"Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock. " (I Peter 5: 2, 3 KJV)
It has been said - "God's people are like sheep, not cattle. They can only be "led," not "driven." Ideally, this is true, but, practically, it is often not so, at least with many professing Christians. Some, in respect to their "faith," are "driven with the wind and tossed." (James 1: 6 KJV) These have no firm "anchor," and so, like a ship without one, in rough seas, is "driven" and "tossed about."
"That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive." (Ephesians 4: 14 KJV)
The community of believers has always had trouble with those who desire to be little "lords" among them, men like Diotrephes who "loved to have the preeminence among the brethren." (III John 1: 9) These want to be "lords" and autocratic rulers in the church.
"A tyrannical ruler lacks judgment." (Proverbs 28:16 NIV)
A "tyrant" is one who is despotic, harsh, cruel, unjust, oppressive, dictatorial, fascistic, totalitarian, brutal, domineering, lordly, autocratic, and bossy.
"This is the portion of a wicked man from God, And the inheritance which tyrants receive from the Almighty." (Job 27: 13 New American Standard Bible)
Tyrants will be judged by Lord God, be they political tyrants, or ecclesiastical tryants.
"Can the prey be taken from the mighty man, Or the captives of a tyrant be rescued?" Surely, thus says the LORD, "Even the captives of the mighty man will be taken away, And the prey of the tyrant will be rescued; For I will contend with the one who contends with you, And I will save your sons." (Isaiah 49: 24, 25 New American Standard Bible)
No one can be "lord" over the faith of the believer other than Christ. The above verses teach the right of each individual to come to his own conclusions about faith matters without coercion from others, even from the church. No group of believers has any right to lordship or tyranny over the consciences of individual Christians. Each believer is a priest to God and needs no earthly mediator. Beware of those who use tyrannical practices, such as do the "cults," to enslave your minds and consciences.
Father, help those whose minds are enslaved to cult dictators. Keep our own minds free of the tyranny of others.
(From my blog My Daily Bread)