Galatians 2:4-6 – Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in – who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery – to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality) – those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me.
Most anyone who has been in church, especially in church leadership, has experienced some sort of church hurt. To be sure, when sinners live together in community, some sins are bound to happen. Making matters even worse, Satan sends in “false brothers” to most every church. These people are like Judas was with the disciples, pretending to be a believer but evil and faking it the whole time to harm others.
False brothers are pushy, demanding, legalistic, punitive, overbearing, non-relational, controlling, cheerless, and take themselves way to seriously. They demand submission to their authority, which is not derived from God. If we give in to these sorts of folks, Paul says we will experience slavery, or bondage. This happens in at least three ways:
- Spiritual bondage – The religiously controlling person becomes your rule-making master, replacing the Holy Spirt in your life.
- Psychological bondage – Using fear and pressure, they cause you to have increased anxiety about your performance, and uncertainty about God’s love.
- Cultural bondage – The culture/subculture of the church or ministry becomes a prison, not a home, as you are not free to enjoy other believers and how they live life in the Spirit
Is there any church hurt you need to forgive, heal from, and move forward from?