- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Bible Questions and answers about the Church
- Published on Tuesday, 17 November 2009 14:56
Such issues involve two hazardous extremes. One is the danger of the "unapproachable elder." The people of God are not little children to be treated with a "Because I said so" attitude. Saul's rage when questioned by Ahimelech (I Samuel 22:14,15) was because his actions could not bear the light of Scripture. The other danger is that of the "discontented believer" who views himself (and often he is the only one who does) as the "watch-dog" of the assembly. Absalom's inquiries into problems (II Samuel 15:1-6) illustrate the work of a man with ulterior motives.
Ideally, spiritual elders will welcome honest inquiries by those who do not understand the scriptural reasons that guided their actions. Ideally, the believer expressing such a concern will be marked by a sincere interest to learn the ways of God. When the circumstances fall short of the ideal, as they do in 3 John 1:9, two immutable principles remain clear: (1) wronged believers lose nothing by showing submission; (2) the testimony is God's, not ours: He will maintain the honor of His Name. No situation hinders our bringing the matter to God in prayer and leaving it with Him.