Leaders are sooo special, don’t you know? 73

Perry Noble has started to lay out the rationale for minimizing the damage from Gary Lamb’s affair with his personal assistant. He tells us in his blog,

Here is a truth about every leader you know in church world…we are all under an intense amount of spiritual attack.  And…the larger the ministry grows the larger the target on his or her back!

So, you see, it was because Gary Lamb was doing such a great job that he was specially targeted by the devil. If he was just a run-of-the-mill, small-time pastor, he wouldn’t have been so cruelly tempted.

Perhaps Noble could show us some evidence for his truth. He gives a few scriptural references, though none support his assertion.

  • 1 Samuel 31:1-3 describes a military attack on a national leader after many of his soldiers had also been killed. Saul was the final target, but his people were subjected to the same test first. Noble came back to the same passage to assert that the enemy will also come after a leader’s family. The problem with this interpretation is that Saul’s regular soldiers were cut down before the enemy got to his sons or to Saul. If anything, if you’re going to apply this passage to pastors, you’d say that the enemy comes after the leader last.
  • 2 Samuel 5:11 describes a special tribute gift to David after he had won a victory. Either Noble or I badly misunderstand this passage, or he got the reference wrong.
  • He refers to David’s affair with Bathsheba as David being attacked while at the top of his game. I’m sorry, but the Bible presents David as a conniving, murderous aggressor, not some spur-of-the-moment victim. David did it, not the devil.
  • In line with the general poor treatment that Lamb’s partner has received from these leaders, Noble makes the obligatory reference to Jezebel. Trouble is, Jezebel’s threat to Elijah was an overt promise to kill him in revenge after she’d killed other prophets, not to seduce him in her bedroom. There was no special target on his back; she was treating him just as she’d treated others before Elijah.

I don’t see any evidence for the assertion that leaders suffer greater attacks or deal with greater temptations simply because they are leaders. I do see evidence that God holds leaders to higher standards than others (1 Timothy 3). Jesus experienced (and successfully withstood) temptations that are common to us all, not common just to a special class of leaders (Hebrews 4:15).

While the Bible chronicles plenty of temptations and failings for leaders, it also shows that regular folks are just as susceptible to falling to temptations as anyone else. When a leader succumbs to temptation, the results are often more public and the consequences more far reaching, but that doesn’t mean that their sins are more special than any one else’s.

Noble’s “truth” gives latitude for leaders to fail because they’re under greater pressure than others; God’s truth is exactly the opposite. Sin comes from our heart, not from our job.

73 thoughts on “Leaders are sooo special, don’t you know?

  1. Seth Jun 12, 2009 12:43 am

    Just imagine, me, a spokesman for you duncan, makes me chuckle. Anyone that spends time here knows how we roll, except this time. I didn’t bring my shovel, like i said, I think I left it in the car.

  2. Rob Jun 12, 2009 12:59 am

    Haha… Did @Joe legitimately say “Do you want some more?”… twice?

    Grown men cyber-bullying never gets old…

  3. Pastor Brian Jun 12, 2009 1:24 am

    Sophie nice to see you are another apologist for Noble! Way to go girl!

    I’m an apologist for Jesus Christ and Him alone for there is no other name under heaven or on earth by which all people must be saved. Not that of Gary Lamb, not that of Perry Noble but that of the Lord Jesus Christ!

    I’ve been at this a lot longer than Noble and just because he has “10,000 people” per week, doesn’t make him right.

    Jim Jones also had a large following and Hitler too!

  4. Curious Jun 12, 2009 1:35 am

    “Joe” does use ellipses (….) in the same way PN does, and hyphens and caps like PN. Very, very similar writing style. And recurrence of misspelled words.
    You guys may be on to something. 🙂

    • James Duncan Jun 12, 2009 1:49 am

      The speculation is fun, but, for the record, I don’t think that Perry and Joe are the same person.

      On the other hand, I sometimes wonder if Twit is actually Perry.

  5. Albert Jun 12, 2009 4:39 am

    Thanks for coming to the rescue friends. Clearly I wasn’t getting through to either Joe or Emily.

  6. Albert Jun 12, 2009 4:43 am

    I agree with JDuncan and Sophie. While it seems like the twitters of PN closely follow the posts of this “Joe” character, I doubt the two characters are the same. PN would probably list his name as “Anonymous.”

    Thanks again Seth.

  7. James Duncan Jun 12, 2009 7:05 am

    So you all know, Joe will need to find a new forum for his venting. This one is being closed to him.

  8. Sophie Jun 12, 2009 8:24 am

    thank you duncan.

    pastor brian-
    can you please stop your self-righteous rant? you’ve been a pastor, for 14 years, you have integrity, blah blah blah, we aren’t here questioning your character! we’re talking about a specific topic, and every time, you always come back to how you’re a soldier for christ. stick to the plan. i don’t agree with noble on hardly anything, but i’m not going to come at him with cheap shots, claiming my integrity to boot.

    back to this post–
    i think the reason it might “seem” that pastors endure more attack is because they are in the limelight. i don’t think they do, but i think that because they are viewed under a microscope we see every little flaw.

  9. MilePost13 Jun 12, 2009 3:12 pm

    I think Duncan’s obsession (as evident by the content of this blog) with guys like PN and GL only goes to disprove his argument that those in more high profile positions don’t have bigger targets on their backs.

    I’m just saying…

  10. Tommy F Jun 12, 2009 4:31 pm

    MilePost13: JDuncan appears to have an obsession with good, solid, clear biblical teaching. When that is undermined, undone, or underappreciated, then he takes aim and fires.

    Usually people are applauded for defending the faith. Not so with some commentators here. Too bad.

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