Saturday, February 4, 2017

Senior Leaders Who Diminish the Kingdom of God

As a prophet it is my job to identify and call out those who are abusing the Body of Christ. A watchman, a guardian and in a way a shepherd of the sheep.  I do not suppose to confront directly those who are identified.  There is serious problems in the Body of Christ and His Church that must be dealt with.  To deal with them first takes identification.  For the most part I use the Personal Pronoun HE, but it can be he or she. 

The Conspiracy Driven leader
This person is always looking under the bed, behind the curtain and around the corner for grand conspiracies.  It's not wrong to be vigilant, it is wrong to instill fear and anger in people for the purposes of continuing your own ministry.  This is not just a right or left wing situation.  This is a case of telling half truths, lies and fabrications to get people to follow you.  I know of many who are in this boat.  I don't know how a person can correct them.   They must ultimately be humiliated.  They must be defamed.  That won't be by a prophet, I can only warn those who find themselves under the teaching or direction of one such to advise them to RUN.  They will fill you with so many lies you will die from the pain.  God puts one up and another down.  At some point they will be exposed for the charlatans of untruth they are by God himself.  Of course in the mean time they will have destroyed lives in fear.  If half your leaders admonitions are strange sounding and he keeps telling you that he knows, he looked it up, he has documentation, he is privy to special knowledge, he's a fraud.  Even if it's convenient to accept, if it's a fabrication it will put you in chains.  Receive a lie and it will put you in chains.

The "Business Opportunity" Leader
The worst case of this I ever saw was a pastor in River Falls Wisconsin. He had a thriving church of 500 people.  Someone seduced him into a Multi Level Marketing scheme that he became convinced was the answer to all things. His evangelism shifted from "Jesus Saves" to MLM (There became many).

Some people bought into the program, particularly those who were new in the faith.  Many less gullible drifted away.  In two years he had destroyed the work God had given him.  People's lives who had invested themselves in these schemes were impoverished and in some cases bankrupted.  He was shamed and left the ministry.  That good church destroyed by greed.  I wish I could report that was an isolated incident.  It's not.  There are several churches in the Chicago area who are trapped in this cycle of next MLM.  Those leaders do not so much have a flock they lead to Jesus, but a bunch of sheep they lead to slaughter via the next failed scheme.  Some that I know are on their 15th MLM in the last 5 years.  No one makes any money to speak except the guy in their up-line - Pastor or Apostle BullSpit.  The sermons get to be more about keeping people in the down line and less about helping them reach their destiny in God.  Altar calls are designed to create dependence.   People's lives are less because they are given false hope in an ungodly scheme.  The Kingdom of God is diminished.

The Racial Identity Political Champion Leader
This can be white, black, Indian, Korean or any number of iterations.  Of course a Spanish speaking church will often not be helpful if you don't speak Spanish.  Same with other languages.  Yet, the capacity of a Church to reach outside it's racial configuration requires a leader with a larger vision.  Many traditional white or black congregations are so targeted to their ethnic base it is impossible nearly for someone outside of that racial identity to come in.  Many people think they would LIKE to be multicultural but they demonstrate a lack of tolerance and love towards those who are not like them.  This comes from the top.  It comes because it's easy to keep people in the club if they look just like you, act just like you, believe what you believe culturally and share cultural worldviews.  This is not as it should be.  We should be KINGDOM.. but we're not.  We are racial identity divided. Our politics excludes people. If a leader is not ready to demonstrate his love towards all, the members will not as well.  You can spot this when a leader uses his platform to spank the "Not Like Us" attendees, or uses  cultural code words to keep them separate.  I have seen this on the right, left, black, white, American Indian, Spanish Speaking and Korean churches.   It's wrong when it flows down from the head.  If you find yourself isolated from others because of this.. it's time to leave.

The "It's my Job Man" Leader
This is the hireling.  In many churches of cold dead denominations this is the guy who knows all the motions to go thru.  He knows how to open with prayer, close with a song and read his warmed over sermon to you.  Most of the time his prime interest is in keeping his job.  He won't take a risk.  He works on behalf of a board.  He is uninspired and uninspiring.  It is questionable if he knows God at all.  He knows his Bible some, but he doesn't' know HIM.  He can't help you, he can't help himself.  Walk away.  If you are in this place, you know this already.  You probably are staying there because your mom or dad was there at one time.  You know this guy by the number of times he calls on the 23rd Psalm and the Lords Prayer in a crisis.  Zero fresh manna from heaven.

The Leveraging on Wealthy Members Leader
I know of far too many like this.  Usually a denominational church.  One or two very wealthy influential families make up the bulk of economic and positional contributions. It's their own private enterprise.  The leader pastor simply walks the walk to not get fired.  They can LOOK like prosperous churches but they are driven and dominated by big money from the chosen few.  The big contributors are the elders or senior board members.  Little attention is paid to their ability or understanding.   I know of one church that was indirectly led by a family famous in recycling and waste pick up.  Became a BIG church.  Lots of programs.. but when the pastor asked a few hard questions he was out on his ear.  That happened a few times and the church died.  We are all equal at the cross even if we have more money than the others.  It is my sincere belief that a Pastor should NOT know how much his members contribute.  Not even a hint.  That Pastor should love on and lead with a pure heart.  Money does not allow for that.  No leader can remain independent of the influence of big money ... even if he is deceived into thinking he can.  Most Pastors think they can handle this.. they can't.  Having great wealth is not a spiritual gift.

The Narrow Focus to Exclusion Leader (Cultist)
Any church built on a single focus and excluding others subject to deception and ultimately becomes a cult.  We have heard of how the Scientologists segregate their members and shun those who leave the cult.  That would be great if that were all there are.  Yet in the Church World there are many churchy expressions that become cultish because of a narrow focus.  It might be end times prophecy, it could be deliverance from demonic influence, it could be all prayer all the time, it could be prophecy, it might be evangelism only, it might be manifestation of charismatic gifting, it might be all teaching all the time, it might be prosperity without bounds, it might be positive confession, it might be fasting it can also be overemphasis on good works or sacraments.  There are probably a hundred other ways excess takes place.  It's not to say anyone of them are wrong.. but balance is the key.  There are 5 graces listed in Ephesians 4.  There are 9 Giftings in 1 Corinthians 12.  There are other identifiable spiritual propensities all thru the Bible.  When a senior leader begins to concentrate on a single area to the exclusion of all others and thinks he has some insight into that better than others, he is a cult leader.  Balance matters.  Look for balance.

The "MY KINGDOM COME" leader
This leader is easy to spot.  He is not building people, he's building a kingdom. Big buildings, big cars, big houses, big living and that takes big money extracted from the members with guilt, shame and religious pressure.  When the offering sermon is longer than the word he is bringing you know you are in the presence of a "My Kingdom Come" leader.  These are pirates dressed up as apostolic leaders.  They will quote the dozen or so bible verses you hear all the time to justify their piracy.  They give the Kingdom of God a bad name.  They have to be exposed.  They are pimping the people for their own Kingdom.   The opposite of that is the leader who lives in the same house, same car, parks in the same place away from the door and eschews any privilege.  I have known a few but far too few.  The first clue is the sign right next to the best parking spot, "Reserved for Apostle Bigshot".  The truth is the most spiritual parking sites are the furthest from the door.  These pirates operate in double anointing during tax refund season. You don't need him and get away while you still have a nickle in your pocket.

The "Airplane is my Second Home" Leader
This senior leader is not so much dangerous as absent from the people he is to serve.  It becomes a question why they have a church at which they are essentially only Guest Speaker.  Sometimes this is because of an unusual anointing and ability they have come into demand on the global stage.  You can't serve two masters.  Someone will get hurt.  This needs to be decided soon.

I will never forget once when Benny Hinn was in Chicago and a few dozen megachurch leaders where on the front row.  People were brought up for prayer.  They were asked which church they attended.  What was shocking (I was there and saw it) was when people said they were members at this or that church and the senior leader was there, he had no idea who they were.  I'll grant you, some were making it up, but in a few cases I knew, they were hurt, that the man who had been their senior pastor for many years had no idea who they were.  They had followed, given and been loyal in service but they were less than a name of a face to the senior leader.  Instead of tending the sheep, he was flying here or there.  There comes a time to decide what the call of God is on your life and follow that lead.  I exclude my Apostle who seems to be able to handle this pretty well, but how he does it I don't know. Worse, may who think they want to be like him... FAIL.  

The Leader Known as "Apostle Know it All"
There are some leaders who tolerate no doctrinal deviation from members.  There is not an  anointed call so much as the requirement to fall in line.  The attitude is "I Know and YOU DON'T".  It's dangerous and can cause many to feel left out.  It's good to be well versed, it' great to be on a firm foundation, but to not hear others out, even to help them get their doctrine right is false leadership.  Jesus didn't do that.  The woman at the well was messed up in her theology.  So was Nicodemus.  But Jesus gently without pedantry helped them come into truth.  So should we.  The worst are those with "degrees" ending with - DIV.  They are know-it-alls about what they think they know but don't.  Arrogance of ignorance or half knowledge keeps saints in the dark.  Leaders must set people free to ask questions without fear.

The Ignorant Leader who Doesn't Know He or She is Ignorant
This is the senior leader who is so ignorant he gets his sermons from the Internet.  He cannot read and preach from his understanding because he has none.  He uses fake emotion and strange fire to pretend to preach strong but without the cliches and badly borrowed text he would be lost.  He has not earned the right to stand before others and preach the word.  I'm not talking about young or inexperience, I'm talking about lazy and ignorant.  Too many times a badly told joke, a fishing story or a bible verse that isn't there becomes the basis for bad preaching.  "Today let us deal with the Verse that says "God Helps Those who Help Themselves".  It's painful and they must earn the right to pay the price to stand before others with confidence and authority. It's not about reading someone else's book and trying to preach from it, it's not about getting on some christian blog and changing up some words for your sermon.  It's about knowing the AUTHOR of the big book you preach from.  If you find yourself under one of these folks, help them, if they won't listen. Leave.

No comments: