Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Baa Baa Splat

Where are the pastors?

In the Churches? Are those what you call "pastors"? Maybe a few count. Maybe a few, but not many.

There are Christians scattered about who know that what they need to hear each week is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There are pastors who get up each week and preach something else. Do they count as pastors? Do they feed the sheep? We're starving. We're wandering.

This is a problem. Christ came to be the shepherd of Israel. He said he would be with us. He fed multitudes. He called, and his sheep followed him. He said he would be with us always. Why are we starving? Where is the good shepherd now? When his sheep are starving, what is he doing about it?

I'm not talking about biblical illiteracy, as big a problem as it is. I'm talking about a failure where there are bibles. I'm talking about sermons where God's voice is peripheral to the message, if it is there at all. You have food in front of you, why won't you give any to us? Or are you starving to? Is Scripture inedible to our pastors as well? What has gone wrong? Where is the bread of life?

Remind me, who is God? Is he not able and willing, as he raised up prophets and judges before, to raise up more people to feed us? Where are they? If he is not able, then what has changed? If he is unwilling, then what is good about him? Surely he knows, surely he sees how we are starving for spiritual food? Where is the God who fed Elijah? Where is the God who fed his people with manna? Is not our spiritual hunger much more important than their physical hunger? If I must, I would give up all my physical food for the sake of spiritual food, even if it meant I would starve to death.

Where is the Church? That is where we are supposed to be fed, right? It is divided. Split in two: Protestants, Catholics; Calvinists, Arminians; High-church, Low-church; Young-earth, Old-earth; Paedobaptists, Credobaptists; Cessationists, Pentecostals; and on and on it goes. It does not--we do not--act like "one holy catholic Church." Are we competing with "Holy Roman Empire" for worst name or something?

Where is the shepherd leading us? Where is the Spirit leading us into all righteousness? What unity is there in the body? Do we even strive for unity? Do we even hear those who say that they are a part of the body? Do we even listen? There are Christians elsewhere, do we hear them? Do they count for us? You will live with them in heaven. We cannot just let them wander off on their own. It is important that we be the Church. Where is the Church seeking to follow Christ? Where are we going to one another with our disagreements and seeking to see how we can live as one Church? I have seen Arminians speak with such faith in God's sovereign goodness that it sounds like something a Calvinist would love to have said. Our doctrines may be varied, but we do all worship the same God. Can't we seek him together?

Because Christ said there would be one Church. He said that he would be with us. Where am I supposed to look to see that? Where is the Church of Christ? Why hasn't God kept his Church together and whole and under the guidance of his shepherds and fed from his Word? Has God failed? It looks like it. We better hope not. But how is this not God's failure?

This is the problem of evil as it applies to the existence (or not) of pastors and distinct denominations.

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