I want to tread lightly into this subject because I know that I am venturing on to a slippery slope. Over the last several days there have been almost identical posts here and here about not taking shots at church leaders on the same team. While I found both blogs rich with insight and filled with good points…I was left with the question of what constitues “the team” and what are my responsibilities to it?
One the greatest things about the Kingdom of God is the diversity of leadership style and church structure…different people, from different backgrounds, using different means to reach different cultures for Christ!!! It’s truly amazing if you really stop to think about it. However, with diversity comes certain tension…the tension of doctrinal issues, the tension of leadership structure and the tension over outreach ideaology. Yet, there are several basic Biblical mandates that are beyond debate for true evangelicals…salvation through Christ…the Trinity….the Bible is without error…virgin birth…repentance of sin in order for salvation…only one God…and several others. These are foundational ideas with which Christianity…and the modern church…was built on.
The problem is that there are those leaders…with big voices…and much media attention…that have strayed away…or have ceased talking…about such things. The question then becomes…are they still part of the team? If they will never address the wages of sin in their sermons…are they still on the same team? If they publically deny the Trinity (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit)…are they still on the same team? If their “prayer of salvation” never mentions repentance…are they still on the same team? If they say that every non-Christian religion out there is praying to the same god that Christians are praying to…are they still on the same team? If they are….then I must be wearing a different jersey!
Until today I have never even broached the subject of heresy or false doctrine on my blog. I agree that such matters should be handled in person…not over the internet. However…I only mention it today…because I’m faced with a dilemma over the whole team concept that was presented this week. Many of the misguided..or sometimes just plain heretical…leaders are not only reaching their flocks…but through television, radio, books, magazines and the internet they are also reaching my flock. The folks I’m called to shepherd are mostly unchurched and disconnected…they are very young in their faith and can be easily led astray at this point in their walk with Christ. I’m not sure that I have the luxury of ignoring…or not addressing…some of the flawed theology being presented by several other “team” members.
I guess my biggest question today is…as a shepherd…where does my responsibility to protect my flock from danger begin…and my responsibility to “take one for the team” end???