The retardation of the saints

Posted: October 4, 2010 in christian living, ecclesia
Tags: , , ,

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: ~ Ephesians  4:11-15 

Why is it that even among sincere evangelical Christians who sit and listen to sermons week after week we have a generation that is being tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine?  It is because the senior pastor has usurped the authority of other members of the body of Christ in the local church.  I do not mean to say that all senior pastors are willfully doing this, but it is the end result of their position.  The typical evangelical church structure, along with the senior pastor position, is mostly foreign to scripture and is a sad carry over from Roman Catholicism. Even among sincere Godly men the fruit of following these empty traditions is undeniable.

Thinking of the scripture above, it would be more honest if we got a new version of the Bible that read “And he gave some to be senior pastors; and below him some associate pastors; some children’s pastors; and some music pastors; for the retardation of the saints”.  It’s really interesting to look at how the senior pastor came about and rose to such prominence.  An honest look will reveal that it is based on the papist system and not on the word of God.  It is not an innocent matter of how we do church either; it is a matter of stunting the growth of the body of Christ.  Where were teachers listed in the epistle to the Ephesians?  How about in this letter to the Corinthians?

Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?  ~ 1Corithians 12:27-30 

They are listed simply as members of the body of Christ, amongst the other giftings given to the Church.  Yet I doubt many could say with a straight face that today’s senior pastor is viewed in such a manner. 

Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.   ~1Corithians 14:29-33 

One of the most ridiculous things I have seen in this area is a senior pastor of the AOG church we used to attend stop a man from prophesying during a quiet time.  I believe the man to have really been speaking prophetically in accordance with the word of God (and he had done so in the past too) when the senior pastor tells him to be quiet from the pulpit because he was just starting to speak when the old prophet started speaking.  The senior pastor then said something along the lines that “the Holy Spirit can’t be speaking through you since I think he wants to speak through me, because God is not a God of confusion and disorder”.  This was done in front of the whole Church, and even as a young believer I knew something was out of line but who would dare question the almighty pope (I mean senior pastor, that’s what Protestants call their pope).  Yet that is what we have accepted as normal and what Christ hatefully calls the practice of the nicolatians.  Even the spirit of the prophets is now subject to the protestant pope.  Here again is a more honest writing of 1 Corinthians 14

Let the senior pastor speak week after week, and let the others sit quietly and take notes.  If anything be revealed to another that sitteth let such a one remember who it is that has the reserved parking spot and keep it to himself.  For you are not the senior pastor and so you must hold your peace until after service.  And the spirits of the pew warmers, prophets, and everyone else for that matter, are subject to the senior pastor.  For God is not an author of confusion, that’s why he distinguished the important guy by placing him on a stage.

Brethren, I do not write these things lightly or want to be seen as being negative or tearing down and never building up.  But the Lord has confirmed this word to me today and I submit it in humility.

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Comments
  1. Lisa Scott says:

    Amen!!

    The lies must be exposed, root out, pull down, destroyed, before we can even build and plant (Jere.1:10). We can only build on good ground, or else the truth will be mix with lies. And when that happens such teachings become more deceptive!

    If we love the Truth, His Body than we would have a great desire to see every body part functioning and growing into maturity (even if we have to become less so that others would grow!). And through proper, biblical growth the Body becomes unified giving God much glory!!!

    “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: ~ Ephesians 4:11-15”

    Yes, these gifts are among the Body! Not seen on a platform. And we NEED all thses gifts to help grow the Body to maturity!! The pastor DOES NOT have all the gifts! God made it where many share in the gifts that no man would take such worldly authority and rule the Body like the world.

    There are elders who help lead and keep order. But they are not to control God’s people and stop them from using their God given gifts!

    I can’t stand the Nicolatian way! Such teachings cause His people to stay dependant on man, to fear man above God (as though the pastor is the mediator and we must go thru him to receive anything from the Father). It causes the Body to stay immature, and lifts man up in glory!

    Thanks Jim! Keep standing firm on the truth!

    This is love- helping others see the truth of God’s word in order to see the glorious promises and blessings God has for His Children. And that they would be delivered from the hands of the Pharisees!

  2. Sean Scott says:

    Amen Jim. This is such an important topic that so few people will actually adresss. Actually, many people will talk about it, maybe even agree with the need for these gifts, but they won’t do anything personally to change the status quo. Many churches get diluded into thinking that just because God is working or blessing some area of their Church that it’s God’s stamp of aproval on all that they do. So instead of pressing in for God’s best they settle for something that stunts the growth of the believers.

    I tell you, the irony in all of this comes from those churches who claim to “preach the bible”. They boast of teaching “line upon line”..being a “bible” church”. Yet these very same churches that preach “the bible” won’t obey it in these most important area’s. As I posted on a forum recently, I’m not quite sure Christ died so we could listen to one or two guys preach to us week after week after week until the day that we die. I think He had something much more glorious in mind, something that includes all the body and truly expresses Jesus Christ…scripture convinces me of that.

    God Bless you brother…

    IN Christ,

    Sean

  3. ian vincent says:

    1Co 14:24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believes not, or one unlearned, he is convicted of all, he is judged of all:
    1Co 14:25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

    1Co 14:29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the others judge.
    1Co 14:30 If anything be revealed to another that sits by, let the first hold his peace.
    1Co 14:31 For you may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted

    .
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    In view of this passage it appears that prophecy in the church was the mainstay or the backbone of the church : it was considered to be what Jesus is saying to His church. It was not “added on” as an extra thing if there was time left. They gathered together to hear what Jesus was saying to them, thru whomever He chose to use as His vessels When we understand that God can and will use anyone, THEN we are ready for the gift of prophecy. But if we understand that God will speak only thru the “senior pastor” or someone close “to the top”, then we have offended the Spirit of prophecy, offended God, by rejecting His commands thru Paul, an apostle. No wonder that such institutionalized churches are so dead, and doctrinally and morally compromised.

    So when people say that prophecy was the preaching, they are sort of right, but they would be wrong if they understood it in terms of the modern concept of preaching a scheduled sermon. This is not prophesying, unless indeed the sermon came straight from the Holy Spirit as a prophetic word. (if we went back to the 1st cent we wouldn’t recognize the “modern sermon” concept)

    Today, if we talk about a “prophetic word” the tendency is to grasp on to one aspect of prophecy and ignore the rest. It’s also complicated by the fact that in many of our backgrounds we got a skewed understanding of it, like we came to associate it with “thus saith the Lord” and speaking for God in the first person. This is easily refuted by the fact the NT scripture writers never said “thus saith the Lord” and never wrote in the first person when they were inspired by the Holy Spirit. We receive what they wrote on the basis that the Holy Spirit witnesses to it, and not on the basis of them speaking in the first-person. They expected the reader to discern the authority of the truth they wrote.

    The simple understanding of prophecy is that it is what Jesus is saying to us currently. It is a message REVEALED and RECIEVED from Him. 1 Cor 14:30a If anything be revealed to another that sits by…

  4. ian vincent says:

    Prophets are like doctors, except they have God’s diagnosis and God’s cure.

    False prophets are like quack doctors. A doctor who dispenses Disprin to everyone and causes more harm than good.

    True prophets see the reality of peoples condition and Jesus speaks thru them to address their condition and lead them to Jesus, the answer, the cure.

    Here’s an example: A pastor preaches week after week nice Bible studies but never addresses the condition of the church, and there is no revival. He is not prophesying, even though what he is preaching may not be false. He is not speaking what Jesus is saying to those people.

    Another example: At a pastor’s conference a man gives a great prophecy about the coming revival. But he does not address the corruption, pride and unBiblical practices of the pastors. Again, this is not prophecy bcos Jesus will make the foundation right first. He will make His house clean first.

  5. fleebabylon says:

    There are some good comments to read about the retardation of the saints at brother Seans blog – http://preachingjesus.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/the-retardation-of-the-saints/

  6. Crystal says:

    Amen thank you so much for writing this. I love the sarcasm here: “Let the senior pastor speak week after week, and let the others sit quietly and take notes. If anything be revealed to another that sitteth let such a one remember who it is that has the reserved parking spot and keep it to himself. For you are not the senior pastor and so you must hold your peace until after service. And the spirits of the pew warmers, prophets, and everyone else for that matter, are subject to the senior pastor. For God is not an author of confusion, that’s why he distinguished the important guy by placing him on a stage.” It gets the point across. It tells the COMPLETE truth.

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