Sunday, June 28, 2009

Show Me Your Record For The Last 12 Months, then Your Vision For The Future

How easy is it for a leader to develop the God Syndrome? Just question someone who has it. Their decisions, no matter how debatable, are believed (by them) to be God's decision (divine). And, if you question their decision, you are accused of questioning God.

There does exist divine intervention, spiritual gifts, and divine illumination. But, I am reminded of the following Scripture: (Galatians 6:3) "For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself." (NASB)

This theme reappears several times in Paul's letters (e.g., Rom. 12:3; Phil. 2:1-5). The problem of unjustified pride is a feature of a few antique church leaders today, but it almost seems viral in Paul's churches. Place this against the backdrop of meekness, which Paul taught was appropriate.

Interestingly, Paul does seem to allow that a person might legitimately think him or herself something in a certain circumstance, as we see in the verse that follows: (Galatians 6:4-5) "But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. For each one will bear his own load." (NASB)

Nothing in these verses gives us any indication that Paul is spinning out some circumstance that could never happen. A person might have room for boasting because he or she carries his own load and has a "work" that proves worthy upon testing. No effort is made to reconcile such statements with other places where Paul prohibits boasting in relation to justification (e.g., Rom. 4:2). It is of course possible, however, that Paul has in mind the final judgment as the time of such boasting.

Most leaders who suffer from the God Syndrome refer back to "the day" when they were successful pastors or minsters. (Pastoring has changed drastically in the past 5 years.) Listening to them almost leaves the impression that no one else can do ministry like they did. But, what about their ministry results in the past 12 months?

Remember Jesus' teaching in Matt. 7:1-5 and Rom. 2:1? We are not to be tempted to think ourselves something as we restore those overtaken in a transgression. We are not to think ourselves superior to others or to boast in relation to others. We will have an opportunity to boast about our works at the judgment seat of Christ.

For now, I am far more impressed with today's ministry results, rather than boosting about the past. God's favor and anointing will be obvious without the minister having to tell people (in so many words), "This is God speaking."

Tennessee Planned Parenthood Loses Government Funding

About $1.1 million, set aside for family planning in Tennessee, will now be distributed mostly to local health organizations and not the taxpayer-supported abortion provider, Planned Parenthood.

"In the House, the vote was 69-22 and in the Senate, 25-7," said Susan Allen of Tennessee Right to Life.


Southern Baptist Eject 2,000-member Church Over Homosexuality

The Southern Baptist Convention has broken its 127-year-old ties with the 2,000-member Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, because the SBC views the church's stand on homosexuality as too lenient, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and The Baptist Press. The action against the church came with no discussion at the annual SBC meeting in Louisville.

Stephen Wilson, a member of the executive committee, said that, while Broadway Baptist does not officially endorse homosexuality, "they were allowing members and also people in leadership that were homosexual. ... "

"The church was in effect saying that it was OK to have members who are open homosexuals," said Wilson.

An investigation showed that two openly gay members were serving on church committees.