For years we have had this collection of short articles posted on line and we slowly add to them as new topics come up. We don't claim to have all the answers, but we're sharing how we see things. As we all share, our perspectives are widened, and it becomes easier to lay aside fear and dead religion and to choose instead pathways of freedom, boldness, life, and love. We hope you enjoy the mythbusters.
Myth #13 In the book of Judges, when "people did what was right in their own eyes", it was bad.
The book of Judges ends with a remarkable statement - "In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in their own eyes."
Preachers usually attach negative meaning to this verse and some commentators go so far as to say that the book describes "a time of failure". But Judges is a 400 year period of history in which God's people either followed God and were blessed, or forgot God and got themselves into trouble - and then He rescued them. That sounds my life!
There is nothing in Judges which attaches negative meaning to this part of Jewish history. Seeing it as negative comes from have a dark view of humanity.
The alternative to having the people be free to call their own shots, was to appoint a king over them. When Israel moved to appoint a King, THEN God had something negative to say about it. God wanted them to stay in the freedom they had, where individual people could make decisions, and where they had mediators and judges to work out the problems.
God's desire is that we know Him individually from the least to the greatest of us. (Jeremiah 31:34 ) The only mediator between God and humans is Jesus. (1Tim 2:5) And Jesus tells us directly that we should not name a teacher, leader, father (Matt 23:8 - 12) because God is the only one who should occupy that place in our lives
God does not want us to have spiritual rule over anybody, not in our jobs, families, or churches. He wants us to love, serve, nurture, respect, encourage, help, and release. Jesus said, "Even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve..."
And, by the way, this does not mean "servant leadership". This phrase is not in the Bible, and is a compromise of Biblical principles. The Bible encourages us to "serve", period. Do a Bible word search on "lead, leadership", and related words and you will find almost nothing. Much of what you do find will be negative. Do a search on "serve" and related words, and you will find the Bible filled with positive references.
These principles do not threaten churches. They will restore the failing church and lighten everyone's load. These principles will not undo families. They will heal and strengthen all the members.
It takes courage to walk with an unseen God. Let's not reject the freedom He won for us or abdicate the responsibility for our own lives which He has granted us. Let's allow God to lead us into the unique, abundant, adventurous life that he has for us all.