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Dear friends,

Welcome to my blog. I am honored to have you visit. I hope you'll find my articles a blessing. I welcome your input and especially comments and questions.

I write as a Christian from Jerusalem, Israel about Biblical subjects.

I am particularly interested in the subjects of children, families, women's issues, corporal punishment, science and nature as these subjects relate to the Holy Scriptures.

For more information, see my website: www.biblechild.com

With every good wish - Samuel Martin

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Two Churches - Part Three

The Two Churches - Part Three

In this series, I continue to reflect on some of my own experiences in growing up in a very dictatorial, patriarchal oriented church.

The following was very true for the church I grew up in:

"Church One leaders often have a cadre of lawyers and accountants around them to help them take advantage of every non-profit tax law, tax avoidance, loophole, church property and compensation designation, ad nauseum. If they ever get into trouble, they normally will be seen in the company of the most expensive, high powered attorney’s money can buy."


I have great respect for attorneys, judges and for those in the legal system. Some of the people I admire most can be found in the legal profession.

However, when it comes to matter of faith, it would seem to me that we at least consider the Biblical examples that are relevant to those Biblical figures who found themselves dealing with the legal authorities.

I think this is especially important for someone who is in a leadership position of a religious organization. It seems a bit strange to me that someone who is working for God and supposedly connected to God via the Holy Spirit needs a lawyer to speak for him or her?

I'll let those people answer for themselves, but in my view, a minister of the Gospel, should be prepared to speak for him or herself in any forum without having to have someone as an intermediary.

Some Biblical examples

Now here is how I see the person representing God in any public forum: They speak for themselves!

"But when Paul had appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of the emperor, I ordered him to be held until I could send him to Caesar.” Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I would like to hear the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” said he, “you will hear him.”

So on the next day Agrippa and Bernice came with great pomp, and they entered the audience hall with the military tribunes and the prominent men of the city. Then, at the command of Festus, Paul was brought in. And Festus said, “King Agrippa and all who are present with us, you see this man about whom the whole Jewish people petitioned me, both in Jerusalem and here, shouting that he ought not to live any longer. But I found that he had done nothing deserving death. And as he himself appealed to the emperor, I decided to go ahead and send him. But I have nothing definite to write to my lord about him. Therefore I have brought him before you all, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that, after we have examined him, I may have something to write. For it seems to me unreasonable, in sending a prisoner, not to indicate the charges against him.” So Agrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.” Then Paul stretched out his hand and made his defense:" (Acts 25:21-27 & 26:1 ESV)

Paul encountered other situations where he countered directly the arguments of a top lawyer enlisted to present a legal case against him. The whole of the first nine verses of Acts 24 is exactly such a circumstance, but what did Paul do? Hire his own lawyer? Hardly.

"And when the governor had nodded to him [Paul] to speak, Paul replied: {directly responding to a legal case presented against him}

Here is the example of Stephen, who in a context of a Supreme Court environment, spoke for himself!

"And the high priest said, “Are these things so?” 2 And Stephen said:" (Acts 7:1 ESV)


I see this personally as a type of potential indicator of a Churches orientation to being of the Church One or Church Two variety.



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