My Thoughts. . .
He did WHAT? I thought he had more sense than to correct someone publicly. I cannot believe he did that? Who does he think he is? Is HE perfect? No, of course not. What is he trying to do, RUN people OFF from the church? Why didn’t he take the person aside privately rather than embarrass him before all? It is things like that which give the church a bad name. Perhaps he needs to be called down off his high horse so he will be humbler? It might put the love of Jesus in him and make him more approachable. We just do not need people like that in leadership roles. Give some people a little authority and they run it into the ground.
“But when Peter came to Antioch I had to oppose him publicly, speaking strongly against what he was doing, for it was very wrong. For when he first arrived, he ate with the Gentile Christians [who don’t bother with circumcision and the many other Jewish laws]. But afterwards, when some Jewish friends of James came, he wouldn’t eat with the Gentiles anymore because he was afraid of what these Jewish legalists, who insisted that circumcision was necessary for salvation, would say; and then all the other Jewish Christians and even Barnabas became hypocrites too, following Peter’s example, though they certainly knew better. When I saw what was happening and that they weren’t being honest about what they really believed and weren’t following the truth of the Gospel, I said to Peter in front of all the others, “Though you are a Jew by birth, you have long since discarded the Jewish laws; so why, all of a sudden, are you trying to make these Gentiles obey them?” (Galatians 2:11-14 TLB).
Did you hear what our preacher did? I cannot believe it. He was the first one to convert those folks. When he got back to the capitol, he was criticized, but soon gave answers that left his critics without an argument to stand on. He was present when the church had a big meeting to determine if it was right or wrong to accept those people into the church. He even stood up and defended his right to accept them. I do not know why he stopped fellow shipping those members when that bunch of legalists came up here from the city. His shenanigans caused several in the church to be hypocritical and follow his lead. Why he would do a complete reversal mystifies me. This is really going to HURT the church! If you ask me, I think we need to get another preacher. This is not the first time he’s been mixed up in things that had non-believers rattling their tongue about us.
What did he do in that other thing you’re talking about?
Oh, he was presiding for the weekly collection. One of our biggest givers and a very influential member gave a sizeable contribution. Out of nowhere, this preacher started questioning him about his offering. He accused him of lying to the Holy Spirit. You should have seen the look on everyone’s face when the preacher made that accusation. Suddenly that member had a shocked look on his face. His expression froze and without warning, the man died. Some of the men took the body out for burial. The man’s wife came in later. She was dressed to the hilt. All eyes were on her. Suddenly the preacher started questioning her about their giving. On one question, she went rigid, immediately collapsed like a rag doll, and she was dead before she hit the floor. The preacher accused her and her husband about lying to the Spirit about their giving. You talk about reflection and fear gripping all who were present. I immediately thought about my contribution and my heart began to run away! Then the burying fellows came back in, saw she was dead, and took her for burial. What surprised me was the reaction of the non-believers in town when they heard about our service. “Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.” (Acts 5:11). People who responded to the gospel after that were not your Sunday morning only kind of folks! For a long time after that, if anyone thought about lying when he gave, that notion disappeared.