Today I was reading 1 Corinthians 6 to confirm something I have been thinking about.
It seems these days that if you question what others are doing or voice an opinion concerning someone in the Church or anyone actually, you are accused of “judging.”
The first thing that happens is that you get quoted the scripture that says, “Judge not lest ye also be judged by the same judgment.”
Although we know that we are to be “trying the spirits” to see if they be of God, it seems that many in the Church believe that we should not judge anything at all. The aforementioned scriptures refute this adamantly.
Somewhere along the way, it appears some have come to expect saints in our Churches to be mere dumb sheep who are simply supposed to do what they are told and not question anyone or anything.
It’s like they think saints have no relationship with God themselves and are not qualified to speak with wisdom or help to provide understanding in any given matter.
There are many people in the Church who have been walking with The LORD for many years and have always tried to have an humble spirit and respect those in authority.
You would almost think that these folks over the years had not also spent many hours in prayer, Bible study and fastings to find the will of God for their lives and that of their families.
They have been faithful to their Church with support as well as attendance and received the Word gladly and have done everything possible to implement it in their daily lives and in their homes.
Surely one would think that they have learned something about God, because many do have a wonderful, close relationship with Him.
So much of the authority of the saints in the Church has been taken away from them. They have been delegated to be simple followers of whomever is in charge and often left out of any decision making.
This is not scriptural. It is against everything Christ taught as well as the apostles.
From a business standpoint, it would seem even natural that if these people support the Church and that there would not even be a Church without them, their counsel would be most desirable.
The most important issue here is the spiritual value that is missing in many Churches because spirit-filled and gifted saints are not being used in the proper manner that the scripture intended them to be.
No one person or even a board alone should be making descisions about things pertaining to the Church.
The scripture is clear that matters should be brought before the entire Church and decided there.
It is certain that this chapter had a great deal to do with people in the Church going to court with one another rather than letting those who are wise and seasoned in the Spirit find resolution to matters.
Nonetheless, Jesus himself gave a distinct set of directions in how to handle disputes that arose between fellow brethren.
First we are to go one on one with each other, then before witnesses and then “before the Church.”
How we decided to veer away from what Jesus taught and keep the members of the Church silent deserves note.
It is not one person’s decision as to what goes on in the Church. Following the directions Christ issued would likely save many issues from becoming bigger problems.
If I knew I might have to stand before the entire Church and give an account of my actions, I’m sure I would likely be willing to work out my differences with my brothers and sisters more humbly and in a timely manner.
“The saints shall judge the world.” That is very clear. The catch scripture we throw at everybody about not judging likely means that if you do not want to be judged by the same yard stick that you use on others then you might reserve your opinion.
A real deception going on today is that one should not judge whether something is actually anointed of the Spirit or not.
That is false doctrine. We most certainly should know what is real and what is not. This ruse of not allowing the saints to use their God given powers in the Spirit has resulted in too many performances being done which have nothing whatsoever to do with the Spirit, whether it be singing, music or preaching.
The next thing flung at us is the reference “Touch not mine anointed.” Well frankly, if it’s not anointed there’s nothing to fear.
We are to walk in the fear of The LORD but not in the fear of man. It has been my experience that most good people will go a long way to give someone the benefit of the doubt before making any kind of judgment.
For lack of words, we do have discerning skills and it’s about time we begin to use them again as we once did.
One of our apostles once said that it is really a matter of being a fruit inspector. His message was very clear.
The idea that saints have no real relationship with the knowledge of God and His ways and should be mute, blind and only obedient must cease.
God gives gifts “severally” as He wills. Those in the pews who have these gifts must absolutely be allowed to use them as the Spirit sees fit, when the Spirit sees fit and not at the option of whomever is in charge.
I know, things should be done “decently and in order.” That’s true, but do you think the saints do not have sense or discernment enough to know what’s decent and what’s in order?
Then what have they been living for God for all of these years, just to follow the commands of someone else and not question anything?
Some may fear that this could open the door for abuse by laity who do not have wisdom or proper motive.
That can and will happen in any group or organization but that’s exactly why you have the entire Church looking on.
Everything is done openly and upfront and the entire body can judge what is right, proper and acceptable.
Unless you have a Church of only misfits and troublemakers then surely you have decent, god-fearing men and women, full of the Spirit that can stand in the congregation of the righteous and declare what they feel is right and true.
We have some wonderful leaders, I absolutely know that and their work stands high above others and their reputation bears witness.
However, if we are going to see “revival” in the way we keep talking about, then we will have to revive the original teachings of Jesus Christ before we try being apostolic.
Our power and control issues hinder the flow and moving of the Holy Spirit. Power and authority in the Church was written and distributed in a balanced manner.
A head is no good without the body. They were meant to work together for the furthering of the Kingdom.
There is an old song that says, “We need power in the pulpit, and action in the pews.”
Well, the pews do know how to act but they must be loosed in Jesus name to do the work they have been called to do.
First published: February 4, 2010.
~ Robert Blackburn