137. The Principles of Treating Leaders and Workers
(1) God’s chosen people must honor God as great and not look up to and worship any leader or worker. In all things, they should submit to God and the truth, and not be controlled by humans;
(2) So long as leaders and workers are the right people, whose speech and actions accord with God’s word the truth, and who can exalt and testify to Him, they should be accepted and obeyed;
(3) If leaders or workers reveal corruption, or if their actions do not accord with the truth principle, their errors should be corrected through fellowship. They should not be obeyed blindly;
(4) If any leaders or workers are malfeasant, acting as they wish in a way that contravenes work arrangements, then they are to be counted as false leaders or antichrists, and should be exposed and dismissed.
Relevant Words of God:
What is the attitude that people should have in terms of how to treat a leader or worker? If what he does is right, then you can obey him; if what he does is wrong, then you can expose him, and even oppose him and raise a different opinion. If he is unable to do practical work, and is revealed to be a false leader, a false worker or an antichrist, then you can refuse to accept his leadership, and you can also report and expose him. However, some of God’s chosen people do not understand the truth and are particularly cowardly, and so they do not dare do anything. They say, “If the leader kicks me out, I’m finished; if he has everyone expose or forsake me, then I will no longer be able to believe in God. If I leave the church, then God will not want me and will not save me. The church represents God!” Do these ways of thinking not affect such a person’s attitude toward those things? Could it really be true that if the leader expels you, you can no longer be saved? Is the question of your salvation dependent upon your leader’s attitude toward you? Why do so many people have such a degree of fear? If, as soon as one who is a false leader or an antichrist threatens you, you do not dare to report it higher up and even guarantee that from then on, you will be of a single mind with the leader, then are you not done for? Is this the sort of person who pursues truth? Not only do you not dare to expose such wicked behavior as might be committed by satanic antichrists, but on the contrary, you obey them and even take their words as the truth, to which you submit. Is this not the epitome of stupidity? Then, when you are harmed, is that not what you deserve? Has God caused you to be harmed? You have wished it upon yourself. You took an antichrist to be your leader, and treated him as though he were a brother or sister—and that is your fault. What is the attitude with which one should treat an antichrist? One should expose him and struggle against him. If you cannot do this alone, then multiple people must come together and report him. Upon discovering that certain leaders and workers higher up were walking the path of the antichrist, making the brothers and sisters suffer, not doing real work, and coveting the benefits of status, some people signed a petition to remove those antichrists. What a fantastic job these people did! It shows that people understand the truth, that they possess a certain amount of stature, and that they are neither controlled nor deceived by Satan. This also proves that antichrists and false leaders do not hold a dominant position in the church, and they do not dare to show their true selves too plainly in anything they say and do. If they do reveal themselves, there are people to monitor them, identify them, and cast them out. That is, in the hearts of people who genuinely understand the truth, a person’s status, prestige, and authority are not the things that hold sway; all those who understand the truth are able to have discernment, and they rethink and reflect upon what path people ought to follow in their faith in God, as well as how they should treat leaders and workers. They also begin to think about whom people should follow, which behaviors constitute following people, and which behaviors constitute following God. Having pondered these truths for several years, and listened often to sermons, they have unconsciously come to understand the truths about believing in God, and so they have gained some stature. They have embarked upon the right track of believing in God.
Excerpted from “They Exclude and Attack Those Who Pursue the Truth” in Exposing Antichrists
No matter the level of leaders and workers within a church, if you always worship them and rely on them for everything in order to believe in God and achieve salvation, this impetus is wrong in itself. Regardless of their rank among the leadership, they are still common people, and if you see them as your superiors, if you feel that they are higher up than you, that they are greater or more competent than you, and that they should lead you, that they are in all ways a cut above anyone else, then that is wrong—it is your delusion. And what are the consequences that this delusion leads to? This delusion, this flawed understanding will lead you unconsciously to measure your leaders against requirements that do not conform with reality; at the same time, without your knowing it, you will also be profoundly drawn to their so-called flair and panache, or their abilities and talents, such that before you know it, you are worshiping them, and they have become your Gods. That path, from the moment they start to become your role model, the object of your worship, to the moment that you become one of their followers, is one that will lead you unconsciously away from God. And even as you gradually move away from God, you will still believe that you are following God, that you are in the house of God, that you are in the presence of God. Without knowing it, however, you will have been drawn away by someone who has been corrupted by Satan, or even an antichrist. This is a very dangerous state of affairs. In order to resolve this problem, you must therefore be able accurately to understand and discern the different dispositions of the antichrists and the ways in which they operate, as well as the nature of their actions and the methods and tricks they like to use; you must also start by working on yourself. Believing in God yet worshiping man is not the correct path. Some might say: “Well, I do have reasons for worshiping the leaders that I do—the ones I worship are in line with my notions and imaginings.” Why do you insist on worshiping man though you believe in God? When all is said and done, who is it who will save you? Who is it who truly loves you and protects you—can you truly not see? You follow God and listen to His word, and if someone speaks and acts correctly, and accords with the truth principles, is obeying the truth not enough for you? Why are you so base? You insist on finding someone whom you worship to follow—why do you like to be Satan’s slave? Why not be a servant of the truth instead? Look herein to see whether a person has sense and dignity. You should begin by working on yourself, equipping yourself with the truths that differentiate different people and events, developing discernment between all the ways in which each sort of event and person manifests, knowing in all cases what nature and disposition are being revealed; you must also understand what kind of person you are, what kind of people those around you are, and what kind of people are leading you. You must be able to regard them accurately. Once you are equipped with the truth, with this kind of stature, you will not fall easily for the antichrists’ tricks, nor will you fear their deceptions.
Excerpted from “They Behave in Strange and Mysterious Ways, They Are Arbitrary and Dictatorial, They Never Fellowship With Others, and They Force Others to Obey Them” in Exposing Antichrists
When someone is chosen to be a leader by the brothers and sisters, or is promoted by the house of God to do a certain piece of work or perform a certain duty, this does not mean that they have a special status or identity, or that the truths they understand are deeper and more numerous than those of other people—much less that this person is able to submit to God, and will not betray Him. It does not mean, either, that they know God, and are someone who fears God. They have attained none of this, in fact; the promotion and cultivation is merely promotion and cultivation in the most straightforward sense. Their promotion and cultivation simply means they have been promoted, and await cultivation. And the ultimate outcome of this cultivation depends on which path the person walks, and what they pursue. Thus, when someone in the church is promoted and cultivated to be a leader, they are merely promoted and cultivated in the straightforward sense; it does not mean that they are already a qualified leader, or a competent one, that they are already capable of undertaking the work of a leader, and can do real work—that is not the case. When someone is promoted and cultivated to be a leader, do they possess the truth reality? Do they understand the truth principles? Is this person able to bring to fruition the work arrangements of the house of God? Are they possessed of commitment, and a sense of responsibility? When they encounter an issue, are they able to search for the truth and submit to God? All of this is unknown. Does the person have a heart that fears God? And just how great is their fear of God? Are they liable to follow their own will when they do things? During the time that they perform the work of leaders, do they regularly and frequently come before God to search for the will of God? Are they able to guide people in entry into the truth reality? This, and much more, all awaits cultivation and discovery; it all remains unknown. Promoting and cultivating someone doesn’t mean they already understand the truth, nor is it saying that they are already capable of performing their duty satisfactorily. So what is the aim and significance of promoting and cultivating someone? It is that such a person, as an individual, is promoted in order to be trained, to be specially watered and instructed, making them able to understand the truth principles, and the principles of doing different things, and the principles, means, and methods for solving various problems, as well as, when they encounter various types of environment and people, how to handle and settle with them in accordance with God’s will, and in a way that protects the interests of the house of God. Does this indicate that the talent promoted and cultivated by the house of God is adequately capable of undertaking their work and performing their duty during the promotion and cultivation period or prior to promotion and cultivation? Of course not. Thus, it is unavoidable that, during the cultivation period, these people will experience being dealt with, pruning, judgment and chastisement, exposure and even replacement; this is normal, they are being trained and cultivated. People must not have high expectations or unrealistic demands of those who are promoted and cultivated; that would be unreasonable, and unfair on them. You can monitor them, and report the things they do that you believe to be problematic, but they are also in the cultivation period, and should not be viewed as people who have been made perfect, much less as someone blameless, or as people who are possessed of the truth reality. They are like you: This is the time when they are being trained. The difference is that they undertake more work and responsibilities than ordinary people. They have a responsibility and an obligation to do more work; they pay a greater price, suffer more hardship, take more pains, solve more problems, tolerate the censure of more people, and of course make a greater effort, have less sleep, eat less fine food, and engage in less chit-chat, than normal people. This is what’s special about them; apart from this, they are the same as anyone else. What is the point of Me saying this? In order to tell everyone that they must not misinterpret the house of God’s promotion and cultivation of various types of talents, and must not be harsh in their demands of these people. Naturally, people must not be unrealistic in their opinion of them either. It is foolish to be overly appreciative or reverential of them, nor is it humane or realistic to be overly harsh in your demands toward them. So what is the most rational way to act toward them? To think of them as ordinary people and, when there is a problem that needs to be searched, to fellowship with them and learn from each other’s strengths and complement each other. In addition, it is the responsibility of everyone to monitor whether leaders and workers are doing real work, and whether they are competent in carrying out their duties. If they are not, and you have seen through them, then waste no time in reporting or removing them; choose someone else, and do not delay the work of the house of God. Delaying the work of the house of God is hurting yourself and others, it is good for no one.
Excerpted from “Identifying False Leaders (5)” in Records of Talks of Christ of the Last Days