Learning to Discern#6. “Troubled waters.”

Learning to Discern#6. “Troubled waters.”

Nebuchadnezzar only did what most men would have done given his position. As King, he looked over the great City of Babylon and proudly attributed its glory and grandeur to himself. God did not tolerate the attempted theft of His glory and punished the king accordingly. Nebuchadnezzar’s years as a madman eating grass like a wide beast ended with his humble acceptance of God as true sovereign.

The more a man controls, the more he must fear himself. If not, he will assure his own demise.

You would think that churches would be the last places on earth where men can turn themselves into miniature Nebuchadnezzars. But many a church has found itself ruled over by men who have suddenly elevated themselves to the status of great church builders.

We praise God that congregations with strong spiritual cores can come back from such Satanic assaults; but many don’t. There is nothing more tragic in church life than to see members scattered and years of godly work and sacrifice wrecked by overweening arrogance.

You will be blessed to see your days out as a Christian and not hear of (or witness) at least one congregation being destroyed by men unfit for church leadership.

Given the autonomous nature of our congregations, there is little we can do about what is happening in other congregations. The first sign of the end is when stable, long-term members move to the nearby congregations; by then it is probably too late, the spiritual infrastructure has likely collapsed.

Church buildings, if left in the hands of those who never knew what they were doing, will be sold. A good trust deed may assure the money goes to a sister congregation, but it is often lost to the devil one way or another.

I know that I have laid out the worst possible outcomes of churches plagued with arrogant leadership. Congregations can, and have, recovered from wayward leaders.

However, we must pray that we will learn to discern the signs of a congregation heading into troubled waters. Much good can be done by assuring strong relationships between our congregations – It especially helps to dissuade those who love to fish in troubled waters.

John Staiger


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