Vol.III No.XII Pg.4
January 1967

Absalom, The Promoter

Robert F. Turner

The church has always had its promoters. By their "good words and fair speeches" they deceive the hearts of the simple. (Rom. 16:18)

There are many who "promote" with misguided fervor, some project that has no basis in God's instructions. We would remind that all works truly "of God" are properly encouraged when we teach people to be more God-like. There is good reason to question any project that needs ballyhoo, flattery, and "coffee fellowship" to make it go.

Absalom was a "promoter".(2 Sam.15) He put on a great front, with fifty men to run before his chariot. He stood at the gate, watching for those who had a "cause." He pretended great interest in their case, and depreciated the king by saying, "Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man who hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice."

He was a flatterer. 'When any man came nigh to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took hold of him, and kissed him." Thus, he "stole the hearts of the men of Israel." By such tactics he built up a following, so that when he felt the time was right he called for his dupes to declare him king.

"And with Absalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem, that were invited, and went in their simplicity; and they knew not anything." (vs.11) Thus we learn not only the blueprint for selfish promotions, but also the kind of people who will be taken in by such methods.

Promoters are not limited to one class. Elders, preachers, members in no particular group -- any of these may use Absalom's tricks. "Mr. X" will sympathize with anyone who differs with status quo; flattering any who feel a bit rejected; urging on all who are brave enough to speak out -- but being careful to stay in the background so that if the argument backfires "Mr. X" will not get hurt. Men of experience have learned to spot such promoters in all walks of life.

If we feel we see an error needing correction (and all errors do) let us use forthrightness. With true humility; with love and desire for unity among brethren; go to the source of the problem, or to those responsible. Present your case with scripture; not with prejudice, threats, or the numbers you have lined up on your "side." Since none of us are infallible, be prepared to learn that you really may not "have a case."

If we would see a new work done or present program enlarged; this is commendable. Make sure it is a work authorized in God's word, and be prepared to give chapter and verse. Present it to the elders; or where there are no elders, at an appropriate business meeting. Leave pride at home, for it is possible that others may not share your judgement -- and this must not be a personal "shoulder chip."

Have convictions, and stand firmly for them. Just be sure it is God's cause you seek to further, and not your own. BUT DO NOT BE AN ABSALOM!!! And sharpen your wits lest an Absalom steal your heart and damn your soul.