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Thread: Should religious leaders....?

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    Senior Member spotted and speckled's Avatar
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    Default Should religious leaders....?

    My sister lives in an area where there is a shortage of good churches, but no shortage of places that call their buildings churches. After a 2 year search, she found one that she likes. Pastor is great, biblical, personable, etc. He has put someone in the pulpit several times recently that has a very humanistic view of scripture (as opposed to a God-centered viewpoint), which disturbs her. The regular pastor does not have this human-oriented theological viewpoint.

    I'm in a different city, so I have missed the fill-ins sermons. But the pastor has started posting stuff on Facebook & twitter about some product he has been using to help him lose weight, feel better, etc. He's not selling it, but I think his wife is. I don't think my sister has seen this and I haven't discussed it with her. This disturbs me, maybe because I have previously seen church turn into a business for some leaders.

    Should a religious leader use his/her platform to advance a product, or a political agenda, or anything else? (Edit--anything not related to doctrine or education of doctrine)

    Thoughts? Opinions?
    Last edited by spotted and speckled; July 17th, 2014 at 07:26 PM.
    Much Love--

    --Virginia

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    Default Re: Should religious leaders....?

    I in the case of the pastor posting on social media about his wife's product, I would say it depends on how often he does it. Is he just excited about how the product is working and wants to share the results, or is it a regular occurrence? That would make a difference.

    My dad was a pastor for many years and is still active as a teacher. He was always very careful to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest. His advice would always be to err on the side of caution rather than risk misunderstanding or offense. That was not his approach to issues of doctrine, but that isn't your question.
    Draw close. Hold hands. Life is short. God is good. - Jan Karon

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    Default Re: Should religious leaders....?

    I think that if it is not over excessive it is fine. Especially if he did not invite everyone to like, friend, or follow his page. I always try to remember that even Men of God are still just men.

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    Default Re: Should religious leaders....?

    You're asking some very difficult questions here. Is religion a personal or a group experience? Can there be a differing of options with in the group? Should groups leader be seen as infallible in everything he/she does or even in the ideas that the preach? Is it the man or the office that you respect?
    I don't know, nor do I think that anyone really does.
    (I only know that one probably should drink the Kool-aid.)

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    Default Re: Should religious leaders....?

    I’ll address this from multiple angles:
    First, it sounds like he’s an awful salesman. Unless you have a dedicated business profile (and even still), peddling products/services on Facebook is incredibly lame. When I see that sort of thing, it’s an immediate indication that this person has no integrity and will do whatever they can to earn a buck. Honestly, it’s a display of poor judgment.

    Second, not only does it sound like he’s an awful salesman, but it sounds like he’s peddling a product that has no value (probably why he’s resorted to Facebook). As someone with a very advanced knowledge of dieting/fitness/nutrition, I can say that the “boutique” companies (Advocare and Shakeology are two that come to mind) offer no value beyond other products half their price. Their business model is a pyramid scheme for a reason.

    To play the devil’s advocate (not taking into consideration what/how he’s selling), he has to earn a living to support his family. If he’s in any sort of sales, there will always be times where someone’s intentions are misinterpreted.

    I don’t think your question can be answered with a simple “yes/no.” Joel Osteen is filthy stinking rich and he’s made his wealth largely by leveraging his position as a televangelist. However, it seems many have benefitted from his messages. He also seems to have done a good job of staying out of trouble (or done a good job of hiding it).

    It’s for this very reason that I’m not a fan of organized religion. Ultimately, you’re forced to identify/adopt someone else’s beliefs rather than truly make decisions for yourself.

    Based on the information you provided of the situation at hand, it sounds like this particular person lacks solid moral judgment. Unless he is a fitness instructor, personal trainer, or has a similar title by profession, it sounds to me like he’s trying to make an extra buck on his friends/family.

    Honestly, the people that do this (that I personally know) immediately lose my respect as soon as they resort to this kind of thing.

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    Default Re: Should religious leaders....?

    Hello,V--

    Correct me if I'm wrong,but it sounds like your concern might be if(or when)biblical sermons are replaced by humanistic
    homilies on how to feel better psychically rather than spiritually. I don't feel that the pulpit is the place for that kind of
    thing,since the intent of a church pulpit is to edify one from the inside out rather than outside in. Jesus made it known
    to the Pharisees that the inside of the cup is more important than the outside(Matt. 23). Your concern is valid,and the
    possibility exists that unless the senior pastor does something now,it might be harder down the road for him to deal with
    it. BTW,I see no problem with the pastor using Facebook for his feel-good "commercials". I also wouldn't use the pulpit
    for political presentations.



    John

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    Default Re: Should religious leaders....?

    Spotted & Speckled-

    A few thoughts to what you posted. The concern you show for your sister is good. It also sounds like she is using discernment in where she attends, which is also needed in this day. As for the placing someone in the pulpit with a human-centric point of view, I understand your (& her) concern and share the same concern. Many seminaries (not all) have taken some strange turns and have traded the wisdom of God for human wisdom and this is being reflected more and more in our culture as those with itching ears seek teachers to tickle them. How big an influence are these visiting speakers having on how the body acts and carries out their faith? Is there theological and/or practical drift occurring within the church body? I'd encourage her to discuss her concerns with the pastor.

    As to the pastor using his platform for other products. political messages, etc. I think it depends on what you mean by his platform. You refer to him making posts about a supplement he is using on his FB and Twitter accounts. How does he use these accounts otherwise? Are his posts otherwise directly related to church activities, Biblical teachings and such, or is he using these for "personal" use (hobbies, restaurant visits, vacation pics, etc.). If he is using it primarily as a means to reach & teach the church, but including these advertisements I see a greater problem than if it were a personal page and these posts being related to a personal weight loss goal (even if it is a product his wife sells.) Pastors too have lives outside of the church building and while there will certainly be some crossover (I would hope a pastor's behavior online would reflect behavior that coincides qualifications for an elder, and that his spiritual walk--Biblical insights, songs or sermons that inspire him etc. would play a part in his posts) he is certainly free to have a life outside of Bible teaching. Would you feel bad if the pastor were posting reviews of his newest FP or ink?

    If this of course crosses over to the pulpit (or his general role within the church) then there is reason for alarm (Jesus saves & oh by the way my wife is selling loseweightfast 30% off today only...). This too of course can be a fine line as a body of believers do get involved in one another's lives. If someone asked him how he lost weight, I could certainly understand him saying he used X diet ( & even mentioning that his wife sells it). Him going and looking for customers specifically through his position though would give me cause for alarm.

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    Default Re: Should religious leaders....?

    Quote Originally Posted by sumgaikid View Post
    Hello,V--

    Correct me if I'm wrong,but it sounds like your concern might be if(or when)biblical sermons are replaced by humanistic
    homilies on how to feel better psychically rather than spiritually. I don't feel that the pulpit is the place for that kind of
    thing,since the intent of a church pulpit is to edify one from the inside out rather than outside in. Jesus made it known
    to the Pharisees that the inside of the cup is more important than the outside(Matt. 23). Your concern is valid,and the
    possibility exists that unless the senior pastor does something now,it might be harder down the road for him to deal with
    it. BTW,I see no problem with the pastor using Facebook for his feel-good "commercials". I also wouldn't use the pulpit
    for political presentations.



    John
    Sorry, but you got that verse all wrong.

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    Senior Member pengeezer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should religious leaders....?

    I borrowed one of the verses from that chapter. Jesus was saying that the inside of the cup(being clean)was far
    more important than just cleaning the outside only. His comparison was to the Pharisees looking clean on the outside,but their hearts on
    the inside weren't.


    John

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