If there is truly an jesus a gospel of love on a person’s life, it makes no difference if they are called an apostle or think they are one. If it’s true, then the perfect will of the Father will be done, no matter what it’s called. What does it matter what others say or do or call you? Just do His will in building His Kingdom and don’t concern yourself with what others say.
APOSTOLIC MINISTRY IN SIMPLE CHURCHES
I have heard leaders within the Simple Church movement acknowledge that we are lacking one key ingredient: apostles raised up from within the movement itself. I agree with that notion as I have heard stories of apostles from without the Simple Church camp being invited in and sowing confusion because they did not see a particular group as supporting the local church or were too engrained in the Institutional Church system to see anything else as being legitimate.
On a DVD entitled “Tidal Wave,” I heard (paraphrase), “…you won’t find Presbyterian House Churches or Baptist House Churches.” I have found quite the opposite to be the case as I have, personally, ministered to a group of 42 “Church of Christ rejects” in a house in West Texas, a group of Universalists, Baptists, on several occasions (as recently as last night), a group of Charismatics that had recently split, and a group from an Assembly of God church that had done likewise after catching the pastor stealing.
One SC leader told me they had determined that if God were going to send them an apostle, He would raise that person up from within their own group. (If that is the case, they should be prepared to LOSE that individual for he/she will soon be “sent” to someone else as their job description requires).
Another SC leader said, after conferring with other leaders in his group, they couldn’t justify the expense of “flying someone in” whom they did not even know personally, unaware that the apostle in question had spent 8 years criss-crossing the nation in a motor home with his wife (Paul, whom the Corinthians knew, sent Titus to minister to them – they simply trusted Paul’s choice).
IT’S A MIRACLE…OR IS IT?
I have heard it quoted that an apostle was one who performed miracles. In fact, for many, signs, wonders and mighty deeds are the guidelines for the apostolic ministry. This conclusion is based upon interpretation of 2 Corinthians 12:12, “When I was with you, I certainly gave you proof that I am an apostle. For I patiently did many signs and wonders and miracles among you.”
Personally, I disagree with that litmus test.
Why? Because miracle workers can be found among the Hindus, Muslims, Mormons, and witches, too. In John 4:48, Jesus said, (I believe with a sigh),”Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will never believe.” He also warned, “For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect – if that were possible,” (Matthew 24:24).
Paul wrote similar words to the Thessalonians: “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders,” (2 Thess 2:9).
Sadly, too many Christians will use this as the sole criteria for a TRUE apostle. Though this is often the case, some apostles will have a strong healing ministry while others are very prophetic. Some are incredible teachers while others operate in a combination or cluster of gifts.