I was disturbed after watching the film, The Theory of Everything. As a believer, the fact that Mr. Hawking allowed his marriage to be torn apart, by not protecting his wife from the influence of another man, provoked me to anger. As an unbeliever, I should not have expected more from him.

My thoughts then turned to the flip side of their story—the extraordinary love that brought a young couple together, despite the Scientific near-certainty that their marriage would come to a tragic end (Mr. Hawkins was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

Finally, I moved on to the Church (God’s ultimate Love Story). We, too, struggle with a horrific disease, one that threatens (but for the Lord) to destroy our ability to overcome the World, which so hates His working in us. What is the nature of such a disease? It is the same as that which brought about the dissolution of the Hawking’s marriage. It can be called by many names: lack of support, overcommitment, monopolization of power and many others.

What I am referring to is the failure of the Church (almost universally) to adopt the one model the Word gives for its structure and function. As soon as I write these words, I can hear the outrage on the lips of a thousand theologians. There IS no model. Ah, but there is!

Firstly, Structure. The Church is (to be) built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets…. Yet that is seldom what is seen today. Churches are begun by leaders called Pastors (though not everyone with that title actually has the Ministry gift of pastorship. It is simply the only title accepted in most of Protestantism. If you are a church leader, you are by default a pastor, no matter what your true calling and anointing.)

The lifespan of the average church in North America is 7 years. 7 years! What a sad testimony to the failure of the current system. I say current because the system followed by the vast majority of congregations and denominations today is not the original one. It was developed, as most of us know, during the Reformation. As such, it was an improvement over that followed by the (now called) Catholic Church from whence it came. No longer was there a priest to stand between God and man (there is one mediator between God and man, the Lord Jesus Christ).

However, the Reformation, like so many revivals before it, was meant to be just the first step in God’s plan. In the Word, Manasseh turned back to the Lord and made good progress in restoring true worship. Unfortunately, the people continued to sacrifice on the high places, though only to the Lord.

Pastoral leadership is much to be preferred to leadership by a priest. But both fall short of the Biblical Standard; a Church in which the 5-fold ministries are all in operation. Why is that so important, you ask? Because only when all 5 are operating can the Church reach the maturity of Christ. (to be continued…)


*Inspired by the film, The Theory of Everything


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