Somehow this woman never took care of her anger issues when she was a young Christian. Now that she has a position of power, no one is brave enough to challenge her ungodly behavior. She surrounds herself with yes-men and yes-women who dislike her authoritarianism but are too intimidated to admit that her ruthless temper is a sin.
The control freak has no peers and doesn't have a relational style. She may claim to have an older mentor (who usually lives in a distant city) but she doesn't open up her life to those who work with her. They are her subjects, and she demands obedience and long hours of work to prove loyalty. Her employees usually resign on a regular basis because of her harsh criticism and abusive words.
3. THE FLIRT I recently took a pastor friend of mine to a conference to hear a visiting woman preacher from another state. Imagine my horror when this lady walked to the podium wearing a dress that looked like it had been sprayed on.
Every curve and crevice on this woman's body was visible to the ogling eyes in the audience. Some of the guys, to their credit, began looking at the floor toward the end of her sermon so they would not commit adultery in their thoughts. I wanted to run to the podium, grab one of those "modesty cloths" they use during prayer times and wrap it around Sister Shapely before anyone else stumbled.
This woman obviously missed the memo about adopting a "professional and sensible dress code" for ministry. Or perhaps she simply ignored the memo because of her own unresolved sexual issues. Somebody should have yanked her off the platform and sent her back to the new believer's class, where godly women teach other women why it's wrong to use their femininity as a sexual weapon.
The flirt disregards sexual boundaries. She hangs around with men alone in the church office, and might even counsel men alone. She may even use sexually charged language or veiled vulgarity in her sermons. (Note: Just because male leaders engage in this behavior does not make it acceptable.)
Women in ministry do not have to wear their hair in a bun or don ankle-length flannel dresses in order to be modest. There's nothing wrong with looking your best. My favorite women leaders usually wear smart pantsuits, tasteful jewelry and comfortable shoes when they preach. They dress like respectable businesswomen—and they command respect from their churches because of it.
4. THE FLAKE God knows we need leaders today who understand the gifts of the Holy Spirit. But whenever there are revivals of Pentecostal power, the devil always lures some people to unbalanced and unhealthy extremes. In the modern charismatic movement, leaders who misuse the gifts of prophecy or other supernatural phenomena have deceived or irreparably wounded many people.
The flake may have had a legitimate experience with God, but because of pride she begins to believe that her gift is unique. She may even claim special access to God and have frequent visions or dreams that bolster her claims. These experiences might be from God. But if she does not stay grounded in biblical truth and seek accountability in healthy ministry relationships, she may elevate herself to a point where no one can challenge her revelations.
No one who steps out in the supernatural is going to get it right 100 percent of the time. We prophesy in part, and those who use the gift of prophecy are likely to "miss it" from time to time. But the flake will rarely admit to missing it. She will stubbornly contend that she heard from God, even if all the evidence proves otherwise.
It's bad enough when flakes are in the pews because they can cause divisive splits in congregations. But when a flake is elevated to a leadership position, an even bigger disaster looms. That person may veer into extrabiblical methods or outright heresy because she cannot receive correction.
The flake usually has serious unresolved emotional issues. She may be prone to depression, and she might seek unusual spiritual experiences to soothe her damaged emotions. She is always in superspiritual mode and rarely enjoys the normal routines of life. My advice to the flake: Come down to earth!
5. THE FEMINIST I don't believe all forms of feminism are wrong. In the early years of the 20th century, many brave Christian men and women worked tirelessly to win women the right to vote. Gender equality is a human right, and it is something that God set down in the first chapters of Genesis. Because both male and female are created in His image, we should work to correct the injustices of gender inequality and abuse.
But there is another more sinister form of feminism that has no support in Scripture. It is a bitter, vengeful attitude that places women against men, and often elevates women to a superior position. Sadly, this worldly spirit has invaded the church.
The feminist church leader has a man-hating spirit. She may be a gifted communicator, but if you listen closely you will hear the sound of a grinding axe when she speaks. She has not forgiven the men who hurt her in the past, and she intends to punish those men who get in her way today. Her unresolved issues are transferred to her audience. Her poison is injected into everyone who hears her.
For a limited time, we are extending our celebration of the 40th anniversary of Charisma. As a special offer, you can get 40 issues of Charisma magazine for only $40!