We have a problem. In the 21st century, contemporary Christianity is now governed by several worldly authorities, the Federal government, the Roman Catholic Church, Seminaries, etc. In the first century, the church, that is Christians, was in charge of every aspect of their business, translating the scriptures, copying them, and distributing them, etc. Nowadays, the only responsibility churches have is to keep the members happy and relatively well-fed. The church has lost control of itself.
For starters, the church has lost its Bible. The KJV has been supplanted by new bible versions translated from Catholic Church-approved Greek texts, but that is another story. In the early church, it was the job of Christians, the New Testament priests, to transport and translate the scriptures just as it was for the Levitical priesthood in the Old Testament. As a Christian, you cannot print and distribute the new versions because they don’t belong to you; they belong to their corporate owners. If you want to follow God’s command to keep the scriptures you have to buy them first!
Secondly, Christians have largely abandoned their Hymnals for contemporary Christian music made by singers & bands. However, many CCM singers and bands are worldly, ecumenical, and several of their songs contain doctrinal errors in them. In the 1980s, CCM advocates insisted that this new music was just for hearing pleasure and wouldn’t replace the hymns, yet here we are. Just as churches go to secular businesses for their Bibles, they go to them for their worship music as well, which they again must buy!
Thirdly, it is biblically the job of the older men to teach the younger men, even in raising up new teachers and pastors. But pastors don’t teach the younger men to be preachers, the seminaries do. If a young man, yes man, wants to enter the ministry he goes to the seminary where he is taught doctrine, whether true or false, usually false. The danger arises when the seminary administrators change their doctrinal stands to be more liberal. In the first century, Paul set the example by teaching Timothy and others to be preachers, they didn’t invent a seminary, they were taught by older Christian men.
Fourthly, the church is supposed to be the custodian of the scriptures, but now that job belongs to academia. Once men go to seminary, they become scholars and they study the Bible in its original languages. In the past, scholars would look to pastors to confirm what the Bible says. Today the reverse is true.
Finally, Churches, especially the pastor, are under the authority of Federal law. When a church building is established, it will almost always become registered with the IRS under section 501(c)(3). This is a tax-exempt status, so churches cannot be taxed by the government (though that may soon change). This tax-exempt status comes with strings like the government requiring information on the membership numbers, monthly tithe offerings, church assets, salaries, etc. In addition, churches must abide by state laws regarding workplace safety, child safety, tax filings, minimum wage salaries, etc. IRS registered churches may sue and be sued, and are basically run as a business with a CEO Pastor, Elder board of Executives, Church constitution etc.
Historically, politicians were terrified of ministers because they would tell their congregation to vote one way or another. But under IRS registration 501(c)(3), the Pastor cannot tell you how to vote or who to vote for, and if they do they are breaking the law and Romans 13 I might add!
The central problem today is that Christians have relinquished their responsibilities to businesses and academics. Christians need to get back to publishing the word, singing the Hymns made by Christians, and get out of government church buildings. Only then can the problem start to be fixed.