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Thursday, November 13, 2014

He Said That? Part 1

The following is a quote from Star Scott of Calvary Temple that should cause all of us to be concerned. 

"The authority, even when it is wrong, is right. What I mean by that is this: as the subordinate, if I'm, right and defy the authority, then what has happened? I have become wrong, because it is not about the issue, primarily, it is about the heart." (Star Scott I will Build My Church Pt 7)

(The context of this teaching - I Will Build My Church - concerns spiritual authority and the elders placed in local churches. Though Star Scott says he is referring to non-doctrinal matters, he is in fact talking about someone being RIGHT and someone being WRONG. Therefore, his one example of "the time we start church" is not relevant. His statement is clearly talking about right vs wrong. The concept of authority vs subordinate is communicated as one being always right and one being always wrong. By extension, the hearer or reader understands this to mean he is not to bring truth to an elder. What is spoken and what is understood can sometimes be two different things.)

My first response was the scripture "Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ." Ephesians 4:15. In looking at this verse in context, I do not see any place where it says "except the elders or except the pastors or the authority".  verse 4 says "there is one body and one Spirit"....vs 6 "who is over all and through all and in all."  We are to speak truth to all our brothers and sisters - no matter their position in the body. We are one body, being prepared to meet our bridegroom. We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God and therefore all are in need of the ministry of the body. 

Galatians 6:1 says: "Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness." Again, I do not see in context an admonition to NOT speak to a pastor or teacher.

1 Timothy admonishes us: Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. We are told how to address the "authority", but I cannot find any scriptures that tells us no matter how wrong the leadership may be, I am out of order by bringing truth to a brother. But the fact that we are instructed HOW to bring truth to an elder lets me know there is a time for doing so. Are we to run to the pastor every time we don't agree with something he is teaching? Or we don't like the new requirement to turn out the lights when we leave the bathroom? Of course not. But Star Scott is stating if you have a differing opinion or disagreement about a teaching, you have a heart issue if you approach them.

And a further thought - Star Scott says:  "If {you are} right and defy the authority..."  Suppose the authority is telling me to lie on my income tax? We know without a doubt that this would be wrong. Would I be defying God if I refuse to obey the elder telling me to lie? And try to tell him that it would be sin for me to lie on my income tax and sin for him to tell me to do so? Does Star Scott really believe an elder who is "wrong" gets a free pass just because his is in a position of authority? And we should obey just because he is our elder?

Suppose the authority is telling the congregation we must now attend church every Monday morning for prayer. Am I out of order if I go to an elder and express my disagreement with missing family prayer for corporate prayer? Am I automatically defying authority?  

So now my question to members of Calvary Temple - why would your pastor admonish you with the above statement? Why would he say that speaking the truth to an elder is out of order? Could it be that he wants you to stop hearing from the Holy Spirit concerning teachings coming from the pulpit? (in other words, stop being like the Bereans). Is he trying to gain compliance from the congregation?  "just do what you are told and shut up". Since when are we to disregard the still small Voice within us?

One final note: I find it interesting that Star Scott's comment equates being right with defiance. Just because you are right or have a different opinion and desire to speak truth to an elder does not meant you are DEFIANT. Of course, no one wants to be seen as defiant so the threat of being seen in such a light takes away our desire to even know the truth much less speak it.  

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