It has been nearly two whole months since I’ve posted. I hope that this note finds you well and I also hope that you have been encouraged by your celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The short reason I haven’t written in a while is that I felt like I had nothing to say that would be helpful to anyone. I mostly write about the church and church leadership issues and I have gone through a period where I was very frustrated and not very positive in my outlook.
I have watched a man take control of what was a good church and turn it into a place where people get hurt and walk away wondering what happened to them. This pastor made a unilateral hiring decision that increased the rate of decline by bringing another pastor on staff who shared his progressive views and had the skills to politically maneuver around the elders who questioned the new direction.
I have watched as the elders who questioned the direction were demonized by the pastors to the point where their only recourse was to resign and walk away. In the past two years, seven elders have been pushed out the door. They hung in there as long as they could to protect the people assigned to their care, but eventually got to the point where they were no longer effective due to lies spread about them.
These are men that I would love to stand with shoulder-to-shoulder, encouraging people in the faith. Every one of them remains qualified for church leadership per the standards set by the Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy and Titus. They are godly men yet they were badly treated by the pastors.
These events have been so frustrating, I began wondering what role, if any, I would have in any church moving forward. At work, I expect leaders to be self-promoting, but this behavior should never be part of church life.
But then, Scripture reminds me that God remains in control and the knuckleheads that sometimes rise to the top in churches do not escape God’s notice. God has pronounced some very sobering statements about what happens to those who abuse His people (Jeremiah 23 comes to mind). I am reminded that I can leave this in God’s hands, he will handle it.
The Psalms are full of questions about why evil men seem to prosper while asking God how long he will wait before he acts. It seems that frustration with the status quo has been a nearly universal experience with the saints throughout the ages. Therefore I am encouraged that I am not alone and my prayers do not fall on deaf ears since God saw fit to include similar complaints in the Psalter.
And, I am reminded that God is patient with sinners and his delay is an opportunity for those in rebellion to repent. For God’s patience I am thankful since I am also one in need of grace and forgiveness.
But most of all, I am reminded this Easter that evil will not triumph despite how it looks in the moment. The one weapon of mass destruction our enemy can wield is death. Jesus’ resurrection proves that this weapon has been disarmed. By rising from the dead, Jesus proved he has the power to make things right and his promise to do so will be made good.
Jesus also promised to build his church. I am encouraged that Jesus is powerful enough to accomplish his purpose for the church even when leaders are perverting the gospel by adjusting it to conform it to current cultural norms.
Happy Easter! Jesus is alive and He will build His church. I’m beginning to regain excitement to see what it will look like.