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all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in
doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of
the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to
say of you."
of the most difficult issues in the Christian church today is
discussing what is happening in leadership. When we find that
our leadership may be promoting error we are bound to uphold
the word of God regardless of how difficult the situation
becomes. This article, although based on personal experience,
seems to reflect a world wide pattern.
times when we see the leadership in our Christian circles
upholding false teachings, we are uncertain how to deal with
them. When we try to discuss the issue, and give them the
scriptural basis that points out the error, we are often met
with a haughty or indignant attitude. Who are we to question
the leadership in our churches? Instead of upholding
scriptural truth on these issues, it is suggested that we
should "agree to disagree". That puts those who are
upholding the word of God in a position to make a choice. Do
they fade back into the ranks and accept the compromise as the
rest are doing, or do they choose to separate themselves from
thought often about various leaders and others who claim to be
called by God to lead in congregations or who feel that their
role is to teach or act in an "elder" position.
Often those who feel they are knowledgeable or perhaps gifted,
step into these roles, not necessarily at the call of God.
They are often chosen because of who they are, or the social
position in the church or community. Sometimes it is because
they will offer the least resistance to the change in
direction that is needed to move the church into worldly or
people are unable to recognize what has or is happening in
their congregation, leadership or even in their own spiritual
lives. Too often they can walk the walk, but do not have the
knowledge or understanding that comes from in our hearts. They
merely have head knowledge and many are using conditioned
can people claiming to know God appear to be so deceived?
can those taking leadership positions become so ungodly in
attitude and actions?
many believe they are qualified to be teachers, elders or
pastors and yet don't hold to the Biblical Qualifications
to be stepping into those roles? (1Timothy 3:1-13)
given an evaluation of their attitudes, expressed thoughts
and home lives, would most leaders display not godliness
and commitment to Christ, but lack thereof?
How many do we hear say they believe in the inerrancy of
the Bible and upholding it, but when put to the test, fail
miserably simply by what they say, do and uphold?
And why do "congregations of God's people" allow
themselves to be led and deceived to their own
How do we
deal with these issues, as more and more people are subjected
to deceptive leadership in one form or another?
in 2 Timothy 3:9-10 "... But they shall proceed no
further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as
theirs also was. But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner
of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity,
patience," showing that his ministry, doctrine and life
was well disclosed, not hidden.
We know that
many do not know the word of God. This is probably the
foremost reason for people being deceived by false teachers.
Those that do appear to be well versed in the scriptures also
tend to be those that are upholding false leadership. Why? Is
it because they choose to depend on these leaders to lead them
and teach them, instead of weighing all to scripture? They
appear to set aside the warnings and even their own
responsibility in favour of those that they perceive as
children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth
righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous. He that
committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from
the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was
manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed
remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of
God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the
children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is
not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this
is the message that ye heard for the beginning, that we
should love one another."
them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you
the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of
is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him
shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of
wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your
hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This
wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual,
devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is
confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from
above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be
intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without
partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of
righteousness is sown in peace of them that make
fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good
understanding have all they that do His commandments: His
praise endureth forever."
that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of
understanding is of an excellent spirit."
my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to
speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the
righteousness of God."
scriptures speak of the qualifications of those that would
lead and teach. Unfortunately, there are an increasing number
of leaders that are turning away from the truth in the word of
God. Sadly, many are deceived into thinking that they are
still upholding God's word.
is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he
desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the
husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour,
given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no
striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a
brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house,
having his children in subjection with all gravity. (For if
a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take
care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted
up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
Moreover he must have a good report of them which are
without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the
devil. Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued,
not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding
the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these
also first be proved; then let them use the office of a
deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be
grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let
the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their
children and their own houses well. For they that have used
the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good
degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ
elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder,
and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a
partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock
of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not
by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a
ready mind; Neither as being lord's over God's heritage, but
being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd
shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth
not away. Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the
elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be
clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and
giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore
under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due
all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in
doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound
speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the
contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of
that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of
fools shall be destroyed."
mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh
of judgment. The law of his God is in his heart; none of his
steps shall slide."
ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any
be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful
children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be
blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon
angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy
lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men,
sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word
as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound
doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. For
there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers,
specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be
stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things they
ought not, for filthy lucre's sake."
leadership positions have fallen for various reasons. Some
have been deceived by false doctrines. Some have been caught
up in fleshly desires. Some have not resisted the desire for
worldly wealth and have been seduced by desire for gain.
How it must
grieve God's heart when those that are to take care of the
flock are more interested in buying lottery tickets or
planning their investment or long-term financial futures.
These things are becoming more common place in the ranks of
they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and
into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in
destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root
of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred
from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many
sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and
follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love,
patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold
on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast
professed a good profession before many witnesses."
seem that one of the examples that the apostles left was that
they should not have to commend themselves as being Godly, but
others would see God in them and uphold and speak well of
them. They would also follow the apostle's teachings,
recognizing that these men were indeed teaching the doctrines
Christ had given them. As well, they reflected the character
of Christ qualities that should be recognizable in those that
would be in leadership or teach.
we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be
accepted of Him. For we must all appear before the judgment
seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done
in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be
good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we
persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust
also are made manifest in your consciences. For we commend
not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory
on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them
which glory in appearance, and not in heart."
another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a
stranger, and not thine own lips."
is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with Him, we shall
also live with Him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with
Him: if we deny Him, He also will deny us: If we believe
not, yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself. Of
these things put them in remembrance, charging them before
the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but
to the subverting of the hearers. Study to shew thyself
approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,
rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and
vain babblings: for they will increase unto more
the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The
Lord knoweth them that are His. And, Let every one that
nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a
great house there are not only vessels of gold and of
silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour,
and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from
these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and
meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good
work. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness,
faith, charity, peace with them that call on the Lord out of
a pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid,
knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the
Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to
teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose
themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to
the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover
themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken
captive by him at his will."
the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some
shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing
spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in
hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot
thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou
shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in
the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast
attained. But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and
exercise thyself rather unto godliness."
them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory
and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that
are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey
unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and
anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew
first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour and peace,
to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also
to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with
If God views
the disobedient "shepherds" of Israel in the
following manner, it is most likely He views pastors and
others in leadership to His flock in the same manner. He
commands the flocks to deal with false leaders and deceptive
people in a particular manner.
be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my
pasture! saith the Lord. Therefore thus saith the Lord God
of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have
scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not
visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your
doings, saith the Lord."
of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy,
and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God unto the
shepherds; Woe be to the Shepherds of Israel that do feed
themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat
the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that
are fed: but ye feed not the flock."
saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and
I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to
cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds
feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from
their mouth, that they may not be meat for them. For thus
saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search my
sheep, and seek them out."
the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that
are led of them are destroyed."
that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men:
for all men have not faith. But the Lord is faithful, who
shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. And we have
confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and
will do the things which we command you. And the Lord direct
your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient
waiting for Christ. Now we command you, brethren, in the
name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves
from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after
the tradition which he received of us."
give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister
questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so
do. Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure
heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain
jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding
neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm."
what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from
them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they
may be found even as we. For such are false apostles,
deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles
of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed
into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if
his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of
righteousness; whose end shall be according to their
no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these
things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of
disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them."
witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they
may be sound in the faith; Not giving heed to Jewish fables,
and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. Unto the
pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and
unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and
conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; but
in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient,
and unto every good work reprobate."
thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after
righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold unto eternal life,
whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good
profession before many witnesses."
thou art called a Jew, and resteth in the law, and makest
thy boast of God, And knowest His will, and approvest the
things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the
law; And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the
blind, a light of them which are in darkness, An instructor
of the foolish, a teacher of the babes, which hast the form
of knowledge and of the truth in the law. Thou therefore
which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? ..."
are blessed to be in truly Biblical churches or groups of
believers will understand and recognize those that are gifted
to take a leadership or teaching role. Those that are unable
to find a fellowship will also recognize those they come in
contact with as being of God or not, and whether they are
Biblically qualified to teach or lead. In these perilous times
it is well worth the effort to weigh carefully what the
scriptures say about these issues. Those that are of God in
leadership or teaching roles need to be upheld. If they fall,
that must be addressed in love. If we fail to rebuke or
correct our brothers and sisters in Christ that have fallen
into sin, and rather, uphold them and their actions as godly
or good, we are taking part in that sin.
the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour,
especially they who labour in the word and doctrine."
Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two
or three witnesses. Them that sin rebuke before all, that
others also may fear. I charge thee before God, and the Lord
Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these
things without preferring one before another, doing nothing
that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just,
even they both are abomination to the Lord."
no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou
shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to
ye not therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes
darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children
of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness
and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable
unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful
works of darkness, but rather reprove them."
the Bible we see the answers and guidelines for how we are to
approach error in leadership. Failure to deal with these
issues will lead to us partaking in the error and compromising
scripture quotes taken from the Authorized King James Bible
Copyright . All articles are the sole property of SeekGod.ca and Vicky Dillen. All Scripture King James Version unless otherwise stated.
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