As the son of a pastor, I grew up watching parishioners and other pastors in our denominational connection. I will never fully understand the number of people intimately plugged into the business of the church—both local and general—who seem to persist in sin because of a hardness of heart. Some of the most hateful behavior I have ever witnessed has come from denominational leaders and local church officials. There is something about throwing oneself into the everyday affairs of the church, into the routine business of doing “church work,” that is deceptive. It soothes our conscience and makes us feel we are in the right state of mind spiritually. But proximity to God’s work is no substitute for submission to the grace of God.
Bill T. Arnold, 1 & 2 Samuel, The NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2003), 77. [Emphasis mine]