Courageous Leadership and Church Hypocrisy

Micah 1-4

Focus: Micah 3:8 “But I am full of the courage that the Lord’s Spirit gives, and have a strong commitment to justice. This enables me to confront Jacob with its rebellion, and Israel with its sin.”

Recently, I participated in a weekend class in San Antonio. As I was flying home, I was able to share the Gospel with the girl sitting next to me. It turns out that she grew up in the Church and has since left because of hypocrisy. She said, “My mom keeps pressuring me to get baptized. But I don’t want anything to do with her religion. She has had affairs with several men and has wrecked four other marriages outside of her own. There are four men who she slept with, and I am not sure which one of them is my actual dad.” From my own family background, I can understand why she feels the way she does.

My heart grieved because sadly her story is not an isolated incident in the Church. Incidentally, hypocrisy is a problem that has molded the reputation of God’s people throughout history. Those who claim to be Christians are failing in epic proportions. The reason for this is because of weak passive leadership that fails to confront evil. Today, more than ever, we need people who are bold and willing to stand up against injustice, rebellion and sin. I am not exclusively talking about church pastors, administrators, or volunteer leadership. I am talking about every individual who claims to follow Christ. It does not take a title to lead! In fact, all of God’s people are called to step up and confront evil, especially evil in the Church.

Micah was once such person who God used to stand up against Israel’s sin. Through the prophecy of Micah, God promised that he would destroy the land and remove his people and place them in captivity if they did not turn away from their wickedness. Fortunately, at the time of Micah’s prophecy, the prophecy against God’s people never materialized. Hezekiah, the king at the time, listened to the prophet of God and was instrumental in leading Israel to revival. God delayed his wrath. Micah was filled with God’s spirit- his life was transformed. He was also deeply committed to justice.

There are many of us who are angry and discouraged because of such hypocracy. However, hypocrisy can only come to an end when the “angry and discouraged” are filled with God’s spirit and deeply committed to justice. In other words, the angry and discouraged must first be spiritually transformed. Jesus said that we must first take the long out of our own eye before we confront others who are in sin. Then, once we are living by truth, we must be willing take initiative to engage with others who are not living by truth. This takes courage and a deeply rooted commitment to doing what is right, even when it is hard.

If you are that person who is frustrated with people who claim to be holy but who are not living out their claim, then you are the person that God wants to use. Do not wait for someone else to deal with the problem. You are the answer! There is no plan B. Those who have been transformed by the love of Christ must be deeply committed to confronting evil in a way that honors God. It was because of Micah’s faithfulness that Hezekiah was transformed, and he in turned led the revival of God’s people. It will be because of you who, being transformed, are courageously committed to justice in a way that challenges those who are doing wrong. Who or what do you need to confront today?

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