Far too often, I see people that worship their church leaders. They put Pastor So-and-So up on a pedestal and anything that Pastor says is automatically “God’s own truth” (even when it does not match up with the Bible.) Oh, they don’t call it “worship” – instead choosing more acceptable adjectives like “adore,” “respect” and “greatly admire” – but when they put Pastor So-and-So in the position of being “in charge” of their spiritual walk, and Pastor So-and-So (a person just like the rest of us) can do no wrong in their eyes – it’s worship and/or idolatry regardless of what you call it.
This isn’t a new phenomenon by any means. Peter faced it in Acts.  When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him.  But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am a man.” (Acts 10:25-26 ESV)
God calls people to ministry – yes – but He does not call them to take the place of His Son. A pastor is called to lead, teach, minister to those in need and be there for his or her flock. A pastor is to be of good moral character and one would hope that he/she would take great pains to walk the path of righteousness – but these traits should never be mistaken for perfection. Pastors are people and people are flawed and have sin in their lives. Your pastor will answer for his/her sins as well as how he/she led their flock, but on Judgement Day, your pastor will not stand before the Lord and answer for your sins and choices! It’s just that simple!
You may be wondering where this is coming from. An ongoing email conversation with a man who found my website about Christian Music is what started it. He sent me a note quite out of the blue assuring me that there is “no such thing” as Christian rock music. From there he moved on to name calling and after about three days, he went so far as to assure me that I will not be entering the Kingdom of Heaven because I promote Christian rock music and “it is blasphemy!”
Throughout his tirades, I remained calm. I responded to his rants with Scripture in a humble tone. He finally pulled out his “big gun” – his Pastor. Apparently his pastor has long taught that any musical instruments that were not used in biblical times are “of the devil.” Since electricity had not been “invented during the time of Christ,” any instruments that use electricity are off limits to believers now.
When I asked whether his church used electricity for lights/microphones/air conditioning/heat, he was quick to assure me that they weren’t a “dark ages” church, so of course they utilized those modern conveniences. (The irony was lost there, but my question did lead to another round of name calling.)
The final straw for him was when I dared to ask two final questions – What Bible passage supported his position and what if his pastor was wrong. He assured me that a. His pastor would never have to justify anything he did to “someone like me” because he was a “true man of God” and b. that his pastor was never wrong, being, in fact, “totally without sin” because he “walks with God daily.”
The bible tells us that Adam walked with God in the Garden of Eden. The Apostles spent 24/7 with Jesus for three years – yet they all had sin in their lives. Paul called himself the “chief of all sinners.” How can any person believe that anyone other than Jesus is perfect and without sin?
I’ve met some really wonderful pastors in my life. Men and women who took their calling very seriously (as do I) … but never have I met anyone who even came close to deserving the worship that is reserved for Jesus.
Today I challenge you to look at your own response to your religious leaders. Ask yourself if you ever let your admiration turn towards worship – and be honest with your answer.