I want to talk about something that is incredibly frustrating to me. There are far too many Christians who think their job is to be on the sidelines as a referee instead of on the playing field. I deleted a comment on my blog by someone who thought it was their job to tell the world how all the pastors at the Newspring Leadership Conference were false teachers. Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated incidence. If you read many blogs or look at the facebook comments of popular pastors you will see Christians who constantly complain and disrespect them. Even in our church, I have had to deal with people who like to remind me of everything I am doing wrong.
The sad thing is that most of these “self-proclaimed” experts have a high degree of Biblical knowledge. But knowledge doesn’t equal obedience. Jesus had very little tolerance for the religious experts of his day. The Pharisees knew Scripture inside and out, but yet their hearts were hardened and cold. They put extra burdens on the people they were supposed to be serving. That sounds like many of the religious referees of our day. They are arrogant and they presume to know the motives of others, even when they have never talked with them privately.
I’ve got to admit, it is easy to fall into the trap of judging others based on second hand information. I’ll give you a personal example from my life. In the past I didn’t have a very high opinion of Willow Creek based on what I had heard about their church from other pastors. I kept hearing how liberal they were and how they watered down the message of the Gospel. It was easy to assume that everything I heard was true. But then I did something that completely changed my mind about Bill Hybels and Willow Creek. I read several of his books and I realized how much of a burden and heart that Hybels had for reaching people who were far from God. Even though I might not agree with him on every single detail, I gained an incredible amount of respect for a man who has devoted his life to God. It is not my job to tell him how to do his. In fact, I want to learn all I can from someone who is so passionate about evangelism.
Let me challenge you and ask you a question. Are you becoming arrogant in your attitude toward others who use different methods than you do? If so, please repent of your arrogance and seek to listen for God’s will for your life. Your job is not to stand on the sidelines and referee, your job is to be involved in the action. Quit complaining and start serving. The world needs to see Jesus through you.