A small number of rich and powerful people have a lot of influence in most churches. While being rich and powerful doesn’t make a person evil, many people who rise to prominence in the inside workings of the church get there because of man-made power or status. What might be worse is that you and I often put them there by admiring things about them that are in fact, simply not Godly or God-given! Jesus had little regard for rich people who didn’t love truth, and the early apostles and disciples rarely missed the opportunity to warn the early churches about “rich oppressors” and the like. Whenever we put wealth in the place where Truth should be, evil prevails. And… whenever we put man-made influence and power in the place where the Holy Spirit should be, evil wins!
“My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or ‘Sit on the floor by my feet,’ have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?” James 2:1-7