All bringing to the table, rather than all coming to one man’s table

The assembling of the Church was always supposed to have been a bringing to the table of the Bread of Life by several members of the body of Christ – that more than one would serve up the Living Bread, the Word of God (see 1 Cor 14).

There are several reasons why God ordained this to be so.

One fundamental reason is that by doing so the pressure is not on any one person to have all the answers : neither the expectation that one person has to be everything, know everything, do everything, and shoulder all the responsibility, like an OT prophet or priest.

The order in 1 Cor 14 is that each one shares as he receives something from God. This takes the pressure off the individual, and also prevents the church from looking to one man for the truth or for guidance. The Divine order excludes an individual from taking such a place for a very good reason, and that is that one man doesn’t have everything, and is not always right. Individuals always have to function within a context of submission to the body.

But that is the problem with the religious system. It puts too many eggs in one basket – it invests too much in one man, and it ignores the plain Apostolic commands not to do so.

This is not healthy for the congregation and neither is it good for that man. If he is scheduled to preach for one hour, then, even if he doesn’t have a word from the LORD he has to make it up anyway, to fulfill the role. He is trying to fulfill a role which is unbiblical.

We should never ask and expect someone to speak for God, as the oracles of God, for one hour, every Sunday, on cue.

If we followed the NT pattern then there would be no such unrealistic expectation. Less would be said in the flesh. More would be said by the Spirit. More a redeeming the time, than wasting our time. More meat and less fluff. More Word and less opinion.

So much error springs simply from this man-made tradition of looking to one man. He may have some very good things to bring to the table, and may truly be gifted, but due to the unrealistic expectations put on him, he goes beyond what is edifying, beyond what he has received from the LORD, and into things which don’t profit.

It also tends toward his natural personality, charm or charisma, rather than his gift. When you have to keep people’s attention for a length of time then you are naturally drawn into fleshly techniques to try and hold their attention. The focus will naturally shift to the personality of the speaker, and not the content of his message. And such invariably spend more time selling themselves than pointing people to Jesus.

And, when various gifts are functioning, there is not the tendency to become a personality cult. There is no star. People are not taught to look to men that way, the way they are in the system.

And of course, while one man is blowing his trumpet, the other gifts are being suppressed. The Holy Spirit is being ignored.

So many good men have gone into error, or have been stunted in their spiritual growth, by trying to fulfill an unbiblical role and to function that way. They are products of an unbiblical system.

It’s supposed to be all bringing to the table, rather than all coming to one man’s table.

One Response to “All bringing to the table, rather than all coming to one man’s table”

  1. Mark and Vicki Finger Says:

    [thunderous applause of the truth]

    Is an elder allowing the Holy Spirit to work through him to convict other saints to take up their callings?

    To show them that we are ALL, every single one of us, ABLE by FAITH in Christ to do all things, whatsoever He calls us to do?

    P.S. Ian, I can’t find that teaching I wrote on Ephesians 4 [about how Christ’s first act after His ascension was to hand out gifts to men]; do you have a copy of it? If so, e-mail it to me, please.

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