If you’re a leader, be careful.
APRIL 1, 2021
If you’re a leader, be careful. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
That was Steve Brown. And this is Key Life, we’re dedicated to the teaching, that the only people who get any better, are those who know that if they don’t get any better, God will still love them anyway. Steve is an author, seminary professor and our teacher on Key Life.
Thank you Matthew. We’re taking some time this week during a Holy, by the way, today is Maundy Thursday, Maundy comes from a word that means commandment or make a command. And it has to do with a washing of disciples feet. Historically the church has had, at least Protestant heritage has had two sacraments, the Eucharist and baptism. But personally, I think we ought to add washing feet to it. It also was a command, but at anyway, it’s a Maundy Thursday of Holy Week. Tomorrow is Good Friday, black Friday. And then Sunday is when we party. But what I’m doing is taking some time looking at the people that were there that day on the cross, we looked at Simon, what a surprise he had. And then we looked at the robbers that were there and the soldiers that were there. And we looked at the crowd. Stay away from a crowd. Don’t ever try to be a part of the cool kids. They’re almost all doing something wrong. Have an authority problem that comes from the Holy Spirit that causes you to say with great vigor, no way I’m doing that. No way I’m going there. And then there’s the leaders. I read to you the text from Luke, but in Matthew, and there’s a little bit more detail. This is what Matthew says in Matthew 27:41-43.
Likewise the chief priests also mocking with the scribes and the elders said, “He saved others himself: he cannot save. If he is the King of Israel: let him now come down from the cross and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let God deliver him now, if he will have him. For he said, ‘I am the son of God.'”
Now I can understand the leader of a motorcycle gang, maybe Hell’s Angels saying something like that. I can understand an academic atheist, saying something like that. They’re superficial about everything. I can understand your neighbor, who just doesn’t want to have anything to do with religion saying something like that. But these, these were the elders and the deacons and the preachers and the bishops and the archbishops. These were the religious leaders who were joining in the mockery of the son of God. That causes me to wince. I am in some places, a leader, a Christian leader, and frankly that scares the spit out of me. You know why? Because I get it wrong so often. Because sometimes I’ve had to become back in a pulpit and say to a congregation, I told you something last week that isn’t true. Jesus told me to fix it. So I’m here to say, I’m sorry. And I repent. And to straighten it out. Boy, when I did that, that was good, because every leader has feet of clay. And if you are not disciplined and honed and sometimes broken by God’s spirit, then in the name of God, you can do terrible things. Oh, you wouldn’t believe what’s been done in the name of God in history. It’s scary. You ought to read church history. There’s a little book called A Short History of the Christian Faith. And I’m trying to think of the author and I can’t, it was Steven somebody, but you can Google it and find it, sit down and take two or three hours and just read that short history. It’ll blow you away. I mean, we are a very messed up bunch and our leaders are messed up more than the followers. And you got to keep that in mind. You’ve got to be careful. That’s why submission to the community and to the brothers and the sisters is so important, because God has never given his truth to just one. He always does it with a bunch. And so leaders are supposed to lead. They’re supposed to be clear on the verities of the Christian faith. They’re supposed to teach them and live them, but they are also supposed to remember that the most dangerous place you can be period, is to be a religious leader. If you have one, who’s building an, an empire and who speaks as if he or she is speaking from Sinai, who tells you stuff to do, you’re not sure about. Who sometimes says, I said it, that means God said it, you do it. You run, you run. One time Alfred Hitchcock was in his limousine, and he noticed a little boy and a priest standing together. And the priest was leaning over talking to the little boy. And Alfred Hitchcock rolled down the window of his limousine and he shouted out the window, son, run, run as fast as you can. Well, I don’t agree with that. I think we need to respect authority and pray for them and encourage those who are leaders, but we also need to hold them accountable to faithfulness, to authenticity. These, do you know who crucified Jesus? Religious people, well, the Romans had something to do with it, so I don’t want to go off on a tangent here, but it was the religious people who did it, and that’s scary, but it’s also amazing in terms of the grace. Jesus, knowing that the priests and the leaders and the scribes and the Pharisees and the followers as they mocked him, were horrible sinners for whom he had died. And he said on the cross,
Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they’re doing.
Well, that’s not always an excuse, or if you’re a leader and I’m preaching to myself as much as to you. You be very, very careful out there. And then you can’t do with this kind of subject without looking at the women, Matthew 27:55-56.
They were watching from the distance,
and as far as Matthew is concerned, the women are the only ones who know what’s going on. They know the truth, yet they’re also the most powerless of the group. The men who could have done something didn’t, because they didn’t understand. There’s a misogynistic view in the church, and I’m not talking about women’s ordination. I’m not talking about, you know, making whatever you believe about that, making women the Bishop or the Archbishop or whatever. That’s another issue altogether, but I’m saying that it’s very important in the church that we honor women, but wait, I’m not finished, that we listen to women that we, that we consider their walk with God. You’ve heard me say often that God only sends boys to guys that need help. And I have two daughters and three granddaughters. There’s not a single boy in a bunch. And then I got a wonderful wife. So I’m surrounded by women. And they made me say what I’m saying now. No, they didn’t. That was a joke. But I’ll tell you, I’ve learned from the women in my life, that there is a connection that men sometimes don’t have. There is a sensitivity and sometimes without power, an awareness of where one ought to go. And what one ought to do, if one is a Christian. The people that need to be touched and helped, and we need to honor and listen, and often follow women. I sometimes teach in Ephesians, where Paul is talking about the family says, wives submit to your husbands. And then he says, husbands love your wives, as Christ loved the church, that would be death. That means willing to die for, that means something really profound. And I often say to guys back in the days when I was a pastor, they used to pay me to be good and I’m good for nothing. But when I, when I was a pastor and doing marriage counseling, I would sometimes say to him, the young man, son throughout your marriage, if you’re not submitting to your wife more than she’s submitting to you, then you’re not doing it right. And sometimes we don’t do it right. Sometimes, sometimes men can be dunces, twits, you know, and we treat women as if they shouldn’t have a voice, or if they have a voice, we resent it. God created men and the women different. I know, I know what they say, but he did. And women are in many ways closer to God than men. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown, continuing to help us prepare for Easter. But of course, the way to Easter goes through Good Friday. So, tomorrow make sure you join us for a very special episode. So, in case no one has told you this yet today, happy atheist day. You see, because today’s April Fool’s Day, and Psalm 14:1 says, the fool says in his heart, there is ,okay, yeah, you get it. Did you know that many years ago, our Zach van Dyke tried being an atheist. It only lasted for like half a day, but, but there were some real reasons that led him to that point. However, Zach discovered something radical and surprising as he read about Joshua. Zach talks about what he learned in a sermon called The Addict, The Accuser and The Advocate. And we put that sermon on a CD. And we’d love to send it to you today, for free. Just call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also email Steve@keylife.org and ask for the CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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