#1 – God is Number One
When Martin Luther posted his “95 Theses” on the castle door in Wittenburg, Germany, 500 years ago, thus initiating (whether he knew it or not at the time) the “Protestant Reformation,” his focus was aimed at reforming “the church” (the Roman Catholic Church, of which he was a part). He was focused on significant deviations from the patterns and commands of scripture that he observed in the church, such as the sale of indulgences, whereby one could essentially purchase a “get out of hell free” card (and which served to enrich the church official who sold the indulgence).
Luther was right to complain: i.e., he was scriptural in doing so, following the example of the Berean Christians who did not just take Paul’s words as “gospel” but who searched the scriptures daily to see whether or not what he was telling them was true (Acts 17:11).
Did Luther go far enough in his reforms? Well, it did little or nothing to change the Roman Catholic Church, and the “Protestant” churches that remained after Luther followed most of the same templates, moderated only by degrees.
Fortunately, in our day, there is a real awakening amongst believers who comprise the ecclesia (the word in the original Greek New Testament that has been systematically replaced with the word “church” and which has a completely different meaning), and many are, refreshingly, seeking to know what God’s true intent is for the ecclesia to be and to do.
As yesterday’s email article said, we are actively seeking some leaders for a very specific task – one that follows that pathway of discovering God’s intent for the ecclesia and that focuses on both living it out in practice and leading others to do the same. What will follow over the next few days, then, is a bit more elaboration on each of the 16 points of qualification that we listed.
The first qualification for one who would serve with us is that he (*English lesson: the correct personal pronoun for singular third person of indeterminate gender is, by the rules of English grammar, he, not “they” [which is plural], so this includes you ladies, too) must have impeccable INTEGRITY with a wholesome FEAR (respect, honor) and REVERANCE for Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. One must be IN Christ AND know who he* IS in Christ. God must rule as King in all areas of his life as THE Authority.
The task in front of us includes building essentially a university of learning, going back to many things that have been forgotten over the past 1700 years or so, and including some things that believers are just now finally starting to figure out. But whether or not you believe in new revelation (and that is not the purpose of this article), one thing that must be agreed upon is that God is foundational. He alone is true authority. Like the saying goes, if Jesus isn’t Lord of all, He isn’t Lord AT all. You, the reader, either understand that … or you don’t. If you don’t, we’re still talking, and we hope that this series will be of assistance to you, but our purpose here is, first off, to identify those who agree with our foundational premise: that God, our Creator, is at the top, and that His Son, Jesus Christ, is our Lord and Savior.
Jesus was not just a great teacher … or story teller … or prophet … or rabbi. He did not come to teach pacifistic everybody-feel-good peace. He is not rivaled by Muhammad or Buddha or Socrates. He is the Son of God, the Creator of all, the Word of God, the Savior of mankind, our great High Priest and King. And when people really grasp Who Jesus is, and start to think of His Ecclesia in those same terms, it starts to become clear why Rome and the leaders of Israel were so intent on killing Him. Well, guess what? He didn’t stay dead. Muhammad, Buddha, Socrates – all deader than dead, but Jesus rose the third day. And we who are His followers are pretty keen on following Him even better. And if you want an unofficial theme song for what we’re about, go to YouTube and type in, “God’s Not Dead!”
Now, this is not intended to be a doctrinal lesson, per se, but it is aimed at “separating the sheep from the goats.” There is much very serious business ahead of us, in every sense of the word, and it would be just plain silly to even think of setting out on the same boat together unless we agree at the outset on our destination.
So … still with us?
Come back tomorrow.