We have completed our tour of the scriptures, studying the topic of power and control in Christianity along the way. We learned that much of what is presumed is without foundation, while much more that has been "lost in translation"— whether through ignorance or deliberate prejudice— is now being brought to light.
We have learned that God is not one to play favorites, nor to judge people by appearances. Neither does he tell us of His love and compassion for all, only to take it away from some groups on the basis of the flesh. He does not promise an easy burden and then make it heavier, adding harsher rules for His Body than for anyone else. And He does not lead only by command but also by example.
Jesus modeled the ideal life of a believer— for everyone. There are no exemptions, no roles to play, no chains of command among brothers and sisters or among the parts of the Body. A healthy body is composed of parts that truly complement each other as one hand or foot complements the other, with neither wishing to rule over the other. And no part has to ask another part to communicate with the Head.
Yet the controlling spirit would dismember this Body into a thousand pieces. It pits male against female and invents class distinctions. It wants one part to boss another and puts barriers between believers and their Savior. It distracts and sidetracks, it weighs the Body down with chains and burdens. It is an evil cancer that eats away from within and keeps the Body sick and immobile. It cannot leave people alone. It even protects itself by repeating the lie that the opposite of control must be chaos, as if people cannot get along without some kind of pecking order, or as if the Spirit cannot direct us without human bosses.
But it does not have to be this way. The cure is only as far away as our resolve to follow what scripture actually states, whether by word or by example. All we lack is the conviction to put the truth into action. And of course we must remember that very few have been made aware of all these issues, such that we need to allow time for this message to spread and sink in. God never suddenly yanks people into line but waits patiently, slowly revealing His will, gradually introducing changes. In the same way, we who know the truth must first of all preach it, then keep teaching it, and then be alert for readiness to move forward.
We hear a lot about change today, but it is a lie that would only serve to enslave us again. True and lasting improvement will only come with the message of our freedom in Jesus, with careful examination of the Bible, with respect for the Word of God and with consistent practice. Let us begin to model this healthy Body by uniting around the truth and behaving in a way that will cause those around us to see what Jesus really began, what the Holy Spirit gave birth to.
Be the Body, a true community of believers, united in love and truth, unencumbered by the chains of control. Seek out like-minded others and faithful teachers of the Word, and change the world in the way we were meant to: one person at a time.