Less-Popular D Words: Disgruntled and Disobedient

May 2, 2019 at 4:49 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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Christians are not surprised – or at least they ought not to be surprised – when Christ, His Gospel, and the Bible are rejected by modern culture and society. This does not mean, however, that Christians should let their guard down regarding worldly influences affecting the Church. For example, it is no secret that “victim mentality” is the driving force in a vast majority of current social issues, politics, and legislation. If you can find someone else to blame for your problems or your perceived lack of advantage, then you can play the victim and elicit sympathy disguised as justice or fairness.

How does this manifest itself as influence on Christian ministry, though? One way is in the prevalence of so-called “recovery” or “survivor ministries” (these being euphemisms for victim in many cases). If you are under the authority of a local Christian church – and all Christians should be – but you find it difficult to submit to authority, or if things aren’t going exactly to your liking, then your options can seem pretty limited: (1) leave church (sadly, this is the route seized upon by many); or (2) start your own church or ministry.

Now, at this point, you may be thinking, what about option 3? I could just find another church. That’s true… UNLESS you have been in a position of leadership at your current or recently-former church, and leaving your current church for an already-established church would mean humbling yourself and serving from a non-leadership position under the preaching and teaching of another leader (especially if you think you have received some sort of special “calling” or if you think you are too smart, too gifted, and too special to be under the authority of someone you think is less smart, less gifted, and less special than you are).

So, there it is, you are stuck with option 2 above: You anoint yourself as pastor, leader, preacher, minister, or whatever, and start recruiting. But where will you find yourself a ready-made congregation, or at least a good prospect-list of likely recruits? Why, among the victims, of course. As a victim yourself, you can really relate to each other. And don’t limit your new flock to just one “D” word: “D“isgruntled. Be creative. Have you been told that you are “D“isqualified from ministry because you are “D“ivorced? Great! There are bound to be some divorced folks out there that feel “judged” because they haven’t been allowed to serve in as high a position as they would like where they are currently serving. Maybe you have a history of “D“rug abuse or “D“epression or “D“omestic abuse or a “D“ependency on “D“rinking alcohol. How many nominal church members out there have sore feelings because they have heard someone in their own church lovingly, but firmly, preach what the Bible has to say about those things? Maybe you can entice them to jump ship! [Pro tip: Look out for people whose political views are the real motivating factor behind which types of church leaders they want to serve under. They are usually easy to spot because their social media posts about their favorite president and political party outnumber their posts about Jesus by about 10 to 1.]

Now, let me pause for a moment here to state clearly that I am thankful that Christ forgives all types of sinners and all kinds of sins. I am thankful whenever a divorced person, a former drug addict, someone with a scandalous past, or a person who has overcome any type of spiritual battle, is able to serve in church and even be recognized with some type of official ministry position. However, we are talking here about the qualifications of church leadership positions described in I Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:6-7, which state that a bishop (pastor) needs to be “blameless,” meaning above reproach: not subject to being called out for past behavior in the context of a history of leadership that hurt people to the extent that there is a scandal that could still be reasonably brought up.

Okay, back to the point: When, as a Christian who feels like a victim, you are recruited by a disgruntled pastor with a personal ax to grind, beware. A new ministry founded on shared feelings of “D“issatifaction, “D“isappointment, and unresolved “D”isputes, will turn into a hotbed of bitterness, bad doctrine, and darkness faster than you can say, “Finally, I’ve found a place where they will tell me that ‘grace’ means that it doesn’t matter how my behavior affects others!”

Remember, there are many D words which stand for things that nobody likes to have held against them, but, Biblically speaking, as a “D“isciple of Jesus Christ, these D words are more far more significant:

1. Don’t disobey God’s commands (John 14:15; Ephesians 5:6; I John 5:2-3).
2. Don’t doubt the Word of God (I Timothy 2:8).
3. Don’t divide the body of Christ through slander, gossip, and factions (Romans 16:17; I Corinthians 3:3-7).
4. Don’t disrupt fellowship among believers (Galatians 5:13-15).
5. Don’t distract new believers from drawing closer to Christ (Matthew 18:4-7).
6. Don’t devise schemes that lead people into sin (Psalm 35:20; Proverbs 16:28-30).
7. Don’t destroy, in a fit of pique, the testimony that you have worked hard to establish (Ecclesiastes 10:1; James 1:20).
8. Don’t disgrace the work of the ministry by making it seem like a means of personal recognition or gain (I Corinthians 9:18).
9. Don’t depart from God-ordained authority just because you don’t feel like submitting (Hebrews 13:17; I Thessalonians 5:12-13).


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