If we have faith in God’s sovereignty over men, there is little to fear from human fabricated government of any kind - secular or spiritual.
Paul instructed Timothy that believers are to submit to every created governing institution. By submitting to what God has ordained in created government, we are not helplessly at their mercy. Our Father has their hearts in His hand and provides the air for their lungs. They can do nothing to us if it were not given to them from above.
Have men created an artificial office from the organic role of spiritual leadership? Of course, that’s what men always do. Has God chosen to work with and through these offices and positions? Does God give men Kings when they demand one? Yes again.
Why then should we be disturbed that kings, governors, mayors, overseers, and other forms of masters exist? If we are free, do we voluntarily submit ourselves to all men? If we are subjected, are we not still the Lord’s free men?
Underlying much of the argumentation over forms of leadership is the abuse many have experienced at the hands of a Saul or Herod. After all, didn’t Herod stop John’s ministry? Did not Pilate condemn our Lord to death? Was it not the Jewish leaders who caused His crucifixion? Human government is so wrong and can do such damage.
Men build their artificial castles and defend them to the death. Bad leadership is responsible for such great deception. Men who are not willing to forbear sound teaching look for and embrace these readily available teachers.
If there were sound and biblical leadership like the elders in Ephesus, such deception and danger would most certainly be eliminated. Sincere men and the correct form of government is our safeguard against error and deception. Right?
The only safeguard against being “led” astray by any man, in any position, in any form of government, is the “anointing we have received who is truth and is no lie, and just as the anointing we have received abides in us, we should remain in him.” This will eliminate the need to be taught by men, and perhaps resolve the fear and argument over which form of government we should embrace or endorse.
I am grateful for the many godly men who were willing to serve in positions within institutionalized churches. Many of them were pastors, academic deans, bishops, or overseers, working within the various institutions and denominations that have existed and will likely continue until our Lord returns.
Alan and Dina Martin