Posts tagged corinthians
In our adult Sunday school class we’ve been doing a somewhat in-depth study of 1 Corinthians. We’ve progressed as far as chapter 3 and this coming Sunday (well, tomorrow actually!) we’ll be looking at verses 10 and onwards. It’s a very powerful passage. My main purpose for this blog post though is to quote something I found on Bible.org by Bob Deffinbaugh. Those who know me well will know immediately which “leader” came to mind when I read his comments. Here’s what he says:
I know of several men whose failures have caused great damage to the church and to the cause of the gospel. There seems to be one common element in these disasters—the men who fell were so powerful, and their control so great, that they seemed almost “unstoppable.” The reason for this: these leaders were so elevated and revered in the minds of their followers that they were considered beyond the temptations and sins of mankind. When men are elevated too highly in the minds of their followers, the people begin to think their leaders are infallible, that they are above the sins we see in ordinary people. And so they refuse to believe the evidences of sin, even when they are compelling. Even if they are guilty of known sin, no one seems to feel sufficiently qualified to attempt to rebuke or correct them.
The problem of esteeming leaders too highly starts very subtly and innocently. It begins with a deep respect and appreciation, often because this individual has led them to Christ, or that he (or she) has significantly contributed to their spiritual growth. This one person is given excessive credit for the work of God and elevated to a position of authority above what should be given to men. Allegiance to this leader becomes a status symbol in which followers take great pride. Out of this misguided allegiance, they feel obligated to ignore or even oppose other Christian leaders.
Elevating any human leader more than we should is a huge mistake, and can have devastating consequences in our spiritual lives, as Paul tried to show the Corinthians.