Wednesday, March 08, 2006

# 133: Who Should Teach Us?

“It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be PASTORS and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” Ephesians 4:11.This is the only verse in the Bible where the word “pastors” is mentioned. Isn't it funny we have so many pastors? Conversely, “prophet” or “apostle” is found hundreds of times in the New Testament. Where are all of the apostles and prophets?

Members of organized churches almost always depend on the pastors’ interpretation of the true Word of God. These church leaders are supposed to prepare God's people for works of service, and there is no doubt that House Church overseers who truly have the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ living in their bodies can teach newer members many of God's ways. It is apparent, however, that something is out of whack with respect to the Biblical criteria for believers. We clearly need more apostles and prophets and fewer pastors. There is little doubt we need to have order in our House Church meetings. Therefore, we may require overseers of some sort, but never to the point where their attitudes and opinions dominate over the consensus of the majority of mature Spirit-dominated members and, above all, the Bible. Though we will continually learn many truths from each other, the main source of all truth apart from the Bible will always come from God via his Holy Spirit, as long as people are attuned to the voice of God.

Of course, it is easy to see how this sad state of affairs arose. Even in Old Testament times, God instructed His believers to learn from Him. Psalm 119:102: “I have not departed from your laws, for you yourself have taught me.” Nevertheless, even in Christ’s time on Earth, there were not many scrolls of ancient Scripture, and fewer still people who could read them. Under those circumstances, perhaps it was inevitable that when believers gathered, the ones who could read and had the Holy Scripture shared the Scriptures with others. Indeed, in such an “assumed leadership” role, one can see how this sharing could have led to a greater perceived role, including interpretations and belief imposed on the listeners. But, my, how times have changed. Bibles are now readily available in virtually every language, and most people living in developed countries can read them for themselves and with His Spirit for guidance. There no longer is any reason to rely on the teachings of another, as we did in times past.

We also know much more about the physical universe than we used to. In about the last twenty-five years we have amassed more scientific, industrial and informational resources than in the previous nineteen hundred years. When we look at these achievements from a Godly perspective, they confirm not only the existence of God, but also His vastness. When we examine all of the resources available through man’s achievements in the Christian realm, it is a different story. A few are excellent, and some are good—if one weeds out human flaws—but most have led the multitude astray. Collectively, we share far too much pride in our achievements. In short, we’ve become “too big for our britches.” We must not rely too much on what man says about God, but instead we must rely on what God says about Himself and man.

This blog is a good example of man, namely this author, writing things about God. Do not believe a word in this post just because it sounds good or logical or Godly. Believe only what God allows you to experience. That is when truth comes to life. This is very important: Never believe what any one man/woman says about God. He may be good and holy and trustworthy in what he preaches, but if he is flawed—as we all are—it is best to go straight to God in prayer; then the answer will be given to you, guaranteed. God has said that He will teach you by His Holy Spirit and by His Word, the Bible. Of course, this concept will appear silly to those who do not truly believe, but then, what else might we expect? We must remember that most truths about God are meant to be experienced by those who belong to God. Then we can say that the Christian life is a continual ongoing experience, even an adventure.

Let's let the Bible speak to see if what I have written has any validity. Peter says something of great importance about Paul’s letters that can give us a good clue as to why some of us never come to a true understanding of the Christian life. Listen to what Peter said in this first verse:

*2nd Peter 3:16: “His letters [the Apostle Paul’s letters] contain some things that are hard to understand, which [spiritually] ignorant and [emotionally] unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.” [emphasis added].

*Philippians 3:15: “And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.”

*John 14:26: “The Holy Spirit, whom the father will send in my name, will teach you all things....”

*John 16:13: “But when He the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.”

*Philemon 1:6: “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. No sharing, no understanding...”

*1 John 2:27: “And you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things…”

*1 John 5:20: “The son of God has come and has given us understanding.”

*1 Corinthians 2:13: “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit....”

*John 6:45: “They will all be taught by God.”

*1 Thessalonians 4:9: “Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God.”

*Luke 12:12: “For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”

When a man/woman teaches you, even if he/she is a man of God, it may be hard to understand to the point that you can apply such teachings to your life. God, however, will always make it clear as to the understanding. Still, if we don't obey all His commands, the Lord cannot teach us or give us understanding. 1st John 2:3. "We know we have come to know him if we obey his commands." As one can clearly see, according to the New Testament, God Himself will teach His true believers, not the clergy. Why should things be different now? A partial answer is that, in general, people are lazy. It is easier to go listen to someone talk than to go to God in prayer, or to study God’s Word for hours on end with an inquisitive heart. I can offer this thought, but it is up to you to accept it: Laziness is addicting and more spiritually life-threatening than almost any other destructive habit. Most of us seem to choose the course of least resistance. Most often the easy way is not the right way.

Why do so many need to be taught by other human beings? Because the organized church, in general, is so far from God that its spiritual receptors are on “good” earthly things this world offers. I am not just talking about prosperity-seeking churches. Let's not forget that the paid church leaders (clergy) make it very conducive to listen to them by their flattery and affirmation of the listeners’ sanctities. You are saved, baptized, born again, and heading for heaven to be with Jesus and don't you forget it. Not to sound sinister, but once again: The main thing on their minds is to have their listeners back next week to keep their church membership up and running. Ignorance on the part of their followers to the true nature of Scripture is to their benefit. One must keep in mind their priorities: Paying the bills is very important and necessary to churches: bills they shouldn't have in the first place, such as mortgage payments for a big, stupid building; elaborate homes for the pastors; insurance of all kinds; maintenance of property; wages for hired help; the expenses of keeping up with the Joneses (other clergy); and so forth. With this ongoing debt and liabilities, they have to say and do whatever it takes to keep the ball rolling, at the cost of our souls. It just isn’t financially expedient for them to tell the whole truth.

According to the Bible, there were no church buildings in which early Christians could worship. They met in small groups in each others’ homes, and outside when necessary. The first large church buildings were erected in Rome by Constantine, the first pagan Christian to enter the scene and make his demonic religion compulsory, ironically, in the name of Jesus Christ. One all-important thing to true worship groups is maintaining intimacy among believers. There can be no true intimacy in large groups. The best, if not the only, way to accomplish it is with small groups that meet in each others’ homes. This is the House Church concept: worship without denominational affiliation. I am not referring to small circles within a large church which break away after the service, or the Wednesday night Bible study or prayer meeting. Worship and fellowship is a sham when members do not know one another in an intimate way. In a nucleus or extended family, everyone knows each other like no one else knows them. That is the way it should be, and to an even greater extent in our spiritual family.

In my estimation, this type of Christian life is virtually nonexistent at present, but is starting to catch on. But it may be a long time before it makes a large impact on the world for the cause of Christ. This is not to say that a large group of sisters and brothers from different House Churches who have a common denominator can't meet occasionally in a large rented hall (or even outdoors), in addition to maintaining the small groups that meet weekly or daily, like an ordinary extended family gathering for a family reunion. I truly believe genuine Christianity cannot exist apart from this close contact environment. We need this closeness to continually encourage—and when necessary, rebuke—each other, but always in love. We will desire everyone else to be better than ourselves in every way, while lifting the Christian life to its highest standard of perfection, devoid of all fakery.

Aside from exposing the sham of organized Christianity, the main intention of this post is to initiate the worldwide formation of House Churches consisting of genuinely closely-knit Christians, all independent of each other, but submitting to one entity: God, who Himself will dictate what and how to believe and live. Through following the Bible and the formula in this blog, they will still possess the unity of the Spirit of Jesus Christ; this will be the dominating force in each person. When it comes to loving and caring for each other, mediocrity and compromise must be totally eliminated. The money that could be saved in not supporting organized churches might then go to promoting Jesus Christ and caring for the less fortunate. Such a deal.

It is shameful that this so-called Christian country assented to the establishment of a Social Security and Welfare system. If this was a Christian country in the true sense, we would have cared for our own without the need of government. If we were to add up the cost of building and maintaining all of the churches, the cost of wages for full-time pastors, and all the money given to churches by ordinary people worldwide, it would run into the hundreds of billions, if not trillions, of dollars. Imagine if that money had been put into the hands of real men and women of God, how much more God could have done in helping the poor and in the outreach to the lost. This fact puts tears in my eyes.

When we were young and our parents were not able to be at home with us for whatever reason, they would hire a babysitter. As we grew up, we didn't need a sitter anymore; we could care for ourselves according to our parents’ instruction and our maturity. Similarly, a new Christian needs a spiritual babysitter or two (other mature Christians to watch over us). When we become mature in the things of God, however, we automatically become babysitters of sorts. At such time, we don't need a babysitter (pastor) to tell us partial truths every week with timely sermons on what to do (and how tight finances are at this time of the year, in an attempt to bleed us of our very last penny). As we grow in maturity, Christ (the true pastor) will continue to teach us by His Holy Spirit. This is His promise, but only to the degree that we seek the Lord with all our heart.

Here are our choices: Go to a church building, give our hard-earned money and listen to the pastor say whatever crosses his mind in order to get us back next week or, we can get our act straight and allow God to make us aware of our need for Him. As long as we are not aware of a need for God, He cannot teach us a thing. The evil one has conditioned us against the need for God in this affluent country of ours, where independence of the individual instead of dependence upon God is the priority.

If God were teaching the church, there would be no need for this blog. There are, no doubt, some who are reading the information herein, surely considering this author a heretic, one who thinks he is living 2,000 years ago. I will gladly accept being a classified as a heretic according to the majority of the Christians in the world today. 1 Corinthians 2:14 says, "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned." Romans 8:9: "If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ." As I have mentioned several times: To have (be filled with) the Spirit of Christ means to have the same motives for living that Jesus had. If, by some chance, you don’t have His motives dominating your life, don’t kid yourself—you don’t have His Spirit no matter how loud you shout it from the rooftops. 2 Corinthians 5:17. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation." That’s one extra-tough Christian concept that the majority don’t care to hear.

The question remains: If we truly have Christ’s Spirit in us, will we have even a close resemblance to how the Christian world at large looks and acts? No. Christianity is not just something to do, or a certain way to live; it is something very special to be. Repeating: When Christ’s motives, aspirations, and desires are ours, then we can know for certain that we have His Spirit. With His Spirit to empower our motives, we will be living for His cause, which is much more important than our own personal lives, to say the least.

Our human nature’s main concern lies with self and family, quite often in the name of Christ, while His cause—which we, who belong to Him, live for—concerns making the love and power of Jesus Christ known for the Salvation of all who will believe. Is there any comparison? Can they both be classified as genuine Christianity, just different ways of believing? Never. At this time we will allow Jesus Christ to live on this earth again through our bodies. If that is not our reason for life, then forget it; we do not belong to Christ even in a small way. We must always remember that there is another spirit in the world and he is the unholy spirit. That spirit, when dealing with Christians, takes the identity of our Holy Spirit.

Another way we can tell which spirit we have is to ask these questions: 1) Do we live according to all that God’s Word commands (Him teaching us)? 2) How are we receiving God’s Word? To pick and choose what feels good and to disregard the unpleasant parts of Christianity is a farce, and this is precisely what organized worship promotes. If anyone wants to know the destiny of those who lived like that, just read the Old Testament. Satan, the god of this world, who always displays himself through our concern with bettering self, has his way through the desires of our ego (the desire to do what feels good). In fact, “self-first” and Satan are synonymous. If somehow self-interest could be destroyed worldwide—which is Christ’s work—Satan would vanish. With this in mind, who are we really working for?

One last pertinent statement: We who are true Christians believe, through our faith in Christ, that we were made to live like Him. When this belief is valid in our heart, that is what gives us the power to live that life through the Holy Spirit. Without that kind of belief, the life that follows may be religious and good, but it will be without any spiritual substance.

People always live up to what they believe about themselves. Titus 1:6. "They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny Him." Luke 11:13. “How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" We must ask with our heart and life. GOD WILL PERSONALLY TEACH US, and hopefully, without much help from man/woman. If we had this type of Christianity in the world today in large numbers, who do you think would take notice? You guessed it, skeptics and atheists. To them, seeing is believing. When they see Jesus Christ walking this earth again in your body and mine, one they can even touch, my guess is that they will knock down our doors wanting to be part of this living Christ.

8 comments:

dono said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dono said...

Dono said

wow, let me guess
#1 homeschooling, denim jumpers, you sit at any restaurant at any
given time judging how people eat or simply try to guess "who's a good
little christian and who is a bad one.#2 went to seminary got a degree and a little piece of paper that
makes you think you know it all....mmm or maybe you didn't go and feel
that education especially bible schools don't know the secrets of the
world like you.
#3 wounded by some church somewhere and are bound to crucify all churches now
#4 postmodern who does church in a home and does everything a church
does but "we don't do church"..we bake our own bread for communion and
hold hands and are like little puppies in a box licking each other in
our safe little home away from those "bad" Christians who go to the
"big churches"
#5 radical back woods conservative who is fighting for there "freedom"
with a Confederate flag waving majestically over your double wide.

dude...who died and made you Darth Vader...there is allot of anger in
you.."for those who don't care to belong to a church" so are you that
guy that says "wow I really like you ..but your wife and kids are butt
ugly...

I am a youth pastor of 15 years and have been badly hurt buy "churchs"
but not all are the same and some ar in homes...church is church
friend doesn't matter how you dress her....on behalf of the so called
"American clergy" God loves me as much as he does you...even Jesus
never said his bride was perfect....your words make baby Jesus cry.
i realize this is very sarcastic i am just in awe that there are still
christians judging other christians and pontificating over stupid crap
instead of really making a differnce in the world by showing Gods
heart.
yours truly Dono



Althinker said

Dono, thanks for your comment. I love it. I don’t get enough negative feedback. The thing is, I know where you are coming from. And if I were in your position, I would be saying the exact same thing --of course not as elegantly. You really showed your true colors with the phrase, “. . . pontificating [acting as a high priest] over stupid crap instead of really making a difference. . .” Before you judge what I write, scroll down to post/blog #127. “Silently Forbidden New Testament Verses.” This is the stuff you call stupid crap. Any intelligent Moran who is aware of what the New Testament teaches, can tell in a quick reading that something is missing in the “American clergy” as you called it. Just remember, you are a paid professional. You have a job to do. That job is to play follow the leader (those who allow you to pay your bills). You must play by their rules or out you go, and maybe start a blog-site of your own, something like mine. End of story.



Dono said

Ah yes, your one of those guys.....oops you made one small error...here are my true colors. I never said I was paid.you just assumed that..not very wise.see I am a trim carpenter, those pay my bills. yes i was paid for a few years but I left because I got tired of listening to goofy so called chrisians constantly beating down others with there lowsy out of context bible rantings and judgment..sound familiar. I left to start going out into the world..Africa,mexico, america to help others see Gods love in a practicle way. I have delt with inner city kids(yes I got paid to mentor them as a pastor but only after proving myself as a volanateer). I spoke as glergy because it was apart of me, but there are many who have changed my life...I play by Gods rules thats it and I definitely don't play by yours or a churches, and i do have a blog site of my own. i just got you silly little card in the mail and had to chuckle at it. I think it would be in your best intrest to listen to the scriptures you have done such a nice job of "memorizing" and that is learn to contextualize what you are speaking. yes God only said pastor once but he said it. and maybe you should go back to the greek or hebrew and learn translation. you are in fact inteligent but the "american glergy" is not the problem. it is socially and biblically retarted Christians all over the world that are the problem. I won't banter bible with you it is a waist of time for clearly you "know the bible" i think you have simply forgot the heart and soul inside. I don't know. I was just having some fun words for somone who felt like attacking "churchs" via mail so I responded. enjoy your home church...gathering...anti pastor..pro apostle..thing a magigger.
ps. what do you do for work? do you get paid? is it mentioned in the bible as an endorsed "get paid "job. I have this big plank in my eye I need to go take out..I would suggest you do the same..kep it real friend..this is all silly..concidering we are technically on the same teammm. much love .sorry for the spelling i am an add typer. dono


althinker said

Good for you. Keep up the Good work. Althinker

Anonymous said...

just want to make you aware that you are using church-made terms, and I can feel the influence of a denominational influence...

you call the Bible Word of God, or at least I suppose so:

"Members of organized churches almost always depend on the pastors’ interpretation of the true Word of God"

while the bible itself calls Jesus the Word of God.. there is no such a reference in the bible that says that the bible is the Word of God..
What you are assuming comes from the assertions of a theologian, Karl Barth.. so, be careful when you say that you lean only on God..

take care ^__^

al thinker said...

Thanks for your insite. I believe you are correct. Even though in Hebrews 4:12, it does use the term ‘The Word of God,’ that does not necessarily refer to New Testament Scripture. Thanks for the correction.

Anonymous said...

I CAN'T WAIT TO BE A CHRISTIAN, WITH ALL THE LOVE YOU GUYS ARE SHOWING TO ONE ANOTHER...NOT. I THINK I'LL JUST FIND ANOTHER CORNER AND OPEN UP MY OWN CHURCH AND LIKE OLD BLUE EYES I'LL DO IT MY____ WAY. I'M GOING TO CALL IT THE TRUTH OF GOD, BIBLE WAY, NONE OF ME,ALL OF THEE,1ST,2ND,3RD,4TH, AND 5TH BAPTIST,HOLINESS,ST.PAUL,M.E.,A.M.E ,GOD,LORD,BUDDHA,JAH,ALLAH,YAHWEH,OBATALA, MOTHER UNIVERSE,HEAVENLY FATHER,PTAH,JEHOVAH,RA,AMEN-RA,SON OF MAN,SUN OF GOD,...THIS MIGHT SOUND A BIT CONFUSING BUT WE'LL FIGURE IT OUT IN ABOUT 2 OR 3 THOUSAND MORE YEARS, 1ST COR. 14:33, JAMES 3:12-18 PLEASE READ, NOT FOR ME,BUT FOR YOUR OWN SAKE. PEACE BE UNTO YOU BRO.AL AND YOU TO BRO. DON'T NO, ALL IN THE NAME OF LOVE...BRO. JEFF

al thinker said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
al thinker said...

Jeff, Thanks for your comment. Religion looks pretty nasty, and it is. I am part of this antagonistic love affair. Just remember, godly love does not always wear a SMILEY FACE (tolerance). Love for neighbor does not mean to tolerate godless action–regardless the religion. Love must verbally speak-up, without violence, against anything that is in conflict with the universal law that dictates to be your brother’s/sister’s keeper. There are many ways to transgress that ordinance: ignorance, laziness, hatred, ego, wealth, indifference, greed, self-love, pride, agnostics, etc. Money may not be the root of all evil; it most likely is tolerance for sugar coated evil. For anyone to tolerate all the above in the name of God/religion is in worst shape--with out knowing it--then the cruelest of the cruel. By their silence they are condoning an anti-God, pro-hate attitude.


For me to keep silence concerning anti-Godly religions, knowing what I know, would make me guilty of a high crime against God and worthy of being condemned to death.


When others respond to my bold and controversial words in an arrogant and insulting manner, they are just painting a accurate picture of themselves. Just remember the childish saying, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” Whoever you are, I wish God’s blessings on you.

al thinker said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.