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Who is the keeper of the vineyard?

Submitted: 5/28/2009
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Question: Should one ever consider a sole pastor the keeper of the vineyard instead of Jesus Christ, the Advocate? Is it harmful to anyone for a sole pastor to think of himself as and announce himself to be the keeper of the vineyard? This believer-congregant (fig tree)/sole pastor (keeper of the vineyard, 'ax-wielding cutter-downer')/Jesus Christ (owner of the vineyard) --versus this-- believer- congregant (fig tree)/Jesus Christ, our Advocate (the Keeper of the vineyard) who uses pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc., to dig and fertilize as Jesus, who is the Holy Ghost, moves/Jesus Christ (the Owner of the vineyard, 'all-knowing righteous cutter-downer'? In the end, it is Jesus Christ who cuts down; but is it the sole pastor who gives God the go-ahead to lay the ax to a believer even though only God knows one's heart?

Answer: God does not need anyone to give Him the go-ahead. It is exactly the other way around: He gives us the go-ahead. We would also say that even though God knows the hearts of all men and we see only the outward appearance, it is possible that He can show us a person's heart. God does this especially with spiritual overseers, because they are responsbile for watching over the spiritual lives of people.