One of the functions of pastors/shepherds/elders/overseers/bishops in the Body of Christ is to "protect the sheep". God refers to His people as "sheep". Sheep have a tendency to follow each other, and sometimes sheep do stupid things. This is why sheep need good shepherds who will protect them from danger.
Obviously the whole "sheep" thing is a metaphor. True pastors themselves are God's sheep. And like sheep, they can often be found following other "pastor sheep" for better or worse.
An examination of Church History shows that Christian leaders have a tendency to follow one another even more than they follow the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. The only way this tendency can be overcome is by putting into practice what Jesus said: "If anyone wants to follow me, let him DENY HIMSELF, TAKE UP HIS CROSS and follow ME." (Luke 9:23).
Sometimes we are going to have to say "NO" to what is personally convenient, or comfortable, or pleasant in order to do what we ought to do in God's Kingdom.
There is However, a Different Message we Often Hear
We hear another gospel in some quarters today, which some call the "gospel of grace", or the teaching of "radical grace". In this teaching, Jesus died to pay for our sins so that we could keep on sinning deliberately and never fear any punishment. According to this teaching, we can walk before God with total confidence regardless of how we are living or how we intend to live. In this teaching we can follow Jesus on our own terms, as little as much as we like, and we are guaranteed a place in heaven. We can boldly claim all the blessings. There is no need to "deny self" or "die" because Jesus has already died for us.
This message sounds liberating, and it contains elements of truth, but it ultimately fails to deliver the freedom it promises because true Christian freedom is not the result of following the desires of our own unrenewed minds. The only way to have a renewed mind is in fact to give one's body and life to God. This is the teachings of Romans 12:1-3 and this is the response the gospel calls for.
I'm not sure where my readers stand on this issue. But if you believe with me that God does require people to "repent" and believe the gospel, if you believe that God commands men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30), that "unless you repent, you will all likewise perish" (Luke 13:1-6) then I believe it is time to stand up and be counted.
If you see pastors embracing teachers that say otherwise, you should not remain silent. We can't just let this one slide.
I hope to write more on this issue soon. Comments are invited.