Archive for the ‘pastors’ Category

Faithful pastors encourage the timid

November 24, 2012

Beware of any church or ministry that does not have time for the timid. If church leaders are interested only in goig for the able, the elite, the storm troopers as it were, then we have lost one of the great strands of New Testament Christianity.

David Jackman, The Authentic Church, Christian Focus, 1998, p.165

Advertisements

he is the Redeemer’s enemy who through the good works which he does covets being loved by the Church instead of Him

April 26, 2010

(The ‘ruler’ could be translated ‘pastor’)

Meanwhile it is also necessary for the ruler to keep wary watch, lest the lust of pleasing men assail him; lest, when he studiously penetrates the things that are within, and providently supplies the things that are without, he seek to be beloved of those that are under him more than truth; lest, while, supported by his good deeds, he seems not to belong to the world, self-love estrange him from his Maker. For he is the Redeemer’s enemy who through the good works which he does covets being loved by the Church instead of Him; since a servant whom the bridegroom has sent with gifts to the bride is guilty of treacherous thought if he desires to please the eyes of the bride. And in truth this self-love, when it has got possession of a ruler’s mind, sometimes carries it away inordinately to softness, but sometimes to roughness. For from love of himself the ruler’s mind is inclined to softness, because, when he observes those that are under him sinning, he does not presume to reprove them, lest their affection for himself should grow dull; nay sometimes he smooths down with flatteries the offence of his subordinates which he ought to have rebuked. Hence it is well said through the prophet, Woe unto them that sew cushions under every elbow, and make pillows under the head of every stature to catch souls (Ezek. xiii. 18); inasmuch as to put cushions under every elbow is to cherish with bland flatteries souls that are falling from their uprightness and reclining themselves in this world’s enjoyment. For it is as though the elbow of a recumbent person rested on a cushion and his head on pillows, when the hardness of reproof is withdrawn from one who sins, and when the softness of favour is offered to him, that he may lie softly in error, while no roughness of contradiction troubles him.

Gregory the Great

source

If our words be not sharpened

September 19, 2009

it is no easy matter to speak so plainly, that the most ignorant may understand us; and so seriously that the deadest hearts may feel us; and so convincingly, that the contradicting cavillers* may be silenced. The weight of our matter condemneth coldness and sleepy dullness. We should see that we be well awakened ourselves, and our spirits in such a plight as may make us fit to awaken others. If our words be not sharpened, and pierce not as nails, they will hardly be felt by stony hearts. To speak slightly and coldly of heavenly things is nearly as bad as to say nothing of them at all.

Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor, p. 117

* cavilla, Latin, ‘mockery’; cavil, a petty objection.

…he preacheth not heartily for his people, that prayeth not earnestly for them

ibid., p.122


Works of charity do most powerfully remove prejudice

September 16, 2009

Experience hath fully proved that works of charity do most powerfully remove prejudice, and open the heart to words of piety. If men see that you are addicted to do good, they will the more easily believe that you are good, and that it is good which you persuade them to. When they see that you love them, and seek their good, they will the more easily trust you.

Richard Baxter, Reformed Pastor, p.152

The charge of a pastor requireth personal dealing

September 13, 2009

I have found by experience, that some ignorant persons, who have been so long unprofitable hearers, have got more knowledge and remorse in half an hour’s close discourse, than they did from ten years’ public preaching. I know that preaching the gospel publicly is the most excellent means, because we speak to many at once. But it is usually far more effectual to preach it privately to a particular sinner…

If physicians should only read a public lecture on physic, their patients would not be much the better of them; nor would a lawyer secure your estate by reading a lecture on law. Now, the charge of a pastor requireth personal dealing, as well as any of these.

Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor, Banner, p.186, 179

Bad pastors are the cause of unbelief, heresy and disorder

September 12, 2009

When the powerful Pope Innocent ordered Grosseteste to make his infant nephew a canon of Lincoln cathedral, Grosseteste flatly refused, with words which ring today in every church:

After the sin of Lucifer there is none more opposed to the gospel than that which ruins souls by giving them a faithless minister. Bad pastors are the cause of unbelief, heresy and disorder.

source