"Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water'." (John 7:38)

"Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual." (1Cor. 2:12-13)


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Church Authority

There are many churches today that are ruled by a single pastor, having graduated from a pragmatic seminary school and primarily possess the gift of teaching. While this gift is as important as any other, the mistake here is the placement of this gift as the sole authority within the church. The entire congregation, including the elders, submits to this one person. This type of government will inevitably emulate that of the secular world. The result of this type of government, in order to maintain rank, demands that all other giftings in the church become submissive and therefore less significant. While there must be a structure of organization to prevent disorder, it is ludicrous that one person take on the responsibility for the whole church, even falsely claiming and exercising the majority of the greater spiritual gifts. He is front and center as the appointed and anointed saint.

To effectively sustain man's authority in church is to effectively remove the authority of the Holy Spirit, where by all gifts have their source and power. The ability to teach and lead is elevated as the ultimate authority and guidance for the congregation and fails to fully recognize and welcome the complete presence of spiritual gifts that belong to the body. If other gifts feel the unction to express the desires of the Holy Spirit, leaders and those who faithfully follow them will look down on and accuse these people of being insufficient and insubordinate.

The deception among leaders today is that they must be the entirety of knowledge, spiritual guidance, and counselor to everyone underneath them. The result of the spiritual health in churches governed this way is a pathetically powerless body of believers, themselves bound and oppressed, unable to effect the abundant life afforded them as long as they remain under the authority of man. They remain silent with their own gifts and heartfelt ministries because they have been too long a slave to this false and deceptive leadership. In their own minds, to speak up or to speak out would be an exercise of defiance, unsettling peace that has been established by the leader's desire for the church to remain comfortable, unchallenged, and confrontation free. Much of the accountability exercised in this church will be that which strives to maintain the present rule.


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