I’ve published material regarding believers who feel a call to ministry but are disallowed to participate or exercise their gifts within the church or ministry with which he/she is affiliated.  This was spoken of in the context of rejection by a spiritual leader.  I think of these as lost coins in the house—believers whose value is being overlooked.  However, let’s take a look at the other side of that same coin.

Within Christendom, there is a prevailing philosophy of “come as you are…stay as you are” within the church.  Many have defined their personal relationship with God in a manner that bespeaks their willingness (or unwillingness) to be transformed by a renewed mind.  Scriptural contexts have become subjective; and many have adopted the mantra of “being real”.  How much credit does God give the man who proclaims Christ yet openly sins—all the while publishing their deeds before God and man as an act of total transparency?

Certainly, it would seem that if a spiritual leader discerns or witnesses one of his followers actively living in a manner that not only endangers his own soul but causes him to be a stumbling block to another, he would show forth his responsibility by limiting or prohibiting that man’s ministry before others.

The psalmist wrote, My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:15-16).  Scripture assures us that God knows us intimately, even if we do not have an intimate relationship with Him.  He knows our make-up physically, emotionally, and mentally, and spiritually from the moment of our conception to the moment of our death.  In the depths of the womb, He planted His purpose—another opportunity for His will to be done within your earth as it is in Heaven.  God always beholds our genuine self; so, any action that sponsors the notion of “being real” is lost on Him.  He knows us better than we know ourselves.

Knowing salvation does not always equate to knowing regeneration.  Wherein is the truth of a life that continues in a mode of sinful living and/or spiritual immaturity?  Doesn’t scripture lead us to know that when we know the truth, that truth sets us free?  Perhaps, the secret is the realization that knowing is doing.  “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1).  That reads like a call to action—doing; what one does after one knows the truth.

So, it seems we’ve got to examine the entire concept of transparency a bit more closely.  We don’t want to adopt cultural concepts just because they seem to fit in with our faith—on the surface anyhow.  We must keep in mind that although love covers a multitude of sin, it doesn’t dismiss it.  It merely chooses not to expose it—an act that may offend and cause others to stumble.  After all, your “liberty” ought not ever cause someone else to fall into error.  Rather than allow that to occur, responsible spiritual leaders will hold someone back—even if that someone possesses great value to the Body.