The apostle Paul called the elders of the Church in Ephesus together and gave them what could be considered to be a 'deathbed' warning.
29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. 31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. NKJV
Not all who lead the church today have the integrity Paul had regarding 'not coveting your silver or gold'. Many teach 'perverse things' and draw away disciples after themselves. (The perverse things include the requirement for people to 'commit to the local church as members'....and to support it by regular sunday attendance so that they can be soundly indoctrinated (Mat 23:15).....and constantly be told to 'tithe' money to the church)
42 But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, "You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 44 And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. NKJV
Most who 'lead' today claim to have a god-given authority to rule over others ....ie they demand 'submission'...based on Heb 13:17. These people.have failed to OBEY Jesus' command.
What part of..."it shall not be so among you"...do they not understand?
What slave gives orders to his master?
Christian leadership is a RIGHT TO SERVE WITHOUT CHARGE!
The apostle John gave an example of a leader who had 'gone off the rails'
3 John 9-10
I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. 10 Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church. NKJV
Those who will not be held accountable to the scriptures and the apostolic doctrine often separate members from the body of Christ universal and exercise control over who is welcome to fellowship...either overtly or covertly.
17 They zealously court you, but for no good; yes, they want to exclude you, that you may be zealous for them. NKJV
1 Cor 3:3
For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? NKJV
What motivates cultish behavior among leaders?.....Usually it is either power over people (which Jesus commanded them NEVER to exercise Mat 20:26 and Mark 10:43)......or the coveting of silver and gold....MAMMON (Luke 16:9-13) ....or a desire for honour from men (Mat 23:6-12 and John 5:41-44)
Pastors who exercise control and demand submission instead of serving FREELY are behaving in a cultish manner!
Pastors who demand money by guilt manipulation and deception are behaving in a cultish manner!
Pastors who demand honor and recognition instead of being self-sacrificing and self-sufficient and ministering to the needs of others are behaving in a cultish manner !
Christian choose today who you are following...is it Jesus or a man purporting to be his authorised representative?
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. NKJV
Bondage to religion or freedom to walk with Christ as you are led?....the choice is yours
The definition of the word (diakonos) and the SOLE role of a minister is to SERVE!
2 Cor 1:24
Not that we have dominion over your faith, but are fellow workers for your joy; for by faith you stand. NKJV
Many times in life we will encounter people who try to control us....this is ungodly authority!
2 Cor 10:1
Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ — who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you. NKJV
The powerful apostle Paul pleaded meekly and gently
We are to be 'ambassadors for Christ'.....introducing people to Christ....NOT getting them to join "our church"
2 Cor 5:18-20
18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. NKJV
11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. NKJV
We are all to learn to listen to God ourselves....and NOT have anyone hear for us!
We are to set people free into THEIR God given ministries...not demand that they support ours!
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. NKJV
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; NKJV
There is NO class in the church of ordinary members who support "the work of ministry" which the paid "leadership" carry out for us....it is the ORDINARY members who are to DO the work of ministry!
1 Peter 4:10-11
10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. NKJV
1 Peter 5:2-3
2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; NKJV
Leaders are to SHOW the body by their example HOW we should walk. This is not to be done primarily by preaching from a pulpit at people but by living A LIFE WHICH DEMONSTRATES CHRIST in action for others to follow!
(If you disagree show me where christians were ever taught to become members of a 'local church'...rather than members of Christ's body.
If you disagree show me where ANYONE in the scripture was ever paid a salary for 'ministering' (the only "wages" received were freely given hospitality and support for itinerant missionaries)
If you disagree show me where in the New Testament anyone was ever more than an EQUAL brother who served the body rather than an "anointed" leader who ruled over it.)