My Story

A little over two years ago I was the (tithing) tech team leader at New Hope Hawaii Kai, volunteering about 20 hrs per week, leading a group of about 10, not aware of any of this.

I was recovering from a near fatal motorcycle crash[New Hope Christian Fellowship O’ahu]. During my recovery I was better able to trust and hear the Lord. What I learned after the crash is  The Gift, I then prayed and asked God what my assignment was. This is what I Got: Our Mission .

Note the last two goals:

#4. Promoting simple accurate application of God’s word

#5. Exposing inaccurate doctrines practices & teachings.

Then the floodgates were open:

Tithing; God’s Call or Man’s Substitute

Servant Leadership

Pastor’s Pay

Is Christ The Head Of Today’s Church

Those ‘Whom God Knows Not’

Today’s Weak Churches

Are You ‘Playing The Church Game’?

Are You A Presumer – Performer?

God’s Church Or Man’s Substitute

Now, When I look at today’s church pastor’s role I see a impossible unbiblical job, one destined for failure, or at best mediocrity. One man is taking on the assignments of perhaps 20 souls. Today’s Pastor’s role attempts to replace the assignments and authority of the entire Priesthood of believers (a volunteer priesthood), and concentrates it into one or two full time jobs. Perhaps the indoctrination of Seminary Training is too strong a bond for Pastor’s to break, but the Bible verses are clear. Pls take some time to think it over.

Those Working At The Altar

1 Cor 9;13 Don’t you realize that those who work in the temple get their meals from the offerings brought to the temple? And those who serve at the altar get a share of the sacrificial offerings. 14 In the same way, the Lord ordered that those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it. 15 Yet I have never used any of these rights. And I am not writing this to suggest that I want to start now. In fact, I would rather die than lose my right to boast about preaching without charge. 16 Yet preaching the Good News is not something I can boast about. I am compelled by God to do it. How terrible for me if I didn’t preach the Good News! 17 If I were doing this on my own initiative, I would deserve payment. But I have no choice, for God has given me this sacred trust. [YLT 17 for if willing I do this, I have a reward; and if unwillingly–with a stewardship I have been entrusted!] 18 What then is my pay? It is the opportunity to preach the Good News without charging anyone. That’s why I never demand my rights when I preach the Good News.

Pls take a look at vs 17. If I am responding to God’s call on my life, it is not a job it is a stewardship that I am entrusted with. Who can claim that their choice to preach predates the Biblical call to seek to prophesy [AMP Inspired Preaching and Teaching] in 1 Cor 14;1?

NLT Mat 15;13 Jesus replied, “Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted, 14 so ignore them. They are blind guides leading the blind , and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch.”

This verse makes it clear, if you are not planted by God, if you are not answering God’s Call on your life you are a blind guide. Both you and those who follow you will end up in a ditch.

Those gathering followers;

NLT Gal 6; 13 And even those who advocate circumcision don’t keep the whole law themselves. They only want you to be circumcised so they can boast about it and claim you as their disciples.

The teachers of the law and parisees , the old Testament Levitical Priesthood are those who gathered disciples. This is inconsistent with the New Testament Shepard Role. A shepards role is not limited to leading from the front. They keep folks from wandering off from the sides and go after the lost sheep.

Escaping flames

1 Cor 3;10 Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. 12 Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.

The consequence for the lesser sin, building w/ wood hay & straw [building with wisdom of men, money, ego & pride] is severe – barely escaping the fires of Hell. That leaves little doubt that building on the wrong foundation, building on the levitical priesthood; the authoritarian priesthood of men, can cost you your salvation. The Biblical call is to the servant/slave priesthood of Christ. Take a look at this passage on the Teachers of the Law

The Righteousness Of The Teachers Of The Law

NLT Matt 5; 19 So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. 20 “But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!

Blind Leading The blind;

NLT John 9; 39 Then Jesus told him, “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind .” 40 Some Pharisees who were standing nearby heard him and asked, “Are you saying we’re blind ?” 41 “If you were blind , you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.

The Stricter Judgement For Teachers

NLT James 3;1 Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. … 13 If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. … 16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. 17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

The harsher judgement is for those who don’t live an honorable life, not doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom but those harboring jealousy and selfish ambition. Now lets take a look a numerous verses calling us to follow Pauls Tentmaker Priest Example.

1 Cor 9;1 Follow my example , as I follow the example of Christ.

NLT 1 Cor 10;33 I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved. 11:1 And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.

Phil 3;17 Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you(YLT use us as a pattern).

NIV 2 Thess 3;7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example . We were not idle when we were with you 8 nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. 9 We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow. 10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”

My Prayer:

Dear God,

Help us build on the foundation that Paul established, the simple church/participaory believer gathering, not the worldly church/levitical priesthood. Help us to ignore these leaders not planted by you (not called of God – those accepting pay). Keep us from following blind guides, from following men who seek disciples, from leaders that cut us off from Christ, from those who harbor jealousy and self ambition. Help us return to the true Priesthood of Believers! In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Glenn

My Story My Story My Story My Story My Story My Story My Story My Story My Story My  

Glenn Engle Story Glenn Engle Story Glenn Engle Story Glenn Engle Story Glenn Engle Story Glenn Engle Story Glenn Engle Story Glenn Engle Story Glenn Engle Story Glenn Engle Stor

Comment:

by Pastor Jon on Wed 30 Jul 2008 03:16 PM HST 

Well, Glenn I am trying to respond to your request by giving you some of my thoughts about your articles. Frankly speaking you are presenting so many sides and angles for consideration and it is very difficult for me respond because I cannot process too many thoughts at one time.
So I will try to respond to you picking each topic at a time as they come to my mind. I hope you don’t mind my style.
Overall I agree with what you are saying but they are areas in which I have differences in opinion with you. They are in the area of “trusting pastors”, “pastor pay”, “exposing the incorrect biblical teachings” and tithing.
To begin with they are no perfect pastor and everyone is on the way.. In the same token there isn’t any perfect church and every church is on the way. We, that includes you and me, are trying to move forward the best way we can according to the faith that are given to us by God.
Also I believe that God gives us motivations and dreams to different pastors, leaders and every believers to pursue the upward move toward perfection. We’re all somewhere in between the starting point and finishing point. When we see other pastors and leaders and believers doing things that are different from ours we respond in many ways, sometimes too judgmental, sometimes not really understanding God’s purpose in certain people’s life and etc. We need to really be careful when we criticize others.

As you know our teacher is the Holy Spirit and unless we are convicted by the Spirit it become really hard to learn from other people. When we see other people doing wrong things as we perceive, lot of times we step in the area of the Holy Spirit and we interfere with God. So over the years I’ve learned to leave it up to the Lord rather than trying to teach people myself. If people hear the Holy Spirit speaking to them, there is a greater chance of them receiving the truth.
When I deal with people I stay away from discussing the differences in doctrine unless it is a critical one. And even if I try to convince them by arguing my point they are not going get the truth unless they hear it from the Holy Spirit. Then, what do I do. My part as a believer and a pastor is to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and to flow with the person I am talking to so that we both can benefit from Him.

My approach to relating to the pastors of doctrinally difference is not to discuss about the differences but talk about what we have in common. Topics like “speaking in tongues” or “baptism in the Holy Spirit” are very important to me but I would stay away from these topics because I have to continue to have a working relationship with other pastor who have a different opinions about those things. I would wait until the Holy Spirit reveals to them or wait until God prepares us to talk about it. If these topics are really important and these pastors are really serious about the Lord they will be led to do this. I just trust the Lord.

Ok, can a church service be like a show. Absolute not, but we have to know that we all have a different perspective about what is right and what is wrong. When one person thinks it was very good and spiritual, another may perceive it as not spiritual and not good at all. I like all kinds of music including country music although I don’t listen to it all the time, there are lots of people who swears that they will never listen to them. I just love music mostly any music and I’m ready to appreciate any kind of music. I’m always able to find some thing good in any kind of music. In the same way, if someone is sharing the Word from their heart I can always find at least one good thing from anybody speaking. Now, when someone is trying to impress people or not speaking from their heart I wouldn’t get anything good. I think for too long we were trying to be the so called seeker sensitive church and we forgot that we should first the Holy Spirit sensitive church. Too many calculation in programming kills the flow of the Spirit. What we did so far with the New Hope kind of approach was good but we need to take that into another level. We need to change the wineskin into new one in order for us to receive the new wine.

Changing the topic. By the way, I am trying to respond to you without making it too difficult for me. I am not a writer who can organize my thoughts and present them. I am just an person that can speak at times as the Holy Spirit gives me things to share so I just write as I flow with Him. I hope this doesn’t come across as lazy to you. If I do the other way I would probably never be able to respond to you.

So, the new topic is “pastor pay”. The question is “Is it biblical or not”. I think there isn’t nothing wrong for the pastors to receive monetary support from the church. Now Paul chose not to because of His conviction but I don’t think he is saying or implying that it is wrong. One thing I can say is that whatever we do, when we do it against our faith or against what the Lord is instruction us to do then it becomes wrong. If the Lord is leading you to be an unpaid worker of the Lord then you need to be that and it all depends on what the Lord is telling that individual.
Same principle applies to tithing. Malachi teaches us to tithe but that’s in the Old Testament when keeping laws was the basis of following the Lord. In the New Testament time we are not bound to keeping those laws but we have a higher law, the two new commandment given to us by Jesus. Love God and love our neighbors. Roman’s chapter 8 discusses about this topic.

Jesus taught us the heart of the law that summarizes by those two commandments. In other words the true question is are you serving the Lord from your heart or are you giving to the Lord from your heart in faith or not. If it isn’t then it’s wrong. I think the biggest difference in the New and Old testament is here. When a church and a pastor try to bring an Old Testament law into the church and tries to impose on the people, that is a wrong approach because these should come from the heart and not forced. Now if that is true, are the things that God told us in the Old Testament become false or obsolete now? Somethings changed. For an example, like stoning someone to death for the sin of adultry. Jesus gave us the heart of this law by dealing with the people who tried to stone the woman who was caught in the act of unfaithfulness in the New Testament . Jesus taught us that no one has the right stone that woman. Because everybody is a sinner. The law here served as a tutor bible says. The law was put there to express God’s seriousness about the offense and also I think that God was making a point to say that we are all sinners. We are only saved by the grace of God. This area of grace is really we all need to learn from God. He is so merciful and we need to be merciful like Him.

Changing the subject again. New topic is hearing God.
I believe that God encourages all pastors to teach so that each believers can hear God on their own. But the question is if each believer can hear God why do we need pastors and teachers. Ephesian chapter 4 mentions the role of the pastors and the teachers. I better quote this one.
Eph. 4:11 “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,
Eph. 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;
Eph. 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ.” (New American Standard)
Here I think Paul is saying that there are different roles in the church that God specifically appoints to build up the body of Christ, and one of them is Pastor/Teacher which I believe I’m one of them. God uses these people to teach us and instruct us. We need them. I believe that there are some things that you can learn and get instruction directly from God but there are things that God chooses to use a person, a leader or a pastor maybe a prophet. The pastor/teachers are the grass root leaders of a group of believers God uses to teach, guide and unite as the Body of Christ. Now are the pastor and teachers greater or better than the rest, absolutely no. This is just a role like a husband is appointed a leader of a household by God, (another controversial topic by the way.) Should this be a paid role. I think it’s all up to the church. They will give whatever they want to give from their heart. The pastor should be content if the basic needs of life is met. If the basic needs of life isn’t met he needs to find another job, but I don’t think God operates this way. If God calls you to be a pastor He will meet your needs one way or another.

I better stop here it’s 2:30 am. I need to sleep.

Pastor Jon

 

Reply

Re: My Story

by Glenn on Wed 30 Jul 2008 03:47 PM HST | Permanent Link

Pastor Jon,,
Thanks for taking so much time and effort and responding so quickly. I know “My Story” article was kinda long – too much stuff to really digest all at one time. I’m truly greatful for your efforts to seek one mind. Thank You! Please don’t give up.

None of the pastors at my last church even bothered to respond, so be encouraged. I am truly sorry to hear that this kept you up til 2:30AM. I do not wish to be a burden to anyone, but I am seriously concerned for the ” harsher judgement” that church leaders carry. Pls pray about this – Perhaps we can just spend a few minutes every couple of days to give the Holy Spirit some time to work on us, to bring us to one mind, to seek the mind of Christ!

I just posted this article today. My prayer is that it can help bring us closer to agreement: Which Jesus Do You Follow?

http://thebigpictureministry.htohananet.com/blog/_archives/2008/7/28/3814240.htmlhttp://thebigpictureministry.htohananet.com/blog/_archives/2008/7/28/3814240.html

Let me try to insert some useful comments info in your email below (underlined)

—–Original Message—–
From: Jon
Subject: RE: My Story
Well, Glenn I am trying to respond to your request by giving you some of my thoughts about your articles. Frankly speaking you are presenting so many sides and angles for consideration and it is very difficult for me respond because I cannot process too many thoughts at one time.
So I will try to respond to you picking each topic at a time as they come to my mind. I hope you don’t mind my style.
Overall I agree with what you are saying but they are areas in which I have differences in opinion with you. They are in the area of “trusting pastors”, “pastor pay”, “exposing the incorrect biblical teachings” and tithing.

To begin with they are no perfect pastor and everyone is on the way.. In the same token there isn’t any perfect church and every church is on the way. We, that includes you and me, are trying to move forward the best way we can according to the faith that are given to us by God.
Also I believe that God gives us motivations and dreams to different pastors, leaders and every believers to pursue the upward move toward perfection. We’re all somewhere in between the starting point and finishing point. When we see other pastors and leaders and believers doing things that are different from ours we respond in many ways, sometimes too judgmental, sometimes not really understanding God’s purpose in certain people’s life and etc. We need to really be careful when we criticize others.

– I’m sorry that I’m still having trouble handling my anger. I know that I’m a poor example of God’s grace. Still, we can be sure that we stand on solid ground urging obedience to Commands of tbe Lord – The command to 2 or 3 prophet/teachers (never just one), the command for all to participate, the command to yield the floor to any with a revelation…

As you know our teacher is the Holy Spirit and unless we are convicted by the Spirit it become really hard to learn from other people. When we see other people doing wrong things as we perceive, lot of times we step in the area of the Holy Spirit and we interfere with God. So over the years I’ve learned to leave it up to the Lord rather than trying to teach people myself. If people hear the Holy Spirit speaking to them, there is a greater chance of them receiving the truth.
When I deal with people I stay away from discussing the differences in doctrine unless it is a critical one. And even if I try to convince them by arguing my point they are not going get the truth unless they hear it from the Holy Spirit. Then, what do I do. My part as a believer and a pastor is to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and to flow with the person I am talking to so that we both can benefit from Him.

– Agreed! Often, we need to leave time for the Holy Spirit to change the way we think. In my case it took a full year for me to see these (I think) truths about Pastor’s roles.

My approach to relating to the pastors of doctrinally difference is not to discuss about the differences but talk about what we have in common. Topics like “speaking in tongues” or “baptism in the Holy Spirit” are very important to me but I would stay away from these topics because I have to continue to have a working relationship with other pastor who have a different opinions about those things. I would wait until the Holy Spirit reveals to them or wait until God prepares us to talk about it. If these topics are really important and these pastors are really serious about the Lord they will be led to do this. I just trust the Lord.

Agreed! We should not fall into petty controversies. It’s only thru seeking and following the Holy Spirit that we have any hope of pleasing God.

Ok, can a church service be like a show. Absolute not, but we have to know that we all have a different perspective about what is right and what is wrong. (But we can’t ignore commands) When one person thinks it was very good and spiritual, another may perceive it as not spiritual and not good at all (It doesn’t matter one bit what any of us thinks, It matters what the Bible Says) . I like all kinds of music including country music although I don’t listen to it all the time, there are lots of people who swears that they will never listen to them. I just love music mostly any music and I’m ready to appreciate any kind of music. I’m always able to find some thing good in any kind of music. In the same way, if someone is sharing the Word from their heart I can always find at least one good thing from anybody speaking. Now, when someone is trying to impress people or not speaking from their heart I wouldn’t get anything good. I think for too long we were trying to be the so called seeker sensitive church and we forgot that we should first the Holy Spirit sensitive church. (AMEN) Too many calculation in programming kills the flow of the Spirit. What we did so far with the New Hope kind of approach was good but we need to take that into another level. We need to change the wineskin into new one in order for us to receive the new wine.

-My comment for “The New Hope Style” is – outreaches are outreaches, Sunday Services-Believer Gatherings are Believer Gatherings. They are not mutually exchangeable – one can not be substituted for the other.

Changing the topic. By the way, I am trying to respond to you without making it too difficult for me. I am not a writer who can organize my thoughts and present them. I am just an person that can speak at times as the Holy Spirit gives me things to share so I just write as I flow with Him. I hope this doesn’t come across as lazy to you. If I do the other way I would probably never be able to respond to you. (Truly greatful for your efforts – don’t worry about the details- a truly heroic effort)

So, the new topic is “pastor pay”. The question is “Is it biblical or not”. I think there isn’t nothing wrong for the pastors to receive monetary support from the church. Now Paul chose not to because of His conviction but I don’t think he is saying or implying that it is wrong. One thing I can say is that whatever we do, when we do it against our faith or against what the Lord is instruction us to do then it becomes wrong. If the Lord is leading you to be an unpaid worker of the Lord then you need to be that and it all depends on what the Lord is telling that individual.

Same principle applies to tithing. Malachi teaches us to tithe but that’s in the Old Testament when keeping laws was the basis of following the Lord. In the New Testament time we are not bound to keeping those laws but we have a higher law, the two new commandment given to us by Jesus. Love God and love our neighbors. Roman’s chapter 8 discusses about this topic.

-The Didache agrees with me. No teacher could ask for money for himself without being labelled a false teacher. But the Didache isn’t the real test. Can you really claim that you are building on the foundation that Paul established if you accept pay for preaching? I don’t think so! Take another look at 1 Cor 3;10-13 Because of God’s Grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder….
1 Cor 9;1 Follow my example , as I follow the example of Christ.
NLT 1 Cor 10;33 I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved. 11:1 And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.
Phil 3;17 Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you(YLT use us as a pattern).
NIV 2 Thess 3;7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example . We were not idle when we were with you 8 nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. 9 We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow. 10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”

Jesus taught us the heart of the law that summarizes by those two commandments. In other words the true question is are you serving the Lord from your heart or are you giving to the Lord from your heart in faith or not. If it isn’t then it’s wrong. I think the biggest difference in the New and Old testament is here. When a church and a pastor try to bring an Old Testament law into the church and tries to impose on the people, that is a wrong approach because these should come from the heart and not forced. Now if that is true, are the things that God told us in the Old Testament become false or obsolete now? Somethings changed. For an example, like stoning someone to death for the sin of adultry. Jesus gave us the heart of this law by dealing with the people who tried to stone the woman who was caught in the act of unfaithfulness in the New Testament . Jesus taught us that no one has the right stone that woman. Because everybody is a sinner. The law here served as a tutor bible says. The law was put there to express God’s seriousness about the offense and also I think that God was making a point to say that we are all sinners. We are only saved by the grace of God. This area of grace is really we all need to learn from God. He is so merciful and we need to be merciful like Him.

Changing the subject again. New topic is hearing God.
I believe that God encourages all pastors to teach so that each believers can hear God on their own. But the question is if each believer can hear God why do we need pastors and teachers. Ephesian chapter 4 mentions the role of the pastors and the teachers. I better quote this one.
Eph. 4:11 “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,
Eph. 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;
Eph. 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ.” (New American Standard)
Here I think Paul is saying that there are different roles in the church that God specifically appoints to build up the body of Christ, and one of them is Pastor/Teacher which I believe I’m one of them. God uses these people to teach us and instruct us. We need them. I believe that there are some things that you can learn and get instruction directly from God but there are things that God chooses to use a person, a leader or a pastor maybe a prophet. The pastor/teachers are the grass root leaders of a group of believers God uses to teach, guide and unite as the Body of Christ. Now are the pastor and teachers greater or better than the rest, absolutely no. This is just a role like a husband is appointed a leader of a household by God, (another controversial topic by the way.) Should this be a paid role. I think it’s all up to the church. -I need to pray and seek on this point.. They will give whatever they want to give from their heart. The pastor should be content if the basic needs of life is met. If the basic needs of life isn’t met he needs to find another job, but I don’t think God operates this way. If God calls you to be a pastor He will meet your needs one way or another . The example of Paul and continued thru the apostilic fathers is the tentmaker priest.

I better stop here it’s 2:30 am. I need to sleep.

Pastor Jon

 

Article List

Advertisements

About this entry