The only legitimate organization within the church of Jesus Christ is the family. The husband is the head of the family, the wife is under the husband, and the children are under both parents.
Ephesians 5:23: The husband is the head of the wife, as also Christ is the head of the church.
Ephesians 5:22: Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
Ephesians 5:24: Just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
Ephesians 6:1: Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
Colossians 3:20: Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.
This is simplicity. But….
But evangelicalism often blurs this simplicity, and makes the simple confusing.
Confusion is a product of an unholy mixture. Confusion finds access when God’s simple instructions are blended with traditional contrivances. The ambassador of tradition behind the pulpit, Pastor Impressive, is often an illegitimate third party in the marriage and the entire family.
He slowly usurps, possibly in innocent unawareness, the spiritual authority of the husband over the wife. The husband notices, but assumes that’s just the way it’s supposed to be. In matters of serious concern she will bypass her husband and make an appointment with Pastor Impressive.
Pastor Impressive, you understand, must be the most able person in the church, someone having special rank with God. That’s why he’s behind the pulpit. That’s why he’s licensed. That’s why he’s salaried. Every service he becomes bigger, more impressive, as he churns out Godly wisdom from the god-maker (the pulpit). Husband is a pretty good plumber (or lawyer or accountant or whatever) but no match for Pastor Impressive in spiritual matters.
And the kids? From a very young age they are ushered away from Dad and Mom, away from their spiritual authority, to a sunday school class to learn about God. They see Dad and Mom light up in the presence of Pastor Impressive, a non-verbal teaching to the kids to give equal homage. Dad and Mom, while still the disciplinarians, become less and less a spiritual refuge and mentor.
Lord Jesus never created an organization, other than the family, within His church. All others within christianity were birthed from men doing religion outside the perimeters of God’s will. As God did not create catholicism for catholics, or anglicanism for anglicans, or lutheranism for lutherans, so He did not create evangelicalism for evangelicals. And as catholicism created catholics, and anglicanism created anglicans, and lutheranism created lutherans, so did evangelicalism create evangelicals.
This should be obvious to every seeing, hearing evangelical…. but it’s not.
Matthew 6:10: Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Up there there are no catholics, anglicans, lutherans, evangelicals, charismatics, pentecostals, baptists, presbyterians, or whatever. If they don’t belong up there they surely don’t belong down here.
When the Father looks upon mankind He sees two groups only: His kids (through Lord Jesus) and those He wants to be His kids. We should see only what our Father sees: His and not His.
When Jesus looks upon His church He doesn’t see an evangelical (or whatever); He sees a blood-washed, blood-bought saint. He doesn’t even see an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor or teacher, even though every christian has been endowed with at least one of these ministry gifts. Our Elder Brother sees brothers and sisters. (“Go and tell My brethren….”) We who attempt to imitate our Christ should have His eyesight.
We should see a precious brother or sister in Christ. We see a saint, a redeemed one. We do not see an evangelical or a pastor or a layman. We do not see an elder. We do not see a ‘reverend’. We see a brother. We see a sister.
Within evangelicalism are many, perhaps most, of God’s children. Within is the fivefold ministry. As Lord Jesus works through his gifted saints, one might conclude He is working through, and thus endorsing, evangelicalism. Not so.
Evangelicalism, with its titles and certifications and professional pulpiteers – as every other religion (evangelicalism is a religion) – contends with the Lord Jesus Christ for the hearts of its adherents. As such, Christ stands against it…. while standing with the evangelical.
Lord Jesus is not the lord of evangelicalism, man is. Lordship of Christ infers things are done in obedience to Him and His ways – and they are not. Should all evangelicals suddenly bow to the lordship of Christ evangelicalism would cease to be.