Indictment of the PCA Standing Judicial Commission | Exhibit 17

The Ministerial Obligation is provided in the PCA Handbook for Presbytery Clerks, year after year. All teaching elders must sign the same Confessional Subscription (BCO 13-7) corresponding to the same ordination vows (BCO 21-5) in order to be ordained, and their presbyteries must retain these contracts on file.

“But I will correct you in justice,
And will not let you go altogether unpunished.” 

— Jeremiah 30:11 

“As a part of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), we hold to the doctrinal standards found in the Westminster Confession of Faith, Larger Catechism, Shorter Catechism, and the principles of church government found in the Book of Church Order. …
Our Vision
To see the invisible kingdom of heaven made visible for the glory of God and the joy of all peoples. … We seek to see God’s invisible kingdom made visible as we grow in grace and give away our lives.” 

— St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church Session, as dubiously purported at and 

“No. Although they boast of being his, by their actions they deny the only savior, Jesus. …
Hypocrites and those who are unrepentant, however, eat and drink judgment on themselves. …
Scripture tells us that no … slanderer, robber, or the like will inherit the kingdom of God.”

Heidelberg Catechism, Q. 30, 81, 87 

“I will execute great vengeance on them with wrathful rebukes. Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I lay my vengeance upon them.” 

— Ezekiel 25:17

“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the Lord’s table may be despised. When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the LORD of hosts. And now entreat the favor of God, that he may be gracious to us. With such a gift from your hand, will he show favor to any of you? says the LORD of hosts. Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, says the LORD of hosts, and I will not accept an offering from your hand. For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts. But you profane it when you say that the Lord’s table is polluted, and its fruit, that is, its food may be despised. But you say, ‘What a weariness this is,’ and you snort at it, says the LORD of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the LORD. Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the LORD what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the LORD of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations. …
‘And now, O priests, this command is for you. If you will not listen, if you will not take it to heart to give honor to my name, says the LORD of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart. Behold, I will rebuke your offspring, and spread dung on your faces, the dung of your offerings, and you shall be taken away with it. So shall you know that I have sent this command to you, that my covenant with Levi may stand, says the LORD of hosts. My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him. It was a covenant of fear, and he feared me. He stood in awe of my name. True instruction was in his mouth, and no wrong was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many from iniquity. For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. But you have turned aside from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the LORD of hosts, and so I make you despised and abased before all the people, inasmuch as you do not keep my ways but show partiality in your instruction.” 

Malachi 1:6-14, 2:1-9,17 

“The hope of the hypocrite is like a spider’s web; the hope of the believer is an anchor to his soul, sure and steadfast, ver. 5 [chapter 5].
… As the love of God in the gift of his Son, and the love of Christ in dying for us, are the peculiar characteristics of the gospel, no one can be a true Christian on whom these truths do not exert a governing influence, verses 9, 10, compare 2 Cor. v. 14.” 

A Commentary on Romans, Charles Hodge, pp. 141-142 

Daniel 3:1-30
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego suffered the fate of the successful: They became targets for the unsuccessful (3:1-12). And the plot against them appeared to have worked (vv. 13-22). Actually, it didn’t even come close (vv..24-27). In fact, the king who had tried to kill them protected and promoted them (vv. 28-30). Why? Read verses 16-18 and 28-30 to discover why these men never even flinched when confronted with an immoral choice. Denying their God was never even an option for them. …
Jonah 4:1-11
God’s desire for Nineveh was fulfilled, but Jonah, God’s chosen moral leader, angrily protested. Jonah felt that it was more important to remove the threat that Nineveh posed to Israel. When the leader’s priorities contradict God’s priorities, the leader can look as foolish as Jonah did sitting under his withered plant. …
Revelation 13:1-18
The beast, otherwise known as the Antichrist, together with his false prophet, illustrates that leaders can have a passion for evil. Notice that the beast delights in blaspheming God and waging war against followers of Jesus. …
Proverbs 5:1-23
How many leaders have diluted or destroyed their effectiveness through immorality? Solomon provides a strong reminder for any leader who wants to be effective in the long run. …
2 Chronicles 16:10
Sadly, Asa refused to respond to the prophet’s reprimand; his pride and spiritual rebellion turned him into a tyrant at the end of his life. A leader without true accountability can be a dangerous force for selfishness, injustice and oppression. …
Jeremiah 25:33-38 
In His wrath against the nation’s sin, God will judge all the guilty. But notice the special fury reserved for corrupt leaders. In God’s economy, leaders bear a special responsibility and accountability. …
Hosea 10:3-4
False promises had eroded the people’s confidence in their leaders. Their conclusion was that they had no king. An enterprise whose ‘leaders’ have lost the trust of their followers is an enterprise without leadership.
Matthew 22:15-22
No leader is above the law. Jesus amazed the Pharisees with His statement about giving to Caesar and to God what belongs to each of them. Reflect on how you measure up to that standard of dual accountability. …
2 Peter 2:13
Peter has harsh words for leaders who self-servingly abandon their responsibility to others. Peter’s words serve as a stark reminder that every leader will one day give an account to God.” 

Handbook to Leadership: Leadership in the Image of God, Kenneth Boa, Sid Buzzell and Bill Perkins, pp. 547, 566, 573, 584-586 

“The Roman Catholic Church had drifted and apostatized from the true depositum fide, the true tradition of the deposit of faith, taught by Jesus to the apostles, inscripturated in the Gospels and the Epistles comprising the New Testament, and then taught to a succession of faithful men. The Roman Catholic Church (R. C. preferred to call it the ‘Roman Communion’) over the centuries steadily diverged from the orthodox tradition and obscured the very gospel that was to be at the heart of the church’s mission and identity.” 

R. C. Sproul: A Life, Stephen J. Nichols, p. 252 

“Behold, the wicked man conceives evil
and is pregnant with mischief
and gives birth to lies.
He makes a pit, digging it out,
and falls into the hole that he has made.
His mischief returns upon his own head,
and on his own skull his violence descends.” 

— Psalm 7:14-16 

“On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he [Jesus] was hungry. And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. And he said to it, ‘May no one ever eat fruit from you again.’ And his disciples heard it. …
As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. And Peter remembered and said to him, ‘Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.’” 

— Mark 11:12-14, 20-21 

“Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery—to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me.
… I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. … And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him … led astray by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said … before them all, ‘If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?’” 

— Galatians 2:4-6, 11, 13-14 

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” 

— Galatians 2:20, a text very frequently quoted in various writings of J. Gresham Machen 

“Ecclesiastical action can never, indeed, destroy vital Christianity from human hearts. …
Vital Christianity never will be crushed out of the world by action of church legislatures or courts. The gospel of Christ is still enshrined, even in these sad, cold days, in the hearts of men.
But though vital Christianity cannot be destroyed by ecclesiastical action, it may be driven out of the Presbyterian church; Christian people are trying vainly to keep the waters sweet when the fountain is corrupt. It will be a sad day if Presbyterianism in America falls into such a condition as that. …
But possibly the leaders may come to see, on sober second thought, that even from their point of view the end is being attained at too great a cost, that in running roughshod over the principles of liberty in the church they are really harming their own cause, that theological pacifism will hardly prosper in the long run if it is stained with crime.” 

— J. Gresham Machen, “The Attack upon Princeton Seminary: A Plea for Fair Play,” 1927 

“The ecclesiastical machinery seems to have done its work well. …
It is evident that any consistent Christian man will count it a disgrace to be acquitted on any doctrinal issue by such a court, and an honor to be condemned. But the composition of the court shows that the corporate life of the Presbyterian church is corrupt at the very core, and that until the sin of the church is honestly faced and removed, all the great swelling words about the church’s work and all the bustle of its organizational activities can avail but little in the sight of God.” 

— J. Gresham Machen, “The Truth about the Presbyterian Church,” Christianity Today, November 1931, December 1931, January 1932 

“Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves;
therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty.
For he wounds, but he binds up;
he shatters, but his hands heal.
He will deliver you from six troubles;
in seven no evil shall touch you.” 

— Job 5:17-19 

“In arrogance the wicked hotly pursue the poor;
let them be caught in the schemes that they have devised. …
His mouth is filled with cursing and deceit and oppression;
under his tongue are mischief and iniquity. …
Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer;
call his wickedness to account till you find none.
The LORD is king forever and ever;
the nations perish from his land.
O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted;
you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear
to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.” 

— Psalm 10:2, 7, 15-18 

“But as we go on, we find the presence of something which we have not taken into consideration, viz., sin, and it upsets all our calculations. Sin has made the basis of things wild and not rational.” 

My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers, June 23 

“The action of the General Assembly, leaving out for a moment all questions as to the Constitution, was in its spirit and tone harsh, severe, unscriptural and un-Presbyterian. It savours more of a papal bull than of the deliberations of the General Assembly of a free Protestant Church … It has not been the custom in past ages for Presbyterians to be frightened or intimated or suppressed by such threats or condemnatory measures. Indeed, it has been the glory of our church that its members have ever claimed liberty of conscience under the Constitution and under the Scriptures, and have scorned and denied every attempt to put them in ecclesiastical irons.” 

— “Presbyterians, Awake!”, a call to action prepared for the July 19, 1934 Presbyterian by Dr. Clarence E. Macartney, PCUSA pastor, author and conservative leader 

“You represent a cause which cannot ultimately fail. And even now, despite all the forces of unbelief, despite hostile actions even of the organized church, the gospel of Jesus Christ still shines out from the word of God and is still enshrined in Christian hearts.
Very truly yours,
J. Gresham Machen” 

— June 25, 1927 letter of declination to F.E. Robinson, Esq., President of the Bryan University Memorial Association 

“This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.” 

— Titus 1:13-16


06/20/2022: A prior victim of the St. Paul’s Session’s wrongful discipline, who prevailed in her Complaint in SJC 2019-13, publishes her story. The gist of it is that the Complainant attempted for some time to get her pastors’ and elders’ assistance with her troubled marriage, and then finally after leaving St. Paul’s and attending another church and filing for divorce, the Session at that time takes seriously her situation and attempts to discipline her, eventually putting them all through a rigamarole that she eventually wins at the highest Court of the denomination. Even after her ex-husband is excommunicated as a teaching elder from Central Florida Presbytery for transgressions allegedly connected to her reasons for divorce, the St. Paul’s Session reportedly still refuses to apologize to the Complainant for the wrongful discipline which had been overturned.
Apparently, this case and Benyola’s case, among others, seem to establish a pattern of the St. Paul’s Session not taking seriously members’ repeated attempts to get help from their shepherds — yet, when these elders decide they want to use their power of “discipline,” they get all kinds of serious, choosing to take offense when their neglected members finally take matters into their own hands. 

(A PCA Judicial Success Story, by Colleen Gendy


06/21-24/2022: The 49th PCA General Assembly in its Commissioner Handbook includes The Ad Interim Committee Report on Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault, a 220-page, supplemental yet non-binding document covering many different types of abuse, “regarding best practices and guidelines that could be helpful for elders, Sessions, Presbyteries, and agencies for protecting against these sins and for responding to them.” Sixteen pages are dedicated to “Section Six: The Misuse of Spiritual Authority” and one page is dedicated to “Shepherding the Whistleblower”: 

“Unfortunately, organizations in need of a whistleblower are those most likely to suppress, reject, banish, or destroy messengers. Loyalty to an organization tends to supersede truth. Whistleblowers, like prophets, call their audience to recognize evil and purge it. Reliable, confidential, and anonymous reporting systems capable of instituting intervention are critical.” 

It will transpire how serious the denomination’s highest court is about this “non-binding advice.” 

(Report of the Ad Interim Committee on Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault to the Forty-Ninth General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America (2019-2022), Commissioner Handbook 2022, pp. 2436-2452, 2484)


08/01/2022: Having served hard copies as well as email files to the Stated Clerk and Moderator of the Session, yet receiving no response of ruling/consideration after the Session’s next regularly stated meetings in June and then July, Benyola must carry his third and fourth Complaints versus the Session of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church with Appellate Briefs to Central Florida Presbytery. The Session’s delinquency to acknowledge the last two Complaints now results in a total of three Complaints escalated to Presbytery for consideration by its next regularly stated meeting, 08/23. 

(Escalation of the (third) Complaint of Peter Benyola versus the Session of St. Paul’s PCA

(Escalation of the (fourth) Complaint of Peter Benyola versus the Session of St. Paul’s PCA

Alleged violations (errors and/or delinquencies) by the St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church Senior Pastor, Moderator of the Session, President of the Corporation, et al. 

Primary standards: Genesis 18:25, 44:16, Exodus 20:7,16, Leviticus 19:15, Deuteronomy 10:16, II Chronicles 7:14, Psalms 6:7-10, 7:12-16, 10:2,7,15-18, 11:1-3, 12:1-2, 15:1-4, 19:7-14, 24:3-6, 26:4-5, 34:11-22, 37:27-33, 40:4, 41:4-7, 50:14-23, 52:1-4, 53:4, 55:2-3,20-21, 56:5-7, 57:4, 58:1-5, 64:1-6, 65:1, 71:10-11, 74:4-5, 76:11, 86:14, 94:16,20, 101:5-8, 106:3, 109:1-5, 116:18-19, 140:1-5,9-11, Proverbs 1:29-31, 3:27, 10:23, 11:1, 12:19, 15:8, 18:5,13,17, 20:23, 22:22, 24:11-12,23-25,28-29, 26:17, 28:9,13, Ecclesiastes 3:16, 5:1-9, 7:7, 8:1-5,11, 9:17, 10:5,8-10, Isaiah 66:5, Jeremiah 11:18-20, 15:15-21, 20:10-13, 21:12, 36:27-32, Lamentations 3:34-36, 5:14, Ezekiel 33:1-9, 34:1-10, Amos 5:7,10,14-15,23-24, Zechariah 1:2-6, 8:16, Malachi 1:6-14, 2:7, Matthew 3:8, 5:10-12,22-25, 18:16-17, 22:21, 23:1-5,13-25,28, Luke 19:14,27, 21:12-13, Acts 20:27-30, Romans 1:32, 2:1-3,17-21,23-24, 13:1-6, I Corinthians 1:10-11, 5:6-8, 13:6, II Corinthians 6:3-8, 11:26, 12:20, Ephesians 4:31, 5:6-12, 6:9, I Timothy 3:2,15, Titus 1:5-7, James 1:19-25, 3:1,17-18, I Peter 2:1,12-17, 5:1-4, Revelation 2:9, 3:9 

Secondary standards: WCF 1.10; 15.6; 20.1-4; 22.1-6; 23.3,4; 30.3; 31.1-3; WLC Q.99.6-8, 111-114, 130, 143-145, 151, 171, 173-175; WSC Q.14, 76-78; BCO Preface II.1,4; 8-1,-2,-3; 10-3; 11-2,-4; 13-9.e,f; 14-7; 21-5.7; 25-11 (cf. SJC 93-3, M22GA, 1994, pp. 110-123); 31-2; 32-2,-6.b,-17; 33-3; 34-3; 35-3; 38-4; 43-1,-2,-3 (cf. SJC 2019-13, M48GA, 2021, pp. 796-800) 

Tertiary standards: RONR (12th ed.) 61:22; 63:7-9, 13, 35; Bylaws of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Inc., Incorporation, Exhibit C-1 

Civil laws: The 2022 Florida Statutes, Title XXXVI, Chapters 617.0601(5); 617.0607(1); 617.1601(1,3,4,5); 617.1602(1,2)


“When Moses heard it, he fell on his face, and he said to Korah and all his company, ‘In the morning the LORD will show who is his, and who is holy, and will bring him near to him. … the man whom the LORD chooses shall be the holy one. You have gone too far, sons of Levi! … Hear now, you sons of Levi: is it too small a thing for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself, to do service in the tabernacle of the LORD and to stand before the congregation to minister to them, and that he has brought you near him, and all your brothers the sons of Levi with you? And would you seek the priesthood also? Therefore it is against the LORD that you and all your company have gathered together. What is Aaron that you grumble against him?’ …
And the LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, ‘Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.’ And they fell on their faces and said, ‘O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and will you be angry with all the congregation?’
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Say to the congregation, Get away from the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.’
Then Moses rose and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him.
And he spoke to the congregation, saying, ‘Depart, please, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest you be swept away with all their sins.’” 

— Numbers 16:4-5, 7-11, 20-26 

“But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are his,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.’” 

— II Timothy 2:19 

“The people did not turn to him who struck them,
nor inquire of the LORD of hosts.
So the LORD cut off from Israel head and tail,
palm branch and reed in one day —
the elder and honored man is the head,
and the prophet who teaches lies is the tail;
for those who guide this people have been leading them astray,
and those who are guided by them are swallowed up.” 

— Isaiah 9:13-16 

“In Prov. 31:23 the city elders are referred to as ‘the elders of the land.’ If the text of 1 Kings 20:7 is correct, this expression apparently could also refer to a more or less ad hoc consultative body representing the interests of the local communities at the royal court (cf. Jer. 26:17). At all events, the story of Naboth’s vineyard suggests elders readily abdicated their traditional obligations and became identified with the interests of the monarchy and its ruling elite (1 Kings 21:1-14).
Isaiah places their perversion of justice within the context of their responsibilities as ‘the elders of his [God’s] people’ (Isa. 3:14). Those who should have been a ‘support’ and a ‘guide’ to the people have led them astray and will be ‘cut off from Israel’ (3:1-3; 9:14-16; cf. Ezek. 8:11-12). Isaiah, however, looks forward to the prospect of a cleansed and renewed Jerusalem, when God will reign on Mt. Zion ‘and before its elders, gloriously’ (24:23; cf. 1:26; Exod 24:9-11; Rev 4).” 

New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis, Vol. 1, K.T. Aitken, pp. 1138-1139 

“Even in the New Testament, have not the true bishops and teachers been rare indeed? St. Ambrose was alone in his day; after him, St. Jerome and St. Augustine. Furthermore, God did not choose many eminent and great bishops for this work. St. Augustine was bishop in one little unimportant city, but did he not accomplish more than all the Roman popes with all their fellow-bishops? They cannot hold a candle to him. Moreover, it is a fact that all heresies have been started, or at least have been encouraged, by bishops and scholars. If they were unreliable at a time when they were better, more learned, and more diligent, why shall we trust them now when they no longer even serve the church and have become secular lords? Do we insist on being blind?
I do not claim to be a prophet, but I do say that the more they scorn me and the higher they regard themselves, the more reason they have to fear that I may be a prophet. God is marvelous in his works and judgments. He pays attention neither to numbers, greatness, cunning, or power. As Ps. 138[:6] says: ‘The haughty he knows from afar.’ And even if I am not a prophet, as far as I am concerned I am sure that the Word of God is with me and not with them, for I have the Scriptures on my side and they have only their own doctrine. This gives me courage, so that the more they despise and persecute me, the less I fear them. There were many asses in the world in the days of Balaam, but God spoke only through Balaam’s ass [Num. 22:28]. He says in Ps. 14[:6] to these same prominent men: ‘You have confounded the sound doctrine of the poor preacher because he trusted in God,’ as if to say that because he is not great and high and mighty, his doctrine must be false in your eyes.” 

— Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, 44:135-36 

Read 1 Kings 13 carefully, because the old prophet was infected with a disease that is common to many of today’s leaders. Israel had just split into two nations, Israel and Judah. Jeroboam, the new king of the northern tribes of Israel, had built two altars in the north so his people could offer sacrifices without going to the temple in Jerusalem, which was in the south. This act violated God’s law, and Jeroboam needed to be confronted.
God drafted a prophet from the south to censure the king. This prophet, following strict instructions from God, confronted King Jeroboam. The southern prophet delivered his prophecy from God, then refused to eat or drink with the king because God had instructed him to go straight back to Judah. Great story – that is, until the old prophet heard about it.
What the old prophet hadn’t accomplished, someone else had succeeded in doing. The old prophet could entertain at least three options: He could appreciate the fine job his fellow prophet had done and possibly even learn from it and improve his own prophetic office; he could ignore the incident, concluding that God had simply empowered another prophet rather than himself; or he could protect his own reputation by saddling his donkey and hurrying out to destroy the one who had shown the initiative and gotten the job done.
Notice that the old prophet had done nothing about the situation, having chosen instead to ignore Jeroboam’s sin. And when the old prophet did act, he only moved to destroy the effect of his fellow prophet’s action as well as the rival prophet himself. The old prophet’s explanation of the situation in 1 Kings 13:26 rankles the discerning reader.
To make matters worse, we find that the old prophet went to great lengths to identify himself with the southern prophet’s success (13:30-33). Even though he had effected the man’s slaughter and destroyed his good name, he wanted to be associated with any credit assigned to his performance.
This tragic story is replete with pure leadership gold. It sounds a warning against yielding to the temptations most leaders have struggled against. It also illustrates a phenomenon that goes often unchecked, in many organizations. The old prophet – and his nemesis – teach us essential truths about leadership, leaders and would-be leaders. We hurry through this story at our own expense.” 

Handbook to Leadership: Leadership in the Image of God, Kenneth Boa, Sid Buzzell and Bill Perkins, pp. 743-744

Sanballat was driven by jealousy. When Nehemiah was awarded the promotion that Sanballat had desired, Sanballat used ridicule, threats and innuendo in an unsuccessful attempt to discredit Nehemiah.
Tobiah, the governor of Ammon, viewed the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls as a direct threat to his own power and influence. His schemes to halt the construction all met with failure, diminishing his prominence and authority rather than solidifying it. …
Leadership Passages
1:10-21: This passage describes an impulsive dictator and an abusive situation that God used to accomplish His will.
3:8-13: While Haman’s power was not an absolute, his ability to manipulate Xerxes apparently was. This chilling decree is an example of the hideous abuse of power that has been repeated throughout history. …
The wise person in Proverbs seeks knowledge, understands what is learned and applies these lessons to life’s situations and circumstances. This person’s leadership reflects carefully chosen words, a concern for others’ welfare and love of God.
The fool in Proverbs has no desire to learn, no desire to change and no desire for God. A foolish leader creates problems instead of solving them; he or she becomes known for folly rather than wisdom and has no sense of ethics or integrity.
God gives power to leaders for the protection and just treatment of followers. …
Amos was an unlikely leader. A simple shepherd from Judah with no known credentials except for a word from God, Amos challenged his northern neighbors to repent from their disregard for justice and their fierce materialistic drive, declaring that only by following God’s leadership could the people be spared God’s judgment.
Amaziah was a priest in Bethel who attempted to intimidate Amos and elevate himself in the king’s eyes by presenting a negative report of Amos’s words. But Amaziah’s posturing went against God’s plan, and Amaziah was repaid with grief, poverty and captivity in a foreign land.
Jeroboam II ruled in Israel at the time when Amos was prophesying. Under Jeroboam’s leadership, Israel enjoyed peace, prosperity and political prestige. But, because Israel was morally and spiritually bankrupt, this prosperous period was short-lived.
Leadership Passages
3:1-15: Through Amos comes God’s word of judgment for Israel’s disobedient leaders.
5:1-6: Those who trust in earthly strength will find nothing but disaster and sorrow.
5:24: When such streams flow from godly leaders, God is pleased and followers are enriched.
Positional leadership will never be as powerful as personal leadership.
Leadership and People
Malachi was the last of the Old Testament prophets. Confronting problems of corruption, complacency, indifference in worship and the neglect of the tithe, Malachi urged the Jewish leaders to pursue integrity, purity and justice for the oppressed with a solid commitment to faith, obedience and sincere worship.
The priests in Malachi’s day were irreverent and blatantly disobedient. Lacking devotion to their calling, they had grown cynical and lacked trustworthiness and honesty in both their personal and professional lives. Yet because of their position and influence, the people foolishly followed their ungodly example.
Leadership Passages
1:6: Like the priests of Malachi’s day, leaders today often forget that God is both our Father and Master and that He is worthy and demanding of our honor and respect.
2:1-9: Corrupt leadership earns God’s judgment, but corrupt religious leaders receive special attention in this passage.
2:13-16: Leaders whose personal lives are in shambles ought not question why they don’t experience God’s blessing.” 

— ibid., pp. 790-792, 795, 806-807, 816-817

“My enemies say of me in malice,
‘When will he die, and his name perish?’
And when one comes to see me, he utters empty words,
while his heart gathers iniquity;
when he goes out, he tells it abroad.
All who hate me whisper together about me;
they imagine the worst for me. …
But you, O LORD, be gracious to me,
and raise me up, that I may repay them!
By this I know that you delight in me:
my enemy will not shout in triumph over me.
But you have upheld me because of my integrity,
and set me in your presence forever.” 

— Psalm 41:5-7, 10-12 

“Your foes have roared in the midst of your meeting place;
they set up their own signs for signs.
They were like those who swing axes
in a forest of trees.” 

— Psalm 74:4-5 

“Hear the word of the LORD,
you who tremble at his word:
‘Your brothers who hate you
and cast you out for my name’s sake
have said, ‘Let the LORD be glorified,
that we may see your joy’;
but it is they who shall be put to shame.” 

— Isaiah 66:5 

“Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.” 

— Luke 12:1-3 

“I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. …
Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie — behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you.” 

— Revelation 2:9, 3:9 

To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation Concerning the Reform of the Christian Estate
We ought to become bold and free on the authority of all these texts, and many others. We ought not to allow the Spirit of freedom (as Paul calls him [II Cor. 3:17]) to be frightened off by the fabrications of the popes, but we ought to march boldly forward and test all that they do, or leave undone, by our believing understanding of the Scriptures. We must compel the Romanists to follow not their own interpretation but the better one. Long ago Abraham had to listen to Sarah, although she was in more complete subjection to him than we are to anyone on earth [Gen. 21:12]. And Balaam’s ass was wiser than the prophet himself [Num. 22:21–35]. If God spoke then through an ass against a prophet, why should he not be able even now to speak through a righteous man against the pope? Similarly, St. Paul rebukes St. Peter as a man in error in Galatians 2[:11–12]. Therefore, it is the duty of every Christian to espouse the cause of the faith, to understand and defend it, and to denounce every error.” 

— Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, 44:135-36 

“We may each charge upon ourselves what is here charged upon the priests. Our relation to God, as our Father and Master, strongly obliges us to fear and honour him. But they were so scornful that they derided reproof. Sinners ruin themselves by trying to baffle their convictions. Those who live in careless neglect of holy ordinances, who attend on them without reverence, and go from them under no concern, in effect say, The table of the Lord is contemptible. They despised God’s name in what they did.” 

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, Malachi 1:6-14 

“‘Do as I say and not as I do.’ … See Malachi 1:6-14 to read about God’s displeasure with Israel’s slipshod worship. …
The disease of externalism had permeated Israel’s temple worship, and the people assumed that they could get away with inferior sacrifices and indifferent observances. But God will not accept shoddiness or apathy, especially when we claim to do things in His name. We may be able to deceive other people for a while, but it is folly to think we can deceive God for even an instant.
The life of a follower of Christ ought to be so distinctive that it demands an explanation. If we play to people, we will simply become conformists; but if we seek to please God instead of people, we will be set apart from the crowd. This is why Paul instructed the Colossians to pursue God’s pleasure and approval rather than trying to impress people, doing all that we do as unto the Lord and not for man (Colossians 3:23-24). …
God calls us to nothing less than the excellence of Christlikeness, and this becomes possible only when we walk in the power of the Spirit.” 

Handbook to Leadership: Leadership in the Image of God, Kenneth Boa, Sid Buzzell and Bill Perkins, pp. 354-355 

“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the LORD when I lay my vengeance upon thee.” 

— Ezekiel 25:17, Jules Winnfield Version