How must we think about different Christian ministries?
There are three typical Christian-ministry situations in which Christians need to apply some Biblical discernment:
- those who are faithful, (yesterday’s post)
- those who are ungodly, but get the Gospel right,
- and those who get the Gospel wrong. (tomorrow’s post)
The second typical situation in which we need discernment is when there are Gospel preachers outside your circle, that are perhaps not godly and above reproach in everything they do, but nonetheless, they still get the essence of the Gospel right—whether or not they actually believe the Gospel might not even be sure, but for some reason they preach it with clarity in spite of their own less-than-honourable reputation.
For example, in 1 Corinthians 4 Paul deals briefly with those who openly slandered Paul, but still seemed to be some sort of guide to Christ for the believers. Paul strongly warns the believers not to follow such a man, but he doesn’t necessarily mention names and call them out as false teachers.
In Philippians 1, Paul mentions those who are preaching Christ rightly, but not for the right reasons. As much as Paul’s heart must have ached at such hypocrisy, he still reflected an attitude of rejoicing that God’s Word is being heard correctly.
When you look at Christian ministries around you, and they seem to be motivated by fame and fortune, or perhaps their method of ministry borders on what is impure and sinful, but there is still a clear articulation of the Gospel, then don’t go to their churches or support their ministry, certainly don’t imitate them Paul would add, but don’t go about criticizing all they do. At least rejoice that people can get saved under their ministry.
Be fully united with all true believers in spite of great personal differences.
Don’t join the church of ungodly preachers, but if the Gospel is preached, rejoice in that.
Flee all false representations of the Gospel, warning all who are lured away from true faith.