Sing Along Kids! "Always Submit to the Church Administration"

Here's an actual children's video from The Church of Christ:

"Always submit to the church administration, for they were placed by Lord God to lead His nation, if we obey then we will receive salvation, sing along with me..." (repeat for 3 long minutes)

Sorry if that tune gets stuck in your head for the rest of the day (or the rest of your life); but there are some things to point out and think about...

First of all, the Church of Christ believes that they have the only correct and true understanding of Christianity and that their's is the only true church on earth. Obviously, they've got some theology that we totally disagree with, but that's an issue for another day. However, from their viewpoint, the message of this video makes good sense; if the church leaders speak directly for God, we should listen to them and submit to them. This has been the viewpoint of the Roman Catholic Church: the Pope is God's representative on earth so we should listen and submit to him.

Although the message of this Church of Christ children's video is extremely blatant and severe, it is only a few small steps beyond what many "vision-casting" pastors are teaching. If God gave a vision to the pastor (a real vision, or "direct revelation"), it naturally makes sense to do whatever that pastor says without questioning. For example, all of the Mormons who follow along with the visions of Joseph Smith are doing the right thing, from the standpoint of that belief system.

When Steven Furtick's Elevation Church produced coloring books to teach their children, they taught this (it says, "Elevation Church is built on the vision God gave Pastor Steven. We will protect our unity in supporting his vision."): 


Elevation Church quickly discontinued these coloring books after they received criticism (there's only one photo online that keeps getting passed around). Here's the whole photo with the drawing of the young pastor:


At the top it reads, "UNITY. We are united under the visionary. Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Romans 13:1" (Important note: Romans 13: 1 is usually not interpreted as proof of our need to submit to a vision-casting pastor.)

Along the exact same line of thinking, at the very end of the kid's video the song finally adds a new lyric at the end: "Let's unite completely. Yeah!"

So, The Church of Christ and Elevation Church (and a lot of other "vision-casting" churches) have taught essentially the same thing: We unite by submitting to the God-given authority of our pastor/administration. How do we know that an authority has been established directly by God? They simply tell us they are! In the case of The Church of Christ, we even obtain salvation by obeying our church leadership. Yikes. Even Steven Furtick wouldn't go that far; he would just demand that you leave his church if you can't fully submit to his leadership.

We had a Reformation 500 years ago... Didn't we agree that Jesus Christ is the head of the Church?

See also:

For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visable and invisable, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church.
— Colossians 1: 15-18