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The Tragedy of One-Man-Show Churches

The Tragedy of One-Man-Show Churches

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Published by Patricia Backora
A prophetic message in which God declares His deep disappointment with the way the church has lost its vision of "every member sharing the Life of Christ" and instead focuses on just a few at the front.
A prophetic message in which God declares His deep disappointment with the way the church has lost its vision of "every member sharing the Life of Christ" and instead focuses on just a few at the front.

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Published by: Patricia Backora on Aug 04, 2013
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05/05/2014

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PROPHETIC WORDThe Tragedy of One-Man-Show Churches
I send My choicest men to teach My flock how to grow in grace and choose thethings which please Me. These men give themselves continually to prayer and to theWord. They sacrifice earthly honors and ambitions for the pursuit of the glory andhonor of their heavenly King. I have so very few good men (and women) out therewilling to DAILY give up their own lives for My sake in a practical way.My vineyard is overgrown with weeds of deceit. In the world and in carnal churchsystems of men, the glamorous, the clever and the self-seeking wrest all theattention away from those who are busily pointing the way to the ONLY one worthyof attention: the crucified and resurrected Christ. I see a few pockets of resistance toall the crazy heresies going around, and a few good men who have caught the visionof My five-fold foundational ministries of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, andteacher (Eph. 4:11). These ministries build up the rest of My earthly Body in orderthat they also might function in the places to which I have called them. Your head isan extremely important part of your body, and so is the brain. But what if the braingave orders to a totally paralyzed body, or to a body so rebellious it refused to movea muscle in obedience? What if the hand said to the head, “You’re the onlyimportant muscle in the body, so none of the rest of us have to do anything butwatch YOU do all the work?” All too often I see body members too timid to move inthe gifts because they worry they won’t perform as well as those in “pulpitministries”. But which baby ever learned to walk without stumbling a few times?What if some mother kept her child in a playpen or stroller throughout his/her life,afraid that it might fall down if any attempt were made to teach that child to walk?Or just as tragic, what if a parent worried that the “baby” might stumble over andbreak some cherished household item in its first attempts to walk? Very few parentstrust a baby to stand alone on its feet at the tender age of six months. But it wouldconstitute criminal negligence if, forty years later, that “baby” were still sitting in anoutgrown playpen, sucking its thumb and wearing a diaper!Mighty oxen don’t wear diapers. Oxen sometimes mess up their pen, but the farmerputs up with having to clean up after the ox because the strength of the ox is needfulfor the work of the farm (Prov.14:4). I could have chosen to do My spiritualfarmwork by inventing a clean, efficient tractor, but I chose instead to depend uponthe ministry of human members of My Body on earth to get a specific task done:building up the Body into My own image as it reaches out to lost and dying men tobring them the knowledge of salvation in Christ. Christians sometimes mess up asthey make first attempts to minister in various ways, and ALL earthly believers get itwrong once in awhile. But I can forgive slip-ups much more easily than I can forgivethe cop-out excuse that “I was afraid to do it for fear of failure”. The servant whohid his lord’s money in a napkin instead of investing it wasn’t commended foravoiding possible failure, but got into deep trouble instead (Luke 19:20).There is a mighty River abounding with the Water of Life (Rev.22:1-2). Instead of ALL the members of My body coming to immerse themselves in it and drink freely of it, they’ve been taught to keep their distance from the “altar ministry” (where arethese divisions taught in the New Testament)? So one very slender pipeline snakesthrough the barren desert to bring life-giving water to the Camp of the saints. One or
 
two men might be at the forefront of the congregation. These are well-meaning,devout men who just don’t realize that they need to continually reinforce Myteaching that ALL are to minister before Me (I Cor.14:26).Ephesians 4:12 teaches that the saints themselves are to be perfected for the workof the ministry. But what a difference one stray little comma makes! “For theperfecting (maturing) of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ” implies that three individual goals are sought after instead of onethree-step goal. Two wrongfully inserted commas cause the phrases “the work of the ministry” and “for the edifying of the Body of Christ” to stand alone as twoseparately listed goals which aren’t necessarily linked to the first goal: the perfecting(maturing) of the saints. Thus it can be construed by some that “for the work of theministry” stands alone as being done only by a special task force within My Body.Those mischief-making commas were added by English translators, and are notfound in the original Greek. They change the grammatical meaning of the wholesentence, so as to lend support to the false clergy/laity divide in My Body.What has been the result of this clergy/laity mindset which has been so difficult forMe to uproot from My vineyard? I see more than one church which has feasted uponthe well-balanced truth of My Word for the better part of a century, led by one ortwo good, well-meaning men. But so many elder saints who have spent most of their lives “sitting under” this ministry remain spiritual toddlers, walking clumsily if atall. They continue to suck off the same old bottle instead of moving on to the solidmeat of being able to teach and nurture others in the Holy Faith (Heb.5:12). Theyhave retained a mostly passive role as spiritual students who never graduate.In many “New Testament” congregations the women have (rightly) understood thatthey have no authority to preside as ruling elders over My flock. But some have feltsquelched from performing any other ministry other than “women’s work”: changingdiapers in the nursery, cooking meals, or typing sermons. These “helps ministries” (I Cor.12:28) are very important, but many men (and some sisters) carelessly say: “A woman’s ministry is in the nursery or the kitchen”. If they had their way, half MyBody would be bound and unable to move in the things of My Spirit. Whenever asister stands up to prophesy or share a spiritual exhortation, they should not be toldto “shut up and submitby others who themselves want to remain passivespectators. I said that ALL are to covet to prophesy (I Cor.14:39), and to covetearnestly the best spiritual gifts (I Cor.12:31). Women as well as men may move inthe gifts, for that is not the same as usurping any authority I have not given them(Acts 21:9; I Cor.11:5).Men as well as women became emotionally and spiritually dependent on the ministryof the gentle, Christlike apostle in one particular church. R. inspired love in all truebelievers who came into his presence. His warm humility and depth of wisdomattracted many believers to his conventions from all over the United States andmany foreign countries. This apostle held homecoming meetings in an oldcampground, where free meals and lodging were offered to those who attended.Many felt like HE was the heart and soul of the place, though they never would haveadmitted it. Whatever R. received from My heart He shared freely to those whocame to him for advice and godly counsel. Many Christians thought, “If I can only just make it till convention time, I’ll be able to get spiritually recharged by Brother R.
and
I can survive till the next conference comes.” That is like a drooping telephone
 
line being supported at intervals by utility poles. Without the strong, stalwart supportof various ministries, the lives of many weaker saints would fall through.Joyfully saints would set out on the road, leaving their dried-up-from-the-rootschurch systems behind to go get a refill of the real meat and milk of My Word. Theywould “sit under” this man’s ministry day and night for the several days theconvention was held. And even when Brother R. wasn’t the speaker of the hour, R.would usually introduce the speaker with his sunny smile and warm endorsement.And thus Brother R. would pave the way for other ministries to be accepted. Some of these ministries refused to accept any teaching or idea not directly endorsed byBrother R. Godly counsel is good. Godly counsel is needful. But beware of puttingsome MAN in My Holy Spirit’s place as your guide into all truth (John 16:13).Brother R. sometimes wondered why the same saints would come to him with thesame old spiritual or emotional problems many years after they’d come to him thefirst time with those concerns. Why couldn’t the other sheep grow into their ownministries? Why did he have to spoonfeed people the same stuff over and over againfor years on end? Why did people seem to bottle up their troubles until they couldget to him once or twice a year and pour out their hearts to him, instead of justdirectly RELEASING these troubles for Me to handle? Why weren’t these peoplestrong enough to just pour their hearts out to Me? Weren’t they strong enough toseek Me for themselves to hear from My own heart about the best path forward intheir lives? I remember many young people who attended R’s conventions, whowould get a personal prophecy from some “passing through” ministry. ESPECIALLY if it were Brother R. prophesying over them, they would leap for joy and run outsidethe tabernacle after the service, rejoicing that they had been shown their futureministry, and they had a glorious, wonderful life to look forward to. But sadly, somefell away into darkness because they had neither depth of root nor strength toendure the trials of life (Luke 8:13). Some of those same people went back to theways of the world. Others went back to Brother R. many years later as adultsseeking answers to the same tired old questions. But he never lost patience withthem, nor did his bright smile of compassionate brotherly love dim.The day came when I took Brother R. home. That one slender pipeline through thedesert was closed off, and he because a “garden enclosed, a spring shut up, afountain sealedin the heavenly secret place of his King (Song 4:12). When abeliever comes home to be with Me, it is then his continual outpouring of ministry toothers becomes a wonderful private feast with his/her heavenly Bridegroom. It isthen that the entire alabaster jar of the believer’s ministry is poured out directlyupon Christ, the Head of the Body (Mark 14:3).Some of R’s material got taken to extremes after people took it home for review.Instead of asking Me to help them keep the teachings in proper perspective, a fewimmature saints would obsess too much about these fascinating studies becausethey were “deeper revelations”. So many men and women of God combine the bestof the Old Covenant rituals and forms with the New Covenant, referring to OldCovenant ways as “patterns”. They warn that I’ll bring chastenings to (punish withpain or adversity) any individual or church who doesn’t remain faithful to the “pattern” prefigured by old ways of worship and service established under Judaismbefore the Cross. Complicated charts and sermons on Tabernacle ritual reinforce thenotion that the Christian life is way too simple and needs to be “deepened” with “strong meat which God is restoring to the church.” 

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