Part 3: A Pharaoh in the Church

Article Index

Pharaoh identified with only one way to expand his kingdom: brick-by-brick.
Pharaoh identified with only one way to expand his kingdom: brick-by-brick. (Flickr )

The Power of a Declaration

I'll again highlight the connection between my previous book, Covens in the Church, and this one, Pharaoh in the Church.

What is the body's right response to challenge within their local church? For one, it's to honor their commitment and refuse to flee. At the moment of conflict, the inescapable reality that we are called to lovingly submit to authorities in our lives can't simply be ignored or invalidated. However, the cry of the people from their caves of oppression is to be free, to encounter God. Their cry is tearing at God's heart. They are sure to have their cries heard, and you are the Gideon, the Moses, with the call of the Lord to lead them into life.

In the midst of this chaos and crisis, the wrong response of the body would be to leave, to vacate their assignment to serve, and to look elsewhere for what they desire. Church hopping and church shopping is not an option at this point.

Additionally, God won't simply force change in the current church structure without our participation. Consider this truth—God so honors the authorities (good and evil) that he put into position that he will not violate himself by taking lightly the call for people under their leadership to honor them—even at terrible times of crisis. So, we can't just move to another church. There's process. We need to humbly pray and serve and hold up the arms of our leaders. However, leaders beware. God won't casually sit back and allow an Egyptian system to keep his Beloved in slavery. Using people to build kingdoms of man instead of leading them into the glory realm of God's presence will bring increasingly severe and convincing judgment.

God's Judgment

For those of you whose theological perspective causes you to struggle with the concept of the judgment of God in the New Covenant, allow me to explain what judgment really is.

If we hold to an accurate definition of judgment there's no way we'd ever think of living a single day without it. Judgment is simply making wrong things right. For example, when God heals a sick person, he's declaring judgment on disease. We are crying out for judgment on a murderous system of abortion in America. That wrong must be righted.

If a church is Egyptian in structure, or if there are imperfections in the system, it's OK to agree with a process of judgment. We want wrong church structures to be made right.

The risk, fear and trembling come when we resist God's often difficult, yet loving process of calibration.

However, hear me very clearly and be warned. The biblical principle for judgment is that whatever we embrace for others will visit us first. If we declare judgment on a religious system that's oppressing us, prepare to have religious attitudes in our own lives addressed.

"For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God, and if it begins first with us, what shall the end be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?" (1 Pet. 4:17).

If we are praying for wrong things to be made right in our churches, we must be ready to receive the force of God's correction in our lives first. Humility, love and determination to serve throughout the process are mandatory.

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