Monday, March 28, 2011
There has been a debate in the Church on how to manage its affairs. The Roman Catholic has opted for a hierarchical structure in the tradition of a bureaucracy. Others have opted for a less structured, but still hierarchical structure, such as the Episcopals. The LC-MS at its origin kept its Church affairs between it and Christ, the anti-thesis of a hierarchy. The independent church who practices Church discipline and seeks the Truth/Word is closest to the churches Paul wrote about. A hierarchy has the real risk of supplanting Christ's role as head of the Church. The best example of this is the pope, who is the "vicar of Christ", but the pope's word can override the Gospel- an anti-Christ action. This places a man in the place of the Son of God. It is the result of the very human desire to find a "king". This is very similar to the Israelites electing to have Saul over God. It is the sinful human condition, but the search for a king must start and end at Christ. Anyone/anything else is just a poor substitution and denial of Christ.