This is a follow-up Article on Nature of Corruption in the Church._The Editor.
I had the privilege of attending a training course for pastors. In the course, the teacher talked about the church's authority, he said the following words:
"The church, the only place where God is in power, should not be governed according to democracy. The opinions of the majority are not necessarily correct so the shepherds should not compromise on the truth in order to show favor to them. Believers should obey their spiritual leaders. "
The teacher 's speech was applauded. Emphasizing the authority of the church indicates naturally that pastors have high status with authority in the church and believers should obey them. We should not misinterpret the principle called "believers are priests" as "individualism", nor should we challenge the spiritual authority of the church with the slogan "everyone is a priest."
But this does not mean that pastors will not sin, nor does it mean that the believers can not accuse them after they sin.
I saw some people leave comments on my article "What do you think about corruption in the church?" published on the "Gospel Times cn" a few days ago which says as follows:
"Corruption may be found at any time. Why do we not look at the issue of corruption justly? If he did not need the money, would he have used the offerings of believers? Perhaps, he was compelled to do it by the pressure to find means to survive."
To be honest, I felt very sad to see such a comment. As Christians, our understanding of sins is to the point that we not only refuse to leave them but we also protest for them in showing love for sins. I really do not know how much knowledge we know about the Bible. What is our faith for? Because grace is above the law, is it necessary to see the Gospel as a fortress against corruption?
Even more heartbreaking is that it is not only one person's opinion. If the church is managed with such self-centered thought and wrong love, it will experience the worst tragedies.
A few days ago, a friend sent me a link from Christian Post's report on April 4. It says that in Britain, 500 church were closed, while 423 mosques were built. It reminded me of the words of the Bible in Revelation 2:5, "Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place." It is frightening to hear that God would remove the lampstand. If God does that, will not God ask us to account for why He did it? May we repent!
Britain is said to have a very high proportion of Christians compared to China, where there are only a small number of Christians in its population. If what happened to Britain happens to us, it will be a terrible thing.
Some people say sincerely, "We do not need to be afraid, because everything is in God's control." That's fair enough, but what do we give back to God? Have we completed our mission which God gave us? If our church is not growing, every believer is responsible because we do not care about the church.
There is only one reason why the church closes its door and that is because of the loss of believers. The many times the loss of believers happens, it is caused by people. If believers do not act according to the will of God and still indulge in personal selfish lust, Christianity will go astray from God because of internal corruption even when there is no persecution from the outside. It will lose its function to preach the word of God for salvation, and the church will become a place for people to enjoy themselves. I am not exaggerating. If a believer is corrupted in the church, it is like an acne on the body at most. But if the shepherd loses the life of Christ, it is like a dead smelly fish which will affect the whole soup.
Therefore, we should never tolerate bad phenomenon in the church. And pastors should set up higher standards than believers, both in general knowledge and "Bible" knowledge. Anyone who sins deviates from the will of God and separates himself from God's holiness because sins will bring about punishment.
If we really love those who have sinned, we should promptly point out their sins and wake up their first love. Upon our warning, if they forsake sins and repent, we have saved a soul God has loved, preventing them from going to destruction like the confused Baran.
In my circle of friends, when they talk about the phenomenon of the church's corruption, a brother in the Lord said that no one is immune from temptation, including the pastors and it is dangerous for them to supervise themselves. He suggested that we should think about how to deal with and curb corruption in the church with the help of good rules.
After listening to his words, I have been thinking about this matter. God's grace is not intended to destroy the law, including rules. In order not to leave any room for Satan to work in the church, it sets up rules as a fence. The law and rules are set up out of love. Making church rules complete is helpful for the church to grow its ministry.
The church is not a place of democracy. Furthermore, it is not owned by a single person. The churches of the whole world, which are governed by God, should act according to the teachings of the Bible. Though everyone is a priest, the church should have a good order. The church must form a good system of finance management, including making good records of its income and expenses. In the department of finance which responsible for collecting church's income, at least three persons are needed and they need to declare publicly their income and expenses in a fixed time schedule in order to make finance transparent in the church and increase believers' trust. As a result, they will support the church's development by willing donations so that the church will grow in a healthy way, not leaving any room for Satan to accuse.
The writer is a believer in a church in Liaoning, Eastern China.
Translated by Alvin Zhou