Friday, January 20, 2012

The 'Church' Establishment Part II

John 8:12-20, "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. 13 The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true. 14 Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. 15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. 16 And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. 17 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. 18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. 19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. 20 These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come." 

*Note: When the author renders the word 'Church; as shown, he is referring to the Main Stream, Business Entity, Institutional 'Church.' When he renders the word church in all lower case letters, he is referring to Christ's Authentic, Legitimate Home church, which He created and continues to build. 

This is a follow-up on my post entitled, 'The 'Church' Establishment' (see Post Titles). I want to draw a parallel between our political world and the political mind-set which is prevalent in our 'Church' Establishment today. In the above verses, Jesus is teaching in the Treasury as He taught in the Temple. Of course, those of the establishment were present questioning everything He said. It seems that no matter when and where truth is taught, its enemy rears its ugly head. If we look closely, we will notice certain elements contained in this account which parallel today's political arena. We see one man speaking truth and we see His detractors. We see a 'Church Building' and it's Treasury. We see Jesus' opponents not understanding His words for fear of losing face and their grip on the people, which seek truth. We see that the law is referred to as an authoritative facet of the conversation.

So the elements are, One against many. Truth versus deception. A gathering place, which once stood for all that is good, but now is used for gain. The place where money and other treasures are kept as a subtle backdrop. And the law, which the detractors cannot deny and feign allegiance to is used against them. In our political world we see all the same elements. In our political climate today we see one man against the establishment telling the truth while his detractors distort the truth. We see that money and the treasury are a huge issue. We see them meet in large venues such as Capital Hill (which also once stood for all that is good) or convention centers (which are built for worldly amusements). The only one who mentions the law of the land is the only one telling the truth. I am making this comparison because it is too glaring not to mention. Jesus Christ during His last visitation and Dr. Ron Paul in 2012 are in similar boats. Perhaps these similarities will creep into the minds of those who have been turned into 'sheeple' on our political landscape as well as our 'Church' landscape over hundreds of years. Maybe they will realize that they have been conditioned by what they've been fed and that their diet has been laced with artificial ingredients and not the sincere milk of the Word. Maybe the 'sheeple' will want to stop grazing in the withered fields of dry, lifeless grass and look to the green pastures that our Father in Heaven has prepared for us. It all starts with awareness.

The argument given here in John 8 is just one of many topics, but this one rips at the core of the flawed Pharisee's doctrine. They do not recognize that they do not know the Father in Heaven and therefore they do not recognize His Royal representative, His only begotten Son. They are looking God straight in the face and they are blind to it. You see, the corporate Institutional 'Churches' today are offering the same oppressed culture and venue the Temple had decayed into in John 8. We can take all of the elements from all three settings and see that they are not that all different from one another.

We have already seen the elements at work in our political arena and the Temple arena of Jesus' day. Now we can concentrate on our 'Church' arena. Like it or not, the 'Church' is politically charged. If we allow ourselves to step back, we'll see that it has the same components as the other two. There is a definite hierarchy to this 'Church' Establishment dividing the clergy from the laity. They claim to work together for the mutual benefit of all, but at closer examination, one is paying the other. The smallest percentage is ruling the much larger number. The rulers make the rules and the followers engage in servitude to their oppressors. Money comes in from the larger group to pay for the smaller group of Professionals and Properties that run and house their enterprise. Even the doctrines that are taught are made up a lot of the time to have the 'sheeple' cooperate and keep the establishments engine running smoothly. This is accomplished by the clergy, (sometimes unknowingly and unintentionally) engaging in extortion. When the clergy threatens the laymen that God will punish them with a curse if they do not tithe off of their incomes, that's extortion. It's no different than what our Political Establishment does to us. They threaten us too; only with incarceration. Tit for tat! For its first 137 years, our country got along just fine (and Prospered mightily) without an Income Tax. Jesus' true model of the Home-based church has survived for over two thousand years without the tithe. What's wrong with this picture?

The laity are good trusting people at heart. They have a sometimes undying loyalty to their leaders behind the pulpit and in their Sunday School classes. Most everything these "experts" say is believed and taken to heart without question. The laity doesn't consider looking into a Biblical matter beyond using the perimeters their mentors have given them. They have become lazy believers, relying on what the clergy says is true (or not). And why shouldn't they? They are the ones who are paying the clergy to do all of the research and footwork, aren't they? The Sunday teachers who aren't paid follow their pastors lead as to what is to be taught, so the people get a steady diet of the same false doctrine. These men dive ever so deep in their studies to try and "reveal" certain "Biblical Principles" of tithing to cement their self made doctrines into the minds of their unsuspecting pupils. They use the term "Biblical Principles" because they cannot find solid Scriptural references in God's Word to support the false doctrine of N.T. tithing. Since they have no Scripture to fall back on, they make up their own term and pass it off as the official sounding "Biblical Principles." How weak is that?

As I mentioned in another post, I once heard a preacher on T.V. say, "It is an UNWRITTEN LAW that we should tithe!" I guess that goes hand in hand with the solid "Biblical Principle" of tithing doctrine we are ingrained with in the N.T. 'Church'. These men do not consider that God holds us accountable for studying His Word without loyalty to a man. In that Day, when the Almighty asks us why we didn't obey His commands given in His Word, our answer of, "I did what my pastors and teachers taught me" won't be good enough. God the Holy Spirit is our ultimate Teacher. I urge us to never forget it. When Dr. Paul is asked a tough question on how to remedy a Problem our nation faces he always refers back to the U.S. Constitution. We as believes should follow his lead and search out the Scriptures and get God's perspective on questions such as these. It's not difficult. The answers are there. Unfortunately, people who read this will still go to their 'seer' and ask them to explain these facts. All they will get from them is a discrediting report about its source. The last thing they want is for someone to offer a suggestion that they might be wrong. It's up to the student to study it out for themselves. Search the Scriptures. "Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD." Lamentations 3:40.

Just like in the Political and the Temple arenas, the law and doctrine has been distorted. Jesus used it to correct the erring in His day. Dr. Ron Paul uses the U.S. Constitution in the Political arena to correct the erring on the campaign trail. And YOU have the Word of God to correct yourself and those who err in the 'Church' Establishment. I urge us to use it as they do. The reason why we don't have a voice in 'Church' is because the use of the microphone is monopolized. The pastors and teachers who are privy to its use are carefully chosen and schooled to deliver the message of the status quot. They do not want things to change, even if it disagrees with Scripture. Why? Because that'll ruin their position of power within an assembly that is supposed to function in the spirit of equality. Why wouldn't they want equality? Because then they'd have to allow God's Word to preside over the church. If that happened, the 'Church' Establishment, which is comprised of 'Church' Leaders who steer this ship, will sink into the depths of the deep.

Tell me if you don't notice the signs of the 'Church' Establishment. Have you ever noticed that hardly anyone challenges the pastor even if he obviously erred in doctrine? Have you heard whispers among the people regarding someone who left the 'Church'? Have you ever seen a person of leadership fear for losing his/her Prominent position and tow the line just to get along with the Establishments objectives? Have you ever seen a person accept a position, while having to leave his 'pet doctrine' at home because it was agreed as a condition to be met to be allowed to participate? Have you ever encountered a fellow servant that refuses to acknowledge he was wrong on an issue? Have you ever seen 'camps' even within 'camps'? Have you ever been a part of a committee? That one alone ought-ta scare us into sobriety! In our 'Church' Establishment today, people are drunk with and thirsty for power. Not God's Power; but positional power. This is at the heart of every establishment, be it political, or 'Church'. Its running force? The spirit of selfishness.

Once I made a discovery about a doctrine erroneously taught for years the same way. It was presented diametrically opposed to what Jesus taught. But because it was a 'Church' Established tradition, it was believed by all. After I brought it up to the Head of the Sunday School Department (I even presented a typed out message about the error in private) he gave a message of his own in public opposing the correct stance. You see, earlier he had published a booklet on the same subject. Too bad his conclusions were all wrong. For fear that he might look bad, he gave a message which underscored his position. He spun it his old way. He delivered it with such flair and gusto that the congregation, minus one, thought he just gave the Gettysburg Address, Emancipation Proclamation and Roosevelt's Declaration of War against the Japanese all in one! So help me, people cheered! He was more concerned about saving face than making Jesus look good! In the Bible, even Jesus commented on the subject, which clearly showed that the Headmaster of the Sunday School was averse to sound doctrine and favored tradition in this instance. The truth is, he is a brilliant Bible teacher.

The Problem is, he was too Proud to make an adjustment in doctrine when Scripture showed he was in error. An unestablished nobody like me showed him Scripture that was contrary to this false doctrine and he couldn't stand it. Have any of you run across someone like this? Jesus did. He even exposed the Pharisee's false doctrines to their faces. In verse 17 of John 8 He pointed out that they adhered to their own laws. Some were the same as the Mosaic Law, but others added to the Law. These additions were known as hedge laws created by the elders of old. Now, instead of the Jews having 613 Laws from Moses, they now have about 1,500 laws! Roughly 900+ are man made!

Are these the laws Jesus was referring to when He said,"in your law,...?" Perhaps, but Scripture shows in Deuteronomy17:6; 19:15 and Numbers 35:30 that two witnesses were required by the Mosaic Law to establish innocence or guilt in a matter. I won't presume to determine if the Lord made reference to the hedge laws or the Law of Moses, but I do know that the Jews had their own prescribed laws apart from the Mosaic Laws, which they liberally imposed upon the people. It could very well be that He knew that when He said,"in your law," He knew that their law was a mixture of God's Law and their own. It was a blending of their traditions and doctrines, which through time and indoctrination had the same clout and authority with the Mosaic Law; in their minds at least. God didn't see it that way, but the Religious Establishment of His day did. Jesus' Law stood on its own merit, without any help from the Scribes, Priests and Pharisees. They embraced God's Law, but they wanted to add to it. This is an earmark of what the 'Church' Establishment accommodates. They make up their own pet doctrines. Through time and repetition, most in their congregations buy into these fantasies and take more stock in them than God's Word. Today, an example would be the false doctrine of 'Income Tithing.' Most American Christians today believe that this teaching is spot on with the Bible. Tithing is definitely in the Bible, but in no way does it apply to us.

I know exactly how Dr. Paul feels when he bucks the Establishment in the world of politics because the same thing goes on in the Corporate Institutional 'Church'. They look at him as my Sunday School Teacher looked at me when I approached him. I was a threat! I was dangerous! I was armed with the truth which let's the cat out of the bag. A friend just called me and said she was talking with a lady who goes to an Institutional 'Church'. The lady accused her of "sewing discord among the brethren." Is telling the truth sewing discord? If its against the 'Church' Establishment, it is.

The 'Church' Establishment is inundated with political overtones, no doubt reaped from the rudiments of this world. This is not how our Lord envisioned His work. His church is free from all of the backroom dealings and deceit. We are free from having to collect a tax, assessment or tithe. Our Power comes from Him. Our possessions are laid up in Heaven, not down here on a Property. We believe in His Word, not the word of some politician (or pastor) behind a pulpit who distorts God's Word in doctrine and in law. His assembly is not a corporate based organization. We are a physical, local organism who is free under His Spirit's tutelage. May we begin to see the 'Church' Establishment for what it really is; a politically biased infrastructure of greed and corruption bent on having it's innocent by-standers do it's dirty work. The Political Establishment wants to remain in power so that they might rule our homes, hearts and minds to serve them as 'sheeple'. The 'Temple' Establishment in John 8 wanted the same thing; power over the people. Today, the 'Church' Establishment is no different.

Are we ready to stop bleating at our Establishment's shepherd's voice who are leading us towards dead pastures? Or our Great Shepherd, Whose Word leads us to streams of fresh water and fields of green grass? Whose voice will we hearken to? The Pharisees knew Jesus, but they really didn't know Him. They failed to see Who He really was according to Scripture. It was nobody's fault but their own. They possessed the knowledge. They possessed the documents. And because of a power hungry culture, they looked past the obvious answer to their troubles. Because of their traditions and thirst for power, they ignored His teachings and the law. Every one of these charges are met in today's 'Church' Establishment. Are we, who are a part of the 'Church' Establishment today, listening to Him or the Political Pharisees?

In 1 Peter 2:25, the Apostle likens us to sheep. The reason? Sheep aren't the most discerning animals in the barnyard. They'll stray. They'll follow anyone with a smooth and non-threatening tone. It sounds like he had this 'Church' Establishment pegged. The clergy are the false shepherds and we are the sheeple hearkening to the wrong voice, constantly straying from safe pastures. God help us! Do you really want to remain a part of the 'Church' Establishment, paying your dues and putting up with power hungry position seekers? Or would Jesus' model of a Home church better suit you where none of this nonsense is going on? They're easier to find than you might think. May you allow the Good Shepherd lead you there.

Jeremiah 8: 8-9, "How do ye say, We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain. 9 The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them?"

Jeremiah 2:8, "The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit."

1 Peter 2:25, "For ye were as sheep (sheeple) going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls."  

I was a 'sheeple'; I'll admit it. But now, I have returned unto the Shepherd and His true church model. How about you?


  1. Great article Bobby. It is my prayer that many of the poor souls stuck in bondage to the institution will finally see the light and come out of Babylon.

  2. The Church establishment looks suspiciously like the 99% controlled by 1%. I never looked at it this way until I read your article today. Sheeple we are. Maybe we need an Occupy the Church Buildings? Thanks for your insight.