By Ken Blue
“And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.” 2 Samuel 15:6
Achan stole forbidden items at Jericho. It was said of Judas; he was a thief and stole money. But, Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel in order to take the kingdom from his father.
In time, every pastor will discover that he has at least one Absalom in his church. Unless the pastor is vigilant, Absalom will work behind the scenes, and he will not be discovered until the kingdom is divided or stolen.
Absalom always has the advantage. He has nothing to do but court the people while the pastor manages the church. Absalom is usually hansom, shrewd and has a winning personality. He has one agenda; get a following. He may station himself where he will be seen by others. He will seek to win them to himself. This may be accomplished by the giving of gifts or dinners at home.
Many times Absalom will start Bible studies or fellowship groups in the home without the knowledge of the Pastor. Trouble will soon follow. These meeting will eventually turn into discussions about the Pastor, his family and how he runs the church.
One of the oldest and most clever methods is the use of questions. This was the Devils first approach. “Hath God said?” He used the same method concerning Job and the Lord Jesus Christ. The question method is safe. You can raise doubt, create suspicion, and make insinuations while appearing innocent. The naive will never realize that they are being groomed and used for Absaloms devious end.
The best way to deal with Absalom is to preach sermons on his tactic so church members can identify him. Also, make it clear that all Bible studies must be approved by the church and attended to by a staff member. The church should also provide the lessons for these groups. Finally, Absalom must be confronted by the Pastor. If he is uncooperative, he must be sent down the road. “Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.” Proverbs 22:10.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.
…and sometimes, just as Absalom had long hair, some modern-day “Absaloms” in our churches are women. We had experiences like this before. Thanks, Bro. Blue, for this reminder that also served as an encouragement!