By Reverend Paul N. Papas II
September 1, 2020
Since there have been Preachers, there have been local leaders. Those called to be Preachers know the hours are long and the pay is short and is not the reason for becoming a Preacher. Often times Preachers don’t get to enjoy their days off. Some laugh at the idea of a day off.
The COVID-19 virus has given certain officials an excuse to order churches to shut down or not gather and/or not to sing. Some churches argue that they must give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and must shut down. Then there are a few, like John MacArthur, who believes that Preachers are called to preach the Gospel to all the world. They believe that they should obey God before man. I see no written exceptions in the Bible or in history for preaching the Gospel to the world.
If anything, I see that history shows that when times are tough, people need a message of hope delivered by Preachers. During many periods of our history, it was the church which provided community support and it was the church which was the source of information.
The British targeted Preachers, who they called the Black Robe Regiment, during the Revolutionary War to censor the message of Liberty and Freedom.
Over the years, just as today, there are hirelings occupying the position of the Preacher, ready to accommodate Caesar. (1). A true Preacher is a servant of the flock, and a servant leader who is ready to rescue the one in his flock who has needs or goes astray.
The community today may appear be to partially isolated and we’re not, just the opposite: we’re bound in Jesus. “If one member suffers, all the members suffer” (v. 26 nasb). As believers in Jesus, members of God’s family, we move toward one another into the pain and into the sorrow and into those murky places where we would fear to go alone. Thankfully we do not go alone. Preachers are needed now more than ever to help heal the body, and the community, and the country. Hirelings won’t do. They will run in the face of difficulty. The Gospel supports Law and Order and rebukes chaos. The Gospel teaches that the devil is the author of chaos.
Chaos relies on fear, anxiety, and corruption to control and intimidate people.
No matter what your trouble is, your helps comes from above. The peace that surpasses all understanding comes from above.
Conflict is part of life on earth. Peaceful resolutions come from above. Peacefully resolving conflicts is preferred by most parties.
Unfortunately there are those who have no interest in peaceful resolutions and, in which case, disengagement is warranted and third party assistance may be required. At times self defense may be required.
Let’s all try to be true servant leaders finding peaceful resolutions wherever possible.
Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) www.narrowpathministries.org and www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org
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