Apostles & Fathers

There is much misinformation that misleads people in the area of apostles and fathers in the faith! I hope the misinformed will not continue misleading people, no matter how well intended they may be.

Just because someone is an apostle does not make them a father in the faith. There are a lot of apostles leading ministries and movements who are still children in the faith, and manifest childishness in their daily lives. If you are a genuine apostle you will genuinely grow up.

Even Paul, who was called an apostle from his mother’s womb, said he had to grow up spiritually. In fact, he said after he grew up he still had to make a decision to act grown up!

“When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.” 1 Corinthians 13:11

Paul did not say when he became an apostle he put away childish things! He said when he became as man he put away childish things. One manifestation of childishness is the need to be needed. Needing attention is a core value of someone who is immature, insecure, and suffering identity and image issues. There are an abundance of leaders who serve for what they need which proves they are still in the childish, carnal, self-centered, self-absorbed level of maturity.

Just because someone is not an apostle does not eliminate them from being a father in the faith. There are a lot of believers with no 5 fold office call on their life who have matured to fatherhood. Some have had a great impact on my life as I developed as a disciple of Christ.

Maturing into fatherhood is the call to every believer in Christ, regardless of their call, mission, office or lack there of! And at the father level of maturity the person is not interested in their personal needs. Their need is to pour their life out for and into a person who needs mature leadership and direction to help them become a mature adult.

“You are to become perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect” applies to all the disciples of Jesus of all ages! Perfect means perfect, not just mature and complete!

Fathering requires running with the person needing fathering in close enough proximity to monitor their progress, without impeding their personal creative expression. This allows the person being fathered to keep their eye on the father but not be encumbered as they run the race set before them.

The person needing fathering must be willing to enter into and embrace the process fathers put them in to develop them into a mature believer. The acceptance of that process verifies the person voluntarily accepts the person fathering them. If the person needing and or wanting fathering in their life constantly complains or resists the person and their process, they prove they are not ready for, or interested in genuine development as a disciple of Christ.

Every believer should look for and find someone who can father them without them needing to call them “father,” or the father being called their “father.”

Jesus said, “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.” Matthew 23:9

If a “father” needs to be called father to feel adequate, or accepted by the ones they are fathering, then that father has some serious father issues.

I think some who call themselves apostles need to quit worrying about who is, and where are the apostles. If God calls someone to the office of an apostle then God is handling that apostle’s progress into Their purpose! And if God wants one apostle to align with others He is perfectly willing and able to arrange that connection.

I believe there are apostles who take out of context Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 4, “14 I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you. 15 For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. 16 Therefore I urge you, imitate me.” Paul would reiterate the “imitate me” instruction later in chapter 11 of 1 Corinthians.

Paul did not say the Corinthians did not have many “apostolic” fathers. He just said they had an abundance of people teaching them, not fathering them. This tells me there is a difference in those who teach and those who father. All fathers teach but not all teachers are fathers, even to those they teach. Fatherhood is a maturity level and function, not an office or title. There is no office or title called fatherhood, except in the Catholic Church, which connects apostolic succession to fatherhood! This is, and should be rejected by all believers everywhere.

In addition, Paul, who operated both as an apostle and father to the Corinthians believers, demonstrated apostolic and fathering discipline when needed to those who chose to follow [imitate] his discipleship core value of following [emulating] the lifestyle of Christ Jesus. Purity is paramount in the development of a maturing disciple [son or daughter] of Christ. Discipling a person to Christ is the same as discipling a person to Father God. “The Father and I are one.”  Biblical fathering has everything to do with modeling Father God to the person being fathered so they will become like the Father who is perfect.

“Follow [imitate] me as [in the same way that] I follow [imitate] Christ [the ultimate leader]” should be the standard every kingdom leader lives by. Paul is saying he was following Christ so that he could lead people to Christ. All kingdom discipleship has that core value or it is not kingdom discipleship. Christ is the

Good gracious, Paul said he received, accepted, embraced, and developed his apostolic call, mission and revelatory message apart from the apostles in Jerusalem. He said it was developed on his sabbatical in Arabia.

Galatians 1

“11 For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; 14 and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions. 15 But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased 16 to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus. 18 Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 But I did not see any other of the apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.” 

If Paul were alive today he would not be accepted into some apostolic brotherhoods by some of those who see themselves as the brotherhood’s gatekeepers. Paul went to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and James, not to surrender his apostolic credentials to them.

I think some modern ministers who consider themselves apostles, see themselves erroneously in that select group of original leaders who were called to the closed, select community of the apostles of the Lamb!

All the apostles, even the original 12 called personally by Jesus, volunteered their ministry connections! And the 12 did not require obedience to them as a qualification into the post apostle of the Lamb apostolic office. The nonsensical heresy called “the shepherdship movement” was debunked in the 1970’s. I am concerned some of its tenets still exist and its tentacles are still reaching out trying to entrap unsuspecting saints.

Honor and respect does not require connection or obedience! It is given and received voluntarily! And for that matter, submission is voluntary too. If someone demands submission run as fast as you can. That is called slavery!

Everyone should focus on their personal relationship, call, mission, mandate and message with the Apostle and High Priest of our confession who died, was raised, ascended, and called us into our respective relationships, call, mission, mandate and message for Him.

“Do not think more highly of yourselves than you ought” is a really good verse right now! Especially for apostolic fathers!

In conclusion, if you need a father figure in your life look for one who will look for your loyalty, not require your loyalty. Again, loyalty cannot be demanded. A father who looks for loyalty more than likely will demonstrate loyalty to you. Loyalty is discovered in disagreement just like faithfulness is discovered when there are other options to choose from. If you want and need someone to father you, you must accept the responsibility of being a child [son or daughter]. That responsibility includes but is not limited to recognizing and admitting you do not have all the answers and you volunteer to be parented.

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin

A Hisstorymaker

What Is Compassion

What is this thing called compassion?

First let us clear up what it is not. It is not sympathy. Sympathy is a poor substitute for compassion. Sympathy is impotent in the face of real problems facing real people.

Sympathy is a feeling of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortunes. Sympathy is expressing condolences to those who are hurting. In other words it will hold your hand or stroke your head all the while not lifting a finger to get you out of the mess you are in.

Condolences are usually expressed at the time of death. I don’t know about you but if I die I do not want anyone around me or my family exhibiting sympathy. I go on record right now – DO NOT LET SYMPATHY NEAR ME!

Sympathy showed up at the funeral of the widow’s son in Nain. It was there when Lazarus died. It was present at Dorcas’s bedside. It was also around when the young daughter of Jairus was sick and died. Sympathy is ever present anytime there is a crises.

It is available to mourn but not to move the mountain of despair. DO NOT LET SYMPATHY NEAR ME!

Jesus was never moved by sympathy. Jesus was moved by compassion. I have been accused of not showing compassion. Even just recently I stepped on someone’s toes and they responded with a gracious rebuke.

I received their rebuke even though I do not know them and they do not know me. They read the most in your face blogs I have written and it created some consternation. I welcome the scrutiny because it will help me become a better communicator of the zeal for God’s house that I have. This person did say my passion was obvious and I was appreciative of that as well.

Years ago when I was a young man and young minister of the Gospel of grace I was accused of being angry. I was angry. What was not provided was a vehicle with which I could get delivered of my anger.

I am still angry now that I have matured in the Lord. My anger is now focused on the forces of darkness that motivate hurt in this world and the mindset that Christian’s have that encapsulate those hurting in a world of sympathy.

I am sorry but when I am trapped I do not want to hear I am so sorry you are trapped. I want someone with compassion to bust that trap in the trap.

Now, I never want to be rude to people but I will not slow down, back up, or give up in my quest to uproot every lie the enemy has sown in the lives of wonderful people that are destined for greatness in this world. Maybe it is my prophetic apostolic call that shows up. Lord knows that I am not a pastor, at least not in the classic understanding of that grace gift. I pastor but I am not a pastor.

Give me some compassion! What is compassion? It would help if we knew what it was so we would actually recognize the difference between sympathy and compassion.

Compassion in Jesus compelled Him to set His face like flint toward Jerusalem, the Garden and the Cross.

Compassion in Jesus compelled Him to rebuke the three pillars of the church when they allowed a demonic mindset to influence their mission.

Compassion moved Jesus when He saw the multitudes were like sheep without a shepherd. He did not say they did not have shepherds. He said they did not have Kingdom shepherds. Those who were suffering were being pastored by sympathizers.

WARNING TO ALL SHEPHERDS – YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE WHAT HIS COMPASSION LOOKED LIKE.

It looked like Him commanding His disciples to preach and demonstrate the Gospel of the Kingdom He preached and demonstrated. He also designated legitimate fruit of His message ~~ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils and raise the dead. This supernatural activity is fruit of His dominion. It is to be done by all of His disciples but it is not proof a disciple is doing it.

Jesus said on “that Day” people would use prophecy and miracles as proof they were His disciples. He stated it was only proof that His Father would honor the use of His name to advance the Kingdom. It did not prove those who did those things were His disciples. “Practicing lawlessness” was equated with using His name without a real relationship with Him.

“Get away from Me” was the fruit of false discipleship!

Did you notice there was no command to hold hands, stroke hair, or mourn their plight.

Shepherds need a new job description. Lose the one you got in seminary. Read the Bible. Read the red and pray for the power.

While I am angering some more sympathizers ~ Have you, I have, wondered why the church trains their ministers to bury the dead while the medical profession trains their ministers to raise the dead. That’s right, maybe all preachers should go to nursing or medical school instead of seminary.

If this hurts your feelings then maybe you should take a good, long look at your call. Because it is not right that the medical community responds with the mindset of saving life and not burying it and the church sits by without a clue what to do or how to do it.

Get trained in the biblical lifestyle of purity and power!

Listen, if you have seekers in your church start a seekers Sunday school class so that the real service is not dumbed down to the lowest common denominator in the room.

Jesus did not have two sets of followers. I can see it now. “Okay, you who are not ready for this stay way back out of the way and you who are ready follow me closely.”

Friends, I have tons of compassion. It is my compassion that will not allow Christianity to be dumbed down to something Jesus did not model.

It was His compassion that kicked in and kicked the disciples in the back side when they did not believe the lady’s report of His resurrection.

Compassion in Jesus compelled Him to destroy the commercialization of worship at the Temple [twice]. Friends, that was compassion – maybe not for those that were diverting people’s attention from worshiping God to themselves. But it was compassion.

I do not believe as some do that this means you cannot sell coffee, cupcakes for the kids, CD’s, etc. I believe he attacked a party spirit that was calling attention to the vendors and not to God.

Compassion compelled Jesus to run the [paid] sympathizers out of Jairus’ daughter’s room right before His compassion got rid of the spirit of death.

Compassion compelled Jesus to say to His disciples, “Who are My mother, My sisters and My brothers?” He went on to identify those who were related to Him – “those who do the will of My Father.”

Compassion compelled Jesus to leave the crowds behind when He was after the Gadarene demoniac. I wonder how many seeker sensitive ministers would leave their crowds behind to go after one demon possessed man.

Friend, that is the call of compassion.

Compassion always moved Jesus. Maybe we really don’t know what it looks like.

Compassion compelled Jesus to heal the servant’s ear that Peter lopped off with the sword Jesus told him to bring.

Compassion also compelled Jesus to say, “You give them something to eat.” What are we really feeding those who come into our meetings? The writer of Hebrews says meat is for the mature and milk is babies [5:13,14]. If we design our services to service the babes in our midst then who matures?

This tells me maturity is equated with revelation in the word as meat is tougher to chew and swallow [understand] than milk.

Compassion compelled Jesus to command His disciples to heal [all] the sick, cast out [all] the devils [that manifested] and to raise [all] the dead. As I said in another blog, that won’t happen in most church services. Most devils are quite happy in church.

You see friends, Jesus’ compassion is directed toward those in desperate need. As for those that have settled for sympathy. I hope and pray when you are in dire need you get His compassion and not His sympathy.

As for me and my house, we are serving the Lord of compassion.

DO NOT LET SYMPATHY GET NEAR ME!

For HIS Glory!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury
As Hisstorymaker