Three things I learned from a TV Evangelist
Do you have a morning routine? Every morning, before the kids get up, I make myself a hot cup of coffee and curl up in my comfy Lazy-boy chair to sit a while. If it’s chilly in the house I will wrap myself up in the fuzzy blanket my mother made me.
The other morning I was sitting in my chair, all bundled up, and enjoying a great cup of coffee. All was well…..or at least it was until I heard the sound of the voice on the television in the other room. I knew that voice. It was the TV evangelist I don’t care for. I’m not sure what it is about him. Perhaps it’s his preaching style or the sound of his voice that irks me. Whatever it is, I can’t stand to watch him. Normally I change the channel when he comes on. I contemplated getting up, but my chair was so comfortable and the blanket was so warm. So I decided to stay put and try not to listen.
I did my very best to tune him out, but something he said caught my attention. He was speaking about a particular issue I have been dealing with. In fact, I had just been praying about it the night before and had begged God to give me some direction. Now the preacher had my full attention. As I listened to what he was saying I realized God was using this man (whom I don’t care for) to speak to me. My answer came, but it was not in the way I expected…
God taught me a few things that morning:
1. There is no perfect church leader. We may not like everything about our leaders, but that doesn’t mean we have to let the way we feel about them influence our faith. They are imperfect people just like you and me. They are going to make mistakes. If our faith in Jesus is dependent on our leaders, we are going to be disappointed. Jesus and Jesus alone is the author and protector of our faith. We should want our leaders to point us back to Him, not be Him.
2. Don’t let your comfort make you lazy in your faith. Would you be able to recognize it if a church leader said something that wasn’t true? We need to make sure we seek God’s word and read it for ourselves. When we become dependent on others to tell us what the bible says, we are putting ourselves at risk of being led astray. The more time we spend with Jesus in prayer and in his word, the more we will recognize his true voice in others. There is a lot of false preaching going on today and it’s not just on TV. Social media and the internet has made it easier than ever for anyone to say anything they want. That morning I was being lazy and didn’t feel like getting out of my comfy chair. If hadn’t regularly been spending time in the word, I may not have been able to recognize false teaching when I heard it. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Matt. 7:15 (ESV)
3. God always answers our prayers. They may not come in our time frame or in the form we expect them too, but His way is always better. His thoughts aren’t our thoughts and his ways aren’t our ways. We need to be willing to accept his answers when they arrive. A humble spirit fully surrendered to God will be ready to receive his word, even if the answers come from someone we don’t particularly care for. Otherwise we may miss it.
So what do you do if you think your leader has said something that is isn’t true? First and foremost seek God. Pray for direction, wisdom, and get in your bible to see what Gods word says about it. If you are sure it’s a real issue that needs to be addressed, kindly and lovingly talk them about it. A humble leader who is surrendered to Jesus should be willing to talk to you and want to change their ways. Who knows? It may turn out to be nothing more than a misunderstanding.
If they refuse to speak to you about it or continue to do it, it’s time to seek the help of another believer. Together you should approach them and to talk them about the issue. If after that the person still refuses to listen then you need to get another church leader involved. Hopefully it won’t have to go any further, but if that doesn’t work and they still allow the person to continue to get up there and say false things, you need to ask the Lord if it’s time to find another church.
We shouldn’t leave a church because we are mad at someone or have had our toes stepped on. However, if our church is preaching anything, but what is in the bible we need to find another church.
Remember, our goal shouldn’t be to condemn or judge our brothers and sisters in Christ when they make mistakes. It should be our desire to help them get back on the right path through gentle and loving correction.
“If your brother sins against you, go and rebuke him in private. If he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he won’t listen, take one or two more with you, so that by the testimony of two or three witnesses every fact may be established. If he pays no attention to them, tell the church. But if he doesn’t pay attention even to the church, let him be like an unbeliever and a tax collector to you.” Matt. 18:15-17 (HCSB)