Here's what to do

Monday, November 29, 2010

In a moment of frustration, I posted on my Facebook page, my mounting frustration about what I was hearing come across the pulpit in the name of the Lord. Some of it is truly the spirit of error at work; but not so in every case. Sometimes it's due to lack of knowledge. By the end of that post, I was ready to confront and ask for notes and references. But then Holy Spirit reminded me that this is not new and a best practice for handling this type of situation already existed in scripture.
And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. - Acts 18-24-26
Leader to leader
A minister I know told me about a relative of hers who thought it her business to correct ministry leaders. She held no prophetic office and was determined on delivering what she believed to be the word of the Lord. Some actually entertained what she had to say. What this person did not know is that a best practice had already been established. According to scripture, this type of correction comes from one ministry leader to another.

Aquila and Priscilla were missionaries and traveled with the Apostle Paul. Church tradition says that this husband and wife team were a part of the 70 that Jesus sent out according to Luke chapter 10. So we see established leaders listening to a dynamic message from a very eloquent man but obviously lacking in a doctrinal truth. When they heard this, it became their responsibility to correct in love and show the better way.

I wouldn't try it 
David was fleeing Jerusalem when Shimei hurled curses and insults upon David in 2 Samuel 16. Without further reading, it  appears that his actions were met with God's approval. Scroll down to chapter 19 and we find Shimei repenting to David and pleading for his life. Shimei admitted his guilt, said he knew he had sinned and went to meet David and repented. Eventually Shimei was killed by King David's son Solomon for blatant disobedience. A poignant story that reminds us of God's order in the Kingdom and reveals the heart of those who buck against that order.

Again, correction of a leader should always come from another leader.

Oh they'll eventually get it is not acceptable
Aquila and Priscilla did not let Apollos remain in the dark concerning God's truth about Jesus Christ. It was more important that Apollos declare the full counsel of this gospel message. That is all that mattered. Here is where church leaders today can take note. It's not enough to see your fellow co-laborer missing an important truth. The notion of, "Oh they'll eventually get it," is not the will of the Father. To my surprise, some allow those who pull in large crowds to teach in error because of the money that also comes with large crowds.

This ought not be so!

To complain, to talk about and not offer correction to a minister who is lacking knowledge or truth is unacceptable.

There's a right way and wrong way
Notice another best practice for us here in this text. They did not confront Apollos in the middle of his message. They did not "call him out" if you will in front of the other synagogue leaders. They took him and privately showed him the way of God more perfectly.

This is a best practice solution for handling fellow ministry leaders who lack some eternal truth and need to be shown the better way. Dealing with false teachers and prophets and confronting the spirit of error is another post altogether. Holy Spirit will definitely lead and guide you in this area if you ask Him too. Don't get frustrated, Holy Spirit just may want to use you to enlighten and reveal truth. A true vessel will consider your words and take them to heart. Remember sons of God receive correction!

May God give you wisdom and grace to contend for the faith!

Blessings to you all!

Pastor Lisa


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