Elders cannot be trusted.
Okay, that’s a bit harsh. How about…. ?
Since elders, like non-elders, are unfinished works of the Lord Jesus Christ who is slowly and meticulously refurbishing them through the agency of the most Holy Spirit AND, having been, like all of us, seriously damaged by sin, those of their own and those of others, are in the ongoing process of sanctification and in the wrenching battle of self-rule versus Christ-rule, AND because their understanding is limited, this evidenced by the fact they are still learning, AND because their souls, while perhaps healthier than average, must nonetheless be diagnosed as defective, AND since they themselves would readily agree their walk with the Lord Jesus Christ is not nearly as intimate as desired, it would therefore be less than wisdom for non-elders to place a high expectation on elders’ ability to teach and direct, or regard them as one’s prime example.
Uhmm…. no…. perhaps the first statement is easier to grasp and remember: Elders cannot be trusted.
Peter was an elder (“I who am a fellow elder”). He walked with, camped with, ate with the very Son of the Highest. He was there at the multiplication of the bread and fish, the healing of multitudes, the transfiguration and ascension of Lord Jesus. He was given a personal mandate to “Feed My lambs” and to take the gospel to the gentiles.
Surely, thou thinkest, this elder could be trusted.
We’ve heard that weak-kneed Peter became indomitable Peter when baptized “with the Holy Spirit and fire” at Pentecost, and served Lord Jesus faithfully and fearlessly all his remaining days. Well, not really….
Galatians tells of a compromising Peter refusing to eat with gentile converts, “fearing those who were of the circumcision”, influencing other Jews to follow his atrocious example. Peter, an elder, proves elders cannot be trusted. “Cursed is the man who trusts in man.”
Peter would surely agree that One is worthy of our trust, our elder brother, the Lord Jesus Christ.