Going Toe To Toe For The Gospel Again
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5: 11-12
Three people contacted me last night and two of them shared those exact verses with me, and the other person encouraged me in a very similar manner. All these friends knew was that the Holy Spirit prompted them to call and encourage me. They had no idea about my current circumstances. All I can say is that according to those verses I am in the process of being very greatly blessed the last few days.
In the last 48 hours in an online forum about house churches Two legalistic men have attacked and denounced me falling just short of calling me a false teacher. All this is because we have different understanding about some key issues in the Church. They say I have a low view of scripture because I refuse to elevate the written word to a place equal to or greater than Jesus Himself, because I feel that is idolatry. They say scripture is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. While I believe that only Jesus is THE final authority in all matters PERIOD. They also vehemently disagree with me when I say the Church needs to be Spirit led rather than bible led. We also part ways concerning the role of hierarchy in the Church. They believe in and support the need for a human hierarchy to rule over the Church based on gifting, gender and biblical knowledge. While I say we are all equal sibling peers in the Church under only the rule of Christ alone. They see the need for human rulers with great authority, but I see the need for true servants with equal authority in Christ. Finally I support the full equality of women in the Body of Christ in regards to all giftings and practice and they promote patriarchy where only males can ever lead and teach. Yes, there are very dysfunctional house churches out there that differ very little from most traditional “churches”.
Some would say to me that an online forum is no big deal and that I should just leave to avoid further conflict with these two men. Problem is that I have been called and equipped by Jesus to contend for the faith in situations just like this. I also am not the only one speaking for the ways of Christ rather than men there. Jim W. a dear brother in Christ had stood back to back with me fending off the assault of the enemy via these two very persuasive, highly intellectual men. Jim and I feel that we need to take a stand against the very traditional/Institutional teaching of these two men who tend to dominate the discussion at this forum of more than 550 people. There simply needs to be light in the midst of this darkness. So that those who visit there sincerely seeking a better more relational way to Church can find it there in this location. It would be Christlike to just present differing views and opinions concerning difficult beliefs and doctrines there, but these two men continually go for the jugular and place their feet on the neck of those with differing views. Demanding compliance to their understanding of such doctrines and scripture. It would be great if someone would step in to help moderate the discussions there, but these guys help administrate this forum so there is not much help or balance in sight. Brothers in Christ should be able to work through differences such as ours, but they are all but saying Jim and I aren’t even real Christians because of our views and lack of having the bible as our only standard. However, the deeper I go in Christ it seems that I become too radical for even the radicals.
Me? I accept anyone who loves Jesus and calls Him their Lord. If they follow Him in the big picture I am certain that any other details can be worked out over time and fellowship. If we agree on who Jesus is we should be able to walk together and figure the rest out in His good time. God hates divisions and to divide over doctrine before giving our sibling relationships a real chance to grow and mature is a HUGE mistake in my humble opinion.
The traditional “church” has many doctrinal obstacles in the way of true fellowship and life in Him. The same should not be true in totally open and free, organic, Spirit led and relational fellowship. Jesus never made me take a test about doctrine or scriptural knowledge in order to enter into a relationship with Him. He called me His friend and then began to teach me via the Spirit all I needed to know about life in Him and the Church. Cutting people off over doctrinal disputes is like aborting a baby before it grows to full term and is born. It takes time with Him to learn and grow into the disciples He intends us to be, but if we walk with Him and one another long enough we will all eventually grow up to where we can be fully birthed into His amazing truth and love. I don’t consider myself to be fully there yet, but I hope to be in the future. I would surely appreciate your prayers for Jim and I. Fighting the doctrine police is surely a difficult adventure. Jesus said we should be defined by our love for one another and not by our doctrines. I say a tree is known by its fruit.
Love and ……
Kirk Out !