Dear Pastor Whoever….
We both know there is “one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.” But do you realize there is “one Mediator” between Christ and christian, none other than the Holy Spirit? As Jesus was a Sent-One (“the Father sent Me”) so the Holy Spirit is a Sent-One (“the Helper…. whom I shall send to you”). Jesus wants to direct our lives through the Holy Spirit. (“He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak.”) But, sadly, it usually doesn’t work that way. The Holy Spirit has been supplanted by a salaried Pastor Whoever.
Christians call you “Pastor” because they consider you their pastor. Why else would they call you that? And you allow (invite? coerce?)them to call you “Pastor” because that’s what you consider yourself to be. But you’re not! How can a sheep have two shepherds, Jesus and you? Many times you and Lord Jesus, spiritually speaking, take different paths, He the superior path and you an inferior. How can a christian follow both?
You are, at best, an under-shepherd. Not the congregation’s under-shepherd, but Christ’s under-shepherd. Occasionally Lord Jesus shepherds his sheep through you, just as he does, occasionally,through the apostle, prophet, evangelist and teacher. Just as He does,occasionally, through elders. Just as He does through whoever. More accurately, Lord Jesus shepherds His sheep through the Holy Spirit who in turn shepherds through you (and others). That in noway makes you the christian’s pastor (shepherd). You are Christ’s under-shepherd, just as the teacher is Christ’s under-teacher, a teacher under Christ. (“Do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ.”). If you insist on a title, refer to yourself as“Under-pastor Whoever”.
The most detrimental thing you can do is convince (coerce, allow) others to follow you. What can be more damaging to the Christ-christian relationship than that?
Most respectfully, Larry Jones