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DEFINING THE WORTHY: Qualifying Clergy, Church, and Ministry Donations (2)

         “How in the world did Paul learn directly from the Lord since the Lord had already died, was resurrected, and went to heaven? How was it that Paul appropriated the Lord Jesus as his new and only Rabbi?”

.     .     .

         Most official ministers are not aware of how the Lord Jesus financed His ministry, and there is a very good reason for that. Actually two reasons. The first is a basic lack of knowledge, which is completely understandable in that most members of the clergy are taught by other clergyites in official Bible schools, seminaries, and colleges. Very few of these people learn spiritual truths as did the apostles and even Paul—directly from the Lord.

         This method is actually the New Testament model. One may learn the basics as a rookie in churches and Bible Studies from any number of sermons and teachings but at some point must graduate to higher spiritual learning. The apostles were certainly well-versed in Scripture prior to joining the Lord’s school, and the apostle Paul was likely the most well-versed, but these men had no knowledge of the spiritual things the Lord Jesus must teach them. It is why they were often such hard cases and gave off the appearance of being clueless though good-hearted Forrest Gumps. If it had been any of us it would have been the same.

         That’s why the general Christian clergy attitude is so defeating and backwards regarding higher Christian education. It is far too controlling, egg-headed, and dogmatic. It leaves little room for free thought. In case you may think I’m starting to drift here, I must remind all that the apostle Paul learned the Gospel directly from the Lord out in the desert somewhere. He never went to any official New Testament school. And in case one may think he was the exception, this was actually not the case. The Lord Jesus made it clear that He must be our only teacher:

         “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers.” [Matthew 23:8]

         Regarding this fact, how in the world did Paul learn directly from the Lord since the Lord had already died, was resurrected, and went to heaven? How was it that Paul appropriated the Lord Jesus as his new and only Rabbi?

         For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions.

         But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia… [Galatians 1:11-17]

         Official Bible schools, seminaries, Christian colleges, and churches are not as open and transparent as they purport to be. They are each agenda-based though this fact is often played down or concealed. Each of these institutions has their respective, unique, and exclusive teaching agenda. They each have their own distinctive curriculum and teaching format. Thus, one establishment will frequently disagree completely with another regarding doctrine, liturgy, or ecclesiastical infrastructure, which makes them contradictory!

          Because they are agenda-based and not purely New Testament-based, they will be lacking in some of the Lord’s teachings, will have introduced some of their own dogma which is not representative of the Lord’s teachings, and will thus not fulfill the Lord’s directive that He must be the only Teacher.

         Let me put it this way: Elementary school prepares us for junior high, which prepares us for high school, which prepares us for college or university if we get that far. Some go beyond this. A university degree thus prepares some students for master’s or doctoral programs. Therefore, as disciples of the Lord, it is understandable to learn the basics through lesser and general means.

         I know in my experience, after being filled with the Holy Spirit, I had an insatiable appetite for the Word of God. I was attending church services four times a week but was also doing the bulk of my reading and study on my own. It didn’t take me long to read the entire Bible. I was also engaged in much interaction with many different believers. I got familiar with different denominational beliefs. All of this served as great background and foundational learning. During that early time I also did what I could to buy books and slowly start building my library. All of this set the tone and served as vital prerequisites for greater learning directly from the Lord.

         This is where things get interesting. A disciple starts receiving revelation and learning that goes beyond the received education of most, simply because most Christians do one of the following:

  1. They do very little if any Bible reading or study on their own.
  2. They depend far too heavily on whatever preachers or teachers they submit to and rarely go beyond that agenda.
  3. They develop an attitude of suspicion and eventual criticism toward anything and anyone that is not fully ensconced within their own little Christian world.

         Regarding the latter, Christian schools of higher learning do exactly the same. Generally speaking, this does not mean that much good cannot be learned in such institutions or even in churches. The key is being led of the Lord Jesus. What is vitally necessary, then, if one is to progress as an effective and mature disciple and learn directly from the Lord, is that one must move on from basic convention at some point to arrive at that place of higher spiritual learning the Lord has for each of us.

         “I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me.” [Proverbs 8:17] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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DEFINING THE WORTHY: Qualifying Clergy, Church, and Ministry Donations (1)

         “How was it possible that the Lord could just go up to men and call them into ministry, telling them to leave their jobs and livelihoods, without somehow taking care of them and their families financially?”

.     .     .

         Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” [Matthew 8:20]

         No one is more selfless and humble than the Lord Jesus.

         I have promoted a truth on this site in several posts and comments that I have never heard preached or taught anywhere else. It has to do with the Lord and money. How did He finance His ministry?

         Most Christians never consider this question. Here’s the bigger question, however: How was it possible that the Lord could just go up to men and call them into ministry, telling them to leave their jobs and livelihoods, without somehow taking care of them and their families financially? These men were all working very hard to make a living. Their wives and children needed them. How could they just drop everything and walk off with the Lord? Who would take care of their own?

         The reason this equation is a stumper and head-scratcher for many Christians is probably because they have been taught the Lord was poor. The preceding passage of Scripture seems to denote this: He had nowhere to lay His head. But the apostles, their wives, and their children had to be provided for during the Lord’s ministry and their simultaneous spiritual education. The necessary money was certainly not coming from the synagogues or other rabbis. This leaves only one possibility: It came from the Lord. It was He who had the money. There were later donations, of course, but He didn’t go around making collections of the vast sums He would need prior to His ministry.

         When one considers all the people He had to take care of, including as well older relatives dependent on these apostle families, the number is substantial. I’ve written before that it could be like it was when Jacob and his extended family moved to Egypt at the behest of Joseph. There were seventy people (Genesis 46:27). It was roughly the same with the Lord.

         In our day, we have what is virtually the very opposite: One man becomes a preacher and puts the onus on the many to provide for him. This is not necessarily a bad thing. The standard in the recent past was that a local preacher would take a church and receive the tithe. This was his understood entitlement. If the church was small he would not receive much and would have to work like everyone else to supplement his income. Larger churches had more money. You see where this is going…

         The only answer, then, for how the Lord was able to start His ministry from scratch and immediately stock it with chosen disciples was simply that He had to pay their way. He provided for them. This meant He had to have money. Where did He get it? HE EARNED IT. He worked very hard as a carpenter and builder until He was thirty years old. He took care of His mother and siblings after Joseph died. He saved His money for His later purpose in life.

         But He was also provided for as well, long before He could provide on His own. It was a picture of divine providence in which heaven was interspersing itself into the needs of humanity according to scriptural promise, investing in the One who would later give everything He had, when the One was very young…

         After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. [Matthew 2:11] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Divide and Conquer: THE CLERGY-LAITY SPLIT (1)

         I have written extensively on the subject of the Clergy-Laity Division. My book, Real Christianity, delves deeply into the issue. Though the following excerpt from the book is relatively brief, it presents the historical and Biblical essence of the Clergy-Laity Division in Christianity and helps every believer to discover how it negatively affects his or her Christian experience and discipleship.

         Speaking of which, I highly recommend buying the book. It has received excellent reviews. [Please see the above *AUTHOR / BOOK* tab for more information.] Its pages are loaded with truth that reveals this Divide and Conquer tactic and so many other methods of the enemy that strive to limit and even stop the progress of the Lord’s real community.

         Thank you and be blessed. From Real ChristianityThe Nature of the Church:

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         By the Middle Ages, the Christian upper class as a whole had grown much more stealthy and clandestine, gained access to greater monetary sources, and amassed more political power than it had probably ever imagined. Eventually, these classes developed titles. You know them today as the clergy and the laity.

            One must note that this split did not take place within the Lord’s Qahal. [1] Jesus never created rank among His children. Class division began in the unreal assembly, and we can trace its origin all the way back to the times of the apostles. As a matter of fact, Paul referred to its propagators as false apostles:

         “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.” [2 Corinthians 11:13-15]

         A few verses later, Paul wrote of their management practices, especially of the way they exalted themselves over their congregations:

         “For you tolerate it if anyone enslaves you, anyone devours you, anyone takes advantage of you, anyone exalts himself, anyone hits you in the face.” [2 Corinthians 11:20]

         Keeping in mind the fact that the real community of believers was woven together by love and that they comprised a body, those who submitted to the false apostles were obviously not loved by their leaders, nor were their congregations unified in the Spirit. The word “exalt” in the former verse is from the Greek word epairo (ep-ahee’-ro). It means “to lift up, raise up, or raise on high,” or in other words, to exalt oneself in pride. Jesus instructed His people that the greater leader must be the greater servant and must cloak himself in ever greater amounts of humility. These false apostles did just the opposite, being true to their actual nature.

         After many centuries, the clergy-laity division became standard practice even among those church bodies which gained greater access to truth. The division has remained in most churches to date due only to carried-over tradition and an apparent lack of knowledge regarding the Lord’s proper format. [2]

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         The Divide and Conquer tactic employed by Unreal Christianity was brilliant. As avowed enemies of the Lord Jesus, it put the Christian Pharisees in complete control and regulated 99% of the congregation to wasting away in the pews as ineffectual clergy supporters rather than real disciples of the Lord Jesus:

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         When the splitting of community became official, it easily did more to thwart God’s plan for evangelizing the world than anything else man has devised. The reason why is simple—ninety-something percent of the membership was removed from the process. The “laity” [3] was deemed unqualified for officially ordained Christian service and, consequently, unworthy of receiving God’s call. Yet, there was a time when all believers heard the call of God, and each person heard it from Jesus Himself.

         At the present, due to the entrenched tradition of the clergy-laity division, many Christians never consider the possibility of devoting their lives to God because they have been made to think that God only chooses certain rare holy ones for His work. If this is true, the Lord is breaking His own commandment by judging a good many people as unqualified before they ever get a chance to prove themselves. [See Matthew 7:1]

         The only thing which actually disqualifies a person from ministry is the same thing which disqualifies him from membership in the Church, and that is simply a lack of full commitment to the absolute Lordship of Jesus. There is nothing inherent within any sincere believer which disqualifies him or her from the Lord’s service—somebody else’s service yes, but not the Lord’s. Every Christian needs to know that all legitimate calls to ministry come only from the Lord, and each should be encouraged to find his or her place of service. There are abundant ministry needs to address, very few who feel worthy to address them, and many who were discouraged from entering the Lord’s service by inept ministers who were more than likely never called themselves, at least, not by God.

         Ironically, many headstrong individuals or those with improper motives feel all too worthy. Their self-willed attitude would suggest that they usually never hear God’s call at all, but one much more personal. Such high-minded ones see golden opportunities to use religious structures, systems, and especially people to pad their own nest or at least find a niche… [4]

         Sound familiar?

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Qahal is the Hebrew equivalent for “Church,” and is the word most likely used by Jesus.

[2] Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

[3] This word originates from the New Testament Greek word laos (lah-’os). It is defined as a people group, whether socio-political, socio-religious, or cultural-ethnic. It generally refers to the “common people,” as a crowd, a populace, or a nation. It is also used as the people of God. When used in the latter sense, it means all of the people collectively. It is easy to see how the meaning of this word was corrupted when class division entered Christianity.

[4] Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

Unreal Christianity: Hamsters on a Spinning Wheel

         You’re in a cage. But you don’t know that. Your perspective is as limited as your spiritual geography. You have been taught over many years by fake smiling faces to get in your cage, stay in your cage, get dumb, stay dumb, don’t think, don’t express, stay within yourself, and be in prison…

         It’s called a clergy spirit. Clergyites must control. Without control, clergyites have no reason to exist, cannot exist, have nothing to do, and have no reason for being.

         But give them something to control and their brains suddenly start coming to life like an extravagant outdoor Christmas lighting display.

         What must they control?

         People. Always people.

         And the results of their obsession and control is obvious to everyone with the real Light of God outside the cage and off the wheel.

         “Hey Mommy, what are those people?

         “Well, Johnny. Those are unreal Christians.”

         “Why are they in that cage and going around on that wheel?”

         “Well, Johnny, it’s because they think they’re going somewhere.”

         “Where do they think they’re going?”

         “Nobody knows, Johnny. Nobody knows. And neither do they…”

DECEPTION OR DISEASE?

         The obsession of the clergy is not classified as a disease. The even greater obsession of obeying the clergy is not classified as a disease either. The reason is twofold:

         (1) All things behavioral found in the institutional religious camp are not classified among psychological problems and diseases because such are perceived as faith issues with deep-set and often generational stimuli at the core of one’s being which must be respected since change is rendered next to impossible.

         (2) The clergyites are an extension of political and statist controllers who know that control in general is a must in order for the ruling class to stay in power, and they perceive religious leaders as serving a very useful purpose and are therefore respected.

         This is why clergyites in general are always respected by society in general without even knowing why this is the case or why no one ever questions these people on their control techniques and apparatus. And if you think asking questions of hamsters in a cage on a spinning wheel will get you anywhere you would be wrong because it’s something they cannot explain either.

         Religious practices contrary to the teachings of the Lord Jesus are thus seen as “the right thing to do” without even knowing why one is doing it. One might think they have an answer early on regarding the hoped-for results or perceived results of their religious actions and protocol but such hoped-for results fade over time and are never actually actualized.

         In time religious people then become stuck in their rote behavioral patterns and get closed-mouthed and closed-minded about it and will even become quite belligerent with anyone who may question their strange acquiescence to controlling controllers and the process of cramming their otherwise brilliant minds into a space the size of a tiny med bottle and living by the spirituality-killing meds within the tiny bottle.

         Why does one not see that such behavior is the exact opposite of the behavior exhibited by those in the Upper Room on that first Day of Pentecost or by all of those real disciples throughout the early years of the Lord’s community?

         Why can’t they perceive that their stifling and incoherent behavior is the result of a different teaching mechanism (false gospel) and is nothing whatsoever like that which the Lord Jesus taught about and brought to this world?

         Why can’t they understand the simple concept that ultra-controlled behavior is the result of ultra-controlling controllers?

         Why has the other side of the action-reaction principle become invisible?

         Why can’t they see the other end of the harness to which they are attached?

         Why can’t they perceive the wizard behind the curtain?

         “I don’t know why I do what I do. I only know I do it. I must stay in the cage. I must stay on the wheel. I must go round and round…”

RELIGIOUS SLAVERY

         Regarding actual hamsters, we know why they run within a spinning wheel in a cage: They’re in jail.

         They have energy. They must move. They were created to be free with a large range and a purpose in life but all of that has been stolen from them. They exist purely at the whim of their owners who are somehow gratified by having such little pets over which they can watch, control, take care of, and be amused by. Now, if one could only harness the energy of the spinning wheel with the hamster in it and put it to some practical money-making use the circle would be complete.

         Does this ever happen with humans? Does it ever happen with religious humans? Are there people in this world who actually have the desire to make money off of other people? Are any of these types found in religious circles? Do some religious leaders see their “flock” as mere living wallets from which they extract their living and build their enterprises?

         When one removes all pretense, this desire to control and use people is boiled down to being nothing more than slavery. And those evil people who have believed in and practiced slavery throughout history had only one objective, and that was to use other human beings for their own purposes. Thus, it should otherwise be obvious that there is a thing called religious slavery.

         Just like breaking horses and hitching them up to wagons or throwing a saddle on them, people have their breaking points when they finally give up, give in, and surrender to some form of slavery so they can get along in this world. They would rather be free but see real freedom as a practical impossibility and eventually give up all hope of ever having any real life and freedom and become jaded and redneck with regard to the possibility.

         They may know somewhere way down deep in their heart that there is or was a way toward something better that their hearts used to believe in and strive for (spiritual freedom) but having failed repeatedly to find it and because they see all authority figures as exalted superiors who tell them no such way exists, they give up hope and become stoic lumps of humanity with closed minds and mere superficial outward expressions that mask their inner desires of something better.

         This is what fake man-made religions do to people, and all of these fake man-made religions are controlled by some form of clergyites, which makes religious controllers the guilty party though most see them as benevolent, innocent, highly advanced, and loving gurus doing the “right” thing.

THIS IS RELIGIOUS DECEPTION OF THE HIGHEST ORDER.

         It is the very thing and the most diabolical thing the Lord Jesus came to free us from and also that which He had the greatest fight against. It was the clergyites of His day that caused Him the greatest problems and who were always trying to kill Him. They both knew they could never exist together since the clergyites had stolen His place of authority for themselves and would never give it up. They were full of the devil—literally.

         Those evil people eventually succeeded in His murder, but only because He laid down His life for all. All their prior attempts had failed miserably.

         The Gospels are thus SHOUTING at us all to watch out for those guys who want to control one’s spirituality and stamp it with their own false garbage. Their objective is never to turn you on to the full revelation of the Lord Jesus and allow you to be completely free in Him but to make a brain dead religious slave of you and get your money in the process.

         “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” [Matthew 23:13]

         But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

         And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. {pernicious ways: or, lascivious ways, as some copies read}

         And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. [2 Peter 2:1-3 KJV]

LIGHT EXPOSING THE DARKNESS

         Until the Lord Jesus came to live among us 2000 years ago the devil had remained very successfully hidden.

         Then, THE DEVIL WAS SUDDENLY EXPOSED. The Lord Jesus tore down the curtain of illusion and revealed all the evil people submitted to the devil as well, and this is a major component of the real Gospel.

         When the real Gospel is preached, the Light of God shines in such an all-pervasive way that the devil and his people cannot hide, have no place left to hide, and all the little unseen spaces where the cockroaches usually hide are suddenly lit up like airport runways blinding them by the Light.

         Hence, the actual effect of the real Gospel chases the devil and his people to places they can no longer find to escape the Light. They are the ones who are then relegated to, and are supposed to be relegated to, a spinning wheel to nowhere in screaming fearful flight of a Light they cannot shun and an objective to hide that can never be achieved again.

         “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.

         For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” [John 3:19-20]

         THIS LIGHT IS WITHIN THOSE WHO ARE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT OF GOD AND WHO ARE CALLED, COMMISSIONED, AND EMPOWERED BY GOD TO SHINE THE LIGHT, TESTIFY OF THE LIGHT, PROMOTE SPIRITUAL FREEDOM, REVEAL ALL DARKNESS, AND EXPOSE THE DEVIL.

         In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.

         The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

         There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.

         There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.

         He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.

         He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.

         But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. [John 1:4-13] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

That They May Add Sin To Sin

         The following is an excerpt from Real Christianity, The Nature of the Church © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

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THAT THEY MAY ADD SIN TO SIN

         “Woe to the rebellious children,” declares the LORD, “who execute a plan, but not Mine, and make an alliance, but not of My Spirit, in order to add sin to sin; who proceed down to Egypt without consulting Me, to take refuge in the safety of Pharaoh and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!” [Isaiah 30:1-2]

         Christian rulers have no doubts about where they stand. With every thread of their being, they know they are right. They know their position is the correct one.

         Thus, the clergy spirit is very deceiving. This is how it remains in power. If the Christian ruling class were to display even a hint of uncertainty with regard to its core principles, its foundation would be weakened. Therefore, the clergy recognizes that to admit error is to admit fault. In other words, those who are passively going along with the clergy’s program should never be given an opportunity to consider the possibility that their leaders have been compromised.

         Though some believe themselves to be superior, the Scriptures state very clearly that humanity has an exceptionally sorry and rebellious nature:

         “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.” [Isaiah 53:6]

         This is why many people don’t put any real faith in the Bible—they simply cannot handle the fact that they are inherently sinful. Most of those who have heard the gospel message yet remain in their sins are in strong denial. A lot of these people are “Christian.” Some are “Christian” leaders. These deceived individuals have no effect on the purity and strength of the real Church since they are not yet members. The problem for the body of Christ arises when those who are members fail to ongoingly replenish themselves through the refreshing of the Holy Spirit. This failure leads to a strengthening of the lower nature, which then leads to sin and a loss of contact and fellowship with God. Therefore, the same deception occurring in non-members can occur in real members. When the true becomes weak, it allows the false to grow strong. When people fail God, they give aid and comfort to the enemy.

         Is it possible for a Christian to never commit a sin? There are those who seem to think so, but they’re either (1) on drugs, (2) from a different planet, (3) deceived, or (4) prideful, arrogant, and high-minded. (Choose your poison.) Obviously, those in leadership are just as susceptible to sin as those not in leadership. However, according to the convoluted logic which most Christian rulers engage in, it would be better to keep such facts behind closed doors since there is so much potential for scandal.

         Those who have chosen to follow man instead of God prefer leaders who are better than they are. They don’t appreciate it when they discover that their leaders have misrepresented themselves. Even if they are aware that their leader is human, they would rather not know what makes him human. Hence, the cover-up. Besides, as far as the clergy is concerned, why confuse the laity over who’s in charge? Why allow the laity to think it could lead?

         The reason the sin of the clergy is proportionately rarely revealed is because, as a class, they work to keep it hidden. This is an art, of course. Covering one’s sin goes hand in hand with image building, but the Word states that creating images is also a sin.

         In Exodus 20:4–6, the second of the Ten Commandments flatly states:

         “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.”

         The word “idol” is translated as “graven image” in many Bible versions. The Hebrew word is pecel, and implies an image of a man or animal made from metal or wood. The word “likeness” in the stated verses is from the Hebrew temuwnah. This word has a more general definition—“form, representation, likeness”—but suggests three dimensionality. Both of these words connote something fashioned or shaped to be worshipped or served.

         Hence, image building is designed to cover inherent flaws and promote a false representation of reality—a three-dimensional fashioning of an object other than God to be submitted to, and thus, to serve. Therefore, the intention of the Second Commandment is to protect God’s people from the temptation of honoring another above Him and consequently losing or never establishing both one’s blessed relationship with the Lord, and one’s dominion in Him. The most fully evolved form of an idol today is a living human being.

         Even so, the professional clergy class has been very successful in promoting their image of sanctity and sinlessness. That they must sin to cover up their sin doesn’t seem to concern them. The alternative is to be found out and subsequently lose their power and prestige. Of course, these facts are general in scope. There are many members of the clergy who are not trying to hide personal sin. They must be careful, however, to avoid defending and protecting the traditional image of their class. Jesus wore the clothes of a simple working man, yet the majority of professional ministers insist on clerical collars, business suits, ties, fanciful robes, and the like. Why dress in this manner, if not to create a certain image or be recognized as a clergyman?

         Though many sins of the clergy have started to leak out as of late, they have been treated as isolated incidents, instead of as the tip of the proverbial iceberg. As is the case with all cover-ups, once leaks begin to flow unchecked, raging currents are sure to come. The professional Christian clergy is like the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dike, except they’ve used up all their fingers and are running out of toes. This strategy won’t work, just as their halos won’t work at bailing water.

         When it comes to the sin of the laity, however, failures and transgressions are treated much differently. Instead of working to keep them concealed, the laity is encouraged by the clergy to bring their sins out into the open. While the clergy remains behind a mysterious wall of piety, the laity is supposed to be transparent. Why this obvious double standard exists, and why it is rarely challenged, attests to the power and scope of the clergy spirit’s subterfuge.

         If the laity reveals sin, shortcomings, faults, and so forth, how can their stature ever match the standing of the ones who don’t? In politics, a candidate attempts to compare his strengths with his opponent’s weaknesses while concealing his own weaknesses and refusing to acknowledge his opponent’s strengths. Is it any different in church circles? How can there be true Christian community under these dual class conditions? Are the controllers trying to insure that the controlled remain in a state of submission? Is this why they insist that the laity alone hang out its dirty laundry? Or are they simply trying to enforce the notion that clergy members are somehow closer to God?

         Like the Wizard of Oz, the ruling class has established a powerful and sometimes fearsome image of itself. Its members have set themselves up as the sacred and the laity as the profane. The laity, if brave enough to seek personal needs, whether a heart, courage, or brains, often do so at the feet of the big boys, who have been enormously successful at promoting their big daddy image for centuries. Of course, the laity receives only religious tokens for the most part, if anything at all. The important thing is image.

         The great Christian controllers must believe that if the laity perceives them as merely human, and not ultrahuman, it would cause such disillusionment within Christendom that a complete breakdown would take place. But one man’s breakdown and loss of power is another man’s revolution and recovering of freedom. Ask George Washington. Ask Martin Luther. Ask the Lord Jesus Himself. It was the benefactors of the religious clergy spirit of His time who were so incensed by His radical teachings and so petrified over losing control because of His growing movement that they savagely murdered Him, revealing to all, for all time, their true motivation and character.

         © 2001 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.