Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Obliterating Offices

"Bitter jealousy and selfish ambition do not come down from above. They are worldly, fleshly, & demonic. Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is confusion and every evil thing." (James 3:14-16)

Selfish ambition is translated from a Greek word that means "seeking to occupy an office." An "office" is defined as "an official position of power/authority." God did not establish offices in His body. He in fact forbade top-down authority among His people. Knowing this lets take a second look at this scripture.

"The ambition to occupy an office is not from God but is worldly, fleshly, & demonic. Where people seek to occupy offices there is confusion & EVERY evil thing."

There is the problem with most churches my friends. It comes from the top down because an office sits atop most churches rather than Christ Himself. Biblically we could say that every evil thing & every bit of confusion that exists in churches is because people occupy & seek to occupy revered offices.

Many scriptures say seeking to occupy an office or getting what you have sought for & occupying an office is a very bad thing. Romans 2:8-9 calls it evil. It is also called fleshly, worldly, demonic, & a "work of the flesh." Here are some other works of the flesh & other bad things scripture lists alongside seeking to occupy an office to give you an idea of just how bad this really is:  immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, angry tempers, slanders, gossip, arrogance, instability, self-centeredness, pride, bitterness, dishonesty.

"Do nothing to seek an office for yourself but with humility of mind regard others as more important than yourselves." (Philippians 2:3). Connecting verse 2 to this we can learn that where offices exist and are sought after "A group of people cannot be of the same mind," "Cannot have the same love for one another," "Cannot be united in spirit," & "Cannot be intent on one purpose."

Galatians 5:19-20 says, Seeking to occupy an office is an obvious work of the flesh. If we don't see it as a work of the flesh we have been greatly deceived. These 3 works of the flesh appear right next to each other:  seeking to occupy an office, divisions, & factions. Where men are set up as official leaders there will be division. Look no further than the opposing churches set on opposite street corners who both have their own sets of leaders who draw people into their building.

Paul said to the Corinthians (2 Cor 12:20), "I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be. I fear that there may be people who seek to occupy offices..." Paul says the existence of offices is something he "does not want to be" & that its danger was so great it caused fear in him.

The supposed "positions" & "offices" in scripture have been misinterpreted for centuries. The word "office" isn't actually used in the New Testament to describe something positive. Most times the word is outright added to the text. None of the many words used for “office” in the Greek language are ever used to describe a function or role in the assembly. One scripture (1 Timothy 3:1) is so grossly translated it says, "if a man aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a good work." There is no word representing "office" in the Greek in this text. It is a total addition by the translators. It makes people think aspiring to an office is a good thing when the rest of scripture severely attests otherwise. Additionally the noun overseer isn't used here, instead it is a verb. It really means, "A man who wants to look out for or pay attention to others with the intent of helping desires a fine work."

Rather than as offices to occupy things are described as gifts in both the contexts of 1 Corinthians 12 & Ephesians 4. The gifts that are historically (not biblically) tied to positions of leadership people consider to be leadership offices. (Read more on the absence of offices in the New Testament Body of Christ).

"Some proclaim Christ out of the desire to hold an office rather than from pure motives. But it is still fitting to rejoice that Christ is proclaimed" (Philippians 1:15,17-18).
God does not bless offices or titles. He in fact hates them (see this post). However He does bless people. God hates that which harms His people not the people themselves. He will never support an office but He will always support a person. This is how I view things as well.

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