Millstones and amputations (Mark 9:42-50)

Jesus has a serious warning for those who lead others into sin. He says: it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.  God has a great love and concern for the vulnerable and so we have a great responsibility for them. … Continue reading Millstones and amputations (Mark 9:42-50)

Keep a particular look out for narcissistic bullies

When thinking about dangerous leaders, the potential false shepherds and even wolves that might sneak in, being alert to the dangers of narcissism may be helpful. Narcissists are people with an unhealthy inward focus on themselves. They believe that the world should or does revolve around them, their needs and their priorities.  These are the… Continue reading Keep a particular look out for narcissistic bullies

Watch out for wolves

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This is the bit we don’t really like to talk about because we don’t like to be personal. But your church will face attacks from wolves.  Paul makes it clear that not only might happen but that it will happen. “after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own… Continue reading Watch out for wolves

Cult tactics

How do False Teachers get a foot-hold and gain influence in the lives of others? Here are some ways. They will target people who are already passionate about faith. They particularly look for people who are either: Disillusioned because they feel that the church has failed them by not being loving.  Alternatively, if someone feels… Continue reading Cult tactics

Wounded, well-meaning and wolves

I recently referred to an article by Jonathan Leeman which led to a conversation about Spiritual abuse. In this article, I want to engage a little bit further with Jonathan’s article. I want to highlight some areas where I think he’s unfairly criticised, some important points he has made which need hearing and also an… Continue reading Wounded, well-meaning and wolves

Weaponising spiritual abuse

I’m encouraged to see that The FIEC are keeping the focus on the problem of abuse with a series of podcasts involving John Stevens and Adrian Reynolds looking at spiritual abuse in particular.  The term “spiritual abuse” has been at times controversial with people debating its definition and even its existence. I saw one definition… Continue reading Weaponising spiritual abuse

Do you take the role of pastor/elder seriously enough?

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What exactly does it mean to be a pastor or an elder in a church?  First of all, you will notice that I am in effect using the words “pastor” and “elder” interchangeably because we are essentially talking about the same thing. An elder is someone who carries leadership authority within a family/clan/tribe linked to… Continue reading Do you take the role of pastor/elder seriously enough?

Elders are to guard and protect the church

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In Acts 20:17, Paul sends for the elders (note plural) of the church in Ephesus to come and meet him at Miletus as he travels back to Jerusalem.  There he gives them instructions about how to continue serving the church when people like Paul are no longer around to visit and write letters. He tells… Continue reading Elders are to guard and protect the church

Don’t Be Afraid (Matthew 10:16-42)

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There are fewer and fewer people alive who can remember the horrors of the Second World War, what it was like to live through the Blitz, how to survive on rations etc.  We do sadly have men and women who have served in recent wars, many have suffered terrible injuries as well as PTSD. This… Continue reading Don’t Be Afraid (Matthew 10:16-42)