A.W. Tozer: For better or for worse religious people follow leaders. [See note # 1.]
When most hear the word “leaders” they think of institutionalized leaders. An institutionalized leader is one who has been institutionalized by an institutional-church system. Institutionalized leaders are not true leaders; they have not been appointed by Christ but by the religious system that credentials them.
A true leader is an under-leader, a leader under Christ, one under the governance of the Holy Spirit. No one can be governed by two. Actually, the two (Lord Jesus and institutional-church systems) are at enmity with each other.
However, an institutionalized leader assumes himself to be a leader under Christ, and “religious people” (pew people) make the same assumption. So, if “religious people follow leaders” they will become similarly institutionalized.
Most reading this 333 are institutionalized christians, in part or fully, and this certainly includes evangelicals. An institutionalized christian is one governed by an institutional church. While this doesn’t include all attendees – some are governed by the Holy Spirit – it does include most.
It’s a real problem loaded with real consequences. “No one can serve two masters.” Loyalty to a religious system is disloyalty to Lord Jesus. His “judgment seat” awaits.
Mat.23:10(Amp.): You must not be called masters (leaders), for you have one Master (Leader), the Christ.
There are elders in Christ’s church. In a sense – in a narrow, limited sense – they are leaders. And yet, “you have one Master (Leader), the Christ.” That’s “one” as in one! In the same limited sense there are teachers, and yet….
Mat.23:8(Amp.): You have one Teacher.
A faithful leader (under-leader) will point you to Lord Jesus, your only Leader. An under-leader is not (not!) a replacement-leader. A faithful teacher likewise points to Christ, the “one Teacher”. Unfortunately, faithful under-shepherds are far outnumbered by those who “distort the truth in order to draw a following.” [See note # 2.]
To be safe, apply this rule: Nobody (that is, nobody!) interferes with the leadership of the Holy Spirit in my life.
NOTE # 1: Quoted from God Tells the Man Who Cares.
NOTE # 2: Acts 20:30 NLT.