Posted December 1st, 2011 at 08:53 AM by Lois
I can imagine Jesus saying something today like He did in Matthew 23, "Woe unto you ministers who cause all kinds of harm to those trying to follow Me! Woe unto you who abuse my people, making merchandise of them for your own gain! Woe unto you ministers who rob people of their hard earned money and live the high life!...."
So often in unhealthy churches we heard to "obey them that have the rule over you" because they will be giving an account of you to God one day. My desire is not to delve into that at the moment, except to say it isn't true. Ministers have super big egos if they think they get to be the go-between with you and God. The point I wish to make is the price these ministers will have to pay in the end if they do not change their ways.
It is one thing to teach erroneous doctrines in sincerity and with love, believing them to be true. I am fairly certain that we all believe some things that we will find are not true. However, it is a different story when a minister refuses to objectively look at what they are teaching when valid points are made. It isn't the same when things are taught with shaming, threats and manipulative tactics or when God is painted in such a manner as to be viewed as a harsh taskmaster, almost anxiously waiting for you to mess up so He can cause you harm and/or leave you behind.
I can only imagine how God feels when he sees the damage that these abusive ministers cause. Through the years, I have witnessed a multitude of individuals with varying degrees of harm, left by those who were supposed to help them grow in their walk with God. Some of these people go out and commit all kinds of sins because they believe they are lost and without hope, so what does it matter. Some cannot bring themselves to become involved in another church as they are too fearful. Some struggle for years with the after effects of their experience. There are so many things that people face when they have been involved in unhealthy and abusive churches.
I think the saddest and most harmful of all, is when their experience causes them to no longer believe in God or they continue to believe in the warped sense of God that was taught in their former church. Some, though they see the errors of the teachings, cannot see that the wrong image of God they were given isn't how God is at all. They don't want to follow a God that is so harsh and ready to pulverize them at any small indiscretion. My heart goes out to these people. Who wants to follow a God like that?
These ministers won't be reporting to God about you, but they will be answering to God for what THEY have done. Though written in regard to the spiritual leaders of Israel, I believe God feels the same toward these ministers today. Here is what God said:
""Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!"...