Do you love your pastor or worship him? Has the media influenced the way the church looks at ministry today? Has the “prosperity gospel” created a monster beast called, Gospel Celebrity? Hmmm.
Has too much exposure in TV, parts in movies, and glitzy websites made the ministers of the Gospel think that they are rock stars? Some are acting like it. Driving cars that cost more than some homes – and wearing custom suits and expensive watches to prove that they are “blessed” and highly favored child of God.
But then the news hits.
We don't mind reading in the tabloids or online about a rock star and their “mistakes.” But what happens when our pastors, preachers or prophetesses start making HEADLINES – and we read about their dirt.
Then we are in shock because they really aren't what we they portrayed to be. Or did we just see what we wanted to see? Was it there all the time and money was the magnifier?
I will never forget the children's story “The Emperor's New Clothes” by Hans Christian Anderson. I really liked that story because it illustrated that just because you think you're right – doesn't mean you are – even if other people seem to go think so too.
The Emperor surrounded himself with people who feared him. They put him on a pedestal and felt he was their “god.” They were afraid to disagree with anything he said or thought. They were the consummate “yes-men.” Consequently, they let him fall for some really dumb stuff. Like walking around in “invisible” clothes.
That's the problem with having just “yes” people around you. They will let you look stupid instead of challenging you because they're too afraid. In the story, it wasn't until one truthful child stepped forward and told the Emperor that he had no clothes on, then the Emperor finally got a revelation!
There are two sides of this story and they're both based on things that are ungodly: fear and pride.
If the people had not been in fear – they could have told the Emperor the real deal. And if he hadn't wrapped himself up in pride, he could have recognized that he was really looking ridiculous.
Fear and pride are elements that can kill a soul and destroy a nation. When rampant in the church, it can stop the move of God.
God's Word says that we should submit to those in authority. We are to respect and revere them – not be afraid of them. First Peter 5: 5 says, ” All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'”
We are to respect one another. When we worship a pastor to the point that we're afraid to tell them the truth – it's dangerous. The pastor will go around exposed to deceit and not even know it. We should never worship or esteem man over God – it's detestable in God's eyes. It's idolatry – and anything you idolize you will not dispute – even when you know it's right to do so.
If we really love our pastors, we must speak the truth.
Ministry leaders must also learn to temper their stubbornness – which comes out of pride. The Bible says there is safety in a multitude of counselors. Wise counsel is godly. If a pastor thinks he knows it all, he is heading for destruction. The Word warns us that “pride comes before destruction.”
If God gives grace and favor to the humble, we all must be willing to say, “I was wrong. I stand corrected.” Stubbornness keeps us from doing what is best – thus in the end we hurt others and ourselves too.
Confrontation requires courage. Reverence does not mean we can't speak the truth to our pastors in love. Mutual respect is the key element. It flows both ways.