Posts Tagged ‘Satan’s role in church conflict’

There are a lot of things in this world I don’t understand.  For example:

Why is one baseball pitcher paid more than $30 million per season?

Why did they have to kill off Matthew on Downton Abbey?

And why does anyone pay attention to Miley Cyrus?

There are also areas of the Christian church I don’t understand:

Why are so many Christians afraid to stand up for their faith?

Why are most churches unprepared for guests?

Why don’t pastors preach on controversial issues anymore?

We can talk about those issues another time.

However, I have five questions that center around conflict in churches – especially involving pastors – that continue to puzzle me:

First, why do so many Christians resort to lying to get rid of their pastor?

When a pastor is innocent of any major offense (like heresy, immorality, or felonious behavior), but a group in the church wants to push him out, why do they lie to get their way?

And why do so many gullible Christians believe the lies without checking their veracity?

And why do churchgoers believe the liars and proceed to shun their pastor?

Paul writes in Ephesians 4:25, “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.”

I hear stories all the time from pastors whose forced resignations were preceded by one lie after the other.

Why do we permit this in the body of Christ?

Can’t figure it out.

Second, why is a forced-out pastor considered “damaged goods?”

In our day, if a pastor is forced to resign from a church, the chances that he can find another church ministry are poor.

Why do search teams make blanket judgments about such pastors without doing a little more homework?

Why does the Church that espouses grace for sinners withhold that same grace from pastors who have been battered and bullied?

I know men with sparkling credentials … who have grown churches … who are excellent speakers … who have proven their stability by leading the same church for 20 years … who have given their lives to the ministry … who can’t get a search team member to even return an email.

If Peter denied that he knew Christ in our day, would God’s people let him back into ministry?

Many pastors are forced out of their positions because they chose to obey the Lord rather than the board.

Shouldn’t we celebrate these men as heroes rather than ban them from church ministry for life?

Can’t figure it out.

Third, why don’t more denominational leaders stand behind pastors under attack?

When I became a pastor, I was told that my district minister was “a pastor to pastors.”

So I shared with him some concerns I had about my church.

That was a big mistake … because he later used what I shared against me.

If you’re a pastor under attack, and you’re looking for someone to confide in, think twice about trusting your regional minister.


Because they are usually more interested in keeping the church – and its money – in the denomination than standing for what’s right.

If you’re a pastor, and you’re under fire inside your church, and you’re thinking about asking your district executive for help, ask him this one question first:

To what extent will you stand behind me in this conflict?

If you get a wishy-washy political answer … which is likely … RUN!

Before I draw a parallel with Pontius Pilate … why don’t more denominational leaders stand up for their pastors?

Can’t figure it out.

Fourth, why aren’t more Christian leaders doing something about the problem of forced terminations?

In my book Church Coup, I quoted researcher Marcus Tanner from Texas Tech University about the increase in clergy terminations.

Tanner stated, “Everybody knows this is happening, but nobody wants to talk about it.  The vast majority of denominations across the country are doing absolutely nothing.”

If 1,500 to 1,800 pastors are leaving church ministry every month – with most of them forced out – then why are good people sitting around and permitting this evil to happen?

And don’t give me this “autonomy of the local church” stuff.  That’s just an excuse for Christian fear and dysfunction.

If pastors are being abused and battered and lied about, why are most Christian leaders silent?

Can’t figure it out.

Finally, why are congregations so blind when it comes to Satan’s influence?

Satan uses two primary tactics to destroy pastors and churches: deception and destruction.

Jesus said in John 8:44 that Satan is a liar and the father of lies … and was a murderer from the beginning.

Deception and destruction … two words that are easy to remember.

Anytime that lies are being spread through a church … Satan is involved.

Anytime that someone is trying to destroy a pastor … Satan is involved.

And yet, when Christians are in the midst of a conflict involving their pastor, some attribute the chaos and consternation to anyone and everyone except the evil one.

Why are believers so easily fooled?

Paul wrote about Satan in 2 Corinthians 2:11, “For we are not unaware of his schemes.”

But during a conflict, most Christians seem spiritually deaf and blind.

Can’t figure it out.

It’s high time that Christians took the time to study and practice what the Bible has to say about church conflict.

Or else Jesus’ church is going to have an increasing number of questions that it can’t answer.

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