Genuine Christian Behavior

by Mike Ratliff

Ἡ φιλαδελφία μενέτω. (Hebrews 13:1 NA27)

Let brotherly love continue. (a personal translation of Hebrews 13:1 from the NA27 Greek text)

In the last few posts we have looked at our Christian liberty and, in light of that, the discernment and wisdom we must have in not abandoning our common fellowship and that we not be part of some perceived legalistic religiosity. We cannot read the New Testament without seeing that believers are the ἐκκλησία or ekklēsia, “the called-out ones of God.” In the New Testament, the noun ἐκκλησία is found only in the Gospels in Matthew 16:18 and 18:17. Luke uses it in Acts several times, but Paul uses it throughout his epistles. More than half of its usage in the New Testament is in Paul’s epistles. In them, we see that he never thinks of the ἐκκλησία as a physical structure or man-made organization but as a dedicated group of disciples of Jesus Christ whom he has purchased with his blood. In light of these truths, we must seek to line ourselves up with God’s will in our obedience under the spiritual authority He has set over us. 

Ἡ φιλαδελφία μενέτω. τῆς φιλοξενίας μὴ ἐπιλανθάνεσθε, διὰ ταύτης γὰρ ἔλαθόν τινες ξενίσαντες ἀγγέλους. μιμνῄσκεσθε τῶν δεσμίων ὡς συνδεδεμένοι, τῶν κακουχουμένων ὡς καὶ αὐτοὶ ὄντες ἐν σώματι. Τίμιος ὁ γάμος ἐν πᾶσιν καὶ ἡ κοίτη ἀμίαντος, πόρνους γὰρ καὶ μοιχοὺς κρινεῖ ὁ θεός. Ἀφιλάργυρος ὁ τρόπος, ἀρκούμενοι τοῖς παροῦσιν. αὐτὸς γὰρ εἴρηκεν· οὐ μή σε ἀνῶ οὐδ᾽ οὐ μή σε ἐγκαταλίπω, ὥστε θαρροῦντας ἡμᾶς λέγειν· κύριος ἐμοὶ βοηθός, [καὶ] οὐ φοβηθήσομαι, τί ποιήσει μοι ἄνθρωπος; (Hebrews 13:1-6 NA27)

Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect hospitality, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you are also in the Body. Let marriage be respected by all and let the marriage bed be undefiled for the sexually immoral and adulterers, God will judge. Let your manner of life be free from greed, being content with what you have, for He has said, “By no means will I abandon you nor forsake you.” So that we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper and I will not be afraid, what can man do to me?” (a personal translation of Hebrews 13:1-6 from the NA27 Greek text)

As one who sometimes teaches things that cause some to become angry enough to un-friend me or unsubscribe from my blog I understand the isolation and being placed in the position of knowing the cost of obedience. Sacred Cows are meant to be toppled over and those who love their idols do not like it when their comfort zone is shaken a bit by the application of God’s truth. On the other hand, I love the ἐκκλησία. Why? I am part of it. It is the Body of Christ and Christ went to the cross to die so that we who believe the Gospel and obey it, are forever in Him, justified by grace through faith. As a teacher of the Word of God, I open God’s truth to edify the ἐκκλησία and bring glory to God.

Now, in light of that, look at what the writer of Hebrews is telling us here. How can we do these things if we are not in fellowship together? Some professing Christians have treated me shabbily, but it is such a joy to meet and fellowship with a genuine brother or sister in Christ! God will judge those who have other agendas. In the middle of this passage, we see the call for us to simply stand firm as Christians in the moral cesspool that is this lost and dying world. This is why it is so tragic for men such as Mark Driscoll to bring his “ministry” down to the level of the sewer with the gutter language and fleshly sermons and continual focus on the sexual side of things rather than the spiritual. He is defiling not only himself but those who follow him. There are times when our circumstances can seem overwhelming. If we stay pinned to the Nightly News, for instance, it can seem like there is no hope at times, that God has forsaken us. But look what is said here. God will never leave us or abandon us. The temporal is not the true reality for the Christian.

Μνημονεύετε τῶν ἡγουμένων ὑμῶν, οἵτινες ἐλάλησαν ὑμῖν τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ, ὧν ἀναθεωροῦντες τὴν ἔκβασιν τῆς ἀναστροφῆς μιμεῖσθε τὴν πίστιν. Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς ἐχθὲς καὶ σήμερον ὁ αὐτὸς καὶ εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας. Διδαχαῖς ποικίλαις καὶ ξέναις μὴ παραφέρεσθε· καλὸν γὰρ χάριτι βεβαιοῦσθαι τὴν καρδίαν, οὐ βρώμασιν ἐν οἷς οὐκ ὠφελήθησαν οἱ περιπατοῦντες. ἔχομεν θυσιαστήριον ἐξ οὗ φαγεῖν οὐκ ἔχουσιν ἐξουσίαν οἱ τῇ σκηνῇ λατρεύοντες. ὧν γὰρ εἰσφέρεται ζῴων τὸ αἷμα περὶ ἁμαρτίας εἰς τὰ ἅγια διὰ τοῦ ἀρχιερέως, τούτων τὰ σώματα κατακαίεται ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς. Διὸ καὶ Ἰησοῦς, ἵνα ἁγιάσῃ διὰ τοῦ ἰδίου αἵματος τὸν λαόν, ἔξω τῆς πύλης ἔπαθεν. τοίνυν ἐξερχώμεθα πρὸς αὐτὸν ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς τὸν ὀνειδισμὸν αὐτοῦ φέροντες· οὐ γὰρ ἔχομεν ὧδε μένουσαν πόλιν ἀλλὰ τὴν μέλλουσαν ἐπιζητοῦμεν. Δι᾽ αὐτοῦ [οὖν] ἀναφέρωμεν θυσίαν αἰνέσεως διὰ παντὸς τῷ θεῷ, τοῦτ᾽ ἔστιν καρπὸν χειλέων ὁμολογούντων τῷ ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ. τῆς δὲ εὐποιΐας καὶ κοινωνίας μὴ ἐπιλανθάνεσθε· τοιαύταις γὰρ θυσίαις εὐαρεστεῖται ὁ θεός. Πείθεσθε τοῖς ἡγουμένοις ὑμῶν καὶ ὑπείκετε, αὐτοὶ γὰρ ἀγρυπνοῦσιν ὑπὲρ τῶν ψυχῶν ὑμῶν ὡς λόγον ἀποδώσοντες, ἵνα μετὰ χαρᾶς τοῦτο ποιῶσιν καὶ μὴ στενάζοντες· ἀλυσιτελὲς γὰρ ὑμῖν τοῦτο. (Hebrews 13:7-17 NA27)

Remembering the ones leading you who spoke the Word of God to you, considering the outcome of their way of life, imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried away by various and strange teachings for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace not with foods, by which the ones walking devoted to them were not helped. We have an altar from which the ones serving in the tabernacle do not have authority to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the Holy of Holies by the High Priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. Therefore, Jesus, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. So then, let us go out to Him, outside the camp bearing His reproach. For we do not have here a lasting city but the one coming we are seeking. Through Him, therefore, let us always offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is to say, the fruit of lips, confessing His name. Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Obey the ones leading you and submit to them for they are keeping watch on behalf of your souls as ones rendering an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning for this would be unprofitable for you. (a personal translation of Hebrews 13:7-17 from the NA27 Greek text)

Notice that this passage begins (v7) with an exhortation for us to emulate our leaders who speak the Word of God to us then ends (v17) with an actual imperative (command) for submission to leaders. Before we dig into that, let us look at the meat in between.

Look at our Saviour! Look at what He did for His ἐκκλησία! Therefore, what are we to do? Are we to take our freedom in Christ and live as antinomians? Not according this! No, we are to look carefully at what our Saviour won for us through His sacrifice and the privilege of coming boldly to the throne of grace where we have an altar from which to eat that those mired in religiosity have no access. What does it mean that we should go to Christ outside the camp bearing His reproach? It means that we should embrace our own cross, leaving behind the love of this world and desire for its approval. Our city is not of this world and we are seeking the one that is coming. Therefore, let brotherly love continue along with hospitality and sharing as we seek to do His will above all.

Pastors and elders of the ἐκκλησία exercise the very authority of Christ when they preach, teach and apply Sacred Scripture (Acts 20:28; 1 Thessalonians 5:12, 13). They are servants of the ἐκκλησία on behalf of Christ and must give Him an account of their faithfulness. So you see, this submission and authority has to do with our Faith. When so-called pastors take passages like this and demand blind obedience to their worldly agendas that is something else entirely. We are to obey the authorities God has placed over us as long as those authorities are not commanding us to disobey God. I have had some varying degrees of interactions with pastors and elders and deacons in these areas. If we pray for wisdom and discernment and apply Romans 12:1-2, for instance, as we grow and mature as Christians, we will be able to know when our leaders are leading within the will of God and when they are not. When they are not, then things get very serious and not one time have I enjoyed what came after.

The point is, we should always seek the peace and brotherly love and doing the will of God. When this is short-circuited either by the leadership or by rebellion from someone in the “church” then there are methods given to us in the Word of God to handle these things correctly.

On the other hand, the way it should work is that the pastors and elders in place in a local manifestation of the ἐκκλησία should be about the spiritual well-being of their flocks. If they are doing it right then they will be caring for the souls of those under their care and there will be harmony and joy in the mutual responsibilities of the flock and the Christ ordained overseers. That is the Biblical model. Is that what we usually see in our churches in our day and time?

Soli Deo Gloria!

24 thoughts on “Genuine Christian Behavior

  1. I’ve not properly understood the role of elder until I joined my current church, which is Reformed Baptist. The elders which God has called to serve there have led by example and taught us and shown us how they are to live and work and serve the body of Christ and how we are to live and serve the body of Christ – the local church which is ruled (that word being rightly applied) by the elders. Men who are truly pastors will be a blessing to their flock, as opposed to those who call themselves “pastor” but do not pour themselves out caring for the spiritual growth and health of their sheep. I daily thank the Lord for the men He has placed within our midst and pray that I might one day serve along side them. For the glory of God and the equipping of the saints for the ministry of the kingdom.

  2. Mike, I think we need to pray very much for the authorities God has placed over us… that they will be much filled with the Holy Spirit..and so able to lead us wisely…
    As part of a newly planted very small church..a first-time pastor.. we are all learning…
    We need prayer… that we will be submissive to God’s word as given by our elders..and thankful for their humble hearts in serving us!
    Yet discerning… and bold, in Christ, to indicate to them when we need to correct something they say or do…when it is based more on tradition than on the Word!
    Above all, speaking in love!

  3. Amen Manfred, Your description of your pastors, elders and the relationships they have with you and the rest of the believers there in your church sounds just like it should. You are indeed blessed brother. That is how it should be.

  4. Hi Mike-thanks for writing about this :-)

    “So you see, this submission and authority has to do with our Faith. When so-called pastors take passages like this and demand blind obedience to their worldly agendas that is something else entirely. We are to obey the authorities God has placed over us as long as those authorities are not commanding us to disobey God.”

    I seem to need things really spelled out for me and it is frustrating that I can’t understand things as quickly as I would like. I think I understand what you are saying. We test what they are preaching about Christ with the word of God. I understand that.

    In the areas of our daily lives–that is where I am having trouble understanding about obedience. Say a pastor teaches homeschooling is really the best avenue to take for your child and gives many scriptures to back it up. A lot of families in the church do it. You do not wish to. Is that disobedience to not do it? Or, say the elders and pastor really, really, strongly encourage you to be in a care group. They say it would be good for you and cause you to grow spiritually. Maybe it would and maybe it would not. Do you go along and do it? Because most are doing it? Or say the elders determine the best way to discipline your children…or the best way to go about dating…or the best way to live your life as a young single gal…or the best way for a wife to serve her husband–say encouraging a wife to not work at all outside the home and have many children as the biblical model of marriage…something like that. Say they teach about definite biblical roles for men and women with definite things you are to do and not do. I think you get what I am trying to say. Scriptures can be used to provide proof for a lot of ideas, you know? Maybe we could find scriptures to disprove the same ideas.

    So –if they are not commanding us to disobey God–in obvious ways–that is good…it is these other areas that I wonder about being obedient.

  5. Diane, now you are getting into controlling types of obedience and I draw the line there. My children were both very smart, but very different. My daughter could have been home schooled, but there is no way that my wife could have handled the strong will of my son. It just would not have worked. There was a lot of pressure put on our families back then to home school, but we had a core group of leaders (I was in that group) who resisted. My son was brilliant and when tested by the school system we were in, was put into the gifted/accelerated program. When he graduated from High School he had already AP tested out of his entire Freshman year at Baylor plus many advanced classes like Calculus, et cetera. He was one of there leaders. He was in Student Government. He was a debater. He was involved in everything. Now he is medical doctor in Washington D.C. He was not home schooled and I don’t think it would have made any difference for him. Now, if we had lived somewhere else where they didn’t have the advanced programs and such then he would have been bored and hated school like me…

    In any case, I do not think the level of control that you are talking about is what this passage is talking about at all. It is talking about our spiritual growth.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  6. Diane, I’m not Mike but I would like to comment on your questions, as I’ve been in churches where such men abuse their office. When elders of a church tell a husband and wife how to rule their home, they are overstepping their authority. A fine line, but clear example from how my elders handle education: The Bible is clear that parents (primarily fathers) must teach their children of God; we call it “giving them a Christian education.” We do not demand families home-school – only that they provide their children a Christian education. If one sends their children to a government school, they are making their God-given responsibility much more difficult. If parents disregard their responsibility to educate their children in the Lord, they are subject to church discipline.

    The key for elders is teach what the Bible tells us in all of life and exhort the people of God to obey. Encouraging and leading by example. Allowing people to work out their own lives but not living in rebellion.

    No easy formulas. No programs. Trust and confidence in the Living God to illuminate His Truths in His people, convict us of sin, and lead us in righteousness.

  7. OK–thanks. The pastors and elders who think these kinds of things ARE the best things for our spiritual growth and should be followed…that is where I am cautious. I guess I need to know where the line is drawn –how spiritual growth is defined.

  8. Thanks, Manfred. I appreciate your comments. I find myself agreeing with your statement-“When elders of a church tell a husband and wife how to rule their home, they are overstepping their authority.”

    I do not know if sending a child to a public school or a government school–(I think that is what you mean, right?)–makes one’s God-given responsibility MUCH more difficult. There will be challenges for sure. But much more difficult… I cannot say for sure. My husband has been a believer since he was a child and went to public schools all his life. I have known him since 9th grade. He was very strong in witnessing his faith in the Lord all through high school and college. Our 13 year old son has been taught by my husband the things of the Lord since he was very young and he witnesses to his
    friends at his wrestling tournaments and places he attends. He laughs at evolution and knows how to evaluate God’s truth from what the world teaches…as much as he can understand at this point in his life. So–it is possible that it can be done without it being much more difficult. I think a more important thing to consider is the relationship between the father and the son. Does the son want to emulate the father. Parents have a heavy responsiblility to bear the image of Christ to their children.

  9. Here in scripture is a solid test of your elders:
    Mark 10
    35And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire. 36And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you? 37They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory. 38But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? 39And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: 40But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.

    41And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John. 42But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. 43But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: 44And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. 45For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

    Here, I believe we see human nature fully at work…remember these are men called of God (Jesus) yet they have NOT the Holy Spirit as yet, and are in training. In other words they are called to be at His feet…and then that He MIGHT send them. James and John want pre-emminence! They are seeing things in the flesh….The other 10 are in the flesh, upset with these two because they are seeking to be lifted up. Jesus takes the opportunity to teach a very important truth about men who are not lead by the Holy Spirit, are lead by their flesh. Further there is a price to pay…cup we must drink to be used by Him. (a cross to bear) Then, when we are Holy Spirit directed, we can be sent by Him. I so appreciate James and John and how they were later used up to this very day by the Lord!
    The true servant of God as we see in the second paragraph is not a leader who exercises power OVER those he thinks are UNDER him, but rather a man who SERVES EVERYONE. This true calling is a job nobody in the flesh would EVER want. Which disciple had a better flesh life after giving up EVERYTHING to follow Him? None I know of. Think about desiring to be a dung scraper as your career, or garbage man, or risking your life for dumb sheep out in the wilds… See the differences verses the high profile personalities most flesh folks are drawn to?
    When I hunt or fish in an area I don’t know, I look for a guide to make the trip more successful. He is a man who knows the area well, knows where the danger is, and where the fish/game can be found. He is a unique individual who will set aside his selfishness, to help another succeed. If I have a bad guide, why would I want to follow him. He cannot be trusted, and i would be a fool to let him guide me. He is not my boss, he is a fellow outdoorsman who can lead by his own personal experiences, or ruin my walk if he is flesh motivated. Can we see this?
    Look also at Peter in Mark 9
    5And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. 6For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid. 7And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him. 8And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves.
    Peter wants to start a building program for transfigured men who need nothing this earth can offer…Isn’t it the same today?
    Flesh men build buildings, Jesus builds His men. We need to folllow men who have laid down their best life for His Best Life os servanthood.
    I have 2 nephews who are called by mom…most in seminary are called by mom. Until they truly hear God’s call to feed His sheep, they will learn a system and emulate flesh success. They will come out and look for a church job…they will be hirelings, and seek to climb the ladder of success starting out as children’s/youth pastor and toil for the opportunity to one day climb to the top of the pyramid and be called a senior pastor/lead pastor…Sad but true, and this is what the vast majority of these boys end up doing. They come out with 100 sermons, and polished in their techniques, such that they never lay down their lives and allow the Holy Spirit to lead them.

  10. Is God Sovereign? Is He able to change hearts protect those who are His? He saved me even though I was fully indoctrinated in the public school system. I laugh at all of it’s stupidity because, after regeneration, I see the truth. Yes, as Christian parents, we can tell our children the truth even when the school systems are lying to them. I remember as a lost high school student knowing that what I was being taught in school and what i was being taught in Church were not compatible. I KNEW THAT even though I was not a believer then. Why? Isn’t that what Romans 1 teaches?

  11. Diane,

    My wife home-schooled our two children for many years. I was a false convert and was born again when our youngest was 6. My wife and I were/are both firmly opposed to those (I am not counting you among this group) who send little kids to government (what most folk call “public”) schools as “a light to shine in the darkness” without ever having trained them in the ways of God. We examined our kids and ourselves each summer, to see what we would do. Our oldest wished to go to gov’t school after 8th grade because he knew the biology teacher was hateful towards Christianity and he wanted to engage her. Our daughter went to gov’t schools in the 6th grade and engaged a JW girl on the bus. They both have credible witnesses of Christ in them, as young adults – for which my wife and I thank our God.

    Sounds like you and your husband are mindful of the wonderful responsibility the Lord has given ya’ll and that’s a beautiful thing to ponder. Even with our children grown and flown, we are benefiting from a DVD from Paul Tripp – “Getting to the Heart of Parenting”. The job does not end when the youngest turns 21 :-)

  12. Diane, it sounds like you are questioning some of the stuff from the Federal Vision and some of the Family Integrated Churches…Christian Patriarchy to use a more general term? Am I right or no?

  13. I wonder about elders and pastors who mandate, advise, strongly encourage, how husbands and wives conduct their marriages, educate their children, discipline their children, spend their money, decide on occupations, where to work, if one should work, if their daughters should attend college or stay in the home while waiting for a husband, courtship rules, dating rules, what age to marry, on and on….much like what I have read about that SGM teaches, for one example. That would be my concern. It seems that that would be overstepping their boundaries…in terms of our obedience and submission to them…no matter how much the elder/pastor is convinced it is the biblical way, or believes it would be the best for your spiritual growth.

  14. Diane, the elders that you have described raise red flags for me. I agree with Mike and Manfred: they are overstepping their bounds. Where is homeschooling in the Bible? Yes parents are biblically given a responsibility to train their children. But the word homeschool is not in the Bible! If a husband and wife believe that they ought to homeschool their children, then by all means do so. If the couple decides to send their children to private Christian school, then by all means do so. You used the phrase in reference to christians “Overstepping the boundaries” set by elders. Yeah, they are not supposed to be setting legalistic boundaries in the homes of church members. We have boundaries set by the Bible. But there is such a thing as Christian freedom, laid out in Romans 14 & 15 for example. There is nothing wrong with an elder giving direction and guidance, but HE MUST let each one make his own decisions before the Lord in disputable matters, such as homeshooling, according to each one’s abilities, conscience, needs and financial state. You sound as though you want an itemized list of things that you must do to be o.k. with God. This makes one ripe for such legalistic tactics and teachings. The plain fact is that there is freedom in the Lord. We do have things to do and thing not to do which are clearly spelled out in scripture. Beyond that, we are not to hold someone else’s conscience to our own manmade rules and teachings. Don’t let anyone steal your freedom in Christ. You are made right with God through Christ, not man-made rules.

  15. I also meant to say that if a couple decides to send their children to public school then they ought to. This is each couple’s responsibility before the Lord. Your children are not ultimately the church elder’s responsibility – God gave them to you, not to him. And therefore you must do what you believe is right before the Lord and then leave it in God’s hands.

  16. Although not enthusiastically inserting a wrench in the ongoing discussion about elders etc, I sense an obligation to note what I believe to be a serious concern- if not the most serious concern that affects the entire body of Christ- authority.
    In Christ, all Christians have authority although that authority is still the authority of Jesus Christ. Alike His gifts, wisdom and power, authority is exercized as the Spirit leads individuals through the gifts He has given them. A Christian cannot do whatever they want, however they want with what are actually God’s own resources. We are limited to His will and ways are we not?
    There is no other issue that so has affected the entire body of Christ adveresly than this issue of authority and the manner in which it is exercised. Leaders would have us believe that they have a special authority from God- an authority that rules over other Christians. It breaks my heart and makes me very angry at the same time. You see, the manner in which you view Biblical authority will have everything to do with the manner in which you serve God and carry out His intentions for your life. I have wrestled with this issue for many years and just recently finished an article that addresses parts of it.
    Although I had little intention of directing others toward what I’ve personally written, I beg you to read and comment upon the article, To Whom am I accountable? You can find it under RECENT ARTICLE when you scroll down from the welcome home page on my site.
    Diane, I am grateful that you are open to how the spirit may lead you and I may or may not be able to be of help depending upon how God has led you thus far. Nobody, under any circumstances has any right to make any decision for you or your family. Please note my comments in the above article about Hebrews 13:17 to which you noted.
    Mike, I would love for you to confirm or comment otherwise upon my take on this verse. Although I’m constantly hearing and reading about Christians being over other Christians I do not believe the Bible bear this out, neither does a religious hierarchy belong in God’s Ekklesia. Christians are equal brothers and sisters.
    I have never met any so-called leader who could ever give adequate justification for promoting church in any fashion. Ekklesia, although translated into Church doesn’t mean the same thing- they are almost opposites!
    If true change is ever to come to what’s left of the body, new leaders will surely have to arise. I for one have no intention of following any man’s example who usurps both the place of Jesus and the Holy Spirit in my life. Sincerity and humility are not enough to make a man adequate in our Kings service. Had our spiritual hereoes and gurus slightly resembled a kernal of wheat having died over the years, we’d have far less of them and their creations and much more of life itself.

  17. Hi Julie and Among the forgotten,

    I was trying to give examples in a non confrontational way of where I believe leaders in the church have severely overstepped their bounds so that perhaps others who are following those leaders will possibly give the questions some thought. I wanted to be specific as to examples where leaders do this. I disagree with these practices, yet it seems to have taken hold on the visible church through movements such as the Federal Visionists, FIC, SGM, and others.

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