasons even sound good to us when others remind us that they really are not that good. It is not often that we see the stupidity behind our decisions, and it is even less often that we realize their stupidity before they do significant damage to someone else. Worse yet, that we sin against the Lord Jesus Christ.
Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.
“The root of compromise is usually a consideration of personal reputation.”
What do you suppose Judas could have possibly done with thirty pieces of silver? Maybe he was looking to buy just a little more comfort for himself?
Eric Carpenter, of A Pilgrim’s Progress, has written an intriguing post at his blog entitled Biblical Elders vs. Modern Pastors. He lists seven differences that stand out between Biblical Elders and Modern Pastors when he compares their existence and duties to scripture.
He goes on to write:
Instead of finding that the two are similar, the reality is that they are quite different. In fact, they seem to describe two roles that have little to do with one another.
The more we investigate the New Testament, and become acquainted with the upside down nature of the Kingdom of God, Jesus beckons us to become least in the eyes of men. This abased behavior is a quick route to favor with YWH, no matter how you spell it, that is what HE wants from us. In turn, we will begin to understand the scriptures in stark contrast to modern church practices.
Eric goes on to offer some insightful solutions:
Pray for change.
Get involved in simple church plants.
Lovingly and graciously talk to other believers about it.
What do you think of Eric’s post? Do you see truth in his points? Or do you feel that modern pastors have justification in light of scripture?
Be sure to check out the rest of his blog while you are there too!