Preaching The Gospel From The Word, Being A Pastor; And The Importance Of Integrating Psychology And Religion

“Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” – Luke 5:30-32

“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified”. – 2 Corinthians 13:5

Preaching the gospel involves declaring the truth about the Lord, about His Coming, and about the things of which He is the author, namely things that belong to salvation and eternal life. Everything in the Word in its inmost sense has to do solely with the Lord, and also everything in worship represents Him. A pastor and preacher cares for the soul of his charge. The pastor looks to the need of what is current now in the life of the person and parish, and at the same time to the eternal life of salvation of every person; and he seeks to serve what the people need to prepare for heaven.

When the pastors motivation is right then his heart is right and this elevates his perception to have the wisdom to serve and guide well. There is nothing that elevates ones perception to help as does love for the Word, for the Word is the source of spiritual intelligence from the divine. The word ‘talents’ in the ‘Parable of the Talents’ means spiritual intelligence, or gifts of the soul. This, especially for the pastor, involves and requires the integration of psychology and religion. An essential part of spiritual intelligence is psychological understanding. The Word asks us to examine ourself, and psychology provides much of the awareness and process to do this. This is very important because we must have the courage to search the inner cause of our problems in order to make real change. All too often religious people use religious ideology to by-pass, or avoid their problems and this is the wrong use of religion. There is no humility in this. We must honestly examine ourself and deal with the productive pain of facing and going through the problem, and becoming a better person.

This commitment to understanding ourself is what makes us effective in seeing what others are going through and how and when to communicate about it. This takes thoughtfulness and skill. This comes from life experience of processing one’s own problems in life, and also from study.

This is important because Religion got a bad name from forcing and imposing dogma on people. It is sometimes necessary to be assertive, but usually this is psychologically foolish because it has the opposite effect of causing anger and resentment. Religion and its leaders, also, all too often, use their authority to have power over the people. Pastors who use this authority for their own fame and glory are doing an evil deed. The Lord calls this ‘spiritual thievery’; for, in truth, all religious authority is the Lord’s alone. He is the author of the Word and divine principle; pastors are merely servants in His house. Similarly, it is essential to recognize that all good comes from the Lord.

The problem with psychology is that, all too often, it does not recognize the source of all truth and healing, which is God, Jesus Christ. The only way to receive the Lord is to approach Him in humility. This is the most essential recognition for without this a human being has nothing to humble themself. The circuitry of the human mind, psyche and soul only works in its true form when we recognize that all good comes from the Lord. This completes the circuit of receiving and giving. This is profoundly and structurally true – for the human soul is a receptacle – and God is the source. We are the vessel and He is the potter as the Bible tells us. This means that our soul is an organ, in the highest from in the universe – the human form. It is the highest form because it is made in ‘the image of God’. God is the perfect human, and we are human because He is. He is infinite and we are finite. We receive life, which is love and wisdom, from him. We do not have intrinsic life – only He does. This is essential for the pastor to understand so He always sees him or herself in the light of humility, and in the role of a servant. The more they do the more they receives love and wisdom in themself to be a wise servant. This is so for everyone.

With these goals on His heart the pastor learns from and teaches from the Word about the life of Jesus, so the people can develop an intimate relationship with the Lord, deal with the trials and troubles of life, and live from the principles of the Word. The pastor then is also a good example, and an honest leader of the church, and he teaches good doctrine.

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