Thursday, January 31, 2008

Where Are The Elders Who Guard The Flock?
Bob DeWaay

Here is a repost from January 31st of last year. In light of recent incidents, I figured it was time to revisit this...

An excerpt from the article from Bob DeWaay:

"Most evangelical churches have elders; these elders are responsible for the Lord’s flock. My interviews with people who have witnessed their churches being infiltrated by unbiblical teachings and practices have opened my eyes to a serious problem in our evangelical movement: elders who do not think that what is being taught and practiced in their church is important enough to judge biblically. This is serious. In many cases, these elders consider their primary job to be—support the senior pastor and his reputation at all costs. Their secondary job—watch over the financial well being of the church as a corporation. Their tertiary job—make sure no one rocks the boat. Thus, in these elders’ interpretation of their job description, the problem in the church becomes those concerned members who care about the integrity of the gospel message."

Read the rest of the article here.


Jeff said...

Tim, thanks for bringing this terrific article to our attention. We are going through this now in our large church which if I gave the name, many in your audience would recognize it. A year ago our senior pastor, a many who preached the Word faithfully for 26 years, retired. Within a matter of months the sermons from the younger pastoral staff became noticably thinner and weaker. The Easter Sunday sermon was noticeably lacking in any mention of why it was necessary for Christ to die on the cross--the implication left was that it was simply a bad thing that happened to a nice man, and now the good news was the "God is for us." It was what Dr. Michael Horton aptly calls, "Christless Christianity."

To make a long story short, this church has a tremendous tradition of biblical preaching and teaching, and elders who ought to know better. But, when these concerns have been brought to their attention with gentleness and respect, and with clear biblical support, they have been essentially ignored.

As Pastor Dewaay points out, being a successful businessman, or a faithful husband, or both, is NOT sufficient qualification for eldership. Elders who are unwilling to address doctrinal and pulpit issues are failing the church today, as we are finding out to our dismay.

Tim Brown said...

Thanks Jeff!

Sounds all too familiar.

I left a church in 2004 because they went Seeker/PDL. A deacon friend of mine stayed there for a while but eventually left. Attempt after attempt has been made to discuss things with them BIBLICALLY, but they won't hear it.

Bob DeWaay said it well in one of the segments on "Redefining Christianity", they develop a mission statement and if you go to them with the Scriptures, the mission statement rules. If what you have to say isn't in there, however Biblical, it doesn't apply.

The church I attended after that had me go through the Warren series...101, 201, 301, etc. They determined I supposedly have the gifts of (in order):

1. Teaching
2. Wisdom
3. Discernment
4. Craftsmanship (where that one came from, I don't remember)
5. Giving (ok, I think so)
6. leadership
7. Mercy
8. Knowlege.

Now, I don't agree with the curriculum, and I'm not agreeing with the assessment. But in the end, it meant nothing because when I "Discerned" something wrong, they didn't want me to "teach" my "Knowlege".

So, what'd we do all this for?

The leadership there is supportive of, which says "Porn is ok for adults". I couldn't get the pastor to even look at the evidence I had about them.

They have sold out.

Oh. The first church I mentioned elevated someone to deacon even after he threatened his family with a shotgun because of the way his parent's will was worded. He wanted his share...

And of course there is the case of him stuffing a dead raccoon in someones car under the driver's seat before church (hot day too). Yup. deacon material.

More of a discipline case.

But then this is the same church that had a Seventh Day Adventist couple as deacon/deaconess. And of course let them spread their praddle about not eating meat because of dietary laws....

Yup. leadership issues are all over the place.