chook7And so it continues. More poor doctrine from ‘team’ chookwatcher.

This time they are claiming that you have to be a pastor to preach in a pulpit. I’m not kidding. These are their own words. See for yourself:

‘You cannot preach in a pulpit unless you are a qualified pastor.’ 

I’d like them to show scripture and verse for that one.

These are people who think they know enough about Biblical doctrine to be able to tell genuine leaders of large movements how to conduct their ministries. In fact, muc of what the chookwatchers say is based on opinion.

The truth is that the chookwatchers don’t know the first thing about how churches are run, operate or grow. So is it true that a person cannot preach in a pulpit unless they are a qualified pastor? Let’s turn to scripture for the answer.

What does the Word say?

I entered the word ‘pulpit’ into my Bible Study search facility, and guess what, it couldn’t find anything about pulpits. There’s no scripture on pulpits at all, it seems.

The nearest reference would be when Jesus stood up in the synagogue and read Isaiah to the congregation, but He wasn’t recognised as their pastor, but as a rabbi, or teacher.

In fact, did you know that the word ‘pastor’ only comes up once in the AV – at Jeremiah 17:16, and never in the NKJV? The plural ‘pastors’ comes up in the AV just eight times, and only once in the New Testament, at Ephesians 4:11, where it says nothing about pastors in pulpits, of course.

All seven of the Old Testament references have negative connotations, and not one mentions anything about a rule regarding pastors being the only ones who can preach from  a pulpit.

So what of the single NT reference to pastors? What is the context?

Ephesians 4:11-16 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ — from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

So Paul mentions five ministry gifts that are authorised to lead the Church – apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.

Others are ordained to preach and teach

The cessationists, of course, declare that these ministries have all gone except the pastors and teachers, and maybe the evangelists. But no apostles or prophets. They have no scripture for this, but they claim it anyway.

But what do these ministry gifts do? They equip the saints for the work of the ministry. They train and instruct the believers in how to minister the gospel.

The thing is, regardless of who the chookwatchers might think do the leading and training, even if they erroneously leave out apostles and prophets, there are now three of those ministry gifts who are authorised by Christ to train and equip the saints for the work of the ministry, that is, preaching the gospel.

Does this include preaching, do you think? Let’s say, for the purposes of clarification, that a pulpit is defined abstractly as a position of responsibility and authority in the local church.

The dictionary defines it as an enclosed platform in a church or chapel from which the preacher delivers a sermon. Well, of course, that isn’t the only place a person might deliver a sermon, or preach a message, or herald the gospel.

The pulpit is where the people are

Jesus is known to have stood on hillsides, and on the back of boats, even out on the streets when He delivered His teaching. Sometimes He taught His disciples privately under the stars, or in a field, or in a house, or under a tree. The truth is that a message can be delivered from any position. Having a soapbox isn’t necessary to a good message.

And what of Philip the Evangelist. Clearly he wasn’t a pastor. Yet he preached to thousands and they were saved. He also preached to one person – the Ethiopian eunuch who was converted and took the message to his own homeland. Apparently this eunuch was not ordained as a pastor, either.

And what about the woman at the well who was addressed by Jesus? She was so taken by the words of the Saviour and her life so radically changed that it is said that she took the message to her hometown and preached everywhere that she had met the Messiah. Was she ordained as a pastor? Did she have a raised pulpit?

And the Gaderine demoniac, after he had been set free by Jesus, did he have a raised pulpit, or was he ordained as a pastor when he went to all the towns round about and told them how Jesus had released him from a legion of demons?

Mark 5:18-20 He [Jesus] having entered into the boat, the former demoniac begged Him, that he be with Him. But Jesus did not allow him, but said to him, Go to your house, to your own, and report to them what the Lord has done to you and had mercy on you. And he went and began to proclaim in Decapolis what Jesus did to him. And all marvelled.

There are many others who met Jesus and had their lives changed who went and told their friends and relatives what He had done for them.

All believers are called to preach

The truth is that we, the blood-washed saints of God, are all called to preach, because we all have the Word and the Spirit, and we all have a testimony of how Jesus has radically changed our lives, and we are chosen and sent to the lost world, and our pulpit is anywhere there are people who need to be saved.

The chookwatchers are so keen to manufacture untruths about people and movements that they have now lost sight of what scripture actually says. Their meme and narrative has overtaken reality in their own world.

In an attempt to show that a fallen minster is still a pastor because he was allowed to speak at a meeting they force themselves to contrive poor doctrine to back up their error and resist the information people give them to help them correct their misrepresentation of truth and facts.

The chookwatchers are not to be trusted with doctrine.

Stick with the Word of truth.