The Saul Complex:
Why Ministerial Mayhem is Rampant in Ministry
Gaddiel Odum ben Shomeyr
Some say the problem in circles of ministry and faith, specifically in Christianity and Messianic/Natsari Judaism is Hypocrisy. The reason there are so many “Red Flag” groups, people, ministries denominations, sects and cults today is because of charlatans and hypocrites. I disagree, hypocrisy may be a component but is not the main issue; I think flesh is. I do not necessarily think we have a bunch of hypocrites running around in Natsari Judaism as I do people who have the “Saul Complex.”
A hypocrite is someone who is defined and pretending to be someone they are not. Was Saul legitimately and genuinely called, ordained and anointed by God through the Prophet and Judge Samuel? Yes! But he acted in ways in which he did not live up to or act in ways becoming of the position into which he was called, placed and occupied; much like many politicians today.
A hypocrite is preaching one thing and living another. We do not see this being the case with King Saul. But we do see Saul rationalizing his behaviour and actions whose logic comes out of fear and a spirit that is sick. Hypocrites do not to this; hypocrites do wrong and know they do wrong. Hypocrites live a double life and know they are living a double life. Hypocrites speak out of both sides of their mouth and know they are doing it. They know and try to hide these facts from others. Saul never tried to hide his sin from Samuel, but instead tried to rationalize and explain away his poor decisions. Saul never tried to hide his hatred and his lethal intentions towards David. Hypocrites do not do this.
Let’s briefly take a look at Saul. Saul for one had a low self-esteem. He was tall in stature but lowly in spirit. He felt insignificant and unworthy because he was from the smallest tribe and smallest clan in Israel and was at first so reluctant to be king that he hid (I Sam. 9:21/I Sam. 10:20-24). This is initially why God choose him and could use him as the first King of Israel. We see once he got use to the “captain’s chair” which is the Throne, that his head and chest began to swell a little bit with pride and thought he had more liberties and rights than he truly had and we see this manifest when he did not follow Samuel’s instructions to the letter, later rationalizing it away and when he grew impatient waiting for Samuel and sacrificed without him (I Sam. 13:8-15). This not only revealed his pride but also his fear of the people instead of fearing God. Even in the midst of Saul’s disobedience and sin this did not negate the call, anointing and gifts bestowed upon Saul; did he not still prophecy in the midst of his rebellion (I Sam. 19:19-24) and was he not so anointed that David refused to harm him in anyway (I Sam. 24:6)!? His disobedience and sin did not negate or retract the call and gifts given to Saul by God but it DID remove the divine hand of blessing upon him and blocked up the divine channels of communications with God (I Sam. 28). Also think of Samson, who was in sin against God and in rebellion against the Nazarite vow to which he was called into and born under, he didn’t lose his anointing, he didn’t lose his strength (until he submitted to the enemy) but instead he lost the protection, blessing and favor of God (Jud. 13-16).
For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. – Romans 11:29
When confronted by David I believe Saul genuinely was remorseful and saw the error of his ways (I Sam. 24:16-22; 26:17-25) but because he did not fully repent, submit and seek help, his fearful and faulty logic and rationalization out of the sickness of his spirit kicked back in and he rationalized away his pursuit of David. His failure to fully repent, submit and seek help left the door of his soul wide open to permit the evil one to come in (I Sam. 16:14-18; 19:9-10 ).
The example of Saul gives us, I think, a clear picture of why there can be so many legitimately anointed and inspirational teachers and leaders in this movement who have and eventually reveal fatal flaws that hurt themselves and their followers. It’s not that you had the wool pulled over your eyes and you were duped and taken for a ride, it’s that their Saul Complex got in the way of doing right by you and succeeding in ministry.
Imagine if when Samuel told Saul that the kingdom had been taken away from him and given to another, he fully acknowledged his fault, submitted and determined to live out the rest of his reign accepting that it would be David’s and not Jonathan’s and that despite this he would finish out his reign in a godly way to the best of his ability, how different would have been his outcome? Remember, even when Samuel said the kingdom was ripped from him Saul was still called, ordained and anointed as King. If he would have confessed and repented of his sins right then and there and would have totally been submitted and accountable and transparent with Samuel he wouldn’t have gotten the kingdom back, but perhaps we would have read in the Scriptures:
“King Saul secured the Land of Israel for all of the tribes, He removed the High Places and God delivered him and Israel from all her enemies. King Saul died full of years, and all of Israel mourned greatly for their first king. And Saul slept with his fathers and was buried and David son of Jesse succeeded him as King.”
Our problem today is that our teachers and Rabbis, very few of them are accountable or under submission to anyone thus the rationalizations claimed to be revelations of the Holy Spirit supposedly justifying their actions and reasoning’s. I myself have a group of peers and leaders that I trust that I am accountable to and that I submit to and that are not afraid to call me out and set me straight when necessary.
“…I die daily.” - I Cor. 15:31
Just think! We could literally turn the world upside down the book of Acts style if all these genuinely anointed teachers and leaders within our movement who just have these fleshly hang-ups would totally surrender!
Brokenness is the only cure, the only remedy for the Saul Complex. It took consulting a witch for Saul to finally hit rock bottom (I Sam. 28). It took the scandal with Bathsheba for David to become truly broken and repentant (II Sam. 11-12, Psalm 51). Like Joshua and Achan, sin in the camp doesn't stop the anointing of God, but it stops the protection, favor and blessings of God (Josh. 6-7).
So now we can see and understand how there can be so much powerful truths, anointed and revelatory teaching in this movement and yet a good synagogue, a good congregation, a good ministry, a good Rabbi, or a good Teacher is so extremely hard to find! We also see how rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft because it opens the door for that evil spirit to come in and sabotage a leader and or a ministry (I Sam. 15:23).
So I suppose another red flag to watch out for is if there is anointing in a leader and or ministry without fruit and blessing following it, run! It’s a red flag!
We so desperately need transparency and brokenness if we are to survive and pass out of the time of the Judges and into the Book of Acts.