Read part 1 and part 2.
John Bunyan demonstrates a sanctifying use of imagination in his classic The Pilgrim’s Progress. I’ve often wondered how Bunyan’s character “Christian” would respond if he visited a modern seeker-driven church. This story takes place later in Christian’s pilgrimage, having been matured by many dangers, toils, and snares.
As Christian followed the lady through the crowded halls, he engaged her in conversation.
Christian: Why do you refer to yourself as a pastor?
Miss Tolerance: That’s what God has called me to do.
Christian: Teaching in the church is a primary responsibility of pastors (1 Tim 4:13); they must be “apt to teach” (1 Tim 3:2). Regarding how the church should be ordered, the Apostle directs, “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence” (1 Tim 2:12). The church fathers, nearly all protestant confessions, and even the Roman Catholic Church…