Even the advent of so-called protestant, evangelical and pentecostal ‘churches’ has been motivated by the same spirit, as witnessed by the continual misinterpretation of the Word of God. None of these is a ‘church’, as the Church is not an organization, but the Body of Christ – a purely spiritual entity (Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:18,24).
Once one is saved, by believing and receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, one automatically becomes part of the Church – the spiritual Body of Christ – without joining or attending any organization.
However, for the sake of encouraging, strengthening, comforting and assisting one another (1 Corinthians 14:26; Acts 20:28), believers may meet informally, for instance, in their neighbourhoods (at each others’ homes, or any other place agreed upon), at any times that they feel the need to meet – not necessarily only on a Sunday or Sabbath.
In contrast to what is happening today, there is no need to worship on a particular day at a particular venue that is considered to be the house of God. This helps in developing the believer’s relationship with God, as worshiping and reading His Word in one’s home strengthens them spiritually – by communicating with the Holy Spirit and reading the Bible more – thereby God’s power manifesting in their lives more significantly.
As opposed to today’s situation whereby believers are dependent on ‘pastors’ to help them realize the power of the Holy Spirit in them, rendering them (believers) spiritually ineffective – even relying on these ‘pastors’ for healings, blessings, etc, despite believers having the power to achieve these on their own (John 14:12).
What we have today is totally unscriptural. Firstly, He explicitly instructed believers not to crave power and titles (Matthew 23: 5-12), and yet these organizations are led by people wanting to be worshipped as idols.
Secondly, God warns us against the love of money (1 Timothy 6: 5-10; 1 Peter 5: 1-4), however, from the very first so-called ‘church’ till today, leaders have sought to serve themselves, not the flock of God.
Furthermore, as we were all commanded to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28: 18-20), we can accomplish this either by pastoring, evangelizing, teaching, etc, therefore, all of us are called to these (Ephesians 4: 10-13). These are varied methods of ministering, and not leadership positions over others in the Church.
In order to effectively minister, Paul set a very admirable precedent – he worked as a tentmaker to earn the resources for his ministerial work and did not rely on other believers – the Church (Acts 20: 34; 1 Thessalonians 2:9).
As such, the Church is under no obligation whatsoever for the upkeep of those who preach the gospel.
So where do believers bring their tithes? As God now dwells within believers, the thanksgiving meal – tithing – can be given in one’s own home with his/her family, and – if one wishes – the poor.
Therefore, forming an organization in order to preach the gospel to all nations might appear noble, but as evidenced over the past centuries, these organizations have done nothing except work contrary to God’s Word and, as such, should be disregarded (Revelation 2: 2,3), as they have proved no better than the Pharisees and teachers of the law in Jesus Christ’s earthly days (Matthew 23: 13 – 36). – TENDAI MBOFANA, TINTA MBOFANA, by e-mailPost published in: Letters to the Editor