Yes, let’s. At least, most of us would be after reading this in a letter, even from a beloved teacher:
“There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.”
Man, how I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall when THAT one was read aloud in the meeting house! Can you even imagine how social media would have lit up that day? The financial base of the church would be in peril! They might have to cancel VBS due to massive walk-outs!
Or alternately, there are those who would have thought that, naturally, it didn’t pertain to themselves. That was written for the person sitting down the pew a bit. Naturally. Good thing ‘those’ people’s problems were finally brought out in the open; it will spare having to discuss a few things with the pastor.
Seriously, none us like being disciplined—and save room for me at the top of the list. Being offended is one our best strategies against accepting personal responsibility, and one of Satan’s most effective ploys in helping us to avoid it. I shudder to think how many pastors have been fired over their desire for a disciplined and developed body of believers, and how many churches have become coldly ineffective because the pastor has not stood up to the persistent and sinister immaturity of his flock.
Referencing Ananias and Sapphira, this didn’t seem to be as much of a problem in the first century church…
Not that I want people keeling over dead for what we now gloss over as “little white lies”. But like a strong armed forces only comes through discipline, so also does a strong church fellowship. One of the responsibilities of a truly functional pastor is just that, showing me by his words and lifestyle what a godly life is, and that may sometimes include his words in my face when necessary.
After all, I’m being trained to help others who are in my sphere of influence, not to just merely enjoy my nice Christian-ease.
Hebrews 5:11-14 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.