You and your spouse are planning an evening out together and you have 3 children. The oldest is 17, the middle child is 12 and the youngest is 6, tell me, who do you leave in charge? I think we can agree on the 17 year old. Do you leave with this oldest child some guidelines or do you simply let him/her do things the way they see fit? What do you say to the other two children? Do you explain to them that the 17 year old is in charge and that they are to obey them or do you just let them decide on their own? I think any good and responsible parent knows the answers to these questions.
Let’s say you’re a CEO of a multi-million dollar company that you have built from the ground up, maybe you started in your garage, such as Bill Gates. Do you appoint managers over departments or do you allow all of your employees to operate based upon how they feel the company should operate? I know, dumb question. Now, do you provide for the managers guidelines for how the company is to be ran, as well disciplinary authority to handle issues or do you allow them to do what they want? Yes, another dumb question. Do you oversee every little gripe, discrepancy and such or do you appoint people you can trust to handle those issues? Again, pretty dumb question.
Now, with all that said, what standard is the Christian supposed to be following? Who enforces the standard in the local church? What types of people argue, debate and rebel against the standard?
Christ is the owner and CEO of the church, being the head that is, according to Ephesians 5. He is not a micro-manager and therefore appoints overseers or as 1 Timothy 3 puts it, Bishops/Pastors. He has entrusted them to execute His commands and His will. Yes, I know, there are some who try to be a lord over His heritage and He will deal with them. On the other hand, I believe for the most part, they are faithful.
God has set a standard that ALL believers are to strive for and it is holiness. 1 Peter 1:15-16 says that we are to be holy, for He is holy. In Matthew 5, Jesus says for us to be perfect, as our Father in heaven is perfect. Not sinless…perfect…committed, mature.
Why am I writing on this subject tonight? Because it seems more than not that a lot think the preacher has too high of a standard, when in all actuality it’s not his standard, but rather Christ’s standard. It’s Christ who expects perfection and holiness. It’s Christ who expects His followers to practice what they profess. For the church to become upset or indifferent to the preacher is misguided. It’s God’s standard that many are rebelling against, NOT the preacher’s. Truth be known, the preacher is simply an “overseer.” He has no more authority than what Christ gives him. He does not, nor is to execute any kind of judgment, but rather he is to execute the Lord’s standard. If the Lord says, “If you will not follow me, you are not of me,” well then the preacher is to execute that. Many have accused the preacher of being uncaring, but that’s not true at all. God is the One dealing out the ultimatum and the preacher is simply doing his job.
Let’s go back to the babysitting and manager illustrations. Who does the 12 and 6 year old get upset with when the rules of the parents are simply executed? Who do they tattle on and complain about when the parents return home? All because the 17 year old did exactly what they were instructed to do. When it comes time to execute the rules at work, who gets talked about, cursed at and such? Why? Simply because they are doing the job they were promoted to do. In all actuality, the younger children and employees are upset with the parents and the CEO, but who gets the blame?
Preachers must execute God’s standard, without question. Many have compromised because of the pressure from those in the pew. We must remember, it is God’s standard we must follow and obey. If the church member can remain focused upon the truth of what has been presented, then the church would be more blessed, more influential and more powerful in the world. However, as long as the preacher continues to be blamed for simply doing what he is told to do, division will continue to grow within the body of Christ. Due to this, many lost souls will spend an eternity separated from God.
The 2 things that would help each and EVERY church are: 1) personal bible study regularly 2) personal prayer & worship regularly. These two things turned the world upside down in the time period the book of Acts was written. These two things cause hell to shake and the devil to squirm in fear. These two things will exalt Christ and edify the saints of God. These two things will develop a mature and holy church.
In His service,
2 Cor. 12:9