Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Admonish Who? or I'm Certainly Not Going to Say Anything!

“… Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ,” (Colossians 1:27-28, nasb).

Have you ever been surprised or disheartened with the conduct or teaching of pastors of large churches or directors of large ministries? Discouraged by their rudeness, crudeness, anger, language, teaching, or lavish and ostentatious life style. Many of us are intimidated and fearful to say anything, for after all we may only be a pastor of a small church of 50, so who are we to confront (even graciously) a pastor of a church of 5000? How can we speak to the conduct of a famous Christian author when we’ve never even written a book?

But should not all of us in the body of Christ encourage each in the body in our conduct and walk with God?

A pastor of a mega church speaks crudely of sex from the pulpit, publically says he does not like people (except his own family), treats others rudely and is known as the “angry” pastor. I spoke at a meeting of pastors and was seated next to this famous young pastor. He spoke to no one at the table even when spoken to. When I sought to encourage and talk to him, he simply answered with an angry stare.

Was this a time to say something like, “Hey, brother, what do you think of Paul’s instruction to the church of Colossae in Colossians chapter 3, when he says in verses 10 to 12 that as a Christian, we are to put on (so the world can see) a heart of compassion, kindness, and humility. Brother, as a pastor and teacher of the Word, is it possible to be a true believer without the evidence in our lives of things that clothe a follower of Christ."

The reason most of us would not speak (even kindly) to a “big shot” church leader like this is because we are afraid they will answer, “Who do you think you are?”

Well, we do know (or should know) who we are; we are members to each other in Christ, in His body the Church!

So, don’t be a coward like me. Tactfully in love with gracious speech (or writing) speak to those who bring shame to Christ and discouragement to those in the church. Don’t be intimidated and fooled with statements like, “I know Pastor So and So is not perfect, but look at the size of his church. He may be angry, uses crude language, and doesn’t like people, but look at all he does for the Kingdom.”

“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity,” (Colossians 3:12-14, nasb).

“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear,” (Ephesians 4:29, nasb).

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you,“(Ephesians 4:31-32, nasb).

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come,“(2 Corinthians 5:17, nasb).

“For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf,“(2 Corinthians 5:14-15, nasb).

If our teaching, life style, and conduct do not glorify the Lord Jesus, what good is it whatever size our ministry or church is?

1 comment:

Chuck Weinberg said...

I have been encouraged as of late to be much bolder in circumstances like this.
I have talked to several people that are in authority over me. In meekness and in love I admonish them, individually, and it was rally hard. BUT, God is faithful and within a coupe of days I noticed a more Christlike spirit and attitude. I believe this not only encouraged me but also encouraged them.
It is hard, but we are called to irritate one another to love and good deeds, and we are not responsible for their response.
You are an encouragement to me. Don't retire until you are promoted to Heaven. You have much to give.