Vol.V No.I Pg.1
March 1968

Mister "X"

Robert F. Turner

Many congregations (or businesses, schools, etc.) have a "Mister X" —- so called because for a time he (or she) may be unknown -- or known, but with insufficient evidence to "pin down."

Mr. X is disgruntled, dissatisfied; often with an "itch" that no one, including himself, could scratch. Maybe he wants to be in a more prominent position. Or, not wanting the responsibility of leadership, he may want to appear the wise old owl on the sideline, sagely "advising" others without putting his advice before the public where it can be analyzed and reviewed. Maybe he is just an "Objector" — or embittered with personal failures, he "takes it out" on others. Whatever the cause, he is dangerous.

He puts the worst possible interpretation on everything. (No telling what he will say about this article.) He plants seeds of discord in others. If a molehill appears in Bible class on Wednesday, he will visit you on Thursday to talk about how BAD things are. He makes mountains for all who will listen. He urges "Something must be done!" meaning — you take the ball now, and GO with it." He will back you — from a way back, safe position of course.

He finds the weak, and compliments them. "'You should have a raise — you should have that prominent position." Then, if it suits his purposes, he may suggest to the boss that "some of them are dissatisfied — too bad." He may offer to help the situation by "talking to them when time is right."

It is difficult to maintain a proper attitude toward Mr. X. If you are kind, trying to be understanding of his weakness, and strengthening him, he may take this as weakness on your part. He is a self-deceived hypocrite, desperately in need of help; but one you must "save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh." (Jude 23) "Restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself lest thou also be tempted." (Gal. 6: 1)

It may be necessary to "deliver such a one unto Satan" (I Cor. 5: 51) to spare the innocent, and maybe save the soul of poor despicable Mr. X.