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A look at Levite's Faith by the Media Desk.

©99 The Media Desk

Let's begin at the top.
Never mind that nobody has any idea who it's about...
Isn't the title of this thing irreverent?
Short answer first. No.
Ready for the long answer? Good.

     If you think God told His People not to dance. You are sorely mistaken. Exactly the opposite is true. Besides Psalm 150, which is Levite's second favorite Old Testament passage, dancing is mentioned, and even suggested in places as worship. Here's the RSV version of Psalm 150:

Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty firmament! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his exceeding greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with timbrel and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that breathes praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!
For the record, a timbrel is an antique tambourine.
     For those of you still reading the King James, which we will get to later, it also uses the forbidden word dance in verse 4. We'll hit Bible Translations a bit later.
     Drop back to Second Samuel chapter six.
     The Ark of the Covenant was being returned to Jerusalem, the guys carrying it had just taken six paces toward the Holy City when a sacrifice was made to God, and then verse 14... Go ahead, read it.
And David was dancing before the LORD with all his might, and David was wearing a linen ephod.
The KING was DANCING with all his MIGHT!
     He was happy, his was praising his God, and he was wearing a fancy vest besides, although some say he was naked, ...either way... And it was OK.
     Until some sourpuss, the daughter of Saul, which explains that, saw him, verse 16, and despised him for it, running off at the mouth in 20. David's answer to her, in 21 and 22, is a classic.
     Look it up.
     The idea is to be Happy that the Lord is your God. At least as far as David, 'a man after God's own heart', Acts 13 : 22, was concerned, it was a command.
     Nehemiah 8 has the Governor and the Priest, Ezra, ordering the people to rejoice, Verse 10:
Then he said to them, "Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."
     Then they proceeded to have themselves a major league party.
     Oh, by the way, Psalm 149 mentions dancing too and not just in passing.
     Somebody is muttering now, 'that's just Old Testament, we're supposed to be serious and solemn.' Pardon us while we gag.
     One of the most solemnly serious and demanding books in the New Testament, Romans, may be the last place you would expect find the Apostle Paul telling people to get happy, but there it is, in 5 : 2 and following. We are to 'exult' in these things. Exult means to rejoice greatly, to be jubilant, to jump up and down in joy. But there is a limit. Common sense seems to be part of the picture here.
Romans 12 : 15 Rejoice with those that rejoice, weep with those that weep.
     Just how many times are we told to rejoice or the equivalent in the New Testament?
     Put it this way.
If David and the people of Israel who were under the LAW were to be happy about their lot in life and their relationship with God, how much more delirious should we be under Grace?
     Any more about the title?
Onward anyway.
     So just who is this person that is dancing in the sight of the LORD?
     The answer is not simple, even though there is open speculation that the man in question is.

Levite is a former correctional officer who now fancies himself a Renaissance man in the style of Jefferson and Franklin, he dabbles in technology, writes fiction, covers sports and politics from time to time with a belly full of cynical wit in the style of classic Gonzo journalism, while working full time and attempting to keep up a sideline as a freelance maintenance man. And no, he does not actually dance like Gene Kelly. His devotion to his religion is never in question, however, others sometimes have questions about its practice. And in discussing him and his beliefs and faith, we will look at many many things. Some of which you might disagree with, well, MANY you will disagree with, but you had better know WHY you disagree with them, and have your ducks in line and quacking to the beat before you step up to speak. Otherwise, you'll get a headache from thinking too hard too fast.

     What other semi-pro theologian discusses the finer points of Biblical Cosmology while drinking cheap beer and listening to the Doobie Brothers?
     'Oh No' somebody just said, 'he drinks!'
Here we go again, another brutal tangent that blows holes in yet another firmly held, although wrongly held, belief.
     Find the absolute prohibition against any consumption of alcohol in either Testament. Except for the Nazirite vows in Numbers 6, you may have a hard time. And the Nazirites had hair longer than the Beatles did in their heyday, swallow that one.
     Psalms calls wine a gift from God that makes the hearts of men glad.Psalm 104 : 15
     The prohibition throughout the book is against being a drunk. An alcoholic. We'll come back to why that is a sin and is under the general umbrella that there is only ONE SIN in the entire Bible.
Look at Paul's requirements for Elder, we won't call the position 'Bishop' because of the traditional misuse of the term, although, true enough, 'Elder' has been misused as well by some outfits, but we'll run with it anyway, beats 'Overseer' don't it? In First Timothy three and in Titus as well, the leaders of the church are said to not be addicted to wine, and for that matter, not a brawler, in control of his own children, and so on. Further, in 1 Timothy 4 in the paragraph concerning the duties of the elders, just after Paul instructs them not to lay hands on anyone too hastily, he instructs them to
drink a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments 4 : 23.
The argument often heard is that a little drink leads to much drink and much drink leads to ruin. Hogwash, industrial strength hogwash. Again, this deals with the area of self control. Which, as stated above, will be dealt with at length later. Another tired line is that you don't need it to live. Well, you don't need ice cream to live either, if one indulgence because you like it is wrong, so is another. Moderation is the message in scripture concerning pleasure, food, and yes, drink. Excess in anything, including religion, is preached against.
     Yes. Too much religion is a sin. If the church gets in the way of your relationship with God the Father, guess what? We are instructed to love GOD through the Son. To pray in His Name. And so on. Not be overcome with love for the institution of the Earthly Church or its accouterments.
     Take for an example the rather curious practice of 'the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament'. Here's some background if you aren't familiar with the Roman Catholic tradition, blessed by the Pope and encouraged in many church publications. In many parishes within the church, they set aside one day a week and have the people come in to actually worship the cracker, the Eucharist. Yes, it is called 'Eucharistic Worship'. See the paper by the Archbishop of Warsaw from the 46th International Eucharistic Congress, May 1997. The cracker is taken to be the physical presence of Christ on Earth and when you are in the presence of the Eucharist, looking in adoration at it, you are seeing Jesus.

Excuse please.      

The command of Christ was to, "Do this in REMEMBRANCE of Me", John 22 : 19. Not, something along the lines of 'look at the loaf and see me'. If such were the case, He would have said so.
     Christ told the Apostles that that is exactly the case with good works. Look up the sheep and the goats on the day of judgement, Matthew 25. He literally says, verse 40, the extent you did it to these brothers of Mine, you did it to Me. And conversely, if they didn't do it.
     If you want to get into word usage in Greek and Aramaic, we can go there, it gets dicey, and there seem to be a serious lack of Greek letters on the keyboard, but the words used during the Last Supper during the institution of the Memorial Meal is figurative, not literal. Not the case at the Judgement. The good Cardinal states that it is through the Mystery of the Eucharist that this happens. OK, fine, if it does, it does. Which means that Jesus established a society of cannibals. Which doesn't sit very well after lunch.
     Paul states in First Corinthians 11 that we are "Proclaiming the Lord's death until He comes", Verse 26. Not 'reliving the Lord's death' or 'participating in', we are 'proclaiming'. There's a difference there. Christ Died Once. He WAS buried, He HAS risen. It's yesterdays' news. It's the Good News.
     Apologies to those that have registered to go kneel in a darkened church and stare at a cracker, but to Levite that smacks of idolatry.
     And it is most certainly NOT worshiping God the Father Creator.
     Which is the point of being a believer isn't it?
     But since Marcion in the second century, and indeed, even before, people have been trying to paste their own ideas on the faith. Oh, for your edification, Marcion was a heretic who was basically unhappy with everything in the church. He rejected most of the Bible as it then existed, rewrote much of it's theology to suit himself, Old and New Testaments, preached the doctrine that he felt needed preached, and was summarily run out of town by the powers that be. He had a small but noisy following, but after awhile, they dispersed back to wherever they came from. But he did the early church a favor by forcing the leaders to fix the Scriptures in some sort of generally agreed upon form.
     Who's done this today besides the Catholics and other even odder people like David Koresh, Jim Jones, and others?
Well. Pick a Biblical teaching, and then look at the cults, small churches, mainstream denominations, makes no difference to him at all.
     Just so you are ready for it going in, Levite doesn't CARE what any MAN says, he looks at the Book and uses it as the yardstick against which to measure whatever we are talking about. But be forewarned, unless you have a THUS SAYTH THE LORD, Levite points to Colossians 2:20-23 and asks you whose rule it is. Let's have those verses here...

Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
Pick a topic.
     Women preaching. Well, let's be a little more specific. A woman as a local fill-the-pulpit-every-Sunday 'Pastor'? No, the meaning of the texts involved in the New Testament seem to discourage that, and a meaningful argument could be made to say it is prohibited. Which would be based primarily on First Timothy 2 : 12,
"But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet."
     So can a woman hold a church office? No. Can a woman teach? Yes. Can a woman preach as an evangelist? Probably, but there you're hitting the gray area where we may have to agree to disagree.
     Was Paul anti-woman? Was he just whistling the patriarchal song of his Jewish background? Is this just more Middle Eastern female hating?
     Maybe some. But he does seem rather adamant about it. In the qualifications for deacons, the pronoun used is masculine. Did Christ intend it this way? There is no direct evidence, but He could have easily called a female Apostle couldn't He? Women were used in the Old Testament at times, even Paul himself, in his letter to Timothy, points out a woman's faith can be sincere.
     The Apostle Paul remarks to the young preacher that Timothy's faith reminds him of the faith of his mother and grandmother. Second Timothy 1 : 5.
     John the Apostle wrote the letter we call Second Epistle of John to The chosen lady" verse one. He commends her for raising her children in the Truth.

     Some arguments have been made that the words of Paul are not the words of Christ and He never thought it would come to this.
     Laughtter erupts from the Media Desk

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
     So that verse from Second Timothy three doesn't apply to things that are uncomfortable or that somebody doesn't agree with?
     What was Paul's comments about people wanting to hear what they want to hear? Itching ears? Second Timothy 4 : 3.
     How many times have people quoted one verse, or as some are fond of doing, a piece of a verse, "That's in Jacob Chapter 13 verse 9-B". It's bad enough to only deal in verses instead of paragraphs and chapters, but to only use a section of a verse to carry an argument. No way. If you need to do that, something is wrong with your point. More than likely, it isn't Scriptural. Here we deal with the message of the entire Book. Not just a verse, or a chapter, or 'A' book of the Bible, but the WHOLE THING!
     Now where were we? Oh, yes, issues of the meaning of the Book, and moderation. And why there is only One Sin in the whole thing.
     First. Lets dance around the part of the problem with Rules of Men, go back and re-read the quote from Colossians one more time. It is much easier to control people with absolutes. And, true enough, some things are prohibited Biblically with absolutes. Homosexuality. Murder. Stealing.
     The majority of these are cut and dry. If you shoot somebody that don't need shot and they die, its murder. If you take something that ain't yours, it thievery. If a man falls in love with another man and act on that physically, its homosexuality.
     And some are not.
     Having money is not a sin. Being rich is not a sin. In fact, it's considered a blessing as having the ability to GIVE! But loving money, having money get between you and God IS a SIN! The money itself is just a tool. How you get it, what you do with it, is up to you. Like most other tools, be it a gun or a chainsaw or the Internet. The tool itself is neither good or evil. Like drugs, they can heal or kill. Even LSD at one time had a medicinal use, it is the abuse or misuse of the tool by the person that is wrong. A gun can defend your family or country, provide food, or be used to rob a gas station, the gun itself is not evil. No matter what AlGore's crowd says about it.
     Being fat is not a sin. Eli the priest was fat. But that wasn't his sin by itself. First Samuel 4 : 18. He was also about as blind as a bat. Which is most certainly not a sin. Those are mentioned in the text as mere physical facts. Elisha was bald, oh well (just don't make fun of him.) The sin Eli committed was not controlling his sons who were basically looking for new commandments to break because they had gone through the Ten a couple of times, and allowing some of it to go on in his name as High Priest. First Samuel 2 : 12 and on. The fat sin is gluttony, overeating because you can't say 'no' when offered an entire German chocolate cake.
     Gluttony. Loving Food. As in loving money or loving a person not your spouse. Letting FOOD become your God. But we are not prohibited from eating or working or loving others. In fact, we are TOLD to eat. In Acts 10 : 14, Peter, 'good old shoot off his mouth before thinking Peter', tells God he can't eat spareribs because nothing unclean has ever passed his lips. In verse 15, God tells him to get over it.
The Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and Joy in the Holy Spirit.
     That's Romans 14 : 17. It and its vicinity tells us not to do something that causes another to stumble. If this one wants to be a vegetarian for the sake of his faith, those who are stronger than that shouldn't order a steak when they go out to eat with him. But they are not prohibited from having their steak when at home when the weaker Christian isn't around.
Now there are those that interpret these things differently. But in many cases they have to stretch some verses and all but ignore others and read into stuff. That's not the way the game is played.
If the Book says it. Fine. If not, get over it and mind your own business. Gossips and busybodies are told in Scripture to keep their noses to themselves. Looseness of tongue seems to be James' main axe he wants to grind.
     'But Christ never condoned drinking wine, let alone anything else...' somebody just muttered.
     Ok, fine. Let's open the Book and take a look. You know the story in the Gospel of John two. The wedding at Cana. Levite once heard a church Elder wanna-be say that Jesus turned the water into grape juice because He would never condone drinking. This reasoning, of course, is fertilizer. The headwaiter of the banquet would have known grape juice from wine, and anyway, the word used here is wine as in wine, and that's what you had, and have, at Jewish weddings. If the bridegroom had brought out juice, the maitre' de would have thrown it on him.
     But at the Last Supper, they had basically grape juice. Why? It was Passover. Nothing fermented could be served due to the prohibition against leaven in the Law during Passover. Bread or wine, didn't matter, no yeast. There, the Lord's Supper was commissioned and observed with JUICE, not wine. Which brings us back to that odd practice of idolizing a cracker.
     The Eucharist is the cup and loaf. We've discussed the loaf, the cracker, the supposed body of Christ. Now its time for the other half of that. The cup. For the most part, they use wine, sacramental wine true, but wine nonetheless, in the ceremony. So if you are kneeling there in reverence staring in loving adoration at a cracker and in some cases the cup of wine (which isn't blood in either case), you are worshiping a lie. And get this, many Catholic Churches do not use the cup every time they take Communion, they only use the cracker, "The body of Christ" the priest tells them, no blood, just the body. Where do they get off only having half the meal? It was the BLOOD that washed away our sins. Then again, the church has to know they are not following scripture, but it is the people of the church that buy the gibberish of the ranking clergy that are being hurt by it.
     Go ahead, cry 'foul'. Somebody will no doubt.
      Levite kinda enjoys that.

     If the meal was instituted with unfermented juice, and Paul condemned the Corinthians for putting on a hoot and holler for the Lord's Supper, then why should we change it now? The people of the church in Corinth were coming to the church and throwing down and doing the war dance in the name of the Memorial Meal. Which didn't set well with Paul, who said

When you come together, it is not the Lord's Supper you eat, for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk. Don't you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you for this? Certainly not!
     He told them to eat at home, but to come together as the Church to Worship God, First Corinthians eleven. In doing what they were doing, they were eating and drinking condemnation onto themselves. Guilty of the death of the Lord, not actually of killing him, but guilty by association. If they were doing so, and actually eating and drinking the body and the blood of Jesus, wouldn't Paul have said so? That they were disgracing the actual person of Christ as much as those that had spit on him?
But not doing something by the Book hasn't ever slowed anybody down.

     How many ways are there to be baptized?
     Ok, that's a trick question. How many ways are there to be baptized according to the Word of God?
      Exactly two. Per the Bible.
      Look it up. READ the BOOK!
      Let's list the one scripture we'll use. From the green flag we will not be looking at the Great Commission in Mark or anywhere else. Those are straightforward and used constantly. Never mind Acts 2 : 38 as well, if those that know it by heart and refuse to obey it won't live by it now, what good will bringing it up here do? And we'll skip First Peter 3 : 21, some denominations have been ignoring that one for years. How about First Corinthians 1 : 17, if just getting people wet in the tank were the object, the YMCA would have been the greatest thing to hit the Kingdom since Pentecost. There's more to it than that.
     A lot more.
     Acts 22 : 16

And now why do you delay? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.
That's all we need. It's Paul recounting his conversion to the Jews after being arrested in the Temple. This one verse shows that Baptism is active, it is something you DO. Not that is done to you passively. It demonstrates that it does wash away your sins which sinks the argument that baptism doesn't save as assuredly as a German explosive sank the Britannic. And it says you must do it in the Name of Jesus. How can an infant call on the name of the Lord?
     OK, now about the two ways.
     There is the way described above, which is by immersion, for forgiveness of sins, in the name of the Lord. And there is the wrong way.
     So where does Levite shake out on all this?
A fascinating question. Simply fascinating.
     Let's start to answer that with Levite's Favorite Old Testament passage. Remember, this began with his second, Psalm 150.
      Ecclesiastes 12 : 13.
The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God, and keep His Commandments, because this applies to every person.
     That's the NAS, in this one case, Levite actually prefers the KJV
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
Now, remember we said we'd get into a bit about translations. A good hardcore self deluding woman who had never READ any other translation once told Levite she would only use the KJV because the others had taken the BLOOD out of the Bible. She could not, on cross-examination, explain which translation she was talking about. There is certainly blood in the NIV and NAS and the RSV, and she wilted when reminded that the King James had taken the LOVE out of First Corinthians, and put UNICORNS in at least half a dozen OT passages, among them, Numbers 23 : 22 and Isaiah 34 : 7. Her remark, "They meant charity as love. And those were water buffalos."
      If the translators in 1611 were inspired as some claim, they wouldn't have made that error. There are entire Web sites and long scholarly books claiming Divine Inspiration of the KJV. If that translation were perfect, it would satisfy all inquiries into problems in the text. Is the book itself the inspired Word of God. No. Is the Message it contains the Very Words of the Living God? Yes. But it is the most used translation, where it is good it is very good, and if it's all you got, go with it. Read it, then ask the questions you need to ask. And in the case above, Levite likes the way the Shakespearean English turns the phrase. (Why is it the people that claim they can't understand the Bard swear by the King James Bible?)
      Either way. That passage is fairly clear. Isn't it?
      Then why do so many people, and so many churches, and so many religions, and so many and so on, have so many problems simply doing what the Bible says?
      He's sure others have asked that question.
      Some preach the teaching authority of their church, and we are NOT referring to the Catholics here. They cite tradition, they claim it's the choice of the congregation, or that they are the weaker brethren and other churches should respect their position.
      We shall attack the weaker brother claptrap first.
      They lift this from Romans 15, but they seize to it with a death grip and close their eyes to other verses, not half a dozen pages over in First Corinthians three one where Paul writes about maturing in the faith with more substantive teachings and doctrines. 1 Corinthians 3:1-3
Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly--mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.
     OK, they are weak now. They are immature now. They should Learn and Grow until they get to be strong enough to CHANGE into what they need to become for their own sake if no other reason. You don't become a new Christian, or a new Church and sit there. Or if you do, look into Revelation 3 : 2, are the deeds not completed those begun by an immature church unwilling to take a stand in faith?
      Maybe an argument from silence. They say, the Bible doesn't say thus and so. Bet'cha it does.
      You can't say the New Testament doesn't allow music in the church because during the Celebration in Heaven in Revelation you have trumpets, of course, but you also have harps, Revelation 5 : 8 and 15 : 3, and there's loud singing everywhere, and even thunder as background music. Not only is there music in heaven, it's loud! And of course there are those that say, "Well, Revelation is only a metaphor." Or whatever. Ok, it is, bet you four horsemen to a box of donuts its symbolism is based in God's Truth!
You can't say we are not supposed to give up on people and move on. Christ condemned two entire cities who did not listen to Him, Matthew 11 : 21. He told the disciples that if the locals didn't listen to them, to move on. Matthew 10 : 14.
      You can't go off on a tangent about how it's OK to send evangelists to Outer Beaufontain and not to evangelize the people down the street because the people down the street have been expounding false doctrine. That didn't even slow Paul down on Mars Hill in Athens. Acts 17 : 22 and following. The first Church sermon ever was to the people in Jerusalem. Peter didn't ask them who was a resident and who was from out of town, he preached to them all. Christ preached in Nazareth even though He knew a prophet finds no honor in his own country, chapter and verse? Look it up.
True, the Bible doesn't exactly address some things. Mexican food, small cars, the three point shot, and telecommuting. But answers to all those can be inferred by reasonable people in reasonable ways from the scriptures we have, without contortions and arguments hopefully. But in most cases... If the Bible does not directly answer a question, it should be addressed by the leaders of the church after study and prayer, while attempting to be reasonable and finding common ground that doesn't completely alienate anybody without solid grounds. That says leaderS of the church, plural, not singular. We'll get to that in a minute.
That's the reason you have designated leaders in the church that stick to the Book. They speak where the Bible speaks, and where the Bible is silent, they shut up.
      A lot of the things taught in mainstream churches are nothing but the rantings of men and have little or nothing to do with the words found in the Bible. Let's look at what many churches say is the proper posture of prayer in the church. 'Every head bowed, every eye closed'. Oh, please.
      Many of the prayers in the Bible are said lying flat on the ground, David; Second Samuel 12 : 16, Jesus; Mathew 26 : 39. Kneeling, Daniel in 6 : 10. Sitting- Second Samuel 7 : 18. And even...
I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.
First Timothy 2 : 8 and there are others.
      Nowhere. No Where. Does it say, 'every head bowed, every eye closed.' In fact in several places it talks about lifting up eyes in prayer. Jesus did it in John 11 : 41. Stephen was about to be killed, and didn't bow in prayer, he looked intently into heaven, Acts 7 : 55.
      For some reason the picture of Elijah quietly bowing his head and closing his eyes and folding his hands on Mount Carmel just doesn't cut it.
      Again, somebody muttered in the back row something like, 'how can anybody who's done this level of research be so wrong about so many things?'
      Well, some preachers have paid wheelbarrows full of money and gone to Bible College for years and are just as wrong. But Levite has an addendum to that. Point out where any of this is wrong in and by the Book, and we'll discuss it, and he'll change his beliefs if the evidence of Scripture is against him. And it will be addressed in a future edition of this series.
      It's happened before. He used to not be as adamant about women in various offices in the church. And he used to not think it a major issue that some churches are dead set against music in church services, and there was a time he didn't think it that important that the local church have the Elders and Deacons as designated in the New Testament. He thought a church could run under just the advisement of the preacher/evangelist/pastor and go along down Heaven's Road just fine.
      Events and study and prayer and discussion have changed his opinion dramatically in the last year or so.

     Any organization that operates on the behest of a single powerful human leader runs itself right into the ground. Be it a government, club, or even the Church. There are many cases in modern times where the charismatic leader of the local church ran off in a direction that gets further and further from scripture until, the Church of Christ is no longer the Church of Christ but the Church of this Personality. A group lead by and for a single leader.
      One who has convinced himself that his vision and his way are the best and only way for the group. That based on his superior understanding of the Word, he is the 'Great White Hope' and the people had best listen to him. And if they don't, or have a different opinion, they are following the devil. This leader will spout from the pulpit that any dissent or discussion is from a disgruntled few trying to split the church. All questions and opinions flow to and from him, any committee decision has to bounce off him, all issues are settled with his rubber stamp on the settlement.
      What is the word for a group following a single figurehead leader with a special vision and total control of the group?
                A Cult.
      Without good local leadership, the church staggers. Men, as dictated by the Apostle, that are rooted in the community and the Word of God, to oversee the church.
      And it happens. The single leader: The pastor, or evangelist or figurehead, gets high on the power, they like the attention, they get used to being important and giving orders. And there you go. It turns into an ego trip. The Church of Me. Their word is gospel because they have the title, the education, the job. And just as assuredly as power corrupts, it also blinds, they cannot see the sinking ship because of the water.
      This situation caused the fall of many Roman Pontiffs, and the Fuhrer of the Thousand Year Reich, Stalin and eventually the USSR, and even Richard Nixon. It is causing the crash of several national ministries in the US in the nineties. And it has been the problem since the First Century, and even before. Remember King Saul, he didn't listen to his elders either.
      So, we've come full circle.
           Saul didn't dance in the sight of the LORD.
                David did.
                     Some don't.
                          Levite does.


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