Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hebrews 13:17 and Acts 15:24: To Whom We Gave No Such Commandment

"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over (katakurieuo) them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you..." (Matthew 20:25).

"Unfortunately, the Western penchant for "offices" and "positions" has caused many Christians to bring these ideas to the Biblical text and view elders as official. But such thinking confuses the oversight of the early church with modern social conventions. It also strips the leadership terminology found in the Bible of its native meaning."[1]

"If you doubt that [the institutional] system is built on top-down [military style] control, try questioning it. If you do, it's quite likely that you will hear the rhetoric engines kick in. The frightening truth is that, all too often, those who raise questions about ecclesiastical authority send tremors through the ecclesiastical system. And they are often vilified as a result. If you are a dissenter who leaves the institutional church because you believe it to be unscriptural, you might be branded a "heretic," a "boat-rocker," a "troublemaker," a "loose canon," or an "unsubmissive rebel." Such invocation of religious rhetoric is designed to stifle thought. It's calculated to derail honest dissent with the partisan status quo."[2].