Messy Christian has another good post on Spiritual Abuse, citing that those who have gone through it should not feel guilty for being duped or betrayed for we are all human and capable of such things. If one comes to you to open up about their abuse she suggests that you listen more than advise, which I for one agree with, and don't condemn or rebuke them in any way at the moment. I agree with that also. She expresses a special contempt for the one who simply tells this hurting individual to not question the pastor, just pray for him/her. Which lead to an even longer discussion on pastors and questioning their authority.
I've commented on this particular subject before in regards to false teachings about prosperity and so forth, so it shouldn't be of any surprise to know that I encourage all Christians to always question their Pastors. Never rest on the word of one man no matter how perfect he may appear to be. Personally, I don't believe churches should have pastors, at least not in the capacity that they do now. There should be some level of leadership, but it should be a leadership that can be checked by the people and not held to unrealistic standards. Unfortunately, there are those who hold pastors in an unnatural, and unrealistic level of prominance. This is dangerous indeed, for it causes that Christian to become weak. This is the condition of much of the black church today, many Black Christians follow these faith and prosperity preachers and hold them up as being divine hearers from God. Yet, the evidence does'nt support such a notion, given the huge chasm that exists between what these men and woman preach and teach and what is actually taking place within the community. For example the outrageous amount of out-of-wedlock births, abortions, and high crime rate among black youth. It is blindingly obvious that the words being preached by these individuals is of no affect and good for nothing. There is no power in them.
Blacks need to dismiss these false leaders and embrace Christ as their leader in all things, being lead only by God's spirit. Then we will see real leaders rise up among us who will be true followers of God's word. Don't get me wrong, there are some Black leaders out there who are already doing this, who are standing up as real men and women of God, doing what is right. The Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson comes to mind. Who are not using there authority as a means of subjugating the masses but as a means of delivering truth and being used by the God to set men and woman free. This is what real, Christian leadership ought to be doing.
I challenge all church going blacks and black Christians especially to really listen to their pastors, question them on today's big topics and find out where they stand. Challenge them to step up and start making a real difference within their respective communities.
Related topics: Speaking of false leaders, Jesse Jackson has come to town to offer spiritual counseling and legal support for the family of Winston Hayes who was shot four times after having 120 rounds fired at him by L.A. County Sheriff Deputies on Monday night. Officers said he fit a discription of an assailant accused of shooting two deputies. When he would not pull over at the request of the police, the officers opened fire. Several of the rounds hit homes and windows in the neighborhood, luckily no one else was hit, save one deputy. Mr. Jackson still calls this a hate crime stating "This is in fact a hate crime,"... "It is a violation of Mr. Hayes' civil rights." Now given that Mr. Hayes would not comply with police orders to pull over and actually rammed a police vehicle, and later admitted to being under the influence of drugs, I would say no ones "civil rights" have been violated, he got what was coming to him. I believe Mr. Jackson is doing what is commonly called "ambulance chasing", he is merely going where the fire is, even if he has to first start one before putting it out. Mabye we should call him the arsonist Jesse Jackson instead of reverend. Notice he is not coming out in support of the residents who experienced property damage nor is he commenting on the fact that the Police department has made arrangements to pay for the damage and has apologized to the residents.