Disclaimer: This post is not about bashing nor maligning your Church elders but rather knowing the difference between them and God.
All praise to the Lord God who gives elders in the Church to help us in the mission of preaching the Gospel to all nations and making disciples of them. May the Holy Spirit lead and guide them in the grace of God. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. (Psalm 118:8)
Never trust your Church elders more than God. Now I do not say disrespect them but rather give due respect to them. However that being said, never make your Church elders a god above the Lord God. This will put you in deep error and eventual darkness if you refuse to repent in this area.
Now the Bible says in Jeremiah 17:5-8 :-
5 Thus says the Lord:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
and makes flesh his strength,
whose heart turns away from the Lord.
6 He is like a shrub in the desert,
and shall not see any good come.
He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness,
in an uninhabited salt land.
7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
8 He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
By the above verses it is very obvious that we as believers in Christ are not to make flesh our strength but rather are to trust in the Lord God. To make it clear, we cannot let any man, even the one’s who are the Church elders tell us not to pray to God. It’s very obvious that any Church elder who hinders you from worshiping Jesus Christ is a manifest heretic claiming to be a Christian!
So what I just said, is this a new teaching? No, not at all but something that needs to be reiterated. The following verses of Jude 1:3-4 confirm this:
3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Each of those who profess the Christian faith are already warned about certain people who for the record; pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. And now such people might not be, each and every person you see in Church but just a few you need to beware of. The basic thing would be to never give heed to any words and philosophies by any one at any level in the Church which contradicts the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It’s very rare that anyone in the church might tell you to not worship God, because they know that they will be found out and tackled very soon. However do be on your guard against such people.
There is a higher chance of people who may misdirect all the glory which is due to God to themselves. No matter what healing you receive by anyone praying for you or laying their hands never praise them like how God is to be praised. It’s one thing to be thankful to the Church elders and another thing to give them the kind of respect which God only deserves. So do know the difference and do not put your elders above God, ever!
Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit. (Matthew 15:14)
Then there is a subtle trick that the Devil uses to mislead people and most of them fall for it. He simply causes certain gullible Church elders to downplay the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So to not offend others, they will avoid preaching against certain sins or all sins. But they are okay with offending God though, by continuing to work their heresies. Some even show the Gospel as a guideline instead of a reality to follow. By making certain things of Gospel such a repentance, good works, prayers etc as optional by falsely assuming that doing the will of God was done away with the Cross, they lead more people to damnation that even the more common vilest of vile sins could. Stay away from their ways and words and you will do a great honor to God.
Just before I close, like I mentioned earlier, not all Church elders are into wrongdoing. In fact their service to God is commendable and their sacrifices for the Kingdom of God are fragrant and undeniable. May God reward them for this. However do be on guard against those who seek more honor for themselves than the Lord God.
Christ be with you!