Leadership Gone Awry (Excerpt)
I believe that God is saying to leaders; those who He has called, that it’s time to start calling sin what it is — sin! We can’t allow our hearts to overrule our Spirit until we become tolerant of sin. It really doesn’t matter what type of sin it is, the point is we need to repent of our sins and repentance is more than saying I’m sorry; it’s walking away from that sin and not coming back. God is saying to us that when we tolerate those things He explicitly frowns upon, our leadership has gone awry.
Jude begins this book greeting the leaders in the Christian faith, those who are called; those who are sanctified or set apart; literally those who are not a part of the world’s system of doing things. The called—the ones whom God is keeping his eye on. He tells them mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you! Then he begins to tell them that he wanted to talk with them about salvation but there are more pressing matters that he must address. He said I need you to contend for the faith. That word contend mean to fight for, to battle for, to struggle for! Jude said there are certain men in our midst. And how did they get there, they crept in unnoticed. Now that suggests to me that the church had fallen asleep or someone wasn’t doing their job since they crept in unnoticed. I’m even willing to go a step further and say “that someone” was the leaders.
Jude said they aren’t just certain men; they are ungodly men who long ago were marked out for this condemnation. They are men who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ! Jude was writing to deal with a time in the church that was not too different from our time right now. He tells us that there were people who had worked their way into the church and had corrupted its doctrine and its thinking. And they had turned the scriptures around to give them license to commit sin; literally turning the grace of God into lewdness.
So Jude says, let me remind you of some things. He said, “You remember that the Lord saved the Israelites from Egyptian bondage but later destroyed those who did not believe.” He said, you remember that don’t you? How about the angels that did not keep their proper domain? He says, okay, okay, I know you remember Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to them, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
What he’s saying here is God did not spare the children of Israel, He did not spare even angels, much less the people of Sodom and Gomorrah and He’s not about to spare the un-repented people of today either. Jude says, these dreamers, as he called them, defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries.
Leaders, when you find people in the church who refuse to repent of their sins, who consistently throw their fist up at God because they want to continue defiling their flesh through sexual immorality, when you find people who just flat-out reject those in authority (because the Bible teaches us in Romans 13:1, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God); and when you find those that speak evil of dignitaries, I urge you, I beseech you, I admonish you to run, not walk, but run away from them.