lust for power04-07-2012 - Posted by Andre Piet
What is the difference between Roman Catholics and Protestants? Answer: Catholics have only one pope. That may be a joke, but in practice it is all too often true. Also, quite a few Protestant communities know leaders who, with absolute power, like to rule over what their members do and don’t do as well as what they believe. Not in the least also in the evangelical and charismatic world are there many such “popes”. So I was alerted last week to a recent sermon on YouTube of a leader of the Nehemiah ministries in Zwijndrecht (Dutch). The pastor declared that criticism of him is equal to criticism of God and he compared his position with that of Moses and David, of long ago. Others like to call themselves apostles and thus claim authority from Christ. This is completely unjustified, because the risen Christ called, as the last apostle, Paul (1Cor.15:8) and he was also granted to complete the Word of God (Col.1:25). Since that time, any claim of spiritual authority, in advance, is misplaced. Domineering pastors are a sad example of leading people in the wrong direction. Someone who leads is to direct his listeners only to the Scriptures as the sole authority. He should joyfully delight when his message is checked with Scripture, and he is to encourage members to draw conclusions for themselves (Acts 17:11) and, also, to live their own lives. Demanding obedience, as well as money (tithes!) is purely sectarian. It is, moreover, also immaturity of the people, when they allow themselves to be taken in by such impositions and so surrender their freedom (Gal.2:4). “With a price are you bought. Do not become the slaves of men” (1Cor.7:23).