Know Your Bible
What Role Do Feelings Have In Religion?
Feelings are a vital, necessary part of our relationship with our God. Emotions include such feelings as love. We are to totally love God, Jesus said in Matthew 22:37. We are to love our neighbors (Matthew 22: 39). Hate is an emotion. We are taught to hate certain things (Psalms 119: 104; Romans 12:9). The Lord hates false doctrine (Revelation 2:14-15). Fear is also an emotion. We are to fear or reverence God (Hebrews 12:28). In short, we must obey God "from the heart" (Rom. 6:17-18).
Feelings can be misleading. Beloved, feelings become very dangerous when we "go by our feelings" instead of fact. Saul of Tarsus "thought within himself" that he should do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth (Acts 26: 9). Feelings are not meant to be source for authority in what we do. Listen to the wise man: "He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered" (Proverbs 28: 26).
Religion which is without true feelings is vain (Mark. 7:6). However, religion which uses feelings as authority is in serious trouble. Allow me to ask a personal question: Why do you believe as you do? Is it because you "feel it is right" or because "you have book, chapter, and verse"?
True religion incorporates feelings and a recognition of correct external authority. Observe John's statement, "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous" (1 John 5:3). True, biblical feelings (love) help us to acknowledge external authority - God's commandments. Indeed, the role of feelings in true religion is indispensable. But, remember, there is no conflict between true emotions and God's authority, His word!
Is The Preacher "The Pastor"?
The denominational world commonly practices the "pastoral system." The local preacher is the pastor or overseer. Thus, you will often see "...John Doe, Pastor" on informational signs and in ads.
What is taught in the New Testament is that God desires His church to have leaders. These leaders are designated by three different words (Presbuterion, Episcopos, and poimen). From these three words we have six English words: "elders" (Titus 1:5), "presbytery" (1 Timothy 4:14), "overseers" (Acts 20:28), "bishop" (1 Timothy 3:1), "shepherd" (1 Peter 5:2,4), and "pastors" (Ephesians 4:11). These terms are used interchangeably to identify the same class of men (1 Peter 5:1-4). These men had certain qualifications to meet (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-11). Among these requirements, they had to be married and have faithful children (Titus 1:6).
A pastor can be a preacher (recognized and supported). There are preachers who meet the qualifications and who have been appointed by the local church to be pastors or elders. Peter was a shepherd (pastor) and a preacher (1 Pet. 5:1ff., see also 1 Timothy 5:17,18). Paul and Timothy, while they were preachers were not pastors (They were unmarried, etc.).
Another thing to notice and compare is the fact that pastor, elder, bishop, etc, were not used as titles. The King James translators realized this and did not capitalize these words in translation. Religious titles, as such, are forbidden (Matthew 23:6-12). Also, you do not read about "the Pastor." There were always a multiplicity of pastors or elders (Acts 14:23).
The function of preaching has been shamefully reduced in many ways. Not only have men been considered pastors who obviously are unqualified, but the work of the preacher generally has been lowered to being an entertainer and appeaser. He has become a social worker and political peace keeper (see 2 Timothy 4:1-5).
THINGS EQUAL TO THE SAME THING
ARE EQUAL TO ANOTHER!
A. "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mark 16:16).
B. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31)
C. Therefore "believeth and is baptized" = "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ."
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