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Many Popes?

March 15, 2013


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

So the Roman Catholic “church” has a new Pope and according to their theology the Pope is The Vicar of Christ.  They believe that the Pope is Christ on earth and that all should follow him.  To them the Pope is more than just Christ’s representative.  They actually say that the Pope basically is Christ here and now.  That is totally dead wrong in oh so many ways…make that in all ways!

However, the modern traditional “church” is not much better…because the vast majority of “churches” out there have Pastors who basically operate as little Popes.  They may stop just short of actually saying that Pastors are Christ, but they most definitely state that Pastors are Christ’s representative in their “churches”.  Even when “churches” have boards, elders and deacons…the buck usually starts and stops with the Pastor.  I say that no “man” should have such power and authority in the “church”.  I have heard many Pastors say that they are God’s man and God’s mouthpiece to their “church”.  How incredibly wrong and sad is that?

Jesus basically says in this passage that no man should have the title or authority of a rabbi, Pastor, master, father, or teacher.  According to God it is always wrong to use these titles of power and position, but congregations all over still insist on having Pastors, Rabbis, Fathers and Teachers.  Jesus said that we should not have these positions in our churches because we are all simply brothers in Christ.  There is no real chain of command in a true church except Jesus is King and all the rest of us are mere brothers and sisters.

The only thing any of us should strive to be called is servant.  Laying down every title we should seek to merely serve others as Jesus did.  We are all called to lay down our lives for the sake of others.  Titles and positions destroy true unity and interrupt the Spirit’s flow to all who find themselves subordinate to man made hierarchies within the church.  We should all be free to directly hear God for ourselves and not through any other person with a position or title.  Popes, Pastors, Teachers are all the same…they all think they are serving, but all they really are doing is placing themselves as a roadblock between God and all others who desperately need to hear HIS voice for themselves.  There is to be NO human mediator between God and His children.  This is my plea to all of those out there who find themselves with a title or position within the “church”….Please get out of the way?  You want to help?  Then simply step down and aside and start being the sibling and peer you were always called to be.  Humble yourselves?

Love and …..

Kirk Out !



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  1. timbushong permalink

    “This is my plea to all of those out there who find themselves with a title or position within the “church”….Please get out of the way? You want to help? Then simply step down and aside and start being the sibling and peer you were always called to be. Humble yourselves?”

    What about an elder? Or a deacon? How should we ‘step aside’, when we have been called to “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28)

    Frankly, I hear very little from you on how elders are to function in the local Church, other than ‘whatever you ARE doing, I disagree with it.’ Maybe some positive descriptions from you would clarify it for me…?

    One more comment: Do you know what ‘vicar’ means? It’s from the word ‘vicarious’- and only the pope has the audacity to allow himself to be called that- there’s no comparison with evangelical pastors here. Only when a local Church is unaccountable to anyone outside their immediate domain should we say that it functions ‘like a pope.’

  2. Tim, Fair question. Elders function as older brothers and sisters in the church, helping others reach their full potential in Christ. Overseers help watch the church and its members to help make sure we don’t get off track. It really is quite simple. These gifted sisters and brothers help make sure we stay in the flow of the Holy Spirit. If error occurs they simply redirect us back into the right flow. Does this help Tim?

  3. Reformed by the Spirit permalink

    Tim, I have seen evangelical pastors that seem to have more sway on their followers than Jesus does. They could create error, make up an excuse for it and people would follow them blindly with no regard for the truth. I actually see this more in evangelical protestant churches than in any other church movements. So the title might be different, the the affect is the same.

  4. Kirk, I totally agree. Pastors do not understand (they know not what they do) when they assume these titles and positions of spiritual authority over other believers they are actually usurping the Lord and headship of Christ.

    From the Free Dictionary: Usurpation

    u·sur·pa·tion (ysr-pshn, -zr-)
    1. The act of usurping, especially the wrongful seizure of royal sovereignty.
    2. A wrongful seizure or exercise of authority or privilege belonging to another; an encroachment

  5. Adding to this thought. Power corrupts, if we accept either by seeking it or promotion from others, positions of power over other human beings (especially in the most powerful roles -spiritually) we are fair game to self deception, pride, and arrogance. Eventually the power will turn us into pseudo-gods.

  6. Jonathan Lindvall permalink

    This is very well-said. Certainly the gifts of the Spirit are to function, but without offices and titles. It’s not wrong to recognize gifted prophets, evangelists, and teachers. But when we exalt them with titles or offices we undermine the flow of God’s Spirit through them, as well as the rest of the body of Christ.

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