The Bible

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Submission is a difficult thing sometimes.  In Hebrews Chapter 13, we are taught to obey our church leaders and submit to their authority.  But in the same chapter we are told to not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings.  Well, as some of our churches become places of confusion where some strange teachings are taking hold, how do we as Christians balance biblical submission with standing up against false teachings from leaders?

In Matthew Chapter 18, Jesus tells us that if a brother sins against you, confront him privately.  If he does not listen, take one or two more along with you and confront him again.  If he is still unrepentant, Jesus tells us to tell it to the church.  If he still refuses to repent, the church is to treat him like a pagan.  But what do we do if church leadership is the problem?  If our leaders are allowing false teachers in as speakers or leadership is teaching something that seems to contradict God’s Word?

It’s sad that we even have to address this issue, but just look at what is happening.  Recently hundreds of Christian church leaders read and preached out of the Koran during church service.  In many of our local Catholic churches, the social justice movement is entrenched within the church.  And some of our Protestant and Evangelical churches are hip deep in emergent church teachings.  So what do we do as believers when we see church leadership allowing the church to drift away from the true gospel?

Well I think the first thing we do is give our leaders the benefit of the doubt if we hear something taught that concerns us.  Go to them privately and share your concerns.  Maybe you misunderstood the message or they, being human, perhaps did not explain their message very well.  Have an honest, respectful discussion about your concerns.

Talk to your leaders about where they stand on issues like social justice, the emergent church or Chrislam.  And remember to pray for our church leaders.  The enemy wants to undermine them in hopes of bringing dissension to the body, rendering us ineffective.  Satan knows if he can get to the leader, the flock will scatter.

Church leaders, I urge you to talk openly with your members about the beliefs and values you share as leaders.  There is too much at stake to not communicate openly and honestly about what is going on these days.

The enemy seeks to divide and conquer the local body through rumors, hurt feelings and putting just a little yeast in to the dough.  The church as a whole, and leadership in particular, needs to be alert and prayerful to the enemy’s attacks.  Now more than ever we need to be focused on the true gospel and the subtle ways the enemy will seek to twist it.  Things will only get tougher as we move forward.  If we cannot handle things now as a church, what will we do when real persecution comes?