The church at Corinth was headed for trouble. Problems had arisen because they were aligning themselves with human leaders. Their focus was no longer on Christ, but on their favorite preachers and teachers. In his letter to the believers, the apostle Paul pleaded with them to be “perfectly joined together in the same mind” (1 Corinthians 1:10). He knew how dangerous it was to exalt men above God.
This problem has plagued churches down through the ages. I am reminded of a n incident Lyman Beecher Stowe wrote about in his book, Saints, Sinners, and Beechers. Stowe told that on one occasion Thomas K. Beecher substituted for his famous brother Henry Ward Beecher at the Plymouth Church in Brooklyn, New York. Many curiosity seekers had come to hear the renowned Henry Beecher speak. Therefore, when Thomas Beecher appeared in the pulpit instead, some of the people got up and started for the doors. Sensing they were disappointed because he was substituting for his brother, Thomas Beecher raised his hand for silence and announced. “All those who came here this morning to worship Henry Ward Beecher may withdraw from the church; all those who came to worship God may remain.”
A sure way for Christians to become discouraged to idolized some great individual, for even spiritual giants have their weaknesses and will fall short when put to the exacting test of perfection. The example of godly leaders is helpful, but only the Savior is worthy of our worship and devotion. Let’s always keep “looking unto Jesus.” – Henry G. Bosch
Jesus only let me see,
Jesus only, none save He;
This my theme shall ever be –
Jesus! – Jesus only! – Smith
Following a human leader may lead to a sidetrack; following Jesus keeps us on the right track.
– August 18, 1985, Our Daily Bread