September 13, 2007 at 9:26 am 2 comments

Okeechobee, Florida

Swimming in unknown waters is always a challenge.  Sometimes all you can do is grab some kind of flotsam and hang on.  Such was my experience yesterday, here at Kingdom Summit III.  With the education, experience and background I have, hanging out here is both a challenge intellectually, spiritually as well as emotionally.

First of all, I have to say that the world of true believers is far greater than the little group of Christians and churches I was part of for 50+ years.  Of course that is obvious, but what happens to most of us who are Christians is, we find a group with whom we are comfortable doctrinally and relationally and unless we get kicked out, we tend to stick with it even when we know there are major thoughts and ideas with which we disagree.  It is easier to do your work, cash the check, tell each other what a great job you are doing, then it is to face the reality that what is important to you has changed. 

While I don’t agree with every other group of believers I meet, about everything, I am more inclined, these days to be OK with the disagreements in favor of the agreements.  That way of operating has put me with some really fine, gracious and Godly men and women I would never have met operating the way most of the Christian world operates-finding ways to separate as opposed to finding ways to come together  

So, as I sat in this room yesterday with a whole bunch of people I like, but don’t know real well, I found myself interacting with some information that was so right on I wondered why I had never heard it before.  The answer is: to hear thought like this requires you to acknowledge that the system you have given your life to might not have it as knocked as you thought and probably in some cases was just flat wrong.  That is really hard to do. But as hard as it is, here I am.  Not dissing the group left behind but acknowledging I missed a lot.

In Ephesians 6:12 are these words: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. The word principality is the Greek word arche (pronounced R-K). We get words like architect and monarch, from this word.  Most of the time it gets interpreted as demonic forces or the infiltrating force of evil.  Our speaker, Dr. Bob Mumford, encouraged a broader intepretation.  He called a principality a non-corporeal being, non-corporeal defined as a non-human, entity that exerts power and authority over an individual when they are part, or in the presence of that “corporation” or group, even though they may act in a more autonomous way when away from the group. 

Mumford is suggesting that this arche, principality, non-corporeal being causes you to act, when you are with the group, in a way you would not or do not act when away from the group.  (does this make sense?) In fact to act in a way that is un-godly under the guise of something seen to be godly or at least right and honorable.

This principality, this arche, this non-corporeal being is a force, (whether truly demonic, he never said) that causes us to act one way here and another way there.

Dr. Mumford mentioned five arches:

  1. Family (natural).  Just tell mama you are not coming home for Christmas and see what kind of pressure is exerted here.  Jesus wasn’t kidding when He told us we were to “hate father and mother” in order to enter the Kingdom.
  2. Social/Caste. This is probably peer pressure for most of us but some are part of an ethnic group that holds them to choices and actions that they would not otherwise choose.
  3. Money.  Money talks.  Most decisions in churches, like in every other area of life, are made, one way or another with money talking.
  4. Political.  Ethics, morality, rightness generally have no place in political decisions.
  5. Religion.  The things done in the name of religion are more horrifying than all the rest put together.  This non-corporeal entity has slain millions in the name of “rightness”.

During the days which followed the discovery of my personal failure and my removal along with my family from the church we served for 16+ years, there was on two or three occasions where a leader would come by the house or call and when we asked why he had made a decision a certain way, would respond ” I am just one elder, I really wouldn’t do it that way, if it was just up to me, but we are a group and we need to make decisions as a group.”  I love you personally and wish the best for you, but the board needs to act this way or that way”. 

Here is an example of an arche (R-K).  Individuals acting as part of a religious system, an arche, a principality, in a way they would not, or might not act on their own.  I include this illustration not to speak poorly of men who were and in fact are my brothers but to show how easily it is to function in a spiritual enviroment as an arche. 

We are all under the pressure of these principalities day by day, moment by moment.  These arches must be destroyed by violence (2Corinthians 10:5).  Oswald Chambers writes: …every theory or conception which erects itself as a rampart against the knowledge of God is to be determinedly demolished by drawing on God’s power, not by fleshly endevor or compromise. …these choices (to operate out of an arche) are continually in antagonism to the entrenchments of our natural life, the things which erect themselves as ramparts against the knowledge of God.  (More here and here)

We don’t wrestle flesh and blood because flesh and blood often hides behind the arche.  When we allow a system, especially a religious system to make decisions for us, decisions we would not make were we relying on Kingdom principles made alive by the Spirit, we are part of a system bound over to the enemy.

Revelation 11:15 The kingdoms of this world have now become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever.  The kingdoms of this world must be submitted moment by moment to the Kingdom of our Lord and in that way the arche are destroyed.


Entry filed under: Authority, Belief, Christianity, Church, Holy Spirit, Institutional church, Revelation, Thoughts.

Immature leadership for mature problems. Kingdom.

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Doug Wright  |  September 14, 2007 at 7:21 am

    I wonder if R-K is what makes change so difficult when you want to move into different relationship that would cause vulnerability and uncertainty. When we have learned the “reaction talk tracks” we are protected by our own experience and intellect. Sad but I believe true.

  • 2. Diana Burke  |  September 14, 2007 at 12:29 am

    Greg, how long has it been since you read Frank Peretti’s book ‘This Present Darkness’ if you’ve ever read it? In light of this BLOG topic you might find it to be very interesting (leisure) reading.
    I often wonder just how close reality is to that perspective…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Blog Stats

  • 138,190 hits

%d bloggers like this: