A mark of a true Christian is that he doesn’t always follow those in church leadership
UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” (John 10:1-5)
We have all been taught to obey lawful authority – or at least I hope we have. God places certain authorities over us: civil government, church leaders, parents, and so on. Of course the arenas of those authorities are also strictly limited by God and when they overstep their bounds, they lose their authority and need not be obeyed.
Notice in the Lord Jesus’s words above that he tells us there are false shepherds who pose as true shepherds but who, in fact, are thieves and robbers. God the Father has not called them nor sent them. They are counterfeits and their only goal is to serve themselves lamb chops. Christ’s sheep however are given the ability to know the true Shepherd’s voice and they follow Him when they hear Him. A stranger, they simply will not follow. You see this thing in your faithful Fido if you have one. He hears your voice and comes running. But a stranger? He sounds the alarm and stands off at a distance.
What we are largely saying in all the articles posted here at ACFJ is what most all of you are saying as well: THERE ARE A LOT OF VOICES CLAIMING TO SPEAK FOR CHRIST IN THE CHURCHES, BUT WE DO NOT RECOGNIZE THEM! We do not buy it when someone in a pulpit insists that God forbids divorce for abuse. We do not buy it when such voices tell us we must reconcile with an abuser or we are guilty of unforgiveness. Nope. We say that is not Jesus speaking. And we aren’t going to follow such a voice.
In fact, we go further. We say that there is a very high probability that voices speaking like this belong to the thieves and robbers Jesus warned us about. They are in their religion game to get, not to give. To use, not to serve.
We do not know such voices. We will not follow them.