Sean Scott's Blog

www.preachingjesuschrist.com

The retardation of the saints

with 15 comments

(Below is a post from brother Jim’s blog at:  http://fleebabylon.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/the-retardation-of-the-saints/     This is like the final frontier in body ministry and expression that most people will never venture into.  The sad thing is that instead of being the final frontier..one of the last greatly needed components of church life this is actually supposed to be foundational.  There’s more resistance to this foundational truth in most churches than resistance to almost any other truth.  I have confidence though that the Lord is and will restore this wonderful manifestation of His body more and more till the day He come to gather His Saints – His glorious Bride. )

——————————————————————————————————————————————————–

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: ~ Ephesians  4:11-15

Why is it that even among sincere evangelical Christians who sit and listen to sermons week after week we have a generation that is being tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine?  It is because the senior pastor has usurped the authority of other members of the body of Christ in the local church.  I do not mean to say that all senior pastors are willfully doing this, but it is the end result of their position.  The typical evangelical church structure, along with the senior pastor position, is mostly foreign to scripture and is a sad carry over from Roman Catholicism. Even among sincere Godly men the fruit of following these empty traditions is undeniable.

Thinking of the scripture above, it would be more honest if we got a new version of the Bible that read “And he gave some to be senior pastors; and below him some associate pastors; some children’s pastors; and some music pastors; for the retardation of the saints”.  It’s really interesting to look at how the senior pastor came about and rose to such prominence.  An honest look will reveal that it is based on the papist system and not on the word of God.  It is not an innocent matter of how we do church either; it is a matter of stunting the growth of the body of Christ.  Where were teachers listed in the epistle to the Ephesians?  How about in this letter to the Corinthians?

Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?  ~ 1Corithians 12:27-30

They are listed simply as members of the body of Christ, amongst the other giftings given to the Church.  Yet I doubt many could say with a straight face that today’s senior pastor is viewed in such a manner.

Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.   ~1Corithians 14:29-33

One of the most ridiculous things I have seen in this area is a senior pastor of the AOG church we used to attend stop a man from prophesying during a quiet time.  I believe the man to have really been speaking prophetically in accordance with the word of God (and he had done so in the past too) when the senior pastor tells him to be quiet from the pulpit because he was just starting to speak when the old prophet started speaking.  The senior pastor then said something along the lines that “the Holy Spirit can’t be speaking through you since I think he wants to speak through me, because God is not a God of confusion and disorder”.  This was done in front of the whole Church, and even as a young believer I knew something was out of line but who would dare question the almighty pope (I mean senior pastor, that’s what Protestants call their pope).  Yet that is what we have accepted as normal and what Christ hatefully calls the practice of the nicolatians.  Even the spirit of the prophets is now subject to the protestant pope.  Here again is a more honest writing of 1 Corinthians 14

Let the senior pastor speak week after week, and let the others sit quietly and take notes.  If anything be revealed to another that sitteth let such a one remember who it is that has the reserved parking spot and keep it to himself.  For you are not the senior pastor and so you must hold your peace until after service.  And the spirits of the pew warmers, prophets, and everyone else for that matter, are subject to the senior pastor.  For God is not an author of confusion, that’s why he distinguished the important guy by placing him on a stage.

Brethren, I do not write these things lightly or want to be seen as being negative or tearing down and never building up.  But the Lord has confirmed this word to me today and I submit it in humility.

Written by Sean Scott

October 5, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

15 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Out of all the gifts the one that seems to be the most despised today is the prophetic gift. Churches, for the most part, seem to take two approaches to this gift. One, they either say there is no prophetic gift as we see exercised in the bible. They say that preaching is now prophesying. Of course the bible says we can all prophesy one by one…yet even though they say preaching is prophesying they never obey that passage and let everyone preach! The other main way people avoid this gift is by silencing it and not allowing it to function in their body. I have seen this first hand. I have personally seen a prophetic word given, acknowledged as true by the one who received it, and then rejected because they, and the elders, did not like how someone in their congregation reacted to it. So instead of helping the person who did not like it with their emotions they silenced the word and essentially broke fellowship with those who brought it. Prophetic words bring exhortation. Exhortation often comes in the form of corrections and warnings. Everyone seems to love the “prophetic words” that make them feel good…but bring a word of correction that causes some discomfort in the local body and you must not really be hearing the Lord – even if the word is true. These are the same churches that boast of wanting the prophetic but then when it’s operating in their midst they show that they actually do not.

    It’s a sad thing when church elders, who are supposed to be mature in the faith, shield their people from the very thing that God would use to exposes deficiencies in people lives and ultimately to bring true healing and growth. The result is that the people that God intended to help become more deceived as they are shielded by elders who think they are doing their people and God a favor. When in all reality they are hindering the good work the Lord is seeking to do in their midst. Not only do the elders hinder the growth in their people by rejecting the prophetic but often as I mentioned above they remove and or advise disfellowshiping those with that particular gift. They essentially divide the body of Christ for unbiblical reasons. So while they think they are protecting their body from negativity they are actually harming both the hearer of the prophetic word and those who give it and while claiming to serve God they are actually resisting Him. (the truth is we’ve probably all done that at one point in our life – rejected something that God meant for good. The question is that is we come to our senses and realize it – what do we do about it? Humbly repent and seek reconcilation if needed.)

    My great hope is that the Lord will bring a restoration in this area. And not with just the prophetic but with the ministry and functioning of all the gifts within the body. When the church begins to walk in true humility before the Lord, with a sincere heart, these things will begin to come to pass. May the Lord bring it about quickly.

    For another good article on the prophetic you can read Lisa’s current post. She has recently posted an article by Zac Poonen on this subject:

    http://lisascott.weebly.com/2/post/2010/10/the-importance-of-a-prophetic-ministry-by-zac-poonen.html

    Sean Scott

    October 5, 2010 at 5:15 pm

  2. Hi bro & sis, a very needful subject.

    Just some thoughts to offer:

    1Co 14:24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believes not, or one unlearned, he is convicted of all, he is judged of all:
    1Co 14:25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

    1Co 14:29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the others judge.
    1Co 14:30 If anything be revealed to another that sits by, let the first hold his peace.
    1Co 14:31 For you may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted

    .
    .
    .
    In view of this passage it appears that prophecy in the church was the mainstay or the backbone of the church : it was considered to be what Jesus is saying to His church. It was not “added on” as an extra thing. They gathered together to hear what Jesus was saying to them, thru whomever He chose to use as His vessels.

    So when people say that prophecy was the preaching, they are sort of right, but they would be wrong if they understood it in terms of the modern concept of preaching a scheduled sermon. This is not prophesying, unless indeed the sermon came straight from the Holy Spirit as a prophetic word.

    Today, if we talk about a “prophetic word” the tendency is to grasp on to one aspect of prophecy and ignore the rest. It’s also complicated by the fact that in many of our backgrounds we got a skewed understanding of it, like we came to associate it with “this saith the Lord” and speaking for God in the first person. This is easily refuted by the fact the NT scripture writers never said “this saith the Lord” and never wrote in the first person when they were inspired by the Holy Spirit. We receive what they wrote on the basis that the Holy Spirit witnesses to it, and not on the basis of them speaking in the first-person. They expected the reader to discern the authority of the truth they wrote.

    The simple understanding is that it is what Jesus is saying to us currently. It is a nessage REVEALED and RECIEVED from Him. 1 Cor 14:30a If anything be revealed to another that sits by…

    ian vincent

    October 6, 2010 at 12:07 am

    • “Today, if we talk about a “prophetic word” the tendency is to grasp on to one aspect of prophecy and ignore the rest.”

      Ian – I know a brother here in Detroit that told me he thought the gift of prophesy must not be for today because of all the false prophesying he had seen(refering to lakeland, benny hinn, etc). I told him I thought the gift of teaching must not be for today then because of all of the false teaching going on. The brother is coming around as I am sure he belongs to the Lord.

      fleebabylon

      October 6, 2010 at 2:15 am

  3. Prophets are like doctors, except they have God’s diagnosis and God’s cure.

    False prophets are like quack doctors. A doctor who dispenses Disprin to everyone and causes more harm than good.

    True prophets see the reality of peoples condition and Jesus speaks thru them to address their condition and lead them to Jesus, the answer, the cure.

    Here’s an example: A pastor preaches week after week nice Bible studies but never addresses the condition of the church, and there is no revival. He is not prophesying, even though what he is preaching may not be false. He is not speaking what Jesus is saying to those people.

    Another example: At a pastor’s conference a man gives a great prophecy about the coming revival. But he does not address the corruption, pride and unBiblical practices of the pastors. Again, this is not prophecy bcos Jesus will make the foundation right first. He will make His house clean first.

    ian vincent

    October 6, 2010 at 12:58 am

    • True prophets see the reality of peoples condition and Jesus speaks thru them to address their condition and lead them to Jesus, the answer, the cure.

      Amen Ian. Unfortunately we live in a culture today that says we must always be edified in a way that builds self-esteem and makes you feel good. This of course permeates the church as well. If only people wanted to see the reality of their condition as much as Jesus wants to reveal it to them.

      Sean Scott

      October 6, 2010 at 2:52 am

  4. “Out of all the gifts the one that seems to be the most despised today is the prophetic gift. Churches, for the most part, seem to take two approaches to this gift. One, they either say there is no prophetic gift as we see exercised in the bible. They say that preaching is now prophesying.”

    I do worry for pastors that teach there is no need for the prophetic gift today. They say to another member of the body “there is no need for you, BUT there is GREAT need for me” (they say this by their actions). I can think of a couple of high profile pastors that teach great truths on Gods grace, against the seeker sensitive and mega churches, etc but are completely fallen here.

    1 Corinthians 12:19 asks:

    “And if they were all one member, where would the body be?”

    Thats an easy one apostle Paul – the body would be sitting in a pew every Sunday for 50 years taking notes on the what the senior pastor is teaching.

    fleebabylon

    October 6, 2010 at 2:09 am

    • 1 Corinthians 12:19 asks:

      “And if they were all one member, where would the body be?”

      Thats an easy one apostle Paul – the body would be sitting in a pew every Sunday for 50 years taking notes on the what the senior pastor is teaching.

      How true.

      Sean Scott

      October 6, 2010 at 2:47 am

  5. It’s really interesting to look at how the senior pastor came about and rose to such prominence. An honest look will reveal that it is based on the papist system and not on the word of God. It is not an innocent matter of how we do church either; it is a matter of stunting the growth of the body of Christ.

    That really is the heart of the matter. Part of the solution, as you said, is for people to take an “honest look”. And honest look at church history, and the bible, will reveal that the senior pastor or the one or two man ministy to the exlusion of the rest of the body is nowhere found in scripture and comes from another source. I have found though, that many who will take an honest look and see these things in scripture will still find a reason or excuse as to why they don’t need to practice it…ALL while claiming to love the word of God. IF so called shepherds and elders really loved God’s people they would want to see them grow into the maturity the Lord would have them walk in…which includes their ministry to the body. I know some elders might be ingnorant of these truths (though they are easy to find in the bible) but there are many who are not ignorant and willfully continue to surpress body ministry. I know there will be a great accountability for those who willfully stunt the growth of Christ body. And if someone continues to ignore the truth on these issues it can only be reasoned that they think they know what’s better for the body of Christ than Jesus does. Of course this dicussion does not only apply to the prophetic gift. It would apply to any and all spiritual gifts that God has given to edify and mature the body of Christ. The prophetic gift just seems to be the one most people forbid.

    This whole discussion comes down to defining what’s biblical fellowship and how the saints should meet. For many who have left institutional, denominational churches people will say to them “you have no fellowship”. The reality is, they most often do not have fellowship either. They are just diluded or ignorant of the fact that coming together for 1.5hrs on Sunday morning to sing a few songs, take up an offering, listen to a few announcements, and hear a man preach for 30 minutes..does not constitue fellowship. Many churches actually call this time their “service” or “program” and that is exactly what it is. It’s certainly not fellowship. While it is of utmost importance, and should be every believers heart desire to fellowship with other saints, we should not confuse going to a service as biblical fellowship. Some people might say “well it’s better than nothing”…. and in some cases that might be true. However, what a sad testimony it is when believers begin to settle for something Christ never died to give us.

    Sean Scott

    October 6, 2010 at 3:49 am

    • “For many who have left institutional, denominational churches people will say to them “you have no fellowship”. The reality is, they most often do not have fellowship either.”

      So true brother. I came out of the institution right when we started with homeless / street ministry here in Detroit. Our time of prayer, study and fellowship with the saints we also ministered with on the streets was when I actually realized Christ was living in His Church and we were walking in the new testament. It was so real compared to the fake (but very sincerely fake) sunday meetings.

      We did not have elders established though.

      Some could then say “you do not have true church either because there are no elders”. My response is that it is better to have the pieces in place and built on the right foundation, minus a few that need to be added, then to have a confused religous system that needs to be torn down (or blown up) and completely rebuilt from the foundation.

      fleebabylon

      October 7, 2010 at 1:42 am

      • So true brother. Bcos what we are talkimg about is a way of living our lives, not an “add on”. Therefore we don’t need all the parts in place first before we begin living a life of NT fellowship.

        ian vincent

        October 7, 2010 at 9:55 pm

  6. Good stuff, brothers. More and more of our brethren should know these things and BE free to meet “unto edification”.

    They should know there’s a REASON why God established His Church in the manner in which He did, and that man shouldn’t change that.

    ian vincent

    October 6, 2010 at 9:45 am

  7. Excellent points, everyone. Thanks for all your comments. I am continually amazed at the strength of the shackles of tradition.

    Braden

    October 26, 2010 at 5:16 pm

  8. A couple thoughts:

    The best witness of the saints is our love for one another, which comes from communing with the Lord and one another [as a community in which our fellowships are a daily fellowship]: when this witness exists, preaching the gospel to the lost is especially profitable, as it is both by word and example [experience].

    Also, the point at which we know that 1) our minds are renewed to 1 Corinthians 14 and 2) we are no longer holding on to old wounds and bitter roots is when 3) we can live these truths without an ANTI-ATTITUDE.

    That is, we are not influenced by lies at any level anymore, which is to suggest that we can [like apostles sent to those trapped in a religious system] enter into the traditional church system [physically] and live the truth as an example.

    They system cannot be redeemed [as it is simply a lie]: but [once we are healed] we can find aspects of sincere fellowship with repentant believers who are still trapped in cultural bondage.

    Mark and Vicki Finger

    December 23, 2010 at 5:52 am

    • we can live these truths without an ANTI-ATTITUDE.

      I agree to some extent. I’m not “Anti” church but I am “anti” towards whatever hinders God’s people. Christ was “anti” towards the doctrine of the Nicolations. But I know the Lord has His people in all sorts of situations. Some outside of institutional churches are in a much worse place than those inside. It’s certainly not so much as about what you are against as to who you are for – “Christ”, and who you have living in you – “Christ”.

      That is, we are not influenced by lies at any level anymore, which is to suggest that we can [like apostles sent to those trapped in a religious system] enter into the traditional church system [physically] and live the truth as an example.

      Yes..but we have to be careful not to equate “living the truth” apart from speaking the truth. The apostles did both so as to bring men out of a religious system.

      They system cannot be redeemed [as it is simply a lie]: but [once we are healed] we can find aspects of sincere fellowship with repentant believers who are still trapped in cultural bondage.

      I agree. As the scripture says….”The Lord knows them that are His”. He has His people that are in all kinds of different circumstances and who are at different places in their walk and understanding with the Lord.

      Sean Scott

      December 23, 2010 at 3:40 pm

  9. Reviewing your words, I don’t find any place of disagreement with what you have said, Scott.

    I was trying to express a ‘sense’ of what I am experiencing spiritually, which is probably foolish! [slapping forehead]

    It’s not the knowledge of good and evil that transforms us–but rather, obedience to [living] the truth–which is not a resistant attitude, but a submissive attitude [toward God].

    It is by submitting ourselves to God that we are strengthened to stand against evil (James 4:7-8).

    What the best way for ME to rebuke what is wrong within the assembly? Being slow to speak, gently sharing out of my heart, restoring with a spirit of meekness: freely speaking and acting upon the truth.

    I think that demons attack us to try to shift our focus upon what the enemy is doing [or might do]: we fight this all our lives, even if we are Elijah or David.

    The tendency is for me to focus upon my human experience, rather than upon God.

    I guess Ian said it best:

    “It [prophecy] is a message REVEALED and RECEIVED from HIM.”

    I think we all experience the following passage of scripture:

    “And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed [his] righteous soul from day to day with [their] unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished,” (2 Peter 2:7-9).

    … so it’s good that we stir ourselves up with the truth!

    Peace,

    Mark

    Mark and Vicki Finger

    December 23, 2010 at 7:34 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: