A Church Without Clergy
Church Without ClergyBy Christian SmithBut could it be that clergy...Read More
The Church Matrix
From the movie, the dialogue. Morpheus: let me tell you why you are here, you’re here because you know something, what you know you can’t explain, but you feel it, you’ve felt it your entire life. That there’s something wrong in the world, you don’t know what it is but it’s there like a splinter in your mind driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what i’m talking about?
This fiction story of two parallel worlds where the entire world is existing in a mysterious way without their knowledge, has a real reality with the religion Christianity. The religious world is a real matrix. It is a Christianity that Christ has little to no ownership. It’s a Christianity with out Christ as it’s head.
This theme I have taken to illustrate the contrast between the people of God who are following man-made-traditions that nullify the word of God and what the apostles of Christs gave for us to follow. In other words the apostles ways are to be followed as well as the teaching they gave to us.
The matrix can be summarized as follows. Pulpits, podiums, choirs, performers, bands, spectator audience, Old Testament order of religious buildings, Tithing, one man called pastor over an assembly, government involvement as non-profit corporations. Everything can be summed up as man-made-religion void of the word of God. None of the above is found anywhere in the bible. Can you see the distress we are in? We have thousands of men and women dedicated to that which is not from God. Man not Christ is head of it and man is running the show, literally. Their meetings with lights and fog machines, so called hip music, podium professionals, choirs, pews, preaching is totally from man-made-traditions.
Following The Apostles ways
So what should we be doing? “They devoted themselves to the apostles doctrine, fellowship in the break of bread and prayers.” Acts 2:42 The apostles established house assemblies everywhere they went and this continued for some three hundred years! The reason is form follows function. What is the function of an assembly when to come together? Each one as members of the body of Christ receive their spiritual life from the head, Christ directly. There is no choir director to tell you what to sing. You sing yourself as Christ is directing your heart to be lifted up in song. Your spiritual life is to be shared amongst the other members of the body. The LORD mediates this interaction invisibly by HIS Spirit one to the other. We read in 1 Corinthians 14:26 “How is then brethren everyone of you has a psalm, a tongue, a song, a doctrine, a revelation let every thing be done unto edification.” Some have said Paul was criticizing the Corinthians because there was disorder. His instruction was that everything was to be done unto edifying. He did not tell them to stop and elect one amongst them to direct and control what is said. There was no one man show! Reading 1 Corinthians 14 26-38 the prophets were instructed to prophecy one at a time and the most three. What was said was judged as from the Spirit or not. Each being part of the body was to feed and minister the other members of the body. If one was speaking and another had something to add the first one was to hold his peace. Reading vs 37, 38 the apostles says if you think yourself a prophet or spiritual let him acknowledge that these are the commandments of the LORD. If any man is ignorant then let him be ignorant. I was ignorant of these truths for twenty one years but through the grace of God I’ve come to understand the biblical instruction of obeying the apostles ways which are in Christ. 1 Corinthians 4:17 ” For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.” Notice his way in Christ that Paul followed was the same in all the churches. Do we have any authority to not obey the apostles way in Christ?
Fellowship in the breaking of Bread
The LORD gave me clarity concerning the LORD’s supper memorial meal. The body came together first and for most to remember the death burial and resurrection of Christ. The cup and bread are on the table and lots of food are there as well. It is a very enjoyable time of fellowship eating and speaking about Christ as fellow members of his body. In 1 Corinthians 11:20-22 some were eating the food early not waiting for others who didn’t even have any food to bring, vs21. Some were getting drunk and Paul says that what they were doing was just treating their time together to feed themselves misrepresening the table. vs21. In verse 22 said Paul said that there were those who were being shamed. Evidently, they expected to be feed. To come to the table and not have any food was to shame them. His solution for this problem is he told them to eat at home before you come to the table. vs 33,34 When you come together to eat, wait for one another.