Massive Leadership Issues
As I watch the news, read some blogs, see some FB posts, follow some Twitter feeds and live life it seems there is an epic leadership disconnect going on today and the Church is not exempt, in fact maybe the Church is leading this decline.
Where are the Nathans in the world today who will stand up to these men and say, "Enough is enough. Either you do what is right or you will need to step down"?
Today our positions of leadership are filled from the inside, bottom up, so that every leader seems to have a bunch of dirt on the people below him and is willing to use that dirt to remain at the level he has attained no matter how ugly it might get; no matter who he needs to throw under the bus.
Matthew 18:15-17 clearly defines how we are to deal with sin in the Church and it is not talking about just the pew sitters; it is SIN in the Church.
15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector."
So, if I see someone do something that looks like sin to me, I am to go to that person, by myself, and in the spirit of Gal. 6:1, a spirit of meekness because it could be me next time, I am to confront them on this issue or concern. If they blow me off and say I am wrong and recriminate me, then I am to take 2 or 3 others with me and attempt to win the brother again; again, in the spirit of Gal. 6. If after this is done and there is still no repentance or humility, then I am to take it to the church, whether that be the leadership of the church as a whole is part of this question.
What it seems like is happening all too frequently in the Church today is that maybe the first to steps of Matt. 18 are being done but as soon as there is no repentance the playing field gets really messy. The "officials" come in to the aid of their favorite "players" and change the rules, don't make them play by the same rules that the Bible outlines and then even start to lobby penalties against those who were originally following the Biblical model.
How can this be? Where are the leaders who require leaders to be REAL leaders? Where are the men who will not turn their backs and say "I didn't see anything wrong", when in fact they absolutely know something is wrong but they are afraid of losing something and so rather than risk losing a position or a paycheck they look the other way, or even cover up the sin by lying? Where are they I ask?
Nathan was in a pretty tough spot. Nathan had to go tell the most beloved king of his country "You are that man." Do you think that is what Nathan was wanting to do when he got up that morning? Do you think he was thinking "This will be easy"? Do you think that maybe he was thinking he might lose his HEAD?
It doesn't matter what we might lose. If we know what the right thing to do is and we don't do it, that in itself is sin. Many leaders today know exactly what the right thing to do is and yet they look the other way. Many sheep will leave the Church and never look back because of how they have been treated by leadership.
It's interesting to me that early in Matt 18 there is a section on causing "little ones" to stumble. There is a "Woe to you" for causing others to stumble and do you suppose it could be directed at leadership? The Pharisees were pretty good at changing the rules, causing people to stumble and elevating themselves and their associates and Jesus called them a brood of vipers.
The goal of Matt 18 is to win the brother. "Winning" takes on many forms and winning them might come in the form of them seeing their sin, repenting from that sin, losing their job and having an amazing impact on the Church for many generations in a different capacity. Winning is not letting their sin go on and on, never saying anything about it and hoping that someday God sends someone to say something. He already did and when you look in the mirror you're looking at him.
Nathan wasn't looking around for someone to do his job; he went and did it. In meekness and humility we are to go to our leaders and try to win them towards becoming more like Christ, to be better leaders and better sheep.
I am concerned for those leaders today that are not willing to lose something here on earth to do the right thing because God will always make it right! Be a friend and a brother to your leaders and do what God has called you to do; with respect, honor and meekness, but go do it.