(David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, email@example.com; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -
On July 24, 2008, I sent out an announcement to the Fundamental Baptist Information Service mailing list asking pastors to share with our readers their troubles and concerns. I said:
“I think it would be very helpful if we could put together a report that describes the problems pastors face. It would help pastors and it would help the people. If you are a pastor of a fundamentalist Baptist or Bible church I urge you to write and share your greatest problems and heartaches. It doesn’t have to be long. Just list them and perhaps give an illustration or two.”
In response we received the following informative statements:
1. Most church members do not attend or come very late to Sunday School.
2. Most church members do not come back for the Sunday afternoon service.
3. Most church members do not attend prayer meeting.
4. One of the greatest heartaches is for young men to promise God to be a pastor upon high school graduation, and then not fulfil it. I paid the tuition fee of one young man for one year (whom I trained singing, song leading, and preaching) because he said, ‘I want to be a pastor.’ But when he graduated, he did not enroll. Now he just stays in their home doing nothing. Another talented young man I supported (by giving allowance) for one year on his first year in Bible College. On his second year, he quit. One more young man gave a testimony of his desire to enroll in Bible school and be a pastor. Our church promised him support. When he graduated high school, he did not enroll Bible school but worked in a computer game station.
5. Although this is no longer the case in our church, one of the ‘greatest’ problems in the fundamental Baptist churches in our area is that pastors seem to be ‘expected’ to be poor and to sacrifice for the church members. Since the pastors are not to be hirelings, the churches don’t give them a salary. So the problem of pastors is how to communicate and educate their church members about this matter of support.
The following message by Evangelist Hal Webb is reprinted from the now-defunct Maranatha!!!! paper published by Westside Baptist Church of Natchez), January-February 1997 --
"And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding" (Jeremiah 3:15).
I understand there is a ten thousand dollar fine with time in jail for killing eagles, since it is our national bird. A little owl is giving the lumber companies fits as environmentalists seek to preserve its habitat. There are a number of birds and animals on the endangered species list. Frankly, I feel we are overlooking one of the most endangered one: the faithful, godly pastors among us.
When I was a lad my greatest hero was my pastor. No Old Testament child ever stood before Moses with any more awe than I before my pastor. He was my example, my hero, and my best friend. I hung on to his every word and patterned my young life after his Biblical preaching. My own heart was filled with reverential appreciation and a willingness to follow without question or complaint. Such was the attitude of most church members 50 years ago. The pastor was the man of the hour and the respected leader in the community. I have lived to see the disturbing change that has risen up against the faithful servants of God. They are mistrusted, lied about, criticized, misused, hounded, and the most "bashed" profession on earth. I want you to examine some of their greatest sources of discouragement. I have preached over fifty years in their churches and know their problems.
Continue reading this article……
The following is an old poem, but I do not know the author or the original source. I first heard it in July 1982, when that old spiritual warhorse Perry F. Rockwood read it as he was preaching a sermon entitled “New Evangelical Dreamers” at the 10th annual Fundamental Bible Conference in California. It was my first occasion to preach at one of those conferences (not defunct), and it was a great privilege. I was just a veritable kid for a preacher (32 years old), but I so enjoyed the fellowship with men who were unashamed of biblical separation and who were willing to let their separatist flag fly high against all apostasy and compromise, men were studious and believed in really educating God’s people.
Since 1982, a ton of Independent Baptist preachers have hopped on the fence, if not jumped entirely over it on the wrong side.
From out the millions of the earth
God often calls a man
To preach the Word
And for the Truth to take a royal stand.
'Tis sad to see him shun the cross,
nor stand in its defense;
Between the fields of right and wrong,
A preacher on the fence.Continue reading this article……
Updated May 8, 2008 (first published September 10, 1999) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, firstname.lastname@example.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) -
For church leaders to demand unquestioning loyalty is a perversion of biblical truth and is the mark of a cult. The Bible gives authority to pastors and elders (Heb. 13:7, 17), but that authority is not unlimited or unquestionable. Those who demand blind obedience from their people are cult leaders. Consider the following description of the authority that was wielded by James and Ellen White in the early days of the Seventh-day Adventist cult:
“ELDER AND MRS. WHITE RAN AND RULED EVERYTHING WITH AN IRON HAND. Not a nomination to office, not a resolution, not an item of business was ever acted upon in business meetings till all had been first submitted to Elder White for his approval. Till years later, we never saw an opposition vote on any question, for no one dared to do it. Hence, all official voting was only a farce. The will of Elder White settled everything. If any one dared to oppose anything, however humbly, Elder White or wife quickly squelched him. LONG YEARS OF SUCH TRAINING TAUGHT THE PEOPLE TO LET THEIR LEADERS THINK FOR THEM; HENCE, THEY ARE UNDER AS COMPLETE SUBJECTION AS ARE THE CATHOLICS” (D.M. Canright, Seventh-day Adventism Renounced, 1898).
This description was given by a man who was a faithful member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for 28 years and who became one of its top leaders. D.M. Canright knew James and Ellen White intimately. He left the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1884 and became a Baptist pastor in Michigan until his death in 1919.
Continue reading this article……