Scriptures about church… as we live them #3

Alan Knox runs a great website called The Assembling of the Church which touches on many of the issues tackled in the book Pagan Christianity that we are discussing from a different angle. One series that he does is called “Scripture… as we live it”, where he ‘edits’ bible verses to expose how we sometimes do church unbiblically. I think it’s a great concept. Here is an example of how Alan thinks we often live out Scripture today:

And God has appointed in the church first apostles although they won’t be around much longer, second prophets but you won’t need them after getting this letter, third teachers – you’ll always, always, always need teachers, then miracles which will obviously stop soon, then gifts of healing which will stop along with miracles, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues which will also stop – so mainly just teachers, administrators, and their helpers. (1 Corinthians 12:28 re-mix)

Do you agree with Alan? Have we elevated teaching above other important leadership functions and lost some of the experiences of the Holy Spirit Paul is talking about here?


2 thoughts on “Scriptures about church… as we live them #3

  1. Hi brother JC. To be honest, the remix as it is written there does not set well with my spirit. The main offices Paul highlighted served as a guideline and serves to help us understand the giftings we have and possibly the mix of these giftings, God the Holy Spirit can at any time use you to do His will and perform His purpose in any situation if He deems to do so, and normally you might not, say for example, be known in the church as blessed with the specific gift of healing, but a situation may arise in the world and you may be the only one present that God will use then, sometimes God even uses us in gifting areas for brief times, outside of what we know we have been granted and tested in our own lives, for me it has taught me that God wants you to develop to maturity, christ likeness, and Jesus Christ certainly could do all:

    One can consider Paul as being an example of a mature man/child of God, and one can identify him as having functioned in quite a few of the main giftings he pointed out for us as a guidline.

    Many people find their identity not in Jesus Christ, but in their area of gifting rather than God, some even lack the faith and desire to test someone else in their gift, of say prophesy, and is it true or not or they have fear to allow God to teach them and have them function in another gift even for but a brief moment, or have no understanding of the example of a body and its different parts. In my experience I have heard of and experienced many times where God uses you to function in all giftings, or more than you are usually familiar with. What I am trying to say is, I have seen, heard and experienced with my own eyes that God still uses us, others and myself in these areas of giftings discussed in 1 Cor 12.

    A few months ago I had trouble seeing the Pastors and the songs in church properly and it just became worse, since my eye sight was starting to become poor due to my type of work I do some time last year, and having had to wear glasses for little less than a year, it was quite a worry, being someone that also drives a motor bike, wearing glasses is not easy, and I found it quite impossible with my set of specs, buying contact lenses was out of the question also, since I can’t afford it right now.
    So as I have been doing since last year, continued praing for God to heal my eye sight, to help me to see better and be able to drive my bike without glasses, I even layed my own hands on my eyes and prayed healing over my eyes. Then one morning when I went to get my licence, they tested my eyes and found that my eye sight was 85 % compared to the previous test last year, where I barely scraped through the long distance eye test. A marked improvement, the full blow of this miracle only brought me to tears when I went to church that same week, sitting at the back where I usually do, and making ready to put on my glasses noticed I can read the songs and see the Pastor properly without them! So in conclusion, this is one example where God tested me, do I believe He can heal me?Do I have to find someone with a gift of healing, or can I just rely on God doing it when I ask it of Him?(All our gifts comes from God in the first place, and we are simply supposed to be a humble vessel through which God will work). My gifts are teaching, serving and exhortation normally.
    The point is, when we start thinking more of some giftings than others, we often find our identity and self-worth in them, rather than in Christ, we start looking down on others when we regard their gifts less important, we soon begin to devalue it and stop believing in the power of God in those giftings (regard them with a faithless attitude), teachers are often idolized and many people desire to be one cause of the attention they often get. Then things like the remix start to happen, people idolize the gifts they desire or deem the best and forget the rest. God clearly shows no favouritism, perhaps we must asses ourselves regarding this, since it definitely is something I have seen to be the case in the universal church of God.

    The main purpose of these giftings, singled out by Paul, was not to place them on a pedestal to be idolized, but to highlight the purpose of these giftings for the edification of the church of God for the ministry of the gospel, preparation and equipping of the saints for the ministry of the gospel, to bring the good news and set the captives free. If these gifts are not present around you, you have quite a few questions to ask, the Holy Spirit is always moving and placing the power of God into the focus of only a few gifts, is degrading and disregarding Gods purpose and abundance for the people of God. Open to hear from you others :)?

    • Hi NC. You made some beautiful points, I was encouraged by your testimony of your eyes (we praise the Lord for that!) and also of what you said about how our gifts do not define who we are to God or even how we must always minister. I think it is true that our desire for the sensational can make certain gifts admired above others, such as someone who is used by the Spirit to perform a healing becoming more famous than someone who prays in tongues.

      I would like to add that I actually understood the verse remix very differently. It felt to me that Alan was trying to point out that we may cling to the gifts which are more easy to fake and then disregard other gifts – even come up with excuses for them not being relevant anymore – to cover up our lack of true spiritual power… I have experienced some parts of Christianity (myself included) that overemphasize the gift of teaching, sometimes because it appeals to intellectual pride the most, while there seem to be no other supernatural manifestations of the Spirit. It’s easier to fake preaching than to fake prophecy in some ways…

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