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November 20, 2007

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fi

Thank you Karel.
I found your article very helpful, and loaded with truth. It pulled together many things which I have puzzled over through the years.
I don’t know if it makes a difference that my experience of church is mostly in Britain, but certainly hierarchy and authority are structures which seem entrenched. It was so freeing to move to Canada and become part of a church community which didn’t wield those heavy guns to keep me in my place!
But breaking free of that stronghold of thinking (that leaders/prophets/teachers and apostles, or whoever, are more important in the Kingdom, and are to be ‘obeyed’) is just as hard for the sheep as it is for the shepherds.

You are so right to point out that God is our greatest teacher, and He took on the role of a servant to us in Christ! Amazing! We too are greatest when we serve and honour others. We need only do what we see the Father do, just like Jesus did. Our servant King.

I find that we still so easily slip into hierarchy and authority stuff. We might not be involved in heavy shepherding any more, but those with the most prominent spiritual gifts are definitely elevated in some circles. You mention signs and wonders following, regrettably even these are used as criterion for hierarchy and authority. I’ve done it myself.
We have such a problem with comparing ourselves to each other, don’t you think? (or is that only women?) This invariably leads to superiority or inferiority, those who are greater and those who are lesser.
Its quite a struggle to come to understand that our value is not in what our role is, or in what we achieve, but in Him who loves us without favouritism! My heart just skips and jumps whenever I think about how we not only belong to Him (my Lover is mine, and I am His), but how we belong to (and need) each other. Its glorious!


Wanda Vincent

this is unfortunately not a new thing. it has happened throughout church history. in the not too distant past (70s or 80s?) was the sheperding movement which was very into "authority" to the point that in some churches people did not make any decisons without their "spiritual father/covering" (whatever they called them) giving them the okay. i guess what it seems like to me is that even in immense spiritual freedom we all have a tendancy to want to run back to the law, lets face it having someone tell us what to do can seem so much easier than waiting on the Father for an answer; a thing to beware of and to come to the Father and ask Him to keep us free from bondage. and I wonder is fear the bottom line of getting into this kind of bondage, both for the one in authority and the one under it? so if we really know the Father's love, perfect love casts out fear then this type of bondage would not be possible because we would recognize our Father's heart or voice is not in it.

josh g.

I'm surprised and saddened to hear that people have been using the concept of spiritual fatherhood as a form of master/slave relationship.

My experience with people who have been recognized as spiritual fathers is one of sharing God's Father-heart with others, and mentoring founded in compassion rather than control. This was in an atmosphere that recognized that we are all given authority through Christ and we hold each other up as brothers, so the two aren't incompatible in that sense of the phrase.

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