The Disturbed Flow
The first thing I was supposed to be writing about, after a long lay-off, was my experience during my maiden half marathon on 20th March, 2016. Instead, I have found myself mulling over the disturbed flow, and pondering; whether I should write about a Bible scripture that is being misused and abused by arrogant and ignorant Christians alike. Trust me; this has been the most difficult post I have ever written.
Background to the Disturbed Flow
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them (Acts 2:1-4, New International Version).
The Bible clearly states that the same anointing of the Holy Spirit fell and enabled each and every person differently. It doesn’t say that there were others who received a superior anointing. Yet, this is what those who are disturbing the flow would like us to believe. A lot happens when and where arrogance meets ignorance. A vivid picture of the Nairobi River, which has had all sorts of sewage and waste dumped in it and, as a result, it can no longer refresh the city as before is a good example. The same thing happens when God’s Word is corrupted, defiled and misused.
Touch Not the LORD’s Anointed
David is known for so many things both before and after he became a king. Much as David’s moral conduct was questionable, he left us a Bible verse that is wrongly being used by Christian leaders who don’t want to be accountable for their actions. Christian leaders and the people they lead; are expected and supposed to be examples of clean Christian character. Both are expected to hold each other accountable.
Christians are expected to give accurate and balanced criticism and correction (1 Timothy 1:3, 4:16; 2 Timothy 4:2). When a Christian or group of Christians seriously depart from Biblical doctrines, we are supposed not to stand idly and remain silent (Matthew 18:15-16). Silence, in itself, is dishonoring God and acting without love, not only to Christians, but also to those who propagate errors.
The warning ‘touch not the LORD’s anointed and do my prophets no harm‘ is often issued as a warning against those who question the actions and conduct of leaders. This implies that when one disputes a leader’s words and actions, they seem to be questioning God Himself. Those who use this scripture assume that Psalm 105:15 supports their view. But when put in its right context, the passage has nothing to do with questioning, rebuking and correcting a church leader.
In the Old Testament, the phrase ‘the LORD’S anointed‘ refers to the kings of Israel. We see David using it several times when the opportunity to revenge against King Saul, who was seeking to kill him availed itself. Just imagine that! David had an opportunity to kill King Saul and become the king; after all, he had already been anointed by Samuel and he was in line to take over. Yet, by saying ‘touch not the LORD’s anointed‘ David ended up sparing King Saul’s life.
In this context, ‘touch not‘ and ‘do no harm‘ indicates physical touch that is meant to cause bodily harm, injury and even death. In 1 Samuel 24:6-7, specifically, ‘touch not the LORD’s anointed‘ refers to David refraining from harming and killing King Saul. David publicly rebuked King Saul and asked him to account for his actions on numerous occasions. “May the LORD judge between you and me. And may the LORD avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you,” (1 Samuel 24:12).
The Disturbed Flow Loyalty Pledge
If ‘touch not‘ were to be applied in every instance, no one who propagates false teachings should be questioned, rebuked and corrected. All teachings would therefore become credible. Although Christians are not supposed to render a condemning judgement upon anyone, since this is in God’s hands, they are however called to render discerning judgement upon all teachings and actions. It is therefore very important for Christians to test all things by the Word of God just as the Bereans did when they examined the teachings of Paul (Acts 17:11).
The same David who said ‘touch not‘ did not refrain from speaking publicly against King Saul. And the same David did not use Psalm 105:15 when Nathan rebuked and corrected him. Instead, he repented and asked for forgiveness. He did not use it to protect himself and neither should the people who follow leaders do the same.
It doesn’t matter how anointed a servant of God is, they are wrong and MUST be corrected when they deviate from the truth by misusing and abusing scripture. The anointed of the LORD do not warn others from checking their teachings. They allow those under them to learn the truth, think and speak for themselves. If such corrections are stifled then growth is hampered and the life of the church or ministry under this kind of servant dies slowly, and like the dirty Nairobi River water, the flow changes from fresh life-giving flow to effluent life stifling flow.
The Bible tells us that the Whole Body of Christ is anointed, it is not a special category of people. “Now, it is God Who makes both us and you to stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22). People who use ‘touch not the LORD’s anointed’ wants us to falsely believe that only a special chosen category of people are anointed.
The New Testament refers to every person who has received Christ and have been baptized into the Body of Christ as the anointed (1 Corinthians 12:13). The flow of the anointing is not a special reserve of certain people. Therefore, when someone warns people from saying anything when they do or say something wrong, it is THEY who are against the anointed. They are the ones who are ‘touching the anointed Jesus, the author of truth and His Word and they are guilty of disturbing the flow of the Holy Spirit.
Loyalty is a good thing, if and when, it is done for the right purpose. However, it is not wise to pledge loyalty to someone who teaches false teachings. In a time when catchy phrases and clichés can be misused and understood, Christians are exposed to the danger of promoting the disturbed flow which arises from misusing and abusing scripture by people who are arrogant and ignorant. The misuse of scriptures is a threat that is from within the church and it needs to be nipped at the bud before it continues to thrive on falsehood.