36Confess your faults one to another (James 5:)
It's time I changed my nature.
I think all of us can see the errors of both the churches and of the government. In regards to the government, God has placed those people in their positions. To question them and their decisions is to question God. To murmur against the government is to murmur against God. We see this in the wilderness when the Israelites murmured against Moses, who was chosen by God to lead them. They all died in that wilderness because of their actions. We see this again in the case of Babylon capturing Judah. God instituted this captivity. God put Nebuchadnezzar in place. God placed Nero on the throne of Rome. We are not to argue or complain against what God has done, we're to live within the confines of God's will. I know these things, I write on these things, and yet I've not been living according to what I write, knowing and understanding the consequences for such a violation.
This is the government. I am going to try and resist criticizing the government. It will be hard, like trying not to swat at the fly that's buzzing about my eye. But I will try.
In the Church body we are to learn to govern ourselves, and not to govern the Church. Ministers are put in place to govern the Church. However, it is clear by the examples and the wording of the Bible that we are not to follow examples or instructions of those who oppose or who veer from the teachings of the Bible. We have also been instructed to point out those errors when we see them (1Tim 5:20; 2Tim 4:2; Titus 2:15). Some ministers openly reject rebuke believing they are above reproach. Such was the case with the Pharisees. Some ministers choose to remain blind to their condition. Little can be done to correct these. They must be left to the Lord. We can only pray that those in their care will find the guidance they are missing having chosen to blindly follow their blind leaders.
We all know that not all ministers are following the leading of the Holy Spirit. With thousands of differing denominations and doctrines this is hard to deny. We can all see the failures of the Church today to fulfill its duty to God and to the body of members within the Church. Where some churches will be doing an exceptional job of fulfilling God's will, they will fail in other areas. The first two chapters of Revelation deals with just such a situation. The problem is, we see the errors in the other churches, and in other Christians, and ignore or justify the problems in ourselves. Jesus said to cast out the log from our own eye before trying to deal with the speck in someone else's eye. This is not being done. People are not looking into the mirror to see what is in their own eye. Nor are the churches checking with the Lord and with His Word to see where they might be going astray. I am trying to serve as a mirror through which the Words of instruction can be seen.
And here is where I run into my problem. Is my eye clear enough that I can criticize others? Not by a long shot. Do I know more about the Bible than the pastors or the theologians? Again, not by a long shot. I'm not even in the same ball park with any of them, leastwise in the same league. Do I possess the skills and experience to qualify me to serve as an instructor to those behind the pulpits? Again I must admit failure. Then if I lack any of these qualifications, what am I doing here?
I honestly don't know. I only know God has placed me here and He has given me insight into what He desires for His Church, His sheep. And I see that those purposes are being thwarted and hindered. I see people I care about held back by the churches that refuse to look beyond their doctrine for the truth of God's Word. I see churches and ministers who are doing very well in some areas, especially on the human realm, but they are failing to provide the necessary Spiritual food needed for the sheep in their care to mature to perfection as we are told to do. And I feel a strong desire to do what I can to correct what I see. I feel like David and Goliath, but having no sling shot, nor skill with what I do have as a weapon, and nothing but a handful of dust to throw at the giant. I throw my dust and pray that God will direct it where He wants it.
I began this page by saying I apologize. Yet I continue to do that for which I am apologizing. Then what, you might ask, am I apologizing for? I'm not apologizing for criticizing the churches, the pastors or the theologians. That is, as I see it, my job; a job I didn't ask for nor do I want. What I am apologizing for is my tendency to make broad statements as if to say all churches, pastors and theologians are guilty of what I'm pointing out. This is not so. And those who are guilty in one area may be doing very well in another. But we all have our failures. To deny this is to turn a blind eye to the possibility of recognizing and dealing with those failures we have. If one particular issue isn't one of your failures, then look into others. I'm sure you'll find one or two that will fit your particular deficit. I myself find many areas I where I fall short And the more I write, the more failures I find in myself. But what I say is of no consequence whatsoever. They're just words, and brittle words at that. But I present Scripture intended to back up what I say. If you find the Scriptures do not fit my statement, then toss it out. But if you find it does support my statement, and it causes a glimmer of conscience in you, then take it to the Lord for confirmation.
Throwing the dust is my job. I don't apologize for the dust. And if the dust gets in your eyes, I only hope it serves as a balm to help you see where you might be in error and work to correct that error, not only for your sake, but for the sake of those sheep in your care. If the dust misses you, then either God has not directed the dust I've shown to you, or you've already seen what I have to say and have legitimately recognized its faults, or you've dealt with the problem presented already.
My apology is also for my anger. It is not my place to be angry at those who are doing their job the best they know how. It is my job to speak out and say what I see, but it's not my job to issue blanket condemnations the way I have been doing. It's this I'm going to try and resist. I want to, as simply and directly as I can, present my opinion and my observation and leave it in the hands of the reader. As I have said, it will be difficult for me to do. If I fail, please keep in mind that I recognize my failure, and I'm apologizing for that failure up front. And if I've offended anyone unjustly in the past, I apologize for that as well. If I have, or if I do offend anyone justly, that is, I have touched on a problem you possess and refuse to deal with, I can't apologize for what is actually your own problem. That, like my own problem I'm dealing with here, is between you and the Lord.
17Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. (Heb 13:)