"Just Say No To Clergy"July 7th, 2010 ~ by the Generic Christian Mystic
In 2003 I was asked to be a deacon at a Baptist church. Here is a portion of my response to the Chairman of the Deacons after initially accepting and then resigning before actually serving:
I come from a Southern Baptist background, have served as a Christian schoolteacher, and also worked with the staff of an independent fundamental Baptist church. In 1982 - '84 the Holy Spirit revealed to me things I cannot ever forget. Though, for my children's sakes I recently joined a local Baptist church, I can never be 100% comfortable as a member of any organized religion or denomination. And now, the idea of being "ordained" into any church office or position for any purpose, with or without official labels, cuts across all the life the Spirit has revealed in my spirit. He is grieved when I ignore what I have been shown. And what is this tip of the iceberg of revelation that further fuels my resignation?
Religion, as humanity trying to put the Creator God in their box of philosophical traditions is a ďdead-end,Ē as we humans are limited. One critical truth remains evident however. According to my own limited, subjective, and very personal experience -- the Creator God chooses to release us from this dead-end via what I call direct revelation. God chooses to reveal the very nature of the Savior-Creator God, Jesus, via the Person of the Spirit. As triune beings, humanity is 1) flesh: (body parts, matter, chemicals, and ultimately organized energies on the atomic levels), 2) soul: (mind, emotion, will, self-consciousness, passion/reason/personality, etc) and 3) spirit: (this highly disputed part of our nature presents the most controversy, as it is eternal, a higher level of our being, supernatural, metaphysical, extra-physical in its ultimate source and destiny. It is also, as I believe, and have experienced many times in subtle and very powerful ways, a specially designed vehicle/residence for the Creator Godís Spirit to infuse awareness, communication, influence, transformation/re-birth and ultimately full revelation of the great I AM THAT I AM, the Elohim.) This being said, humanityís feeble attempts at religion, so-called, are closed off by the very unenlightened and limited-ness of tradition and millennia of cleverly crafted nice ideas that may help conform society into order but leave us out in the cold spiritually.
One thing that always bothered me about certain preachers and leaders is that they said the Bible could never be added to, the revelation of God was within it and complete and all we needed to do was follow the letter of the written law. I see the Hebrew / Christian Bible; Genesis through Revelation, as a vital, historically accurate, springboard for illumination -- a record of humanity interacting with the Creator God in all manifestations of the eternal Elohim. But beyond archival documents and tattered writs is eternal Spirit, the vitally real and unseen living Word, the Logos, that writes itself into our very nature. This ongoing presence of God as a teacher, helper, healer, friend, guide, and comforter means something can happen that troubles some religious leaders.
It is this . . .
Every person alive, can have direct access to all the wisdom and revelation of Godís truth apart from any seminary grad, any pew, and yes, even without a Bible.
Jesus of Nazareth said, ďThe Kingdom of God is within you, among you.Ē when he was asked of its whereabouts. This means that God seeks to dwell as a loving leader, protector, provider, guide, and savior in the spirits of all people. In an ideal manifestation, we are all little gods, with God within, ruling, guiding, and filling us with the Spirit. The Bible states we are all to become a sanctified kingdom of priests. We are to be overcoming saints by the blood of the Lamb -- and where does that leave man's religion?
Why and what is this thing called the clergy and laity? What is this travesty of the Pope and priests and then lastly the people? As Baptists we supposedly came out from among such things yet why do we submit ourselves to this not so subtle hierarchal division of preacher / leader, ministerial staff, various committees, trustees, deacons, and then the laity? We more progressive thinking Baptists hope to re-energize our tired deacons' ministries by finally honoring the "gifts of the Spirit" in the body. We amazingly so, find it a wonderfully unique and fresh concept to "empower the laity". Look how far we have wandered from the Spirit's first plan! We like to say as Baptists that there is no final earthly authority in the local church but the Lord. We claim to trust the Spirit to lead us but then we use Robert's Rules of Order and democratic majority vote to "hear" the Lord's will in the life of the local church?! This well-worn, tried and true, earthly process grieves my spirit to no end. Many Baptist congregations would rather have committees and the paid staff to handle all major "spiritual" decisions in the life of the church and not bother with it until it effects their pocket books.
Why is this so?
It is because most people are spiritual paupers, lazy of soul, incorrectly taught and raised, in the traditions of man, amidst religiosity, that falls far short of Godís idea of true religion. Humanityís religious "revelation" leads to comfortable error. Godís Spirit among those that know the love of the Jesus brings about a revelation of peace and not strife. When church members let personalities, egos, long-range edicts, and committee rule lead them, you will inevitably reap strife, division, wherein the kingdom of God suffers loss communally and personally. You then will have a better chance of meeting with and thereby worshiping the God of which I speak in the quiet of your own living room. Ask, seek, and knock and it, (the kingdom of God), will be given, found, and opened unto and within you. Itís what happened to me in 1974. I know this to be so -- I was there. Thank goodness for the Spirit's revelation of love and light!
Watch this video for more info:
PS: About 7 years after this letter being sent, the Lord made it very clear to my wife and I that we finally leave all religious systems and come out unto Him to meet others who have heard the same call.
God bless you my brother and sister.
E-mail me if you have comments or questions.