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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Saddened and Angered

Yesterday I shared that I was torn between two things on which to write.  I chose to write on Psalm 22.  Today I will share the other issue.

As I have shared in several posts in the past months I am working through Jeremiah.  I am doing that with three different groups of men, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings.  This time through the book the theme that is emerging is the failure of the leadership of Judah to honor God’s Word by staying in it, thus not elevating the person of God to the nation.  Rather than share the Word of God with the nation they shared their own ideas of what was right and wrong.  The clearest description of that in Jeremiah is in chapter 23.
How can you tell if leadership is failing?  Thoughts at DTTB.
Yesterday, I received an invitation to join a LinkedIn group that focuses on principles of Biblical leadership.  After a couple of seconds' hesitation I joined the group.  It is moderately large with about 13,000 members.  Rick Warren is a member.  After joining, the group page came up in my browser.  One of the members had posted a question and hundreds of people had responded.  Apparently, after some time the one who posted the question deleted the thread.  Someone re-posted it and I scanned the posts.  The question that was originally posted was, “Can a woman be a pastor?”  Admittedly there are problems with the question.  The biggest is that it is too broad – no pun intended.  The immediate clarifying question would be. “Of what?”  The assumption of most of those responding was that the question dealt with the ordination of women to the office of senior pastor of a local body.

To more completely context my response to what I read you need to know that each of the comments in this group are tagged with the individual's credentials.  After their name it lists their degrees, their role in the church, and other accomplishments such as author, public speaker, etc.  For instance if I were to comment, which I did not, it might look like, “J. Michael Cunningham ThM, International Speaker, Author, Founder of Entrusting Truth”.  Most of those commenting had advanced degrees, several were pastors, and some were academics.  So by definition, they would be considered leaders in their communities.  With the exception of less than a handful of those responding, they were doing exactly the same thing that the leaders of Judah were doing, sharing their thoughts and ideas rather than dealing with what God has said in His Word.

Only one of those responding, and he was in the small handful, even mentioned the key passage that informs this issue.  The rest of the comments were opinion or else ad hominem attacks on previous comments.  In a place where “leaders” were supposed to share, what they were sharing was unfortunately aligned with the failed prophets, priests, and leaders of Judah.  I am not really interested in what someone’s opinion on that issue might be.  Nor should they be interested in my opinion.  The real question, there are two actually, first what does God say about the issue?  That can only be determined by careful exegesis of His Word.  Second, are we going to do what God says or not?  All discussion that does not address those two questions is a waste of time, breath, typing, or whatever effort is put into the discussion.

If, and I pray it is not the case, those who were speaking to this issue in this forum are typical of our Christian leaders today, I fear they may be, we are in trouble.  It did not work out all that well for Judah.

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