A Passover Letter to the COG "Ministry": LET GOD'S PEOPLE GO !!
Matthew 20:25 But Jesus called them [unto him], and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 26 But *it shall not be so among you*: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister [G1249 diakonos; attendant]; 27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Mark 10:42 But Jesus called them [to him], and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. 43 But *so shall it not be among you*: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister [G1249 diakonos; attendant]: 44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.
Luke 22:25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. 26 But *ye [shall] not [be] so*: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. 27 For whether [is] greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? [is] not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.
Matthew 20:25-28, Mark 10:42-44, and Luke 22:25-27 are clear definitions of, and a clear recognition that, an imposed systemic is employed within the COG [Church of God], ** in direct violation of Christ's instructions **. These testimonies clearly show that there is a very serious *error* within the COG which has caused and continues to cause extremely grievous repercussions !! "... For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might *destroy* the works of the devil" [1 John 3:8]. This is the purpose, the commission of the Church, to destroy the works of the devil, not to mimic and employ his systemic !! The nature of the beast is directing the COG, not the nature of God. We must understand that God does NOT desire to exercise lordship over us - it is Satan's desire to exercise dominion over others; God's purpose, desire, is the exact opposite: ** it is to serve His creation ** IN RELATIONSHIP, and this, our relationship, *is* the GOVERNMENT of GOD !!
The COG is not a hierarchy, a one-man rule with a professional ministry, ranking the "gifts of God," nor is it a professional eldership, with many "gifts of the ministry" within the eldership.The COG is a "ministry of gifts" imparted to all those within whom the Spirit of God resides, a common ministry of the brethren, each with a gift, or gifts that God has given them, freely sharing all that God has freely shared with them [in a reciprocal relationship, with each other and with God], for the edification of the body of Christ, for the work of the ministry, their ministry. The work of the ministry [the ministration of gifts] belongs to the entire body of believers, equipped, guided, and encouraged by a mutual sharing of God's gifts, to expound and apply His Word with wisdom and power.
The body of Christ is held together by every part working together. Each Christian has a ministry given to them by God - each has stewardship responsibilities, authority, and full accountability to God. There is no professional ministry, no corporate church [the COG Inc.], no ranking of spiritual gifts, no division into ministry and laity, no copyrighting of God's truth [God owns the copyright; no money, no price]. No man has the right to put his name on any understanding given by God, an understanding to be placed on the common table, in proper humility [with no thought of reward or recognition], for all to eat. We are all brethren, no more, no less !! The COG is not a business, the COG Family is a community !!
The COG community is patterned on local, autonomous, loosely-confederated congregations, with those mature in the spirit [elders] chosen within each, gently leading in servant authority, leading by persuasive example [we love Christ because He first loved us], not bosses over God's church, not imposing, but guiding [as arbiter with Christ] each congregation in their gifted dialogue, their reasoning together, with the spirit of God leading, to an understanding of the truth of God, and abiding in that truth.
Christ's desire is to use the church-community to show the world a wholly new form of authority. But this new form of authority is nullified by the top-down, command-style structure that prevails in the COG today. The Gospel is negated even before it is proclaimed, because we deny its power with the way we conduct our lives and our church business. As a result, God is robbed of His glory and His image is distorted before the watching world. Nothing could be more serious than this !!
The COG must withdraw out of this world's systemic [be ye separate; be not partakers], we must withdraw out of its unholy and unrighteous ways into God's separate and self-sufficient community [Holy and Righteous in *all* our ways; a *living* witness]. How we stand in *relation* to our fellow man and his society as his future judge [1 Cor 6:2, the saints shall judge the world, the angels] is paramount. We cannot partake of another's sin, or be the cause or occasion of the same, or our role as judge is negated !! The COG systemic must be *of God* NOT of man [we are under judgment now]; how can we mete out judgment when we are guilty of complicity in the very sins being judged ?? The COG must be the alternative community, the *full* preaching and witness [our citizenship wholly conformed to the Gospel], the light that the world can see and turn to. We must not participate in this imposed, evil systemic [the false god of business and its monetary system, its instrumentality of oppression], helping to build holocaust, while at the same time planning our escape. God's people must strive to be self-sufficient in *all* their ways, ie., negative-interest community currency(-ies) used within the confederated, communitarian community-congregations.
Our withdrawal into God's community is only possible if we truly go to our scattered brethren [in love, in prayer, trusting in God] to resolve any differences [instead of accusing, marking, calling our judgment "tough love"]; we have more in common than in difference [the carnal wall of division and strife is money, position, and personality]. The COG has a different mind [God's mind], a different attitude [Holy, righteous, spiritual character], and a different purpose in life [to destroy the works of the devil]. The COG walks a different path, guided by God's MAP [mind, attitude, purpose] and spiritual compass [the Holy Spirit showing us the way]. The work of the COG is to believe on Christ [John 6:29], to be committed unto, to be persuaded of, to trust, to follow Christ, in all of His Ways. All things are possible with God !!
The various COG Inc.'s must be disestablished in total. Restitution must be made to *all* brethren [past and present; we must forgive each other]. God's people must be let go, must be set free by the professional ministry, who are opposing God both in mind and in form. They too, must take their proper place within God's ministry of gifts. We must all go to God in deep humility, in weeping and mourning, and ask for His forgiveness. We must ask God to lead us into His righteous community, to establish His community filled with agape love and healing !! We must repair the breach, and restore the paths to *dwell* in. The Ministry of Reconciliation begins within the Church of God.