Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Don't Worship Your Pastor!

Don’t Worship Me!

Acts 14:15 Men why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God.

Bishop Eddie long apologized for allowing Ralph Messer, a self described rabbi to lift him up in a chair, parade him around in the pulpit, and proclaim him a King as the congregation cheered on the embattled Bishop. In a letter to the Anti-Defamation League, Bishop Long wrote, “I sincerely denounce any action that depicts me as a king for I am merely just a servant of the Lord.”

This was disturbing on many fronts especially in lieu of recent allegations of sexual impropriety. I’m glad that Bishop Long denounced any suggestion that he should be lifted up as a King. Our job as Pastors and preachers is to lift up Jesus and not be lifted up ourselves. We are servants of the most high God. We get messed up when the people lift us higher than Jesus, who is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

There is a way to honor your pastors without worshipping them. Paul said that, “the elders who direct the affairs of the church, well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. “ (I Timothy 5:17 NIV) Honor is not Worship. Paul had made this clear when the people tried to Worship him after a miracle.

The Apostle Paul and Barnabas healed a man who had been crippled from birth. The people mistook them for gods and started worshipping them as Zeus and Hermes. Paul stopped them immediately and asked:

1. Why are you doing this? We need to stop and ask ourselves why do we put men where only God is supposed to be. Many people put too much faith in men when they have not developed their own faith in the true and living God. You should honor your man or woman of God without worshipping them.

2. We are only human like you. Paul reminded them that the miracle that they saw was from God not them. What makes a miracle a miracle is that God did it through a human. Do not attribute the power of God to the ability of the men and women that God uses.

3. Our job as pastors is to bring you good news. We are clay pots with a great treasure inside. You shouldn’t kill the messenger because of the message and you should worship the messenger because of the message. The message is about God and from God.

4. Our job is to turn you from idolatry (worthless things) to true worship.
After Paul had set the people straight on not worshipping him, the Jews provoked the people into stoning Paul. They hit him with rocks until they thought he was dead. They drug him out of the city and left him for dead. The disciples gathered around Paul and started praying. Paul was revived and went back into the city to preach. We should gather around wounded leaders to pray for them but never to worship them.

Dear God,

Strengthen your servants. We’ve taken many hits, some self-inflicted and others through persecution. In any case, we need your help and the help of other disciples to be revived. Father, we have sinned against you and you alone. We are no longer worthy to be called your sons but if you would make us as one of your hired servants, we will come back home and serve you as your slaves. You deserve all of the Glory. Today, I choose to lift up Jesus. Hide me behind Calvary’s cross that others would see Jesus and not me.

In Jesus Name,


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