8 Crucial Teachings Many Churches Avoid (Part 2)
by Jonathan A. Jenkins
This post is a follow up to Part One. ICWC specializes in these “Belief Deception” teachings and has helped many church members get free from these strongholds that are common in most churches. So if you’re ready for Part Two, here goes…
5. HONOR. The bible clearly tells us that we should honor God, civil authority, our parents, our neighbors, etc. So why aren’t many Pastors teaching on the subject of Honor? Because scripture also teaches us that we should honor our Pastors...so teaching this, it might look a little self-promoting. Honor should be taught by someone other than the Pastor (Honor is one of the subjects that ICWC teaches congregations during an on-site consultation).
To define honor, let’s first define dishonor:
(dĭs ä’ nər)
- To perceive as having no value.
- To defame (take fame away from), lower, or cheapen.
- To treat as common or ordinary.
Treating our Pastor as ordinary and without honor clearly goes against God’s Word because 1 Timothy 5:17 tells us, “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor—especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.” The amplified replaces “double honor” with “respected and paid well.”
An excerpt by Focus on the Family reads, “Pastors and their families live under incredible pressures. Their lives are played out in a fishbowl, with the entire congregation and community watching their every move. They are expected to have ideal families, to be perfect people, to always be available, to never be down and to have all the answers we need to keep our own lives stable and moving forward. Those are unrealistic expectations to place on anyone, yet most of us are disappointed when a Pastor becomes overwhelmed, seems bothered, lets us down, or even has a season of burn out.”
In John Bevere’s book, Honor’s Reward, Bevere writes, “Within the church there will be appointed authority and order of rank. In honoring a church leader, we in turn, honor Jesus. And in honoring Jesus, we honor God the Father (Matt. 10:40-41). How we act toward, speak to, and even think of a leader is the way we treat the One who sent the leader. Our attitude toward God is reflected by our behavior toward church leaders. You cannot say you honor God if you don’t have respect for church authority.”
“…He who (honors) whomever I send honors Me (Jesus).” —John 13:20
6. IMPOSING “SHOULDS”. ICWC defines Imposing Shoulds on others as:
“Because of my biblical knowledge, superior wisdom, and general life experiences, my views and beliefs are the template for how others should behave. If someone’s actions don’t line up with how I think they should behave, I’m then entitled to get angry, pass judgment, give them the cold shoulder, and talk about them behind their back. We could put an end to so many problems in the world if others would simply think and behave like I do.”
Here’s a short quiz to find out whether you, or someone you know, may be a Should-aholic:
- I feel people SHOULD reciprocate (return the favor) when I do something nice for them.
- I can think of a song or two that the worship team SHOULD retire.
- I worked all day, so someone else SHOULD make dinner.
- I made dinner, so someone else SHOULD clean the kitchen.
- Right now, I’m dieting and working out, so I think everyone in my house SHOULD too.
- Slow drivers SHOULD pull over and get out of the way of those of us who have more important things to do.
- I feel it’s my obligation to teach other drivers how they SHOULD drive by honking, giving a guilty stare and possibly even making a hand gesture.
Making a judgment on how others should behave is a form of pride. It says, “I’m the judge and God isn’t!” Mark Batterson says, “In my experience, those who accomplish the most for the kingdom criticize the least.” But Aaron Chesterfield may have said it best: “Every church in the U.S. would experience population growth if Christians would stop ‘Shoulding’ on people.”
“For there is but One Lawgiver and Judge; the One Who is able to save—and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?” —James 4:12
7. DEFAULTING ON COMMITMENTS. If you’ve been part of your church for any length of time, you know someone who makes commitments, but doesn’t follow through. Here is how we define Defaulting on Commitments:
“I make commitments to others with ease and carelessness, but will default on them if a more pleasurable option comes along. When confronted about why I failed to follow through on a commitment, I simply rely on my quick wit and charm to disarm the situation. My word means nothing, because, let’s face it: at the end of the day, words are just that…words.”
Jesus was clear about the severity of our words: “And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.” -Matthew 12:36
What are some of the reasons that we “Space Off” our commitments?
- We fail to count the full cost.
- We don’t consider that the day of reckoning will come.
- We make the commitment thinking we will remember our obligation.
- The people we’ve committed to simply aren’t important enough to us.
- We aren’t able to see how following through will benefit us.
- We think our charm will keep others from being upset with us.
When we’re asked by someone to commit to something, we often commit ourselves because we don’t want to let the other person down. But saying “No” when someone asks you for a commitment is much better than saying “Yes” and later letting them down. In Matthew 5:37, Jesus tells us, “Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will’ or ‘No, I won’t.’”
“That which has gone from your lips you shall keep and perform, for you voluntarily vowed to the LORD your God what you have promised with your mouth.” -Deuteronomy 23:23
8. VICTIM MENTALITY. Here’s how we define it:
"Many people in this world are against me. It's surprising how things never seem to go my way. Even when I try to do the right thing, something always seems to go wrong. It's important for me to tell others when I'm sick, broke, destitute, or when I’ve been taken advantage of, because I need others to feel sorry for me. Sympathy, to me, is like a drug that I can never seem to get enough of."
When we allow ourselves to think that we’re a victim, we give ourselves permission to also think, “The rules don’t apply to me!” What rules? Forgiveness, responsible living, offense and resentment, etc. We have all fallen victim to people and circumstances. A job didn’t go our way; someone cut us off in traffic. But Victim Mentality is to have a desire to be seen as a victim; a need for others to see you as a poor, helpless victim (as well as a need for your own self-pity). Having a victim mentality doesn’t make you a bad person. It does, however, contradict the Word of God. Psalms tells us over and over to trust God. Proverbs, James and Job tell us to watch what comes out of our mouth. And the Apostle Paul writes:
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” -Philippians 2:3-5
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