Hello, I hope you all enjoy this guest post from Pastor Joel Stockstill. He is the Youth Pastor for Bethany Church in Baton Rouge, LA.
Over the last 10 years of dealing with young people and their struggle with the foul root of rebellion, there is a pattern I have noticed that goes far beyond youthfulness and affects all believers. This is what I would like to term “relatable rebellion.” This subtle rebellion is when someone disregards or discredits authority (God’s Word, Spirit, or especially delegated authority) due to the fact that “they can’t relate with me or what I’m facing.” Ex. If your a young person, then an older person could never understand you or your problems because they are old! Makes sense? If your married then a single person could never understand your problems….right? If your a parent, then someone who isn’t a parent could never understand your issues….right? And even if they are a parent but they don’t have teenagers then they, of course, don’t qualify to instruct or direct in your dilemma…right? If your the leader of 1000 then how could someone with 350 ever qualify to speak into your life? This endless form of excuse never fails to provide opportunity to disregard authority and a perfect escape route from obedience or accountability. Examples:
I was in a meeting with the parents of a teenage girl in the youth ministry and after talking with them about her issues (which were obviously from the dysfunction of her parents) the father presumed to tell me that I could not understand how to deal with his daughter because I “don’t have teenagers of my own.” Well, does that mean that every youth pastor has to grow his own teenagers before he\she can qualify to pastor teenagers? This is ridiculous!
Another arena of true deception regards that of race. Anyone who is of a different race, color, or even cultural background can easily be disregarded because, of course, they don’t “understand anything about me” if they are not of my exact descent. HOGWASH!! I do believe that God can use people of similar background to minister specific truths in our lives, but it is not a blank check to disregard or even attack someone because they are not of the same exact ethnicity or background. (Newsflash: truth is not relative to culture or race)
One final example, is the complete disregard of authority due to the fact that they “haven’t been through what I have.” This lie is used by those who have, for instance, gone through a divorce in their family and because authority has a great family they are disqualified in their direction or advice because they were blessed enough not to endure a divorce. This type of logic means that you would have to endure every type of trial or hurt in your life possible to pastor\lead even a handful of people. Recently, someone told a minister close to me who has a heart to see the addicted set free, that because they had not been addicted to drugs they would have no ability to minister to drug addicts. So really, the more sin you indulged in or bondage you had in your life, the more qualified you are to minister to the lost? This totally defies the ministry of Jesus!
Let’s talk about Jesus. Did he need to participate in fornication so he would qualify to straighten out people’s mess of immorality? NO! Did he have to participate in homosexuality to minister to homosexuals? NO! Was He an older man with grown children that could properly direct parents with older children? NO! Did he have years of marriage experience to be able to shepherd those who are married? NO! On and on I could go in showing how this false logic has justified people in their rebellion against the authority of Christ.
As you can see, we are all guilty of using this age old excuse to circumnavigate the true direction of Christ in our life. Many people are extremely miserable and frustrated with where they are in their walk with the Lord (and life in general) because they fell/fall prey to this rebellious logic. I know in my life there have been many instances where, in my immaturity, I fell right into this deceptive trap of the enemy and completely justified my rebellion. There have even been times that I have justified things by saying to myself “they have never had kidney failure.” Like someone needs to go through kidney failure to be my authority or direct me in the ways of Christ! I hope that as you have read this article the Spirit of God would expose this deception in your life and help you as a leader to see this argument rendered powerless in those you’ve been called to lead. It is my decision to refuse this subtle rebellion in my life and not allow anyone to disregard Christ’s authority because they have found some deficiency or difference.
Heb. 2:17-18 Therefore, it was necessary for Him to be made in every respect like us, His brothers and sisters, so that He could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God… Since He Himself has gone through suffering and testing, He is able to help us when we are being tested.