"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." ~ 1 Peter 3:15-16
Who is Your Covering?

I have finished reading this book on biblical authority in the Church, a couple of days ago. In a word, it boils down to "control". It's telling to see that those who feverishly defend the hierarchical model of the Church, are often those who are exercising control over and above God's people. To be blunt, the Scripture does not advocate a hierarchical institution called the Church. In fact, it condemns the hierarchical structure and mentality which is nothing less of a direct import from the Gentiles!

"v25Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. v26But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. v27For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves." ~ Luke 22:25-27

If you think the above passage is only about condemning oppressive leadership and not the whole hierarchy, think again. If one truly desires to serve, why will one even care about one's position over and above those one wishes to serve? Wouldn't and shouldn't one be busy helping others to learn and submit to the Headship of Christ? Have we been acting like little chief heads, playing as intermediate gods? Or are we like the mother of Zebedee's sons, asking for what we do not know, and which is not what God desires (Matt 20:20-28)?

Recently, a brother shared with me that he searched his heart real hard while he was involved in church committee. He discovered that he could not serve with the same passion, without the position conferred unto him. The position he held drove him to serve out of obligation, a sense of duty or great responsibility rather than from the simple heart. And if he cannot serve without that title or position, then it is very wrong in his own words.

All man is equally fallen and liable to temptations, of which I see no reason why we should take the risk of adopting an unbiblical model which exalts the man, and robbing God of His glory! When will we ever understand that by deviating from the biblical principles as revealed in the Scripture, we are courting disaster? Why do we keep insisting a human king for ourselves like our neighbours when God Himself wants to be our King (1 Samuel 8:6-9)?

May we who think of ourselves as leaders, examine our hearts and serve in accordance to His word, so that the Church may truly be blessed by our spiritual gifts in a non-hierarchical, non-authoritarian, Christ-like way.