14-Our Mother

One of the doctrines taught by the “Assembly of the Body of Christ” to maintain control of people is a teaching that "The  Body of Christ" is our "mother" and therefore we must obey it.  This they prove by quoting from the book of  Matthew in the New Testament:
While he was yet speaking to the multitudes, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, seeking to speak to him. One said to him, "Behold, your mother and your brothers stand outside, seeking to speak to you." But he answered him who spoke to him, "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?" He stretched out his hand towards his disciples, and said, "Behold, my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother." Matthew 12:46-50
If we read this for what it says Christ was merely stating his true family is those who do His will and follow His path. He was not, in any way, indicating who was His spiritual mother and this can be easily proven.

With this doctrine the ABC tries to prove one must heed the opinions of the leaders, a delegate of the leaders, or an assembly of  local members. Each, or all of these, dictate  based on their own opinions and perceptions what the mind of God is.  The individual, or family,  is then expected to obey these "commands of God" and may even suffer "discipline" or ex-communication if they do not follow the advice. I have seen that happen many times.

To effect this, the ABC has  established what they term  "body counsels".  These "body counsels"  are fraught with personal opinion. In these “body counsels” groups of  individuals come together to pray, read passages from the bible then offer up their own opinion on what they feel  "the mind of God" is. These opinions are dictated not with suggestion but with force. It is portended that it is as though god himself had spoken when the advice is given. There is no allowance for human error and the advice  must be obeyed.  In the past I have made some very poor life decisions because I assumed, wrongly,a "body counsel" was "the voice of God", irrefutable, and was not merely the opinions of mere men that should be looked at closely. I followed the advice blindly,without judging its validity or verifying if it was even  prudent, and suffered the consequences.

Not long before I was ex-communicated for the final time from the ABC, an individual came to me very confused.  This person had been  confronted with a huge life decision and did not know what to do. Having traveled to another meeting in another state she asked for a "body counsel". There was much talk, prayer, some reading of passages from bible  then god "told" this individual through this body counsel to make a particular decision. 

When this person returned to their  home town meeting they mentioned the need to make this major decision to the group  they normally fellowshipped with as well. Once again there was much speaking, prayer, reading of bible passages but this time there was also a “prophesy”. As god "spoke” this time through another  body counsel he "told" the individual to do the exactly the opposite thing as what was related in the meeting out of state. This very confused individual asked me; "How do I know which "God" to believe?

My answer to them was that if God was speaking to them he would speak to them directly and not through another person. While it is fine, and perhaps wise, to obtain opinions from others, it must still be regarded as that...opinion. If it were God speaking it would not be in a manner that was so easily made  frail by the presence of personal opinions. Even if the opinion “manifests through prophecy" all opinions rendered,  especially through  prophecy, must be weighed for validity since many false prophets exist in this world and there is only one who is truly wise...God. 
Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. 1 Corinthians 14:29 
The largest  flaw in  this "mother" teaching is that it is impossible for Christ to be his own mother and thereby give birth to Himself. After all, if Christ's  own body is his mother, does that not then mean that Christ and the mother are one and the same. This is confusion and if we are to believe Paul to the Corinthian's "God is not the author of confusion...1 Corinthians 14:3.

This doctrine is clearly, and plainly, disproveh in the bible as I will show below. Galatians chapter 4, verse 26 offers the most clear explanation of who our spiritual mother is:
Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.   For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.  (26) But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.Galatians 4:21-31 
By this account, if we have been born of God, "Jerusalem above" is our mother and we are then a child of the freewoman.  To determine who exactly "Jerusalem above"  is, we need only look at a few other places in the bible. 

We have seen in Galatians that those born after the flesh are a child of the bondwoman, but one can be a child of the freewoman if we are born of the Spirit.   If we look at John 3, verse 6-8 we see that:
That which is born of the flesh is flesh. [but] That which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Don't marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born anew.' The wind  blows where it wants to, and you hear its sound, but don't know where it comes from and where it is going. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
This  shows a juxtaposition between those born of the flesh and those born of the Spirit.  The New Testament scripture show that Christ was born both in the flesh by Mary and he was also born of the Spirit, after his death, at his resurrection.  Thus if we follow him in the likeness of His death and resurrection we too can be born of the Spirit
And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: Romans 1:4 
If we are to believe the Old and New Testament there are many examples of God being our father.  There is little doubt that truth can be proven using the bible.  When Christ made his way to earth, He told us He came in the likeness of his Father (God).
Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwells in me, he does the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. John 14:10-11 
So the bible states that Christ came to earth and dwelt among us in the image of His Father (God).  When Christ left the earth it meant we, mankind, would once again be without a representation of a spiritual  parent on earth and would again be as orphans. Take a look at John 14: 15-21:
If you love me, keep my commandments. I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor,  that he may be with you forever,-- the Spirit of truth, whom the world can't receive; for it doesn't see him, neither knows him. You know him, for he lives with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans. I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world will see me no more; but you will see me. Because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. One who has my commandments, and keeps them, that person is one who loves me. One who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him, and will reveal myself to him."  John 14:15-21 
Some translations use the word "comfortless" but this is actually the Greek word "orphanos" or "orphans". Jesus assured his followers that when He left the earth, and they no longer had an image of the Father (God) dwelling among them, he would send back another image, another Counselor--the Holy Spirit--to be with them.  In short Jesus, the image of God the father is replaced by the Spirit, the image of the mother. It is the only possible way we would not be left orphans.

To encapsulate this story, prior to Jesus birth as a man, mankind was orphaned on the earth, without image of father or mother for comfort. When Christ came in the image of His Father (God) we were no longer orphans due to his presence on earth in the image of the Father. However He  knew He could not remain on earth forever in the image of the Father (God) so He assured his followers that once He left He would send back the image of the other parent; the Holy Spirit, and mankind would no longer be orphaned again (without father or mother). Jesus, in the image of the father, left us then sent back  the the image of the mother; Holy Spirit; to give us comfort and counsel.

Note what he spoke just after these statements.
I have said these things to you, while still living with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and will remind you of all that I said to you. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, give I to you. Don't let your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful. John 14:25-27 
The true Counselor, our true mother, is clearly the Holy Spirit, not "The Body of Christ" as the ABC would have you believe.  Christ was born of the Spirit at his resurrection and  He was, I assure you,  not born of Himself.
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loves us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood...Revelation 1:5
God has fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he has raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, You are my Son, this day have I begotten you.Acts 13:33 
I will declare the decree: the LORD has said unto me, You are my Son; this day have I begotten you. Psalms 2:7 
The bible clearly states when Christ died and was resurrected he was born of the Spirit, born again of God, became the begotten of God, was born out of Zion (Jerusalem above) and it is He who established her womb as He became the firstborn of God, allowing us  the same exact privilege of being born of the Spirit. 
And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her. Psalms 87:5 
If God is our father then we must clearly be born of the Spirit; our mother. When this happens we then have forever  within us the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father [] send[s] in [Christ's] name, [and] he will teach you all things. John 14:15 [paraphrased].  If we are born of God and born of the Spirit we have identified who our true parents are. In short....the body of Christ cannot be it's own mother and if counsel is to be given it must come directly from the Holy Spirit within. The rest is opinion and must be weighed.


1 comment:

Will Riddle said...

Scott -- This is very interesting. Clearly the "mother" doctrine of ABC is wrong because it makes a specific church group out to be "your mother" which is strange. It's definitely not the point of Jesus' statement.

What is more difficult is the second aspect of you post -- who is our "spiritual mother"? I'm not sure that the Scripture really teaches us that we have one. If it does, it's certainly not a major Scriptural teaching. However, your conclusion that the Holy Spirit is operating somehow in that role is well reasoned.

The most important thing is that the focus is not on some specific group that can Lord over you, but it is on God Himself.