Updated: Dec 11, 2019
I have been convicted of an area in my life over the past 6 years and have asked God to help me to judge less. To love more including having the ability to accept love. This verse refers to God holding pastors, teachers, and leaders to a higher standard as far as presenting His Word. He will judge them stricter than those they are leading or teaching. He is judging them on whether or not they mislead through false teachings. Those that are not pastors, teachers or leaders are not expected to be as accurate in their presenting of His Word so if we that are not leaders accidentally say something contrary to the Word, He will not judge us as harshly.
There is no passage in the Bible that gives the congregation the right to judge their pastors. This includes their sins. We all have sins (pride, critical spirit, anger, etc. ) It is God's place to convict them of any sin in their lives, not ours. Just as it’s God’s place to convict all of us of our sins, not the pastors. We are to love the 'person', and yes this includes pastors. Matthew 7:1-5 is the only appropriate passage for members to go to their pastor (or any believer) and reconcile. If it doesn't work the first time, we are instructed to keep trying. Just because 'we' get tired of trying….what if Jesus gave up on us? What if Jesus took the attitude, ok that's 7x7 times, I give up on you…
People can quit a church, but they can't quit the family of God. I have come to look at my church family as a marriage. What God has brought together, let no man separate. I do believe we have to answer for leaving a church family that God led us to. There are legitimate reasons for leaving (moving out of town, God leading to a new ministry, etc) A lot of times we tend to hear what WE want to hear from God and not what He is actually saying. I do not believe leaving a church out of 'hurt' feelings is approved by God. I believe these experiences are ways He is trying to grow us and teach us to love and accept each other in spite of our different personalities.
I don't want to lose my church family and hope to gain more. I greatly miss those that chose to leave. I don’t know all the reasons as most of what I have heard comes through others. I have learned to only trust and believe God, not what others say. This is not directed at just our church home but every church family. Be sure you are truly being directed from God to leave wherever you are and it's not out of 'hurt feelings' or your personal preferences not being met. Think of how you are going to explain to God the reason you left the church body that HE wanted you in. Will He accept your excuse or reason? Will He accept, my pastor was too prideful? Will He accept I wasn’t getting anything out of his messages. Will He accept, your chosen leader hurt my feelings? Will He accept, they wouldn't do what I wanted them to do or wouldn't let me do what I wanted to do. What about, “I was told I was in someone’s seat and the pastor took their side instead of mine”. I’ve even made the comment that if someone told me I was in their seat I would just leave. God has convicted me of this tho. How foolish it would be for me to leave the church home He led me to, because I had to switch seats. I’m where God wants me and I’m there for Him and His will for me. I’m not where I am for the pastors or the members but to worship and serve God. There's a lot of 'church hopping' and I do not think God approves of this.
As my video said earlier in the week. I am seeking unity for all Christians across the world and it is NOT impossible for all things are possible through Him. It takes His children, being willing to let go of who they are, and let His Spirit do His will. It does take a bit of personal sacrifice on our part to love those that are not like us, to stay, support and love each other even if we are complete opposites. Is our sacrifice greater than the sacrifice Christ did for us?
I love you all even those not in the body of Christ. Christ loves you and so do I.
Originally posted on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/notes/cindy-burton-newby/the-church-family-james-31/1022090504661159/