Pastor Survey Thanks

Thanks to Alastair, Brian, Don, and Milton for taking the time to humor me by answering my questions. As a public service I will enclose links to their blogs, all but Don has one. Give em a click.

Brian’s Blog–includes thoughts on Christianity and episodes of Lost.

Alastair’s Blog–includes many thoughts on church work, ministering to others and general Christian thinking.

Milton’s Blog–one of the finer Christian blogs out there with links five days a week to Christian content on the web.

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Anti Itch Meditation’s Pastor Survey

Here is the final installment of the Pastor Survey, a list of questions sent to various pastors I know.

Jeff Weddle’s answers
Alastair McCollum’s answers
Brian Nicklaus’s answers
Don Gentry’s answers

Name: Milton Stanley
Church: between churches (attending Shady Grove Church of Christ as a member)
Location: Mud Creek, Tennessee

 

1) How do the qualifications for a pastor in 1 Timothy 3 make you feel?
My tradition (a cappella Churches of Christ) makes a distinction between preachers (ministers, often paid staff members) and elders (pastors, usually not paid staff and holding office only in groups, not as a single pastor). Therefore, while I think I have the qualities of an elder or pastor, so far I’ve served congregations only as a minister or preacher. I sometimes wonder if it’s not asking too much of elders when a grown child falls away from the faith and a church considers the father therefore unqualified to serve. I also feel humbled and grateful that God has blessed me with faithful children.

2) What criticism of you are you most grateful for having heard?
One of my preaching mentors really hammered me about saying  “uh” when I preached. Obviously I didn’t like it at the time, but it really helped me not do it so much.
3) What question are you tired of being asked?
None, really. I wish people would ask me more questions. I’ve prayed and studied for years and feel like I have something to offer, but I’m not one to offer much unsolicited advice.
4) What Bible character ticks you off the most?
None come to mind. 
5) If your next sermon were your last, what passage would you preach on?
1 John 2:1-6
6) When are you happiest as a pastor?
When I’m studying the Word of God and when I’m helping others come to faith or grow in Christ.
7) How many Bibles can you see from where you are sitting?
4 whole Bibles, 2 New Testaments
8) What word would your wife use to describe you on a Sunday afternoon?
Home
9) What question would you like to hear other pastors answer?
Do you preach more from your strength or your weakness?
10) What biblical miracle would you most like to do?
Like Peter in Acts 2, preach the Word and have 3,000 new believers be baptized
11) If there was only one point you could convey to your church, what would it be?
We are saved by God’s grace through Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected.
12) What’s one thing you really hope you get to do when you get to heaven?
Praise God, of course.

Anti Itch Meditation’s Pastor Survey

This is a list of questions I sent to a few pastors. Enjoy the answers.

Jeff Weddle’s answers
Alastair McCollum’s answers
Brian Nicklaus’ answers

Name: Don Gentry
Church: New Hope
Location: Camden MI

1) How do the qualifications for a pastor in 1 Timothy 3 make you feel?
They give me a standard in which to abide by. I think they are just the starting point of a fully devoted life. I think they are a good litmus test. If we can’t pass that test we really ought not think about the ministry or service in a leadership position.

2) What criticism of you are you most grateful for having heard?
When the Lord chastised me and revealed i either needed to learn how to follow if I ever expected him to let me lead.

3) What question are you tired of being asked?
What are we doing again?

4) What Bible character ticks you off the most?
Satan

5) If your next sermon were your last, what passage would you preach on?
If I knew it was my last i would preach on salvation.

6) When are you happiest as a pastor?
When my church is moving forward in a spirt of unity to reachour community with the gospel of Jesus Christ and we are willing to sacrifice everything for the cause.

7) How many Bibles can you see from where you are sitting?
4

8) What word would your wife use to describe you on a Sunday afternoon?
exhausted

9) What question would you like to hear other pastors answer?
what is your passion for ministry?

10) What biblical miracle would you most like to do?
Raise someone from the dead like Paul.

11) If there was only one point you could convey to your church, what would it be?
There is no tradition, no name, no worship style, and no ministry so sacred that we should not be willing to give it up if if means reaching more people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

12) What’s one thing you really hope you get to do when you get to heaven?
see my dad and know who my dad is.

The Pirate Pope

Pope John XXIII (not the latest one, but another John XXIII, one of the “antipopes” of the 15th century. In fact, one of the reasons the more recent John XXIII took the XXIII and not the XXIV is precisely to eliminate this guy from memory and disparage his claim to popedom.) was a pirate before he became pope.

Reportedly he never once did confession or took part in the sacraments. He was also charged with rape, murder, simony and incest.

But don’t worry, the popes today are nothing like this. At all. Ever. Rest assured and drink in every word they speak. What could possibly go wrong?

Christian Rebellion

Church History is fun. Here are a few examples of Lollard rebellion under the ridiculous reign of the Catholic church.

**Eleanor Higges of Burford got busted for taking home some of the sacrament of communion and putting it in her oven and eating it.

**Two Lollard chaplains at Leicester used a wooden statue of St. Katherine for firewood to cook a meal.

I wish I had been born in another age. Andy, yes, I also wish I was from Burford.

Bible Translations

Syriac, Coptic, Gothic, Ethiopic, Armenian, Georgian and Aramaic versions of the Bible all existed for a thousand years before John Wycliffe.

We have the idea that no one in the world had the Bible in their own language before English translators released us from bondage. T’aint true.

This should not undermine the work of Wycliffe, I’m just saying, history is often different from our theories.

Crusades and Revivalism

Christians are embarrassed over the Crusades. They seem very odd, almost comical to us. Oh sure, no one takes responsibility for them now, “It wasn’t my church, man.”

The Crusades kicked off in about 1080 and the crusader period ran several hundred years. The initial concern was for heathens taking over Jerusalem.

Eventually the crusades developed a feel of their own. When crusades failed the blame was shared among the soldiers as well as the “believers” back home. Someone had dropped the ball and God was mad.

Crusades became expensive and took men from their families for long periods of time, sometimes even forever. It became harder to convince guys to do it. The church began taxing its members to pay for war.

To convince guys to go, crusades were chalked up as a way to get saved. Some popes went on preaching circuits for recruits. Popes like Urban II, Innocent III along with other Catholic officials made the rounds, preaching “the cross,” which was code word for crusading.

These guys would work the crowds up with emotional appeals and how much Jesus needed them to restore Him to His Land. Your sins will be forgiven if you join us. Here is a description of one of these services.

“So as a preacher bellowed out his passionate appeal a choir would strike up and would presumably continue singing as men came forward to commit themselves publicly.”

Hmm, makes a guy wonder. All we leave out today is the war.

(Info and quote taken from The Crusades, Christianity, and Islam by Jonathan Riley-Smith.)