But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.Matthew 23/8-12
Today I want to tackle an issue of spiritual authority, because an unfortunate number of people have fallen prey to this belief that we need spiritual fathers, teachers, and masters who are but mortal men.
I’m not going at this from some wild tangent. Or from some “assumed possible” situation. It will come from experience and scriptural response with the interpretation of “how do the scriptures point to Jesus?”
First and foremost, I am gonna put this out there. The scriptures themselves are not perfect. But, their function, is to perfectly point to Jesus. He told us this Himself.
Now. Back to topic. I’ve been told that I’m simply pretending at being a teacher of the good news, and that I need to stop and become a disciple, starting at the bottom and working my way up.
In addressing this comment, I’ve never claimed to be a teacher. However, being a born again believer, I am ordained by God for the preaching of the Gospel of Christ. This is scriptural. But that is another topic for another time.
Let us look at the example of Christ. What does it look like to be at the bottom? Oh.. to be served. That’s not so bad. By all means, please come wash my feet. Or.. sit back and be quiet, and watch the Lord do His work in me.
I do not allow people to call me a teacher, and I do not call people to follow me. I’m simply a Christian, pointing others to Christ. All of my emphasis in my posts on Christ over the Bible has good reason. Because Christ is Lord over the Bible.
I do not wish to be anyone’s master, mentor, or spiritual father. I choose to speak what I learn of the Spirit, when She tells me to speak. It’s just that simple for me.
In the commission, we are told to go and make disciples. Disciples of who? Christ. Therefore, discipleship should be teaching to follow Christ. Only an immature christian believe that they need other people in order to follow Christ. Discipleship has one purpose, and one only: to teach new believers to hear the Holy Spirit so that they may learn from Him. And to learn to be in His presence at all times. In 1st John 2 we see this verse:
27) But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
So John here has taken the words of Christ in Matthew and put direct application to them in his 1st epistle. Simply put, it’s our own, individual job, on our own individual faith, to learn directly from Holy Spirit. We can glean from others, but we cannot make them our teachers, for in doing so, we supplant the Holy Spirit in Her role raising us up into Christ.
Now, on to the greatest topic of controversy I’m gonna touch on here: The Bible’s function and part.
The Bible plays a crucial role in Christianity. It is not perfect, itself, but in its imperfections it perfectly points to Jesus when interpretation is correct. It is the soil that the seeds of Faith are grown in, to be a fully flourishing tree, called Christianity. Jesus Himself is the root of this tree. Not the scriptures, they are merely the soil that the tree of life grows in. Jesus is, in every way superior to the scriptures, and transcends them. We are to live in Him, not follow the Bible. Many of us today have a moral superiority to the Bible. Why? Because the Bible allows for slavery. It doesn’t address it to be abolished. The Bible allows for multiple wives and concubines. That doesn’t make it right. And most in this day and age, on these two topics alone, would claim that they are wrong. So. We, in doing so, claim a moral superiority to the Bible itself.
Christians are supposed too grow up into Christ and walk just as He did. And the sermon on the mount shows us just how superior to the scriptures we are meant to be. We start there, in the scriptures, planted by the rivers of living water in Him. But we grow. We expand outward and upward while deepening our roots into Christ and Him alone. The scriptures do not give life. Jesus does.
He is our mentor, teacher, and the Father is our spiritual father. The Spirit is our teacher.
Abide in Him.
~ The Christian Mystic