Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
We hear a lot about Christians around the world being loyal to and supporting church leaders. Rebellion against Moses was a sin; and the New Testament teaches loyalty to elders and pastors, and church administrators. But is there ever a time when a lowly church member should confront a leader? Is it ever possible that loyalty to Christ should supersede supporting a bishop? The Bible records many instances:
Young Joseph, by conscience, had to oppose his ten older brothers and even his elderly father, Jacob, and angered them. They were equivalent to leaders of the true church of his day! They misunderstood him.
David, only a youth, innocently found himself opposed by the anointed king of Israel, Saul. But his example of deference and loyalty to Saul is beautiful.
Elijah was forced by his conscience and by his love for Israel to pray that God would withhold rain from them for three and a half years. He withstood King Ahab to his face. He is a type of those who will be saved out of the world in the very last days, for he was translated to heaven. The Baal worship that Elijah faced is rampant in the world and in the church today. (Baal worship is the worship of self disguised as the worship of Christ.)
Jeremiah suffered persecution from the leaders of the one true church of Christ of his day. Yes, Kings Jehoikim and Zedekiah sat on David’s throne; when Zedekiah asked him, “Is there any word from the Lord?” Jeremiah was forced by his conscience to tell him the truth, which he didn’t like.
Jesus was forced by His conscience to tell the leaders of the one true church of His day the truth they didn’t like to hear. Yes, but there were tears in His voice! And He was loyal.
Paul was forced by his conscience to rebuke Peter to his face, at Antioch. But he did it in love, and in absolute loyalty to the organized church.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: September 18, 2004.
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