Historical Truth 1 – Old Testament G2M
A good while back the Israelites had neither kings, nor judges. This was God’s will. He set it up this way. They followed God directly in cooperation with Moses. The cloud moved, they moved. The role of Moses was not one of ‘king’, nor leader, but perhaps if you had to slap a title on him it would be ‘prophet’ – delivering God’s messages as an obedient mail man. He was a normal man, not without sin. It was not Moses who brought them out of Egypt, it was God – and God made sure this point wouldn’t be confused by means of wild and terrible acts against their oppressors. This relationship, was God-to-Man (or G2M for the sake of creating an acronym). He was a pillar of smoke during the day and a pillar of fire by night. God said move left, and the people moved left. God said move right, and the people moved right. God said “jump” and the people said “how high?” – kind of.
However, when Moses went to the mountain to speak to God, he stopped to tie his shoe and took a bit longer than expected and the people, losing their G2M mouthpiece for longer than they wanted, ended up making a golden calf to worship – a heinous and adulterous breach in their relationship with God. It proved that having a man-in-the-middle (MITM) was an unnatural relationship and doomed to fail.
Following Moses, the Israelites set up more leaders (kings/ judges) because they preferred a MITM relationship rather than G2M. The end result of this choice was a total degradation and ultimately the complete abandonment of the God who delivered them.
There was a restoration, of sorts, in Nehemiah but it was never as G2M as it was with Moses. There was always a MITM.
Historical Truth 2 – New Testament G2M
The book of Acts was not only a restoration of this G2M relationship, but the fullness thereof where God’s own Spirit was poured into man and ‘the people’ went wherever God’s Spirit instructed. Jesus had ripped the veil, the holy place of God was accessible to all men, and the MITM relationship was fully, officially, and legally ended. God had taken up residence inside his newly restored earthly tabernacle – the body of believers.
As you read the book of Acts, you see that they acted as one body, and did acts of God on the earth – without priests, pastors, kings, or judges. Everyone was G2M when the Spirit poured out on the believers in Acts 2, but at some point, it went MITM and then the church went bad – real bad.
My Opinion (Read at Own Risk)
MITM is not the will of God, nor can anyone spiritually grow in this secular, man-made environment. It is a recipe for stunted spiritual growth at best, but spiritual degradation at worst (I’ve seen this too much to track it).
I reason that if you were to remove the Pastor, the Priest, or the (insert your one-man-show church position) that many of the churches would cease to prevail at that moment. They would either go to another establishment that had a strong leader, or they would leave the church completely.
But it’s happening anyway.
People are tired of hearing ‘about God’. They want to know God, or not bother.
And thank God!
Imagine going every week to a travel agency where they pumped up a trip to a nice resort. They showed you nice pictures, they showed videos, they walked you through slide presentations, they showed how awesome it was in this place. You went week after week diligently because you badly wanted to go. But no one showed you how to go. How horrible would that be? How long would you keep going to torture yourself? The reality never happens.
Same deal in many churches. How long will go you and hear about transformed lives: miracles, signs, wonders, love, joy, giving, dying to self, blah, blah, blah, and blah… but not get a chance to live it? The reality never happens.
But worse than all of this is the fact that most sincere believers I know just want to *know God*. We want God to be the ruler of our hearts and lives. We want to be holy, pure, and with a clean conscience before God and man. We want to walk with Him, talk with Him and experience the fullness of His plan for our life. We want to love God and love others – but all we have is a well-composed 3-point sermon (and some coffee and cookies afterwards for ‘fellowship’).
Thank God the people are tiring of it because God was tired of it the day it started.
It’s time for a G2M relationship.
I’m done with MITM.