the weblog of Alan Knox

Scripture… As We Live It #1

Posted by on May 11, 2008 in as we live it, gathering, scripture | 22 comments

Scripture… As We Live It #1

This will be (I think) a new regular feature hear at The Assembling of the Church. The purpose of this feature is to get us to think about what Scripture says compared to how we actually live and what our traditions teach. Since I’m very interested in ecclesiology, many of these passages will deal with the church. But I will also include other Scriptures as well. I would love to see alot of interaction on these short posts.

So, without further ado, here is the first “Scripture… As We Live It“:

What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation find a place to sit, sing along with the band or choir, and listen to the preacher. Let all things be done for building up as prescribed by your leaders. (1 Corinthians 14:26 remix)


22 Comments

Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 5-11-2008

    I’m sure all leaders would say that what they are doing is “for building up”. That’s kind of the sad thing about it all. There’s a denial of what is actually going on.

    I actually was in a service one time where one person had sung, one had prayed, etc. and one of the leaders got up, and quoted this verse. He said, “When you come together, each one has a hymn — we had that…” etc. through the list. As if it were a checklist and one of each had to be done.

    I wanted to laugh out loud — except I was at the piano playing and had to bite my tongue! ;)

  2. 5-11-2008

    Anyone who’s had the experience of being in Leadership knows what a blessing it is to be actively used by God. The one who contributes is the one who most often feels their faith come alive by the very act of being used by the Lord! By doing it all we “leaders” are robbing others of the same experience of being used by God that we get.

    I think the best thing that could happen in the Church is if the “leaders” had to sit for a good extended period of time among all the others in the pews. They would quickly see why so many Christians are tired of their Church experience.

    This tiny little scripture (1 Corinthians 14.26),if followed, has the power to revive the Church! Suddenly everyone has a part to play; they really are a Body in practice and not just principle, and things come alive! I’ve seen it many times!

    But to live this requires leaders of a different sort. Are we willing to lay down our pride and
    have others be noticed rather than ourselves?

  3. 5-11-2008

    Alan,

    I love the way you resemble a truffle dog, sniffing out the valuable nuggets.

    It’s amazing that the crossed out version of 1 Corinthians 14:26, which you quote, seems to come from the same version used in this country.

    As a result, through the official teaching institutions of the denominations, “trained” leaders have a mindset which causes them to equate faithfulness to Scripture with faithfulness to the peculiar teachings of the denomination, or institution in which they were trained.

    In turn, the leadership of the denominations have come to be regarded as “the experts”(popes, bishops, etc.)who delineate what is the acceptable way to function, as well as which Scriptures have a line drawn through them.

    The membership in the denominational churches, and some independent ones, have irresponsibly (in regard to what Scripture declares)allowed themselves to be convinced that “the leadership” are the magisterium (the ONLY ones who speak authentically, and infallibly in Christ’s name) and whom, alone, “know” what is good for them.

    The priesthood of all believers has all but been smothered by the above, as leaders avoid discipling the congregations to be independent students of Scripture,and as result, sound, wise Bereans (Acts 17:11), who, in turn are individually equipped to make disciples.

    As a result of this taught naivete and ignorance, the congregations have allowed appointments to leadership, local, state and national, to be based upon every humanistic reason conceivable, rather than Biblical criteria.

    The sequence continues to repeat itself, and as a consequence, that little passage of Scripture becomes a threat to the authority and self-perceived high standing of those who are in leadership and will lead to a bloodied nose for those who would be faithful to it. Believe me ,I know!

  4. 5-11-2008

    Steve,

    I think in context, the “each ones” are controlled by the work of the Spirit through individuals. I wonder why leaders especially often feel that they can program these kinds of things…

    Mike,

    I agree… it is a great blessing to be used by God. And, it is a tempting thought to always put myself in the position of being seen as the one who is used by God. I’ve also found – as it seems that you’ve found – it is also a great blessing to see God using others, especially when God uses them to impact my life and the lives of my family and friends. I agree it takes humility, and its not always easy to trust God to do something that I know that I can do. Of course, what I know that I can do is not always what God wants to do…

    Aussie John,

    The “crossed out version” of 1 Corinthians 14:26 is how I’ve always been taught to understand that passage, and how I’ve always seen it lived out. I’m trying to relearn what this Scripture is teaching, and also trying to apply it. I’m glad that there are others who have come to the same conclusions.

    -Alan

  5. 5-22-2008

    It’s so funny, but so true. Sadly so. I don’t think we very often pay attention to what the Word actually says.

  6. 5-22-2008

    Oh, Mark Galli, in “Jesus Wild and Mean” points out that when we read “love your neighbor as yourself,” we interpret that to mean “be nice to your neighbor as yourself.” Love isn’t always nice, is the point.

  7. 5-23-2008

    Dan,

    Thanks for the comment. I agree that we generally don’t pay attention to what Scripture actually says. Your example of “love your neighbor” is a great instance of Scripture as we live it.

    -Alan

  8. 5-26-2008

    Wow, I really haven’t been blogging enough lately. Busy! I love this series and hadn’t seen it – you’ve been at it for 2 weeks!

    I will likely imitate this. It’s a great teaching tool.

  9. 5-26-2008

    Bryan,

    I hope you post some of them on your blog. I’d love to link to them.

    -Alan

  10. 8-3-2008

    Thanks for this Alan.

    I read the latest blog entry number 13 in the series and looking at this first entry I can see so many similarities between this and how churches do church. I hope to get back to you on possible ways to do things differently.

    I was thinking that even worse than following the leaders, the issue could be a church culture set by a denomination in a similar way that Jesus critiqued the Pharisees for placing traditions at the neglect of God’s commands. Some traditions and formats are so embedded in the church life that it’s actually easy to read what a verse actually says and not be convicted of the need for us to change in the light of it.

  11. 8-4-2008

    Christopher (UR Man CD),

    Thanks for the comment. You’re right. “Leaders” could mean those within a local congregation. Or “leaders” could mean denominational leaders.

    -Alan

  12. 6-1-2011

    Hi there
    Doing a great job.
    On my travels I see lots of individuals who feel the same way about what is amiss in most churches.
    Many In these churches are in bondage to tradition/false teachings, but it’s ‘the truth that shall set you free’. Not enough truth is taught in church.
    Lots of churches have become more of a social club-replacing teachings with activities!
    Activities are fine, just not the reason for church, nor the life of the saints. We are slaves of God, bought at a price-Christ’s blood.
    So the biggest question is: what can be done about it?
    What will I do?
    Preach, teach and bring awareness to people-those people tend to be a minority though. How to reach the masses?
    Alan.

  13. 6-1-2011

    Alan,

    You asked, “How to reach the masses?”

    My answer: “One disciple at a time.”

    -Alan

  14. 6-1-2011

    Hmmm…people like you and some of the ones i’ve met, perhaps even myself, should knock heads together and approach denominations to teach/change/bring back to a scriptural set-up. The reformation needed to continue-perhaps revival is a precursor first though.

  15. 10-5-2011

    Greetings beloved in Christ. I believe that Mike and Aussie have said what I was going to say. Alan’s observation of how the leadership has taken over the Church routinely without allowing the giftiings of the Spirit in other believers to manifest in the churches is so true. This has been one of my concerns for a while now and it is so wonderful seeing here that many have also discerned this problem. God is really raising up a set of people to bring back true fellowship of the saints.

    Oje

  16. 12-25-2011

    I have heard this and many other scriptures taught but I am yet to see anyone in my country (Kenya) who actually does it. I think there is too much preaching and teaching and very little of actually doing what has been taught

  17. 1-29-2012

    Reading in context,this scripture is viewed while in “church” therefor its very easy to interpret the above scripture in the “church context.

    I believe we need new wineskins, and eyes to see.

    Really appreciate your blog Alan, and likewise the community that responds to your comments.
    = )

  18. 3-17-2012

    Why not put all your posts on scripture as we live it into an ebook that’s downloadable. It would really make for an overflowing thoughtful and insightful reading.

    God bless you

  19. 4-8-2012

    Jesus letter to the seven churches is a fine example of what can go right and wrong with a church,in particular the church at Ephesus which was doing everything right yet in their business stepped away from Christ Love which is the only True foundation for a Church, I have nothing to say what is truly building up by the lay-person, vs service to God being done in good order, except that the Holy Spirit’s leading and of course the Holy Word are always the first and last Word on everything (It seems pretty likely to me that they would never contradict each other). I does seem to me that weather a Church is or is not functioning as it should would be obvious if not immediately, then with a little continued observation. The most obvious answer if I had to do so would be to follow the pattern of the Church @ Ephesus except to keep Christ Love at the center of all they are and do, first, last and always. If I am saying that as if it is easy, no I don’t think so we all wear sin-prone flesh living in a corrupted world with a corrupt system. It is indeed a good thing that greater is He that is in us is greater indeed than he that is in the world.

  20. 5-20-2012

    Alan, I’m not sure what you are trying to achieve in your life? Are you just collecting material for your PHD? Are you trying to reform the institutional church?
    In the words of one well known red head in Australia ‘Please explain’?
    What do you want to do with the rest of your life?

  21. 5-21-2012

    Trevor,

    Thanks for the question. My goal in life is to follow Jesus Christ wherever he leads me and to do whatever he leads me to do. What about you?

    -Alan

  22. 6-18-2012

    If any of you missed what Mike Helms added to this Thread, please go back and read it.
    One of the reasons, the early church was able to reach a lot of people was the lack of “entrenchment”.
    I compare a lot of our church experience today (in the traditional church) with the two little guys in the balcony on Sesame Street – it didn’t matter what Kermit did, those guys were never satisfied.
    And by the way, once your new plant has been around a while, entrenchment will creap in.
    Leaders value their jobs because in many cases it is a self elevation of the ego.
    I served as Senior Pastor for 35 years (bivocational) and never consecutively – I would always return to my home church for a period and serve my pew time and it was always enligtening. Try it sometime.
    Thank you Mike for saying it so well.

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