June 24, 2021

Must a Pastor Be Spirit-Filled?

The first thing that Bethel uses to try to get us to leave the church is to try to shock us into believing that there are no God-ordained pastors in the ministry today. None. Zero. Nada. This is what he says:

There are many so-called “pastors” who are born again, but there are none who have been sent by God to be pastors. One thing that obscures this fact is that God obviously uses many pastors to minister to congregations. God used a fish and a worm to accomplish His purposes with Jonah, a jackass to accomplish His purposes with Balaam, and Satan to accomplish His purposes with Job. The mere fact that God uses a “pastor” to accomplish His purposes does not mean that the Lord sent him (or her) to be a God-ordained pastor. There are many women “pastors” today that minister to congregations, but God does not send women to be pastors. There are even practicing homosexuals that serve as pastors, but God does not send homosexuals to serve in that capacity.

So, basically this premise rests on the following: God can use any vehicle He chooses despite the vehicle. However, God would only choose ones that would meet Bethel’s checklist, and so there must not be any one that has been sent. (One wonders where Bethel himself fits on this list?)

So, let’s look at his first qualification on the checklist.

A God-sent pastor would have been filled with the Holy Spirit. Many pastors and teachers claim that every Christian is filled with the Holy Spirit when they are saved, but that is not true. One may or may not be filled with the Holy Spirit at virtually the same time one is born again, but most are not. Being filled is a separate experience, and most Christians have never been filled with the Holy Spirit, including the vast majority of “pastors.” And even if a so-called pastor was filled, he would not have met all of the other qualifications to be sent by God.

Let me start off by saying that I totally agree that the Spirit’s filling and Spiritual Baptism are two different things and I agree with him here. A person who is born again is indeed baptized into the Spirit, but he may or may not be filled with the spirit at that time.

However, there’s a dilemma and a cop-out here. First the dilemma. If one can be filled and then not filled with the spirit (i.e. they may not have been at conversion, but it is certainly something that Paul claims that you can work / pray toward) is he saying that the people we know were called to be pastor in the New Testament (i.e. Timothy) were always filled with the spirit? How would one go about proving this?

Could Bethel argue that even Paul, who said that the good that he would do he doesn’t and that which he should not do he does, was constantly filled with the spirit? I’d like to see that argument!

And then the cop-out: If he was filled with the spirit, then he certainly couldn’t fill all of the rest of them! Either he’s presuming on the power of the Spirit (the power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead, and has victory over sin!) or the ability for God to be able to call a man with even his stringent list of qualifications!

One gets the impression early that he doesn’t want anyone to be able to be a pastor for whatever reason, not that he’s honestly deducing this from research.

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2 thoughts on “Must a Pastor Be Spirit-Filled?

  1. Oh boy, interesting stuff. This Mr. Bethel dude sounds like quite a character. I read your other post on him, and in the comments, his reply to Anna. How Christ-like of him.
    I look forward to your daily break-downs.

  2. Things he says can scare a baby Christian like me. Here I am, more or less knowing which group of people to choose to worship God with, I have scrutinized them for some time, observed them, listened to the pastor, found him a good shepard and a man who uses Lord’s Sword richly and potently, and now I come across Mr. Bethel. Imagine that – him throwing down almost everything I have built.
    A very possible scenario.

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