One recurring theme that continued to resurface in our time at BGBC was the "sin of Korah". I've heard this used a number of times when congregants asked questions or shared concerns with the pastor. It was brought up again recently in communication with someone privately and also in the blog’s comment section. It’s time we paid a visit to Korah!
Why does Chuck refer to people as being a spiritual descendant of Korah, having the sin of Korah, or having Korah-like behavior?
Here are some of the recent blog comments regarding Korah:
In one of my weaker spiritual moments, I posted this response:
Isn't the definition of incorrigible interesting when thinking about the story of Korah in the Bible?
One of the comments referred to blog comments on Chuck O’Neal’s blog in which he warned a passing commenter:
You are in danger of being a spiritual descendant of Korah. I am reminded of a similar conversation Moses once had (no, I don’t think I’m Moses):
Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men; 2 and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown. 3 They gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, "YOU TAKE TOO MUCH UPON YOURSELVES, FOR ALL THE CONGREGATION IS HOLY, EVERY ONE OF THEM, AND THE LORD IS AMONG THEM. WHY THEN DO YOU EXALT YOURSELVES ABOVE THE ASSEMBLY OF THE LORD?"
Editorial note: I kept the original form of the above quote intact (all caps) to ensure a true representation of Chuck O'Neal's words. I assure you the Bible does not have bad netiquette. Keep in mind, it is common knowledge that all caps is shouting. He is coming across in an authoritarian fashion.
2nd editorial note: I find it very interesting that Chuck assumes an authority position and rebukes the commenter in his response. Who gave him that authority? He is not even this man's pastor. The commenter is a mere stranger! Who does that?!
Another comment on my blog:
Okay, so just who is Korah and why is Chuck accusing people of being a spiritual descendant of Korah or being Korah-like, or having the sin of Korah?
Korah was a rebellious Levite who, with a number of other Israelite families, took exception to Moses' leadership in the wilderness, and conspired to overthrow him and usurp his authority. (see Numbers 16)
Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Who_is_korah_in_the_Bible#ixzz1sM7eZM6F
In the above description of Korah, you see a leader and underlings who were trying to usurp Moses' leadership. Now keep in mind all that we have discussed earlier. While this leadership/underling setup occurred in the early Church, are pastors to maintain an authority position over congregants in the New Testament? No, they are not. Read here: Pastors as Rulers - What Does the Bible Say?
It sure sounds to me as if Chuck is saying the commenter is usurping the authority of Chuck’s “counsel”. Are we in Old Testament times? I think not.
Phil Harrelson in his very excellent series on spiritual abuse mentions how pastors can use scripture inappropriately in addressing rebellion in a spiritual abusive environment:
In the environment where spiritual abuse predominates there are frequent references in the public setting of preaching and in the private times of counseling that commonly brings up subjects like rebellion, accusations of causing dissension, and other methods of emotional intimidation. He will emphasize his own personal “anointing” and calling in an exclusive manner which serves in a way that dictates more than it serves. Frequently he will state that you cannot touch God’s anointed. He will call to mind biblical references of Korah, Dathan, Abiram, Absalom, and even Judas as a measure of control that heaps on guilt and further empowers the leader.
to be continued . . .
Admin note: This is a 4-part series:
Just Who is Acting Like Korah Around Here?, Part 1
Just Who is Acting Like Korah Around Here?, Part 2
Just Who is Acting Like Korah Around Here?, Part 3
Just Who is Acting Like Korah Around Here, Part 4