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13 April 2011

The Office

What I write here will not settle well with some readers. I'm not trying to be sensational or ruffle feathers. As always, I am asking us (both you and me) to objectively look at why we believe what we believe, and whether or not those beliefs and our resulting actions line up with the Word of God.

In a discussion like this, speaking in generalities is necessary, for better or worse. Remember that I'm addressing a position or an office, not a person or personality.

The other day I quickly jotted down some characteristics of a particular position. Read through my list and let me know if there's an office or position in the Church in the New Testament that has responsibilities, actions, or reactions similar to these:

  • The President of the USA is elected by the people (some who vote for him just so they can vote against the other guy, some who vote the party line, some who are illegal aliens, some who don't care to vote)
  • His speeches are meant to inspire, and the better his stage presence is, the more the general public thinks he's great/intelligent/wise
  • He has accountability -- he can be impeached... but usually after the damage is done
  • He is recognized by most Americans (except probably those in high, behind-the-scenes political positions) as the most important man in the USA
  • If he goes down, he takes his party with him until they're able to put things back together for the next election
  • If he goes down, he further shatters the faith of people in politicians
  • When the economy does well, those in his party give him the credit
  • When the economy does poorly, his opponents blame it on him
  • The measure of his success is based upon numbers
  • To those who hold the party position or are uninformed (whether intentionally or simply due to neglect), their understanding of the world is shaped by his actions and opinions
Before I go further, know that I have no desire to set up a straw man and then knock it down, so if you see fallacies in what I present here, please tell me where those problems are and let's address them.

Regarding the list above, is there anyone in the New Testament Church, whether in a localized fellowship or in an over-arching capacity, whose roles are along these lines? Is there instruction for anything similar? If so, I'm interested in knowing about it. But if this is absent from Scripture, why would you suppose that is?

Now flash forward. Do we see anyone in the modern localized or global Church whose role is something along these lines? If so, would you consider such a role to be helpful or harmful to the living body of Christ? I believe these things serve to take leadership, attention, authority, and prominence away from Jesus Christ. As a side note, if this were an office God intended for anyone in His Church to fill, I'm certain it would at least be mentioned in the Word.

Be very aware that I'm not maligning any person. I have quite a number of personal, Godly friends whose positions fit into this general outline. None filled his role in an attempt to bring glory or honor to himself, and most of these people live life sacrificially, with hearts of true servants and with great love for Jesus. Unfortunately, this does not validate the office or position.

In contrast to our nation or a business, there is a living Head of the Church, but He is not a mere man (Ephesians 1:21-23). Something huge that makes the Church strange and alien to the world is that its Head is a literal living entity, but is not flesh-and-blood. In a secular setup there is no possible way an organization could be run without a person at the helm. We've taken that for granted in the Church (1 Corinthians 14:33 is often taken woefully out of context and used to say that this is necessary for organizational structure).

Who leads the Church? Does it matter? Should we do something because it's "always" been done that way?

If the Church is the body of Christ, Jesus Christ is the head of His Church.


John King said...

The Bible does speak about what God expects from a leader at church. We also know the Bible tells us all what God expects of us. First the work situation. We expect are leaders to lead. however many people jump into a job of leadership or there the boss. Going to college doesn't make you a leader. if you read an follow the Bible that will tell you how to be a leader. But the person must except that an do it daily. Many of us including myself fail at this from time to time. A real leader will learn from there mistake an do everything to fix it, an never do it again. However, a follower might hide it, or just not care of the out come. This is the key to my point. We have too many followers in leadership. work, church etc.
The Bible clearly points this out. God said he wanted leaders of "Character". He uses the word character for all leaders in the church an those who are not. work you can go to your supervisor, explain your difficulty. However, depending on the character of the supervisor. You could risk or lose your job. Or just be ignored. In church, ive found an read that Pastors are being taught in school to sweep things under the carpet. Keep everyone happy. If a member has a problem. they unless there giving a million dollars to the church will be handled in the same fashion. Meanning you may risk being told to just not come back like myself. Thats worst than being fired from your job. Why, we expect and demand the leader of a church to folow the bible. At work this isn't the case.
We have to many followers without chacter in leadership positions everywhere. Until people raise up together instead of running away. This will never change. Do you think God wants us to ignore followers without character an run. If we do that were just as bad. Time doesnt change things. We do. This is why there are so many unfilled churches down here. We get mad. do nothing an church shop. do you really think the church down the street is doing anything different. From my observations no. Its become a business. Why would a church buy so many things outside of the church that it didnt need. To become bigger. Bring in more revenue. This is just another example of a follower in a leaders postion. The bible says debt is a sin. How many churches are in debt. this is the same for the business world. an why we see so many going out of business signs. Yes the economy is tough. Buts thats a excuse. If your unable to lead, than never put yourself into that position. In work you risk you livly hood. In church you risk your salvation. God judges leaders with great intensity. why, if his word is being not used, or spun to sound good. this upsets him the worst.
i hope this wasnt rude. Im speaking from my heart. And from what ive seen an learned over the past years. For my family. Church was everything. Due to lack of leadership we were told dont come back. We still grieve an are very hurt. I truly dont like to say this. But in both cases, the job an church. Its all about money an waste of money. Church an work is no longer about working together. Its about clicks. Backstabbing for the purpose of one better themselves. We used to look out for each other. What happened. We go home an hide. no fellowship with anyone. Were so tied up with our computer toys huge tvs an other material items. god said never to worship material items. But we still do this, because its the esaiest way to not be held accountable to others. Just hide, an hope it goes away. A real man with "character" would Never do this on purpose. An if he did. If of character. He's repent his sin. An try to never do it again.

Leroy said...

John said "We have to many followers without chacter in leadership positions everywhere."

Wow. Such a powerful sentence.

Leroy said...

The rest was pretty good too, John. :)

Dean Lusk said...

Yep... there was a lot of meaty stuff in there. And the frustration there is easy to see.

You said, "Until people raise up together instead of running away. This will never change."

I guess one thing I'm trying to express here is that "being together" as the Church is very hard to do (and ultimately impossible) if we have a leader other than Jesus Christ, even if our intentions are excellent. What happens so easily is that people exalt a person in place of Jesus Christ.

John King said...

test....dean if this go thru delete it
having trouble repling

John King said...

Yes im frustrated an hurt as many others, an currently unable to worship with my church family. i spend my time with god alone. no pity party please.
Dean you wrote its impossible to get the members to unite as 1. I agree but my heart disagrees. God is the church as our the followers like myself. A Pastor is only a teacher of the word nothing else. When a pastor thinks of themselves as a God or someone special. They need to rethink this fast. God is Perfect. A pastor an staff are not. however, a pastor must be a leader. the staff must be of good character. A boss would fire someone for being late to work. A pastor must weed out those who are not leaders in teaching postions. A follower can not properly teach another follower. and the bible says that it is wrong to even attempt. meanning false teaching.
If the pastor has no control over the church than they must step down. If a pastor is not a leader he must step down. The members would unite as one if they knew the truth. When there is serious trouble within a church. If the members aren't told. When the dirt hits the fan they will be hurt mad an leave. Christians don't like to be involved in trouble. Sorry but I think these type of Christians are weak.Example. 2 kids fighting. Do you break it up or call the police or nothing. most do nothing. Point, by not getting involved imediately. That kid could end up beaten like a pulp or worst dead. This might sound drastic.
We change the oil in the car so it wont die.
But were not changing the oil so to speak in the church. Result, a dead church. By not defending God we are letting the church die. i've had to defend God. For 3 plus years. I pray no one reading this will have to do that. But be sure if you have to. God is expecting you to do that an he will be there with you all of the way. Just think how your friend would feel if you didnt defend them. God is our father. I cant phamtom someone unwilling but there are those who will not defend there father. David didnt intend to fight Galieth. He was provoked into the fight. the christians said dont, you'll surely die. they attempted to put armour on David. instead he took it off an picked up a simple rock. He had Faith an Character an was a Leader. Christians haven't changed since than. We as i said, run home an hide. If the church was honest with the members from day 1. Than these issues would go away. Instead pastors protect each other out of grace. If a pastor steps downs he usally says God has called me to...From someone who has been behind the scenes in a non teaching role. The things ive heard an seen in church make me very sad. If pastors keep sweeping things under the rug to keep the members happy. They will have alot of explaining to God. so Dean, if the people dont know the truth, than I agree they will never unite. isnt church all about truth an love. If it was, we would not be having this discussion.

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