Monday, April 1, 2013

Theocracy, Not Democracy

We need, men so possessed by the Spirit of God that God can think His thoughts through our minds, that He can plan His will through our actions, that He can direct His strategy of world evangelization through His Church. ~Alan Redpath

The Lord has been laying much on my heart of late. As I wrote Condemnation or Conviction, more came from Him. Some of the difficulties within the church may have been the unintentional result of our idealistic forms of government, particularly in the United States and perhaps other Western countries. If we believe God made mankind then all are equal with equal rights to vote and it seems to logically follow church members have equality in voting on certain issues. Many Protestant churches also have elders or board members who vote on issues that do not require a church vote, the determination of which is set in the church bylaws that are kind of like its constitution.

Before I begin to explain the problems with this system, I would like to say that I fully understand that the church needs to govern and manage itself; I am not against this. However, the framers of any governing documents can only provide guidelines. The execution of the spirit of those bylaws comes from within the church, it's heart and soul. Therein lies the problem.

Many do not consider that they should be representing God's will (not their own) with their vote, and if His will is unknown to them, should they be voting at all?

I mentioned in an earlier post how some church leaders, even pastors, have confessed that they were not really saved even when they were already in ministry, even after graduating from seminary. What they did know was all the right things to say and do so that they and others were convinced they were believers, but how could they possibly know God's will when they did not even have a relationship with God? Then there are the unbelieving believers, who have accepted Jesus as their Savior but have not completely surrendered to God's will, so how can one represent God's will when one has not surrendered to it? The believing believer is one through whom the Holy Spirit can really operate, because the believing believer is one who is surrendered to God's will and desires to hear Him directly so that he can obey Him.

It makes sense that we all are on different levels in our spiritual walk, but so many people in our churches are unbelieving believers...so many. I know this because the Holy Spirit has shown it to me. I know if a person is saved or not and further I know if a person is a not-yet-surrendered unbelieving believer or a surrendered believing believer, because the Spirit of God gives that word of knowledge to me. I do not always know the very moment of first meeting every person, but I will know. The Lord has never told me wrong, but the good news is people can change to believing believers at any time and it is obvious to me this is what the Lord desires.

Some churches have more believing believers and some have more unbelieving believers. I have even been in churches were all were unbelieving believers...all. I cannot tell you how many pastors, ministers, and reverends I have met that were unbelieving believers without knowing it. That is not to say that their ministries were ineffective and not guided by God, but that the work of the Spirit was hindered and they were missing out using such wonderful spiritual gifts that God would give them to use to better serve Him.

Part of the reason we have so many different denominations is we tend to gravitate toward doctrines that are the most comfortable for us, that fit us where we are in our spiritual walk, and since unbelieving believers outnumber the believing believers in general, every denomination, even every individual church, has its own take on what is right according to the Word of God so that the people can feel they are right with God. If you read the doctrines, there are slight variations, but what people really want is a church that makes them feel right with God. (I emphasized this twice for a good reason.)

Feeling right with God and being right with God can be two very different things. If you are right with God, you will feel right with God, but it does not work the other way around: feeling right with God does not mean that you are right with God. Our Father knows who is surrendered and who is not. Which do you think is more right with Him? Who do you think is more likely to represent His will?

Feeling right with God is very so desirable to people that it can so easily be used to deceive us.  

Most unbelieving believers choose a church where unbelieving believers are in the majority because it is comfortable, it makes them feel right with God. (Believing believers usually make unbelieving believers uncomfortable even though it is quite unintentional, but having just a few around is usually tolerable.) If in the majority, the unbelieving believers may vote for things that feel right, but are not necessarily what would be right with God. Their priorities may not be God's priorities, because the majority are not hearing God. In other words, a majority vote may not represent God's will, but they might believe it is God's will because it passed by a majority vote. However, that is like saying that a majority vote in favor of partial birth abortion makes the act of killing a baby while it is in the process of being born morally right to God. See, this just cannot be. God is the ultimate judge of what is morally right and wrong and it is the same with His church. He is Lord; there is no democracy involved.

Although there is not a pure "mob rule" democracy in the church, because it is governed by bylaws, neither is it a theocracy in the pure sense. Although, the church should be a theocracy in the sense that each member should have theocracy within. We should be the vessels through which the Holy Spirit can work, through whom the will of God is made known. However, when the church is operated more like a business than a place of faith, not much thought of representing God's will is put into vote selection. Let me write this another way, if the unbelieving believers are the majority of the church, the Spirit of God is probably in the minority most of the time. (This just breaks my heart.)

~ My Lord, let this be heard by those who need to hear it. Guide them see the need to surrender to Your will completely. ~

5 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Yep? Wow. ;)

      (I don't think I have ever received such a short comment from you before.)

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  2. Well, you covered the all ground pretty much. And left me nothing to add. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good grief! Just out of bed & totally mangled that sentence!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh thank goodness! I thought I had suddenly become dyslexic from being up too late. I think I will go to bed now anyway. :D

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.