PART 2 ABUSE OF TRUST
PART 2 ABUSE OF TRUST
SCRIPTURES SERVING AS THE FOUNDATIONAL BASIS FOR THE MANDATED LEADERSHIP MODEL, PART II
How Might Someone Who Is Considered a Mandated Leader Interpret New Testament Verses?
This chapter will allow us to generate a few more characteristics or perspectives of the mandated leadership model. Don’t be surprised at the conclusions. Are you ready to find out what these are as our study turns to Psalm 51?
Against thee and thee only have I sinned:
Suggested Reading: Psalm 51:1-4
This is a Psalm of King David, after Nathan the Prophet came to him regarding sexual relations with Bathsheba. Some commentators say that nine months had elapsed after David’s elicit relationship with Bathsheba and his directive to have her husband, Uriah, killed in battle, and still he had not repented of his sins. David’s murderous act had displeased the Lord, and He sent Nathan (2 Samuel 12:1-13) to tell him that there would be consequences for his actions:
1. Evil would arise against him from his own house.
2. His many wives would have relations with others.
3. His child with Bathsheba would die.
In 2 Samuel 12:13, David repented for his transgressions.
And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.
His acknowledgement and subsequent confession of his sinful actions was David’s atonement or payment for his debt. God forgave or removed the penalty for his transgressions, which according to the Mosaic Law was death.
And if he smite him with an instrument of iron, so that he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death. Numbers 35:16
If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel. Deuteronomy 22:22
Following David’s repentance, he declared that his sin was against God, and God alone.
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight:…(Psalms 51:4)
From this section of scriptures we can deduce two characteristics.
Mandated Leadership Model Characteristic
The mandated leadership model will claim that whenever someone in leadership sins, they are only accountable to God, who will deal with them in His time and in His manner. Any scriptures from the New Testament concerning a leader’s sin will be interpreted in this manner. (Psalm 51:1-4) This model also holds that the leadership will use Old Testament verses to interpret verses that are taken from the New Testament on any topic that is to be discussed.
So there you have it. Now you know why the sins of those in leadership are allowed to promulgate, possibly for years, without correction from the assembly. The assembly is told that God will address sinful behavior in the pastor. Any attempt by the assembly in this regard will be considered unscriptural. It might even be inferred as judging; the consequence being that divine judgment will be incurred upon anyone who meddles in the pastor’s indiscretion. For many believers this process might be considered as an acceptable Bible practice because of secret sins in their own life. Don’t judge the pastor and don’t judge me. Live and let live.
Next, let’s take a look at Proverbs 10:12.
Love covers all sins:
Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.
This verse contrasts hatred and love. Hatred keeps alive the old feeling of revenge, and seeks opportunities of satisfying it2. It stirs up dormant quarrels over mere suspicions attempting to expose the faults of others. But love covers (forgives and forgets; does not expose the sins of a neighbor to others; conceals) all sins. This verse illustrates the following characteristic.
Mandated Leadership Model Characteristic
The mandatory leadership model says that when we are privy to the sins of those in leadership we should conceal them, not telling anyone else. It is recommended that we pray for them to be able to address this area of infidelity, and Proverbs 10:12 could be used to convince the assembly that they must conceal the sins of their leaders. The problem is that using just one verse to delineate a view on any biblical topic can support the adage that the Bible can say anything that we want it to say. Along these lines, using one verse from the Old Testament as the basis for interpreting verses from the New Testament can promulgate a view that is entirely different from what was intended. The book of Malachi lends perspective to another characteristic of this leadership model.
Will a man rob God?
Suggested Reading: Malachi 2:1-17; Malachi 3:6-11
The book of Malachi speaks of a time surrounding the second temple. The first temple had been built under Solomon in approximately1008 BC. Later, in about 937 BC, the kingdom was divided into the Northern Kingdom of Israel (comprised of ten tribes) and the Southern Kingdom of Judah (comprised of two tribes). In 587 BC, King Nebuchadnezzar of Chaldea (the Babylonian Empire) destroyed the first temple at Jerusalem, which was in the Southern Kingdom of Judah, and enslaved the Jews. Upon their return to their homeland from captivity in approximately 516 BC, the temple was eventually rebuilt.
During this time of Israel’s apostasy, they had stopped giving tithes and offerings. The Lord said that because the people did not render tithes and offerings to the priests, that He Himself suffered fraud. His ministers, constrained by hunger and penury, deserted the temple3.
Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Malachi 3:8
The priests were no longer able to treasure Godly discernment, and proclaimed that those who did evil were good in the sight of the Lord. So, the Lord said to the people through the prophet Malachi that if they would bring their tithes of corn, wine, and oil into the storehouse (refers to a special room or rooms in the temple4 for what was tithed), then He would pour out a blessing of rain for agricultural prosperity, and not cause the fruits of the ground to be destroyed by locusts.
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. Malachi 3:10-11
The characteristic or perspective that is derived from these verses is prevalent in many churches today.
Mandated Leadership Model Characteristic
These verses are used to substantiate the belief that in the same way the Jews would receive blessing from God if they brought tithes and offerings, so will the New Testament saints if they follow in their steps. If a New Testament saint chooses not to give tithes and offerings in the collection, then they will be cursed (the fruit of their labor will suffer hardship). This view says that if you don’t give tithes and offerings in the collection, then you are depriving God of his due, and will subsequently suffer financial hardship as retribution from Him. Who would want to be on God’s blacklist? (Malachi 2:1-17; Malachi 3:6-11)
In the middle 80’s, I was working as a principal for a Christian Day School. The church that employed me provided housing, not only for staff but also for anyone who was a member of the church. Rent was determined according to the number of people in each family. One evening, right after the pastor had communicated God’s word in the church service, the offering was about to be taken. Before the basket was passed around, the pastor mentioned that he had been disheartened because over the past few offerings the monetary amounts given were considered insufficient. His conclusion was that not everyone was tithing, and in order to resolve this issue he stated that he would be open to discuss the matter of tithing with any member at a designated meeting the following morning. He assured everyone that opinions were welcome, and that no one would be ridiculed if their view of financial giving differed from the perspective of the church.
On the following day, I showed up, along with about twelve others. Initially, a non-combative discussion ensued about church giving, but then one member said that they hadn’t been tithing because they couldn’t afford to do so. They expressed a willingness to use their time and talent to assist the church in any way that would save them money, which would in effect make up for the money that they were unable to give in the collection.When the pastor heard this, he exploded. Not only did he say that this approach was unscriptural, but that tithing was God’s method for giving in the New Testament Church period, end of story. Anyone who considered otherwise was asked to leave the church and go somewhere else. If you were living in church housing you were asked to leave a.s.a.p.
I have to admit that I was quite surprised that the pastor reacted this way. People who had been faithful to attend weekly service and participate in church activities for many years were being ostracized for not agreeing with one doctrinal perspective of the church. With this type of behavior, it’s no wonder people leave church and never go back again.
Another characteristic or perspective relating to giving financially is found in the book of Acts.
And laid them down at the apostles' feet:
Suggested Reading: Acts 4:1-37
The multitudes that believed and had gathered together were harmonious in thought and affection toward one another.
32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
The Jewish believers sold their possessions in order to help their fellow believers, who were being persecuted by unsaved Jews and the Roman government. If you were a Jew and got saved, the unbelieving Jews would cut you off financially; in other words, you would lose your job. If you owned a business you would no longer be supported. Meanwhile, the Romans had a proclamation that if you were a Christian you would lose all that you owned. If anyone turned a Christian in to the authorities, they would receive ten percent of their assets. So, the church supplied for the needs of one another by distributing the money that was given to the apostles from those members who sold lands or houses according to the needs of the believers.
34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
35 And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
The following characteristic or perspective could be deduced from these verses.
Mandated Leadership Model Characteristic
The leadership of the church can request financial support from the assembly of believers, whether it is in the form of money, land, houses, etc. The assembly is obligated to give whether they are aware of the reason for the request or not. If a believer chooses not to give, they are considered not to be of one heart and one soul with the ministry. Acts 4:34-35 can substantiate the teaching from the pulpit that encourages its members to sell their lands or houses and give the money to the church, i.e. to God. Owning property is considered a detriment to a person’s availability to serve God. It can also be considered an affront to other members of the assembly who are less fortunate in the financial realm. With this in mind, we will now look at the last of the scripture sections that will generate another characteristic of this leadership model.
And were all baptized unto Moses:
Suggested Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
The Jews were baptized (under obligation; devoted) to Moses in the experiences of the Exodus such as when they passed through the Red Sea as it rose in walls on each side providing safe passage from the ensuing Egyptians; and when they were under the cloud, the "Shekinah" - the visible symbol of the divine presence and protection that attended them out of Egypt that went before them by day as a cloud to guide them, and by night as a pillar of fire to give them light5.
2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
During the wilderness wanderings on the way to the Promised Land of Canaan, they ate heavenly manna, spiritual meat (food), provided by God, and drank water, whichwas always available from the One who always went with them, Christ. But with many, God was angry because of their continual sin of complaining, the result being that many died in the wilderness. Their sinful engagements are types, foreshadowing symbols, of those evil things that we should not lust after, and the things that happened to them are a warning to us. There has no enticement to sin, temptation, whether arising from the desires or from outward circumstances6 that other people have not experienced. But God is faithful, who will provide for each temptation the special means of bearing it patiently.
13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
The characteristic that can be derived from these verses is as follows.
Mandated Leadership Model Characteristic
As the Jews were baptized (devoted) unto Moses, so should the New Testament saints be baptized (devoted) unto those in leadership, using Moses as a type of the New Testament leader. Members should follow leaders unequivocally, without reservation, for leadership and guidance in all areas of life. (1 Corinthians 10:1-13)
This characteristic emphasizes the view that only the leadership receives the full vision of where God is leading on behalf of the whole assembly. Not every church that operates under this leadership model interprets the sections of scripture in the manner as has been presented. However, I do believe that many churches use the scriptures from the Old Testament in order to perpetuate Old Testament views or practices. Some have given a particular name for those who apply the Old Testament scriptures in formulating the views and practices that should be followed by the New Testament church, as will be discussed in the next chapter.
A NON-DISPENSATIONALIST INTERPRETS NEW TESTAMENT VERSES FROM AN OLD TESTAMENT PERSPECTIVE
Someone who interprets New Testament verses from the Old Testament can be called a non-dispensationalist. When a message is presented on any topic, verses from the Old Testament are used to establish a foundation for interpreting verses that address the same topic in the New Testament. Conversely, a dispensationalist refers to someone who believes that human history is made up of consecutive eras which reflect God’s will, plan, and purpose for the believers living at that time, and verses are used that pertain to the dispensation that is addressed when a message is brought forth.
For the New Testament saint, verses that are from the Church Age, the age that we currently live in, are used to formulate a view on any particular topic. These would be verses taken from the book of Acts, the Epistles, the book of Revelation, and the Gospels. Sometimes verses could be taken from the Age of Christ’s Incarnation (Gospels) and used to support a topical view that is addressed in the Church Age as long as it was clear that these verses were written for that time period.
A dispensationalist believes that human history is divided into seven dispensations.
1. The Age of the Gentiles: a period of time from Adam and Eve to the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt under Moses.
2. The Age of Israel: from the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt under Moses to the birth of Jesus Christ.
3. The Age of the Hypostatic Union: from the birth of Christ to the Day of Pentecost.
4. The Church Age: from the day of Pentecost to the rapture of the church.
5. The Age of Tribulation: from the rapture of the church to Christ’s Second Coming (return to earth).
6. The Millennial Age: from Christ’s return to earth to the end of his 1000 year reign.
7. The Eternal State: eternity.
Where does the idea of dispensations come from? It’s from Acts 1:6-7. Jesus was with the apostles following his resurrection during the 40-day period when he appeared on earth in his glorified body before ascending into heaven. They asked him when Israel would be restored to self-rule as a united sovereign nation.
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
Jesus said that it is not for them to know when this will occur.
7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
The word “times” can regard time as a succession of events, one following the other in chronological order7. The word “seasons” can denote an era, a system of order of chronology, a period of time characterized by a distinctive development. This noun is frequently used for the organization of historical events in their dispensational categories8.
Hopefully, this provides a better understanding about where the words dispensational, non-dispensational, dispensationalist, and non-dispensationalist originate and what they mean. We will look next at the leadership model, which I am calling the tested leadership model to formulate characteristics or perspectives using scriptures from the book of Acts, the Epistles, the book of Revelation, and in some limited cases, verses from the Gospels. Will the characteristics that are generated from the tested leadership model be the same or different from those generated from the mandated leadership model? Let’s see.
2The Pulpit Commentary PC Study Bible version 5, 2006, 01 Nov. 2014 ˂http://www.biblesoft.com>.
3Barnes’ Notes.PC Study Bible version 5, 2006, 02 Nov. 2014 ˂http://www.biblesoft.com>.
6Thayer’s Greek Lexicon PC Study Bible version 5, 2006, 03 Nov. 2014 ˂http://www.biblesoft.com>.
7R.B. Thieme Jr., The Divine Outline of History (Houston, Texas: Berachah Tapes and Publications, 1989).
8R.B. Thieme Jr.
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