Pastoral Oversight ≠ Authoritarianism

Some representing a particular branch of the Reformed Baptist world have recently made a great number of negative claims about certain other RB pastors and churches.  I do not expect that those who have been spoken against will publicly defend themselves, and I am in no position to take up the specific accusations myself.

However, I do want to provide some primary sources which will put to rest any implications that the practice of Pastoral oversight or the doctrine of parity in the eldership are tantamount to authoritarianism.  I am currently attempting to gain permission to post some excellent original sources for the doctrine of parity.  I will post them soon if I am able.


Let us first set the record straight on Biblical Pastoral Oversight.  Here are links to four lectures by Pastor A.N. Martin on the topic.  Please listen to them for yourselves and I believe you will see that there is nothing in them that has anything to do with sinful authoritarian pastoring.

The Essence of Biblical Oversight

The Disposition of Biblical Oversight part 1

The Disposition of Biblical Oversight part 2

The Biblical Importance of Oversight

His Throne is Forever and Ever!


3 comments on “Pastoral Oversight ≠ Authoritarianism

  1. I am sure that if I listen to each of these sermons with rapt attention, that I would find that each would be crystal clear theologically.

    But that is not the point…

    The point is, why don’t the associate?

    • Michael, my last post was devoted to the answer to that question. I provided explanations from three different pastors providing their reasons against entering into formal associations. I believe Alan Dunn’s was the most thorough. Now, we can choose to take these men at their word, or we can choose to allow the opinions of those who oppose them to convince us that their true reasons are of a sinister nature. I will choose the former. Have these churches, in some instances, failed to act in as Biblical a manner as they should have? Of course, but there is no doubt that we could find numerous examples of less than Biblical interchurch interaction among churches who do hold to formal associations as well. This post was simply made to disprove any implications that pastoral oversight is an unbiblical practice invented by authoritarian pastors.

      • Thank you for your reply!

        I am picking up what you laying down, Rex. You are obviously closer to the larger picture than I am. And, i am tending to agree with you. However, theological statements, regardless how carefully worded, even if they are statements of faith, answer the original question. They only enlarge the question.

        There needs to be a pulling together by the larger movement, not questions surrounding faith vs. practice.

        Peace and grace

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