Have you ever seen one of those ransom letters where someone clipped letters from different sources and pasted them together into a letter? (Here is one example.) All of the letters glued together make for a cohesive unit, but it looks nothing like the original – in fact, the final letter does not resemble any of the original sources.
I wonder if our ecclesiology is like that. We’ve taken bits of Scripture here and parts of Scripture there. We’ve glued it together with human wisdom and rationalization, and we’ve come up with a nice, neat package.
But, where in Scripture do we see anything that resembles our conglomeration? Should this not concern us?
For example, we’ve cut and pasted and reasoned that a senior pastor is necessary. But, where do we find this in Scripture? Where is it even hinted at? We never see a single pastor, much less a “senior” pastor.
Or, what about offerings to pay for “church ministries”? We clip the parts about believers sharing with one another, paste them together with the parts about serving one another, add a little logic as the magical glue, and voila! We have a system of tithes and offerings to support the organizations and structures and programs that we call the church. But, where do we see anything like this in Scripture?
There are many more “paragraphs” in our “ransom letter ecclesiology”. Does this concern you? It concerns me.