Your Pastor Is Not Your Savior

Skepticism, in most contexts, hold a pretty negative connotation. People do not like skeptics, and prefer to not be labeled as one. The idea of constantly doubting is not a characteristic you want applied to your life. But, I think everyone needs a healthy level of skepticism, especially in the church.

For a long time in churches, whatever the pastor said was law. They were the sole interpreters of the scripture, and they decided what each verse meant. This put a lot of power and authority in the pastor’s hands, in both positive and negative ways. Pastors were looked to for spiritual guidance and leadership. However, if anyone disagreed with the pastor, the church would immediately get defensive and ostracize the congregant. There was no room for skepticism within the church.

Now a days, everyone has access to a bible and the internet. We can study and research scripture and historical documents from biblical times with ease. And with this growth of accessible information, we no longer need to solely rely on one man’s ideas. Pastors no longer hold the only truth about the Word of God.

Before you hate what I am saying, I do still believe that we should listen to our pastors. They have been appointed to shepherd and teach their congregations, and that is not something to be taken lightly. What I am saying, is that you should not only listen to your pastor, you also need to do some work yourself.

You cannot just go through life only hearing about Jesus once a week. The Sunday sermon can’t be the only time you think about God. You spend an average of 2 hours in church a week, and if that is the only ‘Christian’ thing you do that week, you’re missing the point.

Your pastor is not your savior.

Pastors, like the rest of us, are human. They might get some interpretations wrong. They may not know the answers you’re looking for. I know they are trying their hardest to convey an honest and biblically accurate message each week, but as to err is human, there may be times when an exaggeration or estimation is false.

This is where you need to come in. If you are only listening to what your pastor says, and not doing your own studying, you are missing the opportunity to seek and find Jesus. Jesus exists outside of your Sunday morning sermon. He’s in your Monday devotional. Your Tuesday car ride. Wednesday at lunch. Thursday with your friends. Friday at work. Saturday on the boat. He’s there. He’s always there. And for you to only acknowledge Him on Sundays is just cutting off your connection to Him.

As you grow deeper with God, you will notice a few things. One, some of the simple answers to life’s questions will no longer work for you. The clichés of Christianity won’t hold much weight because you know more than you use to. Two, you will find that there are some people who don’t actually know how to talk about God. Yes, He is this almighty mystery, but there are some pronouns and descriptions that just cannot encapsulate what you want to say about God. And three, you will fall so in love with your Lord and Savior, that no matter how much you don’t understand, you will love each mystery God holds, and seek to become more like Jesus every day.

So, take some time to grow. Sit in His presence. Read the bible. Study His word. You will learn and gain more knowledge about the God we serve. And, as you learn, if you start to disagree or questions teachings, it’s not wrong. Skepticism is not bad. Talk to your pastor, your friends, family, or anyone. Take time to hear what they are saying. Conversations, not debates, can help bring more knowledge and clarity. And if your opinion changes, let it change. Changing your mind is a sign of growth and maturity. It admits we were wrong, but have taken steps to be better than we once were.

But always bring it back to God, and His word.

Because in God we find truth, love, peace, comfort, and everything we could ever hope to find.