Question:

Hi,

The question I have is this: What should a person do in this situation? In the church I currently attend, we do not have any elders for several years. I see some things that are creeping into the church. For example, when my congregation had elders the preacher was very serious during worship. Now that we do not have elders, whenever the preacher delivers a sermon he tells jokes that make the audience laugh a lot and it’s happening more frequently. This past Sunday the preacher did something that was very disorderly. During worship he had two women stand up and speak out during worship to make a point in the sermon he was teaching. He asked one of the women to state her “doctorate” credentials to prove his point. He asked the other woman to speak in Spanish to prove that tongue-speaking is not happening today “because nobody else in the building knew the Spanish that she spoke.”

Many brothers and sisters have brought concerns to him about these matters, but he tends to think nothing is wrong with what he decides to do. Many people are also scared to go to him and express concerns because of his reaction when speaking to him, he reacts as if when people ask questions and comes to him that it annoys him.

Sorry, it is a lo,t but I hope it made sense.

Answer:

It seems that approaching the preacher individually has not worked well. I would normally suggest that you follow Matthew 18:15-17 and have several approach him together, but his recent actions require stronger measures.

There is nothing wrong with using humor in a lesson. If the group prefers a bit less, it is fine to express your thoughts and why you came to your conclusion. Not every topic should be presented with humor. "A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance" (Ecclesiastes 3:4). If all he is addressing are topics where he can find humor, then he is not presenting all of God's word.

However, having women address the congregation during a lesson violates the rules for worship that Paul recorded.

"The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church. Was it from you that the word of God first went forth? Or has it come to you only? If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord's commandment. But if anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized" (I Corinthians 14:34-38).

There is no need to fear a preacher. Everyone makes mistakes at times and need to be reminded of what is important. If a preacher demonstrates that he is not interested in being bound by the limits of God's law, then it is the congregation's right to decide to no longer support him or give him the opportunity to address the congregation. Preachers do no run congregations, they serve the Lord while being a part of a congregation. It is the group that makes the decisions.

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