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Do You Love Your Doctor More Than You Love Your Pastor?

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Do You Love Your Doctor More Than You Love Your Pastor?

It seems like people love their doctor more than they love their pastor. There is a great disparity of respect in the hearts of society between the two. This is openly demonstrated in the way their advice is treated.

That was a sentiment shared with me in a recent conversation with my friend, Pastor Jerry Rowley Jr. I have taken great liberties attempting to expound on his comment.


The role of a doctor is greatly honored by our society. A doctor’s diagnosis and his orders are so respected that state laws support him. In extreme cases some states have been known to incarcerate individuals for their non-compliance to the doctor’s orders.

A pastor is greatly honored as well. The members of the congregation can choose to heed his advice. His words are sometimes received with suspicion or outright rejection. The following fictional scenarios may help describe the difference:


The new patient sat anxiously in the examination room while the doctor looked over the file holding all the test results. He made notations every now and then. Without a word, he picked up a thick book and thumbed back to the index. He located the reference he was looking for and made a few notations on the chart.

The doctor then asked a few pertinent questions, and checked the patient’s vital signs. He then turned and began to write several prescriptions.

The doctor folded the top cover back over the chart and in his best bedside manner broke the news to the patient and his spouse.

“As you know, your blood work came back and I didn’t like what I saw. So, that’s why I ordered the MRI. The bad news is, you have a mass that concerns me, it’s still contained, but if it is cancer and left untreated, it will be fatal.”

The patient then willingly goes through several months of chemo treatments. They endure more moments of pain and nausea than they wish to remember. They change their eating habits and strictly adhere to the diet the doctor gave them.

They also go back every week or so to the doctor’s office for checkups. The journey to recovery may be years. They will pay the cost and tolerate every inconvenience just to survive. They brag on their doctor and sing his praises when they go into remission.

The cost of the treatment: It varies, but sometimes runs into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The weekly office visits aren’t cheap either.

Patient 2

The Holistic Doctor looked at her patient. She told him that the cancer had spread. Her prescription was not written on paper, but she advised her patient to drink nothing but a mixture of carrot and asparagus juice. Eat no solid food, and drink only water and the carrot juice cocktail.

She then sells the patient an expensive juicing machine. The patient goes home and ingests nothing into his body but water and the prescribed juice for one year. Friends shake their heads at the patient’s willingness to follow through with the strict regimen.

Visits are made to the office to monitor his progress. After a year, the results are in. The patient is cancer free. He testifies openly and brags on the results. The diet worked.

The costs of the doctor’s visits weren’t cheap either. Even though the health insurance wouldn’t pay, he happily refinanced his house to pay for his recovery.

In both scenarios, the patient did whatever was asked of them, and willing paid for their costly treatment. They had no problem doing weekly or monthly follow-up visits. They love their doctors. They are healed.

Church Scene 1

The pastor sits in the office with a crying young man. He tells the pastor what has happened. He is ashamed.

The pastor had great hopes for him. He had shown so much potential. Now there’s much damage and others will be affected.

When the crying ends, the pastor prays with the man and then says, “I’m afraid I’m going to have to take you off the platform and set you down for a while. I want to help you recover yourself”

“How long will I be set down?”

“We’ll see. It depends on how you do. I want to see you in the prayer room before every service. I don’t want you having anything to do with the people we just talked about. I want to see some evidence of your repentance. You can recover. I will be here for you. Call me anytime if you need me or feel yourself getting weak again. I love you.

When the office visit is over, the pastor/saint relationship is over too. Rather than submit to the pastor’s prescription for recovery, and be set down for a while, the man changes churches.

The cost was nothing to the church member. The pastor gave of himself to no avail. The church lost money, a member and quite possibly, a soul.

Church Scene 2

The pastor stood behind the pulpit, his sermon had been impressed upon him in prayer. The Lord stirred his heart to preach against the things of the world that were in the church.

Signs of worldliness had shown itself here and there in the congregation. He preached the essentiality of Acts 2:38. He said when you get this Holy Ghost experience, your life changes. Your friends change. You dress holy. You don’t do the things you used to do.  You no longer go to the places you used to go.

The lack of response from the audience loudly stated their reaction to the sermon. A few members looked sideways at their friends and family to catch their reaction. They mostly just looked at the preacher without visible reaction.

After service a few phone calls were made. A private meeting was set up. Then a formal meeting was arranged. The pastor was voted out.

The cost? Whatever it was, the people refused to pay it.


I am not talking about bad doctors or bad pastors. I am addressing how even good doctors and good pastors sometimes get treated differently.

There are many people alive today because they followed the good doctor’s advice. There are many people spiritually alive today because they followed the advice of their good man of God.

Thank God for every saint that loves his or her pastor enough to obey him.

You follow the advice of those you love.

Jesus said: John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Do You Love Your Doctor More Than You Love Your Pastor?

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 27, 2011 at 12:29 am

Posted in Love, Loyality, Ministry, Pastors, Respect

Tagged with , ,

6 Responses

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  1. Although anything can change overnight, most all of the older members I’ve been pastoring for 27 years have testified “the only reason we were able to ride out our storms, trials, problems etc; was because we listened to our pastor. (not always in this exact terminology) I thank God for their loyalty and pray that attitude/spirit will remain the same.

    I personally feel my blessings through my ministry was because I told God in prayer I will do whatever my pastor tells me to do. I pray that the members in all of our Holiness Apostolic Churches would pray until they receive the revelation of loyalty/submission to their “Man of God”.

    Another home run Elder, thank you so much. Bro Mac

    Mark McKinnney

    May 27, 2011 at 1:00 am

  2. Excellent!

    Trueman Hurley

    May 27, 2011 at 5:41 am

  3. Excellent observation. Pastors today are expected to be spiritual advisors and not spiritual leaders.
    This concept places the decisions entirely on the members. To the carnal mind pastoral counsel is merely the obinion of a man and not the wisdom of God.
    Thanks for the blog and “the certain sound” you share continually.

    Gerald Adams

    May 27, 2011 at 7:47 am

  4. Bro. that was an awesome message!!! It is do true that people will listen to their Dr. and take His advice….but the Pastor that has had many years of experience, they want to go and seek advice until they hear the advice they are looking for or that sounds better than their Pastors advice…even tho for many years His advice was great and sound for others but now it is their turn to take the advice …now it is not sounding very good!!! It is a very scary place to be in disobediece to the man of God in your life! Obedience is better than sacrifice! There is a great sacrifice for not obeying and it doesn’t always come right away after you disobey…but it does come! If not directly to you but thru your spouse or your children!!
    Thanks again for this timely blog!!!!
    Love and appreciate you and hope to see you soon!
    ~Sis Luke

    Paula Luke

    May 27, 2011 at 8:19 am

    • Jus wanted to add that I am so happy that I had a man of God in my life!!! I believe I am who I am in God because I followed his advice even when I didn’t understand!! I can’t say it was always easy….but I was a better person because I did the Right thing!! You can’t ever go Wrong by doing Right!! God’s ways are not our ways!! 🙂

      Paula Luke

      May 27, 2011 at 10:01 am

  5. I was always taught that the pastor is the voice of God in my life. When you think of it that way it makes it even more serious to disregard or disobey what he tells you! Wow! Thanks for the reminder that is sooo important to do what the pastor tells you to do!

    Crystal Smith (Morris)

    May 28, 2011 at 12:42 am

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