Guest Article by Curtis Woods, KBC Associate Executive Director
In 2012, our mission board staff adopted five core values—trustworthy, encouraging, accountable, mature, and sensitive—the first letters of which spell the word “Teams.”
Every team member evaluates ministerial effectiveness according to these core values. Our core values guide our conduct as we help churches reach Kentucky and the world for Christ. While each value is indispensable, one value lays the foundation for the rest—trustworthy.
We define trustworthy as: “Can be relied upon as a resource to ease ministry pain, not create more.” The axiom is simple: trustworthy people are truthful people. They embrace truth in order to reject duplicity’s demonic lure.
Scripture illustrates how the master of duplicity convinced the first family to question, and subsequently reject, God’s authoritative decree. In the garden, Eve, accompanied by Adam, acquiesced to the serpent’s proposition to embrace intellectual freedom apart from the wisdom of God.
The serpent gleefully invited the first family to sip from his duplicitous chalice. Eve accepted the offer when the serpent piqued her interest, saying, “Has God indeed said…” (Gen 3:1)? Eve thus questioned God’s sovereignty and his truthfulness. She was “deceived and fell into transgression,” taking matters into her own hands (1Tim 2:14). Adam, not immune from culpability, failed on his watch. He allowed the serpent to wreak havoc within the family and then willing participated in sin himself.
Michael James Williams, in his work Deception in Genesis,describes a duplicitous personality thusly: “Deception [duplicity] takes place when an agent intentionally distorts, withholds, or otherwise manipulates information reaching some person(s) in order to stimulate in the person(s) a belief that the agent does not believe in order to serve the agent’s purpose.”
That is to say, a duplicitous person expresses ideas contrary to personal belief in order to win followers. These leaders are extremely dangerous because their only commitment is to themselves, not the kingdom of God. They have tattooed above their brow, “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.”
Ironically, these leaders will eventually choke on the poison of their own venomous bite when the Sovereign One says, “Enough!”
The very nature of duplicity destroys one’s ability to discern good and evil.
Conversely, in the book of Hebrews, believers learn to discern good and evil by breathing in God’s Word (Heb 5:14). Without submitting to the authority of God’s Word in all of its parts, trustworthiness is an elusive dream. Time will be spent spinning tangled webs and victimizing those who follow.
As a mission board staff, we refuse to weave tangled webs because our churches deserve truth. We strive to be trustworthy as opposed to duplicitous.
The Lord is watching.