I have known Luis Palau for more than 35 years as a friend, pastor and co-worker in the ministry of serving and exalting Jesus Christ. I know his heart concern to see every soul find true life in Jesus, and especially his burden for those of Roman Catholic faith. God has used him to reach millions of people with a clear and biblical message of good news.
Oh, we should be very careful when we rail against a man God has called to minister His Word. Pride should be checked, and prayers prayed. For many, blogging doesnʼt seem conducive to either activity. Pastor Chuck may not be your local pastor, but you engaged him on his own blog and you, wielding great authority yourselves, took your own clubs and started swinging away. He responded with the Word of God and with the authority of a preacher of that Word! I'm reminded of Hebrews 13:17: "Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you." Iʼm glad my pastor loved you enough to spend the time to minister that Word to you. But I wonder, given the behavior of these attacking posts, if this pastor experienced joy or grief at his task.
Why spend so much time and energy justifying your desire to see this movie? Just what is the standard...well, evaluate every minute detail and see how gray the line is and how close you can get to it without being singed? Is it all about how much of the worldʼs dainties we must forsake? Or is it about what we gain by fleeing from something that God would hate.
This pastor happens to be My pastor...so let me say how very wrong Jason and his dad are about my pastor. Pastor Chuck is a very gracious person. I've since seen him display amazing love and grace to people (including Jason and company)....but never does he compromise the truth. Sometimes it is a greater love to bring correction, warning, etc. He has brought hard truth to bear in my own life. And I didn't like it...boy was it authoritative. But the authority was from God and His Word. Counsel has always been directly from God's Word, not ʽChuck's wordʼ, but it is always delivered with due authority as a minister of Jesus Christ.
Seems to me that is a convenient excuse to do what you please until ʽconvictedʼ otherwise...after all, you have that insurance policy from Calvary in your hip pocket right? Sin is sin. We stand guilty regardless of conviction. We should be grateful for this pastor warning us, so that we can avoid this ungodly movie. We are called to be Holy. The preacher's duty is to be the Holy Spirit's agent in bringing that conviction by zealously ministering the Word...that would be the whole authoritative exhorting, rebuking, convincing with all longsuffering thing people don't seem to have a stomach for, ggg. And I thank God from the bottom of my heart that He sees fit to send preachers to do the convincing, rebuking, exhorting, training. God knows I need a rod and staff to keep me in the fold. Praise God for this faithful pastor who has lovingly contended with you. Why? Because I think from Jason's initial post it is clear that Jason's standard for what is appropriate Christian entertainment doesn't line up with the scriptures. cont.
As I read these posts with disbelief, Paul's letters to the Corinthians leap to mind. I imagine the Corinthians might have thought the same of their own Pastor, Paul. Both letters illustrate Paul's zealousness in preaching the truth and God's standards for righteousness. In fact, Paul said, "I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the authority which the Lord has given me for edification and not for destruction" (2Cor 13: 10).
What this pastor did, on his own blog, his own internet ministry, was to warn the saints of God about an ungodly movie. When a pastor warns of a pitfall, what is your response? Oh boy, something else I have to give up? OR Praise God, I was warned...are my defenses high enough? If your response is the former, you better examine yourself. Do a heart check rather than accuse the bearer of the warning of being a bully.
Blogs don't seem to be conducive to Christian behavior. I am frequently dismayed at the character displayed by Christians when blogging over spiritual matters. Perhaps anonymity is to blame for careless logic and callous personal attacks. Perhaps blogs encourage ʽimpulse postingsʼ, which haven't been checked by prayerful consideration, but instead are fueled by rank spiritual pride.
Whatever the case, Jason and His dad stepped into this Pastor's own blog and began behaving like....bloggers, ggg. Let's see, to read their posts, this pastor is a spiritual bully, pummeling his congregation with a club (scripture). He has been compared to a false teacher, twisting scripture to hold power over the sheep. He has been labeled spiritually immature, with a mind not yet sufficiently renewed to minister God's Word. Wow. To read the comments by Jason and Dad, Pastor Chuck trained in the SS and the s doesn't stand for seminary...ggg. By the way, Iʼm one of his bruised and battered sheep, just limping in to read a word or two before the brain-washing becomes effective.
Oneâ€™s holiness, since you bring it up in the quote on Korah, should not be compared with others (yours versus Jasonâ€™s â€“ a comparison indirectly made in your responses), but with that of the Lord Jesus Christ. It that comparison, we are all found wanting. Jason and I have discussed the Dark Knight and many other issues of concern to todayâ€™s youth; we agree in some areas and disagree in others. He is learning from me, and I from him. Though I have studied the Word many years, and walked with the Lord through many difficult times and situations, I still have much to learn of God, His Word and His ways â€“ and so does Jason. It saddens me to say this, but based on your responses to him, I know you are not yet mature enough in Christ to lead him into the truth as Christ would, so I have told him to have no more communication with you. Your position as pastor of a local body is an important one, and my prayer is that the Lord will use you effectively to further His Kingdom. Jasonâ€™s Father and Your Brother in the Lord
It troubles me that your church has the word â€śgraceâ€ť in its name, but your responses do not show grace. When Christ encountered individuals who honestly sought the truth, he shared the truth and exhibited grace toward them; those that had evil intent in their hearts (and he knew their hearts) he rebuked. My son expressed his desire to grow and be a man of God; your response was one of condemnation. You say iron sharpens iron, yes, but when done with the right technique. God has done a great work in Jasonâ€™s heart; one you cannot see or know, for you have not tried to communicate with him or know him, but speak AT him. I believe you truly desire to see people living holy lives for the Lord; encourage them to do so through the Word, fellowship and prayer, but you also need to show grace and love. The balance is difficult, but necessary, and only achieved by the power of the Spirit.
In my sonâ€™s response to you, you seem to escape the emphasis he points out concerning your responsibility to convict people of their sin â€śIt is every pastor's job to bring conviction upon God's people.â€ť You attempt to defend yourself by assuming a position alongside Moses and quoting Scripture. Those tactics may work on some people, but such a misapplication of Scripture is out of line and is the type of defense used by some false teachers to protect their position. Re-read my sonâ€™s response with an open heart and not a defensive attitude and you will see his concern FOR you - that you donâ€™t assume a role that belongs to the Holy Spirit. As a pastor it is your responsibility to hold forth the Word of God and to address those issues that the Lordâ€™s leads you to address, but it is He that works in us, Phil 2:13, not the pastor.
Your position seems to focus on your position as a pastor in a local congregation and somehow that has translated into a position over the entire body of Christ. The role of a human under-shepherd is to lead people to the Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ, and teach them how to be His disciples, in submission to Him and His authority. â€śHyper-authoritarian leaders, instead, lead people to themselves, and indoctrinate them to be their followers, in total submission to them and their authority. In essence, these dominating shepherds teach they are the church-members' de facto lord, master, and savior, rather than Christ.â€ť Though you write of Christ and the Holy Spirit, and while your writing is generously sprinkled with Scripture, it communicates â€śPastor Chuckâ€ť not Christ. Though not yet, you appear to be headed on the path to become one of these hyper-authoritarian leaders.
Pastor Chuck, I am Jasonâ€™s father and I have just read your postings. While I disagree with my sonâ€™s view of the Dark Knight, I find your personal attacks much more disagreeable (â€śThis is evidence of a mind that has not been sufficiently renewed, and a conscience that has not been washed and revived by the Word of God (Ephs. 5:26)â€ť).. These types of personal attack tactics in a discussion are usually used when someone is in a weak and losing position or feels threatened. Since you have taken the discussion to such a level, as Jasonâ€™s father and HIS spiritual authority, I need to address your postings.
You are in danger of being a spiritual descendant of Korah. I am reminded of a similar conversation Moses once had (no, I donâ€™t think Iâ€™m Moses) :
Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men; 2 and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown. 3 They gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, "YOU TAKE TOO MUCH UPON YOURSELVES, FOR ALL THE CONGREGATION IS HOLY, EVERY ONE OF THEM, AND THE LORD IS AMONG THEM. WHY THEN DO YOU EXALT YOURSELVES ABOVE THE ASSEMBLY OF THE LORD?"
4 So when Moses heard it, he fell on his face; 5 and he spoke to Korah and all his company, saying, "Tomorrow morning the LORD will show who is His and who is holy, and will cause him to come near to Him. That one whom He chooses He will cause to come near to Him. 6 Do this: Take censers, Korah and all your company; 7 put fire in them and put incense in them before the LORD tomorrow, and it shall be that the man whom the LORD chooses is the holy one. YOU TAKE TOO MUCH UPON YOURSELVES, YOU SONS OF LEVI!" (Num 16:1-7)
I believe a thorough refresher course in the Pastoral Epistles would serve you well. God has defined the pastoral ministry. God has defined what the goal of preaching is. I am not concerned with what you â€śSENSEâ€ť in my writing, teaching, or preaching. I am only concerned with obeying the Lordâ€™s command to â€śpreach the Wordâ€¦ in season and out of season.â€ť It seems clear that genuine preaching (in print or spoken) is out of season with you. The church of our era is suffering from SEEKER CENTERED and SEEKER SENSITIVE delusions and dogmas. It seems that you have been infected with an unhealthy sensitivity to authentic Biblical pastoral ministry.
This Holy Spirit inspired text commands pastors to preach the Word of God authoritatively in order to convince, rebuke, and exhort. It is every pastor's job to bring conviction upon God's people. This is not a denial of the work of the Holy Spirit, it is submission to the work of the Holy Spirit in convicting God's people of sin, righteousness, and judgment through the ministry of the Holy Spirit inspired Word.
*Where in here do you read anything about my or any pastor's position of authority? You don't. Instead, you read that God's Holy Spirit inspired Word commands pastors to preach the Word in order to "convince, rebuke, and exhort." It isn't a matter of pastors taking too much authority upon themselves. It is a matter of pastors obeying the Holy Spirit inspired Pastoral Epistles and thus preaching in such a way as to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in convincing, rebuking, and exhorting (or in another word, convicting).
Or perhaps you missed this part (the Holy Spirit inspired part)...
4:1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Tim 4:1-5)
Hello again Jason. You must have missed this part...
It is gloriously true that the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8). It is also gloriously true that the Holy Spirit condescends to use earthly means toward that end. The Lord has practical means by which He sanctifies His people. Sanctification is an ongoing work of the Holy Spirit through the washing of the water of the Word of God.
It is God's will that every believer be in a local church where they are well known and well know the saints of God, for the mutual ministry of iron sharpening iron. Furthermore, it is God's will that every believer be in a local church where the full counsel of God is preached and taught by faithful pastors. This is the Lord's design for maturing, equipping, and sanctifying His saints. You are right that no church is perfect, and yet the Lord perfectly uses the local church and the local pastor to wash His people with the water of the Word. In the Pastoral Epistles we see the ministry of God's word starting in the home (parental instruction) and being furthered in the local church (pastoral instruction).
I sense in your writing an over-emphasis on your position of authority as a pastor; the Word is not your club or mine to wield as we desire. The people you minister to are all at different stages of spiritual growth; the Word of God (thru the Spirit) will speak to each of them where they are. If you want to see lasting change and not just outward conformity, let God do the work in His time. Remember, in your preaching you must also address your own heart; itâ€™s not just you telling others what to do.
Itâ€™s not by a preacher personal authority or persuasiveness, no matter how well he knows scripture or how highly he is gifted. But solely by the authority and the power of Scripture itself, illuminated and applied by the Holy the Holy Spirit, that any ministry or Christian service can be spiritually effective and pleasing to the Lord.
While I agree with most of what you say the sentence â€śIt is every pastor's job to bring conviction upon God's people.â€ť is a little frightening. Remember, it is the Holy Spirit that brings conviction through the Word, not the pastor. The pastor and others, not just the appointed leader of a local body (pastor in your case), are to preach the Word. It is the Spirit that does the work. If you truly wish to submit to the work of the Holy Spirit in convicting Godâ€™s people of sin, let Him do it; His Word will not return void (Is. 55)