Lord, Raise Up Nathans!

The greatest cultural tragedy of our time is not political corruption, immigration crisis, abortion fervor or economic downfalls. From heaven’s view, church apostasy, carnality and compromise are what grieves God’s heart.

Does a church, a group of believers, start out apostate? Do they first gather together as a kernel of faith with compromise in their hearts? Nearly every overgrown church and ministry once began with a group of sincere believers, perhaps in someone’s home, even gathering to worship in a garage. Leadership emerges, spiritual momentum grows, and bigger venues are sought – all with prayer and longing for God’s Kingdom.

So what happens? How do sincere believers morph into a mega-church and become apostate and worldly? How do esteemed pastors, whom I have learned from in the past, swerve into compromise, questioning or diluting the Biblical tenets such as creation, truths of the end times, and the established protocols for God’s people? How do they pivot away from holiness and aspire to worldly success and acclaim?

Nearly always, the light of Christ exponentially dims as the church grows with wealth, popularity and cultural/political influence. Knowingly or not, the worldly design of success, wealth, celebrity status and world status slowly takes root – opposite to God’s design of growing deeper in humility, sacrifice, and separation from the world.

One central fault of design predicating compromise is the utter esteem of one leader, rather than a plural leadership of elders as described by Paul. It is often a predictable pattern now, always bringing disillusionment and, at its fruition, painful heartbreak with ministries implode.

The pattern seems thus: a gifted leader becomes the central focus of church success and so to maintain the ‘church success’ of popularity, wealth, public image and proliferation, the inner circle spins or covers up indiscretions and sin. They surround themselves with ‘yes men’ just as the world would.

Q: Where would David have ended up without Nathan? Without the conviction of Nathan, who bravely rebuked this king, David would have fallen into the worst judgment known to man – God would have turned him over to his sin. Without conviction, without godly sorrow, comes hardness of heart and justification of sin. A ‘Nathan’ is a great gift from God – unafraid to convict of sin and compromise (personal notes from my Bible, source unknown)

It is deeply painful to love and serve in a profound ministry and watch it implode however, hindsight reveals that God leaks and uncovers sin and opens the eyes of those who will see. “Leakage” is a concept in law enforcement investigations – referring to leads and clues from criminal behavior that can reveal the truth. There is leakage pulpits as well.

When ‘Nathans’ rise up too late, their voice is diminished and they are often expelled from the circle of influence as there is so much to lose. And the church will then spin a story about why they left.

Although several ministries come to mind, and I rarely mention names, I will say that the ‘cover-up’ in John MacArthur’s church regarding his COVID illness and others in the church is very telling. It is leakage for any who care to see. Other leakage would be his assertion that ‘those who take the mark of the beast can still be saved’ – utterly contrary to scripture. While he rightly points out apostate doctrines and erroneous leaders, he wrongly often ridicules them, leading his congregation to laugh when they should really be crying.

Where are the Nathans to rise up, when leaders’ hearts are still tender and fearfully bent toward God?

As part of Christ’s body, we are all called to more than being fed God’s word. He installs gifts in each of us, that we may rise up and live out scripture – the “living and active, sharper than any two edged sword” word of God. Do we believe it is, ‘God breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking and correcting’?

‘Nathans’ may fail to rise up, squelching the conviction in their heart. Or, they may be expelled from the church when they do. But without scriptural and godly rebuke, roots of compromise and carnality will seep into every aspect of the church or ministry and the end result, even if the ministry stands, will be Ichabod.

“You are the man!” Words of conviction yet of great love, as God chastises those He loves, those He calls His own.

Oh Lord, stir our hearts with Your purposes, and raise up the hearts of Nathans in your congregations, rebuke us, humble us. Let us aspire to holiness, not success, that others may see the Lord.

31 thoughts on “Lord, Raise Up Nathans!

  1. Yes dear sister I agree with it ,’carnality will seep into every aspect of the church or ministry’ so that at the end times everyone will eagerly look towards the Lord only and praise and worship him .Thank you very much for sharing .Take care.🌹😊🙏

  2. Excellent Post. Yes this an endemic problem in Churches. Many churches have a cult of personality surrounding the Senior Pastor. This leads to a lack of accountability with church leaders. John MacArthur is highly revered by many at my church, but there are many things about him that concern me. I have been going to my church for 13 years and I also work there. Working there, I see the flaws. There is no perfect church. I would like to say more on this, but I don’t want to badmouth my church. Especially because I still work there

  3. I am so thankful to be married to a Nathan who lives up to his name! I have been thinking about your post since yesterday. I agree with what you and your commenters have said. There is so much apostasy and spiritual deception/delusion that isn’t being addressed at any level. Believers are missing the fact that God sends a strong delusion to test His people. I pray to remain close to God and His Word so as to not be sucked in and spread conspiracies or quote the latest celebrity pastor. Thank you sister for this needed post! Love, hugs and blessings!!!!

    • Thank you so much Mandy for your insightful and encouraging comments. And I did think of your Nathan, only imagining that he has such fortitude. Yes, we need more Nathans…and more Mandys too, lovers of His precious word.
      I’m with you sister, I want to stay in His word, “tremble at His word”, and stand to the end.
      Hugs to you, Nathan and dear PQ! ❤

      • Random, so feel free to delete. Nathan is a Hebrew name and means “He (God) gave” or “gift of God.” Matthew also has the same root and means “gift from God.” James is a derivative of Jacob. The Apostle James in Catholic tradition is said to have spread Christianity in Spain. So Iago, Diego, Santiago, Tiago, Thiago all mean James and are named after St James (like San Diego) which refers back to Jacob. Hugs to you, Bob and Starry!!!

  4. I’m sad to say that the institutional church doesn’t want Nathan’s. My husband and I have spoken to several pastors regarding their ecumenism with Roman Catholicism that is so prevalent in our day. One pastor said he belonged to a “ministry alliance” and the group had just taken a Roman Catholic on board to pray with them . My husband said why are you praying with a Roman Catholic. Why don’t you pray with the people in your own congregation. He said told us we would probably need to find another church. Another pastor who we spoke with about the same topic ignored us in church after our meeting. My husband said it was as if we were made of glass because he looked right through us when we were standing near him after the service. 🙂Another pastor said the way we feel about Rome was because we came out of it. He continued to praise Billy Graham as a great man of God even though he knew about Graham’s great compromise with Rome. We were asked by one of the other pastors in that church if we thought our time was up there. In another church the pastor had a guest speaker who was ecumenical. My husband went to a diner with the pastor to talk about it. On the way there the pastor told my husband about his visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. When we spoke to these pastors we were calm and gentle. All this happened years ago. Things have only gotten worse. If we heard a testimony of someone coming out of the bondage of Roman Catholicism there would be a great time of rejoicing. Not so in the organized church. It’s a sad day that we’re living in.

    • Sister, I really agree, the institutional church rejects “Nathans” but we as Christ’s body must be faithful to fulfill any duty assigned. We must be blameless even if the compromiser rejects godly correction and wise counsel.
      We are in the age of apostasy. To stand for God’s word will be unpopular and seem futile at times but we need be encouraged. Jesus said, “My Father will honor the one who serves Me”. There is no higher honor.

      • Yes, I completely agree. We never stop standing for God’s word. I didn’t mean to imply that it’s useless to do so. I guess it may have sounded that way. I wanted to emphasize how bad things really are!

  5. Thanks, Lisa Beth! Most discernment ministries that call out false gospels and compromisers are relegated to the fringes by “big tent” evangelicalism.

  6. Lisa Beth, I read this email to my sister Maria and she said she is glad you are so outspoken and everything you said is true. We do need more precious Nathans in our churches. Thank you beloved sister for another great post.

    • Eve, its good to hear from you and thank you for sharing with your sidter. May we will all stand strong in the Lord and His precious word in these end times.
      God bless you sister.

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