Insecurity Killed the King – Part II

The tragic story of Saul’s demise provides a powerful historical lesson for anyone aspiring to leadership: unconquered insecurity will corrupt the noblest of ambitions. Sadly, Saul’s error continues to be repeated generation after generation—even among Christian leaders.

Shortly after I came to Christ over thirty years ago, I began associating with a Christian movement that appealed to many of the students involved with our campus ministry. We were devoted to Jesus and longed to be on the very forefront of what God was doing with our generation. This was an excellent organization led by gifted men of national prominence. The plan was to reclaim the glory of the New Testament church and bring real change to our decaying world.

As Debi (my future wife) and I went through the membership classes, we began to balk. We couldn’t quite put it into words, but something just didn’t smell right about the whole thing. Being young in the faith, we were at a loss to explain our concerns which seemed somewhat off-base—especially in light of the gifted leaders who were spearheading the movement. We eventually decided to leave as the environment became increasingly controlling.

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Over the years, the movement continued to grow in many dynamic ways, causing me to waffle about our decision. I attended a couple of their conferences and they were awe inspiring. Their strong emphasis on godly character and deep devotion to Christ continued to resonate with my heart. “Perhaps,” I thought to myself, “we made a rash decision.” Still, in spite of all that was good, and the many friends I had within that organization, it was never quite enough to bring me back. Several things still felt wrong.

About four years ago, that movement began to unravel. It began privately at first, but the momentum slowly and steadily increased. Today, their dirty—“filthy” is actually a more accurate word—laundry is being aired in a very public manner with all the world watching. Only now are we beginning to realize how many lives have been severely damaged through their error.

In trying to understand the downfall of a Christian movement with such incredible potential, I can’t help but come to one conclusion: Insecurity Killed the King. When Christian leaders begin to value their own images above the commands of Christ, something is grossly wrong. When they fail to address serious problems in their midst because of the damage it might do to their ministry’s reputation, they are building their own feudal kingdoms and not God’s. The dark ages should have come to an end a long time ago.

In these last days, Jesus—the head of the church—will reject self-preservationists and raise up a “kingdom of priests” (Revelation 1:6) after His own heart. They will be men and women of faith whose lives bear the true fruit of the Holy Spirit.

When God cleans house he often does it publicly. This process can look very bad for the church, but He doesn’t really seem to mind. Our righteous King’s greater concern is that truth, justice, love, and humility would stand as rock-solid pillars that characterize the body of Christ.

photo credit: Matt Gruber via CreationSwap

You and I can play important roles in the advance of God’s kingdom on earth:

1. Those who are Christian leaders need to live out the true humility that flows from being a child of the King, valuing His interests above their own images.

2. Those who are followers need to recognize the smell of bad fruit and stop exalting—and funding—celebrity personalities who abound in charisma, but lack godly character.

It may seem like there are a lot of insecure King Sauls out there, but the Holy Spirit continues a powerful work as He anoints a new generation of Davids. The final outcome is sure; the all-seeing Creator of the Universe will bring it to pass.

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