带领者的权柄|麦克阿瑟牧师谈希伯来书13:17

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按,Al是一位在中美洲宣教一辈子的独立宣教士,穆迪神学院毕业以后就和妻子Linda去宣教去了,从来没有加入任何宣教机构。退休回来之后,在我们教会教导英文主日学。

周日我们谈到我心里正担心的事情,但是因为礼拜开始了,所以话没有谈完。Al回家之后就仔细研究了我们讨论的话题,给我发来他研究圣经相关经文的一些想法。其中关于约翰麦克阿瑟的采访十分有益,姑且翻译在平台上发表,版权属于Al和麦克阿瑟牧师。翻译版权我放弃,请大家随便引用。

原文出处:https://www.gracia.org/library/sermons-library/GTY135


希伯来书13:17说,“你们要依从那些引导你们的,且要顺服;因他们为你们的灵魂时刻儆醒,好象那将来交账的人。你们要使他们交的时候有快乐,不至忧愁;若忧愁就与你们无益了。”所以,神命令我们要顺服教会的领袖们。然而我们也知道教会里存在滥权的领袖,他们自以为可以靠着神赐的权柄取利,实际上是在虐待神的羊群。

那么,圣经所给的界限在何处呢?约翰麦克阿瑟(John MacArthur),一位忠于圣经的作家,在加州恩典圣经教会(Grace Bible Church in California)牧会的受人尊重的牧师,在一次采访中谈到这个问题:

好吧,这个问题可以引出很多的讨论。首先,我需要说明的是,这里的底线是没有任何传道人仅仅因为蒙召而具有任何权柄。我绝不因为自己蒙召而在任何时候、在任何人身上拥有任何权柄。我无权管辖人。我无权控制教会的领导层。我无权在任何事情上自行其是地做出决定。我唯一拥有的权柄不是来自于学术上有更好的训练,也不因为我蒙召讲道和教导。同样,也不是因为我被称为教会的主任牧师。我在教会里唯一拥有的权柄是由神的话语委派(delegated)给我的权柄。我唯一能以权威的方式就任何事情发表观点的时间,是当我讲述神的话语时。我无权说,“你变成这样……你做这事……你去这里……你做这事,将房间涂成绿色,买这个东西,或者类似的事情。”而我一生也从未如此行使权柄。我无权控制人们的生活。神才有权掌管他的教会中每个人的生命。权柄本质上乃是借着他的圣灵、来自他的话语。我仅仅是神手中的工具,告诉人们神说了什么,其意义如何。所以,这就是我唯一的权柄。

当一个牧师超越圣经的权柄时,他就是在滥用自己的地位。告诉别人如何生活,要做什么,与谁结婚,控制他们的生活,操控他们的人生,告诉他们应当奉献多少钱,这是在滥用牧师的角色。牧师不过是牧羊人而已,他的权柄是主耶稣基督这位大牧人所委派的。

其次,希伯来书13:17应当应用在那些忠心的牧者们身上。如果你们回顾一下耶利米书,就会看到神甚至曾严厉指责那些误导以色列的牧羊人,那些假牧人和假先知。通观圣经,历史上每个世代的每个人都受到神的启示之警告,要提防假教师和假牧人。当然,这个警告的高潮来自于新约福音书中耶稣在受难周里对以色列百姓所说的话,“不要跟随他们。不要跟随他们。”

新约的使徒提到同样的事情。也许最明确的经文出自彼得后书……或者犹大书。在其中,作者非常严肃地警告我们不要跟随假领袖,假教师。那么,你如何判断谁是真教师呢?你可以通过他们在所说的话和所行之事上对神的话语是否忠心来判断。

世上有两种异端。你可以成为教义上的异端,也可以成为道德上的异端。所以,你们要跟随那些真正忠心的人

所以希伯来书13章的预设是,作者写信的教会里拥有合法的、诚实的、忠心的牧人,因此他们需要跟随这些牧人。因此,你们需要逃避假牧人,逃避那些滥用权柄的牧人。

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Hebrews 13:17 says, “Obey your leaders and submit to them for they’re keeping watch over your souls as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning for that would be of no advantage to you.” So there’s a command there to be obedient to the leaders of the church. And yet we know that there are churches where leaders are abusive and take advantage of what they think is God-given authority and actually abuse the sheep.

What are the biblical parameters for this? John MacArthur, a biblical author and respected pastor of Grace Bible Church in California, addresses this in an interview:

Well, that opens up a wide discussion. First, I need to say this, and this is the bottom line, no preacher by virtue of his calling has any authority. I possess absolutely no authority by virtue of my calling over anybody, any time. I don’t have a right to rule people. I don’t have a right to rule the leadership of the church. I don’t have any right to make decisions about everything. The only authority that I possess is not academic because I’m better trained, it’s not because of my calling to preach and teach. It’s not because I’m called the senior pastor. The only authority I have at all in the church is the delegated authority that comes through the Word of God. The only time I can ever speak authoritatively about anything is when I speak the Word of God. I don’t have authority to say, “You become this…you do this…you go over here…you do this, paint this room green, buy this property, whatever.” And I’ve never exercised authority in those ways. I don’t have authority over people’s lives. God has authority over the life of His church. That authority is basically from His Word and by His Spirit. I’m simply the instrument to tell people what the Word says and what it means. So that is the only authority that I have.

When a pastor gets beyond biblical authority, he has abused his position. To tell people how to live and what to do, who to marry, to control their lives, to dominate their life, tell them how much money to give, that is an abuse of the role of the pastor who is merely a shepherd that delegates authority under the Great Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Secondly, the application of Hebrews 13:17 applies to those who are faithful. If you go back to the book of Jeremiah, even God excoriated the shepherds who misled Israel, the false shepherds and false prophets. All through Scripture, everybody has been warned in every generation of history in the revelation of God about false teachers and false shepherds. Of course it reaches an apex in the New Testament gospels when Jesus says to the people of Israel in the Passion Week, “Don’t follow them. Do not follow them.”

The Apostles of the New Testament pick up the same thing. Perhaps the most definitive passage would be 2 Peter…or Jude where we are very, very seriously warned about following false leaders, false teachers. How do you judge what is true? You judge them by their fidelity to the Word of God, both in what they say and how they live.

There are two ways to be a heretic. You can be a doctrinal heretic and you can be a moral heretic. So you’re to follow those who are true to the faith.

So the assumption in Hebrews 13 is that this congregation of Hebrew believers have legitimate, honest, faithful shepherds and they need to follow those shepherds. Therefore, you need to flee false shepherds and to flee abusive shepherds.

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