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Boxing Your Church into a Corner

Posted by Matt Postiff August 10, 2023 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Theology  Church 

Suppose it comes time for your church to find a new pastor. How easily will it be to find a pastor who believes the particular form of doctrine your constitution requires and will enthusiastically teach that doctrine?

It is hard to find a new pastor or an additional pastor, but the job is made more difficult if your doctrinal statement has boxed you into a corner...or stated another way, you have boxed OUT certain otherwise fine candidates.

Example: you demand the King James Version in your doctrinal statement. First of all, that is a big mistake. When set side-by-side with the Bible itself, the KJVO doctrine falls short. After all, the KJV did not exist in the first century, so no one believed in that version for the first 1,500 years of the church. Second, the number of good men who believe that way, and who will enthusiastically preach it, is rightly dwindling. Your doctrine unnecessarily boxes you into a corner because KJVO is a constraint that the Bible itself does not put on a pastoral candidate. If the apostle Paul did not have to believe it, then I think I am safe to say that neither am I required to believe it!

Example: your doctrine requires a five-point Calvinist theology. Does everyone in your church actually believe that way? And would a good Calvinist man who believes say, 4 points, not be good enough to be the pastor of your church?

Look at your doctrinal statement and see if there is anything in there which is unnecessarily restrictive. Certainly there will be doctrines in there with which some people will disagree. Our own statement is quite detailed in its presentation of what we believe and teach. But some things truly are unnecessary additions. And if they are truly unnecessary, you will often find that they are unbiblical. If unbiblical, then harmful. And one harm is this: it will prevent good pastoral candidates, and good members, from joining the church.

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