I just had an interesting thought on Kingdom leadership,
1) Jesus taught NON-authoritarian [Luke 22:24-27] and NON-positional [Matthew 23:8-12] leadership in the Kingdom.
2) We know that we are to respect and submit to governing authorities of the world [Romans 13:1-8].
3) God has appointed in the church NON-authoritarian, NON-positional forms of guidance/ gifts: “commissioners/delegates, prophets, instructors, powers, free gifts of healings, of
assistance, of guidance, of kinds of tongues” [1 Corinthians 12:28 – some translation use governments here but the original Greek word means ‘to steer or pilot’]
4) Jesus is the head of the Body – He is the source of our being and our authority.
Shortly after Peter wrote: “You are a royal priesthood and a priestly kingdom” [1 Peter 3:9] to the WHOLE Body as the fulfillment of promises made in the Old Testament, St Clement of Rome wrote his first letter to the Corinthian church:
Those, therefore, who present their offerings at the appointed times, are accepted and blessed; for inasmuch as they follow the laws of the Lord, they sin not. For his own peculiar services are assigned to the high priest, and their own proper place is prescribed to the priests, and their own special ministrations devolve on the Levites. The layman is bound by the laws that pertain to laymen.
The ink of Peters letter was hardly dry when this was written in 96 C.E. And we went from the priesthood of all believers to assigned high priests, priests, Levites and laity. All before the end of the first century.
The thought that struck me as I was pondering this, was that part of the cause of the fall was our taking authority and rule a way from God and putting it onto human agencies. Not only did it cause the fall, it became part of the curse. The egalitarian state between Adam and Eve before the fall became a hierarchical ruling relationship afterward.
From that time on, man ruled man. And governing authorities were set in place. These governing authorities were also set up between ourselves and God. Moses, priests, prophets, and then kings. These are not God’s best for us, God often instituting them on our behalf against His will. They are all an example of what don’t work and won’t work. Authority finds its origins in God, but as a result of the curse, some of that authority has been established in man’s institutions.
Jesus came, set up the Kingdom and taught that we are not to lead with authority; that God is going to take back ALL authority in the Kingdom. And then we turn around and re-setup our own human run authority in the kingdom of God. We still choose to live under the cures rather than let the full work of the cross break us free.
Sure all authority is establish by and in God, but that is not and never was his best for humanity. Jesus came to break us free from these chains, commissioned us to ministers of reconciliation to help Him usher in His kingdom to earth and we turn our backs to Him and request another mediator, another system of mediation.
Well what do you think?