<<< Back To Archive





If Not The Church, Then Who? -Part II


Rev. Robert Kelley is the founder and president of Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. and pastored the St. Mark Baptist Church of Portland, Oregon at the time this was published.


(Editor´s note: This is the conclusion of an article calling the Christians and churches among black Americans to repentance, revival and the restoration of our men.)


The second of four family responsibilities Jesus Christ has given men before Him is to teach their families His will, way and Word by way of precept and example.  Thirdly, men are to provide for their families by working for honest wages (II Thessalonians 3:10-12).  This does not mean a man is to do it all alone for his wife is to be his helper.  It does mean he has the primary responsibility before Christ.  Finally, men are to protect their families.  Every man who fails to fulfill his four family responsibilities sins against and will give an account to Christ in the judgment without repentance!


No pastor or church has the authority to nullify the Lord´s ancient design of or plan for marriage and the family embodied in Scripture.  Neither do we for any reason have the authority to change or ignore the related transferable applications that govern the conduct of the local churches as I once did out of fear of conflict.  I knew what God´s Word taught about the roles of men and women in the churches, but the break with Scripture made long before my arrival in the church I pastor had hardened into traditional practice.  Therefore, I willfully chose not to challenge the status quo to avoid the certain contention that was to come in a day in which secular feminism influences so many of our female numerically dominant churches.


However, four years ago under heavy conviction of the Holy Spirit and the Word, I repented before the Lord and our church.  It was hypocritical and inconsistent with God´s Word for me (as it is every pastor) to preach restoring our men and then dishonor them in practice in God´s house!  We cannot obey God halfway by saying "every man is the head of his house," but when they come to God´s house women preach, teach and take authority over them as co-pastors, associates, worship leaders etc. Partial obedience is still complete disobedience in the sight of our God whom we should fear rather than men or women (I Samuel 15:1-24)!


Yes, as many of my fellow pastors do fear, some women did leave our church as I began to obey God´s Word and restore men to their proper role of authoritative leadership in our government and assemblies.  With few men to begin with and natural attrition, this left our church very small in our new beginning.  I have also been ridiculed among religionists and in the wider community for making this stand on God´s Word.  What is my response?


Again, the Church is not a construct of sinful man, the community or culture, but Christ (Matthew 16:13-18)!  He has been pleased to save humanity from among all races, tribes, tongues, cultures and nations.  However, by no means do these annul the commandments of Christ to His churches that form within them.  The churches transform cultures and nations, not the other way around as is now happening in the black community, America and other Western nations.  Faithful Christians and their churches obey and serve the Kingdom purposes of Christ even to the point of persecution and death.  The Lord´s peace and integrity before men far surpasses anything I have suffered or will suffer for obeying God´s Word!


Let´s be real.  It is only from fear or outright defiance of God whatever the motivations, that professing Christian men, women, pastors and churches who tinkering with God´s order (over the past 100 years to be sure), have done so by corrupting His Word.  As we have also seen first with the historic propping up of American style slavery and racism, then gay churches, homosexual bishops and now same sex marriage, once this is done, there is nothing to stop persons from corrupting the Bible to have their way in anything.  This is spiritual anarchy, which is what the devil has been seeking to create all along!


The spiritual poverty I once knew was not remedied by having an education or job.  It was the simple message of the Gospel and Word of Christ proclaimed by the Church that eternally changed my life.  Therefore, when Christians and churches fall away from Christ in rebellion, where again from a human source will the world receive the Gospel, the flavoring and light of the whole counsel of God on matters spiritual and moral?  If not the Church, then who will thoroughly restore our men by introducing them to God´s love, forgiveness, healing grace and new beginnings?  And without restored men, who will rescue our dysfunctional families and self-destructing community?


Beloved, those of us who yet remain in the true Church of Jesus Christ must confess and repent from the truth that underlying our disobedience of God´s Word is a desire to fill seats.  We also allowed the world culture and the dictates of the community to influence our priorities rather than His Kingdom.  We sought to please people rather than the Lord.  This is sin!  And now, since we are soon to enter into the foretold end times, we know that the time is short.  If in repentance we will seek real Holy Ghost fired revival, we must do so now!


Jesus says, "If the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?  It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men."  (Matthew 5:13b, NKJV). Continued righteous judgment is the Lord´s only alternative to our prideful and stubborn resistance to repent.  I invite the repentant to join me in this business of fulfilling our Lord´s commission among the men in our community.



©2007 Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc