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Peers, Nothing More And Nothing Less

June 21, 2012

Greetings,

Jesus said:

“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers.  And do not call anyone on earth ‘father’, for you have one Father, and He is in heaven.  Nor are you to be called ‘teacher’, for you have one Teacher, The Christ.  The greatest among you will be your servant.  For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”  Matthew 23: 8-12

Jesus spells it out very clearly that no one should have a position or title that places them over and above other Christ followers.  The fact is that we are all siblings and we should honor Him and one another by living and acting that way whenever we interact and share.  There should never be such a system that ranks some believers above other believers.  We should call no one Pastor, Teacher or Leader.  It is also true that we should not treat anyone with more respect and honor than others.  Even if we do not use titles or positions we should always remember that we are all sisters and brothers and that “favoritism is forbidden.”

Jesus made it very clear that only God Himself is to be followed and revered.  We have been freely given The Holy Spirit to guide and lead us into ALL truth, and we do not need that ANY human to teach us the ways of God.  We have all been given the anointing and all we need is HIM and no other man’s teaching to be fully equipped for any good work.  (1 John 2)

HIS anointing flows through all of His followers and as peers in Christ He can speak through each one of us in turn in order to get His message out to the body and the world.  No person should ever be elevated to a status over and above being our peer in Christ.  Along the way He will speak through various members of His body and we can all learn the truth in love from one another as HE sees fit. 

Any church system that uses a hierarchy and places some over and above others is antichrist.  Because that system goes totally against what Jesus taught.  According to Jesus we are all peers, sisters and brothers under only Him and NO other including Pastor, Elder, Apostle or Pope.  If we say we are followers of Jesus then we should really BE followers of Jesus and absolutely no one else. 

Love and …..

Kirk Out !

 

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11 Comments
  1. I think that because so many of us got our start in our Christian walks in that system, or falling into it along the way, we miss the real goal of the gospel. If you ask any church member what the goal of the gospel is and they will tell you it is to make church going converts of all men. That is such a disservice to what Christ came to accomplish among God’s creation.

    He came to restore us all to the Father in perfect fellowship with Him. This is what Jesus is talking about in the above mentioned passage. All these honorific titles that men garner unto themselves distracts from that goal and only adds confusion, getting men to set their sights lower, upon other men and earthly things and short-stopping along the path to the goal, that in beholding Him alone we might all be changed into the fullness of the image of Christ. As we initially believe INTO Him (the meaning in the Greek of John 3:15, 16, 18 and 36 and many other salvation verses) we are to then continue to abide IN Him as our All in all. Just as Paul told the Greeks in Athens, “IN Him we live and move and have our being.”

    To so many of us who have been institutionalized we make the “church” our goal and the center of our affections and attention instead of Christ. It is not! The church, the ekklesia of God, is only the body of Christ and as such should put its whole attention on the Head and live in unison with HIM as its focus. Are we living IN Him is the real question or are we living in our version of “the church”? Only as we live in Him together can we live in unity of heart with one another. It is there, that what we are to be, all comes together in unity, not by an outward conformity to doctrine or location, but by an inward heart change that seeks and desires only Jesus in the presence of the Father, as we behold them in His love. “Seek FIRST the kingdom of heaven and His righteousness [right living in Him] and all these other things will be added unto you.”

  2. Martin permalink

    I’ve decided to humble myself, so please exalt me. This is such a crock of a verse, don’t you think? It’s like, lets live in pretend world of humility, and then everyone will exalt us, or Maybe God will. The verse is just nonsense.

    Martin

  3. Chris- you wrote: “It is also true that we should not treat anyone with more respect and honor than others.”

    And yet Paul wrote “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.” (1 Tim 5:17)

    How do you ‘deal’ with this passage?

  4. Yes Tim, there is that one place in Timothy, but overall I feel the scripture calls for us to not use favoritism in the church. I thought of that verse right as I was hitting send. So you got me.

  5. Re-posting in it’s entirety on Face Book. Thank you for your service to the Body!
    Marc Out : )

  6. Martin permalink

    Ok, Timothy, oh great and wonderful inerrant Timothy, what say ye about Hierarchy, and Women… Hmmm, lets see.

    ” 11 A woman[a] should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man;[b] she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women[c] will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.”

    Try and fit that into your neatly made Gospel of Captain Kirk, who quotes from the holy book claiming it insists on no hierarchy.

  7. June permalink

    I like your post, I have come to see things this way too. We are all EQUAL in Christ. Whilst I have great respect for another in the body whether they call themselves Senior Pastor or whatever, I dont see it scripture and someone once said rightly, there is only one Head, Jesus Christ, and we have created all these other heads and the monster that is under their shoulders

  8. “We have been freely given The Holy Spirit to guide and lead us into ALL truth, and we do not need that ANY human to teach us the ways of God. We have all been given the anointing and all we need is HIM and no other man’s teaching to be fully equipped for any good work.” Amen!! It’s so sad that so many believers, when they move away from traditional Christianity toward more Scriptural beliefs, simply replace listening to traditional teachers with listening to nontraditional teachers, instead of replacing it with studying the writings the Spirit has given us (the God-“breathed” Scriptures).

    On another topic, I love the fact that everyone is just ignoring Martin! Trolls should always be ignored as a matter of course. But I would like to offer a response to his last comment, not for him (since he clearly lacks the cognitive skills to even understand it), but for anyone else who may be confused about what he said.

  9. Reformed by the Holy Spirit permalink

    Double honor was due because of the sacrificial relationship these elders had with those in the body of Christ. They did not hold their authority over the people’s heads….the met people at ground level, where everyone else was at.

    The idea of having “elders” sit in front of the church is not what Paul had in mind for double honor…..nor did it mean they got to order people around and act like know-it-alls. They were respected as leaders because they were trusted….they could go to these elders because they were gentle and caring.

    Tim, do you understand this?

    Paul obviously wrote from his experience of hearing the oral tradition of the Gospels….and Christ fulfilled OT writings in His teaching. Paul knew the OT, not the NT (since he obviously wrote a good part of it)..

    The teachings of Christ are much more direct and carry more weight. I think if you weigh it out in that priority, you will find nothing but balance.

  10. timbushong permalink

    “Ok, Timothy, oh great and wonderful inerrant Timothy, what say ye about Hierarchy, and Women… Hmmm, lets see…Try and fit that into your neatly made Gospel of Captain Kirk, who quotes from the holy book claiming it insists on no hierarchy.”

    “The idea of having “elders” sit in front of the church is not what Paul had in mind for double honor…..nor did it mean they got to order people around and act like know-it-alls. They were respected as leaders because they were trusted….they could go to these elders because they were gentle and caring.

    Tim, do you understand this?”

    Wow- talk about jumping to conclusions and using straw-man argumentation!

    1. To Martin- I seriously don’t know why you bother. Some of us here hold the same view of Scripture that Jesus did, so your sarcasm is simply moot.

    2. RBTHS- Uh, I took ordination exams and was extensively interviewed by everyone in our Church (and was well-known on an intimate level) before I was ordained as an elder.

    3. Related to that, “gentle and caring” isn’t all that there is to an elder’s disposition- he must also be “…above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.”

    And Malkiyahu- Tyler Lundberg did a great job of demonstrating how to handle the Word.

  11. Sandra permalink

    I also am impressed by Malkiyahu and the discussion. Thank you.

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