(Section from the book titled Which direction is the Church going to? by Sandor Abonyi)
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We all know very well the present condition of the Church. Church principals bear different titles which express subordination and superiority. The unification of the Church with the state and the creation of state churches in the past centuries resulted in the formation of the same organizational structures within the Church as in the world. As a consequence, state can control the Church.
Manfred Haller writes the following about the condition of the Church:
„The majority of Christians belong to different historical churches or other communities or sects and the number of these groups adds up to thousands. In most villages and towns on the earth where there are Christians living we can find two or more places where they meet in so-called churches. However, even in a settlement with only one “church” in it it is by no means a local church but a local representation of some kind of a denomination. All of these “local churches” are connected to an alliance of a denomination or mother church which they bear the name of and which they belong to.
These local groups are lead by the organizations or movements they belong to. How can the Church be dissipated to such an extent? The history of the Church shows that the origin of most denominations and churches can be traced back to a certain movement or person God called forth to carry out His will. These men and women often had the task to discover and enlighten biblical doctrines forgotten long before which they did laying down their whole lives. The Lord supported their ministries and through them He could draw many people into relationship with Himself. People, receiving help in some way or another, gathered around the ministry of those men and women. Today all churches and denominations have a doctrine, certain knowledge or experience their founder preached and taught making it the foundation of their church, which the members are committed to represent, preserve and defend.
Each of these churches, though having their own distinctive characteristics, try to preach the Gospel and operate their churches in a biblical way.
If we compare the New Testament pattern for churches with the diversity of denominational churches, we can definitely say that what they have in common is that none of them represent Christ in the given settlement but their own ministry, organization, experience or knowledge out of which their churches developed.
Watchman Nee writes the following concerning the condition of the Church:
„There are Nicolaitanes in the Church and Christianity sank into Judaism. The Lord loves those that refuse the class of mediators. Those who were washed by his blood were made direct participants in spiritual issues. The Church must stand on this ground or else it will become Judaism.”
“… In the Catholic church we can find priesthood, in the Anglican church the clerical system and in the independent churches the pastoral system. In each we can find the mediator class competent in spiritual things. But God wants to found a Church where He can directly preach the Gospel without a mediator class. The church that is over as soon as the whole Gospel operates in it cannot be a true church.”
“…The Bible only knows about brothers and sisters. There are people with pastor skills, but no pastoral system. The pastoral system is based on human traditions.”…
“… Kings and heads of states do not listen to the people, but expect the people to listen to them. In politics people want to become kings the same way they want to become kings in religious matters as well. This is how state churches are created. And the people do not consult the Bible what the real Church is like. They do not find out from the Bible whether it is God’s will or not to have a state church. The way independent churches came into being later is the same. Their creation was due to the proclamation of certain doctrines. A church was created when somebody realized the importance of adult baptism. The Presbyterian Church was formed on the teaching of the presbyterian system. The formation of new churches was not due to the church’s seeing what a church is about but rather – churches were formed on the ground of different doctrinal systems.”
William Mac Donald writes similarly about the condition of the Church:
„ … we must truly admit the fact that we can find neither the concept of professional clergy nor ordained and employed pastors in the New Testament. We can’t read anywhere about one person authorized to lead a local church. So the idea of a special class of clergy or ordained and employed pastors not only cannot be supported by the New Testament but – as we are convinced – opposes it. First of all it affronts the basic principle of royal priesthood (1Peter 2.5-9.). In Old Testament times a special class of men existed whose task was to mediate between God and the people. However, in Christianity all believers are priests endowed with all the privilege and responsibility of priesthood. The one-person leading system practically silences worship and blocks the priesthood ministry of believers. Moreover it frustrates the free practicing of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the church (Co. 12.14.) by arbitrarily limiting the ministry to one official person or group of people. Furthermore it sets up limits in the actual practicing of baptism and in the partaking in the Lord’s Supper as well, though such distinctions are unknown in the Scripture… One person priesthood has the additional danger of people gathering around a person instead of the name of the Lord. It is easy to see if it is a person that attracts people to a local church or not, for if that person leaves, attraction also leaves the church immediately. Whereas if the saints come together because the Lord is among them, they will remain faithful (to Him) even if a person leaves.
Theoretically not, but practicallyprofessional priesthood contributed to a great extent to making the truth that Christ is the Head of the Church obscure. (Eph. 1.22.)
In some cases they openly deny this. For the statement that the present professional priesthood is the equivalent of the New Testament board of elders, we have the following answer: The New Testament local church always had more than one leader (bishops, supervisors, elders) and they lead the life of one or more churches not only one individual.”
In the above global reviews we can clearly see the present condition of the Church thanks to the clear vision of Manfred Haller, Watchman Nee and William Mac Donald. Today, as we can perceive, the Church is lead by Nicolaitanes and false apostles:
“But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.” (2 Co. 11.12-13.)
“I know your works, and your labor, and your patience, and how you can’t bear them which are evil: and you have tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and have found them liars:” (Rev. 2.2.)
“But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate” (Rev. 2.6.)
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