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preaching article 10 Ways to Authenticate Your Preaching

10 Ways to Authenticate Your Preaching

based on 10 ratings
Jun 27, 2012


Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. 1 Cor. 9:24-27

When I speak of adding context to your pulpit ministry, I mean adding authenticity to your pulpit ministry. If your church does not know you outside of your pulpit, it will be difficult to validate your message. Granted, if the Bible is the Word of God, it shouldn’t matter who preaches it, so long as they’re preaching what the Bible says, but your hearers often hear you before they hear the Scriptures. Also, if you’re preaching to lost people or immature Christians, they will often read you more than they read Scripture. If your people know you, the man behind the pulpit, then they’ll have a better basis for understanding your sermons, biblical interpretation, hobby horses, illustrations, etc. Furthermore, they’ll have a better basis for believing your sermons as opposed to the TV preacher who tells them something different. In other words, it adds context to your message when you preach on the family and your church knows that you’re a God-fearing husband and father. On the other hand, if an unknown person preaches, and the “context” isn’t provided outside the pulpit, then the audience will either assume the best or the worst. These assumptions will largely depend on how grounded they are in Scripture, their own personalities, and whether or not they’ve witnessed hypocrisy in previous pulpits.

Moreover, if you read the qualifications for a pastor, many of them just describe who the pastor is to be in his daily life. If none of our church members witness our daily lives, how will they know if we’re continually qualified to be their pastor(s)? Here are the qualifications Paul lists in 1 Timothy 3:1-7:

The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

Here are 10 suggestions to help add context to your pulpit ministry:

1. Drive the church van.

Driving the church van helps you build relationships with those onboard. Furthermore, it helps you gain more appreciation for a ministry that receives few thankyou’s and many complaints. Take one week every month or two to drive the church van. (I drive the church van every worship service. I love those children!)

2. Help clean up after dinner.

When we meet we must eat. For the purpose of showing a Christ-like example of servant-leader, you should do service type work that may not normally be your responsibility (John 13:1-11). The ratio between time spent serving and the context it will add to your ministry are minuscule. (I help clean up after almost every meal at church.)

3. Help the sick and forgotten.

This is pure and undefiled religion (James 1:27). When you visit the sick, don’t treat them like they have the plague. When you visit the nursing home, a place which often feels like death is in the air, show these people you care for them. How much physical brotherly-love type affection do these people receive on a daily basis compared to the amount you receive? It must be noted that you shouldn’t get too touchy-feely with these people. Use your brain to help discern the personality of the person you’re visiting. Some people are huggers and some aren’t, but almost everyone likes a handshake (We’re Baptists after all).

4. Alternate attending each adult Sunday school class and/or Discipleship Training class.

Doctrinal fidelity in your church is your responsibility as pastor/elder (2 Tim. 4:1-5). (It’s also the responsibility of the congregation: See Galatians). Thus, you should try to visit various Sunday school classes occasionally to examine what is being taught. Furthermore, from a practical standpoint, you will necessarily build relationships with the students in the class and the teacher(s). It must be noted here that you should be careful not to take over the class. Try your best to learn from who you’re listening to. Regardless how many theology degrees I earn, or how many hours a week I study, God the Holy Spirit still uses the average lay Sunday school teacher to teach me His truth (The Priesthood of the Believer). Furthermore, these Sunday school teachers have context as well that adds to their lessons. One lady that teaches Sunday school in my church has been married for 68 years, been a faithful Christian for over 50 years, and probably knows more Scripture than I do. She’s an excellent teacher. Finally, when you publicly thank your Sunday school or Discipleship Training teachers, you won’t be speaking about something you know little about.

5. Teach a Sunday school class or Discipleship Training class.

If you only preach from the pulpit, and your church is never allowed to ask you questions for the benefit of all listening, then you may be doing a disservice to your congregation. If you take the pastor-theologian emphasis in Scripture seriously, then you should share your Scriptural knowledge and experience with your congregation (2 Tim. 2:15). Your congregation has questions concerning Scripture, God, life, etc., and, depending on their personality, they may or may not come to you personally. They also may forget their question between the sermon and the door due to being forced to stand in line behind others in order to ask you a question. All pastors/elders should have some time when their congregation is allowed to ask them theological questions.

6. Fellowship with both the children and youth during their fellowship time.

Most churches have some form of fellowship for the youth and children. Occasionally, participate in this time. Play a few games with the children, lead their devotion, etc. Show these children the love of Christ!

7. Attend the occasional seniors’ meeting.

Most churches have some sort of seniors’ meeting. It may be called the Just Older Youth (JOY) Ministry. Enjoy God through enjoying the ministry of these people. Let them know that you support them.

8. Attend the occasional Women's Ministry meeting.

Even though these meetings are typically women-only meetings, it’s an excellent ministry that you can be a part of. Pastors should show their interest and support for the various missions ministries of the church, even if they’re for women only. It must be noted here that you should speak with the leader of the ministry before you show up unannounced. Sometimes, since these meetings are women-only, the content is necessarily geared toward women. The presence of a man may hinder the desired discussion.

9. Periodically, fellowship with your church members outside your church building.

You could organize this by inviting various age groups, Sunday school classes, or Discipleship Training classes to some form of fellowship in the community. You could catch a high school sports game with several folks, attend a local play at the community theater, go out to eat, go to the park, etc.

10. Invite the occasional Sunday school class, Discipleship Training class, youth group, children’s group, seniors group, WMU, etc. over to your home for games, food, and fellowship.

Now, if you struggle financially, you could provide snacks, and have the event sometime after lunch, but before dinner. One of the qualifications of being a pastor is hospitality (2 Tim. 3:2). How hospitable are you?

What are your thoughts?



Jared has served in pastoral ministry since 2000. He is the pastor of New Salem Baptist Church in Hustonville, KY. He is the author of 10 Sacred Cows in Christianity That Need to Be Tipped. Jared is married to Amber and they have four children. He is a teaching assistant for Bruce Ware at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) and a  PhD Student in Systematic Theology at SBTS. You can take Jared's Udemy Course, "How to Enjoy God Through Movies, TV, Music, Books, etc." with this link for 43% off. Engage popular culture with Scripture. Enjoy God through popular culture.

 

Talk about it...

Elizabeth Mcmanus avatar
Elizabeth Mcmanus
0 days ago
I found your article interesting and know building a sense of community is paramount to spiritual leadership, but I was a little put off by the gender bias. There are many faith traditions, like my own (Methodist), who ordain women. To write as if only men are in the pulpit does not show respect for female preachers.
Jared Moore avatar
Jared Moore
0 days ago
Elizabeth, thank you for your comment. I understand that you expect me to respect your beliefs by including female preachers in my article, but you have a double-standard. If you really want me to respect your beliefs, shouldn't you respect my beliefs as well? You're asking me to write based on what you believe instead of based on what I believe. I don't believe the Scriptures allow for female preachers. It's not a "gender-bias," but something I understand the Scriptures teach. It's not a salvation issue or heretical issue, but an issue nonetheless. I disagree with you, but that doesn't mean I expect you to write as a complementarian because I'm a complementarian. I expect you to write based on what you believe. I ask that you show the same courtesy.
Keith  B avatar
Keith B
0 days ago
Good article. As someone just beginning a rural ministry, I've found this to be true. I've enjoyed visiting homes, and getting involved. Besides validating my message, it helps me to see these folks as people--and to know their needs.
Dennis Cocks avatar
Dennis Cocks
0 days ago
Jared writes, "I don't believe the Scriptures allow for female preachers. It's not a "gender-bias," but something I understand the Scriptures teach." Amen brother! I have had this discussion many times in the articles that are writen for Sermon Central. The most recent being "4 Issues That Could Silence Your Preaching." Your article is very good. We as pastors need to know the people in our church. I've done many of the things you suggest we do to get to know them better but there are a couple of things I hadn't thought of. I will try to incorporate them into my schedule so that I can learn even more about the people in my church. Thanks again!
Pastor Sandy . avatar
Pastor Sandy .
0 days ago
Jared - Very good article. Elizabeth: I agree with you regarding gender bias. My own faith tradition (UCC) has been ordaining women for a number of years. My female colleagues are well respected. One encouraging note: the denominations that no longer allow women in the pulpit are dwindling in number as the years go by.
Dennis Cocks avatar
Dennis Cocks
0 days ago
One discouraging note: The number of denominations that actually believe and follow the Bible are dwindling in number as the years go by.
Keith  B avatar
Keith B
0 days ago
Excellent point, Dennis. Ultimately, it comes down to whether you're going to go with what scripture says, or you're not.
Jimmie Tempano avatar
Jimmie Tempano
0 days ago
I think this is a good article as far as it goes but it and the associated comments touch one of my hot buttons. If we want to follow the WWJD, a pastor will select a few to spend a lot of time with during the week. They can experience how the pastor deals with people in a restaurant, on a hospital visitation, preparing a sermon, etc. and occasionally changing which members are in the group. I grew up in and continued to attend various types of Baptist churches throughout my early adult years. I gained a fair grounding in scriptures. I also gained a limited and sometimes flawed understanding of scriptures. This perspective was tinted and tainted by the doctrinal positions that on occasion were a man?s limited understanding of scripture. I moved to another denomination which had a few different doctrinal positions. Finally, I experienced a God-given change in me and started attending a non-denominational church that believes all the gifts are extent rather than some ceased because they were not needed once the church was established. As I study the scripture, I find that argument to be very empty. I believe we need all the gifts today at least as much as they did in New Testament times.
Jimmie Tempano avatar
Jimmie Tempano
0 days ago
As to women being in the pulpit, I still struggle with that and that is likely due to it being so instilled in my head in my early adult years. However, when I look at Deborah being a prophetess and leading Israel, I have to understand that she was hearing from the Lord and leading a nation out of that guidance. There are other instances of prophetesses in scripture, those women hearing from God and instructing both men and women. To me, that comes down strongly on the side of women in the pulpit, which I struggle with because of my instilled bias, reinforced over several years. My apologies to the ladies. I have other biases that the Lord is working on me to carve them out, a sometimes painful process. I believe there are a couple of factors that lend themselves to the concept of men only preachers. The first is that we have experienced a male dominated world/country for many years for various years. That is changing with more women moving into leadership roles in business as well as in ministry. The other factor is that we have elevated and separated the preacher from the flock. This has been done on both sides of the pulpit and, I think, to the disservice of both sides. We have elevated the person with that gift to a position above the flock for numerous reasons when the scripture says that one gift is not greater than another gift. This puts the pastor in a position where he cannot have normal human failings. That's a lot of pressure. It also diminishes the lay folks and disempowers them. In point number 5, the author deigns to entertain a comment or question from his flock. This seems to me to indicate a somewhat elitist position and the thought of the one who hears from God and understands scripture. If God is not dealing and interacting with the members of this pastor's flock on a daily basis, then perhaps they wouldn't have much to contribute that would be of benefit to the preacher.
Jimmie Tempano avatar
Jimmie Tempano
0 days ago
I experienced different denominational churches with different doctrinal statements. I believe these statements were likely derived with a sincere heart to state their understanding of the bible. My question is, if these were all stated from a sincere heart, a scholarly study of the bible, and a belief of a correct understanding, why do they differ. I believe there are absolutes in scripture and we must attempt (even in our weakness and in the strength of the Lord) to follow them. I also believe there are areas that we don't understand well and we should allow a measure of grace for different understanding. In this regard, I don't see how I could attend a denominational church again with its circumscribed doctrine. However, I don't know how the Lord may lead and I would be obedient to His leading. These are my comments and my opinions. I don?t expect everyone to completely agree with me and, I know, some will completely disagree. That is certainly their right. I still think this is a pretty good article with some good points.
Keith  B avatar
Keith B
0 days ago
@Jimmie....Deborah was a prophetess...but she wasn't a pastor. There is a unique set of qualifications to be a pastor--namely that he is to be a one woman man. That simply is not possible for a woman to be. We can argue about a man that is widowed being qualified, or a single man..or whatever...but simply put, we know for sure that a woman is not qualified to be a pastor.
Dennis Cocks avatar
Dennis Cocks
0 days ago
Jimmie rather than rehashing something all over again, I suggest you read the article and comments from "4 Issues That Will Silence Your Preaching." In there you might be more enlightened about Deborah and other issues. And I will ask you as I asked in those comments: Give me what you believe 1 Timothy 2:12-3:7 means? I keep asking people who believe that women can be pastors to interpret these verses to show it means something different than it says, NOT ONE PERSON HAS TAKEN ME UP ON IT! So does Scripture contradict Scripture?
Jimmie Tempano avatar
Jimmie Tempano
0 days ago
Hi Dennis and K B. Thank you for your comments. I have carefully considered and weighed them. I have no interest in an argument and I do not believe that is your interest either. K B, you said that Deborah was a prophetess and not a pastor. Let's see, she heard from God and instructed those she led. She likely cared about them and showed that care. I think those are some main features of a pastor. Dennis, I just read through First Timothy. Thank you for getting me into the word. That is always a blessing to me. Once again I see that this is a letter addressed to an individual at a specific time and at a specific place with a specific job to do. We can read this letter and gain guidance from it but it is important to understand what is general and what is specific to that person, time and place. One extreme example is that he urged Timothy to stay in Ephesus. Now I believe that was specifically for Timothy or we would all need to stay in Ephesus. Next, Paul says that there is one mediator between God and MEN, the man Christ Jesus. Now we understand that MEN refers to mankind and not the male gender. He also says that it is not appropriate for women who profess to worship God to have braided hair or wear gold, jewels or expensive clothes. I believe that was a temporal caution. There would be a lot of women kicked out of today's churches if that were applied. It also says that women will be saved by childbearing. I am not sure I understand that at all. Does that mean that single women should have illegitimate children to be saved? I do not think so. Anyway, a lot to ponder. As I said at the beginning, I read your comments and have tried to be open and carefully consider them. I do not claim to have perfect understanding and you may both be right. For now, I have difficulty understanding why a loving God would give a women the gifts needed for pastoring, and I have met a few, and then deny that they are to use those gifts. My sister was divorced. Her husband was unfaithful to her and abandoned her. Because she was divorced, they would allow her to clean in the church and nothing else. She could have been a great teacher but she was not allowed. Maybe that would be different today but I saw her gift wasted and I saw her being very frustrated and discouraged. Yeah, I love my sister and this is personal with me.
Keith  B avatar
Keith B
0 days ago
Jimmie....no...this is not just "a letter to a group of people for a specific time so it doesn't apply to us". This is a letter from Paul telling Timothy how to organize the early church leadership. He does not allow a woman to teach or hold authority over a man. You were right, in that Deborah did hear from God...but again, a prophetess in the OT has a different job description from a Pastor in the NT. If you want to rip that page out of your Bible...go ahead. I'd rather stay faithful to Scripture.
Jimmie Tempano avatar
Jimmie Tempano
0 days ago
K B, you refuse to hear what I say. You take it and twist it. I have been respectful to you as a brother Christian. I acknoweldge that we have different understanding but I still was respectful. It seems like you have a lot of anger. I doubt if you can receive that either. It's obvious that I can't have a civil discussion with you, you closed the door to that.
Keith  B avatar
Keith B
0 days ago
No, Jimmie, I have no anger toward you or anyone else here. I'm just saying that there really is no other way to take Paul's words. What does it actually say?
Cameron Madsen avatar
Cameron Madsen
0 days ago
Thanks for the great hints on what a Pastor can do to build better bridges into peoples everyday lives. We are all real people and the Lord knows that. I love the stories in the Gospels that show Jesus doing just that. The issue of women as pastors is a tough one and I am greatful for the openness expressed here. Does a Pastor necessarrily have to be a preacher? I've seen women clearly gifted as Pastors that don't preach and those that do. It's God who give the gifts. It's Him that bears the fruit. Some missionary ladies from a conservitive mind were faced with preaching in their churches as there were no mature men to do so. When the time was right, they steped aside and let the Lord lead the men. This raises the personal question, does a person desire to be in the pulpit because they want to or because God is calling them to. I have no doubt that there are women leading in churches because men won't, as in Deborah's day, God sort someone who was a willing vessel to follow Him and do His will. I believe the men in Deborah's day were not open to Gods purpose and Deborah was. I see that God is never limited by us even if we limit Him. I look at 1 Timothy 2 and see the words "I want" or "I desire" which indicates Paul knew the pattern that should be and what pleases God, and this should always be our desire, but it reminds us that we are under grace, so seeking a one law fits all is not going to satisfy, but to aim at the goal that God is pointing to should, God building His church.
Dennis Cocks avatar
Dennis Cocks
0 days ago
You know, if Jesus (you remember Him don't you? God in the flesh) had chosen 6 men and 6 women as His disciples we wouldn't be having this conversation. Jimmie you say, "Now we understand that MEN refers to mankind and not the male gender." Ok, lets see, Eph. 5:22 "Husbands submit yourselves unto your own husbands...23 For the husband is the head of the husband even as Christ is the head of the church..." 25 "Husbands love your husbands even as Christ loved the church..." 1 Timothy 2:12 "But I suffer not a man to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but be in silence. 14 "And Adam was not deceived, but the man being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding he shall be saved in childbearing..." 1 Tim. 3:2 "A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one husband..." Yep, I see your point! But hey, we can pick and choose what to believe anyway, just say, "That was only for Paul's day." How about the Ten Commandments. They were written for Israel. Do we need to follow them? They were written LONG before Paul's day. The childbearing Paul was talking about speaks of the birth of Jesus Christ the Savior through the seed of the woman fulfilling Genesis 3:15.
Dennis Cocks avatar
Dennis Cocks
0 days ago
Cameron, you say, "I look at 1 Timothy 2 and see the words "I want" or "I desire" which indicates Paul knew the pattern that should be and what pleases God, and this should always be our desire, but it reminds us that we are under grace, so seeking a one law fits all is not going to satisfy" 2 Timothy 3:16 "ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." 2 Peter 1:21 "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of GOD SPAKE as they were MOVED by the Holy Ghost." (Emphasis mine). ALL SCRIPTURE is inspired. Paul spake as he was MOVED by the Holy Ghost.
Dennis Cocks avatar
Dennis Cocks
0 days ago
Let me go ahead and answer the question of Priscilla, Deborah, and Hulda. (Thank God for copy and paste) First Priscilla. She and her husband PRIVATELY taught Apollos "the way of God more perfectly" (Acts 18:24-28). The Bible does not prohibit women from teaching other women (Titus 2:3-4) or from teaching children (1 Timothy 2:15, 5:10) But Paul ABSOLUTELY reserved the teaching role in the church for men (1 Timothy 2:12-3:7). Deborah's role was not that of head but of messenger. Did she exercise a headship role? Since the prophetic role did not involve headship, prophecying by a woman, such as Deborah, did not violate the principle of male headship, as long as she did it in a proper manner and demeanor that did not negate male headship. The prophetic ministries of Deborah and Huldah (2 Kings 22:14-20) differ greatly from those of male prophets, such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. Male prophets exercised their prophetic ministry in a public manner, being commisioned to proclaim the Word of the Lord before people and the king himself (Is 6:9, 7:3, 58:1; Jer. 1:10, 2:2, 7:2; Ezek. 2:3, 6:2). The prophetic ministry of Deborah and Huldah was significantly different from this. Deborah did not go out and publicly proclaim the Word of the Lord. Instead, individuals came to consult her privately under the palm tree where she sat (Jud. 4:5). She did not exercise her prophetic ministry in a public forum like the Old Testamant male prophets. God did not call Deborah to lead an army into battle, He told her to remind Barak that He had called him to do so. Judges 4:6-7. It is significant that she did not assume the headship role of an army general; she conveyed God's call to Barak to serve in that capacity. She then rebuked Barak for his unwillingness to go to battle without her. Verse 8-9. Notice it was Barak not God that wanted her to go with him. Because of his reluctance, Deborah warned Barak that "the Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman" But the woman who earned the glory by killing Sisera while he slept in her tent was not Deborah but Jael. Judges 4:17-22. Let me add Miriam. She ministerd only to women (Ex. 15:20-21. So in conclusion: It is in perfect harmony with Scripture for women to instruct in the privacy of their home or in Sunday school to other women or children. She has the perfect right to win souls. But when it comes to matters of business in the church, God appointed men to take care of the affairs of the church, to pastor, to serve as deacons, and stewards of the church, and elders and teachers insofar as men are concerned. This doesn't make women second class citizens. It doesn't mean we're better or smarter for that matter. It is simply the way in which God ordered things.
Dennis Cocks avatar
Dennis Cocks
0 days ago
One more thing before someone questions me about some of what I wrote, The Bible is very clear on the things we are no longer supposed to practice such as the sacrificial system, dietary laws, etc. Nowhere does God change His mind about male leadership.
Dav Ross avatar
Dav Ross
0 days ago
Good article, full of great reminders. Thanks for all that you wrote.
Fernando Villegas avatar
Fernando Villegas
0 days ago
I have argued my position on this matter plenty of times, so I won't argue it again. This is the only comment I'm going to make here regarding this. Even if it gets misinterpreted and twisted, then so be it. I won't make any attempts to clarify it. I'm sick and tired of people who should be intelligent, but who are unable to listen to and understand a different point of view. Not agree with it, but at least listen to and understand it. So here goes: I was out for about a week attending my father's funeral. Funny thing how death puts life in perspective! And I thought often of how every single one of us is going to be the one in that casket one day. Dennis Cocks, k b, myself. You and I are all going to be dead someday. When that day comes, for crying out loud, will it have matter that we wasted so much time arguing on the internet about something like this!!!!!!!!!!!!! Some may say, "It is our responsibility as pastors to teach against false doctrines." I agree. But that is NOT what is happening here. We all know where we stand. We've all wrestled with the Scriptures regarding this issue and have come to our own convictions. Our respective arguments are on public record for anyone to examine for themselves. No one's mind is being changed. Don't couch your motives with religious language in order to make you feel better about yourself. Because this not about defending God's word. It is about pride. Plain and simple. It is about getting in the last word. It is about proving how right we are, and how wrong and heretical anyone who disagree with us is. It is about legalistic religion; salvation, not by faith, but by "doctrinal purity." Elizabeth McManus made a legitimate comment. Jared Moore gave a reasonable and respectful response. And that should've been the end of it. But no. Pride will not allow us to leave it at that. Even though the ensuing conversation has had nothing new of substance to contribute to the ongoing debate, our pride makes us go through the whole thing over and over again. And we will go through it over and over again until every author of every article on this website, and every person who participates in the comments section, agrees with us on every single point of doctrine. Meanwhile, the voices we so desperately need to hear from, female pastors like Elizabeth McManus and Pastor Sandy and Pastor LaFern, are silenced by bullies who equate interpretations of Scripture that differ from theirs as ripping pages out of the Bible, while they alone remain "faithful to Scripture." Or maybe these female pastors are just wiser than us men. They are wise enough to spend their time actually doing the ministry God has called them to, rather than wasting time arguing on the internet. Maybe I need to learn to be that wise myself. One last thing, since I won't be clarifying myself later. Let me make perfectly clear that I include myself in everything I have just written. I indict no one of anything I have not already indicted myself of. So I don't want to hear anyone whining, "Oh, how hypocritical of you, you're judging us for judging others, blah, blah, blah..." Spare me. I'm done with this issue. Maybe this is just the grief talking, but I'm sick of this. And I hope this doesn't end up being the last comment on here. In fact, Dennis Cocks and k b, I dare either of you to respond. Because I don't want to have the last word anymore. I want to trust that in the end, God will have the last word. He alone will judge. And I trust his judgement more than I trust Dennis' or k b's.
Dennis Cocks avatar
Dennis Cocks
0 days ago
Fernando, "In fact, Dennis Cocks and k b, I dare either of you to respond." I take you up on your dare. I really don't care what anyone thinks of me on these post including you! I believe this is an IMPORATANT matter and EVERY TIME someone gets on here and makes a statement like, "Why aren't women included" or something to the equivalent I WILL RESPOND! So don't read anything else that I write (and that goes for anyone else) because I REALLY DON'T CARE! Many of the Methodist churches and other churches that ordain women also ordain homosexuals. You want to get on here and support that also? The inspiration of the Bible is what the true argument is, whether you or anyone else sees that. AND THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT! Let's just take all the references to male leadership out and all get together and sing Kumbya! Will that make everyone happy? Not Me!
Keith  B avatar
Keith B
0 days ago
Fernando, I'm sorry....I just don't know how to get around the idea that Paul was telling Timothy that he should be a one woman man. I'd rather err on the side of caution than to change what is written.
Pastor Sandy . avatar
Pastor Sandy .
0 days ago
Fernando - I am so sorry you recently had to bury your father. The loss of a parent is devastating, and my prayers go out, even tho I don't really know you, to you and yours. And I wonder if the rest of the commentators missed that point in your comment. Some folks have forgotten how to be respectful - all they care about is "I'm right - and this is how it must be!" As far as homosexuals - my Jesus (and yes - I do remember Him) was loving and inclusive. He would not have tolerated some of the diatribes that have gone on here. Must go back to my sermon, but may God bless us all. - Pastor Sandy
Dennis Cocks avatar
Dennis Cocks
0 days ago
Sandra says, "As far as homosexuals - my Jesus (and yes - I do remember Him) was loving and inclusive." Fernando says, "Meanwhile, the voices we so desperately need to hear from, female pastors like Elizabeth McManus and Pastor Sandy and Pastor LaFern, are silenced by bullies who equate interpretations of Scripture that differ from theirs as ripping pages out of the Bible, while they alone remain "faithful to Scripture." Or maybe these female pastors are just wiser than us men." Fernando, even though I don't expect you to answer me, now what do you think about your statement as least as far as Sandy goes? Would you like to debate that God is inclusive as far as homsexual pastors are concerned also? What is you interpretation of Leviticus 18:22, and Romans 1:24-32? Is this just for the Old Testement and Paul's day? Since we are under grace is it ok to ordain homosexulas? Again I really don't expect a reply. And by the way, I am very sorry about your father whether you believe that or not.
Fernando Villegas avatar
Fernando Villegas
0 days ago
Dennis, if you didn't expect me to answer you, you wouldn't have asked me, so spare me. I'm replying, not for my own sake, but for Pastor Sandy's. And I stand by what I said. Her voice and her perspective should be as welcome and as respected as yours or mine. None of us is infallible in our interpretation of Scripture. None of us has a monopoly on truth. That is why we need each other. That is why it is important to listen to the voices of others who have also wrestled with the Scriptures, even if those voices disagree with our beliefs. We do ourselves no favors when we surround ourselves inside a bubble of "yes" men. On the other hand, when we are willing to engage in a critical examination of those who disagree with us, it allows us the opportunity to deal with the blind spots in interpretation that all of us have (yes, even you, whether you realize it or not!). If nothing else, it can help us to clarify our convictions and learn how to express them in a more persuasive manner. Or, it can even help us to discover that our convictions may be mistaken; and if that is the case, the sooner we discover our error, the better! That was the experience of Acts 11 that I referred to in a previous conversation. Either way, Pastor Sandy has as much of a right to express her views on this site as any of us, and all of us should be able to do so without being bullied. And yes, comments such as, "If you want to rip that page out of your Bible...go ahead. I'd rather stay faithful to Scripture," and, "Let's just take all the references to male leadership out and all get together and sing Kumbya (sic)!" are verbal bullying. There are much more respectful ways to say, "I disagree." As for debating the issue of homosexual pastors, I have no interest in doing so with you, because you and I apparently agree with each other in theory on that issue. I say "in theory" because, given how you and I differ significantly in our hermeneutical methodologies, I suspect that you and I took quite different roads to reach the same conclusions. For example, I give much more weight to the reference in Romans than I do to the one in Leviticus. Not because I think Leviticus is irrelevant ("All Scripture is inspired by God..."), but rather because the popular interpretation of this text in Leviticus is so full of holes that clear-thinking people can see right through; holes which, by the way, I discovered because I was listening to those who disagreed with me on this issue. As for Pastor Sandy's comments, she does not explicitly address the issue of homosexuals as pastors, and I respect her too much to read more into her comments than what she actually wrote. What she wrote is what she intended to write, and I have no problem with it. She is free to elaborate if she so chooses. One last thing: you wrote that you are very sorry about my father. I appreciate your words. Thank you very much! Unfortunately, you also wrote, "whether you believe that or not." Well, first of all, I can't believe or not believe something if it is not said to me. The fact that both you (in your initial response) and k b completely ignored that I had mentioned the death of my father was not lost on me. I do appreciate, however, that k b's response was at least respectful and nowhere near as harsh as yours. But second, and I'm sure you didn't mean it this way, but that last phrase, "whether you believe that or not," it just comes across real bad. It implies that I won't believe it, and that I'm being petty for not doing so. It almost would've been better to have just kept ignoring that point, rather than to have said, "I'm sorry," and then add that last phrase. Nevertheless, you did say you were sorry about my father, and I do believe that you are. I don't doubt your sincerity one bit.
Fernando Villegas avatar
Fernando Villegas
0 days ago
Pastor Sandy, thank you so much for your kind words, as well as for your prayers. They are greatly appreciated! Even though you and I may not know each other personally, we are bound together as brother and sister in the family of God through our faith in Jesus Christ. I look forward to getting to know you better in God's kingdom. I'll introduce you to my dad! :)
Pastor Sandy . avatar
Pastor Sandy .
0 days ago
Fernando: looking forward to meeting your dad (and you) in God's kingdom. And Dennis - you missed the whole point of what I said. You inserted the word 'pastor' into the conversation about inclusivity. merely make the point that Jesus would never exclude anyone from His circle of friends, associates. He proved that over and over in His ministry. I get the impression that you would not follow that example. I did not refer to pastors and/or ordained ministers at all.
Dennis Cocks avatar
Dennis Cocks
0 days ago
Fernando, I went back and reread all of my comments and I really don't understand why you believe I am this uncivil man who does nothing but blast people who don't agree with me. Go back and read them again. I started by commenting on what Jared said to Elizabeth. Told him I agreed with him on the issue of women pastors, then expressed how much I liked the article. Then Sandy gave her view. Is it not possible that since she was in on the last discussion we had on this issue, that she responded knowing I would respond to her? I gave my response in post six by just expressing the opposite view of what she said. Jimmie got in on the discussion and I encouraged him to just go back to the last discussion, but he didn't so I just reposted some of what I posted before. I use caps to emphasise my point because that is the only way to do that here. I answered the Greek word for man argument by using the term "man" for "woman" in the text I shared to show how foolish that argument is. Is that so terrible? And I did remind people that Jesus AS GOD (in a passionate way no doubt) didn't choose 6 men and 6 women. Then once again I gave the BIBLE references for Deborah and what they really say. Again, look at what I wrote, all I stated is what the Bible actually says about Deborah, I didn't add or take away anything. In case you haven't noticed I use a lot of Scripture in my arguements, is that offensive? I expressed that men aren't smarter or better but that this is just the way God ordered things. Then you came into the conversation. The way I read what you said, you were much harsher in what you said than anything I said. That is when I got harsh in my answer to you. You can certainly accuse me of being harsh with that response! And although I understand you might have been writing under a load of grief (which I can certainly understand) the fact was not lost on me that you still felt the need to write a scathing response even though you had not been a part of the discussion before then. So I lashed back without acknowledging your loss. That is the only reason I didn't say I was sorry then. (That may not be a good enough excuse not to but at the time that is how I felt). As far as the "you might not believe me" I only wrote that because of the tension in our posts to each other. Sort of "how can I lash out at you and still express sympathy." Again, I am VERY passionate about this issue and will continue to respond to everyone who writes that women should be able to have authority over the man. So let me say this in a nice way this time. If you don't want to read what I say when it gets brought up again (as I'm sure it will) then please don't read my post. But you have no right to tell me I don't have the right to respond, as you did in your post. Again let me remind all of us that sometimes what we write comes off a little different than what we mean (not saying I haven't written that way on purpose before). I am guilty of this as are all of us.
Dennis Cocks avatar
Dennis Cocks
0 days ago
Sandra writes, "And Dennis - you missed the whole point of what I said. You inserted the word 'pastor' into the conversation about inclusivity." I did that because that was my point and you seemed to answer in the affirmative. I stand corrected. I apologize. I don't hate homosexuals, I used to work with one when I had to work a secular job while starting our church. I befriended him, invited him to church and he came twice. I showed him the love of Christ, but sadly he died of an alcohol overdose. So I don't hate homosexuals and of course neither does God although He hates the sin. If the fact that I won't back down from what I write about women in the ministry makes me somehow a jerk in people's eyes I can't help that. But as I explained to Fernando, the post (24) I got angry in was in response to what he wrote. If you or anyone else thinks that what I wrote before that was somehow out of line, I'm sorry I just don't see that.
Jimmie Tempano avatar
Jimmie Tempano
0 days ago
Fernando, I just got back home and have internet again. I lost my dad many years ago and it took me a very long time for my grief to reduce to the point where it was not so extremely painful. I can really identify with your loss. I pray God's blessings and comfort on you. I pray that you will sense Him close to you. I went to a grief group at a church other than my own. It really helped to attend that. Just FYI. To the author of this article, I apologize, this comment is not related to your article in any way.
Fernando Villegas avatar
Fernando Villegas
0 days ago
Jimmie, thank you for your comments and your prayers. Yes, it's a process, it takes time...It's one thing when as a pastor you're helping someone through it; it's another when you're going through it yourself! But I've received so much support from family, friends, church members, even people like you who I only know on-line! It's a big help!
John E Miller avatar
John E Miller
0 days ago
Fernando I wish to extend my sympathy to you in the sad loss of your Father. I do trust that you have the assurance that he is now with Christ, in the blessed and eternally uninterrupted experience of the actuallity of the Paradise of God with the One who redeemed him. As far as the discussion about the role of women in the church is concerned, the teaching of the inerrant and eternal word of God cannot be gainsaid for a true child of God. Paul's apostolic authoritive writing, part of the canon of scripture lays down the Spirit-inspired teaching and clearly forbids any thought of a woman teaching publicly. Human ideas of progress, modernisation etc., are an affront to the Spirit of God. Did He not know what the 21st century would be like when He inspired the Apostle to write these words in the 1st century? Is the word of God not as eternal as its Author? Can puny man, religious or irreligious assume to have the right to contradict or correct the Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent One? Question one verse of scripture and you put yourself in opposition to the Eternal God. The prophetesses of the O.T. have no bearing on this matter whatsoever, any more than circumscision, scarificial offerings of animals or sabbath keeping. To use them as justification fails to recognise the truth of Hebrews 1:1. The Apostle Peter sums up such opposition to Paul's teachinh in his second letter, chapter 3:14-18
Fernando Villegas avatar
Fernando Villegas
0 days ago
John E Miller, I appreciate greatly your kind words. It's been just over two weeks since I buried my father. Indeed, the assurance of the Christian hope has been a wonderful comfort for me! This was a man who "fought the good fight" of faith his entire life, for eighty-five years; and I hope that at the end of my life, the same can be said of me. Continue to keep me in your prayers!

So, what did you think?


Thank you.