Communicating the life of God effectively to our world requires that we look at ourselves and ask ourselves these specific questions: Are we the Church Jesus gave Himself for, or are we some poor twentieth century replica of it? Are we doing things His way or our own?
Sadly, the suggestion that we ask these questions is often met with such sharp retorts as “Let’s not argue about Church government or methods; we are all seeking the same goal – the gospel to the whole earth. Let’s concentrate on that rather than on any ‘form’ or ‘structure’ that is of minor importance. It’s the power of God that matters.”
On the surface, this statement might appear reasonable, perhaps even magnanimously all-inclusive, but is it biblically accurate? Is God unconcerned with how His Church is built? Or how its affairs are being run? I guess He is deeply concerned. When He told Moses to build a tabernacle, He printed its blueprint deep into His servant’s mind and soul. Moses was told to build “according to the pattern shown” (Ex.25:40). God’s requirements concerning materials, measurements, and ministry reveal a divine concern for detail. Every “pin” and “socket” was according to pattern. The fact is, nothing about the tabernacle’s construction or the ministry associated with it was left to personal opinion or judgment. It was not to be done just any old way.
Even the temple that Solomon built was according to the plans revealed to his father David; plans that were written by “the hand of the Lord.” (1 Chron.28:19). The intricacy involved in constructing the temple required the employment of very skilled craftsmen to get it right. The order of priesthood, the sacrifices, and even the singing associated with the temple were all done according to God’s direction.
Can we believe that God would show such concern for a tabernacle and temple – “shadows” of the greater reality (Heb.8:5) – and then suspend all requirements concerning His Church, its ministry, and its order today?
I love to say with strong confidence that God is interested in everything that goes on in the Church; including the way the money there is being spent. The way His children are be ‘taken care of’ matters to Him a lot; because that is what actually makes your congregation a Church.
Think about this!