Opportunity or Oppression

  Great opportunities for service to God are afforded when a man is asked to be an elder. With that opportunity comes authority. But sometimes those appointed abuse their authority and act as "lords over God's heritage" (1 Pet. 5:3). They think more highly of themselves than they ought to think and mistreat others because they become jealous of their authority. They wish to dictate and dominate rather than properly rule and lead with consideration and fairness.

  A congregation has a great problem when a "Diotrophes" becomes an elder. You cannot always tell such will be the case when a man is appointed. It is made worse when there is more than one such man. Then there is conflict and elders "fight like cats and dogs" and some members are usually abused and oppressed, except for favorites of the "bosses."

  There is little chance that such "bosses" will ever change. The only hope is that others may take their place and thereby turn the oppression back to an opportunity.