Saturday, July 7, 2012

Part 14 Fired for WHAT?

As a thriving megachurch, Bensalem Baptist has helped found a successful independent Christian school that was supported by several other churches. The teachers could attend any fundamental church that they wished. Now that it was dying, Bensalem followed a new policy with the Christian school: teachers who did not attend Bensalem were fired at the end of the school year.

And so a Godly young couple, both of them successful teachers, were fired for "immaturity." They demanded a specific charge, but were only told "immaturity." But they were hired by a Christian school in the next county, and he became their Sunday School superintendent. Two years later, he became their assistant pastor. A few years later, he became the pastor. And a few years later, a Christian newspaper ran an article on his church, as "The Fastest-Growing Independent Baptist Church in Pennsylvania."

Did he go back to the people who had fired him wrongly and claim that they had sinned against him? No, he wasn't immature enough to care what they thought.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Part 13

Jesus commands us to go to a brother who has sinned against us and present his sin to him. But in Egypt, Joseph didn't do this, and yet he successfully resolved the conflict with his brothers. Just as you can choose to forgive another Christian, you can choose whether  or not he has sinned against you. Joseph chose that God had used his brothers' evil actions for a greater good, and therefor, they had not sinned against him.

I was teaching at a successful Christian school when they got a new principal. On the first day of school, the principal informed the students that the teachers had been mistreating them, but he would put a stop to it. He assured them that although the teachers were their enemies, he was their friend. He proceeded to devastate the school, fired me unjustly so he could give his incompetent son a job, destroyed the excellent teaching staff, and finally quit in failure. He went overseas to a Christian school and failed there.

After a rough couple of years, I got a high-paying job at a paper mill. Twelve years after being fired, I learned that the teachers' miserly salaries had been increased 4% since I had left. I would have had to quit anyway. Fifteen years after being fired, I retired to Mexico at the age of 52, and God has blessed my wife and I ever since.

I found several of my former students on Facebook, and they were glad to hear from me. They are doing well, and God has used the efforts of the Godly teaching staff in their lives. Do I need to accuse the principal of sinning against me?

I found him on Facebook, laughed, and went on my way.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Part 12 Pain and Confrontation

Matthew 18:15 tells us:  "Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother."

How do you go to a big-name preacher who got into a scandal, destroyed your church, or destroyed several families, and talk to him privately? Even the context deals with a local Christian who is in your same church as being the problem.

God's commands aren't burdensome, so here's the solution. Chose to forgive the person, and then choose to have a different attitude. I am on the pastors son's long list of victims. But while I worked for him, I was able to teach a large teen-age Sunday school class and teach Bible lessons in the church youth center.  I took the attitude that he had been working for me: he had organized a successful youth ministry, and that youth ministry had helped me succeed. He sinned against a lot of people, but he didn't sin against me.

Are you feeling pain because someone wronged you? Choose to forgive him, and then choose to have a different attitude. Remember that all things work together for good to them that love the Lord, look at the benefits you received, and move on.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Part 11 Dealing With Your Pain

Whether from a fallen preacher or some other source, many Christians suffer emotional pain over what happened. When they read self-help Christians books, they are usually told three things:

1) They need to forgive
2) Forgiveness is a choice. God's commands are not burdensome, Jesus' yoke is light, etc.
3) They are having pain because they have not truly forgiven the person. They keep trying, and they "forgive" over and over again, but the pain does not go away, so they are really refusing to forgive.

The second point is true: if you choose to forgive a person, you can. But the third point is false. If you chose to forgive the person, your pain is not due to unforgiveness. I am going to show from Scripture tomorrow that the third point is not correct.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Part 10 Dealing With A Fallen Preacher

Some fallen preachers do not go away, so you have two problems: how do you deal with them on the outside, and how do you deal with them spiritually? For the first question, we've already seen that "Restoration," the doctrine that having repented, the fallen preacher does not have to obey God's commands, is false.

Now we add Romans 2"1 "Thou that judgest doest the same things." If they fallen preacher is attacking his critics (some of whom are his victims), he is describing himself. The pastor's son is accusing his critics of being hypocrites. Whether or not that's true, he is describing himself. Shortly afterwards, he began marketing a crooked work-at-home scheme.

When you see this kind of behavior in a fallen preacher, you need to keep your distance.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Part 9 If You Think YOU Were Fooled...

As Jerry Falwell's "Old Time Gospel Hour" spread across America, he kept his organization totally honest and legal. And although he was not a charismatic, Falwell felt, for a variety of reasons, that he needed to save Jim Bakker's PTL Club ministry when Bakker's scandal broke.

Bakker would eventually go to prison on a variety of charges that boiled down to three main things:
1) fraud
2) excessive compensation
3) illegal accounting practices.

Believing Bakker's assurances that using donations for blackmail payments and offering lifetime partnerships that PTL couldn't possibly honor were the only two crimes Bakker had committed, Falwell assembled a team of honest Christian leaders to oversee PTL. And then Falwell began discovering a growing list of criminal activities as his people went through the financial records.

How could a man of Jerry Falwell's ability and Godliness have been so badly deceived that he brought other Christian leaders into the same mess? Falwell was Godly himself, and he could not see the sin that was right in front of him.

Brethren, Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, and an entire group of honest leaders were deceived by fallen preachers. It isn't your fault if you were deceived as well.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Part 8 Why You Were Fooled

Now I want to say something to comfort the victims of fallen preachers: it wasn't your fault. Romans 2 heavily condemns people who judge; the reason you didn't spot the phony preacher is that you're not committing the sins that the fake was committing.

Wikipedia actually has an article on evangelical preacher scandals, and two prominent names do not appear. Billy Graham's "Great Los Angeles Crusade" launched him into fame, and 25 years later, his entire staff was still with him. His standards of honesty are so effective that they have been adopted by other Christian organizations. Yet Graham regularly appeared on Jim Bakker's show, and he had Katherine Kuhlman with him in some of his crusades.

Why couldn't Billy Graham, a man renown for his integrity, not spot these two fakes? Because he himself is Godly, and he did not recognize the sin in their conduct. You weren't deceived because you were stupid; you were deceived because you don't recognize ungodliness. You didn't recognize ungodliness because you aren't ungodly yourself.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Part 7

Therefor, you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. Romans 2:1

You need to understand what judging is and is not. Judging is recognizing your own sin in somebody else, whether or not it's really there.

 Judging is not "making a false accusation." When you read Romans 2, Paul does not deny that the accusations of the judgers are true.

Judging is not "making an accusation." If your accusation is based on something you observe, or comes from applying Biblical principles, you're not judging.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Part 6

In the 1970's the pastor's son listened to a fifteen minute radio broadcast by Jimmy Swaggart, and told me that Swaggart was a phony.

In 1986, competing for donor's money, Jimmy Swaggart helped expose fellow evangelist Marvin Gorman for adultery. The next year, Swaggart helped expose Jim Bakker for an affair years earlier with a prostitute. And the next year, Marvin Gorman sent a film crew to catch Jimmy Swaggart with a prostitute.

Romans 2:1 tells us how phony preachers can spot another phony, while thousands of their Godly followers cannot:

 ... you who judge practice the same things.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Part 5

"Restoration" teaches the common mistake that if you genuinely repent of your sin, there will be no consequences. Spiritually, this can be true; your spiritual fellowship with God is restored. But the effects on your physical, emotional, social, financial, and family life might still be affected.

David repented of his sin with Bathsheba and God restored him, but explained "From henceforth, you will have wars." The book of Isaiah spends a lot of time pronouncing doom on Israel. But chapter 40 begins "Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people." For the next several chapters, God promises his people that when they are restored, they will see their children playing in the streets again, they will have enough to eat, and they will have peace. But He leaves them as a vassal state to the Gentiles.

If you are the victim of a fallen preacher, remember that he has also suffered consequences. But if he insists that God has removed all his consequences and you should treat him as before, something is wrong.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Part 4

The Assemblies of God is a fundamentalist charismatic denomination with a strict rule for its preachers. If an AOG preacher is caught in immorality, he cannot preach anywhere for two years. After that, the AOG leadership will determine his preaching status. You cannot be ordained as an AOG preacher if you do not agree to keep that rule.

There is definite Scriptural justification for demanding that a Christian keep his word. If you choose to become an AOG preacher, you are bound to obey that rule. So when AOG evangelist Jimmy Swaggart was caught with a prostitute, he faced a problem. If he obeyed the rule, his television ministry would lose so many donors that it would permanently fold. So he refused to obey the rule, claiming that God had restored him, and that the AOG was too harsh and unforgiving.

I stated back then (1988) that Swaggart's restoration was fake and so was his repentance. Restoration cannot include permission to disobey God's commands.

 Three and a half years later, he was caught with another prostitute, and he announced to his followers that God had told him it was none of their business.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Part 3

"The World's Largest Sunday School" announced that the pastor's son has been "restored," and that we were to move on as if it had never happened. But God tells us in Matthew 5: 23    Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,
24    leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

The pastor's son had a long string of victims, and God required him to seek reconciliation with them. When I worked for him, I had known that he was giving the credit to friends (who it turned out were participating in immorality along with him), but God was blessing me and I wasn't interested in who got the credit. But he made no attempt to correct this, nor did he attempt to undo the harm he had done to multiple Christians families.

I have seen this doctrine with other fallen preachers: When God restores a fallen preacher, the preacher is not required to obey God's commands to make things right. The doctrine is false, and I stated at the time that the "restoration" of the pastor's son was phoney. Months later, he was caught in immorality again...and again...and again.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Part 2

In 1972 I enrolled in a Bible college sponsored by "The World's Largest Sunday School," which was running 8,000 in attendance at the time. When I graduated five years later, they were averaging 40,000. While there, I worked for two years under the pastor's son, an extremely successful youth director. Unknown to most of us, he was actively fornicating with teen-agers. In later years, he aggressively sought out the wives of Godly deacons, and it is conservative to say that he committed immorality with several dozen women.

After he got caught, the church proclaimed that he had been "restored," and they got him some important preaching opportunities. He went through about four churches, getting caught in immorality in all four, in one case actually causing the church to decline to the point that it merged into another one. He got "restored" a few more times, and is currently musing on the internet about the hypocrisy of his critics.

I knew back then that he hadn't been restored, and I knew when I found him on the web that he is a hypocrite today, and I was right both times (He's currently pushing a crooked work at home scheme). How do you know if a fallen preacher's repentance is genuine? I'm going to explain that.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

To the Victims of Fallen Preachers

Big-time or small, fallen preachers are common enough that many Christians are the victims of more than one. And many fallen preachers have a habit: they don't go away.

Are their claims of repentance ever real? What is a fallen preacher superposed to be doing with his life after he "repents"? Does forgiveness require you to pretend it never happened? And what if you are tormented by bitterness years later?

I hope you can join me for a series of "To the Victims of Fallen Preachers," as we discuss what the Bible tells us about dealing with them.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Our Enemies in Heaven Part 14

Genesis 46:33 So it shall be, when Pharaoh calls you and says, 'What is your occupation?'34 that you shall say, 'Your servants' occupation has been with livestock from our youth even till now, both we and also our fathers,' that you may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians."Having been forced to reconcile, were Joseph's brothers his equals? Joseph is ruling over them, and they are not his equals. But other than that, was everything all right? Genesis 50 tells us what happened after Jacob died:15 When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, "Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him."...18 Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, "Behold, we are your servants."...21 Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones." And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. Sometimes, sin, when forgiven, still leaves a penalty behind it. Fear and mistrust, as they were under the power of Joseph, remained. This was not Joseph's fault; it was the result of their own guilt, and the knowledge that Joseph had time to remember that guilt.While Joseph had recovered from their attack, many Christians go through life with a smaller ministry and a lesser reward, due to the attack of another Christian. How will that Christian fare when facing his victim in Heaven? Again, a major point of this thread is that you need to get reconciled with a wronged saint NOW, not after you both get to Heaven.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Our Enemies in Heaven Part 13

Genesis 45:3 tells us "Then Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph; does my father still live?" But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence."

Finding the Christ-like conduct he wanted, Joseph breaks down and identifies himself---and his brothers are not happy to see him. He explains that they need to come to Egypt to escape the remaining five years of famine. He weeps over Benjamin, and after that "... he kissed all his brothers and wept over them, and after that his brothers talked with him."

The idea that you do not have to obey God's commands to get reconciled, because in Heaven God will quickly solve the problem, is not found in Scripture. Joseph successfully FORCED a reconciliation, but we'll see in the following Scriptures that there were still problems.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Our Enemies in Heaven Part 12

Judah Saves the Day Part 2

Joseph announces that he will keep Benjamin as his slave, but the ten brothers are free to go. However, the ten brothers offer to join Benjamin in slavery (perhaps to help him). They're showing improvement, but Joseph rejects their offer. How could Joseph keep Benjamin, knowing the suffering that it would cause his beloved father Jacob?

Originally, Jacob's favoritism of Joseph had started this problem. Now, Jacob favors Benjamin, but has he trained his sons properly, or will they hate Benjamin as well?

Judah steps forward and becomes a picture of Christ. He tells Joseph that he is the surety for the lad (who pictures us, the Church). He swore to his father that he would bring Benjamin safely to him. He cannot bear to see his father's pain if he returns without Benjamin. And Judah, who had not stolen the cup, would take Benjamin's place.

This is what Joseph wanted: Christ-like conduct! Trying to get reconciled with a hateful Christian who rejects Christ-like conduct will probably not work.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Our Enemies in Heaven Part 11

Judah Saves the Day Part 1

Before returning to Egypt, the Israelites faced a leadership problem. Jacob wanted to abandon his son Simeon in Egypt, rather than risk losing Benjamin (a picture of the Church). Reuben offers to let Jacob murder Reuben's two sons (Jacob's grandsons) if Reuben fails to bring Benjamin back. A man who would make that kind of offer lacks wisdom and Godliness, and Jacob rejects the offer. Then Judah makes an offer. He offers himself as surety for the lad, and wisely points out that if they hadn't delayed so much, they would already have returned. Judah's wisdom shows that he had begun to fear the Lord. He still had a way to go, but Judah is appointed leader by his father, and off they go to Egypt.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Our Enemies in Heaven Part 10

As if the behavior of Joseph wasn't bizarre enough, he now pretends that Benjamin has stolen Joseph's divining cup. Why? Why not hide gold or jewelry in Benjamin's sack?

We don't know the answer. Joseph was a prophet (He could interpret dreams) and Hebrews 1:1 tells us that in ancient times, God spoke to the prophets in many different ways. Joseph MIGHT have been telling the truth about being able to divine with the cup.

The symbolism is that God gives the Church (pictured by Benjamin) the ability to know His will. Hostile to their brother, not fearing the Lord, and lacking both knowledge and wisdom, the other ten brothers couldn't discern God's will, but Benjamin could.

Strengthening the Church is a successful means of resolving conflicts among the people of God.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Our Enemies in Heven Part 9

Joseph's bizarre behavior makes better sense when you remember that most attempts to get reconciled with Christians who don't want to get reconciled don't work. But with Joseph, it did. Part of the reconciliation involved re-arranging the leadership. Joseph put himself in charge of his brothers, against their wishes, both because God told him to, and because he was ruler of Egypt, where they all were. In seating them according to age, he placed Reuben above Judah. But later, Jacob removed Reuben, replacing him with Joseph, while prophesying that later (the tribe of) Judah would be the leader.Christians who successfully harm other Christians couldn't keep getting away with it if leadership were correct. In order to reconcile, God might have to demote and promote various saints.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Our Enemies in Heaven Part 8

God commands us to go to a brother who has offended us and confront him. The cold truth is, it usually doesn't work. One Christian author teaches that we have to get all sin out of our lives first (an unscriptural, as well as impossible, solution) Others wisely advise "Don't get offended." Others say that the "brother" might not be saved to begin with, so the command doesn't apply. Others say that you must obey the command, have a blow-up, and the situation will still improve. The cold truth is, it usually doesn't work. But for Joseph, it did.

One reason that Joseph succeeded is that he didn't do it the way we do it, and this helps explain his bizarre behavior. A primary goal of Joseph was to protect somebody else! His brother Benjamin pictures the Church, and Joseph was more motivated for Benjamin's sake than he was for anybody else's. In seeking reconciliation, we have to remember that enmity among the saints hurts the Church. The benefit of everybody has to be our goal.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Our Enemies in Heaven Part 7

We had already explained that Joseph's brothers had taken advantage of failed leadership. Now, Joseph uses the same method.

Although Jacob is the leader of Israel, the brothers are in Egypt, where Joseph is the ruler. When seating the brothers according to age, Joseph had recognized Reuben as their leader, but he did not consult with Reuben about what to do. Judah, recognized by his brothers as their leader, was left out of the process.

Christians can wrongly become leaders through bullying, money, church politics, causing division, etc., and this allows them to attack other Christians successfully. But their leadership power wil disappear when they get to Heaven.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Our Enemies in Heaven Part 6

Joseph's brothers did not fear the Lord, and, although it was obvious that the ruler of Egypt knew about the wrong they had done, they did not even suspect that he was their brother Joseph. What's the connection?

Psalm 111:10 tells us that "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom."

Proverbs 1:7 tells us that "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge."

Christians who harm other Christians lack both wisdom and knowledge. They are not the type of Christian that we should be following or even listening to.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Our Enemies in Heaven Part 5

In understanding Joseph's bizarre behavior, it helps to remember that the ten brothers were not seeking a reconciliation with Joseph.

Standing before the ruler of Egypt, Joseph's ten brothers were surprised when he asked diligently about their father and their brother. Later, the ruler would have them seated correctly according to their ages. How could they not even suspect that the ruler was their brother?

Psalm 119:74 tells us: "Those who fear You will be glad when they see me, Because I have hoped in Your word."

Christians who are hateful to other Christians don't fear the Lord, and none of Joseph's ten brothers feared the Lord. The Bible abounds in blessings for those who fear the Lord, and recognizing that none of these blessings applied to his brothers might have influenced Joseph's own behavior.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Our Enemies in Heaven Part 4

In wronging their brother, Joseph's ten brothers took advantage of failed leadership.

Jacob (Israel) was the head of the family. But Jacob had unfairly favored Joseph, and besides, he wasn't around.

Reuben, a man who excelled in strength and dignity, was unstable as water. Despite being the oldest brother, despite having enough responsibility to try to rescue Joseph, and despite being Godly enough to know that this was wrong, Reuben did not command enough respect to accomplish what was right.

Judah, a strong, courageous leader, rallied his brothers to do wrong, and he got away with it... for a long time.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Enemies in Heaven Part 3

How important is it to God that His people be reconciled? If you take every verse in Scripture that tells you how to be saved, add every verse that tells you that you cannot lose your salvation, add every verse that tells you that you need to be baptized by immersion, and then add every verse that tells you that you need to read the Bible, all of this combined is shorter than the story of how Joseph got reconciled to his brothers.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Enemies in Heaven Part 2

Folks, I am amazed at how many people have written into different forums to say that Christians who live ungodly lives will arrive in Heaven equal to Christians who live Godly lives.

In Matthew 5:15-26, Jesus warns "Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny."

I have met fighting Christians who believe that God has authorized them to disobey the many commands to love one another, because it was so important that they harm another Christian. Jesus warns them to make peace with their adversary BEFORE the judge settles it. Christians who like to fight the saints could be very surprised when they learn their enemies' side of the story.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Our Enemies in Heaven

What happens when born-again Christians become enemies, and then they meet in Heaven? We are usually taught that they will become reconciled, but we are not taught how. Since God never changes, we can look at a Biblical story of how the Lord reconciled his hostile people, and it's not a pretty story.

A word of advice: it's better to obey God's commands to get reconciled NOW than it is to wait until God does it in Heaven.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Why Most Missionaries Fail Part 25

My college sent me as a missionary to Canton, Massachusetts, where I worked very hard and was blessed by God. But I didn't learn anything. That's because my college picked a church that believed and practiced exactly what my college believed and practiced. But in real life, Christian missionaries find themselves in situations they have not been trained for.

Different dress standards and music standards are only the beginning of the problems that occur when a missionary is on the field. Christians from different backgrounds have different attitudes and outlooks, and a missionary has to know how to deal with them. Unfortunately, colleges do not train their students to deal with different outlooks.

Separated Christians find themselves working with unsaved people in various ministries. People who donate large amounts of money have far too much authority in many ministries. Family members are often favored, leaders are often stressed-out, and some of the workers have no business at all being there.

A good, solid Bible college won't have those problems. Unfortunately, good solid Bible colleges can't give their students practical experience in dealing with them.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Why Most Missionaries Fail Part 24

We had a teacher in our Christian school whose father was a big shot in the church. She was able to rebel against our Godly principal and get away with it. She was in charge of children's church but it was a disaster, and she never volunteered to help. One day, she announced that God had called her to the mission field. She did not go soul-winning and would not obey authority, but she started raising financial support.

So the church started helping her fake her resume. We were ordered to attend a seminar she conducted on how to teach. Several of us, including me, were angered at being forced to waste our time listening to her. With help from the church, she assembled a phoney resume that was good enough to get her to the mission field. For over a quarter of a century, I have been receiving her newsletter, and she hasn't won a single soul to Christ yet.

I've learned since then that other missionaries did a lot better on their resumes than people who knew them would believe, and it is one more reason why most missionaries fail.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Why Most Missionaries Fail Part 23

Back when I was teaching Christian school, the pastor asked me to teach the adult Sunday School class, the most prestigious class in the church. God blessed, the class grew, and the pastor's son-in-law decided that he should have the class. He openly stated that he wanted people to think of him as a leader of adults; he wanted the status. He and the pastor agreed to replace me without telling the class in advance.

Okay, I played some dirty church politics. I told a few people, the class revolted, and I got to keep the class. It is unusual for the Christian with little ability to win in a situation like that, but I did. And the class continued to do well.

In those few instances I know of when a person with a little ability keeps the ministry God has given him, despite the efforts of someone who THINKS he has more ability, the ministry continues to succeed.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Why Most Missinaries Fail Part 22

Newly graduated from Bible college, I was approached by my new pastor. He explained that their children's church was running about 175 kids, mostly from their successful bus ministry, and would I agree to be in charge?

Over the next several months, several of us visited heavily on the bus routes, and the children's church grew to 300. Then I was suddenly called into the pastor's office, where his enraged wife demanded that she be put in charge. A hateful, untruthful woman, she was the stereotype bad pastor's wife, seizing all the pastoral authority for herself that she could. Galatians 5:18-21 makes clear that people like this have never been born again, but I didn't know that at the time. Although she was doing nothing at all to help the bus ministry or the children's church, she demanded that she replace me.

Three years later, she had the children's church down to 10 kids, and the bus ministry had folded. Other Christian school teachers told me of similar experiences, and they all had one thing in common: whenever a person who THINKS he has a lot of ability steals a ministry from a person without a lot of ability, that ministry declines.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Why Most Missionaries Fail Part 21

In ten years as a Christian school teacher I learned something: most Christian school teachers, including me, don't have a lot of ability. Most of them couldn't pastor a church if their lives depended on it. But I also saw that many of them served God diligently, and that He blessed them with success.

Occasionally, a Christian school teacher with little ability would start a successful ministry within a church. There usually was not a problem from Christians with more ability, but from Christians who THOUGHT they had more ability. A Godly and successful saint would suddenly find himself being attacked by an envious church member who demanded control of the successful ministry. Seeing the weakness of the low-ability Christian, an envious person could often rally others against him and steal the successful ministry.

Most first-time missionaries are Christians with little ability. They have rarely served in any high position in church. If they succeed on the mission field, they will have a hard time protecting themselves from envious co-workers.