A ‘yes’ answer should give you pause for thought. Satan is the prince of this world (John12:31, 14:30-31, 16:8-11) and exercises a pervasive, structural and diabolical influence which caused all creation to be engulfed by the bondage of evil and every soul to be born in bondage to sin. Just in time, however, the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ redeemed or bought-back all creation from the bondage of evil and offered redemption from the bondage of sin to all persons. But Satan was not a willing seller and will never acknowledge the legitimacy of the sale. He believes his property was stolen from him and he is battling God to retain possession. Consequently, creation is legally free from the bondage of evil but it is not free from the influence of evil itself through Satan and his minions. Similarly, salvation sets us free from the bondage of sin but it does not set us free from the influence of sin itself. The inevitable conclusion is that the values of society are intrinsically tainted by sin. Consider how societal temptation can corrupt the leadership role of a pastor.
Skill in leadership measures a pastor’s ability to:
- Define a vision (both objectives and processes to achieve these objectives)
- Mobilize the congregation to focus on that vision.
Christian objectives were defined by Scripture 2000 years ago [Great Commandment (Mat 22:36-40); Great Commission (Mat 28:18-20); Healing (Luke 9:2, 10:9)]. Processes for achieving these objectives can also be extracted from Scripture (united corporate prayer; restoration of sick, injured and disabled by the healing ministry; preaching and teaching the truth; magnifying the influence of God in our lives). But these pristine objectives and processes of God are ambushed by the evil we encounter in this life.
Life is not an idle ore,
But haematite from depths of gloom,
Formed into hot and pasty bloom,
Wrought by the forger’s shocks of doom,
And shaped into a steering oar.
God gives us the vision then takes us down into the ‘valley of the shadow of death’ to batter us into shape. It is in the valley that so many faint and give way.
For example, to aggrandize themselves, some pastors abandon Christian objectives and processes. Using stealth, subterfuge, deceit, guile and duplicity, they begin to align their church’s vision with popular visions of society. They may, for example, attempt to create enmity between certain races using WOKE tools borrowed from the tool kit of Marxism such as Critical Race Theory. This supposedly puts the pastor on the front lines of a struggle for human rights. Or the pastor may encourage boys and girls to expand their personal freedom by experimenting with different kinds of sexuality in spite of clear warnings to the contrary (Lev 18:22, 20:13; Rom 1:26-27; 1 Cor 6:9; 1 Tim 1:10; Jude 7). By careless neglect of responsibility, denominations often allow such pastors to attain high leadership positions and influence denominational policy.
Societal corruption, transferred to the church of Jesus Christ, will have consequences.
The day of the Lord is near
for all nations.
As you have done, it will be done to you;
your deeds will return upon your own head.