Has someone ever been so mad at what you’ve said that they have hung up on you? That used to be the way to get the last word. Just hang up. Now it’s unfriend and block. It feels good to give them the last word. It’s like the trash took itself out.
I commented with scripture on a Christian “teacher’s” Facebook page not too long ago. I highlighted the fact that what they were embracing, and teaching, was completely outside of God’s supreme word. These comments have been deleted and I am now blocked from Jen Hatmaker’s Facebook Page. I count this as one of my greatest achievements for the year. God’s word is perfect for rebuking. It’s pretty telling when bible teachers do not like to be rebuked. They are not above reproach.
Many times when you point out some false teaching, someone will lash out at you…all the while defending said teacher, proclaiming how they have helped them “grow” so close to Christ. Yet, they are amiss of any fruits of the spirit in that moment.
My former pastor’s wife called me once. ONCE. She didn’t call me to visit, share a recipe, ask about our son was feeling after being released from the hospital, or anything loving and nice at all (we attended church there for nearly 10 years!). She was upset because my husband and I wrote a letter to her husband explaining why we were leaving his “care.” We explained that we felt he had abandoned our family while we were enduring a crisis, and he would be eternally responsible for removing fellowship from us. We also reminded him of scriptures that are convicting to pastors for going after lost sheep, not abandoning their sheep, and protecting the innocent. You see, most of our letter was GOD’S WORD which had been examined by not only us, but by the Southern Baptist Convention as well. And, since he called himself a Southern Baptist preacher, then that should count for something with him (it didn’t).
We have NEVER heard from him about it. Do you want to know the “reason” she was so upset? Because how dare we write a letter to tell him we were leaving…AND DIDN’T DELIVER IT IN PERSON (we dropped it off…does that count?). “That is such an unbibical way to communicate, and you’ll have to answer to God for that.” Really. That’s it? If that’s the only thing that our family has done wrong, then I can live with myself. We can totally sleep at night. I also asked her if she’s read the New Testament, because MOST of the New Testament is given to us in the FORM OF LETTERS WRITTEN TO CHURCHES, either encouraging or rebuking them! I’m not sure she really knew what she was saying. You see, she was mad because we called her husband a sinner. And she never! She told me that she just prayed for peace for us (which is her way of saying “BLESS YOUR HEARTS!”). I told her that her prayers were already answered. When we dropped off the letter and drove away, God lifted us beyond their “care” and we felt quite peaceful.
How did this happen? How did we get here? A good bible teacher will always be on guard that they are teaching according to His will, not their own. They will always want to please HIM and not themselves. And, they will STRUCTURE their church according to the outline God has provided in scriptures.
Your church should have elders. Your pastor(s) would be elders as well. The elders shepherd the hearts of all of the body of believers (see 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Acts 14:23). Your church should have deacons and deaconesses. These folks take care of the operational sides of running the church. The nuts and bolts details of getting things done, so the elders can focus SOLELY on their role (see Acts 6:1-6 and 1 Timothy 3:8-12).
But my church doesn’t have elders and deacons you might say. That’s a red flag. God doesn’t just give “suggestions” as to how it should be. HE BREATHES IT, AND SO IT IS. It doesn’t matter you think? It does matter. The checks and balances put into place with the proper structure prevents a CEO / Board of Directors from running your church. Not sure? Ask your pastor to explain to you these scriptures. If he examines the scriptures and agrees that God’s word does in fact lay it out, and he immediately remedies the problem, then you have a wise teacher which seeks God’s own heart. However, if he responds with anything BUT love and repentance, run. Run away as fast as you can.
Related note – God led us to an elder led church, which has a wonderfully sound pastor, and his wife is not only friendly, she is LOVING. And, she cries with me, laughs with me, calls me on the phone(!) and best of all, she serves with me in Jesus’ name.