Resisting And Rebelling

Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind.
–Matthew 15:13-14

Somebody has said we tend to immortalize leaders of the past while treating our current leaders like faces on a dartboard. Unfortunately, that is true in too many churches, and that is why the writer of Hebrews talked about our responsibility to our current leaders. He wrote, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls” (13:17).

Let’s admit, this is a difficult command for all of us because we have a natural resistance to obeying any kind of authority. Yet in 1 Corinthians 11:3, Paul said all of us are under somebody’s authority: “Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.” God puts every one of us under somebody’s authority, whether it is a mate, a boss, or a pastor. And if we cannot obey the human authorities we see every day, how in the world will we learn to be obedient to a God we have not seen?

You might say, “But what about those who abuse their authority? What do we do about bad spiritual leaders?” The Bible says there are two reasons to get rid of a spiritual leader: heresy and sexual immorality. But for any offense outside of those two, the Bible illustrates a different way of dealing with them. In Matthew 15:13-14, Jesus was telling His disciples how to respond to the hypocritical Jewish leaders, the Pharisees. He said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” Leave them alone. Let God deal with it.

I had a deacon who called me from another church, and he told me this story. He said he was not pleased with the current pastor at his church. Some other deacons came to him and said, “We sense you are as upset with this pastor as we are. We want you to join us in removing the pastor from office.” And this deacon said no. He told them, “If we uproot this pastor, we will also uproot the other members in the church who revere him and respect him. We cannot do that. Leave him alone and let God deal with it.” That is what Jesus was saying here. If you try to uproot somebody, it will hurt other people in the process as well.

Maybe you do not care for your current pastor. Pray for him. If you need to, go talk to him and share your concern in a spirit of love. And if you still cannot resolve it, do not lead a rebellion; go find another church. Go find a pastor that you respect and whose authority you can follow. That is the way you deal with leaders that you do not agree with. But know that the vast majority of pastors are doing the best they can to take care of you, to watch over your soul.


Today’s devotion is excerpted from “How To Treat Your Next Pastor” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2020.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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