Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Christian-Spiritual Leaders

Within the last few days I heard a statement from a man who was speaking on American Family Radio. When I cannot tolerate anymore of the pretend conservativism on talk radio and I am frustrated with the secular trash music I often switch to AFR until I have to turn off the radio altogether. I do listen for tidbits of the local, national, and world news. I also listen for the sake of the challenges that urge me to dig deeply into the Scriptures. While most of what I hear is contrary to the faith, nevertheless I do find the challenge to be certain to be a worthwhile challenge.

What I heard on AFR was a comment that proclaimed the exact opposite of what is taught in the Scriptures regarding the form that leadership takes within the Church. I cannot remember the comment so as to give a precise verbatim quotation, but the man said that leaders do not always have all of the answers and in fact, in his experience, the best leaders have more questions.

Does this statement even remotely match what the Scriptures declare?

To St. Timothy St. Paul writes:

This 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. (1 Timothy 3:1-9)

Again, to St. Titus he writes:

For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and 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 selfwilled, 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 which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. (Titus 1:5-11)

Do either of these leave one with the impression that Christian leaders have more questions than answers? What does it mean for a man to be apt to teach? How does one set in order the things that are wanting unless that one knows the answers? Can one silence the gainsayers with more questions than answers? Can a gainsayer be silenced by asking, “Well, what do you think?”

How can a pastor/teacher lead if he does not know the way?

Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. (Matthew 15:14)

The way that the Lord provides is the way of knowing the truth.

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:31-32)

If a leader does not know the way, does not know the truth, does not know the answers that are to be taught, that person should stop imagining himself to be a leader, shut up, sit down, and listen and learn. A teacher who has more questions than answers is not a teacher but a propagator of ignorance, and worse, stupidity and rebellion and false self-reliance.

The Lord has given the answers, and to those who hear Him through the means that He has ordained, the answers are brought forth and proclaimed for the benefit and edification of all who have ears to hear. Moreover, the answers that God has given have the miraculous power to restore life, peace, contentment, love, holiness, and all that is good and worthy. Is this not the kind of leadership that is worthy of following?

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1 comment:

Mr. Mcgranor said...

I am an anti-cleric and am my own teacher.