This paper is NOT intended for the professional clergy and preachers; and this is stated clearly in the Masthead. Sending the paper to them is largely a waste of effort and money. With only the rarest exception, none of them can be objective in reading this paper because it exposes their role as the hired professional employees of the Church institution that pays their salary, fringe benefits, and other perks. They earn their living as employees of the local church institution and its corporate officials. There is absolutely nothing in the NT Scriptures to justify this practice. It is easy for them to be self-deceived, actually believing (by rationalization and a prejudiced mind) that they are engaged in the service of God.
All brands of clergymen make this same claim. They are all, however, engaged in the service of men, as employees of the corporate church, a mere human institution, which has the right to hire and to fire them. Certainly Jesus nor the Father have NOT hired them to preach for and to some church! They do not serve the Lord Jesus in the position they fill nor the role they play, even though many of them can rationalize and justify this hireling clergy role in their own mind. It is a cheap imitation of the Roman Catholic Church clergy/priests who are "kept" by that church.
The same thing, as stated above, can be said of the clergy in all the denominations. And many of them even go so far as to make the unsupported claim that they are directly "God-called and God-sent" which is as false as it can be. As you can easily see, if God has directly spoken to them and "called" them, this sets them apart from and above all the rest of us! But they can't prove this with any valid, acceptable evidence. We must take their word for it! Such preachers must verify by their own word alone that such a "call" has come to them. Unthinking people just take their unsupported word that they are divinely "called by God" to the "Ministry". There is no divine evidence given that others can examine to determine that they are indeed "called by God" to be His special clergy. One thing is certain: Not a one of them can perform any genuine miraculous works to serve as their "credentials" as did the apostles of Christ. The unsuspecting victimized pew-people (laity) believe this deception because it supposedly comes from a clergy person and one who claims to be "God-called and God-sent". The lowly laity dare not question the "divine call" (?) of the anyone who poses as a clergyman! Their "call from God" gives them the "divine right" to rule and govern the local church operation and the lowly members thereof.
For the most part, the members blindly accept all of this without question! They dare not question the "divine call" nor the right of the clergy-pastor to rule over them "in the name of God." They must submit without question! In this way this self-proclaimed "God-called" preacher establishes his/her own "credentials" for taking charge of and directing and controlling the laity as their Pastor, Minister, Preacher, Priest, Rector, Father, Pulpit Minister, or whatever religious title they wear. The pew people blindly and without question accept the clergy claim to a "divine call" from God to "enter the ministry."
The real truth of the matter is that God does not in some mysterious, miraculous way personally or directly "call" men or women to be professional employees of an institutional church! Today the Lord's teacher/preacher is each individual saint and each one of us should accept and execute our responsibility in this respect (cf. Acts 8:4; Rom. 15:14). We are all equally "called of the Lord" to go out into the fields which are white unto harvest and bring the lost ones to Jesus.
Look at the religious mess we have in the world. Churches and denominations of all shades and grades, teaching as Godís Holy Word a multitude of conflicting and contradictory doctrines and practices. Each clergyman, claiming a miraculous "call to preach, proclaims doctrines and religious practices that are repudiated, by other brands of clergymen who likewise wear the official clergy garb! The "church world" is an unholy mess of denominational strife and divisions and God does not approve it (John 17: 17-23; 1 Cor. 1:10-17).
Surely you know that truth does not contradict itself. Truth on any point is narrow; error covers the rest of the ground. All Church Institutions, local churches, and every other form of organized and man-controlled religion, is from man, not from God. YOU alone are responsible for your service and worship of God. No man in any way stands between you and your God. Each one of us must give an accounting to God for the deeds done in the body. Your clergyman, pastor/Preacher, priest, etc., can't answer for you. Such responsibility is ours alone and we had better be prepared to face our record.
Look at the larger denominational world with all the divisions and strife in them. They are fussing, fighting, and dividing into yet more and more sects. Example: the Southern Baptist Convention alignment of churches. The Fundamentalists and the so-called Moderates (the "Liberals") have been in "holy turmoil" and fighting for years over who is going to control the Southern Baptist Convention and thereby control all the churches and multiple organizations, institutions, colleges, schools, publishing companies, etc. It is a royal mess! However, the same situations and conditions are found in almost all denominations. The various Presbyterian splits and sects, those of the Lutherans, the Methodists, Episcopalian, all the other Baptist sects, and even into the Adventist Church, the Mormon Church, etc. The same kind of situation is true of the Church of Christ churches with all of their sects and factions.
Ask yourself: Can all this hodgepodge of churches and religions actually be from God? YOU have to know that is not true. It is all from men and it is all condemned by God, the Father, and His Son Jesus Christ. God's will is for oneness and unity; not divisions and denominations.
Institutional religion means serving God in and through the church institution and under its control. It is not simply the worship or service of dedicated individuals; it is "corporate worship" and "corporate action" whatever the "local church" does. The so-called "five acts of worship" performed in ritualistic format under the control of the corporate church officials, is not simply worship offered to God by individuals based upon their personal decision of what to do when and where they please! Church members, you have been institutionalized! You belong to the local church institution and you are to obey the program that it has prescribed for you. That church prescribes your "spiritual therapy"! You know it well: You go to the appointed place at the appointed time to do the appointed things in the appointed way under the control of the institutional officials. They enforce your obedience to church control by telling you that the Lord Jesus has laid all of this upon you! It is a lie! Your saved relationship is "in Christ" not in some church institution that you must "join"; and where you are required to "attend the services" and go through the rituals and rites prescribed by the clergyman and the church rulers.
More and more of the pew-sitters are sick and tired of the boring, ritualistic worship form and program. They are losing their fear of the church powers, the officials, and the hireling professional clergyman. The whole arrangement is as dead and stifling to spiritual growth as it can be.
The basic REASON that YOUR attendance is demanded by the clergy and church officials at the required therapy session (primarily the Sunday AM service), is that the institution may thus "extract" from you two important things: I) head-count and.2) MONEY!! These are the indispensable NEEDS of the institution, without which they would fold up. YOU are the PAYEES! And you have no voice or vote in what use is made of the money you put into the corporate treasury. The money contribution that you put into the collection plate is NOT given to the Lord or to God! That is a deception, a lie! God does NOT need your money! What does He need with it? He wants, and requires, that YOU personally use your financial and other resources to help others in need, saints and sinners alike, for other worthy endeavors, especially in helping get the "Good News" preached to all the world.
The entire "church approach" to God is without foundation in Scripture. Church members are ignorant of this fact; they have been deceived. It is time that the people know and understand that THERE IS NO CHURCH IN THE BIBLE! Not in reality; NOT there by the Lordís doing. It only appears to be true and it is egregious deception! Let me reiterate the FACTS regarding this matter, especially for our new readers.
The English word "church" should not even be in the Scripture! The word church is NOT a translation of the Greek word EKKLESIA (ecclesia), which is the English spelling of the word in the Greek text. That word ekklesia means no more than a gathering or assembly of people. The word "church" is in the Scripture because King James of England, when authorizing a new translation of the Scriptures, ordered that the word ekklesia be "translated" by the word "church". King James was the Head of the Church of England. Through his underlings, the translators were arranged so that those who would follow the King's order were in a position to control the outcome the King wanted. Hence, this is how the erroneous word "church" got into the King James Bible. In this unholy way the word church ended up in the Scriptures even though it does not belong there. This grave error has deceived millions of people since that day into accepting the deception that there is a "church" in the Bible. I have just recounted how it got there. It is there because men put it there, not God, the Lord Jesus, nor the inspired apostles.
In Acts 19, verses 32, 39, and 41 the same Greek word, ekklesia, appears three times, but in these instances the word is more accurately translated by the word "assembly". Why did the translators not give us the word "church" in these places? Look at the passages and you can understand.
More and more news releases and reports are telling us about the breakdown and "drying up" of churches of all brands. Churches are losing members. The people are disappointed and weary with it all. Churches do not and cannot fill the need of our heart and life. Only Jesus Christ can do that; and only as we "live for Jesus" and do His work. The churches stand between the people and the Lord. Today people "belong to" the churches, not to Jesus! Very few churches report any real numerical growth; and usually what "growth" is made is due to the people leaving one church for another.
The whole "church approach" to God is wrong. It is time that the people learn that the church is NOT the way to God nor the place to serve Him. As I have stated it above: there is no "church" organization in God's word. Accept this vital truth and act upon it - stop supporting the human arrangement called the church. Jesus did not die for the "church", the local organization or corporate structure. He died for you and me - the individuals. It is the individual saints who belong to Christ, not a corporate organization called a "church".
God is today moving in the affairs of the world and of men! And He will deal with all these churches started and built by men; often for the glory and praise of the so-called "Reverend" clergymen! God and His Son have been ignored and shunned long enough by the builders of churches and denominations that men build, operate and rule!
Please consider carefully, in the light of God's word, what I have presented about the preachers or clergy, as church employees, who are hired and paid to preach whatever their employer-church requires of them. If you objectively evaluate these things in the light of God's word you may come to the same conclusion. God bless you as you "examine carefully". Ėcah