Church Leaders Put Away Detestable Idols

I’ve had this post bookmarked for a while and am finally getting around to linking and commenting on it.  Ray Ortlund did a 4-part series last week on Four Marks of Spiritual Leaders.  I was particularly struck by part 2:

Christian leaders put away the detestable idols from their lives and their churches. It is not enough to add Jesus. We must also subtract our idols. As time goes by, so much accumulates and complicates. We cannot go on adding and adding. We must boldly subtract. This is repentance and reformation.

“Detestable idols” means “abhorrent, monstrous, disgusting idols.” Our hearts do not create nice idols. Oh, how we need the lovely One! How we need to see him so clearly and revere him so tenderly that we get tough on ourselves and throw the idols out!

Christian leaders have a nose for the stench of idolatry, and they confront it, as Asa did. It is not leadership to ignore the smell, perfume the smell. Some churches do. They make room for their idols of tradition, idols of superiority, idols of unconfessed sin, idols of cool. But anything that distracts from Jesus stinks. It stinks to God. It reeks with our arrogance and self-pity and whatever else diminishes Jesus in our experience. Christian leaders are deeply stirred by this. They become restless. They become desperate for the greater glory of Christ, desperate enough to magnify him at all costs.

Read the whole post here.

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About Molly Friesen

I'm the Director of Global Education Partnerships for Peacemaker Ministries. Working at PM is an education in itself: I'm constantly seeing more and more how much sin impacts relationships, the glory of the gospel of reconciliation, the importance of community - especially the community of a local church, and God's power to transform lives in every corner of his world.

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