Many of the following stories simply evade any semblance of common sense. Proverbs 2:11 states "O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense" (ESV). Many of the stories is a blatant display of authoritative religion which Jesus warned the Pharisees against in chapter 23 of Matthew. Jesus tells the Pharisees, "“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in" (ESV, v.13). Matthew 7:1-6 says, "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you" (ESV). Taking the beam out of your own eye is not necessarily a free ticket to judge others as many teachers teach. John 8:1 recounts the adulterous woman brought to Jesus by the Pharisees who wanted Jesus to judge her. Jesus states in v. 7, "“Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” There are many other scriptures about judgment that we all need to heed and take seriously.
At the same time, the Word of God states scripture tells us that we are to rebuke fellow Christians who are walking the wrong path. The modern day church seems to be walking the path of the Pharisees in many of these cases and they need to brought to light just for we Christians to all see where we are wrong and how we should change some of our ways to be more like Christ.
INSTANCES OF CHURCH MEMBERS BEING MISTREATED
It is important to me that this ministry is ethical and maintains integrity, honor, and honesty; this ministry will remain biblical. I do not want any of my blogs, commentaries, vlogs, or writings to become a gossip column. One of the goals of this ministry is to bring truth to what is repeatedly occurring in today's churches concerning the lethargy among many church members, fear of acting against wrongs that may be done within the leadership, and hopefully, to make leadership wake up and examine exactly how they may be following each other and their feelings, and not what the Bible says. They may be listening to their hearts and sincerely believe it is the voice of God guiding them, or perhaps they knowingly abuse their power and influence. Maybe they too blindly follow their pastor when he is in the wrong. Many people believe that because the pastor is "chosen by God," he has a special anointing above what every other Christian may have. Yet, the Bible is specific that all Christians are to rebuke each other and that includes rebuking anointed leaders. Another point to make is that when you prayerfully and biblically rebuke your church leaders, you are not to let the sacrifice of one of your own be ignored. Rebuke the leader and do nothing to right the wrong? I don't think so - at least not in my mind and heart. When someone is bullied and wronged I feel like it is both my Christian and civic duty to stand up for that person. I feel just as Ronald M. Enroth when he writes:
This has been a difficult book [Churches that Abuse] to write because it is a book that is critical of other Christians. One always runs the risk of being misunderstood and labeled "judgmental" or arrogant when you make evaluative statements regarding Christian believers and organizations outside your own immediate circle…However, when we refuse to pass judgment on any religious phenomenon for fear that such judgments might violate the norm of tolerance so prevalent in our culture, we abdicate our responsibility to the body of Christ to sound a warning where a warning is justified. Some boats need to be rocked, even Christian boats.” (p. 7).
I say all of that to say this: the truth is to always be told. This ministry is to not only give the church wounded (or slaughtered) a voice, but it is to bring out truth to others. That being said, what follows is done with a prayerful approach and not a spirit of gossip, anger, bitterness, or even judgment.
Another reason I say all of this is that this type of problems and mistreatment need to stop. The church needs to step forward and begin changes to a more Christ-like environment where ALL can be welcomed, feel safe, and worship our Lord.
I want to list some injustices and ethical wrongs done by church leaders. As I said in one of my blogs (I can't remember which one), if these things happen in the small spot of the map that my town covers, then I shudder to think of what goes on in churches all over the map!
Enroth, R. M. (1992). Churches that abuse. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.