Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 6, 1966

The Modern Pastor System

Pryde E. Hinton

No Scripture even suggests that a church of Christ may secure a pastor from outside the flock. When we as Christians desire to have a preacher secured to come among us "to judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles," we are rejecting God, just as the Israelites were in 1 Samuel 8. Instead of "judge" Moffatt gives "rule." Getting a man to rule over the flock, who is not of the flock, is a rejection of God's plan for the churches: 1 Tim. 5:17,18: Hebrews 13:7 and 17. An elder is not to be a "lord," but neither do I know the Scripture that teaches in any way that they must find out what the members want to do, and then follow that course, carry out their will, in every thing!

A congregation may think that in its responsibility and work of sounding out the word a good preacher of the gospel could be of great help (1 Thess. 1:8). This is sound, and it's certainly according to the "generic authority" of the New Testament. As brother John T. Lewis has written, "Everyone that understands the Scriptures on the work of the preacher, knows that 'the modern pastor system' must be determined by what the preacher does, and not by the length of time he may labor with a congregation" (page 8, THE TRUTH ABOUT THE MODERN PASTOR SYSTEM). Even getting a preacher to preach in a series of "gospel meetings" is not permitted by specific authority, but by "generic authority." Making a preacher a "pastor" is usually like Aaron's making the golden calf: "And the Lord plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made" (Exodus 32:35). "Nay; but we will have a king!"

Some say that the preacher should be out preaching to the lost, instead of to the church. But, without taking time to really remember all the mission meetings I have "held" in this area of Jefferson County, Alabama, alone, I can easily recall at least fifteen. These were under tents, brush arbors, and in borrowed church houses, school houses, yards, homes, etc. In not one of these, or any of the many others, do I remember that any church supported that meeting financially---and precious little in any other way. Individuals have helped far more than congregations have!

-Rt. 2 Dora, Alabama