When it comes to Spiritual leadership there isn’t a position any higher than “Apostleship.” That term, however, is thrown around pretty easily in some circles. Some of these self-styled (and self-appointed) “apostles” drive expensive cars, jet “first class” around the world, live in opulent homes, wear the finest clothes and enjoy cuisine at the finest restaurants. Their message is “prosperity” and “blessing” (culturally defined of course). The big question, however, is… are they REALLY “apostles” … I mean the Biblical kind? Or are they what the Bible calls “false apostles” (check out 2 Corinthians 11.13-15… it’s interesting!)
I’ve been around long enough to know that the glossy, glamorous cover on a magazine or brochure is the product of marketers and may not give you the whole picture of the reality of a thing… you have to dig down a bit to discover the raw actuality. In my Bible reading this morning “Apostle Paul” addressed the REAL TRUTH of what APOSTLESHIP cost him and his apostolic colleagues. Here’s what he said…
“For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings. We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment.” (1 Corinthians 4:9–13 NIV) *Additionally, 2 Corinthians 11:21b – 12:10 might be a healthy read to get perspective on Paul’s “apostolic experience.”
So it seems to me we need to be very careful about how we throw around that term. We need to use it very carefully and sparingly! It’s interesting to me that Apostle Paul preferred the terms “bond servant” or “slave” for himself. Hey, I’ll join him in that… I’ll settle for just being called “a bond servant of Christ”!