Here is a letter I recently wrote to a young pastor on fire for the faith. I am sharing it with you, because I believe every pastor needs to hear the truths spoken here.
I am writing this letter as a friend who loves you and I want to you to store it away and read it every once in awhile….
Now that you have your Divinity degree and you are off to conquer the world a little word of advice after having been under at least 5 pastors over the past 43 years with mixed results. You may want to write off what I say as Layman speak, but I too have been under rigorous study and training for 15 plus years. Studying, the scriptures back and forth, wrestling with the many controversial truths of scripture. What I have to say here reflects a wealth of knowledge, that I hope you will garner and use towards Christ’s Glory.
First off remember the admonition of Jethro to Moses:
you cannot do it all alone. You as a pastor will find that the duties before you will be very taxing emotionally and physically. I have seen pastors exhaust themselves in the ministry; I have also seen others recoil. We should all be exhausting ourselves with Christ’s callings before us, but we are to be as Wise as serpents but as gentle as doves.
As my father said “Work smart, not hard.” That is where your elders and deacons come into play.
As a Pastor, the general trend in Christendom is to have the Pastor be the “Man.” In essence he is the Bishop, or a benevolent dictator. Trouble is that people learn self governance, business governance, and civil governance from the example put before them. One man on top is contrary to scripture and is most definitely damaging and has limited effectiveness in the long run.
When Jethro said to Moses “It is not good that you rule this people alone…” he was not speaking just for Moses well-being he was speaking also of the well-being of the system which Moses was head of.
Proper Governance of the Church is vital for a strong congregation and thriving Christianity. And the system laid out by Christ and the Apostolic fathers is the Rule by elder: the pastor being the elder of the word (or as the King Jamers called it the Bishop…but that is another high handed story.)
The Kingdom Of God
I think it should be clear to you that Christians are part of a Kingdom, namely the Kingdom of God. Christ is head of that Kingdom I think we all agree upon that, but the second part of “what is the Kingdom?” has some variants that are different in their effects.
The common view of the Kingdom
is the visible body of believers working together in Churches. This kingdom is relative to the Church only, however, and so the end goal is heaven. The purpose for being a Christian is to live a good life and to help others to heaven.
The second view is that he Kingdom of God
is a well ordered, Christian run civilization which has as its foundation the pillar and ground of the truth, namely the Church of Christ. This view is what the Puritan forefathers and our Colonial forefathers believed and strove for.
In fact on the Washington Monument, George Washington’s comments are clear words towards this end :
“I have no lust after power but wish with as much fervency as any Man upon this wide extended Continent, for an opportunity of turning the Sword into a plow share.”
This concept of coming from Isaiah 2 which speaks of the Kingdom of God in terms of the Holy Hill, which all nations shall flow to and learn kingdom building principles. George Washington clearly had an end goal: a prospering, peaceful (war free) civilization. In short he believed the angels when they said “And on earth, peace, good will toward men.”
Righteousness: The Grand Admonition
The word righteousness is all over the scriptures and begs an explanation for its meaning. Christ uses it and speaks “It is necessary (that I be baptized) that all righteousness be fulfilled.” Christ again speaks of the Holy spirit: “He shall come to convict of Sin, Righteousness and Judgment.” The Psalms are replete with righteousness and the upholding of righteousness in the earth.
Righteousness derives is meaning from searchers for Justice, similar to a hunter not giving up. The epitome of justice is the call. Christ desires the entire world to be just. He died for the Church so she could implement this Justice call in the earth by Baptizing nations in Godly self governance.
The earth will by default become Christianized by “Universal Consent.” In other words, Godly peer pressure (justice in action) will shame wickedness into a corner. As Alex De Toqueville (the prominent French sociologist and author of Democracy in America) said: “Christianity rules by universal consent.” He spoke of the glories of America and how smoothly she was running and wondered how everyone was “Christian.” Everyone was “Christian” because it was popular to be Christian and as a result the whole of the United States was fertile soil for the gospel and technological achievement. In short the Kingdom of God prospered.
You and I know that the Kingdom is waning today. You almost question if you are a Christian if you don’t home school. The schools are so toxic and most especially contrary to the overall world view (lets be honest here: Christ’s Kingdom: Righteousness) that to subject our children to them is reckless and most assuredly will breed scorners of the gospel. I have lost many a friend who lost the “call” or the “urgency of the kingdom” becoming awash in humanist and ridicule.
Why Is The World So Bad?
The question in our minds should be “Why?”
We can point out to the evil world and say “The wicked are just getting worse and worse.” The question again is “why?”
The answer to that question lies in the Christian and the Holy Spirit. More specifically, without Christians in the earth the world would still be backwards. Very often we point to the Roman, the Greek, the Babylonian, and the Mayan cultures and say “Wow they really were advanced: running water, gardens in deserts, super armies…they really had it going on!”
Yes they really had it going on, but they all perished. Without Christ at the root civilization dies.
The reason why our Civilization is dying is because we have rejected Christ as the answer to all questions: Inflation, Welfare, Schooling, Business, Abortion, Family Structure, Church (and Church Structure). In short: a Christian world view.
The Gospel is yes “Good News” but it is not good news to go to heaven primarily, it is “Good News:” this is how you run your life, your families, your governments, your Churches: your Civilization.
Christ is the head, the cornerstone to life, get on board with His system and profess His Name (his system) and implement it.
The Church Is The Problem
The Churches today are preaching a one sided gospel and that is the one of going to heaven. The Churches today are preaching an escapist theology: “We don’t clean the fish bowl, we save fishes”: Hale Lindsey, or “We don’t polish brass on a sinking ship.”
The Churches are not teaching truths that are essential for proper civilization operation. They don’t talk about the “Eye for and Eye tooth for a tooth principles” of scripture. They don’t talk about the Law of God as being essential for life. “The law has been fulfilled” they say and opt out of a Biblical answer, jumping to the statement of “That’s Old Testament.”
When Christ said the “Law has been fulfilled, the greek word does not mean “done away with”, it means “matured.” It is like looking at a flower that has not yet bloomed. The rose opens up, now it is “fulfilling its calling: it is maturing opening up new truths.”
Hence Christ says “The scribe brings out the law revealing old things and new.” (Matt 13:52)
My admonition to you Jeff, now that you have gotten your calling, is to understand the gravity of it all.
- First it is not about you.
- Second it is not about just saving souls
- Third it is not just about soup kitchens
- Fourth it is not about just families
- Fifth the temporal goal is not heaven: it is the Kingdom of God On Earth (Lord’s Prayer primary emphasis)
It is about a well organized Church family that works together using the structures God designed (Eldership rule and Deaconal implementation) to change the world towards righteousness.
What is Preaching?
Preaching is an imperial (imperial karux (ambassador), hence Greek word Karuxo for preaching) call to cultural change or Christ will judge. So to answer the question “Why is civilization under such woes?” Because it is being judged by God. And judgment from God starts in the Church (I Peter…).
The Church is the pillar and ground of the truth and it should be teaching truths that transforms lives. It should be preaching much more than Jesus saves, it should be teaching Jesus Love: If you love me, you will keep my commandments: His Law.
For Thy Law is the Truth: Psalm 119:142
The call of the minister is to equip the saints with tools to transform. I most steadfastly will be praying that you take this call to heart.
Robert Gamble Jr
December 10 2009
PS: Be sure to keep the Network between us going. Visit SolomonsToolBox.com to get great information about our Forefathers, Ancient History and much, much more. It is an excellent Home-School resource.