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“The Ministry”

February 8, 2013

Greetings,

“Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.  I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say.  Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ?  And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?  Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.  1 Corinthians 10: 14-17

I don’t really know how to begin today, so I will just dive in head first.  Wait, first I would like to report that my kidney stone passed without further difficulties.  Now back to the head first dive…….  The most troublesome idol in the church today is “The Ministry”.  It elevates some members of the body over and above all the other members.  “The Ministry” divides us when we should all be unified.  To say that some of us should be separated from and placed above other members in any sort of hierarchy just screams idolatry.

In the body of Christ we are all special and gifted.  To say that some of us are more special and gifted than the rest lends itself to the development of idols in our midst.  In the true body of Christ we are all equals under only Jesus.  It is nothing but pure idolatry to place persons in positions of trust and authority over the rest of the body.  

In the true church everyone is a minister, so the idol of “The Ministry” does not even exist.  However, when the “church” is run like a business instead of a living body positions are created and slots or offices need to be filled for the organization to run smoothly.  In short we create idols when we place women or men in positions of authority in the “church”.

Ministry is something that flows naturally and supernaturally from the life of a follower of Jesus.  “The Ministry” is a man-made, perhaps demonically inspired idol that ultimately divides and does great damage to those left in its wake.  I know I am sharing a very difficult and harsh word, but it needs to be shared so that everyone in the church can eventually be free.

Love and …….

Kirk Out !

 

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13 Comments
  1. Reformed by the Spirit permalink

    I have to agree with this post completely.

    At the same time, I would have to add that it is the problem of giving in to ”form”…which creates the hierarchies that really keep the body of Christ from being as it is created to be. If we would allow ourselves to be Spirit filled and led, we would naturally see authority; not just given but earned.

    There will always be those whom God has designed to lead naturally….and if they are truly Spirit led, the leaders will find themselves properly in a place of “checks and balances”….and this creates equality.

    Not every part is the same….but all have the same value.

  2. Good morning Chris. Glad to hear that your physical condition has improved.

    Possibly due to working upon a study about properly defining terms, your post intersects nicely with what our Lord is speaking to me as of late. Ministry is one of those terms that has been redefined over the course of history. As you have pointed out, true ministry is simply the service a believer excercises toward or among others as they are led by the Spirit.

    Likely due to a false precedent of starting formal ministries which necessitate hierarchal leadership, many other individuals have followed this lead and added to the already enormous sectarian spirit amongst believers. In the New Testament all ministry sprung from a local ekklesia. It may have originated in the heart of an individual and due to specific gifting but was still part of a local fellowship. This is where it would be discussed and furthermore how the participants would be held accountable to sound doctrine and a proper administration of their service.

    I entirely agree with the comment above as well and in time God’s authorities will be seen and recognized. That said, this authority as you said Chris is not fixed or permanant (through spiritual title or religious position) but as “Reformed” said, earned. God knows and the individual spiritual believers know who continues to earn the right not to speak over, but speak to the hearts of men for Jesus’ sake and for their edification. The local saints merely recognize who God the Holy Spirit has chosen to be the elders and leaders of a local ekklesia.

    It appears from history that the first tradition of men to block the commandments of God was this issue of “bishops” being over others- allowing any form of religious hierarchy to ensue. From this error every other stems and has been multiplied thousands of times over.
    Where religious hierarchy is established, you cannot avoid the two evils that coincide with that- jealousy and selfish ambition. These two traits breed disorder and every evil thing. (James 3:16-18)

    I believe Chris is correct in stating the falsehood of “The Ministry.” It is also false to say “Our Ministry” as well. Both of these create entities that compete with Jesus Christ for our allegiance and attention and both fail in discerning the totality of the local body of believers in a geographical region.

    A religious hierarchy may entail idolatry but “my ministry” (as in something I’ve created as an entity) absoluely does.

  3. Kenneth Richardson permalink

    What about “my ministry” ie: that which Father has empowered and called me to do? I understand the point of these blogs and agree with the basic premise. On the other hand I’ve been a member of a local church where ever I have lived for the last 40 years. During that time I have labored with Godly men and women who held positions of authority in our local assembly. Never have I experienced the kind of foolish posturing alluded to in these blogs. This is not to say such things do not exist but it IS saying that when one is in God’s will as to their particular service, one’s understanding of authority is made much clearer. To imply that every believer is endowed with equal grace to do every task is just nuts. God uses the weak and foolish things of this earth to confound the wise…..mission accomplished…..

    • "BK" Zimmer permalink

      “Never have I experienced the kind of foolish posturing alluded to in these blogs”….you are most fortunate. Indeed, God does ‘call’ people to different things along the way which some of us here now see as part of a system of hierarchy God hates. When I was offered a ‘position’ of pastor years ago, the Lord told me ‘yes, do it’ because it was a step I had to take to realize there is no ‘mae or female’ in Christ. He has since ‘moved me on’ so my understanding would not allow me to take such position again (or at least He hasn’t asked me to). And, as Chris said, the whole point of the Body of Christ is giftings and grace ebb and tide as the need arises. For sure they aren’t all the same. “BK”

  4. Kenneth, I too have been a member of a local fellowship wherever I have lived the last 37 years, mostly home fellowships. When I recognize the authority of Jesus in another Christ follower I am quick to listen, but that authority does not come by position or title. It comes via relationship and mutual submission. When I say every believer is a minister I am not saying that we are all gifted in the same ways. Diversity in the body is a wonderful thing. “Who He calls He equips” and I am saying that everyone is called and equipped to serve in the body. There are not many “churches” out there that encourage and allow for every member ministry. In most places everything has to run through one man, and that’s just nuts. Thanks for contributing today.

  5. Mickey Merrie permalink

    No matter how bright a light you shine, a blind man cannot see. No matter how loud the music is a deaf man cannot be made to hear. Folks who make a living from a lie have a vested interest in not acknowleging the truth. Can a dead man get up and live? Can a man crucify himself? Does not the Lord give men over to their own illusions? Did He not say, “You have elevated your traditions over the Word of God such that you make It of no effect?
    Ah, but with God all things are possible! Can not He make the rocks cry out? Did He not make an Ass speak a warning to a prophet out for profit? Yet like a pig returning to the mud or a dog returning to its vomit, so a fool to his folly…

    @ Kenneth Richardson. Friend did you ever consider that the men in a religious system for years were so sure they were doing the Lord’s Work, that when their Messiah came, having been raised from birth to know exactly how and when He would come, they failed to recognize Him?!?! Saul of Tarsis was sure he was doing God’s work, along side men who were doing God’s work, that he persecuted the Christ and His true ekklesia of living stones. Yet it wasn’t until he counted his religious works, and training as dung, and got a job to support himself as well as his companions, having been lead, no longer by men’s traditions, but by the Holy Spirit, did He do the Lord’s Work. Who is it that walk the broad road to destruction, then cry out Lord! LORD!!! we did all these things in your name, yet will hear depart from Me I never knew you. Why the picture of wise/foolish virgins, sheep/goats, wheat/tares, faithful/wicked servants Kenneth if there were not a true and a false relationship?

  6. The basis for humans exercising spiritual authority over other human beings is usurping headship and authority that belongs to Christ alone. Christ will not share His Bride with another man. You will follow one and love him or you will follow the other and love them. This is the reason for so much pastor worship, in these mostly cults of personalities otherwise called churches.

    Chris, glad you are better my friend.

    Marc

  7. Agree with the bulk of comments here. My wife and I have been facilitating organic house churches for the past 6 years in South Africa, where we have truly tried to let Jesus be the head of his body. Every fellowship gathering has been refreshing, as we have tried not to usurp the guidance and ministry of the Holy Spirit (Jesus) in the gathering. And yes, I served in an institutionalised mainline denomination for 40 years – know the system inside out!

  8. By the way, to clarify, I served as ‘senior pastor’ during those decades. Loving greetings to all!

  9. Mickey Merrie permalink

    Thanks for sharing your journey to Truth here with us errollmulder! Any thought of sending some missionarys to Godless Ameribaal? 🙂

    • Hi Mickey. Last time I looked, I recognized enough ‘baal’s’ in my own country and home city to deal with!

      I’ve been privileged to travel to most parts of the world, including China. Now there’s a country that has some of the purest believers and missionary material I have met!

      By the way, I spent a month in the USA a few years ago and enjoyed it very much – my son was doing a church plant in S. California at the time.

      In fact, my mother hailed from South Dakota and German Baptist stock – they came out to South Africa in the 1930’s to pastor German Baptist congregations in our Eastern Cape Province.

      Grace, mercy and peace!

  10. Sandra (Sandy) Grewe permalink

    Good Afternoon Captain Kirk,

    I’m so glad your kidney stones passed.

    This blog is right on. I am afraid to attend church where I have lived for 3 years. I did belong to a Lutheran Church for 4 years and when I told Pr. Mary Ann about my personal experiences with Christ I’m not sure if she believed me. That church helped me by paying for one year of mental health therapy. The cost, $14,000. I never asked for a dime from the church, yet the members or an anonymous person(s) helped me pay rent along with the therapy for PTSD and costly spiritual retreats. But, when I didn’t ‘get better soon enough’ one of the self-righteous, self-important women on the church counsel said, “How long is this going to last”?

    I gasped. I feel she purposely said this to shame me for not getting better soon enough for the church’s benefit. Then, another self-serving person, the president of the women’s Bible study group, accused me of taking money from the offering plate at a weekly meeting. I told her I did NOT steal money and to do so would be stealing from God. I would never steal from anybody or any organization! Then, the director of the preschool, which was connected to the church said to me, “You’re on drugs”! I have a ‘delayed response’ which stems from PTSD, and I didn’t say a word. I felt she thought I was ‘a druggie’ and Bad person. I was on anti-anxiety medication and I suppose my pupils were dilated but I was ‘floored’ by her comment and could not think to tell her my psychiatrist was helping me through another breakdown. It seemed I was being shunned and I could not enter the church walls of that church. I felt sick when I drove into the church parking lot one day. I got out of my car and walked to the closed door as the service was about to begin. My head was spinning, my heart was crying and I just could not enter. One of my so called friend’s saw me crying outside as she was approaching the church doors. She told me to go home if I couldn’t attend worship service and I left straight away for home.

    I was so disillusioned by the fakers who had at one time been so loving and kind and then ‘turned on me’. I spoke with the retired pastor, Pr. Kenn, about what had happened to me and I shared my experiences with God.He told me I need to ‘watch what I tell people’ about my spiritual experiences. I was looking desperately for someone who would listen to my heartfelt words and empathize with me about ‘my accusers’. For a while he did. Then for whatever reason, Pr. Kenn and Pr. Mary Ann sent me an email accusing me of having romantic feelings for Pr. Kenn and both questioned my spiritual miracles.I admired him but I didn’t have the feelings that I was accused of having! I felt betrayed and alone. I had no one to worship God with. Pr. Mary Ann called me on the phone about one week later and told me in a menacing tone that I had never heard before, “You need to grow a thick hide” and I told her, “Jesus is my thick hide”. She laughed at me. It was an evil laugh and I will never forget her final words or the voice the real Mary Ann revealed. I mourned the loss of my friends and the place I heard the Word.

    Now, I feel Pr. Mary Ann was jealous of my relationship with God and my experiences with Him. If she had, she wouldn’t be doubtful of my experiences that are ongoing. Otherwise she would understand what I have experienced.

    I was part of a ‘cult’ at that church but I didn’t understand it all until many moons after I left that church. These people along with the pastor only asked people whom they felt ‘worthy’ to attend weekend spiritual retreats often held at a monastery. Those people told me when I was invited to attend what is called, Via de Christo, “Don’t tell other church members about the Via De Cristo retreats and gatherings. The one person from that church whom I remain friends with was not acceptable by our church to attend any Via de Cristo events. Pr. Mary Ann told in me in an indirect way that Marlene did not ‘deserve’ to attend the VDC secret meetings. Finally, another pastor from a sister-church invited Marlene to attend a VDC 4-day retreat. Amen.

    I hoped I could find a Bible study group in Pueblo, CO, where I live, but I have not found one so far. I contacted a ‘home church’ and the person who answered the phone was quite rude in telling me they no longer host a home church.

    I am thirsty for the Word and decided to attend a church close by my home this coming Sunday morning. I have prayed for God to place me somewhere where I feel comfortable and where there is no hierarchy.

    I ask you in Jesus name, to pray for me. Amen.

    May God continue to bless you, Chris.

    In Christ,

    Sandy

    • Sandy, I am upset that you had to go through those trials at your former “church”. Sadly, very few understand any sort of mental illness in the church. I appreciate your support and prayers as I continue to heal from PTSD. You are in my prayers also. LOve, Christopher

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