In day-to-day church life we can’t fight the pastor on everything. That will beat them down and make the ministry unfruitful. Our pastors are servants of the Lord and we often treat them like they are on our payroll. They aren’t. They are God’s anointed…
1 Korah son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and certain Reubenites—Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth—became insolent 2 and rose up against Moses. With them were 250 Israelite men, well-known community leaders who had been appointed members of the council. 3 They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the Lord’s assembly?”
4 When Moses heard this, he fell facedown. 5 Then he said to Korah and all his followers: “In the morning the Lord will show who belongs to him and who is holy, and he will have that person come near him. The man he chooses he will cause to come near him. 6 You, Korah, and all your followers are to do this: Take censers 7 and tomorrow put burning coals and incense in them before the Lord. The man the Lord chooses will be the one who is holy. You Levites have gone too far!”
8 Moses also said to Korah, “Now listen, you Levites! 9 Isn’t it enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the Israelite community and brought you near himself to do the work at the Lord’s tabernacle and to stand before the community and minister to them? 10 He has brought you and all your fellow Levites near himself, but now you are trying to get the priesthood too. 11 It is against the Lord that you and all your followers have banded together. Who is Aaron that you should grumble against him?”
I feel like I need a disclaimer today. I’m not sure when you’ll read this, yet within a day or two of posting this, two pastors were arrested for sex charges in a highly publicized case in the USA. This is a terrible crime and deserving of punishment. Nothing in today’s post is meant to justify or legitimize improper behaviour by clergy…
This is a classic case of jealousy: these Levites and 250 of their friends formed a mob to question Moses’ and Aaron’s authority. They made the issue one of holiness. “Aren’t we all holy?” they said. Well, yes and no. We are all God’s children, yet some are anointed and appointed to certain functions over others. And when God makes the call, it is critical to not question him.
The four ring-leaders, 250 friends, and another 14,700 people died as a result of this shenanigan. Unnecessarily.
We could all be way more reverent toward God in the way we treat our church leaders. Our pastors and leaders and elders are servants of the Lord and we often treat them like they are on our payroll. They aren’t. Even if we have a vote in the church business meeting. They are God’s. They are God’s servants and his anointed. We are the recipients of God’s grace through them.
17 Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.
Yup. This creates issues. Especially if they lord their responsibility as power over us. That’s uncool. Yet we are called to live under the leadership of others. And if there are misuses of power we have to raise our hands and ask for help.
In day-to-day church life, however, we can’t fight the pastoral and lay-leaders on everything. That will beat them down and make the ministry unfruitful. And if (when) God finds out, we’ll be lucky if he doesn’t swallow us up in the ground (read the rest of Numbers 16).
Tell your pastor you’re sorry for giving him a hard time. Today.