Proverbs 12:1, “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.”
The most difficult people to deal with in the church are those who are rebellious. Rebellious people tend to think they can “teach the teacher” and are other people’s “speck inspector.” However, they fail to see the “log” in their own eye and neglect to truly love and serve God’s appointed leaders, Matthew 7:3-5 & Acts 14:23.
Rebellion was the greatest challenge of my spiritual life because it convinced me that I was right and everyone else was wrong. I believed that I knew better than those who were in leadership over me because of my own personal convictions. I had failed to follow the command God said in Hebrews 13:17, “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.”
Certainly, there are times we shouldn’t submit to leaders- like if they try to harm us, willingly sin against us, break the law, or teach false doctrines. However, like in the time of Korah’s rebellion in Numbers, most rebellion in the Body of Christ is based on people trying to arrogantly make themselves equal or above the leadership God has set up. The Lord punished Korah for rebelling against Moses by opening the earth and swallowing him and 250 of his followers (because rebellious people never work alone)! Jude also warned of these “Korah-like” people in his letter to the churches in Jude 1:11. Thus, rebellion and rebellious people should always be avoided within biblical based churches.
Paul said in Titus 3:10-11, “10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. 11 You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.” Therefore, we should not be in relationship with people that are considered rebellious and divisive because godly leadership is appointed by God to serve as our protective shepherds, 1 Peter 5:1-8.
Here are some signs of rebellion, (1) Cannot receive correction without being bitter, Proverbs 12:1; (2) A pattern of trying to teach the teachers, Hebrews 13:7; (3) Judging other people based on your own personal convictions, Romans 14:10; and (4) Being divisive and slanderous in the local church because of “self-righteousness,” 2 Corinthians 12:19-20.
The solution to rebellion is humility. Those who desire to avoid rebellion should joyfully submit and serve the godly leadership God has placed over them, Romans 16:17-19. And if for whatever reason they feel the leadership is no longer biblically based they should bring their issues respectfully before the leadership and only leave the church because it has no longer follows the pattern of the New Testament. But for everything else- “the day-to-day operations and leadership functions of the church;” the disciple should be a joy to the community and not a burden.
Do you struggle with being rebellious? If so, pray this out loud, “Father, forgive me for being rebellious and prideful. Help me to love as much of the church as you do and to humbly serve alongside my leadership as Timothy served with Paul, Philippians 2:20-23. Amen.”
Are you rebellious?
- Repent if you have been rebellious towards godly leadership in the church.
- Pray for the leadership in your church.
- Humbly serve God by submitting to the godly leadership He has placed over you to teach and serve you, 1 Corinthians 16:15-16.