My Twitter Conversation with a Pastor about Doctrine and Truth

*     *     *

On Sunday, I was at my daughter’s volleyball tournament and in between games, I was “twittering” with a guy.  At the time, I didn’t know who he was, nor that he was a pastor, I was merely looking at his tweets and responding.  Don’t all moms tweet with pastors on Sunday in between volleyball games?  BTW, said kid and her team qualified for Nationals.  Oh yea.

I removed his name from the conversation below because I don’t want him to be the focus, but the content.  I’m just curious to know what your thoughts are on this.  If you’ve never tweeted, it’s quite a challenge to have a decent conversation with the 140-character space allowance.

Keep in mind, a few hours earlier, I had posted Compassion with Shoes On, so this post was still heavily on my mind.  My tweets are shown next to my picture.  His are shown by the hyperlinked dates (and most likely you can see who this guy is if you click on the hyperlink).   I have to tell you that I cracked up after I saw who this guy was.  I’m mom/blogger and he’s got a bazillion initials behind his name.  How do I get myself into these things?  LOL    I think you will see this guy handled himself very nicely.  I was impressed.  He didn’t behave like other twittering pastors who shall remain nameless.  Character counts with me.  He starts off with #1 tweet:

  1. Church leaders are stewards of the mysteries of God (1 Cor. 4:1-5). In other words, a leader’s doctrine matters more than his personality.

  2. But without love, that doctrine is nothing.

  3. @DefendTheSheep I wouldn’t go that far. Doctrine indeed must be shared in love, but truth is truth.

  4. If you saw doctrine w/o love, you’d know what I’m talking about. I still hold to my statement.

  5. @DefendTheSheep Truth doesn’t change regardless how it’s presented. I think you’re going a step too far. True dDoctrine is never “nothing.”

  6. Pls help me understand how you see I’m going too far. I deal w/fallout of people who are harmed bec pastor failed to love….

  7. @DefendTheSheep All I’m saying is that doctrine is still true even when it’s shared in an unloving way. It’s never “nothing” if it’s truth.

  8. I’m talking about those who focus so much on doctrine that they fail to live out love (separate from doctrine).

  9. @DefendTheSheep If they present truth accurately/biblically, then their doctrine is true even if they don’t “live out love.”

  10. But even if doctrine is true, if they fail to love, then they fail! Check out my blog at my link. Might help explain.

  11. @DefendTheSheep If an abusive pastor says, “Jesus is Lord,” is it any less truthful than a loving pastor who says the same thing?

  12. I really want to discuss this pt in particular with you but my daughter is playing Vball now. I’m going to have to wait.

  13. @DefendTheSheep Ok. I’m sure we’re closer on this than it may appear.

  14. Julie Anne SmithJulie Anne Smith@DefendTheSheep

 I am interested in understanding you. Email might be easier. Spiritualsb @ gmail

*     *     *     *     *
I never did contact him or continue the conversation later, but it’s still bugging me.  This part in particular:

If an abusive pastor says, “Jesus is Lord,” is it any less truthful than a loving pastor who says the same thing?

Do you see why I would find this statement bothersome?  I say it is less than truthful coming from an abusive pastor.  The content is true, but the behavior causes so much confusion that it smacks of fraud.  It reminded me of my former pastor who said he preached the true gospel.  He may have mentioned grace from time to time (rarely), but if grace is not there, isn’t his message wrong?  I saw the path of destruction this man left.   Some of his victims are still as confused as ever.  I guess where I’m going with this is I think actions do speak louder than words.

Okay peeps, if I am missing something, please let me know.  I can handle it.  But my brain must get this settled. What do you think?
*     *     *

165 comments on “My Twitter Conversation with a Pastor about Doctrine and Truth

  1. Would it not be better to say, “If your conception of justice and judgment, purity and holiness, does not agree with love, then your idea of justice and judgment, purity and holiness, is wrong?” But then, who am I to disagree with Oswald Chambers?

    Like

  2. JoeJoe – Wesley

    JoeJoe writes @ APRIL 25, 2013 @ 5:33 PM…
    “From your comments it sounds like you once belonged to an abusive church
    where the pastor was authoritarian and controlling, abusing his position.”

    Yes – You are correct – And I appreciate your concern – Yes – it was sad and tragic.
    But – There was benefit to the Abuse – It drove me to Jesus – And He’s the Best. 😉

    You also write…
    “It seems to me that in your comments you are making broad generalizations
    and have an automatic distrust for anybody who calls himself “pastor”

    “You are also seeming to apply your own arbitrary standards
    as to what exactly qualifies a person to be pastor.”

    Well, I was ordained – I thought I was called to pastoral ministry. That’s what my pastor/elder/overseers told me. And I “Ignored” the Qualifications in 1 Tim 3, and Titus. So, I know from experience, that most of today’s pastor/elder/overseers also “Ignore” these tuff qualifications. When I checked out these “Qualifications” for myself – I wasn’t even close. I cudda saved myself some headaches. And having to apologise to God for taking a “Leadrship Position” I did NOT qualify for. 😉

    And, We’re asked to – love one another – Admonish one another – Warn one another.

    So it is NOT a “distrust for anybody who calls himself “pastor” – Or, pastor/leader.

    It’s – Loving one another. – It’s risking rejection by – warning one another…

    It’s a warning – If you think you’re a pastor/elder/overseer – checkout the tuff Qualifications – If you do NOT meet ALL the Qualifications remove yourself from that position – And Protect, Guard, Care for, Give attention to your family. Because your family is paying a horrible price. 80% say pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families.

    Like

  3. @AAL, thanks for the clarification. It give context to your posts. Sorry to hear about your situation though you did not quantify “abuse”. 🙂 I also think that that 80% number may be more reflective of “American” culture than pastoral ministry since we have same dynamics playing out throughout the American population irrespective of religious persuasion or involvement.

    Like

  4. JoeJoe,

    “I do want to say though, that I think there are Christians and Christian churches out there that genuinely do try to show real love and grace toward others, while still not compromising their biblical beliefs”

    Yes, yes, I agree, Jesus is at work in many places, like your church! Methinks that the good that is done for others out of love for Christ doesn’t make the news. What makes the news is the ridiculous, like Westboro Baptist, or some celebrity pastor running his mouth on a disaster claiming it to be God’s judgement on America, or a pastor suing Julie Anne, sadly, the list could go on and on.

    I get to hang out with a lot of unchurched folks, and from what I hear from them, some, not all, Christians, are giving Jesus a really bad name. My friends who reject our Lord, don’t know us by our love as the song goes.

    But there sure is a lot love & wisdom that flows in the comments here, dare I say that I experience church- the body of Christ in action here!

    Like

  5. JoeJoe – Wesley

    JoeJoe writes…
    ““You are also seeming to apply your own arbitrary standards
    as to what exactly qualifies a person to be pastor.”

    Was wondering – Have you guys ever researched the qualifications…
    Would you share your standards for pastor/elder/overseer. – From Titus.
    What does “1 – For a bishop (overseer) “must be” *blameless.*” mean to you?
    What does… 2 – “Just” mean to you? What does… 3 – “Holy” mean to you?

    And – If you like – I’ll give you what I turned up…

    Titus 1:5-8 KJV
    5 …ordain elders in every city…
    6 If any be *blameless,* the husband of one wife,
    having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
    7 For a bishop “must be” *blameless,* as the steward of God; not self willed,
    not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
    8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, *just,* *holy,* temperate;

    1 – For a bishop (overseer) “must be” *blameless.*
    2 – Just
    3 – Holy

    Like

  6. On Regent Radio today, there is a marvellous message worth listening to, by Darrell Johnson.

    http://www.regentradio.net

    John was reminded: Things are not as they seem!

    The Revelation of Christ: The Lion and the Lamb.

    Christ won the victory when he was slain! The heart of the Almighty is the heart of the Lamb! The Lion does not get to the Throne by being a Lion. The Lion gets to the Throne by being a Lamb. The Lion wins by being slaughtered!

    The power that overcomes evil in the world is the weakness of sacrificial love.
    The wisdom that overcomes the foolishness of the world is the weakness of sacrificial love.

    Quote from Bruce Metzger’s Book: Breaking the Code

    “Instead of a ferocious lion that hurts others, the Messiah is the sacrificial Lamb that takes into himself the hurts of others.”

    The Lamb’s followers reign with him NOW.

    Like

  7. Gail,

    You said, “Methinks that the good that is done for others out of love for Christ doesn’t make the news. What makes the news is the ridiculous, like Westboro Baptist, or some celebrity pastor running his mouth on a disaster claiming it to be God’s judgement on America, or a pastor suing Julie Anne, sadly, the list could go on and on.”

    A while back I actually tried to write a freelance news article for the newspaper about the outreach program that my church is leading. It was just getting started, so I was trying to help spread the word a little bit. I sat down with the husband and wife that were leading the team, recorded an interview I did with them, and then wrote the story in style of a typical article. I am a part-time/serious amateur photographer as well, so I even got a really nice portrait of them for the article. I’m a little biased, but I thought it was pretty well written. I sent it to the paper, but they didn’t run it.

    And I think that in a way this is kind of like church. Church in the sense that it’s a body of believers, even ones who have differing opinions and theologies, that are coming together to build one another up. Even when people disagree in the comments, if we try to still be loving about it, it can still be encouraging and edifying (though it would be easier if everybody always agreed with me 😉 haha!)

    Like

  8. JoeJoe

    Much agreement with everyone agreeing.

    I often say – “I can’t wait for unity in the Body of Christ”

    Unity – When everyone agrees with me. 😉 😉 😉

    Like

  9. Pingback: What is Real Christian Love? Is This it? | Spiritual Sounding Board

  10. “Things are not as they seem!”

    Barb, this is a great reminder of truth. It’s so easy to forget this when one has had a heavy dose of spiritual abuse and sees the religious, smiling, “good”, people thrust in knives and twist to add further to one’s misery.

    Like

  11. I feel like running a commercial called “There is a VapP” for that. Vapp is short for vapid pat answers.

    People don’t see us as very loving? That is because the cross is foolish to those hell bound pagans.

    We don’t spend any of our resources on the poor? Well, that is because “social gospel” is of Satan as is socialism.

    You think Christians have horrible reputations and you are trying to change that? You are a lover of the world, not of God. Do not love the world or anything in the world.

    Any more VapP’s?

    Like

  12. JoeJoe – Wesley

    Was wondering…
    How do you explain the tuff Qualifications Paul gives for pastor/elder/overseer?
    IMO – this discussion – Qualifications – is important in preventing “Spiritual Abuse.”

    I left some info @ APRIL 25, 2013 @ 2:26 PM about…
    1 – For a bishop (overseer) “must be” *blameless.*

    And received NO response – maybe I’m wrong – BUT…
    It sounded like JoeJoe is accusing me of something nefarious – ”applying your own standards” – and accusing me of lacking Grace – when I look at Titus, report the qualifications, and give my opinion, for – pastor/elder/overseers?

    JoeJoe said @ APRIL 25, 2013 @ 5:33 PM…
    “Yes, you are quoting the qualifications in Titus, but you are applying your own standards as to what exactly that looks like. I see this as lacking in the same grace you would expect for a pastor to show you.”

    JoeJoe, you might NOT realize it – BUT – Calling it – “applying your own standards” – “lacking the same grace” – is a favorite tactic, scheme, dodge, subterfuge, used by “Pastors who Abuse” and “Pastors addicted to Exercising Authority” to change the subject.

    To change the subject from… 1 – For a bishop (overseer) “must be” *blameless.*
    To – Amos is “applying your (his) own standards” to the qualifications…
    To – Amos is “lacking in the same grace you would expect for a pastor.”
    And now – Amos, who is lacking grace, using his own standards, is the subject.

    And, the elder/overseer, who does NOT qualify, is NOT blameless, gets a pass.

    These “Pastors who Abuse” want to “Silence” people who dis-agree with them.
    And – they never like it when I bring up these tuff qualifications that they “Ignore.”
    So they accuse those who dis-agree – to change the subject and marginalize them.

    Maybe that’s NOT what you intended…
    That’s why I asked @ APRIL 26, 2013 @ 11:31 AM – for your standards – From Titus.
    IMO – this discussion – Qualifications – is important in preventing “Spiritual Abuse.”

    So, I’m asking JoeJoe and Wesley again…
    “Was wondering – Have you guys ever researched the qualifications…”
    “Would you share your standards for pastor/elder/overseer. – From Titus.”

    Like

  13. JoeJoe – Wesley

    Here’s what I found out about the Qualifications for pastor/elder/overseer in…

    Titus 1:8…
    But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, *just,* *holy,* temperate;

    2 – Just
    Strongs #1342 – dikaios {dik’-ah-yos} from 1349;
    Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament has JUST as…
    1) righteous, observing divine laws
    1a) in a wide sense, upright, righteous, virtuous, keeping the commands of God
    1a2) innocent, faultless, guiltless
    1a3) used of him whose way of thinking, feeling, and acting
    is wholly conformed to the will of God,
    and who therefore needs no rectification in the heart or life

    3 – Holy
    Strongs #3741 – hosios {hos’-ee-os}
    Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament has HOLY as…
    1) undefiled by sin, free from wickedness,
    religiously observing every moral obligation, pure holy, pious,

    Now that’s three tough qualifications for “pastor/elder/overseer.”
    1 – Must Be Blameless. 2 – Just. 3 – Holy. — Yes?

    “Would you share your standards for pastor/elder/overseer. – From Titus.”

    Makes an interesting study – checking out ALL these tough qualifications for “pastor/elder/overseer” – Then checking out those who say they are “pastor/elder/overseer” compared to the qualifications. 🙂

    I was ordained. I was in “Leadership.”
    Folks told me I had this so-called “Gift of Leadership.” 😦
    And I “Ignored” these qualifications for pastor/elder/overseer. 😦

    But – I do NOT “Ignore” them any more.

    Pro 29:5 KJV
    A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet.

    Pro 20:17 KJV
    Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.

    I believed the flattery – I was special – I was needed – To build the body of Christ.
    I deceived myself and wound up eating a lot of gravel. 😦

    When you believe the lie you start to die…

    Like

  14. While perhaps not explicitly followed by the main-line, more liberal churches, you find these concepts fairly pervasive. Evangelical churches put the emphasis on personal transformation and have a lot of negative things to say about the so-called “Social Gospel”.

    The danger of the Social Gospel is it can become a Gospel without personal salvation.

    And the Fundgelical reaction to it was a Gospel of Personal Salvation and ONLY Personal Salvation.

    Communism begets Objectivism.

    Like

Thanks for participating in the SSB community. Please be sure to leave a name/pseudonym (not "Anonymous"). Thx :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s