I find Matthew 23 so chilling. Jesus is tearing the Pharisees to shreds. And, as He does so, I recognize so much of myself in them.
There's one line in particular that gets me thinking:
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are." (v15)
Evangelism is not a good thing in and of itself. It is a dreadful thing if it is done according to the wrong evangel. It reproduces children of the devil. In fact it makes them more devilish than the evangelist. Now that is scary.
And I wonder whether we can apply that same insight to pastoral care.
Here's my contention: Pastoral care is not good in and of itself. If you 'help' someone according to your own Pharasaical gospel, you will do nothing more than spread demonic influence. In fact you will make the pastored person twice the son of hell that you are.
It seems to me, therefore, the question is not whether we do evangelism so much as which evangel we preach.
And similarly, the big issue is not so much getting your church to be pastorally minded. The real issue is making sure they know the gospel. 'Pastoring' that is not a thoroughly gospel pastoring will do incredible harm.
Please don't help me unless you're bringing me gospel help. Otherwise you torment me with the powers of hell.
More to follow...