Yesterday I read Numbers 16 where there was a rebellion against the leadership of Moses and Aaron. Sometimes it’s wrong to oppose leaders in the church today and sometimes it is right. How can we know when it is right or when it is wrong? This is where D. A. Carson provided a helpful statement in my quiet time. He said,
“Nor are all who protest cursed with the judgment that fell on Korah and his friends: some, like Luther and Calvin, like Whitefield and Wesley, and like Paul and Amos before them, are genuine reformers. But in an anti – authoritarian age like ours, one should always check to see if the would – be reformers are shaped by passionate devotion to the words of God, or simply manipulate those words for their own selfish ends.”
There have been some in my church who have wanted change and protested and complained. They wanted CFBC to reform itself in different ways. That could be admirable. But, as far as I have seen, the would-be reformers and the would-be reforms they call for are not “shaped by passionate devotion to the words of God” but have in many ways “simply manipulated those words.” I understand they can claim that our church has been the one manipulating those words of God, but then when asked to discuss the very words of God to humbly pray over, think on, and submit our lives to those words, the discussion either dissipates or is called into question.
I feel like I have nothing to fear in such discussions. If I’m wrong at a certain point (which doubtless at some points I am), or if the church is wrong as we consider the words of God as it coheres with all the rest of the words of God, then I’m glad it is pointed out so that we can change. But if it is not wrong at that point, then those who protest or criticize at that point should admit that as well. Instead, it seems that we are in some ways at a standstill with some people and the words of God are not being discussed as the words of God which he intended for us to understand and obey.