In my short era of working within and for various churches as both a paid worker and a volunteer, I have seen a lot of people who get into political vying to keep ministry positions.
It’s certainly practical to want to stay employed, and to make sure you’re doing well at what your particular “job” is. Even within the church, we need to do our job well, as for God and not as a people pleaser. We are to “obey our earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as we would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord.” (Ephesians 6)
Yet what I’ve often seen in the church is a form of patronization. People will say anything, do anything, and even play insidious political games in order to keep their role or position in the church, and ultimately, their salary as well. It ought not to be this way.
When we have a culture like this that exists in the church, everything of integrity falls to pieces. When people who play games and vie for position and security have a voice that’s heeded, those that have integrity and want to serve out of sincerity get thrown under the bus. It’s often backwards in our American church culture as opposed to the ways of scripture.
When John talks about “the world”, he says this: “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. (1 John 2)
It’s simple enough, the world in scripture is not defined as “those outside the church”, or “THAT style of music”, it’s defined as “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life”. Yet it’s truly disheartening to the Lord’s heart to see his people covet and compete and play a role in ministry when they’re called to be above reproach, honest, self-sacrificing and courageous.
To truly follow Christ in America is to abandon the trappings of job security, and follow Him at all costs. Even if it means losing a job for the sake of lifting someone else up. Even if it means getting black labeled and falsely accused by a fellow “brother in the Lord”. We are not commanded to be faithful to institutions, men or human doctrines. We are called and commanded to be faithful to the Word of God, no matter what hardships will come. And when we sense that those hardships are overwhelming, we only need to remember our brothers & sisters overseas in persecuted countries who face hardships we couldn’t imagine.