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In recent years there have been several news features on the phenomenon of pastors who do not believe. The report has essentially been that, in anonymous surveys, some pastors admit to being atheis...
Pastors who "don't believe" I wish I could see the rest of this question to see just what it is these pastors "do not believe". Rather than make an assumption, I want to speak on behalf of pastors. Few roles/callings in life embody more stress than the office of Elder, Bishop, Presbytery. In the beginning it is somewhat like natural childbirth. You just think you can take the pain. But before you know it, you are crying out to God to give this job to "anyone else but me". Now---that paragraph was for the pastors who no longer believe being a caregiver, teacher, mentor, and leader to a bunch of stubborn sheep is as easy as was the desire to get into the role. Seminary--Greek and Hebrew are a cinch compared to prickly politics and challenging personalities in church life. I haven't met the person Michael speaks of. I suppose there is a person in the role as leader of a congregation who got in on his own and tries to make it on his own and as a result, lives alone. He will not remain a leader long without the approval of God. The reasons God places any of us as leaders in the local church include benefits of maturity to the above stubborn sheep. This means that the leaders must themselves be good sheep before they can lead sheep as a shepherd. As such, we remain both sheep and shepherd for all of our lives. If I stop believing in my calling because it is hard, God is much bigger than my fear of conflict and hard work. If I cease to believe in my faith--I renounce my faith--I walk away from the God of the scriptures, and I tire of "leading" the church. God is bigger than my retrograde of purpose. If I came to be his child through faith in Christ, this I remain, no matter my state of mind and crisis of belief. If I never was born again, this too God will care for, and I certainly have no business pretending to lead believers to a God I have yet to meet. Most pastors I know who do not believe---this is a good thing. They no longer believe that shepherding the local church is something they can do without God's calling and purpose for their life. That they want to quit--that they no longer believe they are qualified or capable is a wonderful thing. Hopefully every church will get someone just like this guy. If God's hand is on him, He will demonstrate His strength through this man's own weaknesses. If he called himself to the task, he will eventually move on to his proper station and work in life. With all of this, be certain that in the end times, we will have Godless churches who must call for themselves Godless leaders. These are really no church at all; simply rooms of social and psychological pep talk. (II Timothy 4:3-4) "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; KJV "They will turn from the truth and eagerly listen to senseless stories." CEV But these are not pastors, merely motivational speakers who manipulate both scripture and hearer to their scheming. Big money is usually present and if it is not, the schemer and his crowd die off. Both listener and speaker are married and mutually supportive. God will reveal them for their true identity. We take God's advice in (II Timothy 4:5) "But you must stay calm and be willing to suffer. You must work hard to tell the good news and to do your job well." Blessings and remember to pray for your Elders/Pastors. Show some love!
The question is: "Why are there some pastors who do not believe?" First if a 'pastor" doesn't believe they are not really a minister of the lord Jesus. I am sure there are some such pastor's who think they are still providing a good work to people even if they don't personally believe. However, if they pass themselves off as ministers of the lord Jesus they are being hypocrites and will come under the judgement of God for what they do. There are many who graduate from seminary and don't believe that Jesus was resurrected... and yet go into the "ministry" amazing hypocracy.
I agree with Michael, but would like to add a few things as a believer and down to earth observations. 1. Some pastors get to be pastors for it is a clean job, you use your brain and not your physical work. 2. You meet a lot of people as a pastor. I don't know the mentality of some (as the Catholic and some Protestant churches have done) they prey on boys and women. There will always be rotten apples in the barrel. 3. Some use their position to hide their short comings like secret sins that they cannot control. God is in control and all sins will be uncovered. Most pastors are called by God, and they Shepard their flocks as God intended and are blessed by Him. It is just like the Parable of the seeds. Some will fall on the rocks and the Sun will burn them, some will fall on stony ground and will wither, and some will fall on fertile ground and will flourish for the Kingdom of God. The good thing is that Spiritual Christians will know the difference and the bad seed will be weeded out. The most important thing is that God is in control.
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