Christ Incorporated ?
“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
We commonly refer to the body of Christ as a "corporation" with good intention towards unity.
The purpose of this article is not to discredit that intention, but to expose a more subtly developed mindset that has crept in.
We all know the devil loves to shift our focus, and commonly uses images and our own words to do it.
If he can get you to think a different way, he get get you to believe in a different way, and then walk in a different way
-- especially if the rest of the crowd is going in the same direction...
There are 5 SERIOUS problems that need to be dealt with.
Please pray before continuing.
A "Corporate" Structure Mindset
The term corporation
is used by the legal system of the world to identify a business entity.
One may argue that because we are the
elect of God
therefore Christ is the CEO of the church as a corporate entity.
This, technically it has merit, but at the expense of unintentionally casting a subtle but overall view of the family of God to being that of a large business organization that scales from the top down.
So, what is actually in the back of our mind
when we view the corporate body of Christ? What is in the back of our mind when we view leadership?
The problem is this: When we view the body of Christ as corporation we naturally assume the leadership structure of a corporation as we see it in the world
A corporate leadership structure is one that has a hierarchy in the form of
... a pyramid
What NO-ONE WILL ADMIT, is that corporate leadership subtly presumes
the priest or pastor is at the top of the pyramid...just below Christ!
It inherently, assigns the role of a pastor as our shepherd, and implies that we must follow that pastor as they are following Christ. But this actually keeps us trapped inside a limited mindset.
A pastor's job and passionate desire should be
to simply and consistently keep guiding you to follow only one shepherd, Jesus Christ.
But with the wrong mindset (in the pyramid)
, many believers, both in the pew and pulpit, believe that they get access to Christ only through
And that is where our faith, subtly takes a wrong turn.
This problem is not new.
In the history of the nation of Israel shows how they constantly wanted a human king to rule over them instead of wanting God to directly rule over them
A little further back, we see the children of Israel being used as slaves
to build the pyramids of Egypt !
What are pyramids?
Pyramids are giant tombs for those who thought themselves to be gods!
The fact is, a pyramid is simply a box (made of sand) that ENTOMBS
those who are servants of the lust for wealth, power and the pride of life!
Ironically, the pharaohs thought the pyramids would allow them to cheat death and become immortal.
But they were fooled by their own pride and the lies of demons.
Ancient Egypt symbolizes all Enslaving Religions. God used Moses to deliver ancient Israel from such enslavement in the physical.
Christ came to deliver us from the same enslavement both in our spirits and souls (as well as our bodies)
Our spirits were immediately freed at the point of our salvation.
BUT, our souls individually and especially as a unified body are in a process of freedom.
Even if we achieve near 99% freedom individually, we still have a long way to go to achieve walking on earth as it is in Heaven
...as a UNIFIED body.
The view of Christ Incorporated, limits (and ultimately decays)
the growth of an individual and the church body
that pyramid structure !
Look again at what Jesus said in
(This is a harsh word from the Lord throughout the whole chapter)
This still occurs today to the degree that this corporate view of leadership is followed seriously.
People need vision to follow, but a wrong vision can quickly lead to corruption.
The Kingdom of God may have corporations that do business on earth, but the Kingdom of God is not an earthly corporation.
Let's get out of the sand box...
We need to ask the obvious questions:
Now for some hard questions:
- What is more important?:
- The number of members in our church attendance?
- or the growth in the quality of the members?
- Why do we go to Church? Is our attitude to receive, or to give?
- Are we there to be entertained? Or is it our patronizing service to God?
- Is a pastor's goal to just get an anointed point across on Sunday Morning?
Or is a pastor's job (and desire) to disciple, encourage and actually see everyone in the body of Christ bear much fruit.
- How are we really fulfilling the great commission of Christ and truly becoming the Bride of Christ ?!
What kind of bride have we thought God is looking for?
Do we really think He wants a clue-less, disfunctional, out-of-shape woman, but who is good-looking physically and popular in the world?
Or is He searching for those with true hearts, who greatly value Life, Love and the Truth - someone that was worth giving His very Life for!
Leadership must always guard its Heart from the pride that it attracts.
- Do we view the pastor as being more closer to God than we are?
- Do we view the pastor as having more authority than anyone else in the congregation?
- What is the difference of being properly submitted to authority verses being subdued (in our mind) by earthly authority?
- What is God's design for leadership in the Church?
(NOTE: The questions are intended to be provoking. The Biblical view is proposed in the sequence of these articles.)
As an example, there has been preached that you as a church member: "can't go faster than your pastor".
Unfortunately, this thinking limits the growth of an individual and the church body UNDER that pastors' corporate structure!
This concept was derived from what Christ said in John 13:16 ...
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord;
neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him."
Yet Jesus also said:
"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me,
the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father."
"But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger;
and he that is chief, as he that doth serve."
So, which is it? Did Jesus contradict himself? This is a paradox.
The resolution is in the CONTEXT OF CHRIST. Just before stating the verse in John 13:16 (above)
Jesus had exampled how to be greatest in the Kingdom of God – by being the servant of all.
When we try to fulfill God's Kingdom through the power and mindset of our flesh, we inevitable get turned UPSIDE-DOWN
God is not in the process of building the church as a tomb of death which honors wealth and success.
If we only see the body of Christ as a hierarchical pyramid, we will be ENTOMBED by it.
But, if we turn it upside down (or rather, right side up)
, we will see it properly .......as a TREE OF LIFE
where Christ is the root of the vine and we are the branches.
The "seed" of the Kingdom is in the fruit. And when we die to ourselves to love one another,
we allow God to plant that seed (His seed) into the heart of another.
And so the Tree of Life (The Kingdom of God) reproduces and multiplies
"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him,
the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also;
and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father."
But how can that tree of Life flourish if we keep it entombed in a box where there is no freedom to grow, no Light and no oxygen to survive?
That box is a pyramid mindset(a coffin for worldly achievement and success)
The god of Mammon
In addition to the "higher
-archy" of leadership, we have also adopted a business model which primarily uses the same entertainment format
that we see in the world. In some cases, it has gone to the extreme of attempting to merchandise the anointing of God to the people of God.
Not withstanding, that there is a place for teaching to the masses. And the cost of materials must be accounted for.
But the result is that: what should be 20% of our teaching and preaching format has become
95% of what only 5% of the people in the Body of Christ are doing!
... and we have accepted that as being Okay. Why? Because we are in a Roman based culture where Information is king.
The devil, sells us a lie as if it were the truth.
A lie that we can have everything in our mortal life now, in exchange for our eternal life in Hell.
Of course, the devil has many different sales pitches that come in a refined variety of desirable colors, flavors and temporary pleasures
-- because he will say ANYTHING to get the sale of our soul. And why do we BUY it so easily? Because it is mixed with PARTIAL truth!
We have been deluded and complacently satisfied into thinking that this is how the Kingdom of God operates on earth
as it is in Heaven....
If you are deceived, do you know it?
If you are deceived, it's because you have believed in a half truth without investigating the truth of the other half which is a lie.
It is through the short sitedness of our flesh that the devil steels our faith. Here's how:
When God has promised us something in the future, we have difficulty because our flesh can't see it right now.
And so (because of our own selfishness) we sell out God's prophetic word to obtain an immediate (but temporary) benefit.
And in doing so, you have just handed your faith over to the god of mammon (satan)...
Mammon is any resource that has value in the flesh. When we sell our birthright through sin,
we prevent ourselves from seeing and receiving eternal rewards in the spirit.
This is the subtle place where the devil draws you away from seeking the Kingdom of God to seeking your own kingdom.
“No one can serve two masters;
for either he will hate the one and love the other,
or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon.
The devil's methods have not changed. Even in the Garden of Eden,
the serpent similarly used reason to question God's Word and side-step our correct view of the Truth.
Cleverly, he distorts our image and value of ourselves.
Then, in our dilemma (which he conjured up)
, he proposes a more attractive and immediate solution.
And the devil is quick to make the transaction so simple.
He paints us to be like the heirs of a family company who hold stocks in the corporation.
He eloquently Markets all the resources that are within our grasp.
And in the momentum of his reasoning, he easily re-frames our view from being OWNERS of the company
to simply being fortunate investors awaiting to cash in
their shares because their value is strong and time is of the essence while you're still on earth! ....
How quickly we forget that:
LIFE can not be viewed as a resource which you can cash in on
- unless you devalue life ... YOUR LIFE.
And if the devil can do that, he will have greater effectiveness in devaluing the Life of Christ in you.
Why? Because the devil fears the Life of Jesus Christ flowing through you and breaking down the gates
of the kingdom of darkness that has imprisoned those whom God so loved...
And now consider how much easier it is for the devil to convince us of his lie, if he has already been able to dilute
the meaning of the Cross in the church and at the same time change the focus
of our view onto how many PAYING members (instead of praying members)
are in the 'Corporate Body of Christ'.
Is it no wonder that the god of this world (satan), has graciously allowed the incorporation of this non-prophet
DISCIPLSHIP vs. Entertainment TEACHING
Sadly, we have relegated the "
of Christ, to quantifying the conversion of people to Christ
and getting them to come to a church that typically has no real path of discipleship
except to become a member and learn a few Bible lessons that few have actually put into practice.
Please, let's stop pretending. There's too many good people who love the Lord Jesus Christ
but are getting slaughtered spiritually through demonic strongholds,
because the church has been too long in the classroom.
There are many good Spirit filled churches, and this is a heart check to hopefully
provoke us, as the family of Christ, to push forward and move to higher ground.
If leadership in the church would focus less on making a 5 point sermon, and focus more on
actually developing (James 2
the character and quality of the members,
the Light of that church would shine much brighter in the darkness of the world in their community.
And that light would truly be a light of Life (the Light of Christ). The world around us would see the light of the Truth
that exposes the darkness and make us free from it.
They would be attracted to a light that gives hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11) to a life that is abundant (John 10:10b)!
That is why the first church began to grow in numbers, because they could not only see their freedom, but also a their true destiny!
And another great "Omission" we see is the mis-use of the "Golden Rule" which we all quote: "Love your neighbor as yourself".
But the rule we end up following is the rule that says "He who owns the Gold, Rules",....because .... "Actions speak louder than words"...
Are we putting our money where our mouth is? Do we really love our neighbor (or God)
more than money?
How we value our neighbor is an indication of how you value yourself.
If we think about it, Loving your neighbor as yourself is really a law of life that exists whether we realize it or not.
The fact is, that we are ALREADY loving our neighbor as we love ourself.
Another way to put it is, that whatever level of love we have for ourself is the same level of love that we will have for our neighbor.
We must understand that God has given us the ability to love another beyond our love for ourselves...IF
we look to Him first,
because He is Love
(1 John 4:8
Even if we do try to follow the Golden Rule as best we can, it is useless without observing the Greatest Commandment.
Because it is through the first commandment that we receive the true meaning of Love that transforms us
and gives us the ability to Love ourselves and our neighbor at a level that is much higher
(Agape - the highest Love) than our best efforts in our limited flesh.
The corporate mentality is a subtle trap that we have brought into the church.
When we try to do Heavenly Business from an earthly mindset, we will inevitably end up bankrupt.
Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins,
the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins. ”
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD.
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts."
1 Timothy 6:17-21
"Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty,
nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God,
who gives us richly all things to enjoy.
Let them do good, that they be rich in good works,
ready to give, willing to share,
storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come,
that they may lay hold on eternal life.
O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust,
avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge—
by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith.
Grace be with you. Amen."
It's time to break out of the religious / incorporated box that the Bride of Christ has been imprisoned in.
Are we really listening?
Are we willing to change our direction to HIS direction ... even if we have gained momentum
Are we willing to stop in the tracks of our current wordly success and restart on the right path to truly follow Christ and the leading of HIS HOLY SPIRIT for success that has eternal value. Value that can be manifested now in our hearts and lives, and spread to those around us.
“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write,
‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:
“I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil.
And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars;
and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary.
Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works,
or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.
But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life,
which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”