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One thing I will show on this blog is the transformation God has brought me through in the past 2 years. As a Christian I know there is a stigma that goes with it; you know that you have to go to a “church” every Sunday, That we must go to an altar call for repentance, that we need a human leader as our head, etc. Well we will get to these topics and more through scripture. We will go through history reference as well to find out how the condition of the church got this way.
I have left the institutionalized church for 2 years now, learning what the church really is. Now lets talk about this phrase, “institutionalized church”. This phrase is what we had to label today’s version of church because it doesn’t look anything like the church our brothers (Paul, Peter, John, etc) who allowed the Holy Spirit to give them what to write for us (Bible). Today we see a church that looks much like the kingdoms of this world (Mammon). Money rules the church, favoritism, and other things that we were not told to do.
Now please don’t get me wrong, It is not the building that makes it a bad thing, no no no; but its the traditions that come with these buildings. I know the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear people left the church buildings if you will. They were hurt, they are bitter, they fell away, they went back into sin and anything else we can do to convince ourselves about them. I know myself, I have heard all these things about me and more since I left to become the church. Many people think I am now demonic because I left. As I mentioned we believe that to be truly a Christian one must go to a building each Sunday or Saturday. I actually do understand why they would think that because I was in those shoes not to long ago. I judged people who left. It’s understandable because when someone leaves a place you call home, that you love then a defense goes up in that person which allows that person to create reasons why that person left. To believe the worse about those who leave that setting will make one feel better about staying. This way they never have to question why they are still there. Think about it, if you find out someone left for a negative reason that would affect others view of that place then you would have to face that truth each time you enter that building. So to believe that person left for ungodly reasons negates that reality.
What I will say is that many people are waking up to this reality everyday. (I will talk about the story Jesus told us of the 10 virgins. It is a shadow of what is to come) You wouldn’t believe how many messages I get from people who tell me they are learning and understanding what I teach. What do I teach? I teach the word of God. Without human wisdom… I take out my opinions and only allow the Holy Spirit to teach me. Why do I do that? Because God lets us know the nature of our hearts, The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9) So knowing this about my heart I don’t allow myself to teach from opinions. What I don’t know I don’t speak on yet until the holy spirit teaches me. Understand this, because I don’t believe in the false construction of the church, I do believe in pastors, teachers and everything else in the word. I just don’t believe in the set up that we believe to be true.
Lets take a look at the condition of church as it is today:
So where exactly did our examples come from in today’s church?
This display is NOT about just the seating arrangements but the system we have in the church today. The system creates a necessity for this display. Bishop being the greatest, Pastor being just under him but great, Elders under him, ministers under him, etc. With that understanding it only make sense that the display will look like this; exactly like the systems of this World. Doesnt matter if the pastor sits in the bench or not, the idea that he is HIGHER than yourself is where we went wrong. This is why Jesus told us to do away with titles. (hierarchy between the brothers and sisters)
7they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ‘Rabbi.’ 8″But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ.[b] 11The greatest among you will be your servant. 12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
A display of a royalty with the King and Queen.
In keeping with our Lord’s command, biblical elders did not permit themselves to be addressed by honorific titles such as “Pastor Bill,” “Elder Tom,” “Bishop Jake,” or “Reverend Sam” (Matthew 23:7-12). Such titles naturally elevate church leaders to a plane above the other brethren in the assembly. Thus, congregations and clergy alike are responsible for creating the current “Christian guruism” that is rampant in the church today wherein religious leaders are recast into spiritual celebrities and lauded with fan club status. By contrast, New Testament leaders were viewed as ordinary brethren and were just as approachable and accessible to the saints as any other believer in the church. For this reason, 1 Thessalonians 5:12,13 exhorts the saints to intimately know their leaders (a near impossible mandate to fulfill in most contemporary churches where the pastor is trained to keep his distance from the people lest he lose his authority). In this regard, the common image of church leaders as “sacred men of the cloth” is utterly foreign to the biblical concept (Rethinking the Wineskin [Brandon, FL: Present Testimony Ministry, 1997] p.63).Honorific titles tend to promote an elitist attitude and authoritarian forms of church leadership. Even the best of men can find self-glorifying titles intoxicating and begin to form lofty opinions of themselves. Within time, they begin to look upon their congregational members as mere “common folks”; an ignorant mass of “laity” who desperately need their wisdom and insight (John 7:49; 9:34).Church leaders, however, must never give themselves the airs of stuffy, official, and fussy “ministers” as is common among many claiming to be pastors in our day. Instead, their behavior and attitude should conform to the words of Paul in Romans 12:16, “Do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly” and in Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” The 19th century Baptist preacher, C.H. Spurgeon, warned his pastoral students of the danger of ministerial pride:My brethren, be not priests yourselves. It is very possible to give yourselves the airs of hierarchs, even though you are avowedly nothing more than Nonconformist pastors. There is a style of dress–the affectation of it is not praiseworthy. There is a style of language–the imitation of it is not commendable. There is an assumption of superiority, looking down upon the common people as mere laity; this piece of pompousness is ridiculous. Avoid the way of certain clerics who seem intent on making their people feel that a minister is a dignified individual, and that the rest of the members of the church should hardly venture to differ from him. Say what we like about all believers in Christ being a generation of priests, we still find vain fellows among us who would be thought of as possessors of a mystic specialty. Our office, as pastors, deserves to be respected, and will be if properly carried out; but I have observed that some who are very anxious to magnify their office, really try to magnify themselves (An All-Round Ministry [Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1960] pp. 371-372).
Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen Jer 10:2a