Touch Not God’s Anointed
When I’m out on the streets sharing the gospel with people, an objection that occasionally comes up is bad behavior by ministers. It’s unfortunate that a few “men of the cloth” have done despicable deeds such as abusing children. But non-Christians cannot use those incidents as an excuse to avoid their own need for salvation. I point out when they stand before the Lord Jesus Christ, He won’t examine other people’s lives but only their own.
1 Timothy 5:19 says, “Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses.” In court trials, defendants are supposed to be presumed innocent unless proven guilty. Numerous people are called to the witness stand to give testimony before a verdict is reached. Why is it then that some Christians quickly assume a preacher is guilty of a sin based on hearsay and/or the claims of just one person?
In Numbers chapter 12, Miriam was infected with leprosy after criticizing Moses for marrying an Ethiopian woman. There have been more modern incidents of people who suffered devastating consequences for discrediting men of God. One that comes to my mind involved William Branham, an evangelist used by God during the “Voice of Healing” era of the 1940s and 50s. Two preachers and their wives plotted to expose Brother Branham as a fake at one of his meetings. One of the preachers came up front with a prayer card falsely claiming he had various diseases. The Holy Spirit revealed this scheme to Branham who then confronted the preacher for being a fake himself. The preacher left the meeting with the same diseases he claimed to have!
So how should people respond to ministers who have truly sinned against them? Jesus taught us to proper way to confront any erring Christian in Matthew 18…
15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.
16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’
17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.”
The next time somebody starts talking to you about a sin supposedly committed by a minister, advise him to keep quiet about it unless he has proof and his motive for bringing up the sin is restoration. Ministers encounter enough persecution from the world. Christians don’t need to be siding with the accuser of the brethren.
“Do not touch My anointed ones, and do my prophets no harm.” - 1 Chronicles 16:22