By Dave Kahle
At first blush, the idea of a ‘pastor protection act’ sounds attractive. In light of the recent supreme court decision, we all have visions of churches being forced to perform marriages that violate their closely-held beliefs. But, rather than react emotionally, let’s think this through. Upon a little reflection, I am not supporting the ‘pastor protection plan.’ Here’s why.
First, Biblically, the New Testament knows nothing of the located professional pastor who is so common in institutional churches today. The whole idea of a seminary-trained professional Christian is who set apart and in some way better or more special than other Christians is a man-made idea. Peter said we are all a ‘royal priesthood.’ (I Peter 2:9). There is no ‘clergy’ in the Bible.
In spite of the clear, unambiguous teaching in the New Testament to not follow after men, (I Corinthians 10- 17) the pastor system encourages and supports the exact opposite practice, as pastors talk about ‘their churches’ and every other church building has the pastor’s name on the marque.
You may recall the final prayer that Jesus prayed, calling for unity among his followers: “That they all may be one, ….”(John 17:20). The pastor system has produced mind-boggling division within Christianity, with over 40,000 denominations, hundreds of thousands of church splits, and new denominations being created weekly, each one being created by a ‘pastor’ who claims to have just a bit purer slice of the truth than the next guy.
Finally, the pastor system creates luke-warm, cultural Christians who think they just have to listen to a guy once a week and their Christian duty is fulfilled. As long as there are pastors there will be luke warm Christians who follow them.
Thousands of mature, committed Christians are waking up to the spiritual hindrances perpetrated by the institutional church system and are leaving it in droves. The pastor system is the keystone that holds the entire man-made organization in place. I will not support it.