Overseers Need to be Sentinels
"....They keep watch over you as men who must give an account..." - Hebrews 13:17
“Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” - James 3:1
Being an overseer in the body of Christ is not for the weak. It’s a hard position to maintain. It is imperative that it is done in the strength of the Lord.
How does He supply that strength? First through His word. Second through the Holy Spirit. Third through other brothers and sisters in Christ who are Christ first followers.
All of these must be accessed on a daily basis. The word is foundational and a sure measurement of all that is God’s will. The Holy Spirit illuminates and confirms what the Scriptures teach. Brothers and sisters in Christ, who are also committed to following these first two principles will come alongside and encourage in our moment of doubt and weakness. If not, things will drift south and you won’t see it coming and once you’re there a certain comfort level will begin to solidify. You will begin to listen to compromised brothers and sisters’ voices. It will no longer be about Jesus first and His will be done but it will be our will be done in Jesus name.
What will it look like? People will begin to compromise God’s will as it is revealed in scripture. They will justify these compromises by viewing scripture through different lenses that distort its original intent.
In today’s societies these lenses are things like standpoint epistemology. This perspective argues that knowing what God’s will stems from someone’s social position. We also see the lenses of Social Justice being used to interpret scripture. This usually manifest itself through a particular political ideology such as Marxism. Another lenses that gets use from leaders that have drifted south is Critical Race Theory. This lens interprets scripture through people groups and the pigment of their skin. You can recognize it by terms like “white evangelicals” or “black theology”. This one is closing associated with standpoint epistemology lens. All of these lenses are nothing but the wisdoms and philosophies of this world to justify twisting God’s will for the body of Christ and humanity. They undermine the inerrancy and sufficiency of scripture so that sin may prevail. All of this results in people playing fast and loose with the body of Christ.
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, RIGHTLY HANDLE the word of truth.” - 2 Timothy 2:15 (ESV)
Paul did not mess around when it came to the body of Christ. He knew that the body of Christ and the individuals in each body were carrying the reputation of Jesus Christ. The protection of this reputation, therefore Jesus, was his main priority in his epistles. People in overseer positions today are people pleasers first, God followers second. They turn a blind eye to the condition of people’s souls they are supposed to care for and look past FALSE DOCTRINES and UNRENTENT SINS being proclaimed and even glorified, such as, teaching God is a She or sexual immorality (that is any sexual activity outside a heterosexual marriage) is ok, supporting the murder of the unborn is acceptable as long as my political candidate wins. Listen to Paul as he speaks to the body of Christ and to Timothy.
“But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is SEXUALLY IMMORAL or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man DO NOT EVEN EAT. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “EXPEL THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOU.”- 1 Corinthians 5:11-12
"I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are CONTRARY TO THE TEACHING you have learned. KEEP AWAY FROM THEM" - Romans 16:17
“By rejecting this (Paul’s instructions), some have made shipwreck of their faith, among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have HANDED OVER TO SATAN that they may learn not to blaspheme.....But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and THEIR TALK WILL SPREAD LIKE GARGRENE. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened (FALSE DOCTRINE). They are upsetting the faith of some. But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord DEPART FROM INIQUITY” - 1 Timothy 1:19-20, 2 Timothy 2:16-19
The truth, as it is revealed to us in the Bible, is sometimes hard to confront and accept especially if it means confronting people you know. That’s why good leaders in the body of Christ put Him first and His will before their personal comfort. They understand that they will have to give an account of themselves before God one day.