Bloggers and Church Authority

Out of Ur posted an interesting discussion from the Elephant Room that touched on non-pastor bloggers and authority in the church.

In the panel discussing the topic are a couple of my favorite pastors: Matt Chandler and Perry Noble. I have respect for their ministries primarily because they have respect for God’s word. Also present were David Platt and Mark Driscoll, both of whom are also solid (if Driscoll is annoying and rude sometimes, he comes from a long tradition of cranky, rude preachers I have known and even liked).

What intrigues me about this conversation is that several of these guys blog extensively, especially Perry Noble. I felt that the article tried to give the impression that these guys were attacking blogging. I don’t think that was the case. They were, however, expressing concern about bloggers who God has not placed in pastoral ministry who are challenging and attacking those He has.

This is a very real issue. While I have several online friends who are not pastors and blog on Christianity, I do not view them in the same way I do other pastors. Whether people want to accept it or not, the Scriptures are very plain that pastors are uniquely gifted among the church (Ephesians 4, 1 Peter 5). We should never take leadership cues from those God has not chosen, gifted and called.

It is simply too easy to sound authoritative when you have no biblical authority.

That might upset the online Christian community, but it is biblically true.

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2 thoughts on “Bloggers and Church Authority

  1. “Whether people want to accept it or not, the Scriptures are very plain that pastors are uniquely gifted among the church (Ephesians 4, 1 Peter 5). We should never take leadership cues from those God has not chosen, gifted and called.”

    Yes, but how is one to know whether a pastor is chosen, gifted and called? According to Barna research that I have read, many seminary graduates drop out of the ministry after several years for various reasons. Also it may be unknown to the congregation, but it many successful pastors (those that are able to earn a living from being a pastor) also struggle with the same sins as the congregation. Viewing pornography was mentioned in the research. Therefore, the success of a pastor may have more to due with personality and marketing than being chosen, gifted and called.

    • I am a bit unorthodox on my view of pastoring, I suppose; but I believe that those who are chosen, gifted and called are a much smaller group than those who graduate seminary. (I was already pastoring before I attended seminary and was a senior pastor before finishing my master’s degree.)

      The recognition of God’s calling does not lie with a seminary or even with an individual. It is an act of the Spirit, leading a congregation to ordain a man (or woman) – to literally recognize the Spirit’s gifting in that person in that congregation. If we placed this responsibility in the hands of God’s people rather than basing it on their GPA and ability to interview well, I think the issues the research addresses would be minimalized.

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