Search for pastor over at First Baptist Dallas


#1

A window into the travails of a leading Protestant ecclessial community, the “Vatican of the Southern Baptist Convention.”

dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/DN-firstbaptist_15met.ART.North.Edition1.43571d1.html

Excerpt#1
*[T]he candidate will preach at First Baptist Dallas “in view of a call.” *
Church members will then vote on whether to call him as pastor.

Reasons from this excerpt to give thanks for the Catholic heirarchy.

  1. Pastors don’t have to give free trial sermons to satisfy the “itching ears” of their congregations:

“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” (2 Tim 4:3).

  1. The Catholic Church in America is not subject to the American-style restless ambition of pastors who seem always to be on the lookout to win the next prize position.

Excerpt #2

But during [a previous pastor’s]* latter years, the church struggled to keep people coming back downtown from the suburbs, where other mega-churches sprung up, boasting gyms, coffee shops, bookstores and Christian schools.*

Similarities to the Catholic Church

  1. Difficulty in maintaining historical urban congregations, as can be seen from the closing of urban Catholic parishes in recent years.

  2. Loss of people for whom feel-good entertainment is more important than doctrine.


#2

So what is the purpose of your thread?


#3

I thought it would be informative for Catholics who never knew how Protestant congregations obtained pastors. Also wanted to point out the similarities and differences in what the Protestant and Catholic urban congregations are facing

The context of the quote from Timothy was a little strong, but I think that the verse itself does apply: the congregation only would accept a pastor who taught what they believed (who could blame them?). Yet, from the Catholic standpoint, although much of what they believe is “sound doctrine,” some is not. Therefore, they continue on without anyone preaching to them the fullness of truth.

It seems to me to be a direct fulfillment of the Apostle’s prophesy.


#4

Thank you for clearing that up.:thumbsup:


#5

Well I think you are taking a few liberties with your interpretation of the process. You are assuming that the congreagtion is going to vote for “what they want to hear” as opposed to which pastor teaches sound doctrine. Believe it or not but many conservative protestants desire pastors who will challenge them, keep them accountable and grow them in the faith, not just preach platitudes at them. Also the same argument can be taken towards the Catholic Church. From what I have read here there are many Catholics who believe that liberal priests, bishops, college presidents and other authority figures are not teaching or defending the Catholic faith to an acceptable degree. (Just check out the Catholic news folder, lots of stories about high up Catholic officials tolerating or closing there eyes towards homosexuality). Perhaps some of those officials would be out of a job if those under them had a say in the matter. Personally I think that a combination of accountability to the congregation AND higher church authority (like the PCA has) is one of the best ways to go.


#6

I thought it would be informative for Catholics who never knew how Protestant congregations obtained pastors.

Not ALL Protestants.

United Methodists are appointed to parishes by bishops just as RC priests are.


#7

They may be appointed but there is politics involved. I know of a small Methodist church in Baltimore MD that has not had a steady pastor for years. They are very small, although they are over 100 years old and at one time was much larger. Because they cannot afford to pay a lot for their pastor they get seminary students. Once they become ordained they are sent to large parishes, probably because they pay better. They had one ordained pastor for 2 years but that ended shortly after she started letting her girlfriend live in the “rectory” (not sure what they call it) with her. Yes, they found out the hard way she is homosexual. They had to petition the Methodist hierarchy to get her replaced.

Anyway, you can’t tell me they are placing the best minister for that church, only the most desperate ones that need experience before they are accepted into the larger methodist parishes. Recently, they had a “minister” who wasn’t even in seminary, he was trying to earn enough money to go. Although he was a very passionate person, he had no training to be the head of the church.

THis is better than the Catholic method, or even the other protestant churches who shop for a minister?


#8

That is not the norm for the Methodist church. I have a friend who is a Methodist pastor. He went to seminary and was ordained. There is a Methodist church in my neighbourhood that does not have a regular pastor because the parish is very small, but they have a pastor who is there part-time (the pastor also is full-time at another parish). It is similar to the Catholic parishes that have one priest going to more than one parish.


#9

And you honestly think there are no politics involved in the Catholic Church regarding the appointment of priests? How long HAVE you been Catholic?!?

Oh my… Ho ho… :rotfl:


#10

I’m glad that you brought that up, because the same thought entered my mind. The doctrinal reliability of a Catholic pastor should be formed by the seminary who trained him and overseen by the bishop. In recent years, too often both the training and the oversight have been lacking.

Yes, some would be out of a job–and it would be the wishes on many in this forum, as you note above. Yet, an election implies that the authority to pastor comes from the people, and that’s not the constant historical record, nor–except for deacons (cf Acts 6:3) is it the Biblical model for overseers and presbyters (cf 1 Tim 1, Ti 1:5).


#11

Excerpt#1

  1. As was stated quite well by Vincent1560 whomever the new pastor is, isn’t going to preach what the congregation “wants” to hear but rather he’s going to preach how God leads him and most likely how God has lead him in the past to preach. So as to allow the possible future congregation an oppurtunity to make sure his message is sound and his teachings are inline with their doctrine.

  2. Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church of Wichita Falls. Seems to be the name to take this new opening.
    You stated: “restless ambition of pastors who seem always to be on the lookout to win the next prize position.”

Well Pastor Jeffress has been at 1st Baptist of Wichita Falls for 15 years I don’t think it has been to idea to move to claim a “prize position” if that was the case he would have long ago moved on. First Baptist Church of Wichita Falls has 9,500 members a brand new sanctuary and a thriving ministry. I’d like to think pastoring there is a “prize position”. First Baptist Dallas isn’t head and shoulders larger than FBCWF with it’s 10,400 members. So maybe the move is based off where God may be leading whomever the new pastor is.


#12

Church members will then vote on whether to call him as pastor.

Reasons from this excerpt to give thanks for the Catholic heirarchy.

  1. Pastors don’t have to give free trial sermons to satisfy the “itching ears” of their congregations:

“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” (2 Tim 4:3).

  1. The Catholic Church in America is not subject to the American-style restless ambition of pastors who seem always to be on the lookout to win the next prize position.

Excerpt #2

But during [a previous pastor’s]* latter years, the church struggled to keep people coming back downtown from the suburbs, where other mega-churches sprung up, boasting gyms, coffee shops, bookstores and Christian schools.*

Similarities to the Catholic Church

  1. Difficulty in maintaining historical urban congregations, as can be seen from the closing of urban Catholic parishes in recent years.

  2. Loss of people for whom feel-good entertainment is more important than doctrine.

Did you every hear a Baptist preacher. I have and they dont preach to itching ears they preach hard if you dont feel convicted
you dont have a pulse.

I think a itching ear preacher is someone like Joel Osteen.


#13

So then, you’re saying it’s bad thing for church members to know whether or not a pastoral candidate can preach or not? Given that that’s one of the main duties of pastor, I would think that’s pretty important.

  1. The Catholic Church in America is not subject to the American-style restless ambition of pastors who seem always to be on the lookout to win the next prize position.

So, what should we do when a pastor dies, or is called away or is unable to fulfil his duties for whatever reason?


#14

The bishop assigns another pastor.


#15

And that’s one of the problems I have with Roman Catholicism.

I was brought up in the UMC and we had a similar system. Pastors were forced upon congregations and so it was hard to maintain the character of a church from one pastor to the next.

They might send you a pastor who is doctrinally correct, or they might send you one who’s way out in left field. And if that’s the one they send you, then that’s just too bad. It’s up to you to find a new church.

Under our system of church government, we can examine the pastor and his doctrine and see if they line up with scripture. If they do, then we can choose him for our pastor.

If not, then we don’t have to be saddled with a false teacher.


#16

What happens if the majority of people in your congregation do not have doctrinally correct beliefs, even if the potential pastor does? Can the church reject a doctrinally sound pastor if its members have false beliefs?


#17

It’s not impossible, but given the very high level of accountability and oversight, it’s extremely unlikely.


#18

And you cant discount the long term affects of any compromise. For example…

The church settles on a nice young charismatic pastor. He’s not exactly in line with the congregation on every issue, but he is there for 95% of it, so they feel confident he is teaching the truth…except for the 5%.

20 years later, the elders of the church have all gone on to their great reward and the former children of the church are now adults and they are in charge. They think their current pastor [Rev. 95%] is always 100% correct in his teachings (why wouldn’t they?) but he is getting older and looking to retire. They find a nice, young, charismatic pastor who they agree with on 90% of the issues of the faith, so they feel comfortable that he is teaching the truth…except for the 10%.

Do this for 3 or 4 generations and you can begin to see its affects on doctrine.

Not that I would know, being cradle catholic and all. I could be totally off base.


#19

I think that’s spot on, actually. At least here in the South that applies very much.

I’ve noticed that the more Fundamentalist-types and Evangelicals, and other Protestants too, are more concerned with what the minister of that church can bring them and how he can make them feel good, as opposed to what they can do to please God. Not all denoms., mind you, but to me it appears to be a growing trend.

Pace e Bene
Andrew


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