The Dissenting Danger within Leadership
In Jesus’ high priestly prayer, He prayed that the Father would unite those who believe in Christ so that, “they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you” (Jn. 17:21). Paul likewise wrote that believers are to be zealous in “keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). Paul, however, does warn against the “unity at all cost” mindset as he instructs us not to become partners with those who live as “sons of disobedience” (Eph. 5:6-7). Consequently, when it comes to the realm of unity, we must eagerly seek it, yet we must also guard against compromising God’s truth to maintain it (Gal. 2:14; 2 Cor. 6:14).
When Jesus declared that He would build His church, did His disciples fully grasp the weight of those words against the various struggles and attacks of the enemy? Indeed, if these words were contingent on human achievement alone and not the absolute work of God, the church would have ended within the first century.
In considering all the challenges confronting the church, none may be more disastrous than clashes or compromises among its leadership. Jesus stated clearly, “And no city or house divided against itself will stand” (Matt. 12:25). Paul and Barnabas found themselves entirely at odds with each other, to the point where they had to separate from one another. Paul sanctions Timothy to go through circumcision. How are we to make sense of these actions? Where was God throughout these incidents? Should we make this our practice? Luke unfolds the honest account of Christ’s incredible power to build His church in the heart of these events.
The approach of importance:
- Living by conviction apart from slander – Acts 15:36-40
- Agreeable to compromise to avoid being a stumbling block – Acts 16:1-4
The answer from the Lord:
- Following Him in commitment apart from slacking – Acts 15:41
- Trusting Him in compliance to achieve success – Acts 16:5
- Even the best of godly men still have feet of clay, so do not worship them
- The most potent means for building His church is not by celebrities, but by the Holy Spirit
- All the best plans of man are subordinate to the purposes of the Lord Prov. 19:21