Joseph Mattera on 7 Extreme Teachings of Today’s Church

Joseph Mattera
Joseph Mattera

Almost everywhere I go, believers are attempting to apply the kingdom message to influence the cultural mountains, which are described as the major areas we need to influence in order to transform society: politics, economics, education, family, religion, arts/entertainment and science.

Consequently, with every move of God there are always extremes and/or misunderstandings. Of course, I write this in the context of my own local-church-centered lens, in which I advocate for the supremacy of Christ manifest through the centrality of the local church in each city. (Ephesians 1:22-23 calls the church the “fullness of him who fills everything in every way” [NIV].)

The following are some of the extremes used today in the teaching of the kingdom of God:

1. The marketplace believer is a king while the church leader is merely a priest. There have been many marketplace believers who have separated the priestly ministry of Christ from His kingly ministry into two halves: The kings are the marketplace leaders, and the priests are the full-time church leaders (for example, pastors). One of the outcomes of this teaching is to elevate the marketplace leader over the local church pastor since a king has more authority on the earth than a priest. This teaching also causes the focus of each role to be dualistic; the priest should focus on spiritual things and the king on earthly things.

I totally disagree with this bifurcation, since all believers are called priests in 1 Peter 2:9; all are called to be kings and priests according to Revelation 1:6 (or a kingdom of priests); and all are called to reign as kings in the Amplified Version of Romans 5:17. Furthermore, all marketplace leaders should be spiritual and led by the Spirit, and all full-time church leaders should exercise authority on the earth as kings in order to manifest His kingdom on earth.

2. The true church is in the religion mountain. I already dealt with this in a previous article, “Four Different Views Regarding the Church and Cultural Mountains.” However, in my opinion, the body of Christ is the temple of the mountain of the Lord that is above every other cultural mountain (Is. 2:2; Mic. 4:1) and as the representative of the kingdom of God is called to transform every other cultural mountain as part of the cultural mandate (Gen. 1:28; Matt. 28:19).

Many teach that the church is just one of the seven cultural mountains (part of the religion mountain), which then puts all believers in the same category as the Mormons, Buddhists and Muslims!

3. The believer only focuses on the marketplace and jettisons the church.Some leaders have been so turned off by the nuclear church religious straitjacket that they have gone to the other extreme and committed themselves to improving the quality of life of their communities. As “kings,” they believe the whole earth is their parish, and their businesses become the center and sole focus that eventually disconnects them from their local churches.

I have found that many marketplace people who do not have a strong connection to a local church lose their center of gravity and experience huge family problems. Businesspeople need a local-church-based overseer to make sure they stay on track in every area of their lives.

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Source: Charisma News | Joseph Mattera is overseeing bishop of Resurrection Church, Christ Covenant Coalition, in Brooklyn, N.Y.