My Pastor Says…

Your pastor may be right, but you still have to think for yourself.

I have a pet peeve about believers. There are times when I’m talking to other Christians and somebody shares something that I haven’t thought about before. So I ask, “Why do you believe that?”

It bothers me when they answer, “Well, my pastor says…”

That’s your answer? You believe something just because your pastor says it? That doesn’t make sense to me. You have to know what you believe. You have to know why you believe it. If you are a believer and you are open about it, then you will be asked about your beliefs. The Bible says to make sure you have an answer for each question. I don’t think that means you should tell people, “Well, my pastor says…” That’s not a real answer when the question is about faith.

Be careful believing things just because somebody else does. Talk to God yourself.

Do you let people tell you what to do? I am pretty sure you don’t. So why would you show up to church on Sunday, sit in your seat, and let somebody else tell you what to believe?

If that’s how you do things, then your answer for everything will be, “My pastor says…”

Now, your pastor may be right. Our pastors are our shepherds, and they are doing their best. They are asking God for wisdom. But when we look back through the course of church history, we see a lot of people who asked God for wisdom and then messed it up anyway. So don’t just repeat what they say. Talk to God yourself. Listen to your pastor, and take it to God.

Believers are supposed to carry the image of the Almighty God. That means we need to know what God looks like, and we do. He was here with us. And when He was, He walked the streets. Jesus went out and talked to people. Jesus helped people. Jesus taught people. That’s what it’s like to bear His image.

We need to be walking the streets and hanging out with people. We need to be helping them and sharing our wisdom and insight. We can’t do that if we don’t understand what we believe.

What’s going to happen when someone asks you a question and your answer is, “Well, my pastor says…”

I don’t think that’s going to go very far with most people. They’re going to look at you and say, “But what do you think?” You won’t know! When that happens, they’re not going to want to talk with you. They’re going to move on to the next thing.

Be prepared! There are a lot of people out there that can explain why they believe what they believe. We have to be ready to do the same. Otherwise, what will happen when somebody asks a question? How far will you get if your only answer is, “That’s what my pastor said.” If you’ve never done your own research, never done your own thinking, never prayed and never asked God to give you wisdom, then you won’t be able to connect people to Jesus. Instead, their questions will make you doubt.

We need to talk to God. Believers have the same Spirit in them that raised Jesus from the dead. We have the same Spirit that came upon Jesus and allowed Him to start doing miracles, signs and wonders. That Spirit lives inside of each of us. Ask the Spirit for wisdom, and then learn. Be wise and know the reasons for your beliefs.

I am the author of To Stir a Movement: Life, Justice, and Major League Baseball (2013), and my second book is in the works. Visit my Huffington Post page here. I blog here. Follow me on Instagram & Twitter: @JeremyAffeldt.