Of Mohawks and Ministers
Recently I stumbled upon a great blog site called “The Gordian Knot,” featuring Reformed pastor and blogger Christopher Gordon. (I found Pastor Gordon’s blog site through Dr. R. Scott Clark’s “Heidelblog”site, where Rev. Gordon’s site was listed as a link.) Excellent, substantive food for thought which I highly recommend! In a blog article entitled “Of Mohawks and Ministers: What is a Pastor Anymore?”, Pastor Gordon explains how to tell the difference between a “pastor” who has a genuine call from God and one who does not, and he highlights the spiritual dangers posed to God’s people by “pastors” lacking the Divine call and “churches” lacking the marks of a true church (namely, the Word faithfully preached, the Sacraments rightly administered, and discipline faithfully exercised).
You can find the link to Pastor Gordon’s article here: http://www.christopherjgordon.blogspot.com/2011/10/of-mohawks-ministers-what-is-pastor.html
Some comments I offered on his post:
Anon: “I was just wondering….does anybody know where Jesus got his masters of divinity degree from? I couldn’t find the name of the institution anywhere in scripture. I didn’t see the copy of his degree anywhere in there either. Hmmm.”
GLW: Jesus didn’t need a Masters of Divinity degree, because He is the Master and He is Divine. Obviously the same cannot be said of us. Scripture commands that potential church officers be tested (see qualifications for office as listed in Pastoral Epistles; for example, 1 Tim. 3:10). The apostles did not receive an M.Div., but they received extensive ministerial training in the school of Christ; and while the apostle Paul did not have the privilege of following Christ during His earthly ministry, he was very well educated in the Scriptures even prior to his conversion. Requiring pastoral candidates to have a seminary education (or its equivalent), and requiring that they be tested by other pastors and elders, is a way of seeking to fulfill the biblical requirement to guard Christ’s sheep from wolves in sheep’s clothing. Untrained, unaccountable, self-appointed “pastors” (especially those of the celebrity hipster variety) have done much to damage the cause of Christ and His kingdom.
GLW: Many “pastors” today lack authentic ministerial gravitas. Obviously a man’s faithfulness to the Word and heart for God are more important than how he dresses, but outward dress and demeanor very often reflect the state of one’s heart and one’s level of maturity (or lack thereof). Pastor Gordon’s point that a Minister ought to dress in a manner that befits the dignity of his calling and office is absolutely spot on. We are way too casual today in the church. Think about it: Do we really expect unbelievers to take the Word of God seriously when it is delivered (for example) by a middle age dude with receding hairline and bulging love handles who is covered with tatoos, wearing ripped jeans, casual button down shirt (chest hair exposed) and flip flops, and obviously trying desperately to be “cool/hip”? Do we really expect believers to tremble at the Word when their “pastor” is uber-casual and laid back in the way he preaches the Word (even if he actually does preach the Word, rather than simply give a motivational speech sprinkled with a few Bible verses and under the guise of a “sermon”)?