please allow me one, final installment in this series. in my next post, i will edit and present insightful comments along with my answer to the question, “what exactly is your point?” today, though, i want to talk about our fascination with “the man of god.”
in the old testament, god used to communicate with man through prophets, kings, and priests. god chose the man he would use and then, in order to empower him to do god’s work, pour his holy spirit on him. moses was certainly a “man of god.” so was david. and elijah.
since jesus’ atoning work, though, all believers are eligible to be empowered by the holy spirit to do the work god has for each of us. the apostle paul taught that each of us has a function in the kingdom. peter tells us that we no longer need a priest, or mediator, as we are all members of the priesthood of jesus.
in fact, the idea that there is a separate “clergy class” in the church is a man-made myth found nowhere in scripture (we need t-shirts that say, “i’m not a layperson!”). for example, i am ordained by god to serve my fellowship as pastor, but that does not mean that i am more special or more spiritual than anyone else in my church family. my calling/office/ministry simply means that i am filling the role designed for me before i was born.
if i were you, intrepid reader, i’d be asking right about now, “so why do we still look at church leaders as ‘the man of god’?”
i think its mostly our (preachers) fault. we love our positions of honor and authority (like the pharisees) and we work hard to protect our standing in the hearts and minds of our followers. my brilliant friend, curt harlow, accuses us of being “co-dependent pastors”…we need people to need us. the fact is, you do need a pastor (if you didn’t, god would not have given them as gifts to the church) and he is worthy of honor, but your pastor is not inherently more holy or more spiritual than you are. he is a person–a sinful person–just like you are.
i don’t want to be “the man of god.” i just want to be a godly man.