The Pastoral or Rabbinical office in the modern day congregation is not biblical.
Original authored 2015
Revised Thursday February 10, 2022
Copyright © 2022 by Steven J Caswell
Author: Steven J Caswell
No part of this work may be reproduced in whole or in part or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, except as expressly permitted by the 1976 Copyright Act or in writing from the author.
But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi,’ for One is your Teacher, the Messiah, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth your father, for One is your Father, He who is in the heavens. Neither be called leaders, for One is your Leader, the Messiah. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. Matthew 23:8-12 TS2009
The role of Pastor among the early Ekklesia is quite different than the office of the head Pastor in the modern “churches” today. Unlike the body in most churches of today, the early Ekklesia were a participatory body.
We are not told in scripture that it is the pastor who will teach us, but rather the anointing of Yeshua HaMashiach.
“But the anointing which you have received from Him stays in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as the same anointing does teach you concerning all, and is true, and is no falsehood, and even as it has taught you, you stay in Him.” 1 John 2:27 TS2009
“Neither be called leaders, for One is your Leader, the Messiah.” Matthew 23:10 TS2009
The lead Pastor/Rabbi is a fundamental figure within the “church or modern day synagogue” who is met with praise, accolades, and reliance upon to deliver the Word of Elohim to the congregation. Most often, he is on the top of the hierarchical ladder, or status as the main focal figure to render out theological interpretations within the “church.” He is often trained and graduated with a degree from a seminary or other school who has met the criteria, or qualifications to maintain their position as a professional.
The dichotomy between what is “sacred” and what is “worldly” is a pagan conception and not the mindset of the Ekklesia. In the Kingdom of Elohim, ordained spiritual elitism has no foundation since every believer has the discernment from God to recognize those who have particular giftings that God has given them. Among the early Ekklesia, the word “ordain” did not mean to be put into an official title, but rather it was an affirmation of the gifting and character of an individual that is recognized.
The office of Pastor or Rabbi is commonly a magnet for Narcissistic types who view the role as the “head of the church.” Scripturally, the word Pastor is used in plural form. What this means is, there is no Scriptural evidence that there was a singular senior head pastoral practice among the early Ekklesia. Pastor, as many know, is the Latin word for shepherd, and the Greek word for pastors is rendered as poimenas, which also means shepherds. Therefore, a pastor is not a professional title, but a metaphor for one of the various functions of the Ekklesia. A shepherd is a person who cares for and nurtures the people of Elohim, but not within the context of a professional hierarchical title.
However, two men had remained in the camp. The name of one was Eldaḏ, and the name of the other Měyḏaḏ. And the Spirit rested upon them. Now they were among those listed, but did not go out to the Tent. And they prophesied in the camp. Numbers 11:26-29
This passage gives an example of Moses opposing hierarchical or “special” positions that would suppress all of God’s people from using their giftings to the specially qualified.
I wrote to the assembly, but Diotrephes, who loves to be the first among them, does not receive us. So if I come, I shall call to mind his works which he does, babbling against us with wicked words. And not satisfied with that, he himself does not receive the brothers, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the assembly. 3 John 1:9,10 TS2009
The Pastoral office as defined in our western world is not the Biblical model, but rather man made which is a distortion of gifting. The Ekklesia were led only by Messiah where his body is recognized by men who were all of equal standing. Everyone in the body was recognized by their spiritual maturity and not by their hierarchical elitism.
We can trace the deviation from the biblical Pastoral office back to Ignatius of Antioch (AD 35-107) and the role of the bishop. The bishop required absolute obedience in the “church” and was given complete authority.
The ordination into an office originates from pagan rites by empowering an individual through divine streams to become venerable, honorable, and separated. It is the syncretism of Old Testament priesthood with Greek hierarchy. In contrast, every person who was part of the early Ekklesia set not themselves higher than one another, but in humility served each another. This is the model in scripture that Yeshua gave us.
The church we read about in the Bible was organized in a very simple way. A general pattern was to have two or more qualified men overseeing each local congregation or church. These men could be referred to as the “eldership”. Each man must meet several high qualifications which the Bible lists in two passages. Elders are the spiritual leaders of a congregation. They also watch out for the souls of the members like a shepherd.
Yeshua HaMashiach is the head of every local church or assembly. Not a Pastor, in fact in the early assembly there were pastors.
The following list are unscriptural man made terms and titles, many of which are titles only Elohim himself has rights to! In fact, most of these terms are outright blasphemous for a man to use! Pope
Metropolitan or Archbishop Protopresbyter
· His All Holiness
· His Eminence
· His Beatitude
· His Grace
· Very Reverend
· Right Reverend
· Reverend Father