Christian Pastors Eclipsing Christ in the Pulpits
The purpose of the pulpit
There was a day and time when pulpits were sacred in most churches. Only the pastor, a guest speaker, or whoever was doing the announcements was aloud in that area. I can recall my grandmother telling me and my brothers never to play around in the pulpit while she cleaned the church. When preachers entered the pulpit decades ago in most churches they read scripture then went straight to a sermon that led to asking sinners to come to Christ. Over time much has changed in certain denominations. You might sit 10 or 15 minutes in some churches while the pastor goes on and on about how he or she is your contact with the Lord and that you need to sow extra money into them so that God will bless you. They may at times call out names of those in the congregation who are big givers or who do special things around the church or for the first family. Some pastors now talk incessantly about their private lives and waste valuable time. The purpose of a pulpit in a Christian church is to reach lost souls and minister to the needs of the congregation. It is not to be used to encourage people to think more highly of a pastor than they should. Sometimes guest ministers come in and spend 10 or 15 minutes telling the congregation how blessed they are to be in that specific church and how anointed their pastor and the first lady are. All of this takes away from time that could be better used to glorify Jesus.
Honor is to be given
Proverbs 3:27 and Romans 13:7 tell us to give honor where it is due. When church members or guest speakers take up time trying to force you to honor your pastor, that is coercion. II Corinthians 9:7 says we are to give, what has been purposed in our hearts. We are not to give because we are being begged, or threatened. No one else should pressure you to give time and attention or money to a spiritual leader. You should do as you are led by the Lord. The church was not set up to become a cash cow for greedy preachers or to bash members each week about tithing. The church is the body of people who believe that Christ died for the sin of the world. It is not the building that houses a local assembly. You have your own mind, will, and emotions. You have the Holy Spirit and can hear your Father for yourself. Give as the Lord leads you and not as someone else tells you to.
Manipulation of scripture
During a sermon, the Holy scriptures should be used as the Spirit gives utterance. Those who are already saved should receive encouragement, answers to questions, and be motivated to serve the Lord better. Sinners should feel convicted of their sins and give their lives to Christ. The pulpit should not be used to manipulate scripture to berate congregants or tell them they are not giving enough money to the pastor. or the church. You should never leave a service feeling condemned because you did not give the money to put your spiritual leader in a mansion or purchase him or her an expensive vehicle. You should not be worried about your pastor having a private jet or helicopter to ride in. Jesus always said to look out for the least of these and to help the poor. Be careful of scriptures being twisted in a manner that leads you to be trying to give your spiritual leader a lucrative life. Because of COVID attendance and giving is down in many congregations. Simple math tells us that 20 people all tithing cannot give the same amount of financial support as 200. I have been told that in many churches now pastors are using the pulpit to guilt parishioners regarding tithes and offerings in an attempt to get enough money to keep things going. The old saying of not being able to get blood from a turnip comes to mind.
Keeping the money flowing
You certainly are not expected by the Lord to give money to make other preachers who are connected to your pastor wealthy. Watch out for appeals from the pulpit to give large sums to other preachers because your pastor says they are your spiritual father or grandfather. This is a pyramid scheme to keep the cash flowing to the top. I was in a church where the pastor said that Bishop IV Hilliard was our spiritual father and Apostle Fred Price was our spiritual grandfather. Our small congregation of less than 100 was asked to give $5,000 to Price who was already a multimillionaire. Think for a moment about a Bishop who has many churches that he oversees and in addition to his salary and the extra money from his own congregation, is getting money from all the congregants in those other pastors churches. Christianity is all about new life in Christ no matter what your income level, what you drive, or where you live. It is never about making anyone rich. I share these stories because I was blessed to come out of several churches that began on Christ and then were all about man. I want to help others be encouraged do the same. Our God is a jealous God and shares His glory with no one. Should churches be reopened after the pandemic, the pulpits should be utilized for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Name above every Name. We bow only to Him and not human flesh.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Cheryl E Preston