Friday, March 11, 2016

Generals in God's Church?

Are there military officers that lead the body of Christ? The New Testament describes Church leaders as pastors, bishops, apostles, elders, and deacons. The pastor is admonished to shepherd the flock of God. Have you ever read about Army Generals in the books of the New Testament? The title of "army general" is usually held by the equivalent of a four-star general, and corresponds to the command of an individual army in the field. So, is there any validity to the many men and women referred to as generals in the Church?

Last night I had a dream that I was wearing a military uniform. I thought that after all my years as a pastor I surely must be a captain. When I looked in the mirror I saw that I was a second lieutenant and not a captain. I reflected on this dream all day and believe it was an insight I should share with fellow believers. When I was twenty years old I served as an enlisted soldier in the Army. Several years later I served as an officer in the National Guard. I actually had more authority in Vietnam as an enlisted soldier than I did as a 2nd Lieutenant in the National Guard. Whether we are a member of a congregation or a pastor, our faithfulness to our assignment is what matters to God. We are all disciples of Christ and members of His body.

I understand and believe in showing honor to those in whom honor is due. My concern is that the emphasis being placed on generals can become divisive and can lead to unhealthy relationships within the Church. Rather than referring to people as generals, the title of leaders should be sufficient.  

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