Cheryl is a poet, freelance writer, author, and former newspaper columnist. She has degrees in Psychology and Biblical studies
Just the facts
There was a time when Sunday school and Christian church were all about how to live for Christ. The emphasis and focus was on doing the things that pleased Him and allowing your light to shine and draw sinners to salvation. I have been noticing a disturbing trend in today's Christian society that many are simply going along with and not questioning. There was a time when pastors had other preachers as their friends and confidants but not anymore. Today a growing number of spiritual leaders give money to famous Bishops and Apostles to cover them even though these men do not know them personally. Many pastors now choose men from the congregation to be their armor bearers and do things for them that they can and should do for themselves. The illogical thinking behind this is that the pastor needs to be free to hear from God and carry the word. If you have ever heard Him speak in your own life you already know that He does not necessarily need a specific setting or quiet time in order to convey a message to you. He speaks when and where He chooses. A lot of this emphasis on spiritual fathers and armor bearers simply causes the unsuspecting to desire to serve another human rather than serve Christ in spirit and in truth.
It's all about the money
Those who claim to cover hundreds or thousands they have never met in person are only after the money. How can someone you never met, or has barely said 2 words to you know how to pray for you? This false narrative gives unrealistic expectations that somehow you will have His favor because you give money to another human being. As I have written in other articles on the subject. This is no different than paying hush money to the mob or giving him your lunch to the school bully for protection. The fact that a preacher believes someone else should drive him around to engagements is ridiculous. It gives a false illusion that somehow you are protecting the anointing of God. There is no scripture in the Bible that says believers in Christ are to focus on how to make a pastor happy and lessen his load in life. Every person who accepts Jesus is supposed to take up his or her own cross and follow Christ, not another man or woman. There is no scripture that indicates you must pay a preacher before God will protect you. You might hear many scriptures that allegedly back up the emphasis on armor-bearers and spiritual fathers but these usually are being distorted. This is why you must have discernment and use common sense.
How can your own light shine if it is being eclipsed by your spiritual leader? If all you do is to serve the mand of god then what are you doing for Christ that would lead others to him? Having others to drive you around when you are well able, to run errands for you and to carry your Bible is nothing but a sense of entitlement. Respect should be earned and not demanded. Preachers who prey on the people will one day have to give an account to the Lord for putting up a detour that leads to them instead of Christ. I reflect upon two recent obituaries I read. Both men were deacons but the similarities stopped there. One of the men had served within the church building, the community and also in outreach ministry. The other had spent most of his time serving preachers as an armor bearer and driving them around.. One man left a legacy of activities both inside and outside of a congregation while the other spent a lot of his time catering to other men. Pastors also are to be servants and should not have a sense that they are entitled to extra perks because of their title. Yes, women and men served Jesus but not once did He tell them to do it. He did tell His disciples to follow Him and to become fishers of men. The bottom line to spiritual fathers and armor bearers in most cases is to elevate preachers so you will revere them and put money in their hands. This is another false teaching ftom the Word of Faith churches.
Monkey see monkey do
There is now a monkey see, monkey do attitude within the body of Christ. Preachers in various denominations are mimicking what those around them are doing and not researching this issue for themselves. I have sat in fat too many services where a guest minister comes to the platform with 2 or 3 armor bearers by his side then spends excessive amounts of time saying that he is Reverend Dr.Bishop so and so and his spiritual father is such and such and he belongs to this or that fellowship and or denomination. There was a time when a church member read a brief bio of the person who would be preaching that day but now this has turned into self-promotion and look at me itis. The church was never supposed to get into fads, trends, and what seems popular, Servants of Jesus are never commanded to advertise themselves but to spread His gospel. Whether you agree with my assessment or not just do this one thing. Pay attention the next time you are in a service to how many times you notice the armor-bearers or hear the name of a spiritual father mentioned as opposed to how much you are hearing about the blood of Christ that washes us free from sin. The only excess that should be tolerated within His body is lifting up the Name above all names. It's not about the spiritual leader, his spiritual father or those who serve man. It never was. I end this with what I was led to post on Facebook recently. You should care more about carrying His glory than toting your pastor's bag.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Cheryl E Preston
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 22, 2021:
I have never been interested in these TV pastors or others that think they should have thousands of people following them. I do not like many of the changes. This is an excellent article that speaks to some of the problems in churches.