After a late night of cleaning on page 81, I slept in a little bit but still made it to work by 8 AM to meet the crew that started harvesting timber on the property today. During the day I took care of needs in the building while also working on the monthly Impact Prayer Ministry newsletter and getting it sent out. As I was getting ready to leave work, our pest control person showed up so I stayed around while he did his work.
As I took some time to unwind this evening, I started going through some photos that I had taken over the past few days. There were quite a few pictures of the osprey that have returned to Potato Creek State Park, including one that at first glance appears to be an osprey with two heads. While it is obviously just an illusion caused by two osprey sitting close together, it still made me think of the phrase “two heads are better than one.” While this is a true, and even Biblical, statement in the context of seeking advice and mutual encouragement, the phrase falls completely apart when talking about the church.
The thought of an osprey with two heads soaring in the sky, building a nest, plucking fish from the lake, or accomplishing any other useful task seems rather far-fetched. Yet how often do we expect a multi-headed church to grow and prosper, giving no thought to who it receives its instructions from? God describes the church as His body with the head being Jesus Christ. While most churches that I’m familiar with would claim that Jesus is the head of the church, many operate on a day-to-day basis as if a preacher, an elder, a charismatic personality, an influential group, or some other person or entity is really its head. Jesus is still given the title but is easily relegated to the role of figurehead as others determine all the decisions while spending little or no time listening to God.
Before we come down too harshly on the church, what about you and I? Jesus is not only set apart by God to be the head of the church which He bought with His own blood, as individuals we are members of that body still accountable to the same head that the body as a whole must submit to. The Bible teaches that God has not only knit our physical bodies together, He has carefully fashioned the church out of the individual members that make up the body. For our physical body to be considered responsive to the head, each part must take its direction from the head. When a part of the body does its own thing without responding to and submitting to the head, we rightly determine something is not right. When the individual parts that make up the body of Christ do their own thing without responding to or submitting to Christ, the problem should be just as obvious. The church is only submissive to Christ as the head to the degree that the individuals within the body are submissive. When I am more concerned about what people might say or think than I am about what God has said, I am acting as if the body has two heads. When I start doing that, it isn’t long before I simply choose which head I listen to based on what I want to hear.
I pray that you and I understand, and live under, the headship of Christ in all things. I pray that we would listen to the head as we live the part of the church body He has created us to be. I pray that we would reject the temptation to look to ourselves or others as the head of anything we do. I pray that our focus on Christ as head of all things would keep His body from appearing to be double-headed and keep us from living as double-minded.