A chapter in the book, “Healthy and Dangerous Pastors today”
As there are increase in the number of churches across the oceans of our land, so the number of Pastors is greatly increasing. Every year, Bible Schools and Seminaries are graduating more Pastors. Churches are ordaining lots of Pastors and many self-called, independent Pastors are coming to the church scene. The demerit of this fact is that spirituality is at very low ebb. Practical and Godly Christianity is very scarce. The kingdom of God is not being populated. One traceable factor for this is that there are more of Dangerous Pastors today than Healthy Pastors. We can know them by their fruits.
A classic scriptural case of a Dangerous, satanic,demonic and destructive Pastor is Nicolas in Acts 6:5-6;
“And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them”
He was chosen and ordained by the Apostles to serve as Deacon in the first century church. But he was a proselyte – someone who loves to change religion easily. He was a Gentile who got converted to Judaism and when he heard the Apostles preached, he got converted to Christianity. Church history later showed that he went back to traditional religion and introduced the mixing of Christianity with occultic and demonic powers and was practicing sexual pervasion in the church. He started teaching such and this error spread to two churches, and our Lord Jesus condemned it and hates it passionately.
“So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.” – Revelation 2:6, 15.
The evil doctrine was named after Nicolas as Nicolaitan doctrine. It is quite unfortunate that there are lots of Nicolaitan Pastors in modern churches. Such Pastors have become dangerous by their lifestyle, secret bondages, pervasive practices and bringing shame and retrogression to the body of Christ here and there. Dangerous Pastors are a danger to themselves, the church of Christ and the gospel. They may start ministry well, but later acquire the qualities of Dangerous Pastors. Nicolas allowed his occultic and idolatry background to pull him back into Nicolaitan practices in ministry. So also, many who came from idolatrous, demonic, occultic and herbal backgrounds and are not properly and totally liberated from their past before becoming Pastors, are sadly going back to it, turning themselves to Dangerous Pastors.
“My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace.” – Jeremiah 50:6
“Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.” – Isaiah 56:11.
“Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.” – Philippians 3:2
“For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.” – Jeremiah 6:13-15
Dangerous means danger, hurtful, injurious, pain-inflicting, sly, satanic, demonic and destructive. Quite sad that majority of today’s Pastors are demonstrating these qualities in abundance. It was there in scriptural times, but much more pronounced today.
To be dangerous means to be fake and flaky; fleecing the people for profit; leading them astray, and inflicting terminal and eternal hurts on people. It is to abuse people in the name of God; lead them into error and destroy them eternally. If we don’t avoid them, our churches are doomed. Until they are redeemed and transformed by the Lord, our churches will always feel their negative impact.
Dangerous Pastors, by their lifestyle and methods bring hurts to churches. They drive genuine Christians away from the faith, cause backsliding, bring discouragement to people, make them sit at home on Sundays and makes joining a local church as worshipers or members a very dangerous decision today.
These Dangerous Pastors can be classified under personal, church, ministerial, society and kingdom dangers.
Traits of Dangerous Pastors
Without sounding as an alarmist or a critic, the following are marks of Dangerous Pastors I have seen in ministry over the years:
1. Absentee Pastors: – These are Pastors who are too engaged with their secular activities that they don’t have enough time to nurture the flock of God. Most of the time they are traveling from one place to another. They leave the sheep untaught, undiscipled and at the mercy of wolves and hirelings. They move from place to place, tending the field of others, to the detriment of their own sheep.
2. Official Pastors: – These are Pastors by titles and positions that don’t possess any pastoral qualities. They occupy spaces but lack weight. People die under them spiritually and in installments. God did not call them, but their General Overseers did. They became Pastors by playing church politics and lacked the wherewithal to do the work competently. In pastoral ministry, there are three types of calling: God must call you to it; you can call yourself to it; and you can allow people to call you into it. Only God’s calling will make you survive it.
3. Misleading Pastors: – These are Pastors who don’t know the way and they are leading the flock. Their lives and teachings are misleading. They will lead God’s people to destruction. They lacked ministry training. They refused to be taught properly, yet they want to teach others. They preach secular, demonic doctrines and twist the Bible to their own advantage and destruction of the people.
4. Self-Called Pastors: – These are Pastors who never wait for God’s calling. They called themselves to ministries. And many times they are called by their economic circumstances. Some are even called by their wives and friends. Some had money and they erect structure, called it church and start pastoring it, without the clear calling and gifting of the Holy Spirit.
5. Called But Not Colleged Pastors: – These are Pastors who may have the calling of God upon their lives but never go for any training. No formal, informal and non-formal training. And many times such Pastors detest training. They use their secular degrees to pastor in spiritual settings. They use worldly styles and methods to lead the church of God. No wonder God’s presence is no more in many of such local churches. They do church in ways different to the ‘Being of the church’.
6. Nicolaitan Pastors: – (Revelation 2:6) These are Pastors who have not been dewormed from their idolatry background. They therefore practice what is termed “Christopaganism” with their influence on the church. They bring idolatrous, herbalist and occult practices to their churches. They mix Christ with idolatrous and Islamic black magical practices for deliverance and solution to problems.
7. The Wolves: – These are Pastors who are wolves in shepherd’s clothing. Their chief aim is to steal, kill and destroy the sheep. They are Satan’s representatives. People die in their church in mysterious circumstances. They use the spirits of divination to hoodwink people and make pact with demonic powers to attract and bring crowds to their churches. They look good outwardly, but are secret drunkards, immoral and wicked.
8. Ebola Pastors: – These are Pastors who have contacted spiritual Ebola virus by their contacts with other Pastors who have also contacted spiritual Ebola virus. Such Pastors are highly infectious in the church. They lead people into sin and ungodliness. Ebola Pastors are contagious, immoral, idol worshipping and worldly minded. Their proof of ministry is only material things – cars, houses and travels. There’s no atom of spirituality and Christlikeness in them.
9. Polygamous Pastors: – These are Pastors who have derailed and digressed from the biblical injunction in 1 Timothy chapter 3 verse 2. They could have as many wives as possible, yet they continued to lead the church of God. They practice simultaneous and concurrent polygamy. They separate and divorce their spouses at will and on flimsy excuses. One of such Pastors drove away his wife and equated it with God driving Satan away from heaven when he sinned!
10. ‘Pseudapoimen’ Pastors: – These are Pastors who are guilty of exaggerating the facts or embellishing the truth (1 Timothy 4:2). They lie, twist and turn the truths on its heads. They don’t keep their promises to anyone. They speak in hyperboles, boast of great things and deny what they formally said. They don’t stay in the truth nor do they have the truth in them. They lie about their age, money, cars, suits, congregations, people and graces.
11. Mammon-Driven Pastors: – These are Pastors who are under the influence of the spirit of mammon. They do everything for money. They worship the golden image. They are materialistic driven. They are money mongers. They are ministers of silver and gold. They raise money in every ministration and can’t do without money. They sell their conscience, take money from politicians and collect offerings without asking people how they made the money. One of such collected a seed of 120 Million Naira from an Army officer who later confessed that it was stolen government money! Yet, the Pastor never refunded it!
A chapter in the book, “Healthy and Dangerous Pastors today”