THE MAIN Believer Gathering Must be a Believer Gathering
The believer gathering instructions that we find in 1 Cor 14 are totally incompatible with what we see in our churches today. The Bible describes a Holy Spirit led time for sharing songs, testimonies, and prayers [even speaking in tongues if someone can interpret] with two or three teachers. Todays’ church services are scripted by men, men unwilling to follow these simple instructions.
I was searching for an analogy that show this rebellion. Today’s churches spend most of their money & energy on wrong stuff – unnecessary buildings, & un-biblical worship services. Some excuse todays practices arguing that Believer gatherings are for only for small group weekday meetings. They say Sundays are an outreach. I struggled with this issue for a while, but I feel that this wisdom came from the Holy Spirit, “The main believer gathering must be a believer gathering”
Analogy; Say our assignment is to put 100 miles on the odometer on our new racing bike over the next two weeks. We’ve also have access to a really nice gym with a high tech exercise bike directly in front of a Wide screen TV. The gym even has AC. You plan a short gym time to build up strength [maybe 3 or 4 days] before you ‘hit the road’. The gym fees are really expensive, eating up all your available cash, but you see that you’re getting in much better shape and figure that ‘it’s for a good cause’. You start to really enjoy your TV – AC – no hazard gym environment. Before long you notice that there’s no way you can accomplish your assignment. You think “That’s OK I’ll shoot for next month”.
Then the gym manager comes by and convinces you to that there’s really no difference between working out in the Gym and working out ‘on the streets’. The gym is really comfortable so you continue, month after month, missing out on your true assignment. You spend all your effort and all your funds on something similar, but miss out on your real assignment.
Explanation: Our assignment is to spread the Gospel, to be salt and light in the World, to help and serve the poor and needy & to help others follow God’s call for our lives. The Gyms are today’s churches. When we spend all our effort and all our finances inside our churches we are missing God’s mark. He calls for a very simple church model, nothing as expensive, complicated, time consuming and showy as what we are accustomed to. The big “Church machines” we see today are a creation of men. Lets take a look at a strong warning, and then look at what God’s Word tells us about church gatherings
NLT Mark 7:7-9 Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God. 8 For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.” 9 Then he said, “You skillfully sidestep God’s law in order to hold on to your own tradition
This point is explained in Tithing; God’s Call or Man’s Substitute and in Servant Leadership
NLT 1 Cor 14;26 Well, my brothers and sisters, let’s summarize. When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you.
Prov 21;30 No human wisdom or understanding or plan can stand against the LORD.
Lets take a quick look at what the Bible says about following our church leaders;
NIV Mat 23;8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
God’s word tells us not to set men up as leaders to follow, we are only to follow Christ.
NLT 1 Thess 5;12 Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. 13 Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other.
NLT Heb 13;15 Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. 16 And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God. 17 Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.
We don’t have leaders in the traditional sense. We have spiritual guides. The spiritual guides are our brothers, slaves [volunteers], not tradtional bosses. They also need to meet the guidelines described in; 1 Tim 3; 2 & Tit 1;7 – above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect.
I pray that the Body of Christ will reclaim the authority God gave her, fully embracing her Biblical assignment, and reestablish her direct connection to God.
May His divine Perfect will be done, In Jesus Name, Amen.
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- March 10, 2009 / 8:10 pm