More institutional thinkinggreenspun.com : LUSENET : church of Christ : One Thread
We all must answer the question: Who is my spiritual head? Until we can give up the tradition of mere man being our spiritual head we will not allow God to fulfill His plan in us. We are taught, many times, that the husband is the spiritual head of his wife. Thus, often we see women who have no incentive to seek God on their own. Many simply live through their husbands, taking on THEIR beliefs instead of having their own.
Then through tradition we have been taught the Eldership is the spiritual head. In such cases people are not taught to think for themselves nor go against such men, believing when disobeying the Eldership they are disobeying God. Many times intimidation keeps such people in line with what the Eldership (mere men) want them to belief. Some can testify that if the Eldership is disobeyed the person who might want to think for himself will be invited to go elsewhere. Once a preacher's wife wrote a book that was used in a ladies class I attended. The author made the statement that if the elders asked that all children be left in the nursery and someone didn't want to leave the child in the nursery, that person should go elsewhere because the Eldership was to be obeyed.
The fact the each person will stand before Almighty God to give an answer for the deeds done in the body tells us that we must have no one between ourselves and our Father, except His Son Jesus. Everyone will stand alone. Wives won't have their husbands answering for them. The Eldership won't stand with anyone to give an answer as to why the person should be let into heaven. Each of us will be judged by our own faith and obedience.
Tradition that is taken as law is a deadly evil. "Be not many of you teachers." This warning should strike at the heart of each of us as we seek to help each other become more spiritually minded. One of the main problems with following tradition is it often keeps us from shinning the light of God's word on our traditions. Most people are simply not Bereans. Most people are leaving their spiritual life in the hands of mere men.
Another problem with institutional thinking is the fact that many people want to go out and plant Churches. What do they mean by that? This is another subject for a later time.
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-- Nelta Brock (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 29, 2004