Should you not be careful about who you allow in your pulpit? What kind of parameters should be here? Shouldn’t the guest speakers’ theology be consistent with the churches (if they even know what it is)?
American Missionary and Pastor of Calvary Chapel Svitlovodsk in Svitlovodsk, Ukraine
YES! you should be very careful. the easiest thing is if there is someone who share largely similar theology. i am very careful about who i let take the pulpit. that doesn’t mean that i wouldn’t let someone from another movement/denomination preach (i have before), but a) i seek for unity on most things first, b) if there are areas of disagreement, i make sure that person is mature enough not to get up and start to try to argue against our church’s positions. that just shows that they are immature in general.
Student at Moody Bible College (and bear hunting guide in Kodiak, AK)
Because the pulpit is where we herald God’s message, it should be guarded very carefully. Yes. I also believe every preacher should be required to discuss their personal doctrinal statement (if they have one) with the leaders of the church prior to speaking. If there’s any question, have the guest speaker provide a manuscript, or at least an outline with his or her main idea of the message before preaching. Their theology should definitely be consistent with the church’s theology. Pastors are shepherds, spiritual guardians of the flock. Elders guard doctrine, or they should.
These questions are very thought provoking. We need to be here for each other, and I’m delighted to discuss these things. Blessings, Nathan
Nathaneal P. Taylor
Graduate of Westminster Seminary and Ruling Elder at Christ Church Presbyterian in Irvinet, CA
Teachers should be very careful as to who they allow in their pulpit. They should only allow those to preach who are willing to affirm an Orthodox baptist or reformed creed or/and by having a interview on the theology of the preaching candidate. These are both ways to prevent heresy from being taught from the pulpit.
I hope this was a help to brother.
Blessings in Christ,
Graduate of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and former pastor of Vintage Life Church in Fontana, CA
Absolutely. A church is essentially endorsing anyone who preaches from their pulpit and their message. We wouldn’t even let volunteers be a part of our worship team if they had a misguided theology or even an immature lifestyle and faith. They represent our church who represents Jesus daily. A church needs to protect the sheep from EVERY false teaching and even from the unintentional misleading or sowing of doubt from inept preachers.
Sorry for the short answers. I hope this helps and encourages you.
Blessings in Christ,
Former Calvary Chapel Ontario Assistant Pastor and Current Executive Director of Tri-County Love INC, a compassion based ministry in Eastern Oregon
Yes. As a position of being outside and inside the church, the parameters are messy. With Love INC we use the Apostle’s creed to determine who we partner with.
I’ve preached in churches that are theological inconsistent with my beliefs. I normally preach on very broad topics that we do agree upon. I preached at a church of the Brethren once, who are pacifists. Believing that God has not called Christians to pacificism, was a challenge. (In the last year, I received my concealed weapon permit, due to circumstances I faced with my job. I normally carry everywhere, but I do disarm when entering the Brethren church out of respect, even if they do not know I carry.)
I think pastor’s ought to share the pulpit with persons who are at least theologically aware enough to know the differences between the speaker and the church AND the pastor should have the conversation with the speaker. I try to do this, but most of the pastor’s I fill in for gladly hand over the pulpit.
Pastor of Calvary Chapel Central Maui
You should be careful because you have to give an account to God. I may share my pulpit with someone that I don’t fully agree with, as long as their given topic of discussion is something that I agree with ie an apologist who doesn’t believe the gifts are for today, as long as he is speaking about apologetics and not pneumatology.
Long time friend and avid theology student
You should be very careful. I think the best test for sharing the pulpit is first orthodoxy, and then consistency. There should be ample evidence that the said person is within the pale of orthodoxy, and second, there should be a consistent, demonstrable history of teaching orthodoxy. I think certain guest speakers can offer helpful insights on certain things, but yet not have to be in total agreement over non-essentials. It is possible to still partner in ministry while disagreeing on certain things i.e. MacArthur and Sproul doing ministry together, despite disagreement over infant baptism.
Long time friend, evangelist and avid theology student
Elders should be very careful concerning who they allow to teach the flock. A speaker who is given the task to teach the flock should have already been carefully examined by the leadership via the speaker’s own words and testimony. As before noted, that which the speaker teaches should of the same mind with the leadership, “teach no other doctrine” than that which ministers “godly edifying which is in faith.” (1 Timothy 1:2-4). Double minded preaching is unstable and leads to confusion in the church.”Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:28-30) “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1)
Grace be with you, Abraham
Graduate of Master’s Seminary, Co-Founder and President of Chicago Reformed Seminary
I would say yes to all 4 questions.
Pastor of Cross Connection in Escondido, CA
Should you not be careful about who you allow in your pulpit? What kind of parameters should be here? Shouldn’t the guest speakers theology be consistent with the churches (if they even know what it is)?
I have had, and would have in the future people share from the pulpit, who differ from me on theological positions. But, let me clarify.
First, there are times that I’ve had people share who disagree with me or I with them on some issues of doctrine, but they’re sharing on a differing topic that we do agree on. The fact is, most people out there probably have some issue that we would disagree on. So where do I draw the line. Even within CC there are a lot of areas that I would disagree with other CC guys and they with me.
Secondly, differences in doctrine may exist but not really be errant. You have to identify what you hold as essentially important.
To me—one who would not be considered reformed by someone like Piper or even Driscoll, but would be by some within CC—I do not see most reformed theology as essentially important. Both Piper (on the reformed side) and say Bryson (on the non-reformed side) would totally disagree with me on that… But that’s ok. So, I would not have a problem inviting Begg or Driscoll to speak at a conference. In addition, eschatology is not a huge essential to me (I’m pretty outside of the norm within CC on this). So I would have no problem with someone who holds alternate views on end times speak at my church.
Last point on this. I’m still pretty choosy about who I have preach at Cross Connection, but not necessarily on a doctrinal basis as much as on a practical issue. Anyone that would be on a fairly short list would already pass any doctrinal test… But they would also need to (in my estimation) be able to deliver a message that will somehow connect. It is hard to explain and is a somewhat intangible X-factor, so I’m not entirely sure how to say it.
Hope this all helps.
Youth Pastor at New Song Christian Community Church in Wildomar, CA
Yes, but I would be fine giving my pulpit to someone who differs in even issues like infant baptism, eschatology, and even soteriology up to a point. But again, it depends on what the purpose and character of that person are like. But an unbeliever would never get my pulpit. The only time I would let an unbeliever speak in church would be at a funeral service when I let friends and family of the deceased speak. That’s it. Period.
I hope that helps!
Whitefield and Wesley were friendly, but they actually stopped talking after a letter Whitefield wrote him for some time. Then at his funeral Wesley preached. So, as I understand, they did actually part over the whole deal.
That is one thing I have a hard time seeing. I know elders can disagree with some things. But soteriology seems to be so tightly connected to the Gospel that it seems it should be close handed among the elders. Those have been my thoughts on that.
Wesley & Whitfield’s division is my point. I think it shows their younger vigorous sides were actually unwise. As they matured I think they came to value each other more. That is what happens with sanctification, it makes you care about the important things more, and the small things matter even less. For me it has been the gradual revelation of the amazingness of grace. This has been through trials together with the application of the Word. In each one God has shown me more about His grace. It makes me want to bear with others’ faults more, and not really care about minor things as much. This has been the way it is for all the men of God I really respect. I mean really KNOW and respect. I mean the kind of guy who smells like Jesus. 10 years ago I was a gung ho “Calvary” guy. I bought a lot of the Calvary Chapel line without really examining things. I still think it’s a great church, and my intention isn’t to bash anyone. But I just don’t drink the kool aid concerning eschatology and ministry philosophy. I want less of all that, and just more Jesus.
Jim Teri Baugh
Former Pastor who now works in International Leadership Development at Global Training Network
Of course. I would not want a Mormon teaching or preaching. I would guide the teachers by 5 essentials mentioned above. If the guy was a broad or strict Calvinist or Arminian, I would let them preach as long as their preaching did not violate the 5 essentials. Their is much more to say, but my time is up.
Pastor of The Shelter Church in San Diego
YES, Guest speakers need to be approved by pastor or elders, and not be allowed to teach doctrines that conflict with the essentials of the church doctrinal statement. If they are of another branch of the faith they should be instructed not to speak on those matters and to keep the unity. We (shelter) do not allow non reformed preaching from the pulpit. Just personal testimonies, and then I will correct the views that are presented to repair any damage done to tender minds and protect the essential truths of the gospel.
Pastor of Downtown Cornerstone Church in Seattle, WA
Yes, you should be careful who you allow in the pulpit. Of course, this is incredibly difficult in contexts where there isn’t a lot of gospel fluency or trained preachers.
Pastor of Fellowship Bible Church in St Cloud, MN
Yes, we should be very careful about who teaches or preaches the Word to our people. Elders are responsible to guard the doctrine. I do not have guest speakers unless they are very compatible with what we teach week in and week out. If there was a guest speaker or someone from within the church that taught something objectionable, we would correct that with the speaker and with our people…hopefully in a loving but well documented way.
Former elder, long time friend, evangelist and avid theology student
I agree, but my agreement does not dictate what is or is not.. (now if I was an elder or what have you, then I would (if i had guest speakers) only invite those that upheld my same beliefs), but i think there is a place for bringing in people with different views as well.. (Like Piper bringing in Doug Wilson)
Pastor of Smyrna Presbyterian in Smyrna, Georgia
Yes. Theology and Biblical (Reformed) world and life view are essential to preach in the pulpit here. There are also what I call Pastoral and cultural issues that might need to be considered. I’ll be happy to hover those in more detail later when I have more time.
Sorry for the brevity of this response. I’m slammed this week, but wanted to get back to you.
Pastor of Calvary Chapel Woodland, in Woodland, CA
Yes we do need to be very careful of who we allow in the pulpit. They need to be biblically sound and I believe it is important that they share the churches theology as not to confuse the flock or allow a potential false doctrine to enter the church and cause damage/disunity.
Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
Which is also why the elders need to be in agreement on theology, decisions and direction.
These are my thoughts on this Jacoby. Let me know if you need any clarification or if you need to expound more specifically on anything. Blessings my brother- you are continually in our prayers.
MTW Missionary and Regional Director in Odessa, Ukraine
Absolutely. In our denomination someone must be licensed to preach, or have a very strong history / reputation to preach from the pulpit. If I were a pastor in a non-Presbyterian church and didn’t have those parameters, and had a potential guest preacher, I would want to know exactly what he believed, and what he would be preaching on. Is this helpful? What are you dealing with right now?
Long time friend and insightful theology student
Of course! Anyone who stands behind the pulpit needs to have the same core doctrines and beliefs as those leaders who are allowing them to speak.
Friend and serious student of theology
Very careful, parameters of good character and sound doctrine and the trust with past involvement. Yes the guest speaker needs to be like minded.
Friend and serious student of theology
I believe we can make a lot of issues of a lot of things, but I think that if the word of God is being preached, the Pastor will not make anything else as significant as that.
“Where there is no guidance, a people falls,
but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.”