One of the first lines of defense for a preacher or leader under fire from the congregation is David’s famous statement, “Touch not the Lord’s anointed.” This is used to prove that the preacher or leader, assumed to be "the Lord’s anointed”, is beyond criticism, rebuke, or human control.
Fearful saints are often cowered into silence and subjection even when they are 100% convinced the pastor is wrong.
Can David’s statement be legitimately used in this manner by pastors today?
Well, not legitimately and scripturally of course. But nevertheless, it is most certainly used. I for one can attest to that. And if there are any honest people around, they too can attest to it as well.
From my own personal experience, there was an issue that I had with a “pastor” named Greg Nichols. I disagreed with him on a judgment matter that he arrived at in regards to myself and one other person. I wrote him a letter, indicating that he was wrong in his assessment and judgment.
Lo and behold, a few days later, I receive a phone call from Greg Nichols ordering me to come to the “elders meeting” the following Saturday. I asked him for what purpose. All he said was, “the letter!”
Here I am now, all nervous, arriving the following Saturday evening at the “elders meeting”. Present were Greg Nichols, and two other "pastor/elders" named Frank Barker, and Don Dickson. The "chief elder," Al Martin, was out of town. Frank Barker did most of the talking. He started off lambasting me for writing this letter to Greg Nichols and telling me, “Don’t you know that this is the Lord’s anointed!”
On and on he went about “touching not the Lord’s anointed”.
Absolutely nothing of the letter was addressed. The only issue of concern at this meeting was to confront me with my “sin” and my urgent need to "repent of my sin of touching the Lord’s anointed." Needless to say, in my immaturity and nervousness, I acknowledged my “sin” and asked for Greg Nichol’s forgiveness and after that, I was dismissed.
When I look back now on that incident, I sometimes scratch my head and say, “how could I have been so foolish and immature to let this happen.”
In the "leaderships’" mind however, it all went according to plan.
But how could I have let this happen? The reason is that I was doing, like many others have done, and many continue to do: checking my brains in at the door Sunday after Sunday. I just believed whatever was spoken from the pulpit, not even checking it out for myself.
I, just like many others, had nothing of a Berean spirit.
When you have had a false theological concept drilled into your head for many years it takes a long time to go back through the scriptures and realize where you have erred. Thank God that he has opened my eyes to see and gave me the feet to flee from that place and to flee from all of their pompous and demented ideas of what they think Christ’s church is.
Now you know, it’s funny on the one hand, and amazing on the other, that whenever I happen to hear about these men through the grapevine or happen to hear a "sermon" on the radio or internet, they sound so immature and childish. They contradict themselves whenever they open their mouths.
It is truly sad that the only way they can make a living is by threatening people with their twisted and insane ideas of God and how His “church” ought to function.
What a despicable perversion of God's truth!
Do these men ever truly listen to what they say? More importantly, do the people truly ever listen to what is being said?
TOUCH NOT THE LORD'S ANOINTED ????
But does the Bible really forbid church members from "touching the Lord’s anointed?" Can a member criticize the church leader if the leader is teaching something false? Can they disagree with him on an area of judgment? Elders would have us believe that church members cannot "touch" them with questions or criticism because they are "the Lord's Anointed". Only God Himself is allowed to correct an elder/pastor.
So is this scriptural? Is the whole “don’t touch the Lord’s anointed” catch cry being used out of context or can we find New Testament examples of ‘lesser’ Christians questioning ‘greater’ Christians? What do the Scriptures say?
The phrase "Don't Touch the Lord's anointed" comes from 1 Samuel chapter 24 and 26 where David refuses to kill Saul. Many present-day "elders" have taken this to mean that no one can question them, but they are taking the text out of context. The verse refers to killing Saul, not questioning him! In fact, immediately afterwards, David goes on to publicly question Saul’s motives in 1 Samuel 24:8-15 and 26:18-20. This is the truth of the text in 1st Samuel; not what somebody named Frank Barker and his pal's say of the text!
Not only that, but in the NT, Paul said he was the least of all the apostles in 1 Corinthians 15:9 "For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God."
Yet in Galatians 2:11 Paul the lesser publicly corrects Peter the greater. "When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong."
This one example from Scripture of the lesser correcting the greater is enough to nullify the elder’s unbiblical nonsense.
Galatians 6:1a says, "Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently." Notice it does not read "you who are MORE spiritual" or "you who are GREATER". Also consider Acts 17:11, "Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true."
GOD says it is MORE NOBLE for us to verify a leader’s words. I bet Paul would not have minded questions at all.
Also, the NT Scriptures tell us that every Christian is the “anointed of the Lord”.
(1 John 2:20,27) and not just the elder/preacher. Every Christian is both a king and priest, and as such has been anointed with the Holy Spirit to equip them for their ministry.
Actually, the clear counterpart to David’s words are found in Paul’s admonition to the Corinthians. He warns preachers and teachers not to destroy God’s anointed, the church.
THE PREACHER THAT TROUBLES OR CONFUSES GOD’S SHEEP IS “TOUCHING THE LORD’S ANOINTED,” not the other way around.
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God
dwells in you? If any man defiles the temple of God, him shall God
destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. 1 Corth. 3:16,17
Why have elders/pastors invented this interpretation of “touch not the Lord’s anointed?” Could it be that they are unable to answer questions and respond to disagreements, and so as a defense, have outlawed the very act of questioning itself!
Elders should always be open to questions. If a leader's teaching does not match up with Scripture, then surely they would want to know, since nothing should scare a leader more than teaching error. The ability for the church member to ask questions, and publicly criticize if need be, is a healthy mechanism to protect the Body of Christ from error.
I wonder how many elders/pastors have used David’s words to maintain their own authority even at the expense of the real truth.
It is absurd the lengths to which supposed “learned” men are willing to go to make God's Word fit into their false, blasphemous doctrines. Does anyone really imagine that God sees these men and these churches as his representative on earth?