The psalmist exclaimed to God, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psa. 139:14). The psalmist understood that God’s creation of humankind was an unparalleled achievement. The human body works together in amazing harmony, as brain impulses are sent throughout the body to control movement, breathing, and heartbeat. The way in which the body functions is so wonderful that God compares the relationship of the human head to its body with the relationship of Christ to His beloved bride, the church (Eph. 5:22-32).
Sometimes the human body does not work in perfect harmony with itself, and sometimes the spiritual body does not work in perfect harmony with itself. And what if different parts of the body were to rebel against each other? We would have the frenzied state of chaos warned against in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27. How much more is this true when the body betrays its head? The New Testament warns against traitors from within who would betray the body and its Head (Matt. 24:10; Acts 20:30; 2 Tim. 4:3). The body’s betrayal of its head is currently taking place.
The preaching of false doctrine is one area in which the betrayal of the Head is seen. Jesus promised, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). Yet as Jesus seeks to make mankind free with the truth, certain members of His body have sought to keep mankind in bondage with false doctrine. In order to bring themselves crossover appeal, these men intentionally leave out essential requirements of salvation from their “preaching,” and replace them with others of their own choosing. It is as Paul warned, “Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:30).
Another way the betrayal is seen is in the changing of the Head’s plan of work and worship for the body. There are churches of Christ (or so they profess to be) who have changed the mission of the church from seeking and saving the lost to providing them “jazzercise classes” and serving them with a country club atmosphere. The holy worship of God has been transformed into entertainment for the masses.
A third way the body has betrayed the Head is by becoming friends with the world. In some places, there is no distinction between the church of Christ and the rest of the community. They dress the same, talk the same, and live the same. These “Christians” do nothing to indicate that they are “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2:9). To such the Lord’s reply is, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (Jas. 4:4).
A body is designed to be controlled by its head. The current betrayal is causing the body to lose any control of movement. This betrayal is causing the body to gasp for air. This betrayal will eventually remove the heart from the body. But know this—a body is identified by its head. Those who continue to hold fast to Christ as their head will continue “having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God” (Col. 2:19).