Saturday, September 25, 2010

Trust Me: there are Real Church Leaders Out There

Another preacher; another alleged sex scandal. As a Christian this all too familiar theme is as maddening as it is disgusting. What this repeated story must do to the unsaved world who you can be sure views the hypocrisy of fallen church leaders with a combination of bemusement, apathy and disdain. All the while being driven further away from the salvation through Jesus Christ that they need to live in true freedom and eternal hope. Yes, I am referring to the news about the Atlanta "mega-preacher" Bishop Eddie Long. Depending on when you may read this post, it is very possible that you can insert the name of some different church leader who may be the fallen leader of that moment.

To be sure, I have no idea whether Mr. Long is guilty of the sexual abuse charges that have been filed against him and I pray that he is indeed innocent. However it is an atmosphere in which he operates that will cause many to refrain from giving him the benefit of the doubt, as exhibited in a quote from him below:
"We're not just a bumbling bunch of preachers who can't talk and all we're doing is baptizing babies. I deal with the White House. I deal with Tony Blair. I deal with presidents around this world. I pastor a multimillion-dollar congregation," Long told the paper. "You've got to put me on a different scale than the little black preacher sitting over there that's supposed to be just getting by because the people are suffering."
The lack of humility in the above statement is very telling for a self proclaimed leader of God's people. Contrast this with the Lord's command for his people let alone his leaders:
  • Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud. Proverbs 16:19
  • A man's pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor. Proverbs 29:23
  • He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. Luke 1:52
  • When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:2
  • Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18
  • The proud and arrogant man-"Mocker" is his name; he behaves with overweening pride. Proverbs 21:24
I don't know this Pastor. I don't know him personally. I also take no pleasure in writing about him in these terms. I do however take seriously the damage to the Name of Christ that is done when so-called religious leaders act in total opposite to God's command for His leaders. To be truthful, most so called leaders are truly not His anyway. But they fool believers and unbelievers alike. Their God is self and money; not Christ. If it were Christ, even in their human weaknesses, His spirit would rise above the ever present flesh of our fallen and weak human nature.

I write this post mainly for the unbeliever. The person who thinks that all "church" leaders are hypocrites and swindlers. They are not. God has His real leaders! Some may be well known, but most are toiling lowly in spirit. They are off the radar of million dollar mega churches and meetings with world leaders. Many are the little black preachers in little churches off the beaten track. Many are little Asian leaders speaking in hushed tones in underground churches in China and elsewhere trying desperately to win souls for Christ under the threat of imminent death from the world leaders. Many are old white pastors humbly pleading to lost souls to accept Christ's free gift of salvation and with it the promise of eternal rest in a mansion built by Christ himself (John 14:1-3). May God bless these leaders. May God keep them humble and effective to the praise of His Glory. Amen

A God who sends people to Hell?