Gehazi is Still Among us – and often he is in charge!

In the account of the miraculous healing of Namaan the Syrian at the hands of Elisha at Samaria, we see an example of something that is all too common today in the churches. Elisha had a servant named Gehazi and this is what happened after Namaan was healed and after Elisha had declined to take payment from him:

2Ki 5:19-27  He said to him, “Go in peace.” But when Naaman had gone from him a short distance,  (20)  Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, “See, my master has spared this Naaman the Syrian, in not accepting from his hand what he brought. As the LORD lives, I will run after him and get something from him.”  (21)  So Gehazi followed Naaman. And when Naaman saw someone running after him, he got down from the chariot to meet him and said, “Is all well?”  (22)  And he said, “All is well. My master has sent me to say, ‘There have just now come to me from the hill country of Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets. Please give them a talent of silver and two changes of clothing.’”

(23)  And Naaman said, “Be pleased to accept two talents.” And he urged him and tied up two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of clothing, and laid them on two of his servants. And they carried them before Gehazi.  (24)  And when he came to the hill, he took them from their hand and put them in the house, and he sent the men away, and they departed.

(25)  He went in and stood before his master, and Elisha said to him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?” And he said, “Your servant went nowhere.”  (26)  But he said to him, “Did not my heart go when the man turned from his chariot to meet you? Was it a time to accept money and garments, olive orchards and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male servants and female servants?  (27)  Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and to your descendants forever.” So he went out from his presence a leper, like snow.

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Be Wise About this thing called “A Call to Ministry”

1Ti 1:5-7  The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.  (6)  Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion,  (7)  desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.

1Ti 1:18  This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare,

Many times in the church we hear people talking about “calling.” In regard to a pastor, people want to know “when did you know that the Lord was calling you to be a pastor?” I have been asked that question many times (though not so much now as in my earlier years). It is certainly understandable that people wonder about it.

But what I specifically wanted to talk about in this article is a caution. Namely, this:

Just because someone is a pastor does not mean the Lord has called them.

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Is a Christian Absolutely Forbidden to Sue Their Church Leaders?

1 Corinthians 6:1-7 When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? (2) Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? (3) Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! (4) So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? (5) I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, (6) but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? (7) To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?

A pastor and his elders know full well that a man in their church has raped his 12 year old daughter, and has been doing so for years.  In violation of criminal law, they refused to report this crime to the police and instead covered it up, “counseling” the monster’s wife to keep it confidential and let them handle it.  Their way of “handling it” was largely to take some “band-aid” measures, then ignore it and permit it to happen again.  So let me ask our readers this question:

When the Lord gave us the instruction in 1 Cor 6 about not suing a brother in civil courts, did He intend for this instruction to be an absolute, all-encompassing prohibition in every case?  In other words, is the mother in the above (real-life) example forbidden by the Lord to sue her pastor and elders in civil court?

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