Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Monday, December 03, 2007

Cult of the Professional Weaker Brother

Leadership comes with many opportunities and vexations. When I assumed a leadership position in my church I had expectations, both those built upon anticipation and those founded upon the reality of working with and through people. Fortunately and unfortunately I have not been disappointed.

I have sarcastically joked that as elders we are not in the business of creating or ensuring people's happiness, instead we are in the business of managing levels of unhappiness or discontent. It seems that for every 4 or 5 positive outcomes of what we do, there is a detractor who attempts to take the air from our sails, or from under our wings.

Isaiah 65:13 Therefore, thus says the Lord God,

"Behold, My servants will eat, but you will be hungry.

"Behold, My servants will drink, but you will be thirsty.

"Behold, My servants will rejoice, but you will be put to shame.

A parable associated with the verses tells the story of a King who called his servants to a feast without telling them at what time they were to appear. Those who were prudent and wise dressed themselves and showed up at the place of the feast, not only prepared for the food and festivity, but with a mindset to aide and assist in the preparations. There are expectations for the people of God that in the employment of the King they are to exhibit a willingness to accept responsibility, to be a participant, to be credible workers of God's grace and love, to desire that the fullness of Kingdom living be lived out in the victory.

Matthew 11:19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' But wisdom is justified by her children."

The people to whom Jesus was speaking were continually looking for the reason to not accept the conditions of John the Baptist and Jesus himself as representative of the working of God in their lives. They used excuse upon excuse, without validity to support and shore up their precarious posture of Independence.

There is an indication here by Jesus of the intent of people to promote a view to what church should look like dependant upon their personal opinion and objectives. No doubt there is more wisdom in the world than is contained in the Elders Board of a local church. However the Elders Board of the local church is making decisions with the best information they have with a view to attaining the best results. Making decisions with a view to attaining absolute certainty is a recipe for insanity. They are making decisions based upon the resources at hand, the quality and quantity of people available, the strictures placed upon them by community, constituency and parish, those variables which are outside the area of influence by the church in its operation as a political entity within the society in which it resides. We can not be all things to all people on any given Sunday. My expectation for my church has always been tempored by my personal acceptance of the differences, a working with the frailty and strengths of people, an understanding of the short-comings of any attempt to transcend our humanness, a reality based upon the fact that God chooses to work through and with people, and I find within these and many other subsequent failings the wealth and grace and wonderment of God in achieving results and promoting His Kingdom, despite. For it is in the 'despite' that we see the power of God in lifting up people from all varieties of life's circumstances and empowering and enabling them to live a life of victory and hope, achieving the things that were impossible without God.

Matthew 19:26 And looking at them Jesus said to them, "With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

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