Incompetent Church Leaders
By Edwin & Sophia Christiaan
First of all, we thank God for meeting some great men and women of God during our stay in the Scandinavian countries. But we were also shocked to encounter many incompetent church leaders, who are absolutely clueless of how to discern what comes from God and what doesn’t. They are lacking basic knowledge of the Word of God. They are suspicious, judgmental, and prideful. They would rather avoid being confronted, and they are bound by a century-old, demonic rule-system called Janteloven (English Translation: The Law of Jante), which is a pattern of group behavior towards individuals within Scandinavian communities, which negatively portrays and criticizes individual success and achievement as unworthy and inappropriate. The ten rules state:
1. Don’t think you’re anything special.
2. Don’t think you’re as good as us.
3. Don’t think you’re smarter than us.
4. Don’t convince yourself that you’re better than us.
5. Don’t think you know more than us.
6. Don’t think you are more important than us.
7. Don’t think you are good at anything.
8. Don’t laugh at us.
9. Don’t think anyone cares about you.
10. Don’t think you can teach us anything.
There is also an eleventh recognized rule which says: “Don’t think that there aren’t a few things we know about you.”
With this inherent critical and suspicious thinking that stems from many generations back, and with the belief that “we also know about you” – in other words saying, “Don’t think you can come here and deceive us” – it is no wonder that many of these incompetent church leaders were eagerly willing to listen to and believe some false accusations that has been made against me and my wife, even without any witnesses to the allegations!
When leaders act in this way, they go against church protocol on how you are supposed to treat your brother and sister in Christ when rumors are spread about them.
“Do not listen to an accusation against an elder unless it is confirmed by two or three witnesses.” 1. Timothy 5:19 NLT
When we confronted several of these incompetent church leaders for their wrong actions, they cowardly refused to talk to us, thus again counter-acting what the Bible says to do, which is to go privately and talk it out if you have something against your brother or sister.
“If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense.” Matthew 18:15 NLT
In another situation, we heard an incompetent pastor telling us that we are supposed to have letters of recommendation in order to minister in his country. Again, incompetently and falsely, he tried to use the following scripture to prove his point, saying that the apostle Paul mandated recommendation letters. But, to the shame of this pastor, we proved to him that the apostle Paul actually said the opposite to the Corinthian church:
“Are we beginning to praise ourselves again? Are we like others, who need to bring you letters of recommendation, or who ask you to write such letters on their behalf? Surely not! The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.” 2. Corinthians 3:1-3 NLT
The apostle Paul is precisely the one who knew how it felt to be treated by people like these incompetent church leaders do – with a total lack of godly discernment. One of those instances happened when he got shipwrecked as a prisoner on the island of Malta on his way to Rome to stand trial before Caesar.
When Paul got bitten by a poisonous snake, the people of the island were convinced that Paul was a murderer and that justice had caught up with him. They expected Paul to swell up or suddenly drop dead, but when that did not happen, they changed their minds about Paul and decided that he must be a god. The people’s behavior in this example is very similar to the one of the many incompetent pastors and leaders today.
“Once we were safe on shore, we learned that we were on the island of Malta. The people of the island were very kind to us. It was cold and rainy, so they built a fire on the shore to welcome us. As Paul gathered an armful of sticks and was laying them on the fire, a poisonous snake, driven out by the heat, bit him on the hand. The people of the island saw it hanging from his hand and said to each other, “A murderer, no doubt! Though he escaped the sea, justice will not permit him to live.” But Paul shook off the snake into the fire and was unharmed. The people waited for him to swell up or suddenly drop dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw that he wasn’t harmed, they changed their minds and decided he was a god.” Acts 28:1-6 NLT
The people were wrong! They judged Paul prematurely, and conveniently changed their opinion about him when they saw that he was unharmed.
The ignorant people of Malta weren’t able to discern that God brought Paul to the island for a healing revival, just like many leaders in the Scandinavian countries are not able to discern when God brings ministers to their countries for a revival move.
“Near the shore where we landed was an estate belonging to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us and treated us kindly for three days. As it happened, Publius’s father was ill with fever and dysentery. Paul went in and prayed for him, and laying his hands on him, he healed him. Then all the other sick people on the island came and were healed.” Acts 28:7-9 NLT
Despite the negative things we have experienced with some incompetent pastors, we see that God is doing marvelous things in the Scandinavian countries. He is sending gifted apostles, evangelists, teachers, pastors, and prophets like us from around the world and raising up a new breed of Scandinavian pastors and ministers to ignite a revival fire of His Word to restore His body, the Church. God is determined to bring an end to the incompetent and immature church leaders’ reign in the Scandinavian countries. Their immaturity causes them to be tossed back and forth in their opinions, and they are not able to recognize what God is doing in their midst just like the people of the island of Malta. God is sending His ministers in to break the yoke of bondage over His people with good, solid biblical teaching and equip them to do His work and build up the church, the body of Christ, bringing unity instead of division among God’s people!
“Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” Ephesians 4:11-16 NLT
Copyright©2012 Edwin & Sophia Christiaan