What happens if an assembly is slow or mistaken in recognizing an elder?

What happens if an assembly is slow or mistaken in recognizing an elder?

Elders are fallible humans, as is the individual who thinks they are mistaken. If that individual knows facts of which the elders are not aware, he should graciously inform them. He must also recognize that self-seeking may cloud his perception.

Otherwise, the examples of Saul and David help us. Samuel anointed Saul, an unprofitable leader. Saul reflected the condition of a people who wanted to imitate other nations and valued stature and strength above spirituality. Saul’s leadership was detrimental to Israel and to David personally. Psalm 12 expresses David’s sorrow due to such unrighteous rule. The response therefore of godly believers to perceived mistakes in recognizing elders is two-fold: self-searching (recognizing that everyone in an assembly shares some responsibility for its faulty spiritual condition)and supplication (God is their only recourse).

Every person who assumes leadership will answer to God for that responsibility. David did not rebel against Saul nor did he count it proper to harm or embarrass Saul. God will deal with the wrong man in leadership. Meanwhile, David trusted the Lord his God (1 Samuel 30: 6) when the path of God’s purpose for him seemed hopelessly delayed (27:1). David was not the king until God united His people to make him king (2 Samuel 2:4). Until that time, God was at work in David.

The biblical response in these circumstances is waiting on God and submitting to Him and to the individuals God holds accountable for leadership (Hebrews 13:17).

D. Oliver