Hebrews 5: 13-14: "Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14Â But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil." (NIV)
When the author of Hebrews was penning down the above words, I am not too sure if he meant preachers of the gospels or pastors. I believe that he would have assumed that they ought to know the Word of God firmly and fiercely in order to get into the pulpit. However, this remains a tragedy in most of the churches and we find many pastors who drink milk and force others to keep drinking milk every Sunday.
Here are five ways you could test if your pastor does not know the Word of God theologically.
- No order in preaching: I remember going to a church where the pastor preached on random subjects every week and did not have a sequence of what was left on the previous week. I understand when the preacher decides to preach topically, but that will do good only for a brief period. Reformed theologians always preaches to their church sequentially. When the pastor has no order, you should understand that he does not really believe in maturing in the Word of God.
- Not biblically trained: Indian preachers have the stigma that going to a Bible college is equivalent to heresy. I heard one pastor mention, "Brother, the Holy Spirit is our teacher and no one else." While this is undeniably true, you got to understand that every ordained man of God must be trained in the Word of God. There are however, some pastors who cannot afford to study them in a Bible college, here we should then test to check if they study the Word in their private time and read other theological books as well.
- Focus on Prosperity: While I have another topic on prosperity, I want to briefly mention it here. When your pastor is keen to talk about prosperity on every topic possible, you must know that your pastor is not aware of other verses that are present to be preached. This is becoming a great problem in India as many of the large denomination churches are highly bent on talking about prosperity.
- Taking things personally: You know it when your pastor is talking about someone and venting out his anger on a personal crime that went bad on the back stage. When your pastor begins to spell out his fury about someone, you should know that this does not come from the Holy Spirit but merely his mortal spirit. There are at times of admonishment that the church should take (c.f. 2 Thessalonians 3:15), however, this is done in situations where the elders are aware of it and approves them.
- Members are Immature: This is probably the most important test to check if your pastor is immature. When your congregation is not growing in the Lord theologically, you should understand that there is something wrong on the person from the pulpit. A mature pastor will lead his congregation to maturity.
What do you think should be tested apart from this? Let us know…