Untouchable Pastors

“Untouchable pastors.” Many of us have seen them, or at least heard them. One of their favorite texts is Psalm 105:15 and 1 Chronicles 16:22, both of which read: 

“Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.”

I even heard one pastor claim to be the exclusive mouth piece for God for the church he pastored, and in his message he claimed that it is dishonoring to the Lord if you complain about His mouthpiece. He proceeded to tell the congregation “…be very careful when you try to hurt one of God’s preachers. Don’t harm him financially. Don’t harm him physically, and don’t harm his reputation for the sake of your own soul and your own well-being.”

As with any text, we have to realize the context before we can really see how it is applicable to us today. Looking at the context, we find that the Lord’s anointed has to do with the kings of Israel. In its context, it has nothing to do with Sovereign Grace, Landmark, Missionary Baptist preachers.

To “…touch not…and do no harm” has reference to physical harm. This has nothing to do with insults, reputation, or finances. For sure, it has nothing to do with questions or even disagreements that may come up in faith or practice.

Further, trying to apply this to preachers today leaves us with a problem. How are we to know who the Lord’s anointed are? These “untouchable pastors” hide behind Psalm 105:15 and when anyone tries to investigate or even ask a question they deem inappropriate, they cry out that these church members are bing “nit picky” or that they are causing trouble.

Are we to assume they are anointed because these “untouchable pastors” and those who follow them say they are anointed? That’s what they want you to believe.

But, the Bible is very clear. And this is where comparing Scripture with Scripture is very needful:

“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11)Notice what Brother Tom Ross had to say on this verse: “The Bereans were earnest seekers of truth. They did not merely go on the word of the preacher, they searched the Scriptures to see if the things being preached were so. I am convinced that if more professing Christians had the spirit of the Bereans we would have a lot less heresy in our day. The Bereans did not merely pick up their Bibles one day a week, rather they sought to mine truths of Scripture every day. Every Christian needs to spend some time in the Word of God every day. Not only should we read it, we should search it out as we would for hid treasures. Time spent in earnest study of the Scriptures is never wasted. If more Baptist church members followed the example of the Bereans there wouldn’t be so many churches compromising and departing from the faith once delivered unto the saints.” (A Baptist Exposition of the Book of Acts, p 240)..Paul didn’t call them Pharisees, he didn’t say “touch not the Lord’s anointed,” he didn’t even accuse them of sowing discord. He called them noble. And unlike the modern untouchables of today, Paul was actually writing under inspiration of the Holy Spirit!.Just the other day I was preaching at our mission in North Carolina. After my sermon, the folks there sat around and asked me questions about my sermon. I did not feel threatened or attacked. In fact the only one who would is someone who has something to hide. Praise the Lord for a Berean attitude!

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1).

We are told to try (or test, examine) the spirits. Why? Because many false prophets are out there. And right away the “untouchable pastors” fail this test because they are using Scripture out of context and they refuse to be examined in the light of God’s Word.

The idea of an “untouchable pastor” is foreign to the early churches and to the pages of the New Testament. When Paul wrote to Timothy, he said this (again, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit):

“Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” (1 Timothy 5:19-20)

May God keep us from the “untouchable pastors” and if they do sneak in, may we be able to identify them before they do any damage to the Lord’s flock!