This is one of those traditions which seems to be predominantly found in the black church. But first thing is first. What is an armor bearer in the bible? As per Got Questions:
In Scripture, an armor-bearer (also spelled armorbearer and armor bearer) was a servant who carried additional weapons for commanders. Abimelech (Judges 9:54), Saul (1 Samuel 16:12), Jonathan (1 Samuel 14:6-17), and Joab (2 Samuel 18:15) had armor-bearers/armorbearers. Armor-bearers were also responsible for killing enemies wounded by their masters. After enemy soldiers were wounded with javelins or arrows, armor-bearers finished the job with clubs or swords. After the time of David, armor-bearers are no longer mentioned, likely due to the fact that commanders began to fight from chariots (1 Kings 12:18;20:33).
Now as those from other churches may not know what an armor bearer is in today’s churches, let me give you a little summary. An armor bearer is basically like a preachers right hand man/woman and serves them basically, like a glorified personal assistant. Some of their duties include (and I am not making this up), carrying the pastors bible and books, getting their water to quench their thirst while they are preaching, wiping the sweat off their head with a towel while they are preaching, bring and preachers bodyguard. Picking up the pastor and driving him to church. You don’t believe me? My friends across the pond at Real Talk Radio made me aware of this armor bearer ‘training’ video
Notice that one of the first thing that he says is that it will be less scriptural (in fact I didn’t hear any in this clip)
According to the video, the armor bearer:
- will watch out for his wife
- will watch out for his kids
- will have closer access than the average church member
- represents the preacher (note…not Christ)
- ‘covers’ the preachers
- ‘softens the blow’ for those who want to have access to the pastor
- should be willing to change their schedule, their lifestyle and their work so that they are available for their Pastor
- should be willing to use up their work vacation days to serve the Pastor
He also stated that that he was there early washing his pastors car and it caused problems in his marriage. If that isn’t a red flag, then I don’t know what is.
In some churches they MUST be a tither and ‘must make the advancement of the leader the important goal’. That alone flies in the face of scripture and borders on idolatory. In John 3:30 John the Baptist stated that he must decrease and Christ must increase but many churches are looking to increase the profile of their pastor.
If this sounds unbiblical and unhealthy to you, that’s because it is. Maybe its just me but it sounds very close to a slave and not a servant. You do not see any disciples in the new testamant who had an armor bearer as it is today. The closest person I can see was Peter in the Garden Of Gethsamene when he drew his sword to protect Jesus and Jesus told him to put it away so there goes that theory
When James and John wanted to be Jesus’s right (and left) hand men in Mark 10:35-45, Jesus told them that “even the Son of Man came NOT to be served but to serve” but for some reason , they get it twisted and think that they are greater than Jesus and should be served by their armor bearer at every opportunity. This is NOT biblical and is a tradition of man.
So how did we get from the biblical definition of an armor bearer to what we have today? The answer is that they have equated the armor bearer in the old testament carrying the weapon to the armor bearer today carrying the sword (the bible). This is a classic example of eisegesis which is a common practice with many traditions . They have come up with a idea and read it INTO the scriptural text. Instead of using exegesis and getting their doctrine OUT of the text. Let the scripture speak for itself and not what you want it to say.
BUT DONT TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. CHECK OUT THE SCRIPTURES FOR YOURSELF