Tuesday, September 27, 2011


[If you have experienced spiritual abuse at The Crossing or any other church, you can contact Jeremy Rogahn from the Facebook page, Back Door Ministries Support Group. This group meets every Friday evening to help deal with the grief, anger, and wounds that result from spiritual abuse. This is a GREAT group of people and will give you full support and help your healing process regardless of your situation]  
In the last three post's in the "Exposing THE CODE" series, I have taken a detour from specific analysis of "The Code". Instead, I have been focusing on serious problem I discovered in The Crossing church's "Statement Of Faith"

In my last post,
PREVIEW: EXPOSING "THE CODE" OF THE CROSSING CHURCH-PART FOUR ,  I persuasively argued that the Scriptures do not "implicitely" support the last part of statement twelve...  
"...each church is independent and must be free from interference by any outside authority."
This post will focus on how the Scriptures "explicitly" refute that statement. I will supply the relevent proof texts from the Scriptures, with some commentary on the proof texts provided.  

This first text is from the the book of Galatians. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Galatian churches in southern Asia Minor; these churches were probably planted by Paul during his first missionary trip. Paul wrote to the Galatians in order to oppose a sect of false teachers called the Judaizers. 

They taught that the Galatians must submit to the Mosaic Law before they could become Christians, undermining the critical doctrine of justification by faith alone. The Galatians received the Judaizers uncritically and thus were in peril of believing a damning heresy. 

Of all his epistles, this one records the Apostle Paul's harshest tone, his sharpest rebuke, and his most dire warning. He is absolutely intolerant and uncompromising when it comes to false teachers and false gospels. Here he sharply rebukes and issues a stern warning to the Galatians. I will provide commentary in [brackets].   
 1 Paul, an apostle (not sent from men nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead), 2 and all the brethren who are with me,    To the churches of Galatia: 
[Paul immediately establishes his Apostolic authority, telling his readers he had received direct revelation from God Himself] 
 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen.
[A reminder of the Gospel from which they are turning from]
6 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7 which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8
[Here Paul reacts with "apostolic astonishment" that the Galatians would abandon the Gospel of grace he taught them and submit to a works based system of salvation]  
8But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!
[Paul writes here that there is only one Gospel; and that is is the Gospel they received from him. If any human or angelic entity preaches any gospel message other than what they had received from him, they are accursed, damned! 

It is also interesting to note that during the New Testament era, they didn't underline, passages, use bold face font, italicize, or use exclamation points! to emphasize something of extreme importance. What they did to emphasize something extremely important was to repeat a word or sentence. This means of emphasis is all over in the Scriptures. Notice that is exactly what Paul does here in the passage above ]   
 10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.
11 For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. (Galatians 1:1-12)
[Once again, Paul reminds his readers that his Apostolic authority is not from man, but from Jesus Christ Himself]  

What do you think would happen to the churches of Galatia if Paul did not intervene with the authority of Christ Himself to rebuke, warn, and teach the Galatians the error of their ways? Obviously Paul thought matters would only get worse, otherwise he would not have to write his epistle to the Galatian churches.   

In other words, the Galatian churches were not "independent". They depended on the Word of God, as mediated through the Apostle Paul, for their very survival. Churches are full of sinners, pastors are sinners, and even redeemed sinners have hearts that are corrupt and deceitful that, on their own, would lead them into dangerous places. 

Sinners who live without a steady diet of God's Word will stray, apostatize, and eventually slip into serious error. Churches, then and now, are not "independent". They depend on the outside authority of Christ as mediated through the Scriptures for their very survival.

"...must be free from any outside authority." Really? Do you know how ridiculous that statement is from a biblical perspective? The opposite is true. You could say that a church must be responsible to outside authority, otherwise it will eventually cease being a church. No pastor has any authority himself, but only the supreme authority of God as mediated through the Scriptures. 

Let's read the Word as spoken from the very lips of Jesus in Matthew 20:25-28...  
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26 It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give His life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:25-28)  Crack open your Bible and read the entire passage in context starting at verse twenty. Here Jesus is rebuking James and John, His proud, self-seeking disciples who requested a special place of privilege along side of Jesus. The wanted a place of exalted authority over others. 

But Jesus responded by saying that gentile (non jewish) rulers have no higher authority but their own, and that they become dictators of their own people; that's what it means to "lord it over".

The path to greatness, according to Jesus, is by being a humble servant and sacrificially shepherding with the authority of God as mediated through the Scriptures. Leaders are never, ever supposed to be a law unto themselves, becoming heartless, cruel dictators. Instead, they are to act as the supreme authority, mind, and will of Christ Himself. 

In fact, Colossians 4:17 teaches that members of a congregation have a responsibility to bring accountability to pastors if they do not teach and shepherd Christ's flock according to the ministry they have been given to fulfill....
'Say to Archippus [obviously a pastor], “Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.”' (Colossians 4:17)
Does that mean that if a member of The Crossing church reads in their Statement of Faith the belief that "...each church is independent and must be free from interference by any outside authority.", that they should just accept it uncritically and never raise questions about it truth claim?

Or, as Colossians 4:17 teaches, that even Christians inside a church are to act as "outside authorities", to their leaders, bringing questionable teachings and practices to their attention saying, "Look, this is nowhere taught in the Bible...".

Here a couple more Scriptures that conflict with The Crossing's belief that, "...each church is independent and must be free from interference by any outside authority." 

[Paul writing to pastor Timothy as an outside authority] "As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines." (1 Timothy 1:3)
[Paul writing to Titus as an outside authority]  "This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith." (Titus 1:13)
Once again we see the common thread woven throughout the New Testament that churches and their leaders must depend on and must be accountable to outside authority for sustaining a spiritual healthy church. 
....you can also read Revelation chapter two and three where Christ  Himself instructs the Apostle John to write seven letters to seven churches. John then writes the very words Jesus told him to write. Again, Christ is an outside authority giving commendations and rebukes to these churches, some faithful and some not.

Also read first Corinthians. Paul is an outside authority sorting out several serious errors spawned within the Corinthian church; I mean that church was a disaster! Yet Paul intervened and authoritatively sets things straight in his epistle.  

So as you can obviously see that the Crossing belief that, "...each church is independent and must be free from interference by any outside authority." is not supported by the Scriptures, and it is ridiculous to think otherwise. I challenge anyone to find scriptural support for this belief!   

Taken to it's logical conclusion, living out that belief in the context of church life is a recipe for spiritual disaster, making shipwreck of people's souls and wreaking havoc everywhere! It is so absurd as to be laughable, if it were not so serious an error!

The sad part is, Eric Dykstra knows this for a fact! But he is twisting Scripture and reinventing the gospel to achieve his own purposes and ends.

My next post will use logic to refute the statement, "...each church is independent and must be free from interference by any outside authority." I will point out all I have written about this serious error via e-mail to Eric Dykstra after my next post. 

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