Discernment Ministries are the Better Business Bureaus of the Body of Christ. They operate in the Church as watchmen who sound the alarm when the wolves sneak in unnoticed. God raised them up due to the plethora of false shepherds that dot the landscape around the world and eat the sheep. The flock is God’s — not the property of a wise guy here and there that has power — often unchecked — over the congregation.
There are fewer false watchmen than there are false pastors. Watchmen — especially those not tied into one specific congregation — almost always work without a salary. Pastors, pass an offering plate, so their position is more coveted by ambitious men. To be a watchman is a thankless job. Few aspire to it.
Pastors in this modern age have absolutely no control over what the individual Christian congregation is being taught. Since the days of radio, television, and now the Internet, the sheeple are getting taught — good or bad — by more places than just their local gathering. Faithful pastors cannot shepherd the teaching they are receiving — and in fact, most could care less and don’t bother with that at all.
The watchmen keep pastors accountable and other watchmen keep the watchmen accountable. There is more infighting among various pastors than among watchmen. There are more bad pastors than bad watchmen. But without watchmen most pastors would be totally unaccountable — it’s usually “my way or the highway” attitudes in various ‘churches’ today.
Rather than punishing the watchmen who are not under the control of the ones they are watching, sound pastors should be supporting the ones they think are approved by God. After all, I’ve seen lots of rich pastors — but I’ve never met a financially well-to-do watchman. They, like the prophets of old, are usually driven outside the camp and live on locusts and honey, so to speak.
My late husband and I were once labeled as sheep dogs that howl at the moon. Well, with Jesus as our chief Shepherd, we do well to make a lot of noise when wolves near the fold. Our reward is in heaven — we won’t see it here.
“Thus says the LORD:
“’Stand in the ways and see,
And ask for the old paths, where the good way is,
And walk in it;
Then you will find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
Also, I set watchmen over you, saying,
‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’
But they said, ‘We will not listen.’
Therefore hear, you nations,
And know, O congregation, what is among them.
Hear, O earth!
Behold, I will certainly bring calamity on this people—'”
— Jeremiah 6:16-19a