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10 Worst People in Your Church

  • Dawn Wilson Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
 10 Worst People in Your Church

The worst people in your church might not be the first ones who pop into your mind. In fact, they might even, from time to time, include you!

All Christ-followers are positionally saints, but they may still have a long way to go in the practical outworking of their faith, obedience and holiness.

I’ve seen some of these unpleasant characters in churches. Maybe you have too.

Dawn Wilson and her husband Bob live in Southern California. They have two married sons and three granddaughters. Dawn assists author and radio host Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth with research and works with various departments at Revive Our Hearts. She is the founder and director of Heart Choices Today, and also publishes LOL with God and Upgrade with Dawn and writes for Crosswalk.com. Dawn also travels with her husband in ministry with the Pacesetter Global Outreach.

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  • 1. The Pharisees

    1. The Pharisees

    Slide 1 of 10

    In the Bible, the proud Pharisees were quick to condemn and judge. Jesus called them hypocrites and revealed their true disposition in Matthew and Luke. 

    Today’s church Pharisees judge others harshly while making light of their own failings. Some lash out when their prestige is threatened. Others erect burdensome rules for others, hoping to improve their own standing. 

    People may appear upstanding—but remember, “The LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

     

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  • 1. The Pharisees

    2. The False

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    False teachers creep into the church and spread lies. They have a form of godliness, but their compromising teachings are not solid doctrine. 

    People embrace falseness when they heed voices in the culture more than the pure Word of God, or redefine biblical truth and then expect others to comply.

    Paul warned Timothy “seducers” would get worse, “deceiving and being deceived.” We need to know the scriptures well and not be led astray (2 Timothy 3:13-17).

     

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  • 1. The Pharisees

    3. The Fornicators

    Slide 3 of 10

    Paul warned the Corinthian church to “flee sexual immorality,” and told the Galatians to keep in step with the Holy Spirit so they would “not gratify the works of the flesh.” Paul lists sexual immorality, impurity, and sensuality as three evidences of fleshly desires.

    It’s hard to imagine God’s people, bought with the blood of His Son and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, participating in sins like fornication, adultery, and pornography. But some do. 

    Men and women alike struggle with sexual sins. Sadly, so does church leadership. 

    A 2016 online study by the Barna Group included more than 700 pastors and youth pastors. The study indicated more than half admitted struggling with pornography at some time. More than 1 in 10 youth pastors (12 percent) and 1 in 20 pastors (5 percent) said they were currently addicted.

     

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  • 1. The Pharisees

    4. The Fickle

    Slide 4 of 10

    Christians are expected to be loyal to God’s will, Word, and ways, and demonstrate loyalty by standing for the Gospel and taking up their cross to steadfastly follow Jesus wherever He may lead (Mark 8:34-35).

    Disloyalty affects church attendance, relationships, and service. Fickle people can’t be counted on to love, encourage, pray for and serve one another. 

    Believers belong to one another in the family of God. There must be solidarity and wholehearted fidelity as we “encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

     

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  • 1. The Pharisees

    5. The Fighting

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    James asked believers, “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you?” The reasons for fighting are many, including covetousness, jealousy, gossip, nitpicking, and so many pointless and worthless disputes (2 Timothy 2:23; Titus 3:9). 

    Church members have disrupted their entire congregations over the color of new carpeting or hymn books! Satan loves it when God’s people escalate little issues until they explode in divisiveness. 

    We’ll stop fighting and build unity when we recognize and utilize the diverse gifts God gives the Body, learn to forgive each other, and focus more on serving Christ and each other than ourselves.

     

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  • 1. The Pharisees

    6. The Foolish

    Slide 6 of 10

    Proverbs reveals all sorts of ways a person can “act the fool.”

    Fools shun wisdom, despise discipline, argue with common sense, ignore advice, are quickly annoyed, hasten to quarrel, blurt out foolish things, don’t recognize deception, refuse to make amends, trust in material things, are hot-headed, waste money, act recklessly, don’t learn from their mistakes, and so much more.

    Foolishness can be subtle too. Several years ago, experiencing burnout, I realized I was not appropriating biblical wisdom concerning rest. I lived a “driven” life rather than a Spirit-led, God-dependent one. Foolish!

    Foolishness results when people misuse the good reasoning skills the Creator gave them! Paul wrote, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise.” 

     

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  • 1. The Pharisees

    7. The Fearful

    Slide 7 of 10

    “The fear of the Lord,” Proverbs 9:10 says, “is the beginning of wisdom.” Fear of God is the type of fear every believer should cultivate, but too often we manifest another kind of fear, the fear of man.

    When we’re anxious for approval or derive our value and identity from others, we get caught in Satan’s snare.

    In “Lay Aside the Fear of Man,” author Jon Bloom wrote, “We obey the one we fear.” The one we look to for approval is the one we will want to please and obey. 

    In this sense, the fear of man is akin to idolatry. Christians are called to fear—respect, be in awe of and obey—only the Lord.

     

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  • 1. The Pharisees

    8. The Faithless

    Slide 8 of 10

    Paul wrote to the Hebrews, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” Yet in the church we’ll find people with wimpy faith. We can go to church every Sunday and never stretch our faith muscles. 

    I asked myself once, “When was the last time you truly acted or prayed in faith?” The truth was, I wasn’t believing God for big, maybe impossible things. Only “safe” things. 

    Such spiritual coasting hardly pleases the Lord. We who trusted Jesus to rescue us cannot live like He is powerless to change us or answer our prayers. 

     

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  • 1. The Pharisees

    9. The Fussy

    Slide 9 of 10

    Paul wrote, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

    Fussy, finicky people are self-serving, concerned about their own needs, opinions and agenda. Some push their preferences on others. Others are difficult or demanding—always right. 

    Still others believe they are called to “save the church” from itself. Church bullies are extreme versions fussy, demanding people. They form power alliances and create chaos to get their own way. 

    When exposed, the fussy often move from church to church, infecting others with their selfish negativity.

     

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  • 1. The Pharisees

    10. The Phonies

    Slide 10 of 10

    Phonies may not behave badly. They may even seem loving and kind. But they are Phonies nonetheless. 

    Jesus called them out, saying, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven.” 

    Phonies may claim to be children of light, but they are still in “darkness.” Jesus calls them “lost.” The good news is, Jesus came to seek and save the lost, even in church congregations!

    I am convinced our churches are full of phonies who desperately need Jesus. I lived as one for many years in churches, at Bible College, and even for a while in a revival ministry before I became a true Christ-follower.

    The Lord wants His forgiven people to be faith-filled, free, full of grace, forgiving, faithful, and fellowshipping with one another.  

    The wonder of wonders is, God can, in Christ, miraculously change the worst to the best—all for His purposes and glory. 

     

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