I’ve been busy with some other projects, but continue to think about what is going on with Driscoll and MH… I have folders of “stuff” I want to post here to perhaps shed some light on what I consider to be a big oppressive mess over there.
The other day I came across a site that I found very interesting. It is: http://www.truthguard.com . I have only read some of Howey’s posts, but the ones I have seen, I like. The following is one of his article/posts which I just could not pass up and wanted to post it sooner than later. There are many churches, megas usually, that fit the description below, as well as fit chapter 34 of Ezekiel (portions of which I printed below Howey’s article). But right now, I am focusing on how this might fit MH and MD.
Should a Pastor Rule Over You?
Authoritarianism in the church is one of the most serious problems that Christian churches face today. Authoritarian regimes and political machines within Christian churches are not only totally unbiblical, but they empower men to take a church anywhere they wish, bypassing the normal checks and balances found in the Bible. A church that has given control to a single man (often called a Senior Pastor) or to a small group of men (often called a board of elders) is helplessly tossed about in very dangerous waves.
Suddenly churches are turned on a dime according to the whims and agendas of men. If a dictatorial pastor wakes up on the wrong side of the bed and decides to take the whole church off a cliff doctrinally, most congregations just blindly follow, thinking they are helpless to do anything about it, if they even notice or care at all. Christians have been bombarded with the lie that certain men are appointed by God to rule and reign over His people. No, the Bible forbids such things and gives us the solution.
The popular yet monumental misunderstanding of authority in the church is probably the biggest problem driving the false church system. The main problem is with the people that the Bible calls “Nicolaitans”, those who Christians allow to conquer and suppress them. (From the Greek, the word “nico” means “suppression or conquering of” and “laos” is where we get the word laity which means people). In Revelation 2:6 and 2:15, Jesus said that He hates the practices and teachings of the Nicolaitans.
Not surprisingly, most Nicolaitans refuse to acknowledge and admit that they are Nicolaitans. They make the false claim that no one can really know what a Nicolaitan is or is not. Most just quote a popular fairytale that the word means a follower of the mythical heretic Niclaus. Not so. The truth is we know quite clearly exactly what the word means and exactly who these people are. Plus, it doesn’t make any sense that Jesus would mention something that He hates and then never let us know what exactly that He was talking about.
Today there is no shortage of those who want a counterfeit Saul to be king over them and there is no shortage of Nicolaitans who want to be that king in the place of Christ. (By the way, the definition of antichrist is one who opposes Christ and/or stands in His place). At least God told Samuel to appoint Saul as king. Even though God was displeased with the fact that Israel wanted a man as king instead of Him, he still authorized Saul’s appointment. Today’s multitude of counterfeit “Sauls” have no such authorization from God. They are self-appointed and people powered. Here’s why we know that they are counterfeit leaders (they may be real Christians but they are false pastors):
- All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus (Matt 28:18).
- Jesus alone is the Head of the church (John 5:26-27, Eph 1:22-23, Col 1:18).
- God does not permit Christians to have controlling authority over other Christians in the church (see Matt 20:25-28, Mark 10:42-45, Luke 22:24-27, 1Pet 5:3, Matt 23:8-12, etc.).
- We do not have multiple special high priests over us. There is only One High Priest, Jesus Christ (see Hebrews 3:1, 4:14).
- We have One Master Christ and we are all brothers (see Matt 23: 8-12).
- You cannot obey two masters; you will love the one and hate the other (Matt 6:24, Luke 6:13). You simply cannot obey Jesus as master and a pastor as master at the same time.
There is a big difference between genuine behind-the-scenes loving elders who stand firmly for sound doctrine and admonish the Body of Christ to obey the Bible compared to a Nicolaitan one-man show who teaches his own agenda and draws men away to himself through manmade teachings and traditions. While the Bible makes it clear that we are supposed to submit to governmental authorities such as to the police and obey the laws of our land (pay taxes, obey traffic laws, live peacealby, etc.), we are also commanded to not set up authoritarian systems or regimes within Christian churches.
For there to be any hope for any church to navigate through the ever worsening apostasy that is upon us, now more than ever, Jesus alone must be recognized as the One solely in charge and His Word the Bible must reign supreme. That is how it was always supposed to be, at all points in church history, but that is not how it has been, and that is certainly not how it is today.
More on this subject can be found in the Articles section.
This article was also recently titled “The Authoritarian Disaster”. A portion of this article is an updated excerpt of my article “When A Church Becomes A Business”.
By Paul Howey
1Then the word of the LORD came to me saying,
2“Son of man, prophesy against the (A)shepherds of Israel Prophesy and say to those shepherds, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been (B)feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds (C)feed the flock?
4“Those who are sickly you have not strengthened, the diseased you have not healed, (F)the broken you have not bound up, the scattered you have not brought back, nor have you (G)sought for the lost; but with force and with severity you have dominated them.
… 7Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:
8“As I live,” declares the Lord GOD, “surely because My flock has become a (M)prey, My flock has even become food for all the beasts of the field for lack of a shepherd, and My shepherds did not search for My flock, but rather the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock;
9therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:
10‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am (N)against the shepherds, and I will demand My sheep from them and make them (O)cease from feeding sheep So the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore, but I will (P)deliver My flock from their mouth, so that they will not be food for them.”‘”
… 15“I will (Y)feed My flock and I will lead them to rest,” declares the Lord GOD.
17“As for you, My flock, thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Behold, I will (AB)judge between one sheep and another, between the rams and the male goats.
18‘Is it too (AC)slight a thing for you that you should feed in the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pastures? Or that you should drink of the clear waters, that you must foul the rest with your feet?
19‘As for My flock, they must eat what you tread down with your feet and drink what you foul with your feet!'”
20Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD to them, “Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.
21“Because you push with side and with shoulder, and (AD)thrust at all the weak with your horns until you have scattered them abroad,
22therefore, I will (AE)deliver My flock, and they will no longer be a prey; and I will judge between one sheep and another.
27… Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I have (AQ)broken the bars of their yoke and have delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them.
28…they will (AR)live securely, and no one will make them afraid.
- Ezekiel 34:2 : Jer 2:8; 3:15; 10:21; 12:10
- Ezekiel 34:2 : Jer 23:1; Ezek 22:25; 34:8-10; Mic 3:1-3, 11
- Ezekiel 34:2 : Ps 78:71, 72; Is 40:11; Ezek 34:14, 15; John 10:11; 21:15-17
- Ezekiel 34:3 : Zech 11:16
- Ezekiel 34:3 : Ezek 22:25, 27
- Ezekiel 34:4 : Zech 11:16
- Ezekiel 34:4 : Matt 9:36; 10:6; 18:12, 13; Luke 15:4
- Ezekiel 34:5 : Num 27:17; 2 Chr 18:16; Jer 10:21; 23:2; 50:6, 7; Matt 9:36; Mark 6:34
- Ezekiel 34:5 : Ezek 34:8, 28
- Ezekiel 34:6 : Jer 40:11, 12; Ezek 7:16; 1 Pet 2:25
- Ezekiel 34:6 : John 10:16
- Ezekiel 34:6 : Ps 142:4
- Ezekiel 34:8 : Acts 20:29
- Ezekiel 34:10 : Jer 21:13; Ezek 5:8; 13:8; 34:2; Zech 10:3
- Ezekiel 34:10 : 1 Sam 2:29, 30; Jer 52:24-27
- Ezekiel 34:10 : Ps 72:12-14; Ezek 13:23
- Ezekiel 34:11 : Ezek 11:17; 20:41
- Ezekiel 34:12 : Jer 31:10
- Ezekiel 34:12 : Is 40:11; 56:8; Jer 23:3; 31:8; Luke 19:10; John 10:16
- Ezekiel 34:12 : Jer 13:16; Ezek 30:3; Joel 2:2
- Ezekiel 34:13 : Ezek 34:23; 36:29, 30; Mic 7:14
- Ezekiel 34:13 : Is 30:25
- Ezekiel 34:14 : Ps 23:2; Jer 31:12-14, 25; John 10:9
- Ezekiel 34:14 : Ezek 28:25, 26; 36:29, 30
- Ezekiel 34:15 : Ps 23:1, 2; Ezek 34:23
- Ezekiel 34:16 : Is 10:16
- Ezekiel 34:16 : Is 49:26
- Ezekiel 34:17 : Ezek 20:38; 34:20-22; Mal 4:1; Matt 25:32
- Ezekiel 34:18 : Num 16:9, 13; 2 Sam 7:19; Is 7:13
- Ezekiel 34:21 : Deut 33:17; Dan 8:4; Luke 13:14-16
- Ezekiel 34:22 : Ps 72:12-14; Jer 23:3; Ezek 34:10
- Ezekiel 34:23 : Rev 7:17
- Ezekiel 34:23 : Is 40:11; John 10:11
- Ezekiel 34:23 : Jer 30:9; Ezek 37:24
- Ezekiel 34:24 : Is 55:3; Jer 30:9; Ezek 37:24, 25; Hos 3:5
- Ezekiel 34:25 : Ezek 16:60; 20:37; 37:26
- Ezekiel 34:25 : Job 5:22, 23; Is 11:6-9
- Ezekiel 34:25 : Jer 33:16; Ezek 28:26; 34:27, 28
- Ezekiel 34:26 : Gen 12:2; Ezek 34:14
- Ezekiel 34:26 : Deut 11:13-15; 28:12
- Ezekiel 34:26 : Lev 25:21; Is 44:3
- Ezekiel 34:27 : Ezek 38:8, 11
- Ezekiel 34:27 : Lev 26:13; Is 52:2, 3; Jer 30:8
- Ezekiel 34:28 : Jer 30:10; Ezek 39:26
- Ezekiel 34:29 : Is 4:2; 60:21; 61:3
- Ezekiel 34:29 : Ezek 34:26, 27; 36:29
- Ezekiel 34:29 : Ezek 36:6, 15
- Ezekiel 34:30 : Ps 46:7, 11; Ezek 14:11; 36:28
- Ezekiel 34:31 : Ps 78:52; 80:1; Ezek 36:38
- Ezekiel 34:31 : Ps 100:3; Jer 23:1