GWR01
Introduction

01PDF

GWR02
Paradigms

02PDF

GWR03
Religious Attributes

03PDF

GWR04
Religion Divides

04PDF

GWR05
Denominations Empires

05PDF

GWR06
It is Finished

06PDF

GWR07
Clergy & Laity

07PDF


Understanding the Gospel
THE HEAD OF EVERY MAN IS CHRIST
No Need of a Priest to Go to God

 

By Charles Pinkney
"A guide to accessing the life of God
without being sidetracked or hindered
by the pitfalls of religious tradition."
Ministers and Ministry 

As Described in Gospel

What is Ministry and Who Ministers?

The most revolutionary and contentious doctrine, I believe, we face in Christ's 'Church' is the subject of the Priesthood and the professional clergy.  Yet in the new testament church the doctrine of leadership headship and overseers remains a necessary doctrine. How do we reconcile the two principles? New believers will need to be discipled and brought to a form of maturity through the sharing of those who have achieved some form of experience in the Word of Truth and in Spiritual matters.

The Gospel that Jesus brings has among its chief precepts, the removal of any "priest" or "go between" between us, the individual, and God. 

With the need for a priest class removed, Christ declares he will be the true over- shepherd of the believer, ("The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want --"). The Old Testament scriptures state prophetically that the time would come when Jehovah would do a new thing, no longer would man have to teach others the way of God, but the ways of God would be written upon the heart, in tablets of flesh. (Jeremiah 31:34 

"-- And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.    ALSO     Ezekiel 36:25  Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26  A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. - - - -27  And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them."

Biblically, the word ministry is translated from (Gr. Diakonia) Greek for service. Thus ministry means to serve. The love of God (agapeo) which is a Love that gives and serves finds expression through ministry. Yet, through generations of religious practice, ministry has come to mean something else, something formal and liturgical. Within the context of "church" practices ministry has been restricted to that which is done behind a pulpit and then only by a select few with appropriate certification or  "credentials."

The Scripture informs us that the kingdom of God is founded upon the Chief Apostle, Jesus Christ and his mode of transmission of the Gospel is through "discipleship." Discipleship, is only minimally taught to congregations, and never in the same context of power and intimacy that  Jesus shared with his original disciples. All believers are trainees or disciples in the Kingdom of God with the expectation that they are all called to minister.  "As every person has received the (free) gift, so minister the same to one another." (1Peter 4:10) 

The growth in the Spiritual life of God teaches and instructs us in the ways of the Lord and as we become transformed into him we can only expect to take on his attributes of service and doing kindness, (charity) through the Spirit of Love.

Unfortunately old habits and traditions die hard, and few question the role and appropriateness of  trained clergy persons who in some cases may not even know God nor be aware  of his promises and his  power. These presumptuous disciples  substitute sermonettes for the power of the Spirit.

Large Scale Ministries
vs. Intimate Assemblies of Believers

There are many preaching "ministries" which bring the Gospel to people on a very large scale. These outreaches are campaigns involving ministry to tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands. Among these large ministries are some of these who fully preach the true Gospel (with supernatural signs attending the message, as in the days of Paul, who came not with oratory and doctrine but with demonstration of the power of God - - signs following.)

The point to be made here is that certain men are called and anointed by God to do greater works with respect to the outreach of the Gospel. The Gospel of the Glory of God touches and impacts people with the Power of God to salvation and this power brings evidence that Jesus is Lord and being alive, now supersedes the rule of Satan as Lord of this world.

The pitfalls of "religion" too often follow after the initial introduction of the Kingdom of God, in which people simply know that God truly is and that he has the power to reward those who trust in his name. Missionaries unwittingly bring to the nations and the people who believed in innocence, a form of godliness full of dead traditions and human control. It is within the paradigms of discipleship that believers are turned into dynamic disciples or simply grow as faithful church attenders.

If believers are not correctly mentored and discipled they will never know of the potential promised in the Bible for them to become sons and daughters of God having the full potential of Jesus Christ living within as their hope of Glory.

Christians at the beginning of the church age were seen to have the Lord's attributes manifesting within them. This reality has been made null by the traditions of men who were content to merely talk about God rather than to manifest the Kingdom of God and later even made provision for such lacks by promoting false doctrines in contradiction of the Great Commission, proclaiming that the age of the supernatural had passed away. Wrong doctrine has the effect of nullifying the word of God and the promise of God.

 

The Tradition of Clergy and Laity

The Clergy-Laity doctrine has for centuries divided the flock into two disparate halves. These two groups  in this form can never be  homogeneous. Ministry should not be mistaken for discipleship although there is a semblance of this. Shepherding is a form of discipleship and allows a disciple (all believers are to become disciples) to grow under the tutelage of a spiritually experienced believer. 

Jesus tells the story of  "The good Shepherd"  in John's gospel chapter 10. He describes the characteristics of a good shepherd. It list among the virtues, intimacy and closeness of the shepherd to the flock. The shepherd knows each of his charges by name; he will sacrifice his personal comfort and life for the flock. Finally we are told that the Lord Jeshua, Jesus,  is this shepherd. This fulfills what the  psalmist had written almost a thousand years before, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." It is unlikely that a human shepherd can ever  replicate the qualities of Christ Jesus the true bishop (overseer) and shepherd (pastor) of our souls."

Church House Leaders

A Spiritual shepherd chosen by God is a gift when found in a fellowship. He has no concept of owning the flock nor is his goal to  personally make merchandise of them or gain any egoistic sense of superiority to them. He does not turn his ministry into a formalistic clerical presentation. Nor is he aloof separating himself from the flock in his care; Nor does he assume that he is the sole authority to speak on God's behalf! Every mature and maturing believer has a gift that when nurtured is meant to edify enhancing the lives of his brothers and sisters.

A "great pastor" is a mentor who has the necessary compassion and wisdom to model spiritual knowledge, hope,  encouragement, wisdom and awaken and empower individuals. A pastor must be aware that he does not contain the full potentiality of ministry gifts, noted below. Spiritual mentors must call upon or permit additional ministry gifts to function as the Holy Spirit directs. (Ephesians 4 and Corinthians 1 chapter 14.)

The religious tradition of "Clergy and Laity" is not found in the Bible per se and must be examined in the light of Scripture. The practice no doubt made in roads into common practice through the doctrine of the five public ministry gifts (offices) described in Ephesians chapter 4. Throughout the apostolic letters we are told that mature men of God were to guide and direct and to maintain purity of doctrine and practices. These were to be overseers (Gr. presbuteros) of the local flocks of God. The intention was to keep the faith and traditions accurate and steadfast, holding the Apostle's teaching as the model. The original epistles were written with the intention of providing mature guidance to less mature believers who were being discipled in the faith.

These elders or overseers were assumed to have been properly tutored in practices of the Spiritual life and to provide balance and correction as necessary to assure that true doctrine was maintained and enforced among the fellowship. As time passed elders, pastors, or overseers began to assume the whole responsibility of "ministry" and later presumed upon itself, singularity of authority. In effect spiritual experience and leadership began to devolve back toward the same kind of a priesthood which Jesus had annulled in his New Covenant.


  

1995 - 2013

"Knowledge makes arrogant, love edifies."