Sunday, February 08, 2009

Reality Check - Part 2

Leaving a church is a very, very serious thing. I consider it a divorce...it's that serious. I have never been a pastor, but I can only imagine what is must be like when people leave a church just because they don't agree with something the pastor said. That's like filing for divorce because you and your spouse disagree on something - stupid. Biblically, there is a valid reason for divorce, and that is "marital unfaithfulness." I think everyone would agree that an affair is marital unfaithfulness, but I have also heard people teach that unfaithfulness extends beyond that. My personal opinion is that abusive situations fall into that category as well. Much to say in that area, but for now, I will stick to the point that I am making: Marriage is a covenant before God and should be taken as such, but when one person breaks the covenant, there is Biblical support that the other is free to choose whether they will stay or go. Some stay and try to salvage things. Some go.

The Bible says that God places people in a position of authority (Rom 13:1-2). We are to be in submission to those in authority except in the case where they are giving directions contrary to God's Word. We all are under the spiritual authority of our pastors. However, the Apostle Paul said that it IS possible to abuse the authority given by God (1 Cor 9:18) and/or act in such a way that "disqualifies" oneself from being a leader (1 Cor 9:27). With that in mind, it seems to me that "pastoral unfaithfulness" would give people Biblical support for leaving a church. Just like a spouse can choose to stay and hope for the best in a marital unfaithfulness situation, a church member can choose to stay or go. Some stay and try to salvage things. Some go.

Submission to authority, and when to challenge or act outside that authority, is something that the two Marines in Part 1 learned the hard way. They blindly followed the orders of their superior officer and forgot their duty as Marines. All of us will stand before God and give account for our lives. Some have rebelled against Godly authority figures and they will have to answer for that. On the flip side, if we blindly follow authority figures who have abused their authority, will we not still be under judgment like the two Marines? I don't want to be in either group. Seems to me that so many Christians today do fall into one or the other, and that is why I wanted to write about it. More soon...

2 Comments:

At 2/08/2009, OpenID nephos said...

Good thoughts, Mark. Too often Christians go to one extreme or another in this. I appreciate the balance you seek.

 
At 2/08/2009, Blogger jel said...

Hey Mark ,
good to hear from ya again


and the boys have grown!


take care
blessings

 

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