Juanita Bynum Thinks Your Pastor Should Rule Over You
When I first watched this video of Juanita Bynum, I wrote out a huge tirade with my “snark” mode tuned to “maximum.” I’ve since deleted much of my commentary, but I can’t guarantee that there isn’t just a little residue left over in this post, so please excuse me. There’s some good teaching here, I just can’t guarantee that it’s going to be very kind and gentle. I only hope that a few, well-deserved pot shots do not overshadow what little wisdom I may be able to impart.
The truth is, when I view stunts like this, I can’t help it… I go mental, and words come pouring out of me. I just turned 46, and I’m only beginning to learn to take a step back, breathe, and try to add in a little tact and discretion before I write.
But still, I’m frustrated. Every time I want to encourage myself that there is a remnant within the mainstream church that has enough autonomy to see the deception, longs for the return of the King and wants to live in a world where true righteousness is the standard, videos like this come along and get my dander up.
I mean, seriously, “doctor?”
Look, folks, if the spirit behind this woman doesn’t make you nauseous, the sheer insult to your intelligence and sense of humanity should get you fired up.
There’s a good sheep! Don’t think for yourself… stay silent… pay your tithe… submit. Do what I say… good little lamb. Don’t worry… as long as you jump up and say “Amen” on cue, we’ll get along just fine… until then… sleep. If you don’t, I’ll rip your head off…. because that’s what good shepherds do.
But for all of Juanita’s obnoxious bravado…. for all of the shameless prancing about and all of the gullible worship of man (or woman, I guess) coming from the audience, you have to understand that this kind of deception was unavoidable. We’ve been feeding into this facade for generations now.
Modern Day Definition of Pastor
After studying this out, I am 100% convinced that the modern day church has no clue as to what a pastor is supposed to do. If they do, then they are willfully living in deception and disobedience.
To the unquestioning masses, a pastor is a figurehead who gives a message on Sunday. He/she submits to a board of elders and deacons, officiates weddings and funerals and often is held responsible for overseeing the everyday “business” of the church. The people who attend the church are considered sheep and those who are unfortunate enough to attend churches who adhere to Bynum’s drivel are ordered (or at least strongly encouraged) to submit to and obey the pastor.
Although 100% of pastors will claim to follow God, I would estimate that less than 1% are actually doing so. They’ve fallen into the trap of trying to draw people to the building by conforming to the world. That formula will never obtain favor from the Master.
But it’s a pretty simple equation. More people = more $$ = bigger building = more people… and it goes on and on and on.
Like most good, church-going christians, I used to tolerate and rationalize this definition & formula. Then I read my Bible and chose to believe what it said about pastors instead of my cultural definition.
What the Bible Says About Pastors
The Hebrew word used is ra’ah [H7462] (link) and the Greek is piomen [G4166] (link). I encourage you to check out the differences between the Hebrew definition and the Greek definition. Our God did not change between the Old and New Testaments, and neither did His definition of a shepherd, but the Greeks DID change (or at least strongly modify) the definition – but I’m not going down that path. That’s another post for another time.
Most people agree that a pastor/shepherd is someone who feeds the sheep and guards against predators such as wolves, unless of course, it’s Juanita Bynum… because she’s a celebrity. Sarcasm aside, this definition does not conflict with the conventionally-held beliefs about a pastor, but I want us to dig a little deeper.
A pastor/shepherd ALSO is someone who directly and sometimes intimately cares for the needs of the sheep in their flock. He does not send the local deacon, or the other sheep in the congregation. He takes responsibility to do it himself, using his own resources.
In saying this, I am not omitting the use of the elder or the deacon, nor am I saying that the flock should not learn to take care of each other. I am saying, however, that the shepherd should NOT think it beneath him to assist in the most basic needs of the flock. Someone I know once said, “If you want to know who the pastors are, just smell them. They’ll smell like sheep!” This saying still has value.
If you’re a pastor and you’re offended at this… then, be offended.
And before you try to take the “easy out” and hide behind Acts 6 and Paul’s letters to Timothy as to why you are not out serving and providing for the flock, consider the following:
But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence.
If these two scriptures are 100% true in your situation, if you are praying and in the Word all day long and your deacons/elders meet ALL scriptural criteria, then I apologize. If you are literally consumed with pursuing God 24 hours a day, and you are surrounded by pure and godly leadership. Wow! Feel blessed… you’re the exception, rather than the rule. But if you are not being honest with yourself and the Most High… He knows, and you will reap the consequences.
This scriptural concept of personal responsibility for the well-being of a shepherd’s flock should send shock waves across the megachurch world.
Listen up, “sheep”:
- If the church you attend is giving thousands of dollars to a “building fund,” and there are needy people who are starving or destitute of any necessity in your congregation, run.
- If there are widows who have unpaid bills and the church will not step in, run.
- If there are sick, poor and heartbroken people who are going under financially, and your pastor is talking about buying a plane… [OK, breathe, Kevin… breathe] …I can confidently say that God’s anger burns against that church and its pastor.
Shepherds do not Feed the Flock
I know, the subtitle probably caused many of you to raise your eyebrows and say “What???”
Nevertheless, it’s true. Here I’ll restate it: The role of the shepherd is not to feed the sheep… OK, at least in the way you’ve been taught.
People will go to church, listen to a message, and then evaluate whether or not they’ve been “fed.” If your pastor is the shepherd in the analogy, that would be tantamount to him:
- stooping down on the ground
- picking up the grass in his hand
- chewing the food for you
- putting it in your mouth
- and then, somehow, making your body digest the chewed grass.
Is that how it works? No, of course not. The pastor’s job is not to feed you in this way.
What a pastor/shepherd does is guide the sheep to where the grass grows. The grass comes from God, not the pastor. Then he lets the sheep eat the grass for themselves, watching over them as they lie down and rest.
In other words, pastors, your job is to guide the flock to a place where GOD can feed them, not you. Then your job is to guard them against predators and see that their needs are met so that THEY can eat and drink in peace. If there are predators around, the flock cannot eat and drink in peace. If the flock’s needs are not met, they cannot eat and drink in peace.
Pastors… please listen! If your flock’s needs are not met and you are not leading them to the right pasture (which I’ll get to in a bit), if you are allowing wolves in your doors, you’ve failed.
Flock… if your pastor has led you to the right pasture (again, I’ll get to it soon), it’s your job to partake of the grass and eat it. He can’t do it for you. If he has not led you to the right pasture… then leave! Otherwise, you’ve failed.
A Pastor does not Rule over You
Another dearly held misconception, one that Juanita Bynum obviously thinks is the way to go, is the myth that your pastor has authority to tell the flock what to do. Looking at the shepherd/sheep analogy, it seems that you could make a vague connection. I mean, the shepherd would extend the rod to guide a wayward sheep back into the flock and the amount of force used is debatable. Would the shepherd gently guide the sheep back, or would the shepherd whack the thing on the back side and continue beating it until it complied?
Who knows? Not I.
Some have even read and believed that a shepherd would break a wayward sheep’s legs as a form of discipline, in order to teach it to not wander from the flock. This is one of many undocumented myths in christian circles. From what I can tell so far, there is not a shred of evidence to support this tale… but it sure “preaches good!”
Look, shepherds may not have been too esteemed back in the day, but I’ll bet that they had a lick of common sense. You took your sheep from pasture to pasture, you were on the move a lot. To break even one sheep’s legs is stupid and very counter-productive.
With regard to a pastor using his “rod of authority” to discipline members of the flock, I’ve studied the Word and found out a couple things.
1 – In the Word, chastening and discipline are exclusive to the parent/child relationship and the God/man relationship. You will not find anywhere in the Word of God where a pastor uses his authority to discipline a congregation member. The only place it even comes close is when Paul instructs the congregation (not the pastor) to deliver the man who was having relations with his father’s wife over to satan.
2 – The staff of authority that Moses had was used to provide food and water in the wilderness, victory over Israel’s enemies (wolves) and to release the power of God. He never used his staff to enforce his authority over anyone. This most humble of men (Numbers 12:3) let God speak for him when questions of authority arose.
Our Savior, Yeshua, was the “prophet like Moses.” (Deuteronomy 18:15) So who should we emulate?
Let me give you a hint: It’s NOT Juanita Bynum or the pastoral elite.
No, the sheep should not be coerced into subjection to any pastor:
- whose rod of authority should be used to protect His flock from predators, like Bynum, who would like nothing more than to see a bunch of lemmings hanging on her every word;
- whose rod of authority should be used as a means of provision for the needy in his flock;
- whose rod of authority should be used to release the power of God to move in his flock.
Corrupt Shepherds Lead You to Soiled Pastures
Ezekiel 34 is an incredible, prophetic chapter worthy of deep study and hours of meditation. If you take the time to read the whole chapter, you will find the Father’s heart for the scattered sheep, as well as His righteous view of the shepherds in the Last Days.
Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, “Thus says the Lord GOD to the shepherds: ‘Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks?
Desperately looking for a way out, the corrupt shepherds would reason, “Yeah, but that’s for the shepherds of Israel!” Yeah, they love to claim Israel’s promises, dubbing themselves “spiritual Israel,” but then they think that they will avert the punishments.
Pay attention! What’s good for the vine is good for the branches. Deal with it.
Juanita Bynum and corrupted “shepherds” like her want to force-feed you their slave doctrine with “force and cruelty.” They want to rule over you with a staff of pride and subjugation. They want you to feast on the soiled grass of their pasture, which has been trampled and the water of their pasture that has been soiled with what has come off of their feet.
Flee from these impostors. You may be labelled “rebellious” by those who like to keep things the way they are, but take heart, scattered one. The Great Shepherd of your soul is seeking you.
I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.
What is judgment? It is the Hebrew word “mishpat” [H4941] and it means “justice.” This is not a justice where you get what you deserve – not in this particular case. It is a justice, a “mishpat,” where THEY get what they deserve. Your cries and your loneliness have been heard. He hears your “why??” Take heart, not forsaken… there’s an answer!
We Follow the Great Shepherd and Eat from His Pasture
I know how it feels, and I’ve been there. There’s such frustration with the church paradigm that we have been born into, and all the superficial salve that they try to give us doesn’t take away the itching irritation and it doesn’t close up the wound. Anyone who is awake can see that this ship has almost sunk.
But there is a life raft for those who don’t want to wait until you see the last few feet of the boat sink beneath the water. You don’t need the church building and you don’t need a pastor who is buying into this delusion from hell.
You simply need to follow the voice of the Good Shepherd.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
YHWH’s pasture is of a different nature than Juanita’s. The grass is verdant and nutritious. The water, pure and clear. You lack nothing. It’s a place of rest, lying secure in the Master’s hand.
For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.
In following the Great Shepherd, you will learn of His Ways, and the more you learn, the more your heart will return [shuwb – H7723] (link) to your Maker, and there is a Sabbath rest for your souls.
He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.
He restores [shuwb – H7723] my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting [shuwb – H7723] the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
The impostors will not teach you to return [shuwb – H7723] to your Maker. They will teach you to return to themselves. But it’s all futility unless you return to the restorer [shuwb – H7723] of your soul.
Follow the Great Shepherd or Become Slaves
So, unlike Juanita Bynum, I’m giving you a choice. Flee the con artists in the pulpit and find rest, or stay sitting in your pew of apathy and continue to be slaves. But don’t forget this – we are called to emulate the Great Shepherd (Hebrews 13:20).
What was the Great Shepherd like?
For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
Juanita Bynum is Reinforcing a Delusion
The purpose of Juanita Bynum’s brazen assertions is to keep you asleep and dependent upon a self-imposed religious oligarchy who could not care less where you end up. As long as you blindly submit, let them rule and pay your tithe; they get what they want.
God forbid you actually read the Bible for yourself and escape the generational deception that they continue to perpetuate.
Most of the sheep will not even dare to question the word of a celebrity. Some may acquiesce, but stay docile, preferring not to rock the proverbial boat.
I say, “Capsize the whole delusion and force people to swim!” Our Messiah will be out walking on the water, waiting for those who dare to look up and extend a hand.
Afterthought: I’d LOVE to hear your comments below, but I don’t want this discussion to be about “women in ministry,” so please refrain from having comments centered around that topic. I just don’t even want to go there right now.