Seven Things You Can Do to Cast Down Gentile Power in the Church

How to rein in an unbiblical reign in your congregation

“Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them” (Mark 10:42).

That’s what I call Gentile Power.

“Power. Authority. That’s pretty heady stuff! Too often, those who have it want to preserve it, and those who don’t have it want to acquire it.” (Mark Roth, c. 1994)

Gentile Power infects churches, church committees, and church boards. That’s because it infects disciples. Even disciples of Jesus. Read the context and background of the verse above if you doubt me.

Over the weekend I finally posted an article I wrote on this subject. In it I mention five categories of people according to their response to or perception of this evil. I also offer seven options for the consideration of those weighing their response to such use of church authority.

Along the way, I ask:

You have… You have… You have… But that person — minister, chairman, whoever — continues to use his position as license to exercise Gentile Power.

What are you supposed to do?

Jesus' disciples, watching Him closely

I eventually offer the challenge to choose between two other options. Then I advise:

Choose well.
You’ll pay dearly for either one.
But only one will reward you handsomely.

I invite you to read my full article (Gentile Power in the Church) then come back here and extend the discussion below.

If Jesus Is the Christian Woman’s Lover…

Who is my lover?

Some of my sisters in Christ believe they have a sensual dimension to their relationship with Jesus. They even use sexually suggestive language in speaking of it.

I think the Christian woman with such a perspective gets there by using the Bible like this:

  1. When I became a Christian, I became part of the universal church.
  2. Jesus is the bridegroom of the church.
  3. The Song of Solomon graphically depicts a very sensual relationship between a man and a woman — romantic, passionate, sexual.
  4. The Song of Solomon pulls back the curtain on the relationship between Jesus and the church.
  5. Jesus wants me to have that kind of relationship with Him.

My beloved is mine, and I am his. -Song of Solomon

If you are a woman who sees Jesus as your Song of Solomon lover, please answer my simple question:

Who is my lover?

Read it all

How to Disagree With Anyone

Why I disagree (and why you shouldn't take it personally)

The young man asked to talk to me privately about church matters. He seemed to have two main things on his mind:

  • Why didn’t I go along or fall in line or be agreeable in certain matters?
  • I underestimate the influence (on some people) of the opinions and perspectives of “Brother Mark.”

I assured him that when I disagree, it’s on principle. I told him I don’t make such things personal. He seemed surprised. I was surprised and dismayed at his surprise. And I wondered what he had been “fed” about me.

That was several years ago. As I recall, it was during a recess from an all-day, heavy-duty men’s meeting of our church. It may have been in that time period that I posted this on Facebook on January 26, 2014:

Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? (Galatians 4:16)

“Am I therefore become your enemy,
because I tell you the truth?”

(Galatians 4:16)

More recently I posted this on FacebookRead it all

How to Improve the Needy American Missionary

Help him see the treasure in Christ's local earthen vessels.

Mark Roth preaching at Emanuel in 2008Before I graduated from high school, I knew I wanted to return to Mexico as a missionary. Yes, return.

My parents had entered missionary service in Mexico when I was less than two months old. Our family left the field when I was almost seventeen years old. A little over five years later, my wife and I joined a pioneering missionary team (led by Dad) going to another area of northwest Mexico. Over the next ten years, Ruby and I had two stints of service totaling some five years on the field. We last left in 1991, expecting to return to service soon. (We didn’t.) The last twenty years I’ve served on our congregation’s Mexico mission board.

I tell you all that to help you understand why a title such as this would grab me by the nose: “What’s Wrong with Western Missionaries?” The author reports on a lesson learned when he put this question to a bunch of believers in some Muslim countries: “What makes a good missionary?”

Finally, with great hesitation, one of the believers looked at me and said, “I don’t know what makes a good missionary, but I can tell you…”

No, I won’t reveal the answer here. 😯 😀

I was quite enthusiastic about the article well before I was done reading it. It motivated me to write my own piece addressing the self-imposed distortion suffered by the self-sufficient missionary. I snatched some snippets from it and put them here as a preview: Read it all

I Must Decrease

Jesus, Others, You -- a wonderful way to spell JOY

“I’ve been there and done that,” I think to myself. “I’ve done what he’s doing and been what he is.”

“I’ve been there and done that,” I think to myself.

But times change and needs change. As does standing. As do positions, assignments, and responsibilities. And when the time comes for me to give up long-held things like that, I want to remember again what John the Baptist said: “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).

I remembered it when I resigned as principal of “my” school.

I remembered it when I encouraged another friend to assume a calling that would diminish “my” role.

I hope I remember it when I’m replaced as chairman of the board I’ve “headed” for over 19 years. Read it all

Above all, love God!