Saturday, August 23, 2008

Why is it dangerous for Christians to seek after anointed leaders?

In an earlier post, I talked about the fact that according to the Bible, all believers are anointed by God. Anointing isn't just something for a few, special leaders. It's God's gift to each of His children. That post talked about why the idea that we "regular" Christians need to gain some special anointing from some chosen "leader" is unbiblical. In this post I want to touch on why it's dangerous.

I feel so sorry for Todd Bentley, his wife, and especially their children. I know first-hand what it's like to grow up in a home that's been torn up by divorce, and it's not good. I hope Bentleys can get their act together so the kids don't have to grow up in a broken home.

But there's another group that I feel almost as sorry for. It's the thousands of well-meaning believers who flocked to Lakeland. They were hoping to find healing or hope or some kind of touch from God. Now, it seems like what they got was a show, put on by an out-of-control minister. I'm sure that some of those people will be so shaken that they will walk away from the faith, too hurt to risk opening their hearts to God or His people.

And that's where the danger is. Anytime we look to leaders to impart something of God to us, we are looking for trouble. Even if a leader is called an "apostle" or they are commended by someone claiming apostolic authority (like Bentley was), they are only human. That means they are susceptible to sin and failings.

The danger seems clear to me, especially when you see Bentley's commissioning service from this past June. This service features a whole stage full of people who many consider "apostles." Each one seems determined to give a more elaborate vision of what Bentley was about to for the Lord. This was less than 2 months before his secret life became public. Obviously, these leaders who are so connected to the Lord didn't see the reality of Bentley's life.

If these "apostolic leaders" were so wrong about Bentley, can you trust them to give a prophetic word in your life? I'm not so sure.

Maybe what we need to learn from this whole thing is that God really does give us all we need to live out His life in us. Rather than spending our time chasing down this leader or that manifestation, let's ask Him to show us where He is at work in us, and the people around us.

But do we really trust that He's good enough, powerful enough, and loving enough to give us His best? Or is it safer to put our faith in a leader who here's directly from God? I think it really comes down to how we see God, and I'll have to pick up that thought later...

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