Teach One Another – BT13
Warning against “might and power” or “in the flesh” ministry for God
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Around 200 AD the Catholic Church decided it could do ministry “in the flesh” using the natural talents of man’s “might and power” to lead and teach in the Catholic Church, but “what is begotten of the flesh can only be flesh” (a). Even many Protestant churches are run by people using their own natural, fleshly talents and they wonder why they can’t get the Holy Spirit’s results, no matter how hard they try. In 15 churches over 37 years, I’ve seen evangelism, preaching, pastoring, leading, prophesying, teaching, and even music ministry all being done for God “in the name/authority of Jesus” through great human effort even with iPad sermons and multimedia Power-Point presentations, but it seemed like a continuous struggle with lots stress, drama, power plays, and hard feelings that burned a lot of people out – see the Might and Power, Promised Spirit, and Spirit-Power pages. <Notes> a) John 3:6 – see Identity.
However, “lofty, elevated, eloquent speech with great human wisdom, philosophy, and understanding” was completely rejected by the NT writers, lest people place their trusting-relying-faith in men instead of the demonstrations of Spirit-power (a). Jesus said He will have to say to many of these, “I never actually, experientially, relationally knew (b) you” (c). All the NT writers warn about the self-deception, error, lies, ambition, greed, and sensuality that results from ministry of “might and power,” that is without the Spirit’s anointing. One of the signs of false motives the NT and early Church writers (d) warned Christians about was expecting the “right” of financial support for ministry. It seems like many church staffs have carefully chosen to ignore these clear passages – see the Donations page. <Notes> a) Matthew 11:25; Luke 10:21; 1 Corinthians 1:17, 2:1, 5, 4; Colossians 2:4; James 3:13, b) ginosko, c) Matthew 7:23, d) e.g., in the Didache.
As Christian musicians, we must resist the temptation to “take matters into our own hands” and “just do it” by relying on our own natural talents instead of seeking the Lord and allowing the Holy Spirit to work through us. Too much of church ministry has become no different than that of any other religious or worldly organization without trust in the Holy Spirit!