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on May 17, 2006 at 9:51:13 pm

The Moses Principle

The Senior Pastor is like Moses to the people in the congregation. The Senior Pastor is God's representative to them.


In CC, the Senior Pastor hold the New Testament position of bishop. From The Philosophy of Ministry of Calvary Chapel (PMCC), ©1992, Logos Media Group, by Chuck Smith, page 24:


We feel that this is the form of government God deserves for His church; Jesus Christ is the head of the body, the church; He established the episkopas or bishop, who we call the pastor, who is ultimately responsible to Jesus Christ and whom we must recognize and bear the responsibility to guide and direct the ministry of the local church, guided directly by Jesus Christ.


With the authority of receiving his teaching straight from Jesus Christ, the pastor becomes unquestionable. They say a picture tells a thousand words, The following illustrations from Chuck Smith's booklet, The Philosophy of Ministry of Calvary Chapel tells the entire story:



(From The Philosophy of Ministry of Calvary Chapel, page 23)


This stuff is so outrageous that a Calvary Chapel adherent accused us of inventing this.


So What's Wrong With The Moses Principle?

It is not the leadership model of the New Testament, but rather of the Old Testament, and only one small part of the Old Testament, at that. It was only for the 40-year period where the people were wandering in the desert. They never got too far under the system and only were under it for the 40 years because of their unbelief. God did not want them (even in the Old Testament) to have a king (Senior Pastor) to rule over them as the other nations.


Actually, the leadership model was set by precedence in the New Testament very clearly in the book of Acts. When the first situation arose where there was a need to appoint the deacons for the church. The apostles told the people to choose for themselves seven men as the deacons. The apostles did not dictate who those leaders would be, but rather told the people that they were to choose the deacons. This is here:


Acts 6:1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. 2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. 3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.


Another criticism of the Moses Principle comes from our Lord Himself:


Mat 23:2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: 3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. 4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. 5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, 6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. 8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.


It is interesting that Chuck Smith has picked the phrase Moses Principle, and has chosen to sit in Moses' seat. The scribes and Pharisees usurped the authority of the Levites and took over the position that God had ordained for them. Anyone else see the parallels here?

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