John 16:13: When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth.
The pastor and the Holy Spirit compete for your trust and loyalty. The winner will be the one you accept as guide throughout your christianity.
As the denomination is represented by the pastor, the Lord Jesus is represented by the Holy Spirit. Yes, ‘behind’ the pastor are denominational lords, and ‘behind’ the Holy Spirit is none other than our most precious Christ.
The pastor did not choose to be the pastor – though he did apply for the posting – but rather he was chosen by the denomination only after denominational lords were satisfied the man’s loyalty was firmly fixed on them.
As loyalty to denominational lords can be measured by loyalty to their teachings as conveyed by the pastor, loyalty to Christ Jesus can be likewise measured by loyalty to His teachings as conveyed by Scripture. We identify the one who has won our trust by the words we obey.
Evangelicals obey two lords, neither fully.
Evangelicals obey many non-Biblical traditions. And evangelicals obey many Biblical teachings. We are talking an unholy mixture – somewhat obedient to Christ, somewhat not.
The pastor has successfully led the congregation away from dependence on “the Spirit of truth”, this being evidenced by their speech. Nobody calls the Holy Spirit Pastor Holy Spirit, but they do call the man Pastor Whoever. If language means anything this is sufficient evidence the man, not the Holy Spirit, is the considered leader.
Identifying lordship should be fully settled by the christian’s own words. Shouldn’t one assume they call the man Pastor because he is? And shouldn’t one assume they do not call the Holy Spirit Pastor (or refer to Him as such) because He isn’t?
Not only is the pastor pressured by upper lords to stay within the way it is, but also by converted church membership. They too have become security guards against reformational intrusion.
There is security in numbers. So many can’t be wrong even when they’re wrong. The mainline protestant church down the road that believes opposite on most issues can’t be wrong either, simply because they are tethered to the same logic: So many can’t be wrong.
But church history has taught us so many can be wrong. Every generation has been plagued by ambitious lords vying for the peoples’ trust and loyalty.
Jesus has sent us the only One capable of pastoring us, the most Holy Spirit. There is a huge difference between the christian led through life by men and the christian led through life by the Holy Spirit. That’s huge as in enormous, colossal, vast. The judgment seat of Christ will reveal which christian was foolish and which one was wise.