Joh 10:12-13 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. (13) He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
One of the most common reasons victims of various kinds of evil and abuse are further oppressed by their church leaders when they go for help is because of what I call the do-nothing pastor. Some church leaders actively oppress these victims, but others take a more passive route of oppression. They do nothing. How many times have we seen evil reported to the various authorities, and yet nothing is done. No action taken. Laws have been broken and yet…nothing.
So let’s think about the do-nothing pastor here. God’s Word is plain. Action against evil in the church is to be taken. That action is even specified (see 1 Cor 5 for example). And yet, nothing is done. The wicked one is permitted to remain in the church, partake of communion, even teach or be the pastor! Excuses are offered. Blame is shifted. And nothing is done. Eventually of course the do-nothing pastor does take action – against the victim! You all know how that scenario plays out.
But what goes on in these do-nothings? I saw it sometimes unfortunately when I was a police officer. Once in a while a do-nothing would work their way into the ranks. Crimes were committed. And yet these kind did nothing. Why? Well, it was too much work. They didn’t want to write the reports. They didn’t want to go to court on their day off. They made excuses to minimize the crime and to cast some blame on the victims. One time I investigated a burglarly and made a request for the CSI tech to come out and dust for prints. He didn’t do it. I was all kinds of angry and I wrote a report to the Captain complaining. Guess what? Who got reprimanded? I did. Why? Because, you know, it was no real big deal and this poor CSI guy (who was about to retire) had to write a report explaining why he didn’t process the scene…blah, blah, blah. He was do-nothing and as is so often the case, the do-nothings skate while victims and their allies ride the heat.
There are plenty of do-nothing pastors filling pulpits in the churches. When it comes to confronting evil and seeking real justice for the victims, they do nothing. Strange, isn’t it, that these kind claim to be such pious Christians but Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount that His true people hunger and thirst for righteousness. For justice. Hmmm…could this imply…could it just be…that these types are not born again? That our pulpits are so often filled by unregenerates? Such is in fact the case.
Why do they do nothing? What is the motivation? It is self. It is laziness. It is cowardice in the face of the enemy. It is wanting the victim to just shut up and go away and quit stirring the waters. “I just don’t want any trouble…I just can’t deal with conflict.” And yet they claim to be soldiers of the cross. What is done to soldiers who are cowards in battle and who abandon their comrades? What is the penalty for desertion?
I can tell you story after story after story of do-nothing pastors I have confronted. When they have open, obvious, serious wickedness in their churches, they will do nothing. You can point out the pertinent commands of scripture – but they will do nothing. You can offer to educate them about the tactics of evil – they don’t want to hear about it. That would require action. And they just cannot have that.
Besides, you know, the rest of us are just so over-board judgmental, harsh, and unkind.
Well, I can tell all these do-nothings. When the Chief Shepherd appears, you might fancy that He will do-nothing. Fancy that fantasy all you want. He will be swift to take action against them and frankly, since they made so many little ones stumble, it would be better for them if they had never been born.
This scripture comes to mind with do-nothing pastors who don’t want to deal with evil in their midst (if they even recognize the evil!):
Psalm 50:16-22 But God says to the wicked: “What right do you have to recite My statutes and to take My covenant on your lips? You hate instruction and turn your back on My words. When you see a thief, you make friends with him, and you associate with adulterers. You unleash your mouth for evil and harness your tongue for deceit. You sit, maligning your brother, slandering your mother’s son. You have done these things, and I kept silent; you thought I was just like you. But I will rebuke you and lay out the case before you. Understand this, you who forget God, or I will tear you apart, and there will be no one to rescue you.”