As I am sure you realize the church was not given a top-down dictatorial government structure although several church denominations adopted that structure, during the dark ages. The New Testament church was an organization that advised believers and any who would listen. Pastors admonish and exhort people according to the written and spoken word of God. Paul especially gave us an example to follow as an apostle and pastor by both encouraging people and correcting dangerous situations. He also supported the believers searching the scriptures themselves to verify what he preached.
Acts 17:11 New International Version
“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”
Pastors and leaders cannot fall into the error of thinking they are the ultimate authority in their spiritual house for understanding the scriptures or for understanding the times in which we live. But like airline pilots, they are trusted to make decisions on what direction to go and determine many safety of flight issues.
Staying with this aviation metaphor and looking at a typical military chain of command, an Apostle is like the air-wing Admiral or General, the air-wing is over a group of squadrons in the Navy. They are equipped with strategic information that will solve problems and improve the mission. Many apostles do this and are also like architects you would hire to design a building for a specific purpose. God has been telling us through the prophets and apostles that He is bringing new wineskins for His gospel to be contained in. This is an invitation to creative type people.
I am not ashamed, even if I’ve come across as one who has overstated the authority given to us by the Lord. For it is the authority to help build you up, not tear you down.
The prophet is like an intelligence officer, or perhaps a forward observer or even an air traffic controller – seeing things happening in the atmosphere and communicating that to the pilots.
People need in-person church services more than ever and the mission of making disciples should be the focus of the hour. The spiritual fishing net has to be strengthened now before it is bursting at the seams with an influx of new believers. It is essential that pastors don’t make a diet out of mainstream media in this era we live in as they will be influenced by lies and deception and even pass those things on to their people. Blindly following the suggestions of people who hate God is obviously dangerous. We must develop an understanding of the times that we live in.
Consider 1 Chronicles 12:1 NKJV:
“Now these were the men who came to David at Ziklag while he was still a fugitive from Saul the son of Kish; and they were among the mighty men, helpers in the war, armed with bows, using both the right hand and the left…”
The nation of Israel was very important and is carefully followed in the Bible. So is the United States of America in our era. By God’s grace, we hold a pivotal role in the world that promotes liberty and faith in God. It would be wrong for us to think that the leadership of our nation is arbitrary and irrelevant to us as Christians. Consider verse 18:
“Then the Spirit came upon Amasai, chief of the captains, and he said:”
“We are yours, O David;
We are on your side, O son of Jesse!
Peace, peace to you,
And peace to your helpers!
For your God helps you.”
This has a very metaphorical sound that speaks to me of supporting God-ordained leaders in our day at every level of government. The chapter continues and makes this important statement:
31 “of the half-tribe of Manasseh eighteen thousand, who were designated by name to come and make David king; 32 of the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their command; 33 of Zebulun there were fifty thousand who went out to battle, expert in war with all weapons of war, stouthearted men who could keep ranks;“
None of us can view our situations or responsibilities toward God as fatalistic but as opportunistic – hopefully, we don’t miss what He truly wants us to do. But thank God that He does things for us that are too difficult if not impossible for us to do. Consider what Daniel reveals:
Daniel 2:20-22 NKJV:
20 Daniel answered and said:
“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
For wisdom and might are His.
21 And He changes the times and the seasons;
He removes kings and raises up kings;
He gives wisdom to the wise
And knowledge to those who have understanding.
22 He reveals deep and secret things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
And light dwells with Him.
Pastors have been in a difficult situation this past year knowing they can’t just tell people to go home and close the doors to the church, many have used creative ways and creative ideas to touch people more personally. Pastors cannot hide behind the idea that they are submitting to the government and that’s all the Bible requires of them. That line of reasoning is not going to be justified before God.
Psalm 34 :14-17(TPT)
Keep turning your back on every sin,
and make “peace” your life motto.
Practice being at peace with everyone.
The Lord sees all we do;
he watches over his friends day and night.
His godly ones receive the answers they seek
whenever they cry out to him.
But the Lord has made up his mind to oppose evildoers
and to wipe out even the memory of them
from the face of the earth.
Yet when holy lovers of God cry out
to him with all their hearts,
the Lord will hear them and come to rescue them
from all their troubles.
The situation with the election fraud is not something to fatalistically swallow and hope for the best. Prayer is our survival. The problem is that if you ignore what God is showing you in His word and willingly line yourself up with Satan’s end-time agenda you will be affected by that decision. I admire Calvary Chapel for pursuing keeping their churches open throughout 2020 and of course, some of them have been fined large amounts of money. It is simply one of many decisions churches and pastors must make along that difficult path between the world and the Great Commission.
Pastors that don’t listen to the top apostles and prophets of the body of Christ and simply do what seems best to them will eventually make mistakes that could have been avoided. The church is neither a dictatorship nor a democracy. It is not a corporation with a board of directors, but an association of people with various gifts and callings under the leadership of God’s Spirit. A pastor is someone who brings spiritual food to this group. In God’s kingdom the highest leadership positions, the apostles and prophets, don’t have direct line authority over independent churches. Their ministry relies on pastors choosing to embrace their important advisory information.
Pastors and teachers have to choose to integrate that top leadership into the direction of their Church. Much of the apostolic leadership is subject-oriented. Lou Engle is an apostle for the unborn. I call Lana Vawser a prophetess commissioned to help guide the church into revival.
Many of our strategies get corrupted over time. Warmth can become lukewarm water if we constrain our preaching to remain in a tight circle of subjects and styles. We have to stay open to hearing from the whole body of Christ. People like John Bevere sometimes get rejected by churches with tight standards for their gospel message style when he should be considered. Seeker friendly can turn into easy salvation, no discipleship, and never talking about the tough issues touching the moral laws of our land.
Here is a quote from Mario Murillo’s blog:
Steve Hill saw a vision of a coming storm that had the potential to destroy millions of Christians because of false teachings that are rampant throughout the church. “The Lord began to speak. I trembled. The fresh, new snow represented the false teaching that is steadily falling on the ears of the body of Christ. It has been, and is, a heavy snowfall. The skiers represented believers and non-believers, trusting the resort for a safe and memorable experience. As Christians, we have been warned to be sober and vigilant (1 Peter 5:8).
Above quoted from <https://mariomurilloministries.wordpress.com/>
Mario Murillo is another voice that has an important message for our day but gets rejected by those who consider his message too strong.