27 February 2023
Western thinking is very much of this world. In particular, western notions about human organization make no room for the Holy Spirit. At the very least, it acts as if God is unreliable, but that's because it refuses to do things His way.
Think about it. A western church almost certainly operates on the basis of some organizational theory that is shaped by human tendencies and ambitions. It's carefully structured based on the assumptions of professional training and social conditioning, not the mighty power of God. Even when the language of God's miraculous work is included in official statements, the stated assumptions define "the will of God" as whatever humans might try to accomplish.
The actual will of God has nothing to do with accomplishing anything, aside from conquering the sin of your fleshly nature. The biblical church does not do anything. It simply exists. The issue regarding God's will is how to exist as the Body of Christ. What we learn together in study of His Word is not how to get things done, but how to build up the Body itself, growing in spirit, not in the flesh. It's a family, not a business. It's the people, not the institution and organization.
The primary mark of any such body is that the Spirit overcomes the fleshly nature. More to the point, the members will love each other. They will love people whom their flesh would flee, or people your fleshly nature would push out of the body. The whole point of the body is the love and care, not some corporate strategy of growth. It is to heal the weaknesses of the flesh.
This is why I insist that the tools of human analysis are very dangerous in the covenant community. This is why I insist you must make a place for those who struggle against the flesh as they manifest human tendencies that you really hate. Yes, there are lines they must not cross; sin must be held accountable. The basis for expulsion or marginalization is very clear in the New Testament. But if someone really wants to hang around, it's your duty to find ways to heal their weaknesses, not run them off because their problems are inconvenient.
A biblical body of Christ does not seek to grow in size, wealth or influence. Those are things only God can manage. Rather, the body seeks simply to bring the power of the Spirit to reign. A major element is that you try to ensure minimum care for what keeps us all alive, just as any family household would do, but there is no presumption that God's will requires any kind of worldly advancement. The Army of God is not a worldly institution.
It does not rely on human capabilities and analysis. It rests on the most unreasonable assumptions. There's nothing wrong with training the people, but the training must be aimed at the divine purpose of overcoming the flesh, not enhancing it's capabilities. We are turning people into otherworldly creatures striving to leave this life in victory over sin.
To be "spiritual" does not mean stronger in the flesh; it doesn't mean more of what humans already do without God. It means you make more room for God to act according to His promises.
This document is public domain; spread the message.