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THREE TYPES OF CHRISTIANS IN AMERICA (Part 3)

 

Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the hearts. [Proverbs 21:2]

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“Official” Christianity’s ongoing and incessant obsession with the non-New Testament clergy/laity division apparently exists for essentially no other reason than to benefit those in control. For correct perspective, here is the New Covenant model:

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. [Galatians 3:26-28]

SHOW ME YOUR PAPERS

By creating and instituting a non-New Testament ministerial credentialing structure composed of exclusive and compulsory key portals through which a candidate must travel and any number of additional required hoops through which he or she must jump, the prospective ministerial pool is significantly diminished until it becomes a veritable puddle.

The Christian ministerial candidates who make it through this credentialing process and thus end up in said puddle do not only thoroughly believe in its exclusive nature which bars 99% of Christians from “official” ministry for various non-New Testament reasons, they are also inclined to be brainwashed by whatever dogmas, doctrines, bylaws, and philosophies specific to their particular denomination they are forced to learn and believe in along the way. Their “Christian” education thus serves as a gatekeeper conferring ministerial legitimacy and confirming their official standing which everyone must honor to maintain their membership in the organization.

And though these “ministers” may appear to be learned, wise, and highly worthy of respect above that of the non-ministers, it is in part because the vast laity class which makes up the much greater part of the overall membership has been conditioned and effectively coerced to believe this as part of their membership protocol, also by obligatory persuasion. Sadly, this massive laity membership comprising the 99% also must believe (and most do believe) that the laity is basically worthless as a ministerial candidate pool (ocean) because:

(1) It belongs to the wrong class (inherently) and effectively embraces its low class status, and thus cannot possibly qualify.

(2) It does not possess the proper credentials (largely academic) or connections (preferential treatment, nepotism, social status) and has no hope or means of ever attaining them.

(3) Gains no support or recognition from those who rule and are in control.

One would otherwise see, then, that the entire ministerial credentialing system was created not necessarily for actual ministry but for control of the operation since it decides both what constitutes ministry and decides who will be ministers. In this they are not protecting the Lord’s teachings so much as their own. This was not the case in the Lord’s original Community in which every member was a minister and there was no clergy-laity division. There is therefore a huge dichotomy here between the Lord’s authority and control and those who would rule in His place.

Nevertheless, we see this division in almost every Christian organization. There is a controlling clique more concerned with control and funding than with preaching and teaching the pure Gospel. This clique at one extreme may be a large international ecclesiastical body with a single figurehead. At the other extreme the control may be vested in a single family unit which passes control of their church or ministry to the next generation in the family as one often does in business. This phenomenon is a fairly recent development and has been ramped up especially over the last quarter century. In both cases (pretty much all cases), the only ones allowed to be “official ministers,” which includes receiving official funding, are those within the controlling clique or those the clique chooses to support. We even have ministerial supra-organizations made up of individual clergy members from various churches and ministries (created by invitation only). If one is so privileged to gain such membership the ministerial opportunities and open doors are ubiquitous.

THE PYRAMID  

Just as in any other tiered hierarchy with a chain of command, such as that found in corporations, the government, or the military, those at the very top of the clergy class have strict control over the mid-level and lower level members of the clergy hierarchy, who in turn have strict control over the vast laity. It’s the perfect picture of a pyramid scheme hidden in plain sight created strictly for control—control of the operation, the religious beliefs of the operation, and perhaps most importantly, the funding of the operation.

Notice that all standards, teachings, beliefs, and statements of faith are all top-down while all principal funding is bottom-up. And though large monetary accounts exist for general support and funding specific projects in mainline denominations and larger churches and ministries, it is still the case that the bulk of the money was donated. In other words, the laity class, which is comprised of the great unwashed and unworthy, must finance the clergy class which curiously often has much greater needs and a higher standard of living than the average believer. It also possesses a predilection for extensive material outlays (understatement alert) rather than assisting members in need. And while it is true that there may be those within the laity class who are relatively well-off, most members are not and many are effectively poor. These economic percentages are roughly the same as those per capita percentages in the world at large. This portends (pretty much proves) that this structure is based not on the Lord’s example but on a worldly model featuring a high class ruling a low class.    

This entire system which has been adopted by relatively all official Christian denominations and bodies not only does not reflect the New Testament model and the pure teachings of the Lord Jesus, it is often the very opposite.

And even though in the unlikely event every existing Christian minister in the world of any denomination is legitimate (which would be a very good thing, of course), we are still beset with the massive difficulty that arises when 99% of potential Christian ministers are denied the same legitimacy.

Consider the following:

But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” [Matthew 20:25-28]

One may also note the perfect example and lifestyle of the Lord Jesus which is unquestionably the effective opposite of that of many clergyites. Rather than exist at the top of a religious pyramid (however large or small) in which all money and control moves upward, the Lord existed at the bottom level of society—at ground level—and taught His men to do the same. This never meant that they did without, necessarily (though there were sometimes hard times), or that they were not provided for by the Lord, but only that ground level was likely where they were most effective at meeting the very people they were sent to serve so He could save.

Think about it this way: Many years ago I distinctly remember a little factoid put forth by a genius level individual who wrote for various publications. A question was presented to her regarding the amount of water which existed on the planet. She answered by saying that if the planet was perfectly smooth throughout with no mountain ranges, valleys, etc, the water level around the entire planet would be about forty feet deep. In other words, there is enough water here that under such conditions we would have a veritable water planet. In more other words, there is a lot more water here than what we may think and is roughly evenly distributed as best as possible since water always seeks its own level. Unless restricted in some way, water will always travel from higher to lower elevations and eventually fill low places and depressions. To go in the opposite direction is not natural.

If we put this in economic terms, there is plenty to go around for everyone if the existing world money supply was allowed to be naturally evenly distributed. It is the same with food. There is enough food and food production in the world to make sure nobody ever goes hungry. God designed it that way. He created a perfect system. It is not His fault that evil always-for-profit people have taken control of much of the world’s resources.

If righteous people—those who put people before profit—were in control, the problems associated with food production and distribution would be relatively minimal and fairly easy to address. The reason people do go hungry, starve, and die in mass famines is because the food is not being distributed to them due to any number of severe supply chain disruptions or local disasters, which may include:

(1) Periodic wars or other large scale events

(2) The controllers of food production seeing food as a purely for-profit commodity

(3) Food being willfully withheld from populations for whatever sinister reason

(4) Some taking much more than their share

Again, if the world was being run by righteous people practically no one would ever go hungry. It is the same with money, even though money is an artificial construct.

And in case you may be wondering, addressing such large scale challenges with forced authoritative (tyrannical) social controls never works long-term. The only reason they work or may appear to work for a time is because force is applied which causes submission usually for self-preservation. Such force always invokes an eventual corrective response, however. Only a truly organic system based on human freedom which has respect for human freedom actually works. Controlling people in general always has an ulterior agenda regardless of the faux beneficent propaganda thereof.

Most people have no need of such controls since they are well-behaved, self-controlled, and law-abiding. Such control only inhibits them, serves as a drag on their lives and production, and eventually enslaves them. Societal control should only be applied to those who cannot or refuse to properly control themselves since such people subtract from the freedom and wellbeing of the socially moral and responsible, cause trouble, destruct instead of construct, and disturb the peace.

MONEY TYRANNY 

Though a very small percentage, there are still a great many people in this world who are worth vast sums of money—millions, billions, and even trillions—who could do much to alleviate hunger, suffering, and poverty but most never or rarely do this. Why? Maybe it’s because they didn’t gain their money by giving it away. Maybe it’s because they actually got it by doing the very opposite—by siphoning it from the people at large through various means and schemes. Maybe this is the actual system they created that now exists in the world. Maybe they are fabulously rich for the most part because they are excellent rip-off artists and have been at it for a very long time. Maybe they’ve created an ingenious system of artificial money in this fallen world in which the real wealth always flows upwards to them from everybody else. Maybe they are serving mammon and not God.

And maybe a good percentage of these are those in the “Christian” realm who utilize the exact system for their own benefit.

And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables; and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.” [John 2:14-16][1]

© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]


[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.

THREE TYPES OF CHRISTIANS IN AMERICA (Part 1)

THREE TYPES OF CHRISTIANS IN AMERICA (Part 2)

THREE TYPES OF CHRISTIANS IN AMERICA (Part 4)

THREE TYPES OF CHRISTIANS IN AMERICA (Part 5)

THREE TYPES OF CHRISTIANS IN AMERICA (Part 6)

Pompous Coveters and the Scum of the World

        The majority of churches and ministry organizations are profit based. It is never called that, of course, but facts are facts.

         The IRS as authorized by Congress has allowed for this through 501c3’s by requiring churches and ministry organizations to possess this designation so donations can be tax deductable.

         As a result, church members and those who donate to ministries are now conditioned to expect the benefit of a tax deduction for their donations, and three very bad things, intended or not, have resulted:

(1) Donators will not give if they don’t get a tax deduction.

(2) Donators perceive ministries and churches that do not offer tax deductions as illegitimate.

(3) Government, including the IRS, has become intricately entwined within one’s charitable giving with full records of all transactions.

         And because of all this, churches and ministries become quasi government-sponsored entities with government issued charters and many requirements that must be met to be compliant, including all the legal ramifications inherent in such enterprises.

         Imagine the Lord Jesus jumping through all these hoops for the right to attend to His ministry. Imagine the early Church going through all this. In reality, early Christian communities were almost all illicit (unlicensed) according to Roman Law and state dictates, and had no official organizations that are required today.

         Maybe that’s why the Lord Jesus and the early Church never built church buildings or ministry centers, or became entangled in government regulations, and kept ministry lean and quick and transportable and FAST. They traveled LIGHT! 

         The really bad thing about current conditions is that the majority of Christians want it this way. Those who run such organizations demand it be this way. Power and fear of bucking the government have gone to their heads. Some of these Christian leaders are downright vile and disgusting in their attacks on fellow Christians and New Testament formats, and will have a special place at the judgment.

         But the bottom line is MONEY. Since most churches and ministry organizations are “for profit,” though classified by the government as “non-profit,” they are still run almost exactly as any business. But instead of providing a service or commodity in return for money or profit, they provide a service in return for donations. In other words, the money is not earned, but is given.

         However, regardless of semantic gymnastics, the donations still consist of money and are thus, profit.

         And there’s a LOT of profit. And many of the leaders of these organizations have become enriched. And they employ in some cases hundreds of people. And these people look at their ministry positions as jobs the same way everyone else does theirs.

         The worst offenders are probably some television ministries simply because they require gargantuan amounts of money to function. Hence, they see no problem having telethons and other ridiculous money-making operations to gather funds. According to their view, their ministries are obviously much more important than most ministries and churches, and they have no problem whatsoever prostituting themselves for money. Their arrogance is off the scale.

         “I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothes. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” [Acts 20:33-35]

         Since it is more blessed to give, and if giving is the means of receiving, then why don’t all the preachers begging people for money (“You’ll be blessed!”) simply start GIVING money so they can be blessed?   

         I know it’s a bummer, but individuals can’t have telethons. They have to go to work to earn a buck. Smaller churches and ministries can’t go on television or the radio and beg for money either.

         But the big boys can hire, and I do mean hire, professional ministry shysters that specialize in getting people to fork over their money.

         Therefore, another form of replacement theology has transpired: The Lord Jesus is not King. Money is King. And I think the Lord said something about not being able to serve both.

         Here’s an idea: Instead of making it the priority to invest in lands and buildings and mega-church complexes and ministers living like kings or at least living comfortably on donated money that only they get to have while everyone else must slave away, why don’t we do what the Lord did and invest in people.

         We hear it all the time that a single human being, from a Christian point of view, is more important than the entire Universe. The Lord did not die for Christian mini-kingdoms and self-righteous fiefdoms and the few who sit atop the many man-made pyramids and the shoulders of others.

         He died for people. All people. His Blood can cleanse anyone of sin.

        People are the priority.

         But the people are not getting the money. The majority of the money is going elsewhere. Much of it is wasted.

         It’s all fine and good to have facilities to help meet the spiritual needs of people, but humanity lives on the ground. We have house payments and rent payments and car payments and utility payments and we have to buy food.

         So we go to church. Great. But what good does a prayer do at church if it is not followed up by helping people where they live?

         “Well, I’m sorry. But we have only so much money to go around. And we certainly can’t be just giving money to people to help them out.”

         Really? Well, where do you get your money from Mr. or Mrs. Church or Ministry Leader?

         Freely you received, freely give. [Matthew 10:8]

         Speaking of which, many ministers do exactly that. I have a friend who was an official church pastor for many years and he also had a fulltime job. If that’s not giving what is? The vast majority of those working with the Lord Jesus in the world today look nothing whatsoever like what we have come to see as official Christian ministers. Some of these require donations. And for all ministers who the Lord has blessed with donations, there is not a problem, but I would think that every single one would show the proper humility and gratitude instead of projecting an arrogant, superior-minded entitlement attitude, as some do.

         Some ministers will demand your money and take a chunk of it for themselves but can’t see helping someone else out in the same way. What this means is that in their mind only a few select chosen ones are worthy of handouts, I mean, donations.

         For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. [1 Corinthians 1:26-29]

         If anyone cares for a little truth, there is no Levitical Priesthood in the community of the Lord. The Lord never invented a clergy class. The Word of God declares that we are a kingdom of priests, in that EVERY real Christian is a priest and the Lord Jesus is the only High Priest.

         Part of the lack of this truth stems from poor Bible translations. For example, the KJV translators (400 years ago) made a critical error when they wrote the following two verses:

         And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. [Revelation 1:6]

         And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. [Revelation 5:10]         

         The actual Word of God never said we are kings and priests.

         IN THE LORD’S KINGDOM, THERE IS ONLY ONE KING!

         This translation error has been corrected by some Bible versions but much damage has already been done and traditions die very, very hard.

         The real and correct translation, in this instance according to the NASV95, is as follows:

         And He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. [Revelation 1:6]

         “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.” [Revelation 5:10]

         So again, we are a kingdom of priests.

         The following passage from Peter, which includes clear OT references, corroborates this truth:

         But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY. [1 Peter 2:9-10]

         And furthermore, the brilliantly sarcastic tone of none other than the apostle Paul is illustrated in the following passage regarding those who are unclear on the concept and wouldn’t know true humility if it smacked ‘em in the face:

         For who regards you as superior?

         What do you have that you did not receive?

         And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

         You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and indeed, I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you.

         For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.

         We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ;

         We are weak, but you are strong;

         You are distinguished, but we are without honor.

         To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty,

         And are poorly clothed,

         And are roughly treated,

         And are homeless;

         And we toil, working with our own hands;

         When we are reviled, we bless;

         When we are persecuted, we endure;

         When we are slandered, we try to conciliate;

         We have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.

         I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.

         Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me. [1 Corinthians 4:7-16] [1]   

         Maybe if the guy on the stage appeared a little more like the apostle Paul, the people in the congregation could appear a little more like the guy on the stage.

         Now we pray to God that you do no wrong; not that we ourselves may appear approved, but that you may do what is right, even though we may appear unapproved. For we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth. For we rejoice when we ourselves are weak but you are strong; this we also pray for, that you be made complete. [2 Corinthians 13:7-9]     

         © 2013 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.