x96.....Wrong government holds incorrect doctrine in the church

There are many examples of this from history--like it or not

1,000 years ago the organized church held the doctrine that we were saved by paying money to the church.

100 years ago the church held to the belief that the gifts of the Spirit were for the previous dispensation of the ages.

Let's look more closely at 3 of these doctrines--2 which we now understand for the most part--but the third which we actively participate in even today.


1. Up until fairly recently in the organized church women were not allowed to speak in the church.

First of all--is this a correct doctrine? There are still some organized churches that in certain respects hold to this belief. Why? Because of a scripture in the Bible that is taken out of context--

"Let your women keep silent in the churches for it is not permitted unto them to speak:....(1corinthians 14:34)

If we only read this half of a verse it seems that the Bible states that women should not ever speak in a Christian meeting. The plain fact is that for hundreds of years (perhaps something like 1800!) women were forbidden from speaking in Christian meetings, simply because of this half of a verse.

But let's read the next verse--

"And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church"

Dakes study Bible says this--

"This does not contradict the fact that women were free to pray and prophecy in the church. (11;5, 13; Acts 2:16-21; 219; Joel 2;28-32) If they will learn anything, not preach, pray testify, or prophecy anything. Let them ask their husbands at home and not in the church."

"For ye may all prophecy one by one, that ll may learn, and all may be comforted." (Acts 14:31)

When we read and understand this verse in it's context we see that it is speaking of learning--not prophesying or praying--etc. The Bible is clear that at the day of Pentecost--"sons and daughters shall prophecy"--all including women are here in his same chapter told that they may prophecy. Women were also held back from church leadership for hundreds of years for this verse--when it is clear that there were female church leaders in the days of the Bible.

Now, what was the effect of this wrong doctrine on the move of God? Well, in effect, it cut the body of Christ in half (at least). Because of this wrong doctrine, for hundreds of years, the women in the body of Christ were limited in their ministry and in their functioning with God. Do you think that God was behind this--or Satan? Was it Gods' will that half of His body not be allowed to speak and prophecy? Imagine all the souls that were lost because of the female evangelists and preachers that were disallowed by this rule!

This wrong doctrine--created by taking Bible out of context--used to limit the move of God--was held in place by the fact that we have wrong form and function of government in the organized church. This is the power of the enemy within the organized church that holds incorrect doctrine in place. It certainly was the "authority" of the pastor that held this rule in place. It certainly was the Roman form of government--the concept of one man with nearly unlimited power and authority--the dictatorial form of government--that held this terrible doctrine in place for hundreds of years. Hindering half the body of Christ and thus severely limiting the move of God in the earth.


2. Another incorrect doctrine which was strongly in place for hundreds of years, and is to this day still misunderstood is this:

"Wives submit to your husbands..." (Ephesians 5:22)

Another half of a verse--taken completely out of context. This verse has lead to the concept that Christians husbands have the right to rule over their wives--in any way they choose. Women have been physically and emotionally abused by husbands, who, defend themselves with this verse. It has lead to more Christians divorces than can be counted, and to lifetimes of unhappiness in a multitude of marriages.

Well, once again--is this right doctrine? Should husbands have absolute authority over their wives, to treat them like a possession rather than a person? Does the Word of God give husbands the right to ask their wives to submit to their every whim? Absolutely not! Once again--read the next few verses--read this verse in the context that God set it in--there is the command to the wife--but there is the accompanying command of the husband--

"Husbands love your wives, even as Christ loved the church, and gave Himself for it." (Ephesians 5:25)

You see, this is a relational command. It is a two way street. One half goes with the other. Wives are meant to submit to the unconditional love of their husbands. Husbands are commanded to love their wives in the same unconditional way that Christ loves the church--in the the same life giving loving way. This is what wives are told to submit to--they are not to submit to the whim of their husbands--and certainly not the their abuse or mistreatment.

Now, again, we ask--how could this doctrine have ever been taught, and in fact, held in place for hundreds of years in the "organized" church? This type of belief was very prevalent hundreds of years ago--and even, sad to say, is still taught and held to today.

How? By the wrong form and function of church government. By the organized churches' choice to use the Roman form of dictatorial rule over the correct Biblical form of government.

In fact this particular doctrine cuts to the heart of our wrong ideas of church government. Correct government in the church is meant to be a two way street--just like in a marriage. How can I say this--well the bible goes on today this right in the book of Ephesians--

"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church." (Ephesians 5:22-32, KJV).

In these verses the Bible refers to the marriage relationship and the relationship of the church and Christ in the same context. These verses are talking about the relationship of Christ and the church--the glorious church--the "church without spot or blemish"(verse 27).

These verses say that the church will be without spot or blemish when the church "submits itself unto Christ". Does it say that we must submit ourselves to a pastor--or an elder--or a bishop--or a king --or a pope--in order to be the glorious church without spot or blemish? No. The church--all beleivers--directly submitted unto Christ Himself. This is the glorious church. The submission of true service---true ministry---directly to Christ Himself---under His authority and rule!

God desires this--but the major thing that stands in the way of this, is our choice of incorrect form and function of "rulers" in our churches who in fact stand in the way of us receiving directly from Christ Himself.

This teaching lines up in accord with the third incorrectly taught doctrine...


3. "Obey them that have the rule over you and submit yourselves...." (Hebrews 13:17)

This is the big one. This half of a verse is the basis of nearly all church government and authority. This half of a verse has lead us to believe that there is one man within a church body--usually a "pastor" who indeed does have "Godly authority to rule". But what does "Godly authority" mean? This is the verses of the Bible that has caused countries to go to war, that has lead to despotic and corrupt leadership which destroyed mens souls. This is the half of a verse that has held these and many many other incorrect doctrines in place for centuries. Let's look carefully at what it really says--and not go by our experience or church tradition.


"Obey"--

This word immediately gives us the feeling that we are apparently "slaves" to someone--that we must follow the commands of someone. But the word "obey" in the Greek means to listen to or give heed to--

peiyw peitho {pi'-tho} v

----persuade 22, trust 8, obey 7, have confidence 6, believe 3,
be confident 2, misc 7; 55

1) persuade
1a) to persuade, i.e. to induce one by words to believe
1b) to make friends of, to win one's favour, gain one's good
will, or to seek to win one, strive to please one
1c) to tranquillise
1d) to persuade unto i.e. move or induce one to persuasion to
do something
2) be persuaded
2a) to be persuaded, to suffer one's self to be persuaded; to
be induced to believe: to have faith: in a thing
2a1) to believe
2a2) to be persuaded of a thing concerning a person
2b) to listen to, obey, yield to, comply with
3) to trust, have confidence, be confident


"them the have the rule over you"

These words carry with them our experiential understanding that there is person who "has the rule" in our churches. That there is, in effect--a "king" in the church--a person who has the "Godly authority" to command whatever he would like--to judge in whatever way he likes--to promote or demote whomever he wishes--to in effect--"make up the rules". The concept is that there is one person in the church who hears from God about everything concerning the church and in fact rules and performs all the ministry--or is in fact "the ministry" in the church.

First thing to notice is that the word "ministry" is nowhere near this verse in the Bible. The Bible is clear that ministry is a gift which is "given unto every one of us" But let's go to the Bible and find the only verses which relate ministry and authority...

"But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
(Mark 10:42-45, KJV).

"And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth." (Luke 22:25-27, KJV).

It is clear. Ministry is specifically NOT authority over other believers---period. And Jesus makes the statement that the absolute wrong example of how to oeprate adn govern within the church (amongst oursleves) is by the system of the "kings of the Gentiles"--which most certainly is the Roman government (the Gentile kings which ruled Israel and the world at that time).

The word "chief" used in Luke 22:26 is the Greek "hegeomai" (to lead). The words "them that have the rule over" in Hebrews 13:17 is also "hegeomai"--the same Greek word. Jesus' definition of "hegeomai" is service to others---and specificaly NOT authority over others! If we only know Hebrews 13:17, we can be easily lead to undefined rule--to the worldly cocnept of what "rule" is. Why not define rule the way Jesus did? If we say that someone inthe church has been given "rule" by God--and that rule is "authority over others" we have disobeyed Jesus command.


"and submit yourselves"

The word "submit" is another word which is experientially wrong to most of us. We think "submit" means to give up in a wrestling match--it means to surrender your will to someone--to give up your own thinking and life to another person. These are some of the experiential ideas we have behind the word "submit".

Here is the Greek meaning...

hupeiko {hoop-i'-ko} v

-----submit (one's) self 1; 1

1) to resist no longer, but to give way, yield (of combatants)
2) metaph. to yield to authority and admonition, to submit

But once again--just as in the marriage example--the Bible is clearly speaking about a two way street in our "submission to authority". Many Christians go around with the notion that they "must have some type of authority to submit to" They must seek after a leader--or else they are in severe disobedience to God. This is one of the incorrect doctrines that have mushroomed from this half of a verse. This is one of the incorrect doctrines that has been strongly taught in the organized church by tradition

The idea that we must "find the local assembly" to which we must be "joined to" This is one of the concepts that is misdefined---since we misdefine "the church" as a building--rather than a group of people. The house of God in the new testament is the home of every Christian--not a centralized, fixed meeting place. But the traditional ideas of man's kingdom masquerading as "the church" has taken precedence over the obvious Biblical defintions, and misleda us into old covenant areas which are specifically changed in the new.


So let's finally read the rest of this verse--

"for they watch for your souls as one that must give account.."

The two way street of church leadership is that leaders are meant "to give account"--they are meant to lineup with the word of God in their leadership. In the form and function of their leadership they must line up with the Word of God in every way. This is what "to give account" means (the word "account" is the Greek--logos--the Word of God)

Again, as it has been compared in Ephesians 5, the responsibility of church leadership is to lineup with the word in every way. In fact--we are certainly not to submit to leadership which does not lineup with the word--Just as a wife does not have to submit to a husband who abuses her. She is meant to submit to a husband who loves unconditionally--and we are meant to submit to church leadership that "gives account" of itself. A wife should only submit to the word of God in her husband, and His direction and actions that line up with that. It will actually be the easiest way and make the most sense, and she will want to do it. If He is truly with God, it will be a sweet and natural thing.

To put is simply, this is a form of check and balance in the church. We certainly should submit or "give heed to" those who teach us the word correctly--it will benefit us. On the other had we have every right as born again believers to question and reject incorrect teaching. We have every right to dispute incorrect doctrine. We are not disobedient to God if we disagree what the leadership of a church, it is simply the Word of God that is the final authority--not any person in the Body. It is quite simply Christ who is the head of the church not any particular part of the body.


Someone whom I know happens to be a person who goes to church very infrequently. He happens to be a very abusive and domineering person and in effect caught up in very worldly sin in his nature. This persons' idea of what "church and God" are all about is this--

"I go to church every once in a while when I get out of line. The important thing about the Bible is the 10 commandments. I go to church and those laws straighten me out."

This persons' concept of church is that he goes and submits his will to the leaders of the church once in a while and it "does him good". The people in the front of the church do all the "God mumbo-jumbo"--He believes his job is to go to church occasionally, and pay the people who know how to do the "God stuff" at the front of the church. This submission to leaders and the acting out of the ceremony of the church, is what "gets him right" with God.

This person certainly needs a lot of prayer and guidance. He certainly needs a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. But it is interesting to study how this person does not believe that this is even necessary or possible with God. He believes firmly that God is distant, uncaring, unknowable, and can only be understood or interpreted by the leaders of his church. And in fact it is really not necessary for the average person in the church to ever question the leader or even know or understand anything about God or the Bible. His entire relationship with God, he believes, comes from his submission to authority, and there is no such thing as a personal relationship with God, it only happens through the leadership, in the church, by the will and direction of leaders and his temporary submission to their will and acting out the ceremony which comes from the tradition of his church. This person actually has the same type of belief as most Christians did hundreds of years ago before the Bible was available to common people! This person is actually still living in the dark ages, and being held there by his belief in leadership and authority, which replaces his having to believe in God Himself personally.

I certainly am using this person as a bad example--yet the question remains--how is it that this type of thing can happen in Christian churches? What holds these things in place--that keep such darkness in many people who "attend church"? And, to what degree do all of us who attend church follow after these dark ages beliefs--the beliefs of absolute authority in leadership--the beliefs that "following after the leadership" is what church is all about. The belief that leadership is always right--and should never be openly questioned or held to accountability.

Too much time is wasted in our churches by leadership in trying to defend or promote what leadership has become by tradition. Most Christians are frankly sick of it! Godly authority never has to be enforced upon a believer--just as a loving husband never has to enforce submission ot his wife. Proper ministry--which comes from love and the power of the Word of God, will attract Godly submission from people--it will always glorify God and not people, it will always make Christ the head, and not any person----because it will lead to release! Jesus taught with all the authority of God---but also with all the love of God---His love always lead to the complete salvation of the individual--in body mind and spirit---but NOT just for the persons' own benefit! Jesus final purpose was to release someone who could do everything He could do.

Godly submission is easy, not difficult. It will come to us as the road that makes the most sense. It will be as a path laid out before us to walk on. In short, we will want to do it. It offers so much fruit, makes so much sense, and is actually the easiest way. In its true form, that is.

So we see that in the past it clearly was the incorrect concept of government and rulership in our churches that held incorrect and limiting doctrine in place for 100's of years. And we also see that to this day, we still, for the most part follow after this same incorrect form and function in church government.

But God will make the change---yes He will!