I recently had a friend post a facebook status questioning the hierarchical titles used in mainstream Christianity.
She drew a few responses of which some were aligning to her view, some were humorous, and some even added their own opinions and questions.
Later she posted a note publishing an apology. She pointed out that some had contacted her expressing concern that her status was “unwise”. I can only assume those who were offended were from amongst those in official office in the institutionalised church or those sympathetic with the status quo of entitlement.
In scripture we are provoked not to cause the weaker brothers to stumble.
However, if the self proclaimed “stronger” (the entitled, institutionalised church leadership) begin to start, by their own offence, “stumbling”… what would that suggest?
We live in a world where individuals are alienated and beaten into servitude to human institutionalised principalities and powers. These man made institutions keep the rest of us under control, suppressed and even incarcerated under their threatening spells.
When the entitled authorities in the church (where servanthood, humility and self-sacrifice are the foundational truths – NOT attitudes of superiority, acts of manipulative coercion and political power and control ) are offended at their politically entitled status being questioned does this not indicate that nowhere is this evil more apparent than in the institutionalised church?
Why would they be offended?
What would they be offended about?
Why would they need to buff up or stamp their sense of entitlement and position of power and authority?
My name is Lloyd. I am presently 51 years old. My parents gave me my name. It is the name I am known by. I am a man. This was a gift from God at birth (… as being a woman is a gift from God at birth for those who are women). I do not consciously recall asking for this gift or designation, but it is mine and as a result I am a man.
This being established however, I also do not need to walk around without pants on to prove this point. I also do not feel the need to be addressed as “Man” Lloyd.
I live out this status or designation by being who I am. I am who and what God has made me. I can do or be no other, and if I did anything otherwise I’d be an impostor, even a liar and definitely rebellious and at best disobedient to the creator who gave me life in the first place. If someone challenges my status as a man I would in no way feel the need to defend this. I suppose I possibly might feel the need to defend myself if I were insecure or doubtful within myself. To date I haven’t been challenged in this but I probably would not even rise to the accusation. Chances are I would not even bother to respond to such a ludicrous challenge, in fact it would most probably cause me to burst out laughing.
My point here is that the gifts of God, including leadership, and even any official spiritual office such as prophet, or apostle or evangelist, etc. are gifts of God by his designation, will and purpose. They are not a social or political entitlement.
Those who are gifted as such will be operating in this naturally and not needing the stamp of approval from any human organisation unless insecurity and doubt is rampant. These spiritual gifts need no human approval. I find no record in the scripture where God asked the permission of man before anointing anyone with his spirit to perform any spiritual act or service of ministry?
Jesus himself preferred to be called the “son of man” even though he was the Christ, the Holy One of God, The anointed King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
To my mind this is in stark contrast to the superficial political lobbying that goes on in church circles today.
How did we get to this?