I wish to preface something and add my “2 cents” before you may read this article linked below which may still be apropos today. I am not casting judgment. I am no one’s judge. Some ONE has that job already, and I surely do not want it. I make mistakes, have failed, and continue to do so. However, I do strive to correct my mistakes, and learn from them and my failures. I am thankful there is a God that forgives me, and works with me to mold me into the man He has Called me to be. I also strive to be authentic, real, and speak truth in love, and love does need to be tough at times.
There are things that irritate me as with any human being. Let’s call them “pet peeves” and among them are what I sometimes call “Arrogant Ignorance” and Christian Leaders such as Pastors and Preachers dancing to the tune of the social winds, waffling, or seemingly too afraid to speak the truth, whether that truth is hard, or not easily accepted or not. To me and my studies, that is not biblical (Deuteronomy 31:6, Joshua 1:9, 2 Samuel 10:12, Daniel 10:9, Ezra 10:4, 1 Corinthians 16:3). For example, Christian Leaders that prefer to entertain, sooth an audience, and “tickle ears” (2 Timothy 4:3) than be authentic, real, and yes sometimes raw if is necessary. There is nothing wrong with entertaining music as worship music, (Psalm 150:1–6) or apply present times analogies and metaphors to messages and sermons (Jesus spoke in parables), however it should be biblically sound, and a man of God should not fear what the world thinks, but what God has Called him to speak, (read what happened to Jonah), as a Christian is not “Born Again” to please the world, and man kind, he does what he does for the Lord. (Colossians 3:23).
This is most likely why I am drawn to Christian Leaders, Pastors and Preachers who are authentic, real, and yes sometimes raw. Those that are not afraid to speak the truth, yes truth in love, even when it has to be tough love. This is also why I may cringe to the point of walking out of a church or during a message when I detect a Christian Leader who is not authentic, real, and especially ones whom are not biblically sound. (Yes, I have had to walked out of services, having to bite my tongue, while never to return.) Sometimes it’s the ones whom tout their many years of education and seminary. Their PhDs in theology demanding that a person or congregation listen and do exactly what this leaders says because of their long list of certifications and degrees. Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe in higher education. Personally I love learning, and thirst after it. I have been studying the bible since my 20s, and tried a bit of seminary. However, just because a person has all this education, doesn’t mean they have “arrived”. Remember the Pharisees, and Sadducees had a wealth of education which often began as soon as they could read, yet they were right in front of the prophesied Messiah and didn’t even know it, or rejected Him and His truth to the point of having Him crucified. You can have plenty of degrees and still be an idiot.
In addition, if a Christian Leader doesn’t have experience or education in Psychology, or Psychiatry in addition to their Theology, they should stay away from claiming or saying a human being whom may be diagnosed with a mental illness is “not saved”, or “lacks faith”, or “is possessed by a demon”. The brain and mind does get sick, just like the body. In statistical fact, 20% of the adult American population is living with or suffering from a mental illness (and that’s just the ones who sought help and received a diagnosis), and 50% of all Americans will suffer from a mental health crisis and that on average every American adult will suffer from at least two bouts of depression in their life time. (Source: CDC, NAMI).
I also cringe when I hear Christian Leaders give into social winds to entertain the masses for the topics at hand that defer from biblical soundness. Possibly being more subjective due to the influences of those who tithe or contribute more or the most, or in fear of offending someone. Remember, Jesus offended many, especially the “religious” of that day, and yes, the wealthy too. Yet, He was on a mission in which He did not waiver to be about His Father’s Kingdom building. Jesus had a purpose to fulfill and the opinions of mankind was not going to deter Him. This was also the end result of all the Heroes of Faith in Hebrews 11, or even with any one who made a positive impact for the good in the world.
So Christian Leaders, Preachers, and Pastors, get off of the world’s soap box, stop waffling, going along with the social winds, looking to tickle ears, and please the masses, and focus on pleasing our Heavenly Father. Don’t be a goat, but a sheep for the Good Shepard, Whom is the Lord. (Matthew 25:31–46). And Christian Leaders please stop saying, “we take more of a very cautious and conservative approach” Do you think Jesus took a very cautious and conservative approach? Do you think the Disciples took a very cautious and conservative approach? Do you think any of the Heroes of Faith in Hebrews 11 took a very cautious and conservative approach? I do believe in grace, mercy, as well as all of the Fruits of the Spirit. However, God’s people, all people, deserve, need, and require authentic, and real leaders, and not fakes, posers, frauds, and false prophets. The world has enough fakes, and false narratives in it. People deserve and need the truth, no matter how hard it is to digest at times. Good Shepards do not fear, or avoid, “Culture Wars”, they address it head on with the truth, as they know there is a Spiritual War going on behind the scenes and people need Godly insight, and direction on the right path, no matter how narrow that path may be.
If you are attending a church in which you may feel the same way, have been cringing, or feeling the pull to walk out, or have had to walk out, then you may want to review these “7 signs” from an article I wrote titled:
“7 Signs That It May Be Time To Respectfully Address Your Church or Your Pastor…”: https://bromartin.medium.com/7-signs-that-it-may-be-time-to-respectfully-address-your-church-or-your-pastor-5c97f427d47e
Now as I end my rant, I am confident I may have offended some, even some Christian Leaders, Pastors and Preachers. Not sure how we have become such an easily offended nation as it is now, any way. However, I am simply speaking truth in love, and yes it may be tough love. However, I am not expressing this to please mankind, which includes Christian Leaders, Pastors or Preachers, I do as unto the Lord. (Colossians 3:23).