I have a big announcement to make. After much time and careful consideration I have decided to remove my name from consideration regarding the papacy. I know many of you were curious if I would throw my name in, but I fear my bid would simply go up in a cloud of smoke.
Laugh all you want, this is actually a decision I have made. Let me explain, every pastor struggles with the pope complex. Here is what it is, on a regular basis we hear how we are men called by God. True. We hear (or at least hope to hear) our church members tell us they want to follow us as we follow God. True. We have people come into our offices and ask for wisdom regarding how to handle great matters in life. True. We are expected every Sunday to stand from a pulpit and state “Thus says the Lord.” True. In all of this we are called to listen to God and his word to be able to counsel, preach, lead, and serve as God leads us.
Here is our temptation…
We as “Men of God” begin to think we either are God or have a special phone line to God. It is the Papal complex. We begin to think that we are above others.
Let me give you an example. A few weeks ago I posted a thought I was working through on my facebook wall. Over the course of the next few hours a good number of likes were placed on it. Then, someone had the audacity to disagree with me. Didn’t they know that I, Wes Faulk, am THE pastor of Memorial Baptist? Didn’t they know that I am a man called by God? Didn’t they know that I have the special red phone in my office?
But wait!?!? I don’t have that red phone, and my words aren’t inerrant. Only God’s word is inerrant. No man is worthy of worship and no man can speak the word of God.
Here is what a pastor is: He is a fallen human being who struggles daily in sin. The pastor is a man who looks to God daily for grace. He is a man who is not called to stand above his flock but instead to stand among them serving and leading as one who faces the same struggles and hardships as they do.
God has called no pastor, priest, bishop, or missionary to speak for Him. He already spoke clearly as the Word became flesh, i.e. that God became a man in Jesus Christ. Our job is simply to point others to what has all ready been said and done through God’s word and His perfect work on the cross.