Tuesday, March 10, 2009

This Bugs Me

I was reading over at Pyromaniacs today about the discussion surrounding Phil Johnson's talk at the Shepherd's Conference. While I don't have any huge issues with what Phil had to say in that post, I have not heard his presentation from the conference yet so I won't comment.

However, in the meta following that post there was a comment that really bugged me.

Everyday Mommy posted this:

"If you are a pastor, you'd better make the time to counsel dozens and dozens. It's your job."

I realize this is a common though today. But, is the pastor's job ultimately to counsel dozens and dozens? I can think of the pastor being exhorted to preach the word, but I cannot think of the pastor being exhorted to counsel dozens and dozens. The pastor's primary task is to preach. With that comes prayer. While aiding people with his good counsel is a part of his task, it is not something that should be done when the issues could be much more effectively dealt with in a sermon.

The issue under discussion there was sexuality, and I do believe that since the Bible deals with it, pastors not only should, but must deal with that Christian sexuality looks like, its bounds and directly deal with the issues that arrise when we realize that Jesus is Lord of sex as he is Lord of all, especially when we live in a culture that denies anyone can make demands on their sexual activities. How that is done in the preaching of the word is important, but it should be done there because if one depends on dealing with it only one on one it means first of all many people who are secretly struggling with sexual sin will not have that dealt with because they are keeping it secret. Second it means that instead of having the pastor completely bogged down in doing nothing but one on one counselling as sexual sin is pervasive in all age groups today, he can deal with those who are most in need of counselling while also addressing the others who may not be. Last of all, it is a testimony to a world that thinks it knows all about sex, that sex as God designed it is part of the good creation he made in the beginning and that is it not something dirty.


homo unius libri said...

Welcome back to the land of the living....

Scott Nichols

Rileysowner said...

Thanks, it is good to be back, although I have a lot to catch up on still. I want to get posting Calvin stuff again, but I am behind, really behind on my readings, so I may only post now and then until I am caught up. Thankfully, this week other things are going well, in particular sermon writing, so I have some time to read.

Peter said...

Some months ago a preached a series on the offices of the church and my conclusion is that the call to the ministry is a call to preach, teach, pray, and study. Despite congregants wanted us to spend our time elsewhere, i believe the vast majority of our time is to be spent in these endevors.


Peter said...

I also find calling the call to the ministry "my job" offensive. While I don't blow up at people who say such things, I think we need to educate our people that the call to the ministry is not a 9 to 5 job, it is a call to a life. We do not stop serving as ministers of the Gospel when the clock hits a certain hour -- we are called to be, not merely to do.


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