“I have been writing this volume while residing in Germany for a teaching trip. I am humbled by penning these 95 theses in the same country as Martin Luther did many years ago. I submit these to the evangelical church of our day and pray that God would allow anything of truth in these pages to bend and change men’s hearts back to God.” – Greg Gordon –
It is useless for large companies of believers to spend long hours begging God to send revival. Unless we intend to reform we may as well not pray. Unless praying men have the insight and faith to amend their whole way of life to conform to the New Testament pattern there can be no true revival. – A.W. Tozer
I am currently reviewing and commenting on 95 theses to the modern evangelical church “revised”! by Greg Gordon. This is part 4 of the series. The following discusses time spent in gatherings, and putting a focus on individualism in church.
In evangelical churches the priesthood of all believers is not acknowledged and the role of pastor is abused. The biblical view of a plurality of elders is practiced by very few.
1 Peter 2:9 9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
1 Corinthians 12:12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ
Ephesians 4:11-13 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Another point I agree whole-heartedly with. So, think about this for a second. Can you imagine a modern day church without the role of a pastor? I cannot. Yet somehow, this role, which is mentioned once in the context of Eph 4:11-13 (above) has become the most critical in our current day church set up.
As any pastor about the verses that back up the existence of his role, and he will show you numerous verses about elders, bishops and deacons. Yet, those verses always deal with multiple numbers. In the early church gatherings you would find multiple teachers teaching, evangelists preaching, etc. Everyone had a role in the body of Christ. This contrasts sharply to our current gatherings where one person speaks and teaches, week after week, while the rest simply sit and listen, rarely exercising any gifts in the body as the Bible demonstrates.
This parallels the challenge we saw in the Old Testament. God had placed a system of judges to rule the land, under His Lordship. The Israelites demanded one king, rather than this plurality leadership. It’s mind-blowing, but it seems we have fallen into that same pattern today.
The evangelical church as a whole has lost the concept of their being engrafted into the promises given to Israel.
Romans 11 13 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry 14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.
17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!
25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, 26 and in this way[e] all Israel will be saved. As it is written:
I fully confess, this point kinda escapes me…so instead of trying to make something up, I posted the referenced scriptures on the point, and all surrounding context, so you could draw your own conclusions 🙂
By His Grace,