There will be some Christians who will utter their distaste and disapproval in regards to using the above examples in describing the so-called Pastoral Theology and its Pastoral Office. I can understand their aversion yet nevertheless, there is a lot more relevance to what has just been depicted than most of us care to recognize – relevancy that lands itself right at our own doorstep.
The truth of the matter is that the foregoing illustrations clearly express the deplorable state of today's local institutional church, and yet, half has not even been told.
If you are the least bit familiar with this site, you will know that the local institutional church has become a quandary of religious bondage to the whims of men. There are many deceivers in the church today who staunchly teach and defend their worldly view of rule and leadership. The whole contrived system is a theological monstrosity which seeks to uphold the carnally-minded positions of dominion and control over men, while ignoring the plain statements of the Lord Jesus which teach otherwise.
The false teaching of “pastoral rule and authority” is one of the prominent indicators that you are dealing with a cult.
It is also one of the single most powerful delusions on the market.
When a "church leader" has deep insecurities coupled with a licentious lust for control over others, layered thick with deep welling pride, then a wolf, an abusive and divisive leader, emerges. Like a vortex that begins swirling and sucking everything into themselves, they become incrementally worse and worse, sucking people inward and downward.
The same situation existed in Jesus’ day. What was His approach to these religious leaders and rulers of His day? Did He accept them? Did He respect them? Did He leave them well alone so as not to cause offense? No, no, and no!
Jesus’ tactic was to go against these religious rulers, along with their teachings. He not only did NOT accept them, but He fought against them. He exposed them. He condemned them as evil. He openly declared war on them as publicly as He possibly could. He virtually had nothing nice to say about any of them.
Why? Because if you have people who proclaim to be Called of God and His representative and mouthpiece to His church, but yet at the same time have the arrogance and pompousness in demanding submission to rules and teachings that go against Christ and His ecclesia, then you have people who are being estranged from Christ.
The “duly-authorized church leaders” of Jesus’ day, just like the church leaders of today, developed a man-made, man-centered system of authority and ruling over God's people of which they taught that it was God ordained and biblical. But Jesus taught otherwise, calling them hypocrites. And He does this knowing that all eyes of the religious authorities are upon Him.
Jesus called the religious leaders of His day "whited sepulchers", "fools", "blind guides", "hypocrites", "serpents", "murderers", "a generation of vipers," and many such names. Jesus spoke this way to them throughout His ministry.
This is Jesus declaring open warfare against them; exposing them for who they are - false teachers and control freaks driven by power, greed, and the lust for domination and authority.
And they hated Him and ultimately put Him to death because He was too much of a threat.
If you are demanding people to submit to your self-righteous, diabolical pastoral rule and control, then you are leading people into disobedience. To the people being caused to follow this type of false authority, the Lord wants to set free so that they will follow Him and the Scriptures.
This is why Jesus took the kind of action that we see. Jesus wants those who claim to be "Called into the Pastoral Office" and "Divinely Authorized" to be opposed and to be renounced. This is clear in the conflicts that you will see in the Scriptures.
Jesus DID challenge the false teachings and despotic authority of the leaders. They were “lording it over them” and Jesus REFUSED to be under bondage!
Yet while He continually challenged and exposed the authoritarian, tyrannical rule of the religious leaders, Jesus was always insisting that things were going to be different in His community. The leadership in His assembly or community would NOT be like the worldly authority and ecclesiastical system of things represented at that time by Jewish Scribes and Pharisees.
Jesus rejected the authoritarian structure of his own religious heritage and anything that even came close to the carnal rule of men. Jesus unfolds this throughout His entire life and ministry! Two notable examples are: Matthew 20:20-28:
"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles are lords over them, and those who are great exercise authority (or are tyrants) over them. YET IT WILL NOT BE SO AMONG YOU.
In Matthew 23:8, Jesus told His disciples, "you may not be called 'Rabbi,' for One is your Teacher, yet you all are brethren."
The Lord goes on to forbid other honorific titles among His people and then concludes, "For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted."
Jesus explicitly forbade setting any man apart in His community by means of a special title; let alone, raising up a Pastoral Office to exercise authority! And yet, within a hundred or so years after the last of the apostles had died and right up to today, this is exactly the type of leadership and ruling style we see in virtually every church - the style that Christ specifically warned His disciples not to practice! What an affront to Christ!
Remember again that Jesus Christ, the teachings of Jesus Christ, and the followers of Jesus Christ were hated and despised by the religious teachers and church rulers in His day. The darkness and corruption that was evidenced amongst the religious leaders back then, is the very same darkness and corruption that is evidenced amongst the religious leaders inside the local institutional church today…..with one exception.
Do you think that Jesus would act and speak to the church leaders today in the same way? Does Jesus change? Have the church leaders changed?
Yes indeed! They have gotten worse! Look again at the above illustrations!
Just dare to stand on Christ's Words, and you will soon come to know the meaning of this verse of scripture:
"If ye were of the world, the world would love its own: but because ye are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you." John 15:19
If Jesus were to return today, there is not one church on the face of the earth who would dare hire Him to be their “Pastor”. Not one!
Make no mistake about it. The church that killed Christ two thousand years ago is the same church today that would without delay, kill Christ all over again if He were here teaching us:
“…YET IT WILL NOT BE SO AMONG YOU; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant…”
Until the people's eyes are opened and they finally come to realize and act upon the fact that there is a pompous, manipulative, and deceitful ruling class of “pastoral overseers” who will stop at nothing to advance their destructive, self-serving agendas, many families will continue being doomed to a lifetime of bondage and darkness.
The deceivers that occupy these man-made "pastoral offices" today are smart and they are clever, and they understand human nature. They know how to deceive and they know how to destroy.
If only the people will have the eyes to see and the courage and bravery to stand up and say NO!
But thank the Lord, times are changing. Those who call themselves“Caretakers of the Soul” and "Your Duly-authorized Spiritual Leaders" are being seen by the whole world for who and what they really are…religious hucksters in empty suits.
The monsters masks are being taken off and we see the sickening, grotesque, and putrefying horror that's behind them.
The "duly-authorized pastors" aren't. The so-called "Pastoral Office" is a lie!
And none of them want their illusions shattered. This is why religious strongmen will always get angry when they see or hear of someone teaching the Truth and exposing them for who they are.
These men NEED you to be there in order for them to carry on. Without the dumb sheep willingly playing the game, giving away their true standing and freedom, the whole system of operation would not function and they will shrivel up into nothing.
The reason is because when Christians begin to realize and embrace the Truth and they STOP following them, then these men will lose their power, their prestige, their comfort zone, their free money, their pride, their position, their perceived authority.
When this happens, the people will only have one choice left: either they follow Jesus Christ, or they reject Jesus Christ.
The Lord has never intended any man, or group of men, to hold offices and positions "OVER" others, and to exercise Pastoral Authority and Rule.
According to Jesus, not even the apostles would "exercise authority" over the people of God. "Ye know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. NOT SO SHALL IT BE AMONG YOU" (Matt. 20:25-26).
This is very significant. If Jesus emphatically withheld "divine authority" from the apostles, surely, He did not delegate it to pastors occupying a divine office!
The example of Jesus is the most powerful argument against the idea of pastoral rule and authority. Did He model one thing, only to build another and elevate His people’s status later down the road? We think not!
It is the “spirit of antichrist” which speaks, not only of anything that replaces Christ, but also who practices things which He explicitly forbade! Christ's likeness in a thing determines its legitimacy. Does it reflect Him in what He has said or not? If not, it is none of His. It is NOT of His doing. It is NOT of His workmanship. It is NOT reflecting His image or His character. And neither is it His Church!
Behold the anti-Christ in all his glory before men, and shame before God.