Spineless Pastors Afraid To Take A Stand
By Chuck Baldwin
I am constantly asked, “Chuck, why don’t pastors take a stand and speak out?” I’ve been a pastor most of my adult life. I believe I am qualified to answer that question. Here is the stark reality: the vast majority of pastors today are “success” oriented. Beginning in Bible College or seminary, and continuing throughout a pastor’s ministerial life, the emphasis is success. And that means church growth, larger congregations, bigger buildings, bigger offerings, burgeoning statistics, greater notoriety, denominational praise, invitations to speak at conferences, applause from fellow ministers, not to mention the financial perks and benefits that come with pastoring a “successful” church.
And the way to learn how to build a successful church is to learn from those who have done it. Pastors regularly attend church growth conferences to learn from the “big” church pastors on how it’s done. They purchase books, magazines, newsletters, etc., that are all geared towards telling pastors how to build a successful church. They are constantly being schooled in the latest and greatest “how to” strategies of church growth and success. This usually entails more and more sophisticated programs, music, sound, lighting, atmosphere, classes, seminars, organization, etc. Everything, and I mean everything, is geared toward success as described in the aforementioned paragraph.
Most pastors today are in reality not spiritual shepherds as much as they are corporate CEOs. The same mentality, philosophy, and strategy that drive corporate boardrooms also drive the boardrooms of modern churches–to a tee. Pastors act like CEOs, dress like CEOs, talk like CEOs, manage like CEOs, and think like CEOs.
Dare I say that even the way pastors and churches cater, and “reach out,” and “minister,” etc., has mostly to do with “good business.” Church members are babied and pacified and stroked and petted and fawned-over because it is “good business.” Today’s Christians are so spoiled and petted that any dereliction or lack of attention by a pastor, church, or staff usually results in them “moving their letter” down the street to a place that will more readily cater to their temperamental demands.
Have you not noticed how most pastors spiritualize away the great examples of Bible heroism and defiance against tyranny and despotism? Ask them point blank about Daniel and the lion’s den or the three Hebrew children in the burning fiery furnace or Queen Esther or scores and scores of other acts of defiance lauded in Holy Writ and they will say, “That was another time.” Or, they might say, “This shows God’s great deliverance and protection.” But the overriding principle that drove the great heroes of the faith to challenge and defy evil government is never even acknowledged, much less addressed.