Friday, February 1, 2008

Elders Who Fail to Guard the Sheep

Tim Brown at The Reformed Gadfly has a terrific quote from Bob DeWaay that is sad, but oh so often true in the evanjello-fish church today:

"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."

You can read the entire article by Pastor Dewaay here. Read the comments, too!

We are going through this now in our large church which if I gave the name, many would recognize it. A year ago our senior pastor, 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, our church has a tremendous tradition of biblical preaching and teaching, and elders who ought to know better. But, when these concerns were brought to their attention with gentleness and respect, and with clear biblical support, they were essentially ignored. At length it became clear to us that, to these men, WE were the problem.

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 have found out to our great dismay.

No comments: