MERCHANDIZING THE MESSAGE
“And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” (1 Corinthians 12:28 AV) It is quite evident here that teachers hold the third most important gift of the Spirit of God, after Apostles and Prophets. Beyond these gifts even is church government. The church can survive better without government than it can without teachers.
The qualifications for a teacher are first that he be a child of the kingdom of God and His Christ. Secondly that he be baptized with the Holy Ghost and gifted for teaching. Thirdly that he has love for the lost, desiring their salvation. And fourth, that he is able to rightly divide the Word of God. Without the forgoing being a fact in the life of the teacher of the Word, he is not such.
Too many people without these qualifications, even the unregenerate, are filling this important role in the churches today with the knowledge of the Pastors, resulting in the teaching of false doctrines of men. Sorry to say, but Saints of God allow themselves to be students in their classes because there are no other classes for them to attend during the programmed “Sunday School” time.
Church leaders have no problem with this arrangement because they provide these “teachers” with teaching guides. The guides are written supposedly by persons of some authority, knowledgeable of God’s Word. Since the publishing company is endorsed by the denomination, it follows that it must be proper material. The material is graded so that “teachers” of all classes have a proper lesson source for their students. Who knows that these authorities are blood-washed, Holy Ghost filled, teacher gifted masters of the Word of God?
Whether they are or not is beside the point as regards the matter at hand. The matter at hand is why are these “teachers” allowed to teach when they are not qualified, and why do the denominations’ leadership endorse the use of such inferior teaching helps. I think the answer to that question lies in the present condition of the church as a whole. The church is in a condition of creating a social standard among members in their flock, among sister churches and across denominational bounds. We have come full circle from the Tower of Babel and back again. We are all speaking the same social language and building our edifices of the same commercial matter with the help of the world, our real god. If it works in commerce it will work in the church. This is the mindset of the leaders.
We have all the brochures, all the job descriptions, all the committees and their budgets, all the drives for better production, all the seminars and job enhancements, all the church picnics and barbeques, all the pep talks and overhead savings schemes, and all the CEO’s needed to make it successful. And oh, yes, we have the latest job manual, the New International one that is so easy to read. It is a lot less demanding than the old manual; this helps communication between the CEO and production. All the active workers must be kept busy and in line with the work manual to keep them content with their good deeds around the church. In short, we have become a commercial institution with a commercialized message paid for by those who are bound by it.
God’s Word has been modernized and copyrighted; hymnals and Sunday School lesson books are copyrighted, all with costly franchising and contributors‘ fees. His Word and its message is being merchandized by the world’s entrepreneurial commercialists, weakening the true ministry of Christ and the Holy Ghost of God, and disenfranchising the churches’ role as the Body of Christ.
Come, Lord Jesus!!