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When Respected Leaders Fail - “Touch not the Lords Anointed” Part 6

Updated: Apr 27

Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of the daughter of my people not been restored?


Jeremiah 8 verse 22


Only several months earlier the business I owned became insolvent. My confidence was in shambles and I felt absolutely worthless. I had left the church I had poured myself into because the Pastor developed an affinity to Kenneth Copelands prosperity gospel.


The company my Dad had just retired from had just sold and I was hired to run the sales and marketing department. I was super excited about this opportunity to grow the business my dad had worked so diligently in and build on what he had already established.


I was called into the office of the new owner, a devout Baptist Christian who wore his “faith” boldly. I had noticed some tensions in the air previously but hadn’t realized the extent of those tensions.


He started the meeting rather abruptly by making sure I knew he didn’t trust me, he didn’t like my family and he didn’t like me. I questioned what was going on and he started to quote this scripture from Ephesians:


“Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.”


He went on… I was to obey whatever he asked because he was entrusted with both spiritual and moral authority over me according to this scripture. I was not to ask questions but when told to do something I was to do it immediately without delay. When he would ask me to jump I was only to ask “how high?”.


I sat there stunned…


I lasted about two more weeks on this job before I quit. It was the only time I ever quit a job without notice and the only time I ever called my boss a bad word. I could have…


no let’s be honest…


I should have politely handed in my notice in that office before I let it all get under my skin for two full weeks. Today I look back and it’s not a proud moment… at the same time I realize now I was “the walking wounded” in many ways during that time in my life. A wrong perception about turning the other cheek put me in a position where I would crack under the pressure of an abusive leader.


I mentioned earlier about this prosperity church my wife and I left… actually, I was asked to leave. I strongly disagreed with how the lead pastor looked at money. We disagreed on whether the Church could afford the substantial raise he wanted for himself. As a board member I felt the Church was to small to manage such a large increase in expenses at that juncture and that we needed to build stronger support first.


If that were it I could have stayed quiet… but each Sunday he would make a show of putting his own “tithe” into the offering. The board was not up to legal standards at the time and there seemed to be no interest in making it so. I finally offered my resignation if he made the board legal with a non-family member prior to my stepping down. This pastor didn’t like being questioned but I think saw this as a way to get me out. My concerns about his focus on prosperity didn’t matter… the mission and his own supposedly “god-given” agenda were all that mattered.


A few posts ago I talked about another Pastor… this one of a mega Church we attended for over a decade. When I asked him some difficult questions he told me to remember Job’s friends and how displeased God was with how they questioned him. I knew I had to move on at that point.


Now to be fair, many pastors have a difficult job. It is lonely at times. They have few friends they can trust  and are often judged harshly for the smallest things… I think honestly that’s how leadership is. In my own experience it has been difficult when you know every decision will disappoint at least 20% of the people you lead. It can be hard to maintain the empathy and compassion to lead from a servant heart perspective. I have not always succeeded in living this out.


That said, a large portion of the church seems to have this “touch not the Lords anointed” mentality. While many pastors do struggle with a lack of support there is also a significant numbers of pastors and church leaders who are protected and insulated to such a degree that it is unhealthy.


In recent years we have seen so many large para-church and church organizations exposed for their toxic culture. Passages like Matthew 18 are used to manipulate church volunteers and staff and congregants. Old Testament passages such as David’s interactions with King Saul are misapplied to mean the leader is protected by the hand of God. All of this is horribly unhealthy and has created toxic cultures where the Pastor cannot be questioned and in many cases becomes “to big to fail”.


This is not a new phenomenon. I grow tired of repeating this truth… I used to be one of the chorus of people who would speak to how things are so much worse than they used to be in terms of abuse cultures. As I’ve grown through my own hardships and difficulties in life, studied history and experienced various leadership and organizational structures… including being in leadership myself, I’ve realized that there is nothing new under the sun. In many ways, history just keeps repeating itself.


Leadership from God’s perspective looks vastly different than much of our understanding. There have been times when man seemed to get it right for a season… inevitably the same things keep happening and narcissism begins to set in. The leader begins to believe their own value to the story is worth more than the trail of traumatized souls he has left behind in the relentless pursuit of the greater cause.


Jesus directly confronted such beliefs when he walked with his disciples. James and John’s mother came to Jesus and asked that they be allowed to sit at Jesus left and right side when He would come into His Kingdom. This caused a stir among the disciples as they began to jockey for position. Jesus challenged their thinking about leadership in Matthew 20:


”But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles Lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”


Recently several leaders in the Charismatic and Prophetic Church came forward to express support for Mike Bickle after credible reports of abuse became public. Some pointed to Mikes long ministry record, his prophetic “gifting” or how much good he did for the 24 hour prayer movement. All of these points do not offset his evident abuse and continued lack of remorse.


Jesus, in his admonition to the disciples was clear. Leadership that is Godly will exercise as servants of others, it will act in humility and look for the best interests and well being of those they are leading.


My questions are:


How does having a sexual relationship with someone other than your wife model biblical leadership?


How does using tactics of manipulation and intimidation model biblical leadership?


How does pointing to David’s brutal actions and the ensuing judgement reflect Jesus’s model for biblical leadership?


I think of these excerpts from the Old Testament as I contemplate the impact of these false prophets who protect themselves and others even after the exposure of their obvious abuses:


“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the Lord.“

‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭23‬ ‭ESV‬


”Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel, who are prophesying, and say to those who prophesy from their own hearts: ‘Hear the word of the Lord!’ Thus says the Lord God, Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! Your prophets have been like jackals among ruins, O Israel. You have not gone up into the breaches, or built up a wall for the house of Israel, that it might stand in battle in the day of the Lord. They have seen false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘Declares the Lord,’ when the Lord has not sent them, and yet they expect him to fulfill their word. Have you not seen a false vision and uttered a lying divination, whenever you have said, ‘Declares the Lord,’ although I have not spoken?” Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Because you have uttered falsehood and seen lying visions, therefore behold, I am against you, declares the Lord God. My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and who give lying divinations. They shall not be in the council of my people, nor be enrolled in the register of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord God. Precisely because they have misled my people, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace, and because, when the people build a wall, these prophets smear it with whitewash, say to those who smear it with whitewash that it shall fall! There will be a deluge of rain, and you, O great hailstones, will fall, and a stormy wind break out. And when the wall falls, will it not be said to you, ‘Where is the coating with which you smeared it?’“

‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭13‬ ‭ESV‬‬


It is evident that God is passionate for the mental and spiritual health of His people. When lying prophets misuse the calling he has placed on them He is not pleased. Yes God is indeed a God of LOVE… but more than this He is a God of JUSTICE. This means that it is not exposure to men that these abusers have to fear… it is Gods justice!


Consider these words from Jesus in Luke 17:


“Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.”


For the follower of Christ who genuinely seeks oneness with Christ there need not to be any fear of wrath or judgement. Christ is our protector and our salvation!


For the one who abuses in His name… consider the harshness of Jesus words:


”Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them. And although they were seeking to arrest him, they feared the crowds, because they held him to be a prophet.“

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭21‬ ‭ESV‬‬


Simply speaking the name of Jesus is not sufficient when your heart continues to see others as ends to meet your own lusts or ego.


”By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.“ ‭‭1 John‬ ‭3 ‭ESV‬


Church we cannot allow our leaders to hide behind “all the good they are doing” while there is evidence of spiritual, emotional or sexual abuse. A leader who is truly a humble, passionate follower of Christ will welcome transparency and accountability. His defender is the risen Christ and all the works of his hands are recognized as mere rubbish in light of Christ’s redemptive work.


To the leaders at IHOPKC… if you are truly passionate about prayer… bring in a third party investigator and have them shake the house until all you have left is prayer, genuine empathy and repentance… then as the “daughter of my people” - those who have been abused - find healing and wholeness through a truly repentant church that is walking out their repentance with empathetic prayer  you will find your corporate and individual faith rise up with eagles wings!

I love Red Pen Logics quick response to the topic of “touch not the lords anointed”. Here is the link:

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