Quezon City, Philippines
| Am I biblicaly submitted to my local Church? |
I was just wondering if I am really submitted to the Church where I am at right now. I've been attending this Church for maybe more or less than a year now and I'm almost considered as a member there right now. I have my own cell group leader there, who is our asst. Pastor, who checks me out from time to time. And my little involvement and service there is through my help in setting things down and cleaning there after the service. They have allowed me to preach once there to the young adults about evangelism.
Since I graduated from the bible school less than 2 years ago I started becoming a wanderer and directionless Church hopper. I left my former youth ministry because I know it Isn't the will of God for me to stay there, and that He is bringing me to the direction of coming out of from bablyon and be part of the last days overcoming bride of Christ. I thought I was so strong because I could get my own spiritual feeding from different man of God that has sermons here on SI. I became more active in open-air preaching than before, when I was still at my former Church, doing it more than once a week and sometimes almost everyday. At that time many Churches were trying to get me involve in their ministries but the problem was; I know that when they start learning that I no longer agree with today's modern evangelism and that I stand against many things are being practiced today in this modern Christianity, I know for sure that they will kick me immediately out from their Churches. I just felt so tired in handling misunderstandings and criticisms from many Christians who doesn't understand yet these things, that's why I alienate myself. But the breakthrough came when God convicted me through the sermons of Bro. Zac Poonen, specially 'the way of Cain' sermon. My spiritual father, who is also the president of the bible school where I graduated, strongly encouraged me and warned me about the danger where I am in at that time. And finally I saw video sermon, that impacted me so much, from a very mature open-air preacher named Kevin Farrer that talks about the necessity of having someone 'who rules over you(?)' (That is also the title of that video). And so I approached the asst. Pastor at that Church where I am part of right now, who's also one of my classmates from the bible school (I just graduated earlier than him), and finally God brought me there.
My problem is: today, for nearly nine months now, my family and I had changed into a new location on another city. I'm just 21 years old, and here in the Philippines unlike in the west, it is not wrong to stay still on your parents home at this age. My problem is I usually don't have money to go at our Church during prayer meetings and for our Wednesday meetings. And I've been missing a lot of sunday worship there from time to time. You can't usually find a Church that agrees to the light that God has shown you in His words regarding the Church, that is because of the present spiritual condition of many churches. And I do not agree 100% in my present Church right now. I even don't know If they'll kick me out of the Church when they learned that I no longer recite 4 spiritual 'laws' to a sinner and then push him into a repeat after me prayer; and thus declare that person born again. But my Church stands and lives with the vision of the bible school where I graduated; In which we envision to bring every believer into the fullness of stature of Christ and preparing them to become overcomer and part of the bride Christ in the last days. We believe that in this hour we should be preparing the people of God for the last great revival and the last great tribulation as well (contrary to the pre-trib belief in the west). We call it the vision of Zion: Which illustrates the step by step spiritual journey and progress of a true believer through the journey of the Israelites from egypt, red sea, wilderness, sinai, river of jordan.. etc., promised land and up to the conquering of David of Zion. The strong emphasis is in preparation of the believers for eternal their position and for God in eternity. Etc etc.. And we thank God that we have also a glorious worship service there undilluted by the popular Church trend today. But what I'm thinking is if I should seek for a Church near us here. Cause I'm not seeing myself as a truly part of this Church since I can't serve there and I'm kind a far from them. What do you think? Am I submitted to that Church even though I have no constant fellowship with them?
| 2011/8/31 11:26||Profile|
| Re: Am I biblicaly submitted to my local Church? |
You should be less concerned about being "submitted" to men than to God.
Submit yourself to the Lord and work on hearing His voice and everything else will fall into place.
If you spend so much time thinking about how you should be submitted to men, I can tell you that you will definitely end up having someone that rules over you and you only want the Holy Spirit to have that role.
There is only one King and one Ruler and His name is Jesus.
Don't be deceived by today's false teachings on submission.
Go to the Word and do a study on it, and listen to the Lord's voice. Look at Jesus. Who was He submitted to? His Father. Who was Paul submitted to? The Lord Jesus. Paul was submitted to Jesus Christ when he corrected Peter in Galatia. He was NOT submitted to Peter.
If you are submitted to God, all your other relationships will be correct. Strive for the most important submission, which is to God.
Biblical submission does not mean that you find a man to "check you out" once in awhile and that you report to him and let him tell you what to do and what decisions to make.
| 2011/8/31 13:59||Profile|
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Mikey2 gave you some great, biblical advice here!
If you listen to Zac very long you will hear about how CFC India was born. Zac and the others got together and prayed a very specific prayer that went something like this:
"Lord if there is anyone in this town who is seeking after You, please put that person in our path OR put us in their path"
As God was faithful and led the brothers and sisters into each others paths.
The point of this is simple, pray this same prayer and the Lord in His graciousness will lead you to a Godly 'family' of brothers and sisters in the town where you live.
Please keep us updated, I prayed for you brother and the Lord hears our prayers!
| 2011/8/31 16:30||Profile|
| Re: Am I biblicaly submitted to my local Church? |
And finally I saw video sermon, that impacted me so much, from a very mature open-air preacher named Kevin Farrer that talks about the necessity of having someone 'who rules over you(?)' (That is also the title of that video).
Paul: The idea that you need someone to rule over you is not at all a Biblical concept. Nowhere in the Bible is this even implied for a believer. However you do need to be actively and intimately interconnected in mutual submission to other believers who have the right and responsibility to speak into your life, to encourage you, to pray for you, and to hold you accountable for the life you live. Now before you think I am talking about some form of Christian anarchy please understand that God has set eldership over his body and they have the responsibility to rule over the body. We are instructed to submit to them. This means we accept their leadership as from the Lord and allow them to fulfill their responsibility to watch over the church. But we also understand that they lead as servants, not as those who lord over the body as a king or a CEO would do.
You do need to be plugged into the church (the body of Christ) in submission to your brothers and sisters in Christ and in submission to eldership. This does not mean that you need to find a specific man to be your leader and to rule over you. There is a difference in the two things. The one is Biblical submission. The other is not. Please find likeminded and well grounded believers who are mature around you and develop relationship with them. We need each other. God never called any of us to be out on our own apart from accountability to the rest of the body. But as to plugging into this particular church, seek God. Perhaps He wants you there, perhaps He does not. Be obedient to Him.
| 2011/8/31 19:32||Profile|
Whittier CA USA
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Just wanted to say I am encouraged by the replies so far.
| 2011/8/31 19:42||Profile|
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I just wanted to clarify a bit on the post Mikey2 made.
Mikey2 posted." Paul was submitted to Jesus Christ when he corrected Peter in Galatia. He was NOT submitted to Peter."
While this is true..it also misses the issue. Galatia was a work Paul started. So no..Paul was not in submission to Peter as a leader there. However, we certainly see Peter in submission to Paul there as Paul did the public correcting and Peter followed Paul's ruling on it. However, when in Jerusalem at the ministry Peter had helped start Paul came, submitted himself to them, and asked for their opinion and ruling on the ministry he had been carrying out , "lest I had run in vain". We at another time see Peter returning to the elders at Jerusalem submitting to them in the issue of Cornelius house. He was an Apostle (and an elder per his epistles) that submitted his experience and testimony to them for their feelings on it.
It seems, particularly in America, that we have this rebellious streak in ourselves that bucks at submitting to God ordained leadership. I immediately acknowledge that we have seen and endured some horrid leadership on a high scale of publicity the last few decades. However, that does not do away with Biblical submission to God ordained leadership
It seems as a general happening in scripture when a person starts a ministry from scratch then anyone coming into it would be in submission to that founder. It also follows that whoever the founder appoints would carry that same mantle as well (Think of Paul sending Timothy and Titus to churches he started to lead them in his absence). It is after it gets a few years down the road that gets tricky.
Anyway..I am not sure it applies to the original question in particular. I just wanted to add a broader context to the Galatian example that was raised.
| 2011/8/31 20:26||Profile|
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Solomon, I respectfully disagree.
Peter submitted to truth! He submitted to the Spirit of God that he discerned speaking through Paul. He knew what Paul was speaking came from the Lord.
That is the problem with submission today. We have been taught to submit to a man of "position" or "reputation", but that is not biblical and not how the Holy Spirit leads.
We always and ever do, submit to the Spirit of God that we discern is in a man, woman or child.
Yes, even a child. If the Lord speaks truth through a child and we reject it, we are not submitting to the Lord.
If everyone could remember this simple rule, to submit to the Spirit of God that is active and working in a man then they would never come under the oppressive rule of any man in the sense that that man begins to lead you instead of the Holy Spirit.
I will not submit to a man because of his title, position or reputation. I will submit to the Spirit of God that I discern is in my brother or sister. Neither do I go around showing disrespect to men or women. We are to show respect to all men. Showing respect and honoring men is not the same as submitting to the Holy Spirit that is speaking truth in a man.
Peter was a man of truth and reputation and position, but you don't submit to him if you are a brother in Galatia and don't witness to what he is telling you. You respect him but you don't submit to what he is telling you. He probably would not have taken correction from a "regular" brother at this time, so Paul had to confront him. Probably a regular brother did not or would not confront him. They probably did not have enough light on the subject to know that Peter was preaching another gospel.
Remember this simple thing, if you don't discern the Spirit of God speaking truth through a man, you are not compelled by God to submit to what that man is saying. We never submit to a man anyway, we are always submitting to the Lord.
Over and out,
| 2011/9/1 12:57||Profile|
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While there is some obvious truth in what you say it seems you are missing a great part of the puzzle in my humble opinion. For example, you stated,
"Peter submitted to truth! He submitted to the Spirit of God that he discerned speaking through Paul. He knew what Paul was speaking came from the Lord" Exactly what scripture passages are you gleaning this from? I see nothing in the text that supports this opinion at all.
You state several times , in one form or another, that, "We always and ever do, submit to the Spirit of God that we discern is in a man, woman or child". While I would pray this to be so...it rarely is. The problem with what you are communicating is that folks rarely (as in virtually never) can do that when it is something they disagree with. I have found fewer christians than I have fingers in 30 years that will "discern the voice of God" in something or someone they disagree with. If you doubt that try to get those on these boards to agree with submitting to Rick Joyner... as an example. They disagree with some theology so most will brand him as a "non christian heretic". I have also seen most Arminians in general rebelled at because they simply do not find the 5 points of Calvinism to be Biblically solid. This is simply an example. One can also read from Pauls' epistles that even the believers in churches he started were often in rebellion and not submitting to him. His authority was often challenged in his absence. I am not arguing for or against Joyner or Calvinism..just examples. However, as you can imagine that will get you nowhere fast.
It is not submission when it is something we want to do.. or agree with. That is easy. How about when you are confronted with something you do NOT agree with or want to do. It is only true submission when we crucify our desire , put our belief as secondary, and do the thing we do not want to do. Jesus in Gathsemane is of course the prime example. He said he did not want to endure the road of the cross. However... regardless of what He wanted... He would submit to the Father and do what the Father wanted... not what He wanted. "Let this cup pass from me"..."not my will but thine be done".
It is also hard to accept what you stated about Peter. He preached the message on Pentecost 20 years prior to Galatia that ,"the promise was to your children...those far off...as many as the Lord our God shall call". This does not even take into account the Cornelius house event and Peter's vision of the unclean animals in the sheet. Paul even states that Peter's actions were for fear of the Jews.
It is fair to say that rebellion to God's ordained authorities CAN BE rebellion at God Himself. I am sure you are aware of the account of Israel seeking a king in 1 Samuel 8. It states ,
"6 But when they said, Give us a king to lead us, this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. 7 And the LORD told him: Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king".
Again, it CAN be. Not that it necessarily IS. There, to me, is the balance.
To take the other side and balance things out more to your statements I would submit the events with the apostles. They were beaten and told to no longer preach in the name of Jesus. In this case they rebelled at the authorities... but did so because to maintain submission to God was the greater requirement. In essence to stay submitted to God they of necessity HAD TO rebel at the leadership of the Jewish Council.
As you can see I agree with much of what you shared. It does seem to me that when compared to the balance of scripture you are painting with far too broad a brush. In conclusion... let me share a brief outline that I use to determine how to respond to this issue when it happens on a practical real life situation-
I am submitted to God. I do this in 3 levels.
1. I am submitted to God
2. I generally know Him and Hs will by the Word and submit to what is revealed there
3. I submit to God's ordained structure of ministry leadership on the earth.
I follow this as long as the ordained leadership does not try to make me violate the Word or my relationship with Him. If that ever happens (and it has) then I must rebel at the lower authority and submit myself to the higher.. namely God and His clearly revealed Word.
There are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers given as gifts to the church to equip saints until we are all built up in faith, unity, and the knowledge of God. If a man demonstrates the fruit and gifts of a Biblical apostle, prophet, pastor, teacher, or evangelist I will recognize them as such. I have no problem submitting to their ministry offices in the proper context. I will continue to do so unless they violate the higher authority of Gods Word. That would be Biblical submission. Submit to leadership, each other.. unless it violates the higher authority of Gods Word.. then we are obligated to "Obey God rather than man".
Of course the problem is that many christians get their self in a snit over this or that little unimportant issue and claim "God said to rebel at ... whoever" and in fact God said no such thing. This is merely a ruse to cover over a rebellious heart that is at its core prideful and unwilling to submit itself to anyone.This is because their heart (or they) are top dog and NO ONE is telling them anything they don't want to hear and certainly not getting them to do anything they do not want to do. That is NOT submission.
Again, submission is only proven or verified when we are willing to do something we do not want to or are not in full agreement with. Otherwise, we are still just doing what we want to.
As I said, we agree on much. However, I think there is more to the issue than you may be seeing at the moment.
Thanks for the discussion! Blessings to you.
HA- I just noticed that to post his I have to hit the "submit" button!
| 2011/9/1 14:24||Profile|
| Re: Am I biblicaly submitted to my local Church? |
According to Strong's there are seven NT references using the word 'submit'.
Two are directed towards wives: Eph. 5:22; Col. 3:18 (Men love this one!)Eph. 5:16: Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. (V. 21 directs mutual submission between husbands and wives.)
Col. 3:18:Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Wives may want to note something here: we are told to submit to our own husbands, not other women's husbands! Think about that!)
One to fellow-workers in ministry: 1Cor. 16:15,16: I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)
That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth.
One to those in church leadership: Heb. 13:17 (this is a hard one - sometimes):Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
One to ordinances - 1Peter 2:13, 14:Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
One to God: James 4:7:Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you
One for the younger to the older or elder: 1Peter 5:Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
No one says submission is easy or fun. The reality also is that we sometimes do not know as much as we think we do and that others may know something we don't!
| 2011/9/1 15:02||Profile|
Whittier CA USA
| Re: Am I biblicaly submitted to my local Church? |
Paul, it sounds like you are going through something similar to what I've gone through recently. For a while I was looking for a church nearby where I could fellowship and serve the Lord. I too am an open-air preacher who seeks to preach a no compromise gospel message and sadly in my area there are many churches that are heretical and apostasized. About 6 months ago I came across a small church nearby which I thought had good things going for it. They seemed to have sound doctrine and a heart to reach the lost in the community. I have been going there since then.
Anyway, a brother had suggested that I approach one of the pastors there and ask him if it would be okay with them if I go out and evangelize(specifically open-air preach) on the streets and tell everyone that I belong to this church. So I did that a few weeks ago and the pastor seemed to be okay with that, although not completely supportive. Although this church has some good things going for it they are lacking in biblical evangelism. They give out food and clothing and invite people to come to church, without sharing the gospel with them, and they see that as evangelism. So I am hoping and praying that the Lord would bring revival there.
All that to say this, you may want to consider looking for a church nearby that is sound, and approaching the leadership in the church regarding your views on evangelism. I say that because it is more beneficial spiritually if the church you attend is nearby, since you you would be more closely connected, and you would be able to evangelize in your neighborhood and point people to a church nearby. But if you cannot find a solid-enough church in your area I do not believe you should leave your church just because another one is closer. That's my two cents brother. God bless you as you seek to do His will in your life.
| 2011/9/1 15:49||Profile|