Yesterday I shared a synthesis of 1st and 2nd Timothy. The outline suggested a problem and a solution to that problem. At the end of the post I asked how many churches and organizations are actually doing those four things.
So the next question is who is to blame for that?
Who do we blame?
It would be easy to blame the leaders. In fact throughout most of the Old Testament that is who gets the blame. One of the themes in Jeremiah is the failure of leadership to follow and proclaim the Word of God. Ezekiel 34 is a scathing rebuke of the leaders of Israel. So it would be easy now to lay the blame for our organizations and communities’ failure to follow Paul’s instructions on our leaders. Surely some blame appropriately falls there… But…
The Church is a Body
Paul also states very clearly that this Church thing is different. In Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4, he outlines not only that we are all gifted by the Spirit for ministry but that those gifts are given to each of us for the purpose of building up our churches. In Hebrews 5:11 – 14 we read that it is expected that all believers will become teachers. What is going on? Who is responsible?
We Have Met the Enemy...
We are. You are. I am. If your church is not doing what Paul says we should do in 1st and 2nd Timothy, what are you doing about it? If your leaders are supposed to be equipping you to more effectively walk with God and serve and they are not, why are you not holding them accountable? If they are not consistently sharing the Word of God with you, why do they still occupy your pulpit? This is a body. Based on what my Bible says, we are all accountable for what is happening in our fellowships. I am not talking about the volume of the music or the color of the carpet. The majors are important. Is the Word being shared accurately? Are people being trained to be self-sustaining in the Word? If not, why are you not challenging your leaders to obey the Word? Why are you not figuring out how to do it yourself or figuring out how to get the help you need?
This is not about having a great pastor do the right thing. It is about all of us doing the right thing. It is about all of us exhorting each other to do the right thing.
If we do not. The foundation will disappear.