How To Tell A True Minister of God

TheCrossby Patricia L. Dickson   10/27/14
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. Romans 8:14  •  I frequent Christian websites and blogs to keep up with what is going on in the Christian church in the U.S. and around the world. These Christian websites and blogs chronicles the recent news and events in the church world. The news is however; not good. Every other week, I read about a pastor’s adultery, mishandling of the churches finances, rape, child pornography, Pedophilia , spousal abuse  or drug use. This is happening on a regular basis throughout the nation in all Christian denominations. Pastors of all ethnicities and races (mostly male). What is going on?

My concern is not so much with the many false prophets but instead with the size and loyalty of the flocks that they are able to manipulate. How do these men so easily deceive so many Christians? Some members remain loyal to the pastors even after the sins are confessed or exposed. Christians should not be taken by surprise by the exposure of the false prophets in the church today because we were warned about them in the Bible. However, Christians should not be so easily deceived by false prophets. The Bible is clear about the character that the men who lead the church should possess:

Titus 1:6-7

  6 [These elders should be] men who are of unquestionable integrity and are irreproachable, the husband of [but] one wife, whose children are [well trained and are] believers, not open to the accusation of being loose in morals and conduct or unruly and disorderly.

7 For the bishop (an overseer) as God’s steward must be blameless, not self-willed or arrogant or presumptuous; he must not be quick-tempered or given to drink or pugnacious (brawling, violent); he must not be grasping and greedy for filthy lucre (financial gain);

Maybe the problem lies with the people who fill the pews in the churches rather than the men in the pulpit. What are Christians looking for in a pastor? Are Christians examining the character of the men who they so willingly allow in their pulpits? Certainly, these men do not appear from out of nowhere. Just as any job applicant, should not churches check resumes, professional and personal references as well as criminal records? Perhaps charisma and oratory skills are more important than character. Maybe the churches are filled with people who have itching ears and therefore hire pastors that will tell them what they want to hear.

2Timothy 4:3-4

3 For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold,

4 And will turn aside from hearing the truth and wander off into myths and man-made fictions.

Isiah 29:13

 And the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips but remove their hearts and minds far from Me, and their fear and reverence for Me are a commandment of men that is learned by repetition [without any thought as to the meaning],

Anyone that studies scripture can discern that the church is living in the last days. Scriptures teaches us that in the last days there will be a great falling away. We are witnessing church leaders compromising the word of God claiming to be more inclusive and less offensive. In other words, they have bowed to political correctness. There is nowhere in the Bible where it teaches that the church should exclude anyone. Pastors who use the word inclusive are making excuses for not preaching against sin, mainly homosexuality. The Bible calls so-called preacher who refuse to preach the whole counsel of God false prophets. Everyone is welcomed in the Christian church. However, no one should think that if he or she attends a Christian church that his or her sinful lifestyle would not be mentioned. The Christian church is where all sinners go to receive forgiveness and salvation.

1 Peter 2:12

Conduct yourselves properly (honorably, righteously) among the Gentiles, so that, although they may slander you as evildoers, [yet] they may by witnessing your good deeds [come to] glorify God in the day of inspection [[e]when God shall look upon you wanderers as a pastor or shepherd looks over his flock].

Could it be that church members are so backslidden themselves until they are incapable of discerning whether a man possesses Godly character? Christians have become sermon tasters attempting to substitute intimate time with God through prayer and reading the Bible for instant gratification from the words of man.

1Timothy 4

But the [Holy] Spirit distinctly and expressly declares that in latter times some will turn away from the faith, giving attention to deluding and seducing spirits and doctrines that demons teach,

If drug addicts, extortionist, and child molesters lead the churches, why would sinners attend?  They might as well stay home and watch an episode of the Godfather. It appears that the church is becoming a big reality show. It is not difficult to choose Godly men to lead congregations. The church is going to have to repent and get back to prayer and studying the word of God to gain wisdom and discernment. That is the only way that the church can prevent being deceived by wolves in sheep clothing.

PatriciaDicksonPatricia Dickson blogs at Patricia’s Corner.
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8 Responses to How To Tell A True Minister of God

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    Baptists certainly select their own preachers, but do hierarchical churches such as Catholics and High-Church Protestants? Also, one must remember that backsliding by priests may (at least initially) not be known to the congregation. How they react after it comes out is another matter, of course.

    • GHG says:

      Lutheran congregations ( at least Missouri Synod) receive a list of candidates from the synod. The congregational selection committee then interviews the candidates and decides which candidate to extend a “call” to. The candidate then prayerfully considers accepting the call. So each Lutheran congregation basically selects their pastor.

  2. “It appears that the church is becoming a big reality show.” Wow. What a thought — and so true. Jerry Springer goes to Church. Wonderful piece, Patricia. Thanks.

  3. GHG says:

    Patricia, correct on all counts.

    Sometimes it’s backsliding after many years of being the guy they thought you were. I think it’s many factors that make it “easier” to backslide now than years ago but they can all probably be summed up by citing the culture has fallen away from God and hence the stigma of falling away is no longer a deterrent. It’s a sad state but here we are. So many people have turned their back on God, but even for many of those who still believe have been taught a “cheap” grace that results in being holy for an hour on Sunday and almost anything else goes the rest of the week.

  4. Mike says:

    Thanks Patricia….. I often wonder how many discerning Christians (like me) are out there drifting…. rolling like sagebrush in the desert into this church and that church, never really fitting in, finding things that are very wrong, wanting to be with my brothers in Christ, but rarely connecting with anyone in this city.
    I don’t need church anymore for answers, I’m mature enough as a Christian to get what I desire spiritually, but still…. fellowship with other followers of Christ would be nice.

    • Rosalys says:

      Don’t be so exclusive. You need to be in fellowship with other Christians. You’re never going to find a perfect church because churches, like just about every other social group on our planet, are made up of flawed human beings who never-the-less are saved by the blood of the Lamb. I don’t agree with every thing at my chapel; but they are correct on the essentials of Christianity, I’ve been with them for over 30 years, they are like family to me, and I love them. I don’t define myself by any denomination – I call myself a Christian who happens to attend this particular congregation.

      As the old saying goes, “If you find a perfect Church, don’t join! You’ll spoil it!”

    • Rosalys says:

      I agree with you that is seems there is quite a dearth of discernment in Christianity today, as well as in society at large. To many folks are reacting emotionally to events and not studying the Bible to try to discover what God may think.

      • Mike says:

        When flint is struck against steel, sparks are created….. and on the occasions where I do have fellowship I do study and pray more, it does my spirit well…… Thank you Rosalys

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