Answer 17: 27 proofs of “The First Church”
17. They had true church democracy (Matt. 23:8-12).
Isn’t Christ the Head, and the Holy Ghost the Administrator of the New Testament church? Isn’t the church supposed to acknowledge the will of the Lord and act upon it? Doesn’t that make the church a Theocracy instead of a democracy? After all, our vote is not equal to Christ’s is it? Doesn’t the new Testament church act in the executive instead of the legislative and simply carry out the will of God?
By the way, the cited passage isn’t addressing anything about the church. Rather, it addresses an attitude and terrible tendency of man, even the saved. Why? Because of the context:
Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, . . . (Matthew 23:1-2a)
. . . But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. (Matthew 23:8-12)
Now, some will take issue and say that Christ said that “ye are all brethren” and that means they were all in the church. However, that is to draw no distinction between Christ’s disciples and the multitude, which the Holy Ghost specifically saw fit to draw a distinction. To persist in such an argument is to implicitly declare that one knows more of what the Scripture ought to say than the LORD God Himself.
There is considerable Scriptural support for the generally applied statement “ye are all brethren” because we are all of one blood (Acts 17:24-28, esp. v. 26) and thus are all brethren. Moreover, since God is our creator, and the Father is the Father of all, lost or saved, we all belong to God the Father. Finally, It is Christ who is appointed the Master of all men everywhere at all times. If this raises a question, please remember that Christ is the Judge of all men, both lost and saved.
So then, properly interpreted, the citation of this verse actually supports the idea of the Universal church, which is contra to what S. E. Anderson says that he supports.