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The Role of the Church in These Last Days

We feel the main call of every Christian is to reach the lost, giving them the gospel of Jesus Christ. We believe that it is not the will of God that any man should perish, therefore we must ensure that every person hears of the mercy and salvation God has offered to them through His son, Jesus Christ. Beyond that, the function of the Church is to look after the widows and orphans, the poor and imprisoned, and one another. We do not believe that the Church should be involved in building and maintaining costly structures, holding worldly events and programs, and incurring assorted, needless expenses. We feel denominationalism and individual titles for a group of believers, other than a reference to their location, must end, in order for unity to exist in the Body. We believe that the most economical and purest way for believers to fellowship and assemble to hear the Word of God and to worship is in the simplicity of one's home, or outdoors, as was done in the early Church and by Jesus Christ. However, a building could be utilized by several fellowships, as long as no one is claiming a name for themselves, their fellowship or their leader.

There are some radical stands we feel compelled to make. We are strongly anti-denominational, believing there should be no division among the members of the Body of Christ. As long as we have division, bickering, partiality, etc., we are carnal-minded and out of God's will. We are against paid professionalism, among church leaders. We interpret Paul's statement that a workman is worthy of his wages to mean that if a person is working for the gospel, their needs should be provided for. Those needs would mean basic provisions of food, clothing, and shelter, for the period of time a person is working. In our hearts, we feel this applies to mission and church planting work, when someone has no other support while working hard, physically for the benefit of others. This does not mean a secure, guaranteed salary, health and car insurance and other benefits, which deprive a spiritual leader the joy of walking in faith and trust in the Lord. Paul also said he worked to earn his own living, (making tents) so that he would not be a burden to the body. We believe that those working for the gospel of Jesus Christ should not be hirelings, but people whose hearts are in what they are doing because they want to serve their King, Jesus. Therefore we are opposed to the practice of organizations that pattern themselves after the world, paying grand salaries to presidents, vice-presidents, CEOs, and other "professionals."

We realize this is a painful revelation to the many pastors and professionals in the Christian ranks, whom we have known and dearly love. We are sorry. It is not our intention to judge or condemn anyone. There are many who genuinely love Jesus and want to serve Him in all sincerity. We know many. They are working in the system that exists, and probably never considered it to be out of line with God's word and will. We ask you to now examine your hearts in the pure light of the Lord's Truth and see if there is any impure motive or selfish ambition in your heart. If there is not, walk in peace with your God and know that we love you.

The love of money is the root of all evil. And the love of money has become the predominate motivation of most men on the earth today. Sadly, the many churches and Christian organizations have become so money-hungry, much of what passes as "Christian ministry," has been reduced to a means of accomplishing success and wealth. Nearly every person in the ministry must do battle with the temptation to be successful by worldly standards and the desire to achieve wealth and fame. The word says we should not put up money for interest. Most preachers will speak against gambling, too. Yet many large ministries, churches and organizations are investing in the stock market and are supporting businesses with questionable morals. Brothers and sisters in Christ, it has to stop! Who will give up their hope of any worldly gain to step forward and say, "Yes Lord, let it stop with me. I will not compromise for the sake of earthly security!"

We believe every member of the Body of Christ should participate in worship, testimony, prayer and other ministries of the Church. The common practice of esteemed "clergy" in exalted positions, while "commoners" sit as spectators only, is unscriptural. No one man or woman should be employed to lead a fellowship of believers for monetary compensation. While some more experienced and scripturally knowledgeable men may lead a group for a season, for the sake of discipleship and preparation, and deserves to be sheltered and fed for that period, every member of the Church should soon be matured and able to minister to the Body and witness to the lost.

We believe it is acceptable for expenses to be provided for one who travels a distance to help establish a group of believers, as the fellowship is able, as was done for Paul, Peter, etc., but the practice of consuming most of the Body's resources to provide total security and high salaries to "professionals" is unscriptural. Tithes and offerings should be distributed among members of the Body, as they have genuine need, and fellowships should have a plan for supporting various missionaries and ministries that are doing valiant works with the lost, poor, widows and orphans and imprisoned. These ministries and missions should be chosen carefully, paying special attention to ensure that good stewardship is being practiced and that money is going to those who are actually working among the poor, hungry and lost, not used up, paying professional wages to hirelings. While some could argue that corporate charities and organizations can do more than a small group, it is possible that small groups, who have no need to pay corporate wages to professionals, may actually operate with greater efficiency. We believe so much more good can be done with the Body's resources than supporting and maintaining a building and professional wages.

We profess that the example shown by Christ and His Apostles was the laying down of worldly gain for the prospect of Heavenly gain. The Son of God had no place to lay His head. Early Christians and many workers in gospel-hostile nations are suffering for the sake of Christ. They have lost everything and many, even their lives. In light of this, we see no scriptural basis for prosperity teaching. If you are doing damage to the realm of darkness and are promoting the Kingdom of Christ, then Satan, the god of this world, hates you, and will cause you to suffer for the sake of Jesus Christ. To the Christian, loss is gain and death is life. Nevertheless, we are told count all this suffering as joy, for great is our reward in Heaven. We are puzzled to see so many claim that their work for Christ entitles them to mansions on earth, Lear jets, exotic vacations disguised as retreats or mission trips, designer clothing for the sake of professional appearance, investments in corporations and stock, using ministry funds or excess from huge salaries taken from ministry funds. We declare this to be an abomination in the eyes of Heaven, the saints, the Apostles and Jesus Christ our Lord.

Finally, we acknowledge that our stands are difficult ones, but cannot be compromised. However, we make no effort other than to pray and speak the truth as God leads us. We make no orations to condemn but only in hopes of convicting. Transforming the Body of Christ from the many carnal, greedy, divisive, worldly kingdoms it has become, back into the original intention our Lord had for His Church, is much too big a task for mere men to accomplish. Hard-hearted, rebellious, stubborn people will strongly oppose our stand with many arguments, and some may become very angry. Just the same, we believe God will restore the Bride and He will do it whether ministries, leaders, denominations, organizations comply or resist. Worldly fellowships will be torn down and pure fellowships will be strengthened, as the hour of Christ's return draws near. When the people are scrambling for daily survival and basic needs, carnal hierarchies will crumble. Hard times and persecution have always been good for the Church.

There is only one Church, not many churches. There is only one Body and one Head which is Christ, the Lord. Let us repent and become that which our Lord so dearly paid for, with His precious blood.

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