So yesterday, I went on my facebook newsfeed – which I rarely do. It was uplifting as well as disheartening. If you know me on social media, I am sure you’ve noticed that I am incredibly grumpy this week – I have never been good at hiding my emotions.
There are people I see out there rising up as leaders by putting aside this or that difference, doing away with the labeling, and the finger pointing. There are people who are starting to shine like stars in the firmament because they want to come together as a Body for the good of the Kingdom of Heaven, not sweating the small stuff but proclaiming His majesty, His honor and His character. I see people beginning to put aside the building of their own kingdoms – ceasing the worldy push to crush other ministries, to destroy all other opinions through shame and by force if necessary, in an attempt to be the one on the top of the pile determining what everyone else has to believe. I see people leaving race and country at the door. To the people who are doing that, you are like light in this dark world. It’s refreshing to see people who do not mistake their own views as some sort of doctrinal litmus test of personal worth.
But the other half is growing darker. People who seek out supremacy not through true virtue or excellence or by doing simply what they were called to do, but instead through crushing those who disagree under their feet. People who make hateful disciples who go here and there stirring up dissension and division. People who are so busy building up their own kingdoms that they tear down God’s people and don’t even look back to see if they are mortally wounded. People for whom doctrine is more important than the person they are shouting it at. I see people in love with their own race. I see people of the covenant hating each other based on genetics, and using race in order to sort out who should be on top – who should and should not be teaching, listened to, and even loved.
I don’t degrade other people’s ministries by name, but there are two types.
The first type is working for the Kingdom – they recognize that the Bride is not their Bride but the King’s. All they want to do is prepare the Body to be that perfect Bride, because they love the King. They treat her as a Bride should be treated, with respect. They love the Body, caring for it as their own Body – recognizing that a Body can’t remain broken into pieces or it will die. Realizing that parts must work together as a whole with one head, who is Messiah – everyone else is just “parts.” These are people who rebuke sparingly but love boldly, who aren’t in it for their own honor but for the honor of their King.
The second type is building their own Kingdom. These types of believers have decided what their ideal bride looks like and are trying to make her into that image. She cares about what they want her to care about, and she talks the way they think she should talk, believes the things they think she should believe, does things exactly the way they think she should do things, and bows down at the altar of their pet doctrines. She loves who they love and hates who they hate. If she does not, then they guilt her and shame her and then label her as rejected. They use her (and her wallet) to do their bidding, to spread their message, and build their own kingdoms – and they won’t rest until she is fit to satisfy their needs. They make sure that she is loyal to their ministry, and zealously and jealousy do all in their power to keep her from even looking elsewhere. They have her fooled into believing that she really can serve two masters.
Are we tired yet of this? And it isn’t even just ministries – it’s also rogue people on social media doing all they can to get followers. Are we tired of events devoted to tearing other people down? Lists comparing different denominations and beliefs to one another so that they can be boiled down to stereotypes and generalizations whose only purpose is to divide and promote contempt? Are we sick and tired yet of people who put up barriers and ignore what others are doing right in the pursuit of proclaiming what they are doing wrong?
I’m not willing to follow or promote any ministry who can’t play nice with others, who create needless separations between the citizens of the Kingdom based on anything. Yeshua brought the sword, but He never handed it over to me. In these days we are called to come together as one Body, but there are many who want to make sure that never happens, or if it does, only in the way that THEY think it should happen. We have one King, one Head, one Master – anyone you can physically see on this earth right now does not qualify. Let us all pursue the Unseen One.
I mean – I can’t be the only one who has noticed how many ministries out there are trying to make us into their own ideal girlfriends when we are supposed to be in preparation to be the Bride. We need elders in this Body, yes, but they have to stop being the “yes men” – and instead become the “yes, Lords.” We need leaders, but they have to be leading us in the right direction, and not simply towards themselves.
So yes, I’ve been grumpy. Seeing too much of this lately – but everyone has to choose which Kingdom they are going to serve for themselves. The thing is, they have to have the freedom to make that choice – and not everyone trusts them to make that choice without a nice unhealthy dose of manipulation. And manipulation – it produces girlfriends and monsters, not a Bride.