Monday, October 12, 2009

Who is qualified?

Some people have questioned what qualifies me to say some of the things I have been saying. They are right. I am not qualified.

But is anyone qualified?

I don’t know about others, but I believe I would be in self deception if I ever think or feel I am qualified to say, teach, be or do anything. Truth needs to be spoken and heard, and it would be no less truth whether it comes from a donkey (Balaam’s donkey) or from a murderer (Moses, David, Paul).

I could be mistaken, but I think it could have been Michael Green who said that the right way to understand evangelism is to see it as one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread. We are not trying to tell unbelievers that we are right and they are wrong, are we? I believe the same should be said of anything else in serving God. I’m hungry and I think I’ve discovered where to find bread and I’m just sharing it with those who are also hungry. Can any of us lord it over others? Do any of us have the answers because we have “arrived”? Is it not by God’s grace alone that we are just instruments and channels of what He deposits in us?

The more closely Paul walked with the Lord, the more he realized how far short he was of God’s righteousness and of God’s calling on his life. He first saw himself as the least of the apostles, then less than the least of all God’s people, and at the end of his life, he saw himself as the chief of sinners. Rick Joyner alluded to this, about how deceived people are, when they thought themselves as having qualified themselves to be anything in the service of God’s kingdom. And Paul also taught this in his epistles, and he went on to add that even if his conscience was clear, that did not mean he was thereby justified in God’s eyes.

Sadly, this is another one of the things in the institutional church that has disempowered people from serving the Lord, or discovering and realizing their God-given potential to do so. There is such a false sense in the church that you have to be more “holy”, more “spiritual”, more this or more that, before you are qualified to serve the Lord. As a result, many feel unqualified and stay away from ministry.

This false belief also breeds false expectations from church members of those who are in ministry. So those who are in ministry are put on a pedestal and they are pressured to put on a front. Many leaders’ personal lives and their families are a wreck but they are putting on a false front. I feel for them, but I am also sad that unwittingly they are breeding and reinforcing this culture in the church. Why keep putting up that front?

It is amazing how the world can see through all that, but the church itself remains blind to it. I have friends who have withdrawn from the church because they told me that the church was the place where they found the most hypocrisy and the least grace, the least forgiveness and least understanding. They felt they could breathe more freely when they were among “lesser mortals”.

So my friends, I am terribly unqualified. In fact, totally disqualified. The more I realize these things that I write about, the more they judge me, and the more I realize how far I fall short of these things. I tremble at the thought that one day what I really am inside, which is probably far, far worse and darker than I realize, will in the light of God’s judgment be shamefully exposed for all to see. But there is a stirring in my heart which I believe is from the Lord to share these things, because it is in acknowledging our hunger and need, that we also experience grace and find the Bread of life. So if some of these things help someone, I would be encouraged. :)

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