“My Journey Out” (Part 10)

moses-parting-red-sea

Click on following for earlier articles: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8 and Part 9.

Rather, the present-day pastor was born out of the single-bishop rule first spawned by Ignatius and Cyprian. The bishop evolved into the local presbyter. In the Middle Ages, the presbyter grew into the Catholic priest. During the Reformation, he was transformed into the “preacher,” “the minister,” and finally “the pastor” – the person upon whom all of Protestantism hangs. To boil it down to one sentence: The Protestant pastor is nothing more than a slightly reformed Catholic priest. (Again, we are speaking of the office and not the individual.) (Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola and George Barna, Tyndale Publishing; pp. 141)

To have pastors in a church is Scriptural, but the present-day pastoral system is quite unscriptural; it is an invention of man. (The Normal Christian Church Life by Watchman Nee)

No expression of a New Testament church is ever led by just one professional “holy man” doing the business of communicating with God and then feeding some relatively passive, religious consumers Moses-style. Christianity has adopted this method from pagan religions, or at best from the Old Testament. The heavy professionalism of the church since Constantine has now been a persuasive influence long enough, dividing the people of God artificially into laity and clergy. According to the New Testament (1 Timothy 2:5),  “there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” God simply does not bless professionals to force themselves in-between people and God forever. (Houses That Change The World by Wolfgang Simson, pp.10)

“Larry is a stubborn believer,” says my wife, elongating the word stubborn so that it echoes off walls.

Okay, admittedly, I’m stubborn. But my stubbornness pertains mainly to when I believe I’ve heard the voice of the Lord.  And if I think I’ve heard the Lord, then I will hang on until something happens or the Lord loosens my grip.

Have I ever erred in thinking it was the voice of the Lord when it wasn’t? Yes, I have my share of wrong presumptions under my belt…and the scars to prove it.

But as Graham Cooke says, “I’d rather err on the side of presumption than to not step out in faith when I believe the Lord has spoken to me. Presumption isn’t a sin, but fear is.”

I agree with Cooke.

And yet, when the Lord asked us to walk away from the traditional church system, I really struggled with it. I felt as though we were the only people in the whole world doing something as ridiculous as this.

Thanks to the internet, I soon learned that millions of believers in the United States were doing the exact same thing. I read books by Gene Edwards, Frank Viola, Wolfgang Simson, Watchman Nee and others. All of these encouraged me on my journey out

In a nutshell, Edwards, Viola, Simson, Nee and others proclaim the royal priesthood of the believers (1 Peter 2:9) and denounce the unscriptural clergy-laity separation in the traditional church system.

Though I agree with the teachings of the above men, I have a different passion for ecouraging people to exit the tradition church system, especially on the West Coast.

(Continued in Part 11.)

Larry Who’s writings and teachings appear on this site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s  a little of this and a little of that, all written  to encourage and exhort believers in their Christian journeys.

3 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Christians, Church, church planting, Emergent Church, Faith, Gifts of the Spirit, God, grace, Home Church, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, Red Letter Christians, reformation, Religion, spiritual warfare

3 responses to ““My Journey Out” (Part 10)

  1. Just so you know, Viola, Edwards, Simson, Nee and others have written numerous books outlining the unscriptural acceptance of the separation of clergy and laity by the traditional church system. I could never add to what they have written, nor is it my teaching area.

    So, it is enough for me to just say that I agree with them. If you are interested, read their books, okay?

    My next blog on Wednesday (Part 11) outlines my teaching arena. It is radically different from all of the other teachers.

  2. I am really curious, how is it that out of all the fivefold ministry, it is only the Pastor who gets a job in the church these days.

    Every church has its Pastor, some a Teacher, but usually the pastor holds down both jobs, I wonder why.

    Reading in Eph4 about the five ministries, they are all clearly necessary, and there should roughly be an equal presence of all these people out there. Where are they? Wouldn’t the church be vibrant if they were also at work?

    I know there are a few others, but they are a rarity when compared to Pastors.

    I wonder if its possible to get an apostleship or prophecy degree from a college, in the same way a Pastor can get his qualifications to run the body of Christ. Maybe that is the answer?

    The job of the fivefold ministry is stated in Eph4v12 to be
    “For the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”

    If that is the case, then the members of the body should by now all be doing that ministry rather than pew filling. Yet when we look at most churches it is still the Pastor who is running the whole show.
    This indicates to me that he has totally failed his job description.

  3. Frank,

    “I wonder if its possible to get an apostleship or prophecy degree from a college, in the same way a Pastor can get his qualifications to run the body of Christ…”

    Good point; and that’s really funny.

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