John Steward of Jesus
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Thinking of foundations

(posted at theekklesiachurch)
March 9, 2009

This posting is prompted by all the recent focus on foundational concepts--oaths, vows, estates, orders, vows of poverty, body politic, systems of law, ministers, baptism, bishops, etc.

So often it seems to me that the essence of so many of these matters is so simple, but in discussion they become so complicated and complex.  And I wonder whether the difference is caused by a failure to keep in the center of attention a living Lord who knows everything, has all power, has been given all authority over all things, and has earned all the rights and blessings he is disbursing among his people.  He paid the price, once, for all.  His invitation is, "Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

Accepting that invitation leads to absolute, unconditional surrender of self, and a dedication to his will.   To the extent that they experience that change, his followers seek in all their thoughts, words, and actions to do as he leads.  They have abandoned their claims to self-interest.  They have found a new family of fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters.  Everything they possess is available for their Lord's purposes among his family or in his world.

All of this is of course seen and known only by faith.  The concepts seem imaginary and illusory unless that Lord really is living, really knows everything that is happening, including thoughts in minds, really is able to communicate with those who seek his will, really controls what goes on in his world, really is able to protect, provide for, and build his church, and really will govern in the best interests of his followers.

Those who ignore that living Lord are doomed to design and implement endless human constructions to protect people and provide for their needs, set up systems of laws, and engage in a perpetual search for those who can serve well as authorized officials in the cause.

Among those who become one among those in his new order, the simplest who hear his voice are equipped to serve as stewards, ministers, trustees, deacons, or bishops.  The terms designate function more than separation.  All participate in the Spirit of the new age.  None are dependent upon others for access to the Source.