9Marks, Church Governance or Policy Issues, Uncategorized

Comments Closed and Removed at The Cripplegate

Pastor Eric Davis of The Cornerstone Church (WY) Decides to Remove Two Comments from Women and Closes Further Commenting

-by Kathi

Thanks to Boston Lady, I looked up a blog post that was linked in a comment on this blog’s previous post. Eric Davis wrote, “Reasons We Miss Church (But May Not Need To)” which was posted on The Cripplegate.

This post discusses all of the wrong reasons why someone might miss church. They include:

  1. “There is no command that says I need to go to church every Sunday.”
  2. “There aren’t any good churches in my area.”
  3. “Family/friends are in from out of town.”
  4. “The preacher/teacher I like is not preaching/teaching.”
  5. “I can watch the/another gathering online, or listen to a message online.”
  6. “Recent birth of a child.”
  7. “Gatherings are too long.”
  8. “It conflicts with the kids’/family’s schedule/sleep/sports/stuff.”
  9. “Church is far away.”
  10. “I work during the church gatherings.”
  11. “I am traveling.”
  12. “Some hard things have happened and I need space.”
  13. “I’m tired.”
  14. “The church isn’t a location or an event, but people, so I don’t need to be there.”
  15. “My spouse/significant other/roommate is staying home so I will too.”
  16. “I know all of these reasons, but you just don’t understand my situation.”

As noted by Boston Lady, the ever eloquent A. Amos Love had left some comments on there, so I decided to chime in as well.

screenshot-2017-01-07-at-9-11-16-pmThen I asked Julie Anne if she had seen it and she decided to comment too (her tweet came later after learning her comment was removed):

screenshot-2017-01-07-at-10-40-47-pm

A little bit later in the night I received a text from Julie Anne asking if I knew what happened to the post. Eric Davis decided that enough “robust discussion” had taken place and closed the comments. He also decided to delete my comment as well as Julie Anne’s (noted by the “Removed” sign in our screen shot comment).

screenshot-2017-01-07-at-10-29-54-pm

When I left my comment, I noticed that the previous one had been made a day earlier. Why all of a sudden are comments closed and two are deleted? I know I’m risking my attitude being questioned when I ask this, but was it because two women were challenging the authority of a pastor and elders over the congregants? Was it because we are outside of this congregation and asking questions? Lord knows if anyone within the congregation is willing/able to ask questions. If we had left these comments with male pseudonyms would they have been allowed to stay and perhaps had some discussion to follow? Did we step on authoritarian pastor’s toes and question why the church needs to have so much control over people’s lives?

When I first read this post it screamed 9Marks to me, and by golly they are affiliated with 9Marks. Then I went and read the church by-laws and I was left concerned about how much control this church has over its members. You can be sure that there will be more to discuss later. That was a valiant attempt at trying to leave us out of the conversation, Eric Davis.

Oh, and comments will remain on.

171 thoughts on “Comments Closed and Removed at The Cripplegate”

  1. The best way, IMO, is to be a part of the real world, making tents, while modeling and ministering as a believer. You are able to approach people where they are. You are one of the them.

    Yes, Lydia! This is what I think too.

    However, she never would have accomplished any of that if she had spent the rest of her life working full time as a maid instead of answering the call to “go ye.”

    Maybe she would have accomplished something different that was equally valuable. But that was her choice, her path and that’s great. It’s great that someone helped her. It’s great that she helped herself.

    That’s all kind of separate from saying everyone who works in ‘ministry’ (however that is defined, which is a whole kettle of fish) must be paid for that work. What has happened with that is that people choose things based on money and career prospects, rather than a call. And that seems to be a bit of a problem.

    Like

  2. Amos,

    I’m glad you enjoyed the stories.

    Here’s one of my favorite. This is from a book about a lady that endures a long painful illness and experiences a vision where she goes to Heaven and has a conversation with Jesus.

    Describing what she sees in the vision she writes,

    “I heard the sound of singing and I was taken into a plain room. It was a church of some sort and there were six or seven women singing along with one man. An elderly woman led the singing and finally an elderly man rose up and preached to the tiny congregation (in Cantonese or Mandarin, she’s unsure which).

    “I watched as the church service ended…then I saw the (elderly) couple in one bare and simple room packing two huge steamer trunks. I heard the Lord’s voice (saying)

    “They were called as missionaries to China when they were eighteen and nineteen. (in the 1920’s) They left America immediately after their wedding with the same two steamer trunks—exhilarated with the Lord’s vision to reach China.

    “It was not as they had expected. The mission board was run at that time by those with conservative and religious views and they were considered too inexperienced to minister to the people. And his preaching was considered too radical. They were not welcomed.”

    “Their dreams of radically touching China with My Gospel faded. But I sent one of my faithful servants to their city. he was an old British missionary (who helps them learn to speak the language there)….each night the three would sit together and pray for China to open up to My Gospel.”

    (She writes) “Jesus turned to the throne and I saw their prayers rising as burning incense before the Father’s throne. Heaven was intent on each prayer and then I saw the Father commissioning hosts of angels. And the angels took the incense of the prayers and I saw them dispatched to Earth to move on the hearts of both the unsaved and consecrated to open doors for the gospel.

    “Then I saw (the three people) translating the Bible into different languages. I watched as they ministered to small groups of people in the daytime and (then) praying and translating at night…..for years. (The British missionary becomes ill and returns to England. She watches the other couple continue ministering for years) until they were in their late seventies when the husband became sick needing treatment in America.”

    (In the vision, she sees the couple returning home discouraged that they had only seen a few lives touched by their ministry. She sees them both reach America and pass away shortly thereafter, totally forgotten by everyone but the Lord.)

    (Then the Lord shows her this couple in Heaven and then shows her a massive stadium filled with thousands of souls that came to know the Lord) “Because of their obedience to Me and My instructions throughout their ministry…..their faithful and unceasing prayers affected the entire nation and the spread of the gospel.

    “They received so little encouragement…..their accomplishments went unseen, but they played a major unseen role in the rising of My church in China….”

    “Many of My children live in obscurity, their noble works unseen by most and unappreciated by many. Many of my minister’s works are seen but the persecution that accompany them are deeply painful.”

    (greatly condensed from the book Visions of Heaven)

    Like

  3. Avid Reader,

    If any man truly loves God he will not take upon himself a title only given to the Lord Jesus Christ.

    We have ONE Poimen pastor/shepherd.

    The NT is so clear.

    If Jeff wishes to exercise servant leadership then he desires a good thing but he ought to imitate Paul’s example. I’ll leave you to find out what that was.

    The institutions with their elevated Roman platform are an abomination.

    The eloquent sermons are an abomination.

    Men sit passively listening to well prepared speeches.

    99% of people do not contribute or exercise their gifts amongst the people.

    The modern ‘church’ system is an abomination to God.

    Please all watch this and consult God for his thoughts.

    We are the church Jesus is building. We are living stones. A royal priesthood. Called OUT of darkness and into his marvellous light.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This was very good–however I got to 11 minutes and I see some errors.

    The references to Acts 2 being for us in the church age..– at that time ,these were the Jews who were water baptized after repentence…then he goes to 1 Corinthians and gives 1:2–“are sanctified in Jesus Christ”. Then he goes to 1 Corinthians 12:27 “you are the bodies and members ,those who have been regenerated (reading the verse)”…. Then in error, the narrator says “those who have been regenerated -who received the word and were baptized…”..

    We are baptized INTO Christ now.
    When John the baptist was baptizing Jews , he was letting them know they were unclean.. their circumcision was not enough- he was letting them know according to their law they were under what they needed to now do..just as the priest needed to be washed before entering the holy of holies. They understood this.

    Later on in Acts, and following…we are baptized INTO Christ. There is no longer a water baptism. Every time Paul speaks of baptism it is not water baptism…

    will watch the rest later!

    Like

  5. Salty,

    I’m impressed that you would post a video advocating the gifts of the Spirit— especially prophesy!

    The best part of the video is at about 14:40 minutes when a young Scottish prophet walks up and confronts John MacArthur in what appears to be his own church!

    Many of you know the issues we’ve had at ACFJ with MacArthur.

    That confrontation was just beautiful to watch! The young prophet tells him,
    “You have grieved the Holy Spirit of God! Your doctrine of cessation is in error. He has been grieved, John MacArthur. I have been sent here to tell you, you are sharpening the sword and they are cutting each other. You do not believe in prophets, you are looking at one!”

    Of course, then I had to look up what happened next and found this link about the “fallout” afterward.

    http://www.desireemmondesir.com/home/2015/8/26/your-doctrine-of-cessation-is-in-error-what-is-cessationism-and-is-it-scriptural

    Now the rest of the video says that the institutional church is unscriptural because it doesn’t allow the congregation to prophesy during the service according to 1Cor 14. “For ye may all prophesy one by one.”

    There are churches that do. The church that I grew up in actually did allow the congregation to prophesy as the Holy Spirit moved. The rule was that if you felt the Holy Spirit giving you a word during the service, you had to approach a pastor and tell the word to the pastor who would then test the word whether it was scriptural or not and if so hand you the mic and allow you to prophesy to the congregation. Through the years there was a lot of prophesy happening during the services and it ministered to the congregation.

    However much of the body of Christ doesn’t believe in that so I’m happy to find another person who does! Salty, thank you for sharing that video.

    There are some major logical fallacies on the video, but after the thrill of watching that confrontation with MacArthur, you’ve got me in such a great mood that I don’t feel like writing a logical analysis of the errors!

    I’d rather keep googling to see what happened after that confrontation! 🙂

    Like

  6. Avid Reader

    As for your comment @ JANUARY 12, 2017 @ 1:50 PM…

    Where you wrote…
    “Amos…
    “…you put good pastors like Pastor Jeff
    in the same category with wolves and con artists
    just because they receive tithes!
    xxxxxxxxxx

    I was kinda hoping you would answer the questions…
    To help me understand what “Tithe” means to you?
    That were asked @ JANUARY 13, 2017 @ 9:54 AM…

    Because…
    I’m-a-thinkn, we have a mis-understanding about the word “Tithe.”
    xxxxxxxxxx

    My four comments about “Tithes” from – JANUARY 12, 2017 @ 12:08 PM…
    To – JANUARY 12, 2017 @ 12:39 PM…
    Never mention pastor Jeff.

    I replied to this question you asked @ JANUARY 12, 2017 @ 7:45 AM…
    “Is it a sin for good pastors to receive tithes?”
    xxxxxxxxxx

    I do NOT know if pastor Jeff receives Tithes.

    1 – Do you know if pastor Jeff receives Tithes?

    2 – When you say… receives tithes. – Do you mean receives MONEY?

    Like

  7. Avid Reader

    I have NO problem with any believer giving MONEY.
    Giving MONEY to a ministry… Giving MONEY to people…

    I encourage believers, often, To Give Freely. – But…
    To ask Jesus first – where to give this MONEY. – Yes??? 🙂

    If Jesus has asked you to give MONEY to pastor Jeff?
    Or anyone who has taken the Title/Postion, pastor/leader/reverend?
    A Title that does NOT exist in the Bible for one of His Disciples.

    Please, do what Jesus asks you to do.

    If Jesus asks you to give 10%, from your wages, MONEY…
    To pastor Jeff? Or any pastor?

    Please, do what Jesus asks you to do.

    But, If that pastor says, you, Avid, are required to “Tithe”???
    Give 10%? From wages? Weekly? To a “local church?”
    As a requirement? From the Bible?

    That is NOT in the Bible. That is NOT the Truth.
    That pastor is a Wolf and a Con Artist.
    Whether That pastor knows it or NOT.

    That is what “Today’s Corrupt Religious System” often teaches. 😦

    You asked @ JANUARY 12, 2017 @ 7:45 AM…
    “Is it a sin for “good pastors” to receive tithes?

    I believe “a good pastor” would NEVER ask you to give tithes.
    And, “a good pastor” would NEVER receive tithes.

    Because, in the NT, Jesus, taught His Disciples

    There is NONE GOOD but “ONE,” that is God. Mat 19:17.

    And, Jesus, called Himself, The Good Shepherd. John 10:11-14.

    And, Jesus, called Himself, ”The “ONE” Shepherd.” John 10:16
    xxxxxxxxxx

    Jer 50:6
    “My people” hath been “lost sheep:”
    THEIR shepherds have caused them to go astray,

    1 Pet 2:25
    For ye were as sheep going astray;
    BUT are now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Like

  8. Avid Reader, I am not a ‘charismatic type believer’ but I will share a story that I’ll never forget. I was walking in a major city on a Saturday night around ten years ago. I was with a group of friends and only one other person was a believer. We walked past a man who was sitting at a bus stop. I saw his face and his expression was interesting. We kept walking and I honestly felt God directing me to stop, turn around and ask this man “are you ok?”. I told my friends I needed to do something and I’d meet them later. I went up to him and sat down and said, “hey, I just want to check that you are alright?”. Long story short…. he was a son of a ‘pastor’ who was away from the Lord and struggling in his personal life. I shared my faith and told him that the Lord loves him and he could go back to him at any time.

    It was one of -those- moments. I was in my twenties at the time. God really impressed upon me to stop and go back.

    Yes, I believe the Lord guides, directs and ‘speaks’ to us. Our walk is a spiritual one that is not a flesh and bone relationship. My walk with the Lord is not a walk with a Book (the biggest idol in Christendom).

    I don’t agree with much of the ‘signs and wonders’ Charismatic charlatan movement but I have experienced some very unique things in my short adventure with God and I can only testify and hope that people believe me. (Most don’t get it because most people don’t trust or love God). Believers often doubt testimonies like this… unless they KNOW the Lord and his power for themselves.

    God can do anything…

    It’s a mustard seed type thing hey. 😊

    Hannah, this video’s author is probably like the rest of us… working through years of doctrinal nightmares. I’m still working through Baptism and other topics so can’t comment but in general I find his videos thought provoking 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Salty,
    That’s a great link.
    It’s difficult for many believers to ” go there” investigating the truth of the tithe.
    People think they are robbing God, because Malachi verses are up on the screen in many churches as the basket is passed.
    If you speak out on this, which I did at the last church I visited, you will quickly be shown the door!
    I hope to finish that video Today!

    Like

  10. “It’s a mustard seed type thing hey. 😊”

    12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

    I honestly think the institutions (historical church/state, hierarchical ones of today that worship titles) have hindered this truth and kept people from maturing.

    Like

  11. Salty, on the video: I can pretty much promise you the guy who slipped security (yes, all Megas have it around the celebrity orator) onto McArthurs stage was at the police station and booked before the service was over. I don’t agree with how the guy handled his disagreement because it doesn’t work –but I am well educated on how Megas handle such things. They have the same playbook on security.

    I totally agree with the video concerning “worship” as a form of theatre complete with a special orator. It is so stifling to individual growth. Wish I had figured this out long ago.

    Yes, believers are to be “family”.

    “Who are my mother and brothers”? those who do the will of the Father.”

    Like

  12. Hey Hannah, that guy has other posts which are eye opening. We recently found an ‘assembly’ which identifies the ‘Pastor problem’ and has only guys who speak in the public meeting. No sermons but all the men can share. I asked if this was a 1 Timothy 2 thing-. I was told it was. I was then told that “it’s ok because there’s mid week bible study and the women can speak there” facepalm

    So naturally the next question becomes… “what’s the difference between the Sunday morning meeting and the mid week study?”

    Let’s think:

    The physical building.
    The quality of the biscuits available.
    Comfort level of seating.

    🤦🏻‍♀️

    I find it incredibly strange when women cannot speak in a 1 hour ‘worship service’ but for whatever reason are permitted to share their hearts in the Wednesday gathering.

    Honestly… what gives?

    You’ll die.

    “Women are more likely to be deceived than men”

    🎉👊🚀🔥😆

    Me: “well, considering the vast majority of leadership in the institutional church is MEN I’d have to disagree. Women have little to no influence”

    Sometimes I just want to go outside in the snow and scream very loudly.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. In case anyone s interested…

    Cripplegate has another typical Neo-cal post…

    “Dealing with Sin in the Church”
    by Mike Riccardi

    Using, wrongly IMO…
    Mat 18:15-17, as “church discipline.”
    And “excommunication.”

    Mike Riccardi, blasted my challenge pretty well…
    It was quite a lengthy reply.
    This guy has his arguments together.

    He did a history check on A. Amos Love…
    And my thoughts on Heb 13:17…

    And, Mike, ended with a threat to ban me…

    “we will not continue to publish your comments, as we have no obligation to give a platform for your errors.”

    BUT… He must be in the pulpit this morning… 🙂
    Because, three new comments about why Mat 18…
    Is NOT about “church discipline,” and “excommunication,”

    Are now on the Cripplegate site…

    At least for a little while… 🙂

    Like

  14. A Amos Love,

    A threat to ban you? Yep, that’s their style and have always been, starting with Calvin himself…you know?

    But back then, “ban” had another meaning, didn’t it? I think that many of these Calvinistas and the like wish those days were back. I think they are really, really working on the idea, as absurd as it may sound. Stranger things have happened.

    (Amos Love, you’re causing division and uproar in those eerie circles? You go, man!)

    Oh, and Salty…I love your new icon.

    Like

  15. A Amos Love,

    Ugh, I visited that site, and I must admit that when I got to the third apple-polishing “Pastor John” in two paragraphs, I stopped reading and went outside for cool, icy air.
    Which I desperately needed. Just in time.

    Like

  16. Boston Lady – Sorry to hear that…

    I must have a stronger stomach, or a swollen brain…
    That accepts “Apple polishing.”
    xxxxxxx

    I guess you did NOT make it to this imortant sub heading

    “Law and Order in the Church”

    “And the Lord Jesus Christ has provided that law and order for His church.”
    xxxxxxxx

    Hmmm?

    I think Mike means “Law and Order for “the Church Leaders”
    To establish “Fear and Control.”

    Like

  17. A Amos Love,

    They (crippleminds and others of same cloth) are putting words in our Savior’s mouth, and they are attributing characteristics to Him that aren’t His, like fear and control.

    I don’t like apple-polishing. It makes me ill…almost immediately. “Pastor John.” Pass the cold air. Yes, and I did see how he promotes his own faulty books, this Riccardi person. The titles of the books give the plot away. Same old *&^%%.

    Cold air. Now.

    (But I did read your comments, and I liked them. As always.)

    Like

  18. A. Amos Love – I could go on there and comment and see if it shuts the whole thing down! 😉

    However, Mike and the site could keep your comments up as an illustration of the wrong kind of theology. They could engage with you to try to understand where you’re coming from, but they’re so stuck in their own worldview that understanding scripture in a different way will never happen.

    Honestly, I don’t think these guys know how to deal with criticism. Most of their posts have less than 10 comments on them and they’re most likely from people who offer encouraging agreement. When the “reasons we miss church” post got up to 46 comments, and a lot of them offering push-back, it became unmanageable. It’s easier to delete, ban and turn off commenting to make sure there is no questioning.

    Like

  19. Kathi

    “I could go on there and comment
    and see if it shuts the whole thing down!” 🙂

    Please, Be my guest…
    If they delete you again…
    And shut down the comments again…

    You’ll have another, the same, “Topic” for a new post.
    xxxxxxxxxx

    “Honestly, I don’t think these guys know how to deal with criticism.”

    I know…
    I’m looking for someone who’s willing dis-agree with me.
    And give reasons, scriptures, to back up their point of view.

    Gives me an oppurtunity to state my beliefs in a fuller fashion.
    And, gives me an oppurtunity to learn something new.

    I love the chance to go back and forth with these guys. 🙂
    And challenge their Tradtions.

    What is popular is NOT always “Truth.”
    What is “Truth” is NOT always popular.

    Like

  20. Can someone please point me to the “visible church” in the Scriptures?

    Is that the same as “local church”? 😆

    Amos. Keep beating that drum.

    These guys don’t want to hear that their traditions come from Rome.

    They love the sound of their own voices and it’s ironic that the article mentions those who turn up on Sunday but have no turned from their sins.

    ALL OF THESE GUYS GET BUSTED SOONER OR LATER BEING NAUGHTY.

    Who just got busted drunk with the kid in the car?

    Who is sleeping with half the ‘church?’

    You’d be mistaken for thinking it’s the Pew warmers haha

    Get a mirror up to your pulpit Mike.

    And the “Pastor John” makes me want to vomit.

    Biggest butt kisses all you GTY followers.

    It’s seriously so cringeworthy.

    Where’s Jesus?

    Like

  21. A. Amos Love, I feel the whole issue is not so cut and dried.

    As with most passages, I think that the legalistic and authoritarian church culture gets read into it and the result becomes dehumanizing. Like the “three strikes and you’re out” that you rightly point out.

    As I try and distill more and more the role of elder in the church, I see that these are not sheep-beaters as is so prevalent in the church, but, primarily are those who are on guard against wolves. They should know the patterns of wolves and be able to warn the sheep against them.

    I think we apply literally passages that Jesus speaks figuratively about. If Jesus’s teaching on divorce is to be taken literally, then Paul is teaching doctrine contrary to Jesus’s teaching. Jesus said “adultery only” and Paul says “desertion by a Gentile”. Those are only compatible if “only” is not so narrowly defined…

    I think Matt 18 does set forth a pattern for handling sin among brethren, although perhaps not so rigidly as the author wants to imply. I also struggle with the word “rebuke”. I prefer the word reconcile. We go to our brother for the purpose of restoring a broken relationship. I think that’s why Peter’s question is so appropriate. What is the limit to restoring a broken relationship? There is none. But there is another side. In dealing with wolves, the wolf may ask for forgiveness falsely, or may refuse to listen. So, the broken relationship remains, and we bring in more people, again, for the purpose of reconciliation, not punishment or rebuke. The result of this can be reconciliation, or the breaking of more relationships. Again, we bring more people to seek reconciliation, and the end is, again, reconciliation and restoration, or broken fellowship. Excommunication, therefore, is not a punishment, but a public recognition of a broken relationship.

    The modern church seems focused on punishment. Counsel, Rebuke, Suspension, Excommunication are progressively larger slaps, and these do more to drive people further away than to restore. I am aware of situations where people who confessed and repented who then were suspended and told, “well, we have to do SOMETHING!” I think that is the sentiment Paul is referring to. I think he’s using hyperbole. He doesn’t seem to be saying, “the punishment is a good enough punishment”, but “Are you done yet? Don’t you get the point?” In other words, this person recognized the broken relationship, sought reconciliation, and now it’s the church saying “go away” – maintaining the brokenness rather than forgiving and restoring.

    As such, treating them like tax collectors shows the gulf between true Christians who want to restore what’s broken, and the abusers who want to maintain a culture of shame and control.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Hi Amos,

    At your request—I’ll respond to those questions.

    Sounds like a lot happened since our last discussion. I haven’t had a chance to catch up on the new cripplegate post or hear all the new comments since then. I wish I had more time to read everything, but first, I’d like to honor your request to deal with those questions.

    Let’s be clear—when we discuss ministry callings, I’m NOT arguing for a power hierarchy in the church. All the NT verses about church leadership are in the plural, not singular, indicating more horizontal than vertical callings. We could have a fascinating discussion about that.

    Secondly, we’re all really concerned about the abuse of power in the church. These ministry callings are work, NOT thrones.

    Look at some of the church leadership verses in the Greek—what the KJV describes as “rule over,” Strong’s Concordance actually defines as “to stand before.” That sounds more like the pastor standing before the congregation to feed the sheep which ironically was exactly what that video didn’t like about church. That’s another fun discussion we could have.

    When I took a Calculus course in college, the college Professor helped my math skills mature without having to “rule over” me. When someone tries to define the pastor’s job as “ruling over” the flock instead of feeding the flock, I’d refer those people to Judges 8:23-24 where Israel asked Gideon to become king. Gideon’s response was “I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the LORD shall rule over you.”

    Now if we look at this from a purely logical perspective—the existence of bad pastors doesn’t automatically eliminate the existence of good pastors and the need for them.

    Jesus told Peter, “If you love Me, feed My sheep.” That’s the foundation for all ministry. Jesus is the only way, truth and life. Jesus is the only door to God. But Jesus isn’t the only person called to do the work of the ministry.

    “And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers?…..”
    1Cor 12:28-29 (NIV)

    “So CHRIST HIMSELF GAVE the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people…..” Eph 4:11 (NIV)

    Keep reading through that Eph 4 passage and you find the purpose of five fold ministry is
    1) equip the saints
    2) build up the church
    3) help believers mature into the fullness of Christ
    4) help believers not be easily deceived
    5) help believers become more like Christ

    Notice that passage NEVER said the purpose of the pastor was to “control” the flock!

    Of course, I’m also NOT advocating putting any type of mediator between us and God. All of us have a responsibility to spiritually nourish ourselves and grow in the Lord, but part of that comes through relationships.

    Now we all agree that we’re not under OT law, that’s why so far I’ve made my case completely from NT verses. However this conversation keeps drifting back to OT verses so let’s go there.

    The Apostle Paul wrote extensively about how the OT was examples for us.
    “The things that happened to those people are examples. They were written to be warnings for us.” 1Cor 10:11a (ERV)

    So while we aren’t under the law, there’s still a need to understand the principles that God was showing us through the OT.

    Remember Jesus said, “Don’t assume that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For I assure you: Until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or one stroke of a letter will pass from the law until all things are accomplished.” Matthew 5:17-18 (HSCB)

    There’s an OT law which says “You must not sow your field with two kinds of seed. You must not wear clothing made from two kinds of material mixed together.”
    Lev 19:19b (ERV)

    So is it a sin for us to wear a cotton/rayon blend shirt?

    Of course not.

    God wants us to understand the principle of not allowing spiritual mixture in our lives.

    Truth can’t be mixed with lies.

    Light can’t be mixed with dark.

    We can’t live with one foot in the world and one foot trying to follow Christ because “friendship with the world is hostility towards God.” James 4:4b(Berean)

    Mixture is one of the red flags for recognizing wolves in the church.

    Now going back to the topic we’ve been discussing.

    The Apostle Paul references OT law while discussing the NT principle of it.

    He writes,
    “Do soldiers pay their own salaries? Don’t people who raise grapes eat some of what they grow? Don’t shepherds get milk from their own goats?”

    “I AM NOT SAYING THIS ON MY OWN AUTHORITY. The Law of Moses tells us not to muzzle an ox when it is grinding grain. But was God concerned only about an ox?”

    “No, he wasn’t! He was talking about us. This was written in the Scriptures so that all who plow and all who grind the grain will look forward to sharing in the harvest. When we told the message to you, it was like planting spiritual seed. SO WE HAVE THE RIGHT to accept material things as our harvest from you.”

    “It is the same with those who have the work of telling the Good News. The Lord has commanded that those who tell the Good News should get their living from this work.”
    1Cor 9:7-11(CEV) & 9:14(ERV).

    Paul writes again in 1Tim 5:17-18(CEV)
    “Church leaders who do their job well deserve to be paid twice as much, especially if they work hard at preaching and teaching. It is just as the Scriptures say, “Don’t muzzle an ox when you are using it to grind grain.” You also know the saying, “Workers are worth their pay.””

    Paul just quoted the words of Christ when He sent out the seventy to preach the Gospel and told them not to take any money with them “because those who work deserve their pay.” Luke 10:7b (NLT)

    Notice that Jesus didn’t tell them to stay in their town and just silently witness through their lives. There was a need for people to go out and preach the gospel.

    Then Jesus specifically told us in Matthew 23:23 (NLT) “You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.”

    Those are NOT my words.

    That is NOT “undue pastor influence.”

    That’s the words of Christ.

    Jesus said when specifically discussing money in Mark 12:17(Berean)
    “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

    We all know the famous passage in Malachi 3:8 where God says “you have robbed me in tithes and offerings.”

    Of course we’re not under the OT law. Jesus put the dividing line between OT and NT at John the Baptist.

    So then how can we ignore the words of Jesus not to leave tithing undone in
    Matthew 23:23?

    That word “rob” appears again in the Bible when Paul writes in 2Cor 11:8,

    “I “robbed” other churches by accepting their contributions so I could serve you at no cost.”

    Yes, Paul worked to earn his own support but that was to set the example of hard work for the church. That doesn’t eliminate all the verses Paul wrote about what he called the “right” in 1Cor 9:6 & 9:11 to receive his living from the Gospel.

    Because he had that right, he had the power to yield the right that he had. You can’t yield a right that you don’t have.

    The pattern of the people doing the work of the ministry—receiving salaries for their work runs throughout the whole Bible.

    The book of Nehemiah describes a time when the Levites had to start working in their fields because they couldn’t support their families by doing their work at the temple.

    Nehemiah writes,
    “So I told the officials that they were wrong. I asked them, “Why didn’t you take care of God’s Temple?” Then I called all Levites together and told them to go back to their places and duties in the Temple. Then everyone in Judah brought their tenth of grain, new wine, and oil to the Temple. These things were put into the storerooms.” Nehemiah 13:11-12 (ERV)

    Now here’s a great example of tithes being agricultural produce instead of money. Obviously this was in a time when most people made their living from the land not from nine to five jobs in corporate America. Yet the principal still stands that those doing the work of the ministry were supposed to make their living from it. Keep reading that chapter—Nehemiah asks God to remember his “good deed” of making sure that the Levites could provide for their families from the tithes.

    By now, I hope I haven’t exhausted all of you with this extensive answer.

    Amos asked some pretty in depth questions so an in depth response felt necessary.

    God is raising up a whole new generation of Gladys Alywards to take the Gospel to the nations. Let’s not stand in their way.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Salty,

    That’s a powerful story about being led by the Holy Spirit. Thank you for sharing that. Developing our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit is one of the most important parts of our walk with God.

    Now as you requested, I watched the video.

    The video makes the point that the average church service is basically a theatre production because everyone is seated facing one speaker.

    So did Jesus when he spoke to the multitudes.

    So did Paul on Mars Hill.

    The video quotes the Apostle Paul describing how when the church comes together, everyone has a teaching, prophesy, etc (1Cor 14). But then the video ignores other writings of Paul that describe how Jesus has set apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, etc in the body of Christ.

    Honestly, I don’t see how this video is following Scripture when they quote one verse and then ignore the rest.

    There’s no verse in the Bible saying that it’s a sin to have a worship service with music, lights and a sermon. In fact the preaching of the gospel is encouraged!

    Now you wrote,

    “The institutions with their elevated Roman platform are an abomination.”

    Where is that verse in the Bible?

    “The eloquent sermons are an abomination.”

    Where is that verse in the Bible? We could review all the verses about preaching the Gospel, but I don’t want to exhaust everyone.

    Salty, you wrote “If any man truly loves God he will not take upon himself a title only given to the Lord Jesus Christ.” Did you mean that the title of pastor only belongs to Christ?

    Yes, Christ is the head. The authority of Christ belongs only to Christ—He doesn’t delegate His position or authority to anyone else.

    However, Christ has established pastors in the church.

    “So CHRIST HIMSELF gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
    Eph 4:11-13 (NIV)

    “The household of God is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Himself being the chief cornerstone.” Eph 2:19b-20 (KJV)

    One part of the body can’t say to the other part—I don’t need you. (1Cor 12:21)
    We can’t say to the whole group of pastors, teachers, etc that “we don’t need you” when God has given us these ministries “for the equipping of the saints.”

    I hope this doesn’t sound harsh but I don’t understand how we can read the Bible and then decide that certain parts of the body of Christ don’t exist. Yes, the Kindergarten teacher ministers to her students. But the existence of that calling doesn’t automatically eliminate other callings and giftings in the body of Christ.

    I don’t know how much further you all want to go on this topic, but this discussion has been really fascinating. Maybe now its time to move towards a new topic before we exhaust everyone.

    Like

  24. Salty,

    Watched the entire video.
    Although I agree mostly, I do understand Avid readers argument..
    I do think God appointed Pastors/teachers..though I can’t really get a grasp on this when the church met at homes.
    Good reference in the KJV that ” church” really means “congregation”.. not a place but a people. At my old mega church we were to bring in the unbelievers to church..that’s not biblical.
    We all must rightly divide the word of truth and not depend on the man on stage..
    He did use the verse ” if you love me,you will obey my commands”
    This was Jesus speaking to the Jews under the law. It does not apply to us in this dispensation of grace.
    ” the church is not an institution but a family”.. Good.

    Like

  25. Hannah,

    I agree with you that “church” isn’t a place but a people.

    Some parts of the body of Christ are the house church people, some are the people who attend a brick and mortar church, etc.

    I’m rooting for all parts of the body of Christ functioning as God has placed them.

    I would hope too that some of you reading this right now might be encouraged to know that the gifts inside of you—that maybe haven’t always made sense—have still been placed there by God.

    Maybe there hasn’t always been a platform for the gift God gave you—especially if you’re a woman—but God still sees your heart even when the church doesn’t.

    Like

  26. I still think we have different understandings and definition of this word ekklesia ‘church’.

    The ekklesia is not the religious assembly meeting.

    The ekklesia are the called out ones regardless of whether they are meeting for ‘worship’ or not.

    In John 4 Jesus says nothing of ‘meetings’ or ‘assemblies’. He is talking about personal worship which is a spiritual matter.

    When I see the word ‘church’ I do not assume it’s referring to the saints gathered. For most of the times the context does not indicate a religious meeting has or is taking place.

    Yes, the ekklesia gathered but the ekklesia is not the gathering itself.

    Look at every verse and ask God to open this truth to you.

    He is building a people. Not religious meetings.

    Yes, God gives gifts to his people but as a person who is not attending religious meetings I still meet with the Lord’s people and do trust he uses those gifts as he sees fit.

    Our paradigm is wrong.

    Whenever you see the word ‘church’ we need to stop thinking of meetings.

    Just some thoughts.

    1 Peter 5 seals the deal for me.

    Like

  27. Hi Avid Reader,

    Your questions are great and very important.

    What could be a half an hour conversation on these issues would take hours to type out.

    The issue is not “can we have sermons and pulpits and rock music discos for Jesus despite it not being in Scripture”.

    The issue is about spiritual idolatry.

    When you consider the church building, pulpit, sermons (eloquent speeches which Paul spoke against) and much more… you have to ask the question, “where does this all come from and who started these traditions?”

    When you ‘go there’ and realise that Christianity the religion has nothing to do with Jesus Christ and simply uses his name for the show/production then you ask, “well, what’s the point?”

    The point has always been the Kingdom of God and walking by faith with our Creator.

    That’s it.

    Revelation’s harlot is an interesting character worth considering.

    Roman Catholics are cousins with Anglicans who are now in bed with the Megas like Hillsong.

    When believers all over the world start coming out of these institutions and realise the same thing, then post videos and post blogs about it… you know you’re not going nuts.

    The path of the believer will not be easy. Jesus said so.

    Whatever Christianity is… I don’t see it in my bible.

    And yet I walk with my Lord and use those gifts and proclaim salvation in Christ alone.

    We are living stones. The ekklesia is a spiritual house. No bricks and mortar. The meetings are not the main event.

    Like

  28. Surprize – Suprize – Surprize

    Three comments “posted” at Cripplegate, Sunday…

    Three comments “deleted” at Cripplegate, Monday…

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Avid Reader – Wow…

    Really enjoyed your comments @ JANUARY 15, 2017 @ 4:46 PM…

    Thanks for taking the time. That’s a lot of writing. Thinking…

    Thanks for using so much scripture, and the different versions.
    Nice touch. 🙂

    I always enjoy seeing how others develop their thoughts…
    With, and thru, scripture.

    And, how scriptures can be understood differently, by different folks.

    And – I always enjoy talking about Jesus.
    And – I always enjoy debating the scriptures.

    There is much to be gained, learned, from each other.

    1 Cor 14:26 NKJV
    How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together,
    each of you has a psalm, has a teaching,
    has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation.
    xxxxxxxx

    You end with…
    “By now, I hope I haven’t exhausted all of you with this extensive answer.”

    Well, NOT me. 🙂
    You did a masterful job, explaining your point of view…
    How you understand the scriptures.

    Thanks…

    I do have some thoughts, differences, additions…

    But, first, I’m going to re-read your comment… Yup, really…
    And, think about what you wrote…
    Before I respond…

    Malachi 3:16 KJV
    Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another:
    and the LORD hearkened, and heard it,
    and a book of remembrance was written before him
    for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

    Like

  30. Avid Reader

    Oy Vey!!! – While re-reading your excellent comment – I realized…

    You did NOT answer the questions I first asked about pastor Jeff. 🙂

    You wrote…
    “Amos…
    “…you put good pastors like Pastor Jeff
    in the same category with wolves and con artists
    just because ”they receive tithes!”
    xxxxxxxxx

    I never mentioned pastor Jeff.

    I replied to this question you asked @ JANUARY 12, 2017 @ 7:45 AM…

    “Is it a sin for good pastors to receive tithes?”

    I never mentioned pastor Jeff.

    I do NOT know if pastor Jeff ”receives Tithes.”

    xxxxxxxxxx

    1 – Do you know if pastor Jeff ”receives Tithes?”

    2 – When you say… ”receives Tithes.”

    2 – Do you mean… ”receives MONEY?”

    Like

  31. Salty
    I agree–church-called out…yet congregation according to your video…huh? 😉
    As one who has not been in a building for years (I do try…), I am done with the well intended who think I’m in disobedience.

    As far as using your gifts. I do. Just today at work I asked someone who I gave two DVD’s to (they are only 25 minutes each) if he watched them. He said he had no time. He is a missionary..and I really believed they would be something he could share with others…so much for my thinking, I also gave them to someone in Prison ministry (One of the DVD’s is a powerful message with a prisoner). Guess what? In one year he didn’t even remember I gave it to him! I guess the Lord wasn’t “leading” either of them to watch them! Still doesn’t keep me from doing what I believe I am called to do!
    I made the mistake of saying “All you “BLANK-fill in the church name” people are all the same”!
    Darn that flesh of mine! 🙂

    Like

  32. Hi Amos,

    Yesterday while I was writing my response, I kept getting more and more thoughts to share until I had written a much longer comment. Then I started thinking that no one really has time to read that long of a comment—so out of respect for everyone’s busy schedules, I tried to really edit and cut down on my big long comment. I tried to keep it focused on the big picture. I WASN’T trying to ignore any of your questions.

    Now to answer your questions,

    I like to listen to various podcasts from different parts of the body of Christ because each part understands a different side of God. One of the podcasts that I listen to is Christ Reformation Church—sermons from Jeff Crippen.

    Now I’m in the part of the body of Christ that believes in free will.

    He’s in the part that believes in Reformed Theology (predestination).

    But I believe we can all learn from each other even if we disagree on some points of theology.

    On some of the podcasts, he’s mentioned to his own congregation that they’d have a meeting after the service to discuss the church budget. To answer your question, I’m not sure if that specifically means they accept tithes/offerings, but that’s usually where the church budget comes from.

    Now before he was a pastor he was a police officer. If his church were to stop providing him a salary, then he would have to get a full time job—let’s say hypothetically that meant he returned to being a police officer for sixty hours a week.
    That would delete sixty hours a week of time that would no longer be available to do the work of the ministry—he wouldn’t have as much time as he does now to help victims of abuse.

    That’s the big picture of what we’ve been describing.

    The sovereignty of God has given out the pastoral gift to specific people. The amount of time those people have to do the work of the ministry is directly affected by whether they have to earn a salary working a secular job or can support their families while doing the work of the ministry.

    Now to answer your second question—in my last response I gave an example of the tithes being agricultural produce not money. Tithes are ten percent of our increase. If we lived under OT law then we would be tithing from our agricultural produce. Today if you are a farmer, maybe you could tithe ten percent of your crops. However, the rest of us usually pay our rent/mortgage, electric bill, car payment and buy food at the grocery store with money.

    Nobody tries to pay their mortgage or taxes with ten percent of the strawberries they grow in their backyard. If we tried to pay our rent or DMV fees with agricultural produce they would reject it! So if we at least show them the respect of paying with money, why would we not want to show that same respect to God?

    There was a time when God got offended because His people weren’t honoring him the way they would honor civil authority.

    So God tells them
    “If I am a father, where is My honor? If I am a boss, where is My respect?….”

    “When you bring a blind animal to the altar as My gift, is it not sinful? When you bring one that cannot walk, or one that is sick, is it not sinful? Why not bring it to your ruler? Would he be pleased with you? Would he receive it?”
    Malachi 1:6b & 8 (NLV)

    Here we can hear the heart of God, feeling angry that He’s not receiving the same respect from His people that the civil authority would—no one would try to bring the worthless sheep from their flock as a gift to their governor. So why would they try to offer the worst sheep from their flock to God? Remember how God rejected Cain’s offering. The first murder in the Bible occurred because Cain was jealous that God had accepted Abel’s offering and rejected his.

    Amos,

    Please clarify your comment from Jan 12, 2017 at 12:39PM.

    You wrote

    “Any pastor…
    Who says you are to give 10% of your income – TO GOD
    Don’t worry – GOD is NOT gonna get any of it…
    Any pastor…
    Who says you are to give 10% of your income – to the pastor, the man of God.
    A priest taking “Tithes” of the people…
    Run… Run for your life… You are in the process of being conned, deceived…”

    When you write “any pastor” that sounds like you are referring to “any pastor.”

    Any pastor would include all pastors such as David Wilkerson and Jeff Crippen.
    Now I referenced those two because they are examples of people actually doing the work of the ministry. So did Gladys Alyward.

    So please clarify—are you or are you not saying that “any pastor…..who says you are to give 10% of your income……” is a con artist? You specifically used the words “conned” and “deceived.” If that’s not what you intended, please clarify.

    Like

  33. Ahh ‘the work of the ministry’ 😊

    This word ‘ministry’ simply refers to service in its original language. To minister is to serve.

    Last night we had a young lady over for dinner. A professional musician who does not know the Lord. She went to a ‘Christian’ school. A beautiful young lady who needs the Lord. I’m thankful she was incredibly open to hearing the good news about Jesus. She left after midnight. She sat there and listened to me talk about God, the Scriptures and Jesus for about three hours. She was mesmerised. She nodded and nodded as if it was the best news she’d ever heard. (It is)

    As she left she hugged me and said, “I’m so glad I met you”.

    Let’s consider:

    Is this ‘the work of The Ministry?’.

    Am I an Evangelist?

    An untitled, unsalaried former pew sitter.

    Praise God for ‘the work of the ministry’. 😜👊

    We are all called to serve. But it’s not service if we are getting paid. Think about it

    Guys who act as a ‘Pastor’ might be great guys who help people.

    But does God want us to pay professionals to do his work and are there countless men and women sitting in the pews not being used because we have all gobbled up ‘the lie’ that as long as we go to this church ‘thing’ we’re all good.

    I wonder what would happen if we dismantled the system and sold the temples and used our homes as centres for ‘ministry’ instead?

    I wonder if many more people would come to the Lord?

    But it would require service from pew sitters.

    Unsalaried service.

    God is good.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Salty,

    What a wonderful testimony in pointing that lost soul to Jesus Christ. You made my whole day! It reminds me of the day a few unchurched believers in Jesus Christ showed up at my home at a very pivotal point in my life where a major decision needed to be made. I wasn’t saved at that particular time, however, I welcomed their compassion and love for me, a sinner, and listened to their love of the Gospel. As a result, I made the right decision and was saved several years later by the grace of our LORD. The seed was planted, and watered by other members of the lower caste Body of Christ, never ever from a titled leader within the structure. I praise God for that!

    Keep sharin’ it (the glorious Gospel), Salty in setting people free (in Christ.)

    Like

  35. “The sovereignty of God has given out the pastoral gift to specific people.”

    I think there is a difference in the traditional institutional definition of “pastor” and the actual understanding of the function from scripture. It is a verb not a noun (or office). It is not static.

    I think you are concerned about the possible devaluing of the traditional institutional office of pastor. I do believe people are free to support what they want. It is all voluntary. I have very close friends who are traditional pastors. I don’t think disagreeing on the definition devalued them.

    I disagree on with many on the evolution of presidential powers such as with Exec Orders. I don’t think that disagreement devalues the president.

    This is all started because you suggested Amos’ comments devalued someone like Jeff Crippen. Some of us simply disagree and made our case. So far you have not convinced me the institutional approach to the functional gift of “pastor “is best. ‘ And I don’t see God only bestowing it on a few. But many. Good Parents pastor children, for example. . And so on.

    Like

  36. Avid Reader

    Thanks for continuing the conversation.

    Yup – You and me…
    We gots a different understanding about that word “Tithe.”
    xxxxxxxx

    I was taught, by MY pastors, today, when we “Tithe,” we give MONEY, 10% from our wages, because, back then in the Bible days, OT, it was an agricultural life style, and people bartered, they did NOT use MONEY, have MONEY, like we do today.

    But, silly me, eventually I became like those in Berea…
    And began to search the scriptures daily to see if these things be so.

    From researching the word “Tithe,” in the Bible…
    Tithe – Tithes – Tithing – is 32 times in the OT and NT.

    From researching “MONEY,” in the Bible…
    The word MONEY – is 102 times in the OT, 26 times in Genesis alone.
    And 27 times in the NT.

    Money was used to buy food. Gen 43:22, Deut 2:28.
    Money was used to pay the masons, and carpenters. Ezra 3:7.
    Money was used for men to buy fields. Jer 32:44.
    Money was **borrowed for the king’s tribute
    Neh 5:4.
    Money was loaned out to collect interest, at usury. Ex 22:25, Ps 15:5.

    Sounds like ”Money,” was used the same way in the OT…
    As, WE, His Disciples, His Sheep, His Servants, use “Money,” Today.

    BUT – In the OT, and the NT…
    The “Tithe” was neverMoney, or silver, or gold.
    The “Tithe” was never – From wages.

    Avid – Do you know of any verses where Money? or silver? or gold?
    Was ever used as a ”Tithe?

    Under the law in the OT the tithe was always food;
    To be eaten or sacrificed to God. Seed, fruit or animals. Never Money.

    It was for you and your household to eat
    To learn to fear the LORD and for orphans and Levites. Deut 14:22-26.

    Malachi 3:10 KJV
    Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse,
    that there may be meat (food) in mine house,

    Leviticus 27:30-34 KJV
    And all the tithe* of the land, whether of the seed of the land,
    or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S: it is holy unto the LORD…
    32 And concerning **the tithe
    of the herd, or of the flock,
    even of whatsoever passeth under the rod,
    the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD…
    34 These are the commandments,
    which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel…

    And – In the OT, and the NT…
    The “Tithe” was neverMoney, or silver, or gold.
    The “Tithe” was never – From wages.

    That’s one of our main differences is using the word ”Tithe.”
    You believe Money from Wages and Tithe go together…
    I NO longer believe that.

    Like

  37. Lydia,

    You are welcome to disagree with me. That’s what I love about this blog. This is an honest discussion from the heart.

    When you wrote
    “I think you are concerned about the possible devaluing of the traditional institutional office of pastor.”

    NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

    That’s not the whole purpose of this.

    I’m concerned about the devaluing of the authority of Scripture.

    I’m concerned about one part of the body of Christ attacking another part.

    Remember the NT story in Acts where Peter and the disciples are preaching the Gospel and they get arrested for it. The Pharisees are so mad at them that they want to kill them until Gamaliel stands up and says

    “If this teaching and work is from men, it will come to nothing. If it is from God, you will not be able to stop it. You may even find yourselves fighting against God.”
    Acts 5:38b-39 (NLV)

    Is it really necessary to attack every brick and mortar pastor? If the brick and mortar church isn’t of God then “it will come to nothing.” But I shudder at the thought of attacking the work that God is doing in other people’s lives. Why can’t we just work on our own calling without slamming other people’s callings? If there are wolves in the church, let’s expose them. But I can’t wrap my head around the fact that some people believe every pastor is a wolf, when there are good pastors out there doing exactly what God has called them to do.

    I’m concerned about the idea that we can follow Christ without obeying His words.

    I’m concerned about the idea that we can say “Lord, Lord” without doing the will of the Father.

    I wish that all believers were doing the work of the ministry.

    I wish that everyone was developing the gift of God inside of them.

    But I don’t understand how we can walk with the Lord while disregarding His words.

    How can we cut Scriptures right out of the Bible?

    “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.'”

    “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.”
    Matthew 7:21-23(NLT)

    Like

  38. Amos,

    That’s some really interesting food for thought.

    You’ve made quite a compelling case about OT tithes. I agree with you that the OT tithe was agricultural, however we also agree that as NT believers we aren’t under OT law.

    My thought would be that Jesus was specifically referencing money when He said to give to God what belongs to God. (Mark 12:17)

    Amos, I really enjoy discussing stuff with you. I would just hope that we don’t exhaust everyone else. So if everyone else is wanting to move to another topic, I’d be happy to oblige.

    Like

  39. “I’m concerned about the devaluing of the authority of Scripture.”

    Basically, all that says to me is “whose interpretation are we devaluing”? And that is a problem because the focus has to then go back on the authority of the person interpreting. It’s a viscious circle. And a black hole.

    Few pastors ever study the in depth historical context. They take a beautiful collection of books that narrate Gods glorious provision of rescue written within the various genres that culture and translate it through post enlightenment Western thinking. They don’t teach the use of devices like chiasms and therefore totally miss the most most important aspects of some passages while belaboring the least important to fit an agenda. We could spend days on all the ways they get Luke 2 wrong with “no room at the inn” and so on.

    What you claim as authoritative is just not that easy. It leaves out the millions over a millenia who were forced to be illiterate and could only hear scripture from special people who were sanctioned to be ear it. What about them? No hope? No Holy Spirit? What about Gentiles of the early church? Most of them were illiterate, too.

    This thing we call Christianity is simple but not easy. There are plenty of pat answers but when we think them through they are much bigger. If you do a study on this, you will find that in scripture, the scripture is referred to as scripture. Not the “word of God”. It’s a typical mistake passed down from tradition. Jesus Christ is “The Word of God”. And He can dwell within us. It doesn’t seem like a big deal until we go down the rabbit hole of interpretations, etc.

    I am so blessed we have scripture and are free to study it. But when we turn it into a rule book or club to beat others with, it looses its overall message: Gods provision for our Rescue.

    Like

  40. Avid Reader

    Here’s another place we have a different understanding of ** ”Tithe.”**

    You write @ JANUARY 15, 2017 @ 4:46 PM
    Then ** Jesus specifically told us** (Hmmm? “Told us?”)
    In Matthew 23:23 (NUT)
    “You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.”

    Those are NOT my words.

    That is NOT “undue pastor influence.”

    That’s the words of Christ.

    Well, NOT exactly the words of Christ.
    Jesus was talking to the scribes and Pharisees,
    Jesus was NOT talking to WE, ** His Disciples,** His Sheep, His Body.

    Yup – ** My pastors** also bamboozled me with this verse.
    They had already convinced me… err… deceived me…
    Into believing The Tithe was now Money and NOT FOOD.

    My pastors would teach…
    “Tithing is still for us today because
    Jesus told the Pharisees to continue tithing.”

    If that was true? Isn’t The Tithe still the Pharisees Tithe?
    mint, anise, and cummin? food? and NOT Money?

    Matthew 23:23 KJV
    Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
    for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin,
    and have omitted the weightier matters of the law,
    judgment, mercy, and faith:
    these ought ye to have done,
    and not to leave the other undone. ( the other = tithe )

    So, NO…
    Christ, in Mat 23:23, did NOT tell us…
    Jesus di NOT tell, We, His Servants, His sons, His Disciples, are to ”Tithe.”
    Give 10% of our wages, Money, to anyone, or any place.

    So, that’s why, I’m-a-sticken-to-my-guns… 🙂

    Any, Mere Fallible Human, who has taken the “Title” pastor…
    A ”Title” that does NOT exist in the Bible for one of ”His Disciples”

    If this ”Titled” pastor tells you you are still to ”Tithe” – Today…

    You are to Give, 10% of your wages, as your Tithe – To God…
    You are to Give, 10% of your wages, as your Tithe – To This Church…
    You are to Give, 10% of your wages, as your Tithe – To This Pastor…
    This pastor who says he is like – A priest taking “Tithes” of the people…

    Because ”This Tithe” in ”MONEY” is required by the Lord.

    Run – Run for your life – You are in the process of being conned, deceived….

    Like

  41. “My thought would be that Jesus was specifically referencing money when He said to give to God what belongs to God. (Mark 12:17)”

    This is a perfect example of historical context left out . But remember, Rome minted the coins. A good template is:

    Who is speaking
    Who is the audience
    What is the occasion.

    Palestine was a boiling cauldron of zealotry. Many were hoping Jesus was the Messiah who would end Roman occupation. The Pharisees and Herodians were thought to be both in bed with the Roman occupiers and working against them at the same time. They were trying to trap Jesus. There was a ton of graft in the collection of taxes and such. Jesus answered by putting it back on them. It was brilliant.

    Btw, everything belongs to God. We are to be His wise stewards.

    Like

  42. Lydia – I am more concerned about the control that elders have over members of the body. If you read the follow up post to this you will see that the church by-laws set up a great amount of authority to the elders and pastors – so much so that members are told that they cannot leave the church if under discipline (which is illegal, by the way).

    Jesus had strong words for the Pharisees, teachers of the law and the blind guides in Matthew 23. And, he had strong warnings for his disciples to not follow the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matthew 16). I think it’s fair for us to review the teachings of today’s preachers and teachers to be aware of how controlling and authoritarian churches are dangerous to the body of Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Katy, I am confused. I agree with everything you said. I would add the elders often use their interpretation of scripture to convince people of their authority over them. And they often tell us thatscripture is thus authoritative. It’s a viscous cycle. I always ask them if 1 John 2: 26-27 is authoritative. :o)

    Like

  44. Avid Reader

    You write @ JANUARY 15, 2017 @ 4:46 PM…

    “So CHRIST HIMSELF GAVE
    the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists,
    the pastors and teachers, to equip his people…..” Eph 4:11 (NIV)

    Keep reading through that Eph 4 passage
    and you find the purpose of five fold ministry is…”
    xxxxxxxxxx

    One of my favorite hobbies is…
    Confounding those who say they are “The Five Fold Ministry.”
    The special of the special… Oy Vey!!! 😦

    Was wondering – What does ”FOLD” mean?

    This is one tuff verse, Eph 4:11. I’ve gots lots and lots of questions.
    It is translated many different ways, in many different versions.
    Here is the KJV…

    Eph 4:8 KJV
    When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive,
    and gave gifts unto men.

    Eph 4:11 KJV
    And he gave some,
    apostles; and some,
    prophets; and some,
    evangelists; and some,
    pastors and teachers;

    Have you ever looked at the “some?” 🙂
    Who does the “some” refer to?
    No really, do you know who “some” refers to?

    Does the “some” refer to the saints, believers?
    Does the “some” refer to apostles?

    Did he give “some” saints, believers, apostles?
    And “some” saints, prophets?
    And “some” saints, evangelists?
    And “some” saints, pastor/teachers?

    Or did He give “some”
    apostles,
    prophets,
    evangelists,
    pastors/teachers
    to “ALL” the saints?
    or to “some” saints?

    Does every congregation get all five, or is it four in Greek?
    an apostle?
    and a prophet?
    and an evangelist?
    and a pastor/teacher?

    Yup – pastor/teacher refers to the same person in Greek.
    Yup – There are only four positions mentioned – NOT five.
    Yeah – So what? – Does that matter when we’re just makin-stuff-up?

    Do ALL the saints get to learn from “some” apostles?
    Or, only “some” saints? Oy Vey!!!

    If WE, His Sheep ”MUST” have a human leader. Yes?
    And Obey and Submit to our Human Leader?
    Then ”The Five Fold Ministry” ”MUST” have a human leader. Yes?
    And Obey and Submit to their Human Leader? Yes?
    Everyone Gots-to-have a human leader. Yes?

    When you’re in a room, or better yet a congregation,
    with an apostle,
    and a prophet,
    and an evangelist,
    and a pastor/teacher,

    Who is the leader?

    Who submits to who? – Who submits to God?
    Is the pastor/teacher in last place? Submitting to ALL four before them?

    If they are ”Titles,” and not functions of the body?
    Does the pastor/teacher submit to the evangelist?
    Does the evangelist submit to the prophet?
    Does…

    My brain hurts….

    If there are over 500,000 pastors in this country?
    Where are ALL the apostles and prophets?

    If there are NO apostles and prophets. – Why are there still pastors?

    When did pastor become a “Title?” A profession? A paid position?

    Sorry, please forgive me. 😦
    I haven’t found anyone who could answer these questions…
    In a reasonable manner and I can’t stop. 🙂
    New ones keep popping up.

    I’ve had major confrontations with these… err… ”Titled pastors”
    Who claim they are this ”Gift from God” – To me. HaHaHaHa…
    And are part of The Fold Ministry Monster.”

    Hmmm? What does ”FOLD” mean?

    NOPE – In the Bible…
    I can NOT find The Fold Ministry Monster.”

    Like

  45. Avid Reader

    And becuase, In the Bible…
    I can NOT find ”The Fold Ministry Monster.”

    I started my own fictious ministry… To confound the special ones… 🙂

    ”The Seven Fold Ministry,” (God really loves me.) 🙂

    And, I invite the Five… errr… four fold. To join the Seven Fold

    Yeah – ”The Seven Fold Ministry,” We are TWO folds higher… 🙂

    Kings. 2. Priests. 3. Brides. 4. Servants.
    Sons. 6. Disciples. 7. Ambassadors.

    1, 2 – Kings and Priests
    And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father;
    Revelations 1:6

    And hast made us unto our God kings and priests…
    Revelations 5:10

    3 – Brides
    For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD* of hosts is his name;
    Isaiah 54:5

    … Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
    Revelations 21:9

    4 – Servants
    If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am,
    there shall also my servant be:
    John 12:26

    And on my servants and on my handmaidens
    I will pour out in those days of my Spirit;
    Acts 2:18

    5 – Sons
    But as many as received him,
    to them gave he power to become the sons of God,
    John 1:12

    And because **ye are sons,*
    God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts…
    Galations 4:6

    6 – Disciples
    Then said Jesus unto his disciples,
    If any man will come after me, let him deny himself…
    Matthew 16:24

    John 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified,
    that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

    7 – Ambassadors
    Now then we are ambassadors for Christ…
    2nd Corinthians 5:20

    And, since an Ambassodor is – The highest – diplomatic representation
    that “ONE” soverign power – sends to another…

    And Christ is the highest soverign power…

    In the body of Christ – NO one is higher than an “Ambassodor for Christ.” 😉

    Yeah – ”The Seven Fold Ministry,” We are TWO folds higher… 🙂

    Like

  46. Amos,

    At your request, we’ll review Ephesians 4:11-15(NIV).

    “So CHRIST HIMSELF gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

    “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”

    As we discussed earlier—here the work of the ministry is defined as
    1) equip the saints
    2) build up the church
    3) help believers mature into the fullness of Christ
    4) help believers not be easily deceived
    5) help believers become more like Christ
    (see verse 15 in ERV “We will grow to be like Christ in every way.”)

    Barbara Roberts is a great example of someone ministering with a strong teaching gift. If you’ve ever had a chance to watch some of her videos, she has some really powerful insights into understanding Judges 19-20. In all the years I’ve heard other preachers try to understand that passage and completely miss the whole point—she’s the only person I’ve heard explain that in a way that made sense in light of the whole Bible. Then as we’ve already discussed, Jeff Crippen has the pastor calling. TWTBC has the gift of administration. I admire how all three can work together without any one of them feeling threatened by the other’s calling. They do the work of the ministry without worrying about who is submitting to whom.

    I don’t see anything in Ephesians 4:11-15 about submission. These ministry callings are work.

    Now if you don’t like the term five fold ministry—how would you prefer to describe these five callings?

    Amos,

    I agree with you on how Rev 1:6 says we are all called to be priests. God is seeking those who will worship Him in spirit and truth. We are all called to worship the Lord, offering the sacrifice of our lives to Him.

    However, we know the Bible doesn’t contradict itself. So Rev 1:6 doesn’t obliterate Ephesians 4:11-15 and all the other verses about ministry callings.

    2Cor 5:20 is a great verse about us all being ambassadors for Christ. Yes, we are all called to share the Gospel in our personal circle of influence. But our personal responsibility doesn’t eliminate everyone else’s personal responsibility to develop the gift that God gave them.

    Now this conversation is starting to feel like we’re moving in circles. If we keep going, we’re both going to have to write books to fully analyze all the different parts of this topic.

    Personally, I don’t feel like taking the time to write a full length book on tithing.

    If I’m going to devote that much time to research and writing, I’d much rather write true stories about people walking with God, fulfilling the call of God in different ways.

    I’ve found so many encouraging stories like that, I’d much rather write something that would strengthen the body of Christ.

    Like

  47. I hope people know that one can disagree with scripture interpretations like the tithe and “five fold” without mapping them to specific people helping victims. I find that tactic of argumentum repulsive and unfair. It is meant to pit people against one another and is below the belt. I will sign out Avid Reader.

    Like

  48. In referring to Ephesians 4:11 as a premise for holding titles within the church, resulting in the ‘pastorate system.’ Would it not be equally applicable to duly note that everyone thus, should have a “TITLE” according to that verse? So then, we should be seeing “Teacher Joe” or perhaps “Apostle Denise” or “Prophet Henry” or “Prophetess Valerie,” or how about “Elder Bob” or “Evangelist Linda” …….as titled veterans of ‘the church’ as we know it.

    Why is only “the pastor” given a special title before his name, and not the others? It is quite baffling that a person needs a title to show thyself approved, when in fact the only One Who rightfully owns ‘The Title,’ is in fact, Jesus. Or how about these titles…reverend, pope, bishop, cardinal, church board president, counsel member, etc.

    So what ‘titles’ does your average every day believer possess? Personally, I love the “child of God” title which gives me great comfort and peace.

    Like

  49. Lydia,

    I’m simply stunned at your words.

    This is a friendly discussion. We are all sharing our thoughts. No one is trying to pit anyone against each other.

    Amos and I were just sharing different opinions with total respect for each other’s point of view.

    I’m shocked that you would feel that was “below the belt.”

    That’s really harsh, Lydia.

    Like

  50. Katy,

    It’s not about titles, its about giftings.

    All I want is to see each believer develop the gift of God inside of them.

    Like

  51. Avid Reader
    I have lots of Questions. And Doubts. When You write…

    1 – “The sovereignty of God has given out
    ”the pastoral gift” to specific people.”

    2 – “…ministering with ”a strong teaching gift.”

    In the Bible, I can NOT find ”pastoral gift.” Or, ”teaching gift.”

    If these two thoughts are accurate?
    “Specific people,” have ”the pastoral gift?”
    “Specific people,” have ”a teaching gift?”

    Are you saying? Thinking? Believing?
    ALL pastors are ”the gift?” ALL pastors have ”a teaching gift?”

    How accurate do they have to be? How many errors are they allowed?
    Before these pastors are considered a “False Teacher?”

    1 – Is a Pentecostal Pastor “this gift?” to the church?
    Teaching Continuationism? tongues, healing, gifts of the Spirit?

    1 – Or, is a Fundamentalist Pastor “this gift?” to the church?
    Teaching Cessationaism? tongues, healing, gifts of the Spirit? Are ceased?

    Which pastor is “this Gift from God?” – How do we Know?
    Which pastor has ”a teaching gift?”” Which pastor can I believe?

    2 – Is a Reformed Pastor “this gift?” Teaching Calvinism?
    2 – Or, is the Dutch Reformed Pastor “this gift?” Teaching Arminianism?

    Which pastor is “this Gift from God?” – How do we Know?
    Which pastor has ”a teaching gift?”” Which pastor can I believe?

    3 – Is a Lutheran Pastor “this gift?” Teaching infant baptism?
    3 – Or, is a Baptist Pastor “this gift?” Teaching believer baptism?

    Which pastor is “this Gift from God?” – How do we Know?
    Which pastor has ”a teaching gift?”” Which pastor can I believe?

    You get the drift, Lot’s of pastors. Lot’s of different teaching.
    Lot’s of Error…
    xxxxxxxxxxx

    In the Bible? Have you ever noticed?
    NOT one of ”His Disciples” ever took the ”Title” pastor?
    Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend?

    NOT one of ”His Disciples” was ever Hired or Fired as a pastor?
    Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend?

    NOT one of ”His Disciples” ever became a…
    Paid, Professional, Pastor, in a Pulpit, Preaching, to People in Pews?
    xxxxxxxx

    What did “His Disciples” know 2000 years ago???
    That those who mis-appropriate the “Title” pastor – Miss Today?

    Like

  52. “That’s really harsh, Lydia.”

    So is the constant use of non sequiters mapping people we admire for their victim support work to bolster YOUR interpretation. As if disagreeing meant their efforts are not valued. You dropped the tithe pretty quickly. Not believing in a tithe had nothing to do with anyone’s view of Jeff Crippen. To even suggest such a thing was bizarre to me. Same with your mapping of your “five fold” characteristics to Barbara Roberts and her work for victims. I kept thinking you would actually deal with the interpretative method and not just use personal stories or repeat scripture we all know. But you did not.

    This strategy is used all the time by comps to ignore interpretive method. It is playing offense because the strategy is meant to put the other party on defense. I want the best for Barbara and Jeff YET I disagree with your interpretations.

    Like

  53. Lydia,

    Now I’m really confused by your words.

    I would hope that in this discussion we could both share from our heart without allowing the discussion to descend into personal attacks.

    Like

  54. Amos,

    I wish you and I were neighbors. We would have so many fascinating discussions together over coffee.

    Thank you for a fascinating discussion.

    I would love to answer the questions you asked me, but since this discussion seems to be upsetting Lydia—maybe it would be better to draw this to a close and move on.

    Like

  55. Avid, my view is you brought in the “personal” first thing by using Jeff Crippen instead of simply debating the “tithe” system.

    Like

  56. Lydia,

    Throughout this discussion I’ve tried to tread carefully here out of respect for everyone’s feelings. As the tension rises in a debate I’m always willing to step away before things become too inflamed. Several times I’ve volunteered to move on from this topic.

    I’ve been thinking long and hard about what you’ve said here. I’m trying to understand where you are coming from. I would hope that we could keep this discussion on a level playing field with total respect for each other.

    Now I’m starting to realize that you’re upset at me just for having a different perspective. You’re angry at me for sharing thoughts just because you disagree with those thoughts. Doesn’t discussion involve some sort of a difference of opinion?

    This whole discussion started when someone made a personal attack on all pastors—saying that any pastor who collects tithes is a con artist. That’s what a personal attack is. All I did was write the rebuttal argument defending the pastoral gift. That’s NOT a personal attack.

    At this point, I’m realizing that you’re going to continue getting upset at me for having a different perspective. That’s totally fine. Now I’m going to answer Amos’ questions.

    Like

  57. Hi Amos,

    You have a lot of food for thought in those questions.

    Let’s see:

    Q1: “In the Bible, I can NOT find ”pastoral gift.” Or, ”teaching gift.””

    Well, the word “gift” in this discussion helps distinguish that this is work not thrones.
    We’ve studied Eph 4:11

    “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people.”

    There’s five different types in the list—that would imply that teaching and pastoring are different gifts. Of course, someone might move in more than one gift.

    Q2: “Have you ever noticed?
    NOT one of ”His Disciples” ever took the ”Title” pastor?
    Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend?”

    That’s true. But Jesus still picked people to go out full time and minister. And according to Eph 4:11—Jesus is still choosing who receives these gifts today.

    Q3: “Are you saying?….ALL pastors are ”the gift?” ALL pastors have ”a teaching gift?”

    Nope. Jesus warned us about the “hirelings” (John 10:12-14) who want the pastor’s salary and position without doing the work of the ministry. So we are supposed to “judge them by their fruits.” You can tell who has the pastor gift because whether or not they are on staff at a church they will be going out to minister to hurting people. They will be trying to heal wounds. (Eze 34)

    God gives out many other gifts besides pastors/teachers/etc

    “To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge.”

    “The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy.”

    “He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said.”

    “It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.”
    1Cor 12:8-11 (NLT)

    Of course, we all remember the Parable of the Three Servants that warns about the servant who was given a gift by God but buried it in the ground. We have a choice whether to develop our gift or bury it.

    While we’re on this subject, I was just reading something about a lady who had a vision where she was talking with Jesus.

    In her own words she described,
    “The room was like a large warehouse. Jesus showed me all kinds of cars that Satan had stolen. Then He showed me clothing that had been stolen. And accessories. And shoes. All stolen.

    Jesus stopped in front of the shoes and said, “What do you think these are, Katherine?”

    “I don’t know, Lord, unless You give me the understanding.”

    “He said, “These are the “shoes” of My people, of prophets and apostles, the fivefold ministry. They have stopped walking for Me; they have stopped talking for me. They have laid down and wept; they have given up.”

    “Tell My people not to give up but to keep on walking. Don’t let their shoes be stolen by Satan. Don’t let Satan block them and knock them down. If he does, they must get up and fight him with My Word. I gave My Word to set the captive free.”
    (from the book satan’s deceptions by Mary Katherine Baxter).

    Q4: “Is a Pentecostal Pastor “this gift?” to the church? Or Is a Reformed Pastor “this gift?””

    Well, there’s a lot of different parts of the body of Christ. Some believe in free will. Some believe in “reformed theology” (sovereignty of God). My opinion is that we can all learn from each other. Us in the “free will” group need to still understand the “sovereignty of God” and the “sovereignty of God” people need to understand free will and personal responsibility. There’s a balance.

    Q5: “How accurate do they have to be? How many errors are they allowed?
    Before these pastors are considered a “False Teacher?”

    “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
    Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)

    “Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.”
    Psalm 119:105 (GW)

    I would hope that we all choose to build our lives on the words of Christ, using Scripture as our guide to light our pathway and expose the wolves in the flock. I would hope that we are all like the Bereans who tested everything they heard according to Scripture.

    Like

  58. “Now I’m starting to realize that you’re upset at me just for having a different perspective. You’re angry at me for sharing thoughts just because you disagree with those thoughts. ”

    Not at all. I would invite a discussion on tithe vs offering. What I object to is mapping your interpretation of the tithe to Jeff Crippen and so on. It is a non sequitur. It does not follow that we don’t want Jeff’s ministry to prosper because we don’t see a tithe system in the NT. That is what you presented to support a tithe system.

    “Doesn’t discussion involve some sort of a difference of opinion?”

    Of course. I also have a different opinion about such non sequiters that involve people not in the discussion.

    Like

  59. Avid Reader

    Today I have a different take on Eph 4:11…
    And what many call ”The Five Fold Ministry” and “Gifts.”
    Since escaping the bondage of “Today’s Corrupt Religious System.”

    The “poimen” in Eph 4:11, and the NT, are nothing like today’s
    Paid, Professional, Pastors, in Pulpits, Preaching, to People in Pews.

    My pastors told me I had these ”Gifts.” To pastor. To teach… 😦
    And, I was part of “The Five Fold Ministry” this ”Gift” to the church.
    Look at me… I’m a special one… My pastors are brilliant…

    It’s was quite humbling when Jesus showed me I was believing a lie.
    And teaching “Traditions of Men.” And NOT the Bible. CRASH. 😦

    ”The Five Fold Ministry” tends to skip right over Eph 4:7…
    Which says – This ”Gift”* is grace, this **”Gift” is Christ.

    Eph 4:7 –
    But unto every one of us is ”given grace”
    according to the measure of ”the Gift of Christ.”

    And they convince you Eph 4:8, is speaking about Eph 4:11,
    Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastor and Teachers. ARE the ”Gift”
    And they called them, us, ”me,” “Ascension Gifts.”

    Eph 4:8
    Wherefore he saith, When he “ascended up on high”,
    he led captivity captive, “and gave Gifts unto men.”

    BUT, There are other possibilities “and gave Gifts unto men” Eph 4:8
    How about, “and gave Gifts unto men.” refering to…

    1 – Jesus. 2 – the Holy Spirit. 3 – Eternal Life.
    4 – Spiritual Gifts. 5 – Saved by Grace.

    1 – John 4:10 – Jesus is the ”Gift” of God.

    2 – Acts 2:38 – You can receive the ”Gift” of the Holy Spirit.

    3 – Rom 6:3 – the ”Gift” of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ.

    4 – 1 Cor 12:1-9 – Talks about “Spiritual ”Gifts.”
    word of wisdom – word of knowledge – faith – healing –
    working of miracles – prophecy – discerning of spirits –
    divers kinds of tongues – interpretation of tongues.

    5 – Eph 2:8 – Being saved by grace through faith – is “the GIFT of God.”

    NO thanks…
    NO longer interested in Mere Fallible Humans…
    Who say they have this special ”Gift’ To pastor, To teach.
    Who call themselves, “A GIFT from Christ.” to the church. 😦

    Think I’ll stick with Jesus, and Eternal Life, and…
    As the ”Gift” of GOD…
    xxxxxxxxxx

    So – What do you think?
    Is it possible “and gave Gifts unto men?”
    Could refer to something other than what we’ve been taught?

    Jer 50:6
    “My people” hath been “lost sheep:”
    their shepherds have caused them to go astray,

    1 Pet 2:25
    For ye were as sheep going astray;
    BUT are now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Like

  60. Avid,
    I agree with you concerning the gifting, for this IS Scriptural. However, when I experience and witness “titled and entitled men and women in the church system” literally destroying the gifting that is freely bestowed upon us born again believers, stealing our joy in serving our LORD Jesus Christ freely, well then, yes, I believe there is a problem there. I have a tendency to believe the leading of the Holy Spirit where it concerns our liberty in serving Christ, doing His will, instead of literally being told at church institutions, “Nope, you can’t do that; You MUST go to the board FIRST and have that approved!”

    I have discovered it is far easier to minister on the street, in our homes, as well as the local nursing home, than it is in our churches filled with hierarchy resembling the Amway pyramid system. Sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

  61. Yes, Amos you had me laughing at 1st Comment! Can all we wonderful people get together and have a retreat somewhere and fellowship=wouldn’t that be great! How about a different State every year? We are the Church NOT buildings!

    Liked by 1 person

  62. Jesus, our God, is on His Throne in all authority!

    This page has been an interesting read.

    The Lord Jesus said “they will become one flock [with] one shepherd” (John 10:16). Please notice the word “shepherd” there because it comes from the Greek word poimen which is the same word, but in plural, that we find in Ephesians 4:11 that is translated pastors. The words shepherd and pastor and poimen are equivalent terms, so John 10:16 can be read “they will become one flock [with] One Pastor”! This passage of John is where the Lord Jesus refers to Himself as the good Shepherd – notice “the” is the definite article – there are no other “good shepherds” because Jesus did not use the indefinite article “a” where He used “the”. Make NO mistake, the Lord Jesus reserved the title of Pastor to Himself. There are NO legitimate pastors that are mere men among the body of Christ.

    Let’s step back in the passage in John “He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters [them]” (John 10:12). Men that take the title of pastor then take wages for spreading the good news or the work of God is a hired hand and a wolf (Matthew 7:15-16). Two pastors would be two masters for people in church, and the Lord Jesus said “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other” (Matthew 6:24).

    Another crucial point is that Ephesians 4:11 is in the PAST TENSE. Yet, when the Lord Jesus speaks of sending apostles and prophets, He uses the future tense (Matthew 23:34).

    There is so very much more to the deception that is underway in the church. Men lust after authority, and they fight against God in their vain attempt to take authority. Lord Jesus possesses all authority (Matthew 28:18).

    Liked by 1 person

  63. Kermos

    Much agreement when you write…

    “Make NO mistake,
    the Lord Jesus reserved the title of Pastor to Himself.
    There are NO legitimate pastors that are mere men
    among the body of Christ.”
    xxxxxxx

    Jer 50:6
    “My people” hath been “lost sheep:”
    THEIR shepherds have caused them to go astray,

    1 Pet 2:25
    For ye were as sheep going astray;
    BUT are now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

    I’m Blest – I’ve “returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of MY soul.”

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Like

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