Many people crumble under pressure. They fight battles that are exhausting and do not have the strength to carry on. Sometimes the person crumbles because their struggle is not God-honoring. Crumbling under pressure leads me to my blog for tonight. I was talking to a friend the other day about a local Church that we used to attend. His family still goes there, so I always ask him how things are going. He told me that the senior pastor is stepping down from his position to move into a different roll in the Church. This news didn't come as a surprise to me as the Church has been struggling for identity over the last few years, That is another story for another blog.
The pastor was stepping down because of the pressure that he was getting from the congregation. The Church used to be a solid Bible-based Church. As the Church grew, it focused more on things then it did salvation. Over time people got tired of hearing sermons about giving money. They craved a message of salvation and forgiveness. This message is something that was frequently missing from this Church. As time passed, attendance numbers ended up in the tank. Church attendance now is about a third of what it was a few years ago. Several years ago, the Church was averaging nearly 2,500 people on a Sunday.
You might wonder why this is important to what I am talking about. The back story of the Church is that the pastor caved under pressure. The pressure came from other leaders in the Church. I remember getting a letter from this pastor laying a guilt trip on the members. In his letter, he told us that we should use our resources to support the Church. Above our weekly giving, we should consider cashing in stock, retirement plans, and moving money out of savings. All this at the request of leadership and the elders of the Church sucking their congregation dry. Instead of having a backbone and taking a Biblical stand against the popular vote, this pastor joined the crowd.
When you crumble under pressure, you show your lack of faith in God.
Psalm 101:7 NASB He who practices deceit shall not dwell within my house; He who speaks falsehood shall not maintain his position before me.
God does not want a pastor to use his position as a leader to guilt his flock. Instead of leading people to God, this pastor chose to crumble under pressure. Instead of sermons on salvation, this pastor decided to guilt his congregation into turning over their hard earned money to fund a lavish project of pride. Just as the verse in Psalm 101:7 says “He who speaks falsehood shall not maintain his position before me.”
Instead of doing the honorable thing and quit, this pastor continues to draw a salary from the same Church that he helped corrupt and destroy. Instead of stepping out of the way, this pastor continues to be a roadblock to the advancement of God's Kingdom.
Maybe I am a bit too harsh. Perhaps I just say what everyone else is thinking. Either way, all I care about is that the gospel is spread to all. I get tired of seeing Christians of all people use God's house to further their financial gain. God will ultimately hold these people accountable. It is evident in this situation that God is not blessing this Church. I do not believe that God will stand by and let people continue to abuse the Church. God will use every situation to his advantage. His Kingdom will always win, and he will rule forever.