Rules for Thee...
Rules for Thee….
You know the rest of the statement, we all do. It has revealed the meaning in the political spectrum most obviously over the past two years or so. Who can forget Gavin Newsom or Nancy Pelosi doing as they please with no regard to their own imposed “rules” on the populace?
Legalistic church leaders run in the same vein. They live by a different standard and the examples are abundant in the church that is the topic of this website. The standard of compliance depends on your last name or status within the community. If you are a leader or a big financial supporter the rules can bend a little to accommodate your needs.
Let’s say, for example, your son has some potential as a sports star. Then it is okay to skip a Lord’s Day gathering on occasion to go to a tournament. It’s okay to put an inordinate amount of time to pursue the kid’s dreams, or perhaps even the dreams of the parent.
Suppose someone leaves the church, in part, because of the hypocrisy they see regarding the activities their daughter participated in, but it’s okay for the pastor’s daughter to take up the same hobby. Or what if before a certain well-known member showed up it was an unwritten rule that daughters shouldn’t go to college, but this quietly changed once Mr. Big arrived, not to mention the largest supporter of the church wanted his daughter educated.
These are all very real examples and there are more, but you get the point. Hypocrisy is easy to see when you are the one being looked down upon, but you best not speak out. At least too loudly.
While it is not always easy to maintain perfect unity within a church, being the church of rules can only lead to this sort of behavior. God gave us certain rules to follow. He also gave us liberty of conscience. Where He hasn’t spoken clearly you have freedom dear Christian, don’t be subject to a yoke of bondage by tyrannical leaders. Instead, follow leaders that are worthy of following.
Paul gave Timothy the right prescription:
“Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Tim 4:12).
If you’ve made a mistake in what you’ve done admit it, seek forgiveness, and work to be equitable in all that you do. People will respect that.