As a Christ Follower that is only interested in the word of God over the opinions and wisdom of men, I found it amazing how we value our English translations over the original translations of the bible. That even after we find out something conflicts we train ourselves to be OK with the contradiction. For example, we have 1 John 2:27 says “As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.” Yet we have pastors preaching that you MUST obey your pastor and submit to them. (which is taken from Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.) Lets take a look at this scripture in Greek and see the difference from our English translations.
In Heb 13:17, believers are encouraged to “obey” church leaders. Interestingly, the Greek behind “obey” is not the regular Greek word for “obey.” Instead, peitho is used, which literally means “to persuade” or “to convince.” Thus, Heb 13:17 should be rendered “let yourselves be persuaded by.” This same verse also instructs believers to “submit” to the authority of their church leaders. As with “obey,” the common Greek word for “submit” is not used. Instead, hupeiko was chosen by the author, a word meaning “to give in, to yield” after a fight. It was used of combatants.
Thus, God’s flock is to be open to being “persuaded by” (peitho) elders. In the course of on-going discussion and teaching the flock is to be “convinced by” (peitho) its leaders. Mindless slave-like obedience is not the relationship pictured in the NT between elders and other Believers.
Much may be gleaned from the way that NT writers made appeals directly to entire churches. They went to great lengths to influence ordinary “rank and file” believers. The apostles did not simply bark orders and issue injunctions (as a military commander might do). Instead, they treated other believers as equals and appealed directly to them as such. No doubt local church leaders led in much the same way. The respect they were given was honestly earned. It was the opposite of military authority wherein soldiers respect the rank but not necessarily the man.
Heb 13:7 reflects the fact that the leadership “style” employed by elders is primarily one of direction by example: “Remember your leaders… Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” Along this same line, 1 Th 5:12-13 reveals that godly elders are to be respected, not because of automatically inferred authority of rank, but because of the value of their service–”Hold them in highest regard in love because of their work.” Jesus said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave” (Mt 20:25-28).
We cannot allow our doctrines to contradict other parts of the word. What we have done is, explain one scripture but ignored the others because it doesn’t make sense to us. We have to just be OK with not knowing sometimes and allow the holy spirit to reveal it. Remember that our ways are not his ways and that what we think or how we feel often comes from our deceitful hearts. Don’t be too prideful to think you can’t be deceived, remember Jesus warn his very disciples not to be deceived by false teachers. These people heard Jesus word from his mouth yet they even had to be careful not to be deceived.
PASTORS, DEACONS, ELDERS ARE GREAT according to the word of God but the way leadership works today vs. the early Christians life described in ACTS and many history books, it DOES NOT LOOK LIKE TODAY’S.
So brothers and sisters, submit to Christ not man, For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time. 1 Timothy 2:5-6
DO NOT THINK THAT THIS MEANS TEACHERS AND ELDERS/PASTORS ARE BAD. That is not the point of this message. PLEASE DONT ACCUSE ME OF BEING AGAINST TEACHERS WHEN I QUOTED 1 JOHN 2:27; AS IF THE TEACHING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO TEACH US. DO YOU SEE WHAT OUR SINFUL NATURE IS TRYING TO DO, ITS TRYING TO LESSEN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT FOR HUMAN TEACHERS. AND IF I BELIEVED TEACHERS WERE BAD… WHY WOULD I BOTHER TO WRITE THIS LETTER TO TEACH?
Are we equal?
8″But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ. 11The greatest among you will be your servant. 12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
Or is this the display of the body? With elevated people who are HIGHER and MORE IMPORTANT than another.