Comment to 'Does it shock my brothers and sisters to learn that Jesus completely and utterly banned the very idea of a Priest, Rabbi, Pastor, Dr. of Theology, Professor, and all points south?'
  • Brothers & sisters, I think most believers in this house church forum would agree Jesus came to restore God's original intention at Creation, which was also expressed at Mt. Sinai: everyone can be a priest, everyone can have a personal relationship with Him. It is undisputable that Jesus taught that God's ways/laws are greater than man's, and that function is greater than title. (For whoever does the will of my father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother, Matt. 12:50. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers, Matt. 23:8). The same is true when we look at the "offices" within the Body of Christ: they are functions or roles--not titles. In the same way that one can operate as both an employee, and manager, and a business owner or shareholder. They are different aspects of the same thing; albeit, different roles. Had the Lord wanted another Aaronic priesthood (if you remember, He didn't want the first), He would have done so and established a tithe to support it. Instead, He said “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant (Matt 20:25-26). That we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, whether free or slave, Jew or Greek; and when we gather together, every one of us is to have a psalm, a teaching, a revelation, a tongue, an interpretation. The very idea of hierarchy as after the system of the world--or even of the nation of Israel--is anathema to what we are to do as one Body in Christ, unified under Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit in us. This is not to say there is not a natural organization within the Body of Christ--is there not a type of natural organization within the home? Of course. And yet, we are all brothers and sisters under the same Head of authority, so then who is to lord over our faith (II Cor 1:24 "Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand")? Surely not any particular leader or man-appointed position. And yet, we do see natural leadership among us in service and example--gifted in this grace or that, yet all directed by the Word, the Spirit, some cultural considerations of appropriateness, and the very giftings we exercise. And yet, we are not all recipients of the same giftings or measure of gifts. And neither are those who are approved or graced in one area, in any way superior to the grace and gifts given to us. Surely, the hand cannot say to the foot, "I have no use for you." Nor can the foot say to the hand that it is superior or an overlord of the hand. We are all the body, and it is unfortunate that some have taken separate Scriptures--whether one believes or not in the authenticity of I Tim. or Titus--and thrown out the totality or whole of God's Word, so as to misrepresent the message itself. We know from Scripture that ekklesia in the home is the primary God's model of fellowship in Scripture, yet there are those who desire to to enslave us to their own private doctrines/beliefs, their own man-inspired religious system (auditorium churches of various denominations), and think we're the better for it. Yet God, in His eternal wisdom, sent Jesus Christ to live, teach, die, and be raised again, in order to join us together with God our Father, through Christ Jesus, so that we may be free from sin and man's ever-burdening traditions. So, no, I do not reject leadership within the ekklesia as it is naturally apparent; but neither do I believe the church should be subject to anarchy and chaos. The Lord will work within His Body--spread far and wide, throughout various cultures--to work out the small things in accordance with what each person--and each separate ekklesia of believers--allows. In the meantime, our only focus is Christ Jesus, His life, death, and resurrection, and the message of hope we live and share with others in the hope that they, too, will come to know Christ and the power of His resurrection.

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