Questioning and Criticising Leaders

Questioning and Criticising Leaders

Q.   I’ve heard that we’re not allowed to question or criticise leaders. Is this so? 1 Chron 16:20-22 has been quoted.

A.   When we come into fellowship in an Assembly, it is understood that we submit to the authority of the Elders God has placed in leadership. They bear responsibility for the believers before the Lord – Heb 13:17; ‘they watch for your souls’ and must account to Him for each one of us.

Negative criticism and ‘murmuring’ is abhorrent to God since it undermines the operation of faith, and invariably influences other believers against leadership – 1 Cor 10:9,10; Num 21:5,6.

On the other hand, interaction, enquiry and communication are encouraged in God’s Word. Look at Heb 13:7 -Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the Word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

Here we are to “remember” our leaders – bear them in mind, considering them, what they believe and stand for, and what they speak into the Church. It also says, strongly, that we should follow their faith.

When we’re confused about what they say, it’s our responsibility to go to them and humbly ask for their guidance and explanation – because we want to be built up in Christ through them. 1 Tim 5:1 says we should treat Elders respectfully, “as a father.” In conflict or misunderstanding situations, the Lord says we should first go to our brother – Matt 18:15.

1 Chron 16:20-22 can be quoted out of context. God’s people were in a war situation and facing many enemies. His anointing and Word were essential to their victory, and undermining authority was equal to treason. In the Body of Christ we need clear direction and, should we not understand, we must enquire. If an insecure leader should use this Scripture to dodge an issue, it could amount to spiritual manipulation and rule out healthy discussion and mutual respect.