I don’t know what it is about the Christian world today, but it seems that we are always judging every pastor and speaker that comes our way. They get on a stage to share something and immediately we look for something to scoff at—something to disclaim. Rather than try to learn something, we try to disprove something. I’m guilty of it a hundred times over, especially because my college chapel brought a new speaker in for every single session.
Why are we so desperate to pick a fight? I’m serious—I know I’m not the only one! Are we not supposed to recognize the majority of these speakers as God’s chosen leaders? Are they not his anointed?
If you don’t think you’re guilty of such a thing, look through your life real quick. Can you think of one or two (or dozens) of church stories from your past that you still tell people today? I can. What is our obsession with holding onto our past negative church experiences? No wonder America’s churches are falling apart. We haven’t learned to forgive.
Now look: I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have opinions or that we shouldn’t test the things we hear in church. I’m not even saying we shouldn’t question. That would be blindness. I guess what I mean is that we need to stop going into churches with the sole purpose of disapproving of God’s anointed. We shouldn’t join a church with the desire to disprove or challenge the pastor and leaders (that may sound ridiculous, but it happens way more often than you’d think). That’s like getting into a relationship with someone because you want to change them.
If only we tried to have more of a heart like David’s. If you’ve ever read through 1 and 2 Samuel then you’ve seen how strangely David treated King Saul. Saul was not a great king and he tried to kill David time and time again. But despite these many death threats, David refused to attack “God’s anointed.” Despite the fact that the king had clearly gone crazy, David refused to touch someone that God had put such a blessing on. And on top of that, David had the chance to do so, but he refused.
Now of course you don’t want to get mixed up in a church that has a pastor like Saul, but the point remains: some respect for our church leaders would be nice. If you have something to say, you can of course say it, but I suggest you truly check your motives first. Do you truly have a concern about something or are you just looking to be negative? Because American society pushes negativity and criticism harder than any other that I know of. You only have to look through the reviews of the many amazing albums on iTunes to see that.
I feel so awful for all of those mega-church pastors who get hundreds of hate-filled letters and emails every week. Heck, I feel bad for any pastor that gets hate mail. What better way to destroy a ministry than to rip apart its leader. Even something as small as giving your disapproval of a minor statement said in last week’s message is enough to tear down a leader.
Since I’m a pastor you may think that I’m writing this post about me or my church. I am not. I was actually just reading a book and something written in it along with something a college professor of mine said compelled me to put this together. Just so we’re clear, I’m not writing this to demand your respect.