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Help! My Pastor is a Narcissist. What Now?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
December 30, 2021 1:30 pm

Help! My Pastor is a Narcissist. What Now?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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December 30, 2021 1:30 pm

Episode 870 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

Questions in this Episode

1. Don't we all have our own type of theology? Why is theology spoken of as one person's view on the Bible?

2. The Bible says that we won't be given in marriage in heaven, but Christ has his bride, the church, in heaven. How is this not contradictory?

3. What should we do if we sense that our pastor has Covert Narcissist Personality Disorder? We're concerned for him and his young family, but we have several members leaving our church and refusing to serve on committees and council with him.

4. Why aren't churches today keeping the sabbath on Saturday anymore?

5. What is "The Great Delusion" mentioned in 2 Thessalonians?

6. In 2 Chronicles 7 it says that God will heal his people's land if they seek his face. However, in Daniel and Revelation it speaks about devastating things that must happen in order for prophecy to be fulfilled. How do we reconcile these ideas?

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Up next, it's a special best of edition of Core Christianity. Thanks for listening and for supporting our first year of live programs. We pray that God will richly bless you and your family in the new year. I think my pastor is a narcissist.

What should I do? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of Core Christianity. Well, hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. Here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. If you can't get through, you can always leave us a voicemail.

We try to check our voicemails once a day. You can also post your question on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts. And of course, you can always email us your question at

First up today, let's go to Amy who's listening in Omaha, Nebraska. Amy, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? I would like to go back to what we were talking in the last show about theology and how theology works. My question is, I know that I've gone to the Bible and I've read certain scriptures, and in one part of my life it meant a different thing than reading it five years later after I've gone through some experience. And this is why I like to go to a Bible study instead of going to one person's belief of what they see in the Bible. So where does theology lie in that?

Is it personal theology, or is it, like, in individuals? I mean... I'm sorry, Amy, you were going to say one more thing.

What was that you mean? No, I was just trying to say, I didn't mean to repeat myself twice, but with theology, is it your personal theology, or is it only one person's, like yours? You know, you have your theology of it, but I might read the scripture and see something different.

Yeah. Thank you so much for that question. And so I would say, you're referencing an earlier broadcast where we talked about the fact that the Bible and the study of the Bible doesn't necessarily need to be against theology and the study of theology, and how oftentimes those two things are pitted against each other. And the point that I was making there was that the question is not, are we doing theology? The question is, are we doing theology well or poorly?

Am I a good theologian, or am I a bad theologian? Everyone quotes the scriptures, but as you know, Amy, there are people who twist the scriptures. There were people who were twisting the scriptures in the days of the apostles.

They would read things, and they would come to the wrong conclusions about what they were reading. Satan himself, when he was tempting our Lord Jesus in the wilderness, quoted scripture. And so I think what we want to say is, we're not trying to focus on the theology of one person.

That's really important. If we're focusing on one individual, and if that one individual has their own theology that no one else has had in the history of the Christian church, I would say that person is probably a bad theologian, because the Spirit of God is leading his church and guiding us into all truth. And so some individual that comes up many years later, whether it's Joseph Smith or some other guy like that, saying, I have the corner on theology. I got it right, and nobody else got it right before me.

Well, that's a huge problem. And it's not even our personal theology. We want to have a theology that's in line with the teaching of scripture and the Orthodox teaching, the right teaching of the church throughout history. What we might say is core Christianity, what we see in the Bible. And so I think it's great that you like to study the Bible, that you want to study the Bible.

And I think it's wise of you not to focus on the teachings of one individual. But we also have to realize that the Christian church has been around for 2,000 years, and that believers, faithful people who love Jesus, lived and died for these truths. And they wrote about them.

They talked about them. They synthesized their understanding about some of the things we see in scripture. And that's why we have these wonderful treaties on doctrines like the doctrine of the Trinity, doctrines like the doctrine of God's providence, these things that help us understand who God is so that we might better worship him and grow in our relationship with him. And so continue to study the Bible. But don't study the Bible in isolation, Amy, all by yourself, coming to your own conclusions.

Study it in the context of the church and the history of the church. And it's there that I think we're the safest, because the reality is each of us on our own in isolation are prone to twisting the scriptures or misunderstanding them. And the last thing I'll say, sorry, I've gone on and on, is you mentioned how sometimes you'll read one passage of scripture and it'll speak to you a certain way at one point of your life, and then later on it'll speak to you maybe a little bit differently.

Well, a couple of things. I think that that is true, and that in terms of the application of scripture, there are times where we'll read a passage and it doesn't seem to apply to me right now, and then maybe five years later it does apply to me. But that's really more in terms of the application. It's not that the meaning of the text changes and that it just sort of changes with whoever's reading it. It's that as we read it, we're reading it through the lens of our own experiences and our own needs, and so particular passages might speak to us, quote unquote, at one time in our lives more than they did at a prior point, and that's okay. And that's why we continue to read the Bible, and it sounds like that's just what you're doing, Amy, and so may God bless you as you continue to do that, and thank you for your call. Thanks so much, Amy. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Elaine in Aurora, Missouri. Elaine, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, thank you so much for your program.

We really get a lot out of it. In Matthew 22, around verse 29, when Jesus is talking about marriage and saying that there will be no marriage in heaven, and yet he will marry the bride of Christ, you know, so is there a contradiction or a reasonable explanation for that passage? Yes, Elaine, thank you for that question. No contradiction, and I believe that there is a reasonable explanation. In Matthew chapter 22, where Jesus is speaking there in response to a question that came to him from the Sadducees, the point that he's making, well, one, he's arguing in favor of the doctrine of the resurrection that there is a resurrection, which is what the Sadducees denied, but in the context there, he also says in heaven, we're neither married or given in marriage. We're like the angels in heaven. That is to say that marriage is a part of this world, and we're not going to be married or getting married when we're in heaven in the presence of the Lord, precisely because marriage is a picture of that great union between Christ and his church. The ultimate marriage is, you know, what Paul talks about in Ephesians 5, Christ and his bride, and so that's what our marriages here on earth are pictures of, and when we get to heaven, we're going to have the reality, the reality, the marriage supper of the lamb, and because we have the reality, we won't need the picture anymore, the shadow, if you will, of what marriage is supposed to look like, and the encouragement for all of us, those of us who are married, is that our marriages would reflect that beautiful relationship that Jesus has with his bride, husbands loving their wives as Christ loved the church, laying down their lives for their wives, and wives submitting to their husbands as the church submits to Christ. It's this beautiful, beautiful relationship that we see, and when we get to heaven, we're going to have the reality, and so there's no contradiction, marriage on earth is a type, a shadow of the marriage that is going to exist between Christ and his bride in heaven. That's why there's going to be no more earthly marriage. Thank you for your question.

Great explanation. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. One of the ways you can submit a question to Adriel is by emailing us, and we get a lot of emails each week, some great questions.

If you'd like to email us, here's the address. It's questions at core christianity dot com. Just the word questions at core christianity dot com.

Russ emailed us, and here's what he said. What should we do if we sense that our pastor has covert narcissistic personality disorder? We are concerned for him and his young family, but we have several members leaving our church and refusing to serve on committees or counsel with him. Yeah, this is a real issue in the church today. May God have mercy on pastors, on us. One book that I think is really helpful, Russ, and I would encourage you to get this book right away, is a book written by Chuck DeGroat, D-E-G-R-O-A-T, and it's called When Narcissism Comes to Church, Healing Your Community from Emotional and Spiritual Abuse.

I read this book around last year, and it's just a really powerful book for a couple of reasons. It helps to define what it looks like when there is a narcissist leading the church, and so that might give you some more clarity. I mean, really, when there is a significant issue here, if this individual needs professional help, the challenge is oftentimes for someone who has this kind of disorder, they're unable to see it, and so they need people around them.

They need accountability. They need even intervention, and so getting ahold of this resource might help you in terms of giving you some more clarity about the issue. All of us, I think, sometimes will say, oh, man, I have these narcissistic tendencies, and even reading the book, I just thought, oh, boy, I got a lot of things I need to repent of.

God used it in my own life. But there is something different when we're talking about a serious clinical issue, and so that's where you would need to differentiate. It could be that there are maybe just habits that this pastor has where there needs to be repentance and accountability, and maybe the church can help with that, or it could be that this is a much more serious issue, and it's destroying this individual, their family, and they need to take a step away from ministry. I would say get ahold of that book when narcissism comes to your church, and, Bill, as a counselor, I don't know if you have anything to add as well. Well, you know, if this truly is a clinical issue, as you said, this individual is going to need some professional help, and sometimes there's going to even have to be an intervention on, let's say, the elders of the church, those that are closest to this individual.

That's the first step, and if it's truly a full-blown personality disorder, yeah, some intervention needs to take place, and that's where I think the elders need to step up. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and, you know, on this program, we do receive a lot of calls from people who are wrestling with tough questions. If you listen very often, you know that's the case. People even call concern that they've done something so bad that they've jeopardized their standing before God, that they've lost their salvation. Well, here at Core Christianity, our mission is to help answer those tough questions, but we can't do it without your support.

That's exactly right. You know, we also hear from people who want to share their faith with family members and friends, but fear that they won't have answers to the tough questions that they're asked. Our work gives people confidence in their faith and comforts with the truth of the gospel. We take your questions and respond with biblical answers every day on the radio, through our web articles and Bible studies. All of our efforts aim to help people dig deep into the scriptures, showing them how the gospel of Jesus Christ has the power to equip believers with confidence and wisdom as they live out their Christian faith before a watching world. So if you've benefited from Core Christianity, please consider giving a gift of $20 or more now, and as a special thank you, we'll send you our new Bible study on the book of Philippians. What guides our life?

What motivates us? What does the Christian life look like in practice? As you hear on the show, that's what people love about the Bible, and that's what people have questions about, and we find so many of the answers to those questions in the book of Philippians. And that's exactly why we wrote this Bible study. It's really a great way to help you or somebody you know build confidence in understanding the Bible. And as Adriel mentioned, with a gift of $20 or more to help support this ministry, we'll send you a copy of the brand new Philippians Bible study. To pick up your copy, just head over to forward slash new study.

That's forward slash new study. Let's get back to the phones. We have Mary from Illinois calling. Mary, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Hello. Hi, Mary. What's your question, sister? Can you hear me? I can hear you.

Okay, thank you for taking my call. There were two kinds of laws. There's the civil law and the ceremonial law, and the civil law requires us to observe the Sabbath, but yet I don't see anybody worshiping on the Sabbath. They buy and they sell. I'm not understanding either we follow God or we follow man.

Can you elaborate on that? Thank you, Mary, for that question, a question that we do receive from time to time here at Core Christianity. How do we make sense of the Sabbath? First, I think the first time you see the Sabbath is in the early chapters of Genesis where God rested on the seventh day. It's interesting because that's the only day where it doesn't say there was morning and there was evening. It's this picture of an eternal rest, really.

God, he's completed his labor. Then later in Exodus chapter 20 where you have the giving of the law, you have that commandment, the Sabbath commandment, to rest. Now, you mentioned the civil law and the ceremonial law. You also have the moral law. A part of the moral law was, I think, this sort of Sabbath creational call to rest. We are these Sabbatarian creatures, if you will, call to labor and then to enter into rest.

Your question is in terms of application today. Obviously, most Christians throughout the history of the church don't worship on Saturday. They worship on Sunday.

Why is that? Then what is that supposed to look like? Well, the reason that Christians in the Christian church worships on Sunday is because that's the day Jesus rose again from the dead. He rose again on the first day of the week. From the very beginning, the apostles of our Lord themselves gathered together for worship, not just on the Sabbath, but on the first day of the week. You think of what Paul says in Acts chapter 20 or what Luke records in Acts chapter 20 verse 7. It says, on the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, it sort of echoes back to Acts 2 42 where it talks about the disciples being focused on the breaking of the bread, the fellowship, the prayers. This is a worship service. We were gathered together to break bread. Paul talked with them intending to depart on the next day.

He prolonged his speech until midnight. You have a sermon, a very long sermon, a sermon that went till midnight. You also see the disciples of the Lord, the apostles gathering together on the first day of the week in places like Acts 16 verses 1 and 2.

There was a collection that was taken on the first day of the week. It seems to me, Mary, that one, the apostles of our Lord themselves, they began worshiping on Sunday. If it was good enough for the apostles, it's certainly good enough for me. The Sabbath is ultimately about that eternal rest that was pictured way back in the early chapters of Genesis, which we only find in Jesus Christ, which is why he says in Matthew chapter 11 at the end of the chapter, come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. We find that true Sabbath rest in Jesus in his life, death, and resurrection. Again, that's why the Christians started to gather together on Sunday. Now, do people today abuse the quote-unquote Sabbath command?

I think so, insofar as they neglect to gather together with other believers, insofar as they neglect to devote themselves to the worship of God. That's what we're called to do first and foremost, and I think that's how we keep the Sabbath holy, if you will. Again, it's a shift that you do see in the New Testament, and it's a shift that the apostles themselves participated in. That's why we gather together for worship on Sunday.

Thank you for your question. By the way, we receive a lot of questions about the Sabbath on this program, and we've developed a wonderful core question on this topic that really answers that question and more on the Sabbath. It's called, Why Did the Sabbath Day Change to Sunday? You can find that by going to forward slash questions.

Just look for that particular one on the Sabbath. Let's get back to the phones. We have Terry from Wichita, Kansas calling in. Terry, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Okay, Bill and Adriel, I appreciate your wisdom and guidance.

I've been listening for a couple of months, but I do, real quickly, a two-part question. So real quickly, 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 11 talks about the delusion that will be sent so that you believe a lie. I just question, do you think, the first part of the question, do you think that people who are still here after the rapture of the church before the seven years of tribulation will get a second chance once that moment happens? And then the second question is, do you think that the older that both of you, or the more time that you spend with the word and look at culture, do you think that there'll be a fairly wide gap between the rapture of the church and the actual beginning of tribulation?

Okay, Terry, thank you, one, for your encouragement and for your support. Glad you've been listening to the broadcast for a few months. We do talk about the rapture from time to time, and of course, you know, that word rapture, it pertains to the end times. In particular, a view of the end times that says Jesus is gonna come back, rapture his church first, those who are truly his, his elect, and then there's gonna be a period of time in between the rapture and the second coming, the final coming of Jesus Christ, a time of tribulation.

And some people think that's gonna be seven years, some people think that's gonna be three and a half years. Personally, Terry, and I don't know if you've heard me say this on the broadcast before, my view is that there's one coming of the Lord Jesus Christ at the end, the second coming. Actually, in Matthew chapter 24, when it talks about the gathering together of the elect, the saints, it happens after this time of tribulation. And so I don't see it in scripture that you have these two different comings of Jesus.

And I know that, again, there are differences of opinion on this. I don't think that people who take the other view are not Christians or are foolish or anything like that. I think that this is just something that we can disagree on as people who are students of the Bible and studying the scriptures and trying to understand these things. And so the strong delusion in Second Thessalonians chapter 2, 11, is really focusing on what's taking place right before the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. And it's contemporaneous with the coming of the Antichrist, this lawless one, and that's really what you get beginning in verse eight of Second Thessalonians 2. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.

That's the second coming. The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing because they refuse to love the truth and so be saved. Right now, we are called to love the truth, to embrace it, to embrace the gospel. Those who reject it and turn from the Lord continually, their hearts are hardened and there can be this strong delusion that comes, God giving them over to their own sinful desires. You see this in Romans chapter 1, because they refuse to love the truth. Verse nine says, the coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all false signs and wonders and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing because they refuse to love the truth and so be saved.

Therefore, God sends them a strong delusion. And so right now, our focus needs to be on Jesus, on the gospel, on loving the truth. And it sounds to me, Terry, like you do, and so I would encourage you to continue to dig into the scriptures, to fall more and more in love with Jesus as we look forward to his blessed coming again. God bless you. Terry, thanks so much for your call, for being a regular listener to Core Christianity. Let's go to David in Kansas City, Missouri. David, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Okay, there are so many layers to this question.

I'm going to try to make it simple if I can. Okay, so in 2 Chronicles, it talks about, if my people will call out and pray to me and what is it, if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from them and forgive their sins and will heal their land. So if there seems to be a distinction between his people being the Jews and Christians, that's kind of one part of this, but then in the book of Daniel, it talks about things that must happen. Book of Revelation, it talks about things that must happen before Christ comes back. If we're praying for these things to not happen that are happening in this world right now, aren't we actually praying that God won't fulfill his prophecy and fulfill his word?

Hey David, thank you so much for that question. So I don't take 2 Chronicles chapter 7 verse 14 as a prophecy of what has to happen or what will happen in the future if my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. This comes in the context of the dedication of the Solomonic temple, the temple of Solomon being dedicated under the old covenant. And God's people were called to live in a particular way under the old covenant. And if they did, God would bless them. If they didn't, God would curse them. You see the blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience outlined in places like Deuteronomy chapter 28. And so in light of that, you have this prayer, God just saying, look, if you do right, you'll be blessed.

If you don't do right, you won't be blessed. But that's really part of the old covenant economy. It's really important that we understand that.

So there's no contradiction. The prophecies that we see in places like Daniel and the book of Revelation do talk about great destructions. There's this great upheaval, if you will. Daniel chapter 2 talks about the nations of the world being crushed by God's kingdom. And so, I mean, ultimately those things are going to happen. You think of the final judgment of the Lord Jesus Christ. And so there's no contradiction between what we have there and what we read there in 2 Chronicles chapter 7, which was really focused on Solomon, his people, God's people under the old covenant. And so I appreciate your question, brother. Hopefully that clears it up for you. It's so important, friends, that as we're studying these passages of scripture, especially in the Old Testament, that we understand them in their context, not just applying them to us directly as an individual or even as Americans, but in their context. together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-03 08:59:42 / 2023-07-03 09:09:55 / 10

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