This article was first published on the Painful Truth, February, 2012
February 1939 Good News Magazine
-Herbert W Armstrong Argues Against Church Hierarchy
JESUS’ TEACHING ON CHURCH GOVERNMENT
There is not one single HINT in the New Testament of any Church BOARD with authority to rule, to govern, to decide doctrine, or to handle tithes and church finances (the whole church). In the later number we shall devote an article to explaining Acts 15, which certainly sets no such example. Jesus never organized, or re-organized His church! There is NO SCRIPTURE for it! All authority and power to rule is limited solely to each LOCAL congregation. But there is NO BIBLE AUTHORITY for any super-government, or organization with authority over the local congregations! The plain teaching of Jesus is JUST THE CONTRARY! Listen!”Jesus called them unto Him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to RULE over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise AUTHORITY upon them, But so shall it NOT be among you.” (Mark 10:42). The AUTHORITY—the GOVERNMENT—the RULERSHIP—was turned over to the Gentiles for 2520 years—until Christ RESTORES the kingdom at His Second Coming!
WHERE CHURCH GOVERNMENT ORIGINATED
How then, did ORGANIZATION, and the idea of CHURCH GOVERNMENT get into the Church? It came out of BABYLON! Spiritual BABYLON—that is, ROME!
The same as nearly all other false doctrines of Satan. In the early 4th Century, Constantine, the Emperor, who officially started SUNDAY observance in the Western World, saw his Empire in danger of disintegrating. At the time a great controversy was raging among the leaders of Christianity, over Dr. Arius’ doctrine concerning the origin of Christ, as opposed to the Trinity doctrine. We quote from Encyclopedia Britannica, (article ARIUS):”This controversy over Arius’ doctrine reached even the ears of Constantine. Now sole Emperor, he saw in the one catholic church the best means of counteracting the movement in his vast empire toward disintegration, and he at once realized how dangerous dogmatic strife might be to its unity. Constantine had no understanding of the questions at issue . . . He summoned a
general council (the Nicene Council). …It was finally decided against Arius. …Constantine accepted the decision of the council, and resolved to uphold it.”
Thus it was CONSTANTINE—the “BEAST”—who injected and introduced into the church the idea of a BOARD to decide doctrine, and to rule.
You can read the whole letter HERE, if you can stomach it!