“If you or I oppose a pastor and six people leave due to conflict we will be labeled divisive. If the pastor drives off half the congregation he is a leader taking a stand.”
-Bill M, commenter on The Wartburg Watch.
“The human race is a monotonous affair. Most people spend the greatest part of their time working in order to live, and what little freedom remains so fills them with fear that they seek out any and every means to be rid of it.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther
“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.” -Coco Chanel
“What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tax? From their sons or from others?” And when he said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free.” -Matthew 17:25-26
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” -Galatians 5:1
Where do you encounter God? Must it be in a conference with hundreds of others who have all paid the required temple tax?
How do you hear from God? Must it primarily be through the conferences, sermons and books of a few elite speakers you idolize?
With whom do you choose to gather with on a weekly basis? Must it be with a local church whose leaders chiefly emphasize the necessity of submitting to them; who skillfully twist any Biblical text into a plea for the necessity of becoming a member of their church; who demonstrate their loving concern for you by requiring you to sign a contract which they then use as a tool to control you?
Is this really the freedom Christ envisioned for his children?
The leaders you are submitting to will undoubtedly warn you about people like me. You will be told I am divisive, harming the cause of Christ; I lack the training to correctly interpret the Scriptures, and I am attempting to lead you astray.
I would simply ask you to think about what this freedom Christ spoke of actually encompasses.
I have no agenda, my livelihood is not dependent on keeping “giving units” firmly ensconced within the four walls of a church building.
I am merely hoping you will think deeply about Christ, his kingdom, and freedom. Perhaps you will conclude that the path you are following is not the path of Christ.
Thinking is hard work, but you will be rewarded if you engage in it.
“People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.”
“The last desire that hinders us from putting on the mind of Jesus Christ is the lust for power. In his ministry, Jesus rejected any display of power except the power of the Holy Spirit. Unlike “the kings of the Gentiles [who] lord it over them” (Luke 22:25), the disciples were not to exercise authority. The Lord himself performed the menial service of the slave at the door by washing the dusty feet of his disciples, then required them to do the same. “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (John 13:14-15).” -The Importance of Being Foolish by Brennan Manning, page 49