April 9, 2017: Christ’s Waning Authority in the Church

“In His own proper time He [Christ]will exert it [His authority] to the full, but during this period in history, He allows this authority to be challenged or ignored. And just now it is being challenged by the world and ignored by the church.” –AW Tozer

“It is easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled.” Mark Twain

Christ: Figurehead or Lord?

“Among the gospel churches Christ is now in fact little more than a beloved symbol. ‘All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name’ is the church’s national anthem and the cross is her official flag, but in the week-by-week services of the church and the day-by-day conduct of her members, someone else, not Christ, makes the decisions. Under proper circumstances Christ is allowed to say ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden’ or ‘Let not your heart be troubled,’ but when the speech is finished someone else takes over. Those in actual authority decide the moral standards of the church, as well as all objectives and all methods employed to achieve them. Because of long and meticulous organization it is now possible for the youngest pastor just out of seminary to have more actual authority in a church than Jesus Christ has.”

-AW Tozer

All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. -Jesus. Matthew 28:18

TO CHRIST, OR NOT TO CHRIST. THOSE ARE THE CHOICES.

There are three options according to the world:
1)   Follow Christ and His desires
2)   Follow the enemy and his desires
3)   Just do your own thing – nothing bad, possibly very good things, but apart from the Lord. ex: Peter with Ananias and Saphira

But really there are only TWO choices:
1) We follow Christ and His desires
2) We follow the flesh

“The error the believer makes lies right here in that he only knows that the evil of the flesh must be destroyed without appreciating that the good of the flesh needs to be done away with as well. He is unaware of the fact that the righteousness of the flesh belongs as much to the flesh as its evil. The flesh remains flesh, no matter how good or how bad. What imperils a Christian is his ignorance of, or his reluctance to face up to, the necessity of ridding himself of everything of the flesh, including what is good. He must positively recognize that the good of the flesh is not one bit more presentable than its evil, for both pertain to the flesh.” -Watchman Nee

How does the church look when the Lord Jesus Christ is a figurehead and not a functional Lord of all:

  • The cross is only mentioned as a means for an escape from hell unto heaven
    “Among the plastic saints of our times, Jesus has to do all the dying, and all we want to hear is another sermon about His dying.” – A.W. Tozer
  • Waiting on the Lord is a forgotten and forsaken aspect of life in Him
  • Only pastors, bishops, elders, prophets, or the same group of people speak on behalf of Christ and everyone else listens and this is the norm.
  • Certain ones make decisions for the church with or without seeking Christ
  • Certain people sing and lead others in singing
  • The church looks just like a fortune 500 company (chairman of the board)
  • The message that comes from the church is “have a life, your own life, your best life, a good life, and Jesus will bless your life, OR how to properly live your life.”
  • The poor, widows, and orphans are neglected because all the money goes to paying employees, putting on events and maintaining a corporate headquarters (building)
  • The message of guilt is heralded night and day.

How does the church look when the Lord Jesus Christ is the functional Lord of all:

  • The members live a crucified life. They deny themselves for the sake of Christ having His way.
  • The church prohibits what is not according to Christ and His heavenly reality, and She permits what Christ has already accomplished according to the Heavenly reality
  • The members function as a priesthood under the High Priest.
  • The church is able to discern what is of the Lord and what isn’t.
  • There is practical seeking the mind of Christ together and waiting on the Lord.
  • The Lord is free to speak and act through whomever He wills.

Resources:

What’s with Paul and Women by Jon Zens

The Waning Authority Of Christ In The Churches by A. W. Tozer

God’s Spiritual House- T. Austin Sparks

 

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