Study to Show thyself

A few weeks ago there was the story in the national dailies about a gentleman who was led to the edge of a cliff by his in-car satellite navigation system. You can read the story here.  When asked why he did something so bizarre, he responded that he trusted his sat nav very much and it had never let him down. Even with overwhelming evidence that where he was being led to was not a road, he kept on going, refusing to rely on his own common sense.

How often do we see scenarios like this played out in today’s church? Congregants in churches worldwide have completely taken leave of their senses and blindly follow their ‘trusted’ leader even in the face of very many doctrinal inconsistencies.  Their minds have been conditioned to believe that if they raise any objections, God will view it as rebellion and punish them ever so severely. A few scriptures are misquoted to lean weight to this belief and the gullible church folk are kept chained under the yoke of deceit.

Why on earth would we view our church leaders as infallible and give them the kind of obedience that is reserved for God alone? Why would our church leaders require this kind of unquestionable loyalty from us, when it should be reserved for God and God alone? Where in scripture is it written that your pastor is your covering? Or it is only when your pastor prays for you then and only then would the Lord speedily answer? This concept of church is quite mind-boggling.

The bible says in Hosea 4: 6 that God’s people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Failure to properly read our bibles and know God for ourselves brings us all sorts of untold miseries.

The current church model rather unfortunately, tries to follow the Old Testament style of worship. In the Old Testament, there was a class distinction amongst the children of Israel. The males of the tribe of Levi where the only ones allowed to minister in the tabernacle whilst the remaining eleven tribes where barred from such duties.  Further more, amongst the priests, only descendants of Aaron where allowed to be high priests and only high priests where allowed by God to go into the holy of holies. This happened once a year. Today’s church structure greatly reflects this model; the pastor is the high priest who has the privilege of being the only one who hears from God, while the other church leaders occupy the position of Levites and priests. Should this be practised in today’s church? Since when did Christianity become a pyramid scheme, where God’s power only flows from the pastor downwards?

People are being led to the edge of a cliff in church on a daily basis either inadvertently or deliberately largely due to the fact that they are completely ignorant of scriptures. Many pastors too do not encourage their congregants to ask questions or search scriptures for themselves. Some of those that do, get quite angry when they are taken up on the challenge. They feel it undermines their authority. For crying out loud, “who do they think they are?”

Peter was one of the leaders of the early church. He walked with Jesus in the flesh; saw Jesus several times after His resurrection and yet was rebuked by Paul in the book of Galatians when he did wrong. Did Peter get punitive with Paul? Did he threaten him with the “touch not the Lord’s anointed” fable? Acts 17: 11 tells us that searching scriptures to confirm what has been taught is a noble act.

The bible admonishes that we all have equal right to access God’s throne. There are no favourites, there are no special ones that hearing from God is their exclusive reserve. It does not matter the number of miracles wrought by any man of God, he is still a man and is not beyond reproach. He can and will make mistakes.

The bible is the only authority. Know it for yourself. Remember Paul’s charge to Timothy in 2 Tim 2: 15; “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” It is God that gives the approval and not man.

Don’t get led off a cliff by false doctrine, know God for yourself.

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