As Christians who have been in church most of our lives, we have heard this word, Paraclete. We know that it means to come alongside and render aid. We, also, know that this is the Holy Spirit. What about this other para?
Now, there is another para in the church that has become a tool of disgrace and superior position. This para is the go-to for law and order in the churches that rest upon its necessity. Pastors and members invest much time to hone its ability so the presentation is orderly and succinct. This para is preached from and used to divide and many times treat members with disdain coupled with a condescending attitude. It is written and implemented so deacons are bestowed extra-Biblical authority that is not theirs to possess. This para creates boards and committees under the guise of church protection, again bestowing authority upon members that is extra-Biblical and unnecessary.
Much can be said about this para but for the purpose of this post, enough has been mentioned. What is the para-doc or para-docs referred to so far? The docs in question are the constitution and bylaws of the church. Why para? Because the constitution and by-laws have come alongside the Bible. Churches that have adopted the constitution and by-law format are, indeed, state churches. I heard a great Pastor say, “with shekels come shackles.” Tax exemption and the opportunity to claim tithe on taxes may be great when looked at with shortsightedness but with shekels come shackles. “The government giveth, and the government can take away”
Take time to muse!