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On Divisions and Obstacles

September 26, 2016

Greetings,

“I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned.  Keep away from them.  For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites.  By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.  Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.  The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.”  Romans 16: 17-20

Pretty straightforward warning from Paul there.  Divisions and obstacles need to be avoided or they can shipwreck our faith in a hurry.  Sure there are other divisions, but the biggest division that I see in the Body of Christ is that between Clergy and laity or Leaders and followers.  It is an obstacle and division because it creates the myth that some Christians are leaders and others can’t lead.  This division stifles the Holy Spirit and the Body of Christ by denying every member ministry and instead it elevates one person or a select few over the rest of the congregation.  Then instead of the Body being living and active, it becomes dead-like and passive.  The Church should never be about a few participants and many spectators.  No EVERYONE is supposed to be a vibrant participant with much to share with the rest of the Body.  When the Church is allowing and empowering every member to be Spiritual givers and not mere takers….She shines!

Who is misleading the Church these days?  Most denominations (The very word denomination means division) and independent “churches” uphold the Clergy/Laity division and the notion that some Christians are special and to be revered over and above other followers of Christ. Sure most denominations and independents give lip service to the Priesthood of all Believers, but the problem is that they do not make it their practice in everyday church-life.  Other than that it is impossible to turn on the television and find a TV preacher that doesn’t line their own pockets with cash smooth-talked and manipulated away from the innocent.  Just a few years ago The Trinity Broadcasting Network, the largest “christian” network, had come under fire because the founders very own grand daughter had come forward to say that they had misappropriated MILLIONS of dollars from the ministry to feed the founders appetite for more luxury cars, jet airplanes, mansions and mammon in general.  Aside from the money problem much of the theology of most TV preachers is just whacked.  The whole prosperity doctrine and Seed Faith movement is just so very, very wrong.  I totally believe in prayer and healing, but not the kind that apparently says that God can be manipulated with money.

The whole being wise about what is good and innocent about what is evil is just excellent.  The best way to be innocent about anything is to not even be exposed to it in the first place.  When they train U.S. Treasury agents, the agents only work with real money.  They get to know real currency so well, that when they come across counterfeit bills later they almost automatically know them to be fake.  It seems that God wants the very same from us where it comes to good and evil.  It is all about knowing the good so well and intimately that when we come across the evil we will know it right away.  BIG EVIL is easy to spot.  It is the little evil things that tend to trip us up in this life.

I really like the last verses in this passage.  It is great to know that God will soon crush satan and somehow it will be with peace and right under our very own feet.  To me this means to hold on because it won’t be very long until God helps you through any difficult situation that you can face or even imagine.  Because the awesome Grace of Jesus is with us.

Love and…..

Kirk Out !

 

 

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8 Comments
  1. daryl permalink

    I agree with most of what you have said….and also your last post.I do have a bit of difference in my view of “local churches”,than you,and maybe it”s just what I’ve experienced. I agree about clergy/laity division. But in my experience with local churches,I have not seen where people are just encouraged to be spectators by the few that lead…..though I would agree that the Sunday morning service may be that way.If that was all there was,then I suppose I would agree that most are encouraged to be spectators. Quite to the contrary,in the churches I have been in,I have experienced almost the opposite,but just as big a problem. People are continually pushed to “plug in” ,”get involved”,serve and work at the church. Those that do are viewed as “spiritual”,”walking the walk”,while those that don’t are viewed as apathetic,lukewarm,and just must not love God like they should. I feel much of this is due to erroneous teaching of Ephesians 4.I don’t know how many times I have heard a pastor teach that it is their job to equip…but the congregations job to do the work of the ministry…(of course meaning work and serve and give to THEIR local church). I feel that is manipulation and a distortion of the Word. Paul was writing to the One Body of Christ,not concerning a local church,and while the church was in it”s early days and Scripture was still in progress,there was at that time a greater teaching/equipping need,that I don’t feel we have today with the completed word not to mention the Holy Spirit. I find it preposterous that whatever church someone may start to attend or join,that they just automatically come under the equipping/teaching ministry of some random pastor,assuming that every pastor is a gift of Christ to the church. I will say though,that I don’t view the churches I have went to as “Babylon” or in any way ministers of Satan. Many are incredible people,loving,giving,caring,far better followers of Christ than myself.Well,thanks for the opportunity to ramble.

    • Thanks for rambling daryl. I don’t see many folks in the false church system as ministers of satan. There are tons of wonderful people in the system that really love Jesus as best as they can. The problem is the system 99% of the time. The Babylon system promotes the Clergy/laity division and promotes worldly ways of leadership instead of Godly servanthood. The system requires good works to advance and pits people in competition with each other for recognition by the Clergy.

  2. Sue heumann permalink

    Christopher your response to Daryl is right on the money as far as I can tell. Many love the Lord Jesus with all they’ve got….but really could more if the reigns were off of them by the pastors/clergy…I am sure. Competition and recognition, then judgement and expectations….it’s all wrapped up there in that system. So thankful to be OUT…BUT I do miss seeing the folks there who do not understand why we are not there anymore….that is yet to be worked out by the Lord…trusting him with it.
    Also, I’m very thankful that I wasn’t exposed to much terrible evil when I was young, I do agree that the best way to avoid it is not even to be exposed to it. My upbringing that way was pretty great. I think I would have fallen prey as so many others have….however I had my issues, to be sure! God has us all in his hands and knows the paths we take and how to guide us in them. Wow…..that’s pretty amazing….it helps me worry less to see your upbringing and mine, and see we both ended up here.👍✔️😀❣

    • Thanks for sharing your portion with us today Sue. As usual it is very encouraging and tasty. I love how Jesus makes all our paths straight along the way to the end, no matter how crooked they start out. I love you sister!

  3. Jonathan Lindvall permalink

    Amen.

  4. Gary Zanow permalink

    wasn’t planning to comment, but as you keep asking me on FBI here goes: I agree with a big chunk of this especially with regard to corruption within “the church” but cannot follow where you are leading regading the clergy/laity division and your authoritative labeling of all churches other than house churches as the false church system. Even if I were to ignore the overwhelming New Testament scriptures endorsing and even commanding leaders be present in local assemblies, the life analogy of boss/employee division, college professor/student division, public servant/citizen division, school teacher/pupil division and parent/child division show a norm for civilized society. I tried to participate in “leaderless” house church and still found myself a leader. I was constantly pushing “no leader” with my mouth yet find myself the obvious leader because 1. I knew more, was better educated 2. I had more life experience. I did not lord any of this over anybody but it was just the way it was. The problem is not clergy/laity but with an unhealthy, unbalanced view and practice of clergy/laity. As above, Jesus said we leaders are not to be like the others (Gentiles) and lord it over others Matt 20:25 but must be servants. I’ve known both kinds of clergy. They aren’t all false.

    • Thanks for sharing your portion Gary. Some house churches have fallen prey to the world system too Gary. I don’t think I have ever labeled “all churches” as the false church system. ALL churches struggle with not being sucked into the false system and some are more successful than others. Having a hierarchy of leadership is the worldly way of leading, but not Christ’s. Jesus basically said HE was the one Leader and all the rest of us are brothers and sisters. However, leading (small L) still must take place in ANY type of church and that can be a good thing if it is done with Christ’s humility and a servants heart. However the concept of The Clergy being THE Leaders and the rest of Christ’s Body to be passive laity is a very false construct. It is my sincere belief that leadership should be done by whoever has Christ’s anointing in ANY given moment. I really don’t think we are that far apart on this issue Gary. You are my brother and I love you just the way you are.

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