Fifth Stage: The Political Stage
When a person becomes political, he tries to involve others in his ideas and philosophies. Politicians operate on the power of people’s opinions. Many politicians cannot tell the truth because they want to please people. What people think and say is what concerns them most.
When a person is becoming disloyal he tries to involve other people in his treacherous ideas. He wants to gather a following and make people believe that he has identified a real problem that must be addressed. This is exactly what Absalom did.
Absalom was hurt (offence stage), then he said nothing for two years (passive stage). He then became unduly analytical of David’s policies (critical stage). Now he began to involve other people in his disloyal thoughts.
And Absalom said unto him, See, thy matters aregood and right; but there is no man deputed of theking to hear thee.
2 Samuel 15:3
The Bible tells us that Absalom sat at the gate of the city. When anyone came to see the king, he would ask if they had any problem. He would then listen carefully and sympathize with them. He explained to the people, “It is a pity that the king has no time for you today.”
He lamented, “Unfortunately, he has not even bothered to delegate someone to attend to your problems.”
Let’s Pray for our Pastor
Absalom went on, “Let’s pray for our dear king. He’s getting older and is probably finding it difficult to cope with the job.” This is the mistake that some associate pastors make. Because of their work schedule, they may have more opportunity to interact with the people. The congregation begins to feel that the associate is more accessible and friendlier than the senior pastor (the king) is. The mistaken associate will allude to the senior pastor (the king) as incompetent and really just a figurehead.
The people of Israel were so impressed with the king’s son for two reasons. Number one, he was very handsome and physically attractive. Two, he seemed to genuinely care for them. After impressing them for a while, Absalom won the hearts of the people.
…so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.
2 Samuel 15:6
When someone becomes political he wants to involve others in his train of thought. You see, the more people that you can involve in something controversial, the more confidence you will gain. Disloyal people have an insidious way of discussing the shortcomings of theirleaders.
They ask questions like, “How did you find the service today? I thought it was a bit dry.” They even come up with Scriptures. “As a Bible based church, don’t you think we should have some miracles?”
“Do you think our pastor is as anointed as he was last year?”
“Have you noticed that a lot of people are leaving the church?”
“I think that our pastor travels a bit too much.
These questions are used as bait for unsuspecting Christians. They drag innocent members into analyses of issues that are “above” them.
…neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.
Gradually they are able to spread their dissenting feelings to a group of gullible Christians.
Many People Are Saying…
The next thing is that they approach you with reports of discontentment within the congregation. From experience we have come to learn that when a person is in the political stage of disloyalty, he has three favourite phrases:
- A lot of people are saying “so-and-so”.
- Everybody is saying “so-and-so”.
- Many people are saying “so-and-so”.
They say, “A lot of people are saying you travel too much. Everybody is saying that the church building project has taken too long to complete.” They explain, “I am speaking on behalf of many who are not happy in church.”
When a person gets to this political stage of disloyalty, he becomes dangerous to the unity and stability of the church. Such an individual is a threat to the security of your leadership. It is unsafe to maintain this “Absalomic” personality within your ranks. In our opinion, you have more than enough grounds to get rid of him.
Excerpt from Loyalty and disloyalty, best book on loyalty by Dag Heward Mills