Men, fight for your pastors and your churches

Aug. 30. 2008

Many people attribute Edmund Burke – though perhaps inaccurately — with the quote, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Sadly, all you have to do to prove the truth of this statement is look at many churches.

I can’t tell you how many churches I’ve heard about where a small group of evil people in the congregation succeeded in destroying the church, often running off godly pastors and other staff members in the process. And the reason they are able to do this is because too many men in the church – men who could be classified as “good men” – don’t have the courage to stand up and oppose the wicked actions of their fellow church members.

Oh, they’ll give lip service to standing up for what’s right. “We support you, pastor,” they might say. But that’s about the extent of it. They’ll refuse to lovingly confront the sin of others in the church, all the while allowing those people to run roughshod over others. They adopt a “peace at any cost” mentality, and think they are being obedient to the Lord simply by not stirring up trouble.

But they are wrong.

Men, let me encourage you to be bold in fighting for the holiness of your church. Don’t let griping and grumbling church members who are hell-bent on destroying the fellowship of your church — and the lives of godly ministers — get away with it. Oppose them vigorously.

Support your pastor and your staff members who are doing their best to teach God’s word – and do it with more than a simple pat on the back and an “Attaboy” or an “I wish there was something more I could do.” I’ve even heard of men who have approached a pastor – after he’s been forced out of church – and said something to the effect of, “Well, pastor, I agree with you, but I’ve got to live with these people.” How cowardly.

Rebuke those who are sin. Follow the guidelines established in Matthew 18. Recognize that when church members criticize their pastor for baseless reasons, they are in fact sinning against you and against God. Confront them and demand that they stop. If they refuse, take someone else with you and do it again. If they continue in their sin, bring the matter before the church.

If some of the malcontents in your church get mad at you for it and leave the church, so what? Your church is a better place without them. Too many men, I fear, think that by standing up for righteousness they will only contribute to the disintegration of the church. By believing this, they are essentially saying that peace is more valuable than holiness.

In reality, however, the opposite is true. A congregation that tolerates openly rebellious church members is a church not being faithful to the Lord, and one we are better off without.

And if those causing the problems in your church refuse to leave, see to it that they are removed. Be a leader in insisting that Scripture be obeyed when it comes to matters of church discipline.

In short, be a man. Don’t be wishy-washy, and don’t be passive. Such a mentality does nothing to promote the holiness of your congregation.