I am struggling with Christians who seek to make Church work for them by means of one of the most powerful things known to man: The 'Someone else's problem' field.
This creation born out of an astute observation from the late Doug Adam's makes known something that is truly the most invisible thing on the planet - and this is perhaps one of the most effective curses acting against the Church today.
Let me explain:
I was recently made aware of a situation where some wrong action on the part of a leader from elsewhere was made apparent. When I asked what the person telling me was going to do about it, their response was, "Oh, I thought I'd tell you!"
"Fair enough," thought I as I asked them, "But why tell me, what can I do?"
The response was so very typical of Church as a breed of people for what they wanted was for me to do something about it because they, "Didn't want to get involved and especially didn't want to end up in some form of confrontation over it!" But of course, as a leader, it was OK if I did!
"But if you have seen it, surely you should address it," I said (feeling myself being painted into a corner), "After all, that's how the Bible tells us to handle it."
But the person who had brought the complaint was going to have nothing to do with it. They knew that what they had seen was wrong but in the name of peace they chose to cover the sins of others and compound their own sins in the process.
I have to bring the bus to stop outside the book of Ezekiel's and looking at chapter thirteen make mention of the comment about those who seek to lead God's people (here they are 'prophets' but we can rely upon this as relating to all who are leaders - and those who follow - I reckon):
"'Because they lead my people astray, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace,
and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash,
therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall.
Rain will come in torrents, and I will send hailstones hurtling down,
and violent winds will burst forth.
When the wall collapses, will people not ask you,
“Where is the whitewash you covered it with?”
My problem is that I, like the many others who see things and remain silent, may be found at time to lack the moral courage to make the stand I should.
My problem is that when I have made the stand, the perpetrator of the wrong merely ignores any correction and continues in their wrong behaviour.
My problem is that when I have taken my complaint to those above me, they merely act as if nothing has been said and so add warrant to the wrong behaviour.
Finally, at the tip of it all I find the comment, "Oh well, that's not our problem is it, that's a problem for another church." The reality of course it that it is problem for the whole Church and to permit, or turn a blind eye to it, because it's, "Not our problem," is to permit the Church to be tainted and wrong and it is in this that we permit the Church to be hypocritical and wrong.
Never have the words, "Let those who have ears, let them hear," had some much relevance.