Published from a comment.
Is Greg a bully? It’s hard to believe that he is, considering he supports a wimpy football team. Bullies tend to support tough winning teams.
I had to weigh the evidence, and the evidence is hard to ignore. Evidence must lead even an unreasonable person. Many of Greg’s past and some of his recent behaviour strongly suggests that he is a bully. But Greg is “a bully with a bible!” He surrounds himself with weak leaders who are incapable of challenging him, even when they know that what he has done is blatantly wrong. They openly support him, in the face of all his behavioural issues.
Consider the following:
Greg shows porn in the church.
– The leadership completely ignores it.
Greg justifies adultery.
– A deacon flagrantly defends him on a public forum. Without reading too much into the marriage of the deacon who came out shielding a pastor who justifies adultery, think about what else this leadership has and will compromise to protect this false teacher.
Greg bullies and asks people who disagree with him to leave the church.
– The leadership supports Greg.
Greg distorts Bible passages and lies from the pulpit.
– The leadership continues to support Greg.
Greg intimidates members and silences any dissenting voices.
– The leadership ignores it and fails their duty of care.
Greg promotes fornication and baptises people who are living together without being married.
– The leadership turns a blind eye.
Greg misuses Church’s money on insignificant things and preaches that everyone gives 26% of their earnings to the church.
– The leadership does nothing to correct the Pastor and his perversion of the Bible.
That’s not a complete list; the full list is much longer. I would encourage others to post their experiences of how Greg has hurt them.
How else can we tell if Greg is a bully? Explore what Dr Randy White says about pastors who bully members of their congregation. Dr White is a theologian who many values as a voice that fearlessly speaks up for the truth and exposes false teachers. Some of Dr White’s comments are followed by mine – in italics.
If you want to read the whole article, below is the link.
Dr Randy White –
“How do you deal with a bully pastor?”
Bullies exist in all walks of life—even in the pastorate. I’m willing to bet that if I were to ask you about a time in your life when you were bullied, you’d have an experience to share. It’s an unfortunate rite of passage, especially during those awkward adolescent years, that most people endure but ultimately overcome. Whether it was another student, a co-worker, or a parent, you know what it means to be bullied.
But you may not know what it means to be bullied by a pastor. For instance, I’m willing to bet your pastor has never stopped you in the hallway right before a service, grabbed you by your freshly pressed lapels, and thrown you against the wall while asking for your lunch money.
– Greg stated that everyone should be giving 26% of their income to the church, but that he’ll settle for less – one could call that “asking for my lunch money!”
But has your pastor ever taken a few minutes (or even a whole sermon) to criticize another church or ministry? Or has he beaten his fists on his pulpit shouting fire and brimstone at the ample ways your church has been woefully under-giving?
– Yes, he has! Yes, he has. Except he’s got small delicate hands and does not have a pulpit to thump on. Greg’s too cool for a pulpit – at least he thinks he is cool.
Essentially, a bully pastor is one who says, either by word or deed, “I have no place for you.” He has no available time, no interest in your opinion, and no recognition of your role as a thoughtful Christian. A bully pastor doesn’t make himself available and often believes himself to be like Moses on Mount Sinai: all alone and the closest to God. Such a pastor doesn’t need your input because he already knows everything. And if you waste his time, you may have wasted his most precious commodity.
– Greg has no place for anyone in the church unless one contributes large sums of money to the church. Greg knows everything in the bible and he even knows things that the bible is silent on; at least Greg thinks he knows everything. Greg knows Angels have no wings, Mary was 13 years old when she gave birth to Jesus Christ, Church meetings never took place in the early churches and so is forbidden, and the list goes on.
Consequently, this bully pastor may use his pulpit to criticize those who have spoken against him, even if those people are within his church. Personally, I have to watch against such creeping pride, and I’m convinced every man of God must do the same.
– How many times has Greg preached about people who “are gossiping about him” and “resist change and are willing fight?” Greg not only criticises those who have spoken up about him or catch him lying or preaching heresies, but he’ll also find a way and make them leave the church.
We live in a world where people are having their ears tickled by pastors around the globe. We were warned this would happen in 2 Timothy 4. Sometimes a bully pulpit can be used for the right reasons. Not All Who Tear Down Are Bullies.
Maybe the bully pastor in question is attempting to exhort his members with Scripture toward biblical truth and a worldview that results from such spiritual teaching. If that’s the case, he likely won’t be popular. His church may even accuse him of “just correcting his church” all the time instead of “lifting them up.”
I strongly believe today’s church needs more biblically based tearing down than comfort-yielding building up. If this bully pastor is preaching biblical truth that his church members find hard to hear, he’s not a bully pastor; he’s a theological demolitions expert clearing the way for a stronger spiritual house to be constructed.
– Greg refuses to preach about, in his own words “any controversial issues.” He does not preach on or speak up against same sex marriage, homosexuality, adultery (Greg condones adultery and justifies it), pornography (Greg showed pornography in the church!), and fornication (he baptises fornicators). Greg does not care how you live; he only cares that you give your tithe to the church.
You likely already know if your pastor is a bully or not, but if you have any latent doubts, answer these questions.
- Is your pastor available?
If you had to call your pastor at this very moment, even if it wasn’t an emergency, could you? Or, so as not to be so demanding of his time, could you call his office and schedule an appointment with him tomorrow, or the next week, or the next month? To be blunt, if you can’t visit your pastor face-to-face within a reasonable timeframe, you don’t have a pastor. (Also, I’m not talking about a pastor. Rather, I’m talking about the pastor, and you know who that is for the church you attend.)
– Yes, Greg is available at the church on Sundays mornings between 9:30 to 11:45 am; he’ll hear you out if you tell him how cool he is or how awesome his sermons are. But does anyone have Greg’s mobile number? Have you been invited to his house? Does he visit people in their homes? Only the few who are giving a lot to the church can answer those questions in the affirmative. For the rest of us, Greg is just a stranger, a stranger who takes home $100,000 a year for preaching ungodly rubbish.
– No one can call Greg. His number is not listed, and he refuses to own a mobile phone. Funnily though, he has every member’s numbers so he can call them when he needs them! A tiny bit hypocritical, if one may say so?
- Does your pastor know you?
You may not be friends. You may have only spoken a few times. You may not have ever even seen your pastor outside of your church. But does your pastor know you? If he saw you at the grocery store, would he recognize you? Even better, would he initiate conversation with you?
I lament the church growth movement and its leaning on the “bigger is better” mentality. Megachurches have likely suffered from the adverse effects of one person “pastoring” tens of thousands. In my opinion, there’s simply no way for that pastor to truly pastor that church. A pastor is a shepherd, and a shepherd knows his sheep by name.
– Greg does not know what I do for a living but he knows how much each member gives to the church and he would prefer it that everyone to did a direct bank transfer. He knows the names of the members who contribute significant amounts of money and he loves them. Oh, he really loves them.
- Does your pastor speak the truth?
Even if your pastor speaks a word from the Bible that cuts you to the core, can you hear those words and still say, “That’s the truth?” If his sermon feels more like a Band-Aid® suddenly being torn away from your flesh rather than it being gently removed, can you still say, “Amen?”
Does he hold unswervingly to the Bible regardless of the ebb and flow of popular culture (and even church culture)? Is he the same person behind the pulpit as he is in the grocery store? Does he speak the truth from a life aligned with the truth?
– Greg does not speak the truth even about speaking the truth. He lies to cover up his other lies and then re-defines what lying really means – as Bill Clinton did.
- Does your pastor open and teach the Word of God?
This ought to be a rhetorical question for today’s pastors, but its answer can’t be taken for granted, unfortunately. As I wrote last week, many churches seeking to hire pastors don’t ask about applicants’ theological understandings because these churches assume that applicants have at least a rudimentary understanding of the Bible. That’s not always the case.
Can you ask your pastor a biblically based theological question and receive a coherent, thoughtful reply? He doesn’t have to showcase a Doctorate of Ministry-level vocabulary, but he ought to be able to easily enter into a biblical discussion with you. And if you dig further, he ought to be able to hold his own, or at least point you to other books or resources that can help you.
– One rarely sees a Bible in Greg’s hands? He’s too cool to be seen with a bible. He just prints his old sermons and reuses them. If you listened carefully to Greg’s sermons and compared it with what the Bible teaches, you would be so upset, you’d be tempted to fling your shoe at him – mid-sermon, specifically if your shoe was unusable and had a foul smell emanating from it, just like it does from Greg’s sermons. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Greg does not have even a rudimentary understanding of the bible.
Today’s pastors ought to be theological experts, and we should hold them to such a standard.
To summarize, if your pastor is available, knows you, speaks the truth, and knows the Bible, he’s not a bully pastor.
– Greg is not available, does not know most members, does not speak the truth and does not know the bible! He lies, manipulates outcomes, humiliates members, pushes out people who disagrees with him, but the leadership will not deal with this bully!
If you do not like Dr Randy White’s summarization, then here’s what other theologians say about pastors who are like Greg.
The points raised by the different bible teachers are in the same vein as what has been presented in this article.
How does one deal with a bully? We call it out!