The mindset of King Saul
The beginning of Saul’s way is hopefully. The father sends the son after the escaped donkeys. The stubborn people want a ruler like all other nations. Samuel recognizes how Israel has rejected the Lord. Nonetheless, humble Saul who is faithful to his father, has to be anointed as king. Saul describes himself as descended from the smallest, least tribe of the Benjaminites. God gives Saul another heart. He meets the prophets and begins to prophesy under the Spirit of God.
He courageously gathers the people around him and defeats the Ammonites in a first battle. Furthermore, the sole ruler banishes the witches and fortune tellers from the land. In addition, at a critical moment, he ensures that the people do not continue to drink the blood after slaughter.
The first book of Samuel certainly reports positive character traits of the 1st King of Israel. However, the insightful coverage of his life focuses heavily on the persecution of David. Since Saul had a bad mind and was pathologically jealous.
The same demonic spirit can be found these days in the lives of same-anointed leaders, which I will explain by the following examples:
At a head conference of the Gospel Forum, I witnessed a Bavarian-accented pastor getting louder and louder in his scheduled tour. He asked each friend in the circle the question “Will we let him preach again?” His goal was to achieve a manipulated no after the other through the group dynamics. The non-present brother, who probably had a gift for preaching, should no longer have his turn. The justification was then he would speak more often and not the others.
My volunteer service in the church was to translate English preachers into German. As a result, I learned of the following incident: A community 60 km south of Stuttgart regularly organized Christian conferences to which thousands of people traveled. As a guest speaker, the Indian organizer was able to win famous personalities who also preached before to many people in the old exhibition center on the Killesberg in Stuttgart. Control, manipulation, imperiousness and jealousy took their toll on the widely announced guest speakers, for they suddenly did not want to come or rushed away. One reason for this was that one of Germany’s most influential charismatic leaders was convinced that in the Swabian province should not take place the same big conference as in his territory. Intervening happened by all available means. As a result, the overindebted Indian pastor died too early and the small Bible fellowship did not prosper as hoped-for. The sad incident can be found in a chapter at the end of the biography of the missionary who came to Europe under “Resistance of spiritual leaders in Germany”.
The following ideas were common in my leadership education. Some are higher and greater in ranking than others. This thinking can also be held responsible for the above sad development. My area pastor confirmed this principle with the example of the people of Israel under Moses. Each leader should have the calling over a certain number of people. The one over ten people, the other over hundreds and others over thousands. By means of a compulsory reception order in the psychiatry by a doctor of the Gospel Forum, I preferred not to have dominion over anybody. I made a fresh start 10 years ago by handing over my ministry as a group leader and trying to put into practice what I heard from God in my prayer time.
A long-awaited wish came true when I was allowed to preach in various worship services in Kenya for the first time. Actually, I never wanted to go to Africa because of my fear of malaria. Especially not in a time where 1500 people have lost their lives in riots. Nonetheless, I accepted the invitation of a bishop I had previously translated at the Swabian Alb and who was skeptically regarded by my pastors for his deliverance ministry. But it seemed as if I only met Africans from Kenya in the church service in Stuttgart and even the cat in the home of a prayer circle was called Kenya! When I arrived at my destination I felt the question why I wanted to speak in front of more people. In the world you want more responsibility and more money by constantly climbing the career ladder. In charismatic circles, it seems to me similarly selfish to want more and more of God, as if it is not enough to receive Jesus once and to make him Lord over your life. Jesus’ purpose was to save people and help them in their misery. It is his mission that we have to fulfill. I knew from the biography of Jackie Pullinger that she would never have come to the mission field in Hong Kong if she had listened to the rules of her leaders. Loren Cunningham had similar problems establishing Youth With a Mission. God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty (1 Corinthians 1: 27b). David had to take off the armor of King Saul because it was too big and heavy for him. A pebble stone in the right hand would achieve the triumph.
If David would have listened to his brothers, he had immediately to retreat to his sheep instead of picturing in the battle zone how Goliath could be defeated. Saul later became terribly jealous of David. An evil spirit came upon him with several attempts to take the life of the unimposing hero.
As a family, we’ve built a Christian puppet theater, with which we showcased the theme of “Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands.”
My wife and her friends served in the church, kindergarten and playgrounds. That’s how the idea came to organize an annual children’s party in the Scharnhauser Park. A picture gallery of the 3 events organized by us can be found at:
The children’s festival was supposed to be non-denominational and to bring together as assistants friendly Christians in unity from different churches. The support we got from superiors was that stones were put in our way. Suddenly it was said that we should not be trusted. We had to get the approval of the elders and a congregation with delegated leaders had to be convened so that the project could be controlled by official side. Since we ourselves were no longer leaders in the Gospel Forum, we encountered paternalism problems in other family projects in a similar way.
Man looks at the outward, God looks at the heart: Saul had an extraordinary outward appearance. The pretty boy was a head taller than anyone else of the people who wanted to have a king over him. Of course he would have been the one who had to stand up in the fight against the giant. Instead, Saul set up a victory column. I know that too well when people refer to their past successes. Did you know that letters of recommendation, as we find them for example in the introduction of a preacher or in book introductions, are nothing good in the NT (2 Corinthians)?
There are speech-gifted, narcissistic pastors who proclaim that they are chiefly responsible for building a church. In their pride they think of being apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers in one person. Unfortunately, they are more concerned about their reputation, dignity, and success rather than their succession. It can take psychotic traits when one thinks to be irreplaceable and fails to say goodbye in time. Other sisters and brothers are suddenly perceived as a threat. By that, I realize that they have not learned to value / appreciate the ministry of others properly. According to Scripture, all church members are important and equal in God’s building.
In contrast to “one should honour the other higher than himself,” the pyramid thinking comes from the enslaving Egypt. It was important to Pharaoh Saul, who was in charge of controlling everything, that his biological son assumes his royal rule. Naturally, Jonathan wanted as Samuel prophesied that David becomes king. It is particularly noticeable today when pastor children are elevated to important positions and talented, old-fashioned employees are humiliated.
I now speak of former church members, who were distinguished by a special service and were very popular. My first cell group leader did not want to accept a young regional leader over him, who explains how everything works, even though he had built several cell groups. The result was a heated argument with the chief pastor, who came to work in the troubled church time even at a very young age. In a disagreement among men, a blatant resignation of the office was met with a ban of Sunday worship. In the same region, another growth-blessed couple was similarly injured and got off since they did not want to divide their cell group as required. The longtime volunteer leader of the foreigner work could not understand, why she was subordinated to a new arriving, professionally paid couple, although she and her husband have done a very blessed building-up of the ministry. An evangelistic gifted church secretary, who did not want to be dictated whom she may marry, told her close friends years ago of the quick-tempered, choleric nature of the acclaimed keynote speaker. Meanwhile, various pastors see it as a mistake not to have faced this sin earlier. How can one speak now of reputation murder?
After criticism, King Saul used to throw his spear at his subjects, for his anger was kindled. I watched in horror as one of my friends was thrown out of the English Bible School on such an impulsive occasion and got severely mentally hurt.
As a former works council, I know the resources that are used to get rid of an unpleasant employee. You take away the area of responsibility and assign simpler tasks. Skills are challenged, employees slandered and working conditions worsened. The office needs to be changed for someone more important. This mobbing usually leads to mental problems and the forced abandonment of the position.
Self-destructive is the boss who loses by this approach, an unimpressive, but very important employee. I mean the little prayer warrior who most protected her chief.
My fierce confrontation with a similar boss in the People’s Bank not only caused sleepless nights, but directed me to the proven saying of King Solomon in 25, 28:
A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.
Returning to the mindset and character of King Saul, an incredible atrocity occurred: Blind with jealousy, the tyrant ordered the deaths of 85 priests and their families in Nob, because earlier David and his men found refuge and care in the tabernacle there. Saul’s soldiers had so much respect for the Levites serving in the sanctuary that the ruler had to make use of the allegiant Edomite assassin Doeg. It can hardly be more demonic.
The visit of the Witch of Endor finally sealed the downfall of the depraved parvenue:
The most famous mistake of King Saul was to assume the position of the Prophet Samuel by impatiently sacrificing himself. The famous quote after that was in 1 Samuel 15:
Behold, obedience is better than sacrifice and notice better than the fat of rams!
The attitude of King Saul is not to be told by others, otherwise he would not have left King Agag alive and kept a portion of the spoils of war for his own benefit.
A typical pattern that can easily be seen today are the apologies of persons who have the mindset of Saul. Mostly the circumstances or other people are guilty, instead of repenting oneself. Especially since it is much more comfortable to get prayer for oneself (Acts 8:24); Disobedience is sin like magic, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
Unfortunately, all too often on the heightened stage I heard mighty men proclaim a manipulative speech of the Holy Spirit, that was their own will and pursued their own goals. So it was overemphasized that I was a member of the very best church in Germany, which was nevertheless abandoned by shepherds who stole sheep. Jose, one of my critical friends, who gratuated like Peter Wenz at the theological seminar of Beroea, was surprised by the performance of Sabine. The repentance calls opposing pastor’s wife, warned in a great prophesy against leaving the church. His comment was: This was not done by the Holy Spirit. Looking back, I realize that I have not fallen into a trap of manipulations through my therapeutic memberships in the local YMCA and nearby Christusbund.
Now in the Gospel Forum by all means (prophetic impressions / week of fasting) is tried to heal a split, without the need to address mentioned errors or that omissions are actively addressed as I perceive. Old friends are viewed as a threat after quarreling and squabbling. Saul sincerely maintained that he had kept the commandments of the Lord before Prophet Samuel. If only the bleating of the sheep had not been and the kingdom had not been given to another.
It is possible that we are fasting and it is a fasting that is not pleasing to God (Isaiah 58). In any case, it would have been better for King Saul to decisively beat the enemy. He still had enough faithful fighters around him. Of these, however, he took an oath to eat nothing (tyrannical, dictatorial kings demand loyalty oaths and like to see their subjects kneel down before them). The brave warrior Jonathan had heard nothing of the command and tasted honey in spite of the royal fasting.
How can one be as stupid and demonized to demand the death of one’s own son and spare a hostile king as trophy of victory?
The people could certainly avert the death of Jonathan. Anyway, this came a short time later, together with his brothers, in a final battle, which I find the saddest.
Regrettably, far too often, those actually called do not come into their destined service.
Jonathan would have been glad to be number two behind his best friend in the kingdom. The war hero David did not just kill Goliath with a stone from his slingshot: he hit his head off with his huge sword! And how did King Saul end? The mad king plunged into his own sword. Our own words will judge us once. These include promises and own bids that were not kept.
Are we serving by serving the Lord, or are we serving our own fruition, or the pastor’s purpose, or the agenda of a kingdom organization? The hallmark of a sect is that a ruler has the sole say. In addition, there is a religious zeal with lack of knowledge, when it comes to church growth (spreading watchtower). Will the Lord in the end really extol us for our service, or will we die in the battle of a dictator?
Saul was abandoned by God and abandoned by Samuel. Instead of repenting and analyzing his mistakes, he turned to the other side in the form of a medium (mediator?). Cursed is he who trusts in people. Actually, Saul did not trust anyone during his lifetime, especially since he did not want someone to come up in life next to him. Today there are comparable power struggles in politics and the economy.
A well-known, repetitive idiom in 1 Samuel is:
Is Saul also among the prophets?
Yes, the same prophetic story repeats itself again and again by demonic powers!
It is a shame to discover the mindset of King Saul among the leaders of the Gospel Forum, otherwise I would not have written these lines and would not end my membership after 25 years. I am grateful to have experienced beautiful, edifying times in the BGG Biblischen Glaubensgemeinde Stuttgart (later Gospel Forum Stuttgart eV). It was a gain to visit the house church regularly in Ruit to the present day, through the joint study of the Word of God.
May the readers and CEO Peter Wenz and his beloved Sabine read a lot in the Bible in the coming period. It is to be desired that we get and preserve David’s repentant heart and courageous character. So Christians could fight together against control, manipulation, imperiousness and jealousy.
However, Jesus is the victor and the gates of hell will not overcome his church!!!