Friday, November 07, 2008

evangelist, teacher, pastor, apostle

Okay, I'm getting annoyed with all these folks who call themselves apostle this and apostle that. Folks, please do not call yourself an apostle if you aren't.

The signs of an apostle are signs, wonders, mighty deeds, miracles. If you don't do them, you are not an apostle. Plain and simple. Human arrogance!

2 Corinthians 12:12 "
Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds."
St Paul lists the signs of an apostle and the holy spirit records these signs. But most of the folks who claim to be apostles are too busy stirring up people to respect their title to stir up the gift that is in them.

God gives to all folks all the gifts...and when a articular gift needs to be used, it should come to the front for God's people to use it. Of course there are folks with special giftings but we all prophesy in part. And we can all teach the gospel although there are some folks with special gifts of teaching. Hey, the gifts work even when we don't have the doctrine right. As in the case of folks who heal and yet don't quite have the gospel right. And as in the case of folks like Apollos who teach wonderfully yet are working from the baptism of john, the water baptism of repentance ...instead of the baptism of fire. And most of the church knows only the baptism of repentance. But we also have the holy spirit within us...if we stir up the gifts given to us instead of merely using the titles to be praised among men.

I know the church does things way differently than God tells us. Yep, even those churches that think they are Biblical. Because they don't know how subtly strange traditions come in. I also know that God isn't so much of a semanticist to get all worked up about the actual names of stuff . . . if apostling is going on. But the arrogance of some folks bug me.

Folks with ministries of deliverance! of official Catholic Exorcists. There is NO such thing. We're all supposed to be getting rid of demons IF we bump into one and IF God tells us to expel them. Remember, even Paul didn't go chasing demons. That girl with the spirit of divination bugged him three whole days and he didn't exorcize the demon who bothered her. Why not? Because if one exorcizes a demon, according to Jesus, one better be sure it won't return with seven worse.

And what's with all these evangelists? Actually the only person actually called an evangelist in the Bible is Philip. And from what I see what we call a missionary is kinda what Paul calls an evangelist. (I suspect Paul is one too.) Except that missionaries live with the people they intend to preach to. Philip went to people from tons of different cultures.

Then there are pastors. From what the Bible tells us a pastor was one who took care of a home church, and a bishop was one who oversaw all those home churches.

And as for teachers. The Bible tells us to "be not many teachers" because of the dangers one can get into by teaching wrong doctrine. The teaching of wrong doctrine is excusable now and then. After all, teachers -- like prophets and like healers-- have to grow in proportion to their faith. But all these folks who go about teaching about faith and the gospel. Well, they remind me of Apollos. They have the baptism of John (the baptism of repentance) but they don't have (and many don't believe or know about in the holy spirit baptism of fire from above) so they preach wonderful sermons about the word but there is something lacking and they need to be shown the way more perfectly. Paul talks about these folks and often says that while they should be teaching and eating meat, they are still in the need of more growth and are still drinking spiritual milk. Like I said, these folks are allowed to be ignorant for a while. But as Paul said, "I will not have you be ignorant." (He's gentle about it.) They must grow. And that means they must not think they already know everything.

How many ministers are humble and want to learn? Not many. Then they create congregations who don't know much either. -C
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