Every once in awhile someone will write to The Refiner’s Fire to ask whether or not we think they should continue to tithe to a ministry they’ve been supporting, even though the pastor or rabbi has “fallen from grace” somehow. We always tell them, while it’s hard to “turn your back” on your favorite teacher, it depends on the circumstances. If something happened that was beyond the pastor’s/rabbi’s control, then stand by him, keep him in prayer and do whatever is necessary to help him maintain his ministry.
However, if this person did something that was anti-Torah in any way (divorce, adultery, drug/alcohol/gambling problems he’s not willing to seek help for, or he has committed some criminal act, etc.), keep him in your prayers, but leave his ministry and stop supporting him because he needs to STEP DOWN! He’s no longer pastor/rabbi material. (There are several today who are guilty of one or more of these things, and they are still out there, teaching and raking in the tithes from gullible people who don't realize YHWH commands us to stay away from teachers like this!)
Scripture outlines exactly what YHWH looks for in HIS leaders:
1 Timothy 3: 1. It is a faithful saying that if a man desires the eldership, he desires a good work. 2. And an elder should be such that no blame can be found in him; and he should be the husband of one wife, with a vigilant mind and sober and reliable (in his behaviors), and affectionate to strangers, and instructive, 3. and not a transgressor in regard to wine, and whose hand is not swift to strike; but he should be humble and not contentious, nor a lover of money; 4. and one that guides well his own house and holds his children in subjection with all purity. 5. For if he knows not how to guide his own house well, how can he guide the assembly of Elohim? 6. Neither let him be of recent discipleship, or else he be uplifted and fall into the condemnation of Satan. 7. And there should be good testimony of him from those without; or else he fall into reproach and the snare of Satan. 8. And so also the assembly servants should be pure and not speak double, nor incline to much wine, nor love base gains; 9. but should hold the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. 10. And let them be first tried and then let them serve if they are without blame. (AENT)
Ephesians 4: 11. And he gave some, Shlichim; and some, prophets; and some, preachers; and some, shepherds and teachers: 12. For perfecting the Set Apart believers for the work of the ministry, for the edification of the body of the Mashiyach; 13. Until we all become one and the same, in faith and in the knowledge of the Son of Elohim, and one complete man according to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Mashiyach: 14. And that we might not be children uprooted and turned about by every direction of wind by the wrong doctrines of men who plot to seduce by their cunning: 15. But that we might be established in our love; and that everything in us might progress in the Mashiyach who is the head …. (AENT)
According to Deuteronomy 13, YHWH does send false prophets/teachers to test and prove His people so they can learn to distinguish whether the prophet or teacher is true or false. (While we don’t “put them to death” anymore for being “false prophets”, we are to shun them because they do NOT work for YHWH ... and “But they do have some good teachings!” is irrelevant if they keep veering from His Torah, or they "talk the talk" but fail to "walk the walk." If you keep “hanging” with them, their BAD teachings will rub off on you, and you may end up passing on your "false" knowledge and leading others astray.)
“But,” you might say, “I always eat the meat and spit out the bones.” Nice idea, but most people, don’t have that kind of discernment because they are either fickle or don’t know Scripture well enough to know what is “bone” and what is “meat.” Often, Truth is too dull or too harsh, and “ear-tickling” is more exciting.
The bottom line is, WHOM are we worshiping if we allow "tolerance" in our lives and keep veering from YHWH’s Truth? He gives us free choice to follow Him – or not. There’s no gray area, so very careful....
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