I have read your article, “Abusive Churches: Leaving them Behind.” It is loaded with useful information, esp. for me as I have been in an abusive church. Before I left I had a series of meetings with the pastor in which I confronted him on a number of things I thought were not right in the church, only to be labelled a troublemaker. The pastor used to say to me that even if he did anything wrong, I was not the one to “judge” him because as the Lord’s annointed he was only accountable to God and not man or any authority.
He used to draw attention of the church to a scripture that says that Saul had backslidden and sought to take the life of David, but the latter could not do anything about him because he was the Lord’s anointed. (1 Sam. 24:1-15)
My question to you is: Was David right in saying that he could not touch Saul even if Saul was his enemy just because Saul was the Lord’s anointed? Can the Lord’s anointed threaten lives and no action be taken? Does anointing give one immunity from punishment for wrong-doing? How do you answer this question of David and Saul?
The context of that verse is that David’s soldier was looking to kill Saul since he was there in a very vulnerable situation. That is very different from confronting a leader with regard to sinful behavior. Nathan confronted and rebuked David on his sin with Bathsheba (1 Sam. 12). So did General Joab, who confronted David on his sinful conduct after the death of his son Absalom (2 Sam. 19:5-8). Many abusive leaders misuse that verse to say they are above criticism, but that is a misuse of that text to keep themselves accountable to no one.
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Dr. Patrick Zukeran, former Probe staffer, is the founder and Executive Director of Evidence and Answers, a research and teaching ministry specializing in Christian apologetics, the defense of the Christian faith. He is the host of the radio show Evidence and Answers (www.evidenceandanswers.org). Pat is the author of several books including The Apologetics of Jesus co-authored with Norman Geisler; God, Eternity, and Spirituality (ed.); and Unless I See . . . Is There Enough Evidence to Believe? Pat is a popular conference speaker and he also serves as an adjunct faculty for several colleges and institutes worldwide. He earned a B.A. from Point Loma Nazarene University, a Master of Theology (Th.M.) from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a Doctorate of Ministry (D.Min.) in Apologetics from Southern Evangelical Seminary. Pat lives in Honolulu, Hawaii and can be reached at [email protected].
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