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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:45 am 
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One of the favorite defenses of abusive or corrupt ministers is to claim that anyone who disagrees with them or (God forbid) points out a potential lapse of judgment or morals on the part of leadership has a "spirit of rebellion." This has two benefits, as far as the minister is concerned. It:

- Deflects attention from the problem to the person reporting it
- Puts the rest of the church on notice that if they complain, they'll be demonized, too.

In my 42 years as a Fundamental/Evangelical Christian, I've heard the phrase "spirit of rebellion" used to demonize church members in three different churches in three different denominations. In fact I was once accused of having a "spirit of rebellion" when, as a worship leader, I privately asked a Christmas carol-hating pastor if we could do more Christmas carols than he had planned during the holiday season. I shrugged off his accusation because I knew I didn't have a spirit of rebellion, and I was coming to understand that the man had bigger problems than his taste in music.

I now realize that in all of my experiences as a Christian in some very diverse environments, I have never seen any evidence that such a thing as a "spirit of rebellion" even exists, at least in the ways the term is usually used. I HAVE seen people who are congenitally contentious and divisive (like the ones Paul warned Titus against in Titus 3:9-10). I've also seen evidence that the kind of nut-case paranoia toward ANY kind of authority that is fostered by talk radio has crept into some churches. But when the term "spirit of rebellion" is used, especially when demonic influence is implied, the term is nearly always applied to well-meaning, hard-working church members in otherwise good standing who notice something wrong and speak up about it out of honest concern.

If "The Emperor's New Clothes" had happened in some churches, the child who pointed out that the emperor was wearing nothing at all would have been demonized and his entire family shunned and slandered until they left the church in shame, as an object lesson to anyone else with the nerve to point out that the leader was still strutting around stark naked.

All this is an introduction to our new article "Do You Have a Spirit of Rebellion?" No, it doesn't answer all the questions, but I think it puts the core issues "on the table" so to speak.

http://www.schooloftherock.com/html/do_ ... ebell.html


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