A person may hero worship his leader as a jolly good fellow who has a good heart. On the other hand many others may not see the same leader in the same way – they could see this jolly good fellow as someone who is controlling, partial and manipulative. Both these ‘viewers’ of the same person will argue based on their experiences. The hero worshipper would defend this person at all costs which would make the leader be even more nicer to him. But how would God see that leader? How would God see the one who is hero worshipping? How would God see the one that the hero worshipper is condemning as negative or making up stories?
Is it really a fact that he has a good heart when he can be doing all that to the other person. This very often does happen with a number of leaders. If the hero worshipper is someone who is rich then his riches are talking… if the hero worshipper is someone who isn’t firm in his/her values and is able to go ‘yes sir yes sir three bags full sir’ then such a leader would be terribly nice – someone who finds his / her identity in Christ cannot hero worship anyone but God Himself. Someone who is a servant of Christ will not be all out to please a leader but rather will be bent out to please God and follow His ways.
On the other hand, someone’s true colours show out when their subordinates are economically poor or are those who make a stand and are able to say ‘NO’ to their demands or those who are skilled that their skills are a threat to the leader’s role or position. To such people, the authoritarian leader will indeed be abusive – and those are his true colours. A person who sincerely loves God cannot be abusive, cannot misuse authority… The abusive leaders will spread rumours about people who don’t hero worship them – to dissuade others from following the example of the ones they stand threatened by. “Do not talk to that person” will be a phrase that the authoritarian controlling leader will not hesitate to utter.
God doesn’t FORCE us to do anything. He gives us free will. And no matter what, if we stumble He will still have His arms outstretched for us to run into – as long as we are not shedding crocodile tears as a part of our scheming – God sees through appearances and words and evaluates the heart.
Jesus the Good Shepherd went searching for that one sheep that went astray – He didn’t kick His sheep out. In fact, He told Peter to take care of His sheep making it clear that Peter (and all shepherds / pastors) were STEWARDS of sheep that belong to Him, Jesus. Through Ezekiel (chapter 34) God rebuked the selfish shepherds who weren’t taking care of the sheep but instead kicking them out making them be a sheep that were without a shepherd or taking advantage of the sheep for their own selfish gain. What they are doing, they are doing to God. Those who know God’s grace will indeed extend God’s grace.. and those who are insecure do not know their worth or identity in Christ that they need to deepen their relationship with God first.
The hero worshipper first of all is making an idol out of the leader.
“The life of discipleship is not the hero-worship we would pay to a good master,
but obedience to the Son of God” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Secondly in condemning the ‘victim’ of this abuse, he is aiding oppression. Thirdly, he is feeding into the sin of abuse. If he had been walking closely with God, the hero worshipper wouldn’t be hero worshipping to start with. He would have the discernment to see through appearances and thus the passion to seek justice and stand up against oppression.
“Hero-worship is strongest where there is least regard for human freedom – Herbert Spencer
If another is pouring out their hurts or experiences to you – and you don’t believe it as that isn’t your experience – take it to God in prayer.
One’s experience doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a universal fact let alone truth.
Ask Him to reveal to you whether this person is making up stories (about the jolly good fellow) or whether you have blind spots and need to get more intimate with God! It’s one or the other. Do not take a chance as you wouldn’t want to be treading on God’s children while encouraging the Satan’s angels who are masquerading as angels of light.
Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk,- Isaiah 58:9
Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? … You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them. …. ….. ….
I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them – Ezekiel 34:1-6, 10
For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve. – 2 Corinthians 11:13-15