Letter To My Pastor, Part 2: Are You Playing Church?

Dear Pastor,

Teeing off on the content of my first letter, it appears that God, once everything of the first and former economy under the Law was obliterated leaving nothing behind that can be shaken, I started to wonder about brick-and-mortar religion?  Isn’t it all shakable, pastor?  I mean, didn’t God launch the new dispensation/testament/era when He sent the Holy Spirit to earth on the Day of Pentecost to dwell in the hearts of those that seek Him and belief?  And isn’t it the Holy Spirit what actually governs the lives of those who are God’s?

The standard answers I get are, “We’ll if that’s true, why did Yeshua have twelve chosen specially trained apostles that oversaw and governed His church if brick and mortar religion and all that it is about is over?”  It’s a reasonable question but it is also reasonably answered and the answer goes something like this:

We might represent the Old Testament to a large circle, one that looks like this:

This circle contains the story of Creation, the flood, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the twelve tribes.  It contains the Exodus along with Moses, Sinai and God giving him the Law.  It contains a priesthood, material demands on diet, dress, sanitation, disease, moral and civil law, the tabernacle instructions, information on festivals, feasts, tithes, sabbath day, and endless other items tied specifically to all that God wanted the Nation of Israel to know and observe.  Quite frankly, pastor, from Genesis to John – and even into the first ten chapters of the book of Acts we have this economy represented in writing and then we have it literally being destroyed top to bottom in the first Jewish War with Rome in 70AD and finalized in the Second Jewish War between 132-136AD.  Physically, the Nation was shaken to dust in these two times but spiritually, meaning in heaven, the new Jerusalem (which is above Galatians 4:26) on the cross of Christ.

When Peter wrote that, “the end of all things” was at hand, Pastor, he was talking about the end of everything that is described above.   What many people believe it that this is true, but that Yeshua can and instituted other material things in His church, things like living apostles, deacons, elders, episkopas’ (Bishops) a hierarchy, an order while saying that the gates of hell would not prevail against it.  The problem with the assertion that this is true and all that Yeshua and His Apostles established in the Apostolic Record are applicable today includes the following:

  1. It goes against the narrative of Hebrews 12:18-29.
  2. It goes against what God said He would do in Jeremiah 31:31-34
  3. It mocks Paul’s description of the church/bride described in Ephesians 5:27

Here’s the deal, from what I can tell.  The former age, before it could be wrapped up, was prophesied to bring forth their Messiah who paradoxically was born and the tail end of the former age.  What He brought to the world was not only the wrapping up and end of all material religion (by fulfilling it) but He simultaneously introduced what what we might refer to as the New age or the age of fulfillment, as illustrated in the following:

Pastor, it is in the overlap of the two circles that Yeshua came and established His church/Bride who was holy, pure and without spot, governed by an overabundance of the Holy Spirit, ripe with miracles, twelve apostles and the immediate promise of Yeshua’s eminent return to save her from promised death.

Once He returned, within a forty-year generation, as promised, and took her up to the New Jerusalem above, everything relative to brick and mortar religion ended once and for all.  And the world, having been reconciled to God (2nd Corinthians 5:16-19), no longer has a need for church, religion, authority, apostles as all things have been victoriously won by Christ.  Now the whole matter looks like this!

Unfortunately, Pastor, men and women, I’m sure well-meaning but unaware that Yeshua had taken His pure Bride from the destruction of 70AD, believed that they were somehow supposed to continue a material religion forward into the world!  So ,without any sort of apostolic authority or governance, men began to establish themselves as leaders, I think we call them Patristic Fathers today. Unfortunately, none of they were without error, all of them collided with each other in some way or form and this was what many of the churches that would sprout up in the future would look to for guidance.  

You know the history from here, I sure. Constantine, Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox schism, the Reformation, Lutheranism, Anglican, High Church, Low Church, Anabaptists (who were closest to right of all of them) and then we’ve had all the others ists and isms (Calvinists, Methodists, Presbyterianism) and then in the age of Restoration we’ve had the Church of Christ, Mormonism, Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses and all the other charismatic and trying to play church expressions over the least four to five hundred years.  The problem, pastor?  They are,

  • All in conflict with the fulfilled view that scripture plainly describes.
  • Not one of them have been pure, holy or without spot.
  • None of them have any authority and
  • All of them have corrupt doctrines, practices or views relative to what is biblical.

With the Spirit in charge at Pentecost, Pastor, and God literally writing in the hearts and minds of all who are His – what value to you bring to the table in terms of playing church the way you do?  I get gathering with like-minded believers in the spirit of friendship or fellowship.  I get joining forces to feed the poor, serve the world and such, in Yeshua’s name.  And frankly there is liberty in believing and practicing however a persons conscience directs them, but when you impose doctrines, practices and demands on souls who God has set free (through restrictions, disciplinary methods, excommunications, the imposition of giving tithes and other offerings, and terrifying souls with anachronistic loaded jargon referencing the coming end of the world, the power of Satan, the threat and reality of a literal hell, God being angry, sin still existing and the battle for souls not being won) I am shocked at the blinders over your eyes when it comes to what the biblical text plainly maintains and explains.

Could you explain or refute what I am saying here – you know, with something more than traditions of men?  Can you explain where you get your authority?  Can you explain how you can operate in a world without apostolic leadership or guidance?  Can you explain how you believe you can appeal to the Bible but that your views on what it is saying is counter to millions of other believers who also appeal to its contents?  Can you explain to me how believers are under the impression that the Bible answers everything but most denominations can’t even agree on how water baptism should be done, if it should be done, why it should or shouldn’t and who can be baptized, the mode, who performs it, and what it actually literally represents.  And that is one tiny subject people say the Bible makes clear . . . but it doesn’t?

No, Pastor, as much as I like you as a person and as much as I admire your heart to help people believe, you are helping them only believe what was never ever intended by God when He sent His Son who finished everything on our behalf.  Everything.

Having said all of this, I haven’t even tried to include all the damage that organized religion has done in the name of Our Lord, Savior and King.  The wars, the pogroms, the Inquisitions, the massacres, the policing, the uprisings, the animus, hatred, casting our devils and banishing witches.  How about the open attacks on people who do not live like we want them to live?  Is this what the faith is about?  Not when Yeshua was at the helm.  No Pastor, we have a massive problem in the faith today and its not new.  It’s nearly 2000 years old and central to it, right in the core of its black heart, is “all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.”  Right at the foundation is lust for control, lust for money, lust for governing the world instead of trying to show the world all that God has accomplished once and for all and how open and free we are as a result.

I am a sold-out follower of Yeshua the King, pastor.  I am devoted to the Spirit. And I wish you well.  But what I wish more than that upon you is that you will find the courage to study outside of traditional views, liberate all who come into your care with the Great News of Fulfillment, and love everyone always along the way.

Shawn McCraney
Shawn McCraney
Articles: 108

Leave a Reply