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"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources
« "The Great Shepherd of the Sheep" -- Hebrews 13:17-25 | Main | This Week at Christ Reformed Church (May 12-18) »

Gotta Get Me an "Armor-Bearer"

I hear of such things going on in churches, but it is still hard for me to accept the fact that they really do.

In a recent opinion piece, J. Lee Grady (former editor of Charisma Magazine) mentions what he considers to be six really bad charismatic doctrines (h. t. Gene Veith).   

Only six?  Obviously, a subject for discussion another time.  But two of the six Grady mentions are simply incomprehensible to me. 
(6 Really Bad Charismatic Doctrines)

Number Three is bad enough . . .

3. Inaccessible leadership. In the 1980s, some charismatic ministries began to teach pastors and traveling ministers that in order to “protect the anointing,” they must stay aloof from people. Ministers were warned to never make friends in their congregations. Preachers began the strange practice of skipping worship on Sunday mornings—and then appearing on the stage only when it was time for the sermon in order to make a dramatic entrance. Shame on these people for attempting to justify arrogance. Jesus loved people, and He made Himself available to them. So should we.

I wonder if the elders would let me "hide" in back and then pop out at the pulpit at some dramatic moment?  Avoid making friends, and visiting with church members?  What an impoverished ministerial call and cold church that would be!

But it is number four on Grady's list which blows my mind:

4. Armor-bearers. The same guys who developed item No. 3 started this strange fad. Preachers began the practice of surrounding themselves with an entourage: one person to carry the briefcase, another person to carry the Bible, another to carry the handkerchief. Some preachers hired bodyguards … and even food-tasters! The armor-bearers were promised special blessings if they served preachers who acted like slave-owners. Reminder: True leaders are servants, not egomaniacs.

Can I really get someone to taste the food for me before the church potluck?  Someone to carry my bookbag, or extra-handkerchiefs--even though one is plenty, since a handkerchief stuffed in someone else's pocket usually doesn't do much but gross out others forced to touch it?  Some of these guys sweat up a storm--one Jesus-only type comes to mind.  People really expect to get healed from touching one of these guy's handkerchiefs?

We can even give the person a cool biblical sounding title--"armor-bearer."  I'm all for reasonable church security, but "armor-bearer," "food-taster" and personal butler?  We better dash off an overture to classis.  We are doing things all wrong . . .

But anyone I hired to protect me would be far more likely to be associated with terms like "armor-piercing" and "body-armor" than with "armor-bearer."

Amazing . . .

Reader Comments (7)

How about a "bullet taker?" Secret Service agents are supposed to jump in front of the person they are protecting and take a bullet for him or her.
May 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWill
"... another to carry the handkerchief."

The imagery gave me a hearty, good laugh.

I'd volunteer for food-tasting duties, but I already eat too much pizza as it is.
May 12, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterarmk
I remember a couple of church picnics in which a food taster would have been prudent.
May 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDavid W.
Love this one, it resonates with me on so many levels!

As for inaccessible leadership, there was an episode of Table Talk Radio (those funny Lutherans) where Wolfmueller was reading from a book on Church Growth that stated that pastors (if they want their churches to grow) <i>must not</i> personally contact congregants: no home visits, phone calls, hospital visits, so yes that's a real thing.

As for "popping out", when I was in college I went to (suffered at) the Rock Church franchise in Baltimore, under Bart Pierce. His practice was to hang out I don't know where during the worship ('whip into frenzy') part of the service, and then triumphantly stride down the aisle during the last song to mount the pulpit.

"Armor-bearer:" that's a pretty good name. My brother-in-law's dad is actually part of an entourage of a megapastor somewhere in TX. The group is called "The Mighty Men", like David's mighty men. But when I heard about it the first time I heard wrong and thought it was "The Mighty Mites", so that's how I still think of them.
May 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRubeRad
I went to read the full article and read the comments section. I think blood may be shooting from my eyes. Could be a manifestation of the Spirit! (sarc)
May 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWhalevox
The whole idea of the Holy Spirit speaking directly to "leaders" with some sort of vision to do XYZ is a horrendous disaster in the church.

Here is Robert Morris stating you're cursed if you don't tithe.

Saddleback and many other Seeker "churches" have him speak on this important topic. It's mainstream now.
May 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobin
This brings back memories.

I remember watching Spanish "Christian" TV as a teen and listening to one Argentine preacher called Ricardo Di Rocco; the man sounded like an Argentine Benny Hinn. He was talking about how preachers (maybe Christians in general) should not have their hair cut by unbelievers in order to protect the anointing. The barber could be doing witchcraft while laying hands on a man's head.

Unfortunately, I think these practices have become more common. There are some who recognize them as foolish, but they tend to be a minority in my experience. The practices and beliefs are so stupid and unbiblical, but when you convert among such people or are raised by them, it becomes normal and biblical in your mind. It doesn't help either when people are told, "Don't touch my Anointed!" As if honest questioning is some evil or sinful act. I say if they are so anointed, light them up with a match; I'm speaking metaphorically for all you Pentecostals/Charismatics out there.
May 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlberto

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