Why I Wouldn’t Want The Five Fold In My Church – Part IV
….. because the five fold are positions and titles within the church, thus “leaders” exhibit these gifts, not the everyday priesthood of believers, the laity.
Some would point to Moses and his Old Testament paradigm as being scriptural worth following, for it supports the trickle down theory as Moses went into God’s Presence and talked to him as a brother. What he heard he carved in stone or shared with the elders who relayed it to God’s people. Moses “position” even trumped the office of priests in this system. A supreme leader hears, informs leadership, who apply it to the laity.
There is this belief system in the institutional church that believes in the trickle down theory that God speaks to his leader (Pope, Bishops, Senior Pastors), who tells his leaders (Priests, Associate Pastors), who relay what they heard to his people (the Laity). It is like the people of God are too low to hear from God; only the elite leadership can hear. The church office, title, or position determined who can and cannot hear from God.
The Old Testament paradigm with Moses supports the trickle down theory since Moses went into God’s Presence, talked with Him, then either carved in stone or relayed to the elders what he heard to tell the people. Moses’ “position” trumped even the priests.
Religious cults like the Branch Davidians under David Koresh, the Peoples’ Temple under Jim Jones, and Charles Mansion demonstrate the dangers of charismatic leaders who claim only they hear from God when there are no checks and balances.
Because of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit falls on “all mankind”, the young, old, women, and even gentiles! The outcasts would become family members! The excluded were now accepted. “All who called on the name of the Lord” would be saved and could receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Trickle Down theology was now not only obsolete but archaic.
God would release, His People, the Priesthood of Believers, the Body of Christ, the Church to receive the five fold giftings and passions to propel this new movement forward. Common believers became evangelists, shepherds, teachers, prophets, and apostles by reading the Word of God and being taught by the Holy Spirit, not manly, academic scholars.
God originally created a priesthood to “draw near to him.” Now the Priesthood of Believers could “draw near to Him” and be capable of hearing Him for themselves. Since then the institutional church has trid to confine the capability to hear God to the clergy and their hierarchy. No Roman Catholic can question Papal Bull; no Protestant can question their clergy without being accused of lacking submission to their spiritual authorities. Laity’s frustration lay in spiritual gifts and five fold passions being released, only to face opposition from the church’s leadership who wish not to loose control. Rather than following Ephesian 4’s call to “equip the saints,” they prefer to provide “professional development” to their staffs to maintain control of leadership.
Amazingly, many church leaders took on titles of “Bishop” and “Overseer” when their attendance numbers swelled, took on the title of prophets when the prophetic was released, and became apostles when the apostolic became popular. There has been little if any recognition for the laity who have these gifts.
Finally, leadership at the top of hierarchal structures lack accountability. Lower levels fall in line to keep their positions, while the five fold offers peer acceptance and accountability. Four different passions support a gifting so diverse from their own bringing checks and balances through service and the willingness to lay down one’s life for another.
The clergy, at least at my church, wouldn’t let the five fold among laity flourish in fear of losing influence, affluence, and power.