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I follow up last week’s 2012 blog repost, “Pursuing Credentials And Authority” under the same Call To Repent category, with this and next week’s 2013 re-titled and edited two-part blog repost more fully examining the evil a considerable number of the credentialed religious educated elite has done and are doing in their arrogance to harm the faith, compliant and unaware professing Christians. Truly, the historical lion’s share source for all of the recorded corrupt, private interpretations of God’s Word (2 Peter 1:19-21) in professing Christianity over the centuries since the first has been those that teach from among the religious educated elite out of manmade Christianity the religion.
All of their private interpretations end up corrupt because they construct them rejecting some part of God’s Word (especially prophecy such as The Revelation Of Jesus Christ) and the revealing work of the Holy Spirit! How can an authentically born again man ever sit down to study, accurately interpret and apply any part of God’s Word without the supernatural aid of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:6-16)? Moreover, a man is fully arrogantly self-deceived (and anyone who long sits under him deluded) who believes he can keep essential Christian doctrine separate from his rejection of other parts of God’s Word and not ever have his corruptions created from the exclusion of those rejected parts surface in his orthodoxy or teaching.
Such is the madness that has been and continues in Christendom to this hour because biblical Christianity has been kicked to the curb by men practicing powerless, invented forms of it founded upon fallen, mortal thinking and satanically inspired confusion falsely called wisdom. Seeking to satisfy their ego and self-esteem needs among other self-centered reasons, these men in the flesh carelessly proffer their corrupt, private interpretations of God’s Word; ruining folk and churches without shame, whose judgment with dying churches is certain without repentance. Flee if you are in a church where the pastor and/or elders reject any part of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit’s power!
Originally Posted June 23, 2013
Again, I am a seminary graduate having attended as the Lord led to get better prepared for the work of ministry He (not mortal flesh or a church) had already gifted and called me to (1 Corinthians 12:1-18)! Understood and carried out in the spirit of humble service to Christ as Lord on the part of the school, instructors, students, graduates, churches and their affiliations, a seminary education can be a good thing and was for me. I have met a few and read the works of a number of born again, faithful, seminary educated and biblically solid Christian teachers--a blessing to the Body of Christ as they should be!
However, as part of my work of ministry (Ezekiel 33:1-9; 1 Corinthians 12:28-30), the thread of rebuke to Christianity the religion’s educated elite (which includes pastors and elders) in other blogs continued in this one is tied to the Lord’s ancient rebuke of all those who allow themselves to become arrogantly wise in their own eyes because of their education and credentials conferred by sinful men (Isaiah 19:11-15). They harm His people with false, confusing and conflicting doctrines; men empowered by position to vanquish with a word those in legitimate opposition to their corrupt, private interpretations of God’s Word (John 9:13-34).
Such arrogant men and their showdowns with God’s sent prophets, Christ and His apostles are many in the Bible and continue to this day (2 Chronicles 18; Amos 7:10-17; Matthew 21:23-27; Acts 4:1-22). Have you ever wondered why God ends up judging most of them? It is because they do not humble themselves and repent when proven wrong due to the arrogant pride that fills their hearts. They would rather suffer judgment than be humiliated even though in the end, humiliation is exactly what God’s judgment produces (Proverbs 28:13; James 4:4-10). Thus, the Lord Jesus teaches voluntary humility is better than forced humiliation (Luke 14:7-11).
It is impossible that any creature of God could ever be smarter or wiser than He! Yet, this is how proud, credentialed members of the religious educated elite present themselves to God when they choose to reject or set aside any portion of His Word. The Lord Jesus--God in the flesh--did not blink or become intimidated in the least bit whenever Israel’s religious educated elite confronted Him. Indeed, when the Sadducees thought they would use their foolproof levirate marriage brain twister discrediting the possibility of resurrection from the dead to stump and finally publically humiliate the Lord recorded in Matthew 22:23-28, the Lord's reply was direct: "'You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God,'" (Matthew 22:29, NKJV). Alternate translations for “mistaken” (used also in the NASB) are “deceived” (NKJV), “error” (NIV) and “wrong” (AMP).
Imagine that, in words similarly quoted in Mark’s Gospel (Mark 12:24); in an incident also recorded by Luke (Luke 20:27-40), the Lord Jesus emphatically declares to Israel’s Sadducees of the priestly line, who were keepers of the temple, members of the religious educated elite and so smart they refused to believe God raises the dead, they were “mistaken.” These men were mistaken not because Jesus held a different opinion than they did (their religious educated elite rivals, the Pharisees, had already unsuccessfully opposed them as opinions go which is why they were so smugly confident their levirate marriage story would silence Jesus too), but because the Lord in rebuke says they did not know the Word or power of God!
Hear the Word of the Lord all of you modern day members of Christianity the religion’s educated elite: you can be mistaken and always are when you reject God’s Word and power! How could it be that specially educated and trained religious men could not believe something as basic as God’s raising of the dead taught and demonstrated in the Scriptures available to them or His power to do so even if there were no historic records of Him doing so? The Sadducees made the fatal error of limiting themselves to just the first five books of the Bible as authentic. As a result, they rejected the historical books that recorded God’s raising of the dead through the intercessions of the prophets Elijah and Elisha respectively (1 Kings 17:17-24; 2 Kings 4:8-37) as well as all of the rest of the Old Testament that speaks of His power and promise to do so more widely in a future day.
God has made His Word an interconnected whole (Luke 24:27; 2 Timothy 3:14-17). It is impossible to develop a thorough, coherent and accurate biblical doctrine of any kind after rejecting any part of God’s Word! Also, clearly these men did not accept the displays of divine power starting with the first chapter of Genesis and running through every book to Deuteronomy as a theme. So, while they were outwardly religious, knew and taught the private interpretations of their group as well as carried on all of the common rituals and traditions of Judaism, these religious educated men had no faith in and were disconnected from God! Such has been the case of many professed Christian men too with the rise of manmade Christianity the religion.
From the 1st century until now, not only have sinful men as shepherds pursued their selfish ambitions and led God’s sheep quite unlike Christ, the Chief Shepherd, but they have also from many ego needs and character flaws sought for authority in and among the churches. What is the apostle Paul’s conflict with would be apostles about in the 1st century church at Corinth he had established, if it is not their challenge to and pursuit of the authority he exercised within it (2 Corinthians 10:1-13:10)? Today, for the same cause many pastors and others in the churches of Christianity the religion proudly exalt themselves over one another with educational accomplishments and titles.
The Lord’s gracious provision of spiritual gifts to carry out His will have been largely set aside for academic credentials among these churches. Select gifts such as pastor and teacher have been turned into titles of authority and status that are more important to the religious in the sinful flesh than God’s supernatural power at work empowering ministries of function in the Body of Christ. This, of course, is contrary to biblical instruction and dangerously infringes on God’s glory which the religious educated elite could care less about since they seek their own among themselves (Isaiah 42:8; Mark 10:35-45; Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-26; 2 Corinthians 10:12-18).
Among those acknowledging spiritual gifts, men that crave for authority give themselves the title “apostle,” but do nothing like the missionary work of the original apostles sent for that purpose (for whom there are no duplicates) and those that came after such as Timothy in the New Testament. In accord with God’s will in providing spiritual gifts, there is a ranking of authority beginning with the original apostles sent out to us as the feet of Christ’s Body through whom we all have received the proclamation and instruction embodied in the Scriptures to which we are to submit. These are followed by prophets, teachers, all other leadership, sign and service gifts to be exercised in the power and love of God, not self-exaltation in the flesh (1 Corinthians 12:27-13:13; Ephesians 4:7-11).
These same men also clamor to be called “bishop” coveting authority over what has come to be defined as a group of pastors and churches in mimicking not the Bible, but the order of great Babylon that is marked out for destruction! It is in this larger context of pursuing authority that many also seek man invented credentials. Some even get “pay for paper” degrees to be able to boast of their academic credentials and in pride gain the authority and status they desire. But as the Lord leads me to write in this re-titled 2012 blog repost, credentials are no affirmative declaration of righteousness or wisdom in His sight; His judgment is coming equally upon those with and without humanly bestowed religious credentials among the churches who have been unfaithful to His Word. Therefore, the guilty are called to repent!
Originally Posted March 18, 2012
Western Protestant churches especially have allowed themselves in large numbers to come full circle from the Reformation that birthed them over 500 years ago and thus, to be overcome by a credentialed, professional class of elite, religious authority figures. Such a class in Judeo-Christian history goes back to the Scribes and Pharisees that fully resisted the Lord Jesus and was already developing among the Gentile dominated churches by the end of the 1st century.
The formally educated teachers, bishops and eventually priests that evolved over the next 1,400 years before the Reformation sparked by the former Catholic priest, Martin Luther, came to wield and abuse biblically unsanctioned authority over the lives of their religious congregants. Today, churches in pride even seek out highly educated pastors and defer to scholars to the point that many are afraid to trust the teaching work of the Holy Spirit in them as they study God’s Word (John 14:26, 16:12-15; 1 Corinthians 2:1-16). Whole denominations and sects in the thousands have come to exist in Protestantism because some credentialed pastor or scholar forced their heretically corrupt view or patchwork system of thinking on biblically illiterate people.
Please do not misunderstand. I am not anti-education being a seminary graduate myself. With the right motives and guidance of the Holy Spirit, gifted, called and educationally equipped men serve the biblical cause of Christ and His Body (Ephesians 4:7-16). However, I am against the arrogance, unbiblical authority, unchecked dominance and even idol worship given to many of those among the churches that have impeccable credentials from institutions prideful men in the flesh consider noteworthy. I also believe my concern is biblical and of the Lord given His dealings with the well credentialed religious leaders that dogged His ministry and instigated His crucifixion.
The Lord never condemned the credentials of His antagonists, but clearly called them to display the righteous knowledge and wisdom those credentials suggested they had (Matthew 15:1-9). It is because their deeds were corrupt (religious education is no restrainer of sin), he condemned them (Matthew 15:10-14; Mark 12:38-40). In my book, The Strong Man Of God, I challenge men to be Spirit-led students of the Word that they may wisely lead their families in and teach the righteous way of God as well as protect them from the spiritual tyranny that exists in the world and too many churches led by highly credentialed, but corrupt leaders. They are also unmistakably recognized even by the credentialed, religious elite as men who have been with Jesus (Acts 4:5-13).
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