Ditch Dwellers And Their Un-Biblical Doctrines
The Bible warns believers if they follow blind leaders they will end up in a ditch. I think this is part of the problem of Today’s Weak Churches
AMP Luke 6;39 He further told them a proverb: Can a blind [man] guide and direct a blind [man]? Will they not both stumble into a ditch or a hole in the ground? 40 A pupil is not superior to his teacher, but everyone [when he is] completely trained (readjusted, restored, set to rights, and perfected) will be like his teacher.
This verse warns us that when we follow human teachers we limit ourselves, we become “like our teacher”. This blind leader warning appears both in Matthew & Luke. In Matthew just prior to the warning, we see how dangerous bad doctrine can be.
AMP Matt 15;9 Uselessly do they worship Me, for they teach as doctrines the commands of men. 10 And Jesus called the people to Him and said to them, Listen and grasp and comprehend this: 11 It is not what goes into the mouth of a man that makes him unclean and defiled, but what comes out of the mouth; this makes a man unclean and defiles [him]. 12 Then the disciples came and said to Him, Do You know that the Pharisees were displeased and offended and indignant when they heard this saying? 13 He answered, Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be torn up by the roots.
Those who teach doctrines of men worship God in vain. We need to be teaching the commands of the Lord. Teaching wrong doctrine makes us unclean. It is what we say, not what we eat that defiles a man. The teachers were offended when they heard this, but the subsequent warning for them is clear; “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be torn up by the roots”
In Luke the ditch warning is prefaced to be the appeal to be merciful, Judge not lest ye be judged, forgive & you will be forgiven…
Staying out of the ditch:
I think these verses point to three to steps to keep out of “the ditch” .
1. Turn back to the purity of the Bible message, and honoring the early church’s example, and turning away from the doctrines of men.
2. Be merciful, correcting and forgiving others, but never condemning them.
3. Choose our words very carefully, ensuring that they honor God. It is far better to say nothing than to speak words that could you unclean in God’s eyes.
I think there is a sequence of deeper ditches that believers can fall into. Here’s my attempt at working my way down from the truth to deeper and deeper deception;
Top level: The Church Building Ditch. When we think the church is a building we are stuck in this ditch. In fact, all those who even think that they need a building to have a church are suffering under the same deception. I’ll argue that the building is an unnecessary distraction and burden for any assembly to carry. It may be comfortable, it may seem necessary, but I’m betting on the simple gatherings described in the Bible. I’m betting on God’s Description.
Next level: Employee Pastor Ditch. All those who think they need an ordained paid Pastor to have a church are suffering from this slightly deeper deception. We need to understand that the ground is level at the foot of the cross. Did the early church have ordained pastors? Did the early church pay its pastors? No and no! Each believer is to grow and develop into a priest simply by participating in the authentic 1 Cor 14 gathering.
Next level: Tithe Seeking Pastor Ditch. If you think it is OK for your Pastor to ask for a tithe to support him or the building, you are stuck in a far deeper ditch. Giving to God, building treasure in heaven is giving to the poor. Jesus replaced the paid priesthood of men. Paul exampled the gentile church leader, the tent maker. The Bible is clear on this. Pastor’s Pay
Next level: Non equipping Pastor (Seeker Friendly, Catholic) Ditch. If you think that you are not called to share the Gospel, that all you need do is invite folks to your church, you are stuck in this far deeper ditch.
Next level: Cult Ditch (Faith Movement, Mormon, Jehovah Witness…). If you are a believer of the Faith Movement, or a Mormon, or Jehovah’s Witness you are in an even deeper ditch, the cult ditch. I pray that you can turn back to the truth, to the Word of God.
All ditch dwellers seem to accept the 10 Unbiblical Doctines:
These rules are carefully followed by nearly every church today even though they conflict with verse after verse of scripture.
Keep ye separate. Each believer must choose one church to and assign his full loyalty. The truth is that God desires us woven into one continuous fabric of believers. We are all part of one body; the body of Christ, to serve, grow, love, and help each other.
Give to your church. Believers are deceived to believe that giving to church is giving to God. Somehow the verses that tell us that building treasure in heaven is giving to the poor are ignored. Virtually all of God’s resources are diverted to unnecessary buildings and unbiblical salaries.
Servant Leadership looks just like Authoritarian Leadership. The truth is that Servant Leadership is totally inconsistent with the role of the modern Pastor. We have taken the slave and given power of a CEO. We have taken a role with no earthly authority and given it virtually complete authority.
Full Participation looks just zero participation. The Bible describes a worship service as a chance for all to share and grow. We are told to have 2 or 3 different preachers at each gathering. We lost obedience to this command (see 1 Cor 14;26-40) at about the same time that we re-established the paid priesthood, the Old Testament model that Jesus had so many problems with. Both Paul and the early church modeled the tentmaker, volunteer priest.
Pastor’s hear God’s Holy Spirit well enough for all. Better not bother seeking him for yourself. Again, this direction violates the clear gathering command in 1 Cor 14. Going to school to learn to hear and follow the Holy Spirit is almost like waxing your car in hopes of getting better gas mileage. We all have equal access to hear God’s voice. He honors all those who worship him in spirit and in truth.
If you disobey the previous command and actually hear something from the Holy Spirit don’t bother telling your leaders. You are overstepping your authority. It is your leaders job to listen for you.
You need a building to have a church. The Church, the body of Christ is just made up of his followers. That’s all you need.
You need an ordained pastor to have a church. The Church, the body of Christ is just made up of his followers. That’s all you need.
Rituals are good. God does not appreciate ritual. He appreciates authentic worship, obedience, humility, real love, and a servants heart.
Performances are good, & the show (and the single sermon) must go on. I’m certain; in fact God’s word tells us that he requires obedience. Moses suffered for striking the rock. King Saul suffered to disobeying God’s command not to take plunder at Carmel. We too will pay a price if we continue to disobey the commands of the Lord.
Most Church members live by these rules without ever noticing them. Many in a Church will recognize that these are not Biblical, but none seem willing to stand against them. We have been doing things the same ways for generation after generation, stuck in the same ditch for centuries.
Pleas make us wise enough to turn our backs on these blind teachers and return to your simple Biblical call, to Worship you in both in Spirit and in Truth.