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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)

The Apostles’ Foundation: The One Household of God

         It is impossible to serve the Lord without being a dedicated disciple. According to many, however, serving God is a relatively simple thing. Wimpy Christianity has largely become accepted practice in America, in which mere human virtue is put forth to carry the day. “Salvation” now often comes by works or simply by being a member of the correct denomination or church. Yet true Biblical salvation will cost everything. Grace is free, but the new birth demands total surrender and obedience to God.

         “Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.” [Luke 6:47-49]

         The majority of Christians build on the wrong foundation. Real disciples build on the right one.

         So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. [Ephesians 2:19-22]

         The above passage, penned by the apostle Paul, presents an excellent illustration of the Body of Christ, or House of the Lord. Notice that there is only one foundation? One household? One building? One dwelling place of God? The prophets led the way. John the Immerser was the last of the OT prophets. He prepared the new way of the Lord. The Lord brought a new covenant. The apostles took the teachings of the prophets as part of the new foundation, they themselves were the other part, and the Lord Jesus was the Cornerstone that made the whole thing work.

         The apostles’ teaching, as put forth in the Book of Acts, was acquired from the Lord during His ministry. There was only one community then. There were no denominations. Everyone in that early community was filled with the Spirit of God, as mentioned by Paul in his letter to the Ephesians. All one must do to understand the apostles’ foundation is study their history. They were not working against one another. Each one of them was preaching the same message.

         It was not until later and throughout the Church Age that their foundational message was fractured, discarded, fought against, and emasculated—by “Christians.” Hence, we presently have Christianity in many different and often competing forms. Where then, is “The One Household of God?” Is every “Christian” on the planet a member of God’s household in some mysterious non-descript way?

         And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For this is contained in Scripture: “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, “THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone,” and, “A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. 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. Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. [1 Peter 2:4-11] [1]

         The preceding passage in no way speaks of some form of wimpy Christianity or an easy way. Instead, it speaks of a single unified body made that way through the very strict discipleship of the Lord, that of the prophets and apostles, and that of every single chosen member.

         We have drifted. We have gone soft. That’s in part why there are so many idiots with false gospels in the world. The Book of Acts brings us back on course. The foundation of the apostles and prophets distinguishes the real household of faith from all imposters. The symbology is clear—there is only one Precious Cornerstone. He exists as both the chief Rock of the foundation and the prototypical example and blueprint from which the house is being built. As the Alpha and Omega—the First and the Last—the Beginning and the End, He both anchors and caps off The One Household of God.

         © 2011 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.