Monday, March 27, 2017

Before I post today’s devotional commentary, I want to return to an earlier observation in our study of 1 Samuel 10: “Be Careful What You Wish For…You May Get It”.

Israel had come to a spiritual crossroads as a nation, rejecting God’s rule over His people and the judges He called to administrate His Law, the nation demanded a king to rule over them.  With a word of warning, the LORD directed the prophet Samuel to anoint Saul as king (10:1); however, all was not well in the nation for we read, “the children of Belial…despised him” (10:27).

Whether secular or religious, a transition in leadership is a critical period in any organization’s history.  Lest my readers believe this despising of the LORD’s authority and the pattern of God’s people demanding a leader of their choosing is an ancient problem, I invite you to reflect that many Christian institutions, churches, and organizations grapple with the same in our day.

Numerous examples come to mind; churches once numbered in the pinnacle of biblical fundamentalism, have faltered after undergoing a transition of pastoral leadership; some falling from their fundamentalist heritage, others altogether failing as ministries.  Deacon boards and church members, demanding a change in pastoral leadership, often steer those ministries from their fundamental heritage and often to dissolution.  Sadly, churches departing from their heritage and appeasing the carnal is continuing across our nation.

I have observed the same pattern in the last 15 years in fundamental Christian institutions…Pillsbury Baptist Bible College, Northland University, and Clearwater Christian College all faltered and failed following transitions in leadership.   Knowing many of our fundamental Christian colleges and universities have accommodated the demands of accreditation and become “board run” institutions (in my opinion reflecting the spirit of the Israelites who demanded, “make us a king to judge us like all the nations” – 1 Samuel 8:5); board members share the responsibility of steering those institutions from the Bible fundamental pillars of their founders, away from their loyal constituents, and adrift in a morass of pragmatic ideas void of spiritual principles.

Warning: Cater to the carnal and you do so at your peril.

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith