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2.01.2013

Prophets, priests, and kings...and church

I personally think that *ideally* a church gathering is a gathering of *kings*. Individuals who are prophets, priests, and kings all in one. That includes males and females. And to really make an extended analogy, where in history do we see gatherings of kings? On battlefields. So if everybody can hold their own, biblically and doctrinally, then anyone who tries to lord it over anyone else in some off-the-mark way is in for quite a test of strength.

I see Christianity as being a high bar in terms of getting understanding of the Bible itself and doctrine and practice, but the Holy Spirit enables us to meet and exceed that bar.

Then once we get that real understanding, then ‘authoritative preacher guy’ and ‘shallow pastor guy’ and ‘false teacher guy’ and ‘pure vicious wolf guy’ can all be dealt with because we understand them. Of course, they’re going to know they don’t want you in their dominion, except for maybe ‘shallow pastor guy’, who I have more sympathy for, especially if he’s shy and trying really hard and means well.

This subject gets into ecclesiology and what a church, or gathering of Christians, is all about, or is supposed to be about. People have legitimate differences of seeing it. The most famous Calvinist in England – John Owen – differed with Calvin on church issues. (Owen was a Congregationalist.) In fact, most Calvinists in history and today differ with Calvin on ecclesiolgy and sacramentology.

John Bunyan, another famous Calvinist, when in court and asked by an Anglican judge why he didn’t belong to a local church said he didn’t see it in Scripture. I wish I still had the quote because Bunyan put it more pointedly. Didn’t mean you’d never see Bunyan in a church. But it’s about fear of God vs. fear of man.

For me, a church should be like a sanctuary where you can go to learn and meditate, read, listen, experience a quiet interlude from the world. Churches in the Old World are more conducive to that, perhaps. But that’s just me, my type.

For instance, we can’t get away from the basic fact that Christianity is a religion of the Book. God revealed Himself in language that we can read. And a church should be a place where that Book is read and we can read it and really get understanding of it. Parts in relation to the whole understanding of it. Not rely on one person only to know it. God wants us *all* to be prophets (knowing His word, able to speak in prayer to Him), priests (able to sacrifice our old nature in emulation of our High Priest Jesus Christ), and kings (able to command our inner domain and cultivate our new nature), while, of course, recognizing the *authority* of the Prophet, Priest, and King *above us* Jesus Christ Himself. There is one Mediator between God and man, Jesus Christ.

The Kingdom of God is a ‘Kingdom.’ And when God is the King that system of government works out well and is the best.

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