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Hot Potato.

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by True Counterphobia, Jan 14, 2021.

  1. True Counterphobia

    True Counterphobia Slave to Christ

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    How do different denominations see hierarchy within the church? I am convinced there is on from my understanding of scripture, but my pastor and elders do not think so. I pointed out Ephesians 4:11 and my pastor said these are simply roles given to people in the church and don't mean anyone is any more important than anyone else. Further, I watch this thing from Ask Pastor John and it seems to be something of a paradox for me (link) Because I do see a hierarchy within the Church. So if I say there is not a hierarchy in the church and go along with what my pastors and elders say, I forsake what I read in the Bible. But if I maintain my belief, then I am going against my authority figures.

    How do you guys see this issue?
     
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  2. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    There clearly was a hierarchy, but I don't know how that affects your standing in that church or your relationship to it. Sometimes it is necessary to find another church, but sometimes it's a disagreement that remains only a difference of opinion that can be tolerated by both sides.
     
  3. Agallagher

    Agallagher Slow learner.

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    @True Counterphobia Hello,

    You mention about a hierarchy, in churches.


    Christ Jesus is the Arch. (Head of the Church) (The Support that is needed)

    Everyone else has a choice.

    There are people who share the word, and try to teach it to the best of their ability either out from selfish ambition, and some preach with a sincere heart. Either way Christ is preached.

    The individual is left with a choice to love God with all their heart, soul, and mind, and to love others as their selves.

    Philippians 1:15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

    Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.

    Life Worthy of the Gospel
    27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God.


    Question everything, respect all people, live in peace if possible with all people, pray, trust, and love God.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
  4. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

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    Hierarchy is necessary for both organizational and spiritual purposes. It was always present in both Judaism and Christianity. The very fact that your church has "pastors and elders" means that a hierarchy is already in place, even if they don't want to call it that.

    I think the concern is that abuses often arise through hierarchical structures. That is true, but some form of hierarchy is still necessary.
     
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  5. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    I think for many Protestants their can be an Existential crisis because some of the interpretations of Sola Scriptura don't look like what was done in the Church when the NT was being written, nor look like the time that immediately preceded it (the Apostolic Fathers), nor the time that followed that of the Church Fathers, Nicene Creed etc.

    Basically some folks have an attitude of I can read the Bible for myself, "I don't need clergy" or if I have it is just a nice supplemental kind of thing. I get the feeling from some folks, like in Congregational churches, or in certain Charismatic churches or groups that if they lived in the time of saint Paul they would have been arguing with some of his church discipline and laying down the law and proclaiming their reading of the Bible, discernment etc. are as valid and authoritative as his!

    I do recommend this article from a conservative Presbyterian which is good at articulating some problems with this kind of thinking.


    A Critique of the Evangelical Doctrine of Solo Scriptura
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
  6. Agallagher

    Agallagher Slow learner.

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    Rather than my opinion, one more thing that should be shared is this, once I went to church needing to get some word of God in me.

    Here are some church experiences I’ve had in life.

    The preacher showed on the videos after the music ended about a schedule for disciple ship services for people, door to door knocking (my memory is really terrible), but I’ll never forget hearing after him sharing all of that information. It was a Sunday service, sitting on the third story floor, don’t get me wrong this church was very cool in design. My ears heard...

    ‘Now do not forget to donate your money, like you are suppose to, you should pay for this church you wanted.’

    Another experience I had one time I spoke out in church called the church of Christ. They were preaching about hell and eternity there, when for some reason I said from the crowd, unless they repent or something idk what was going on with me something from the spirit just came out and it might not be the exact same thing I’m telling you could have been different.

    I had to have a sit down with the owner and they told me never to do that again, so I submitted to that.

    Going to church in and out through my life I’ve had different experiences, once at a charismatic church, you see people dropping out and climbing the stair way to heaven after the pastor puts their hand on the people head.


    All that is needed is truth about God, And Jesus, and even help someone if they don’t understand the Bible but you gotta dig down and really figure out what is truth if you do desire it.

    All Christians as believers should worship God in spirit and in the Truth of his perspective not our own persay, though we are all different by design.

    If you desire a good experience and feel of a churches and what they are all about go to the top 10 churches in your community, and see what they all have to offer and take notes on what they are preaching, do you have to sign up to really feel like your one of the tribe?

    Choices whatever you want it’s there, what is needed though is the Love of God that has been shown towards us by God sending his son Jesus Christ because he loved us even while we were still sinners and desires a relationship with him in which we can also have with by fellowship.

    God knows for a person like me it seems difficult now at the age of thirty but my heart really wants people to start trusting God rather than themselves because...

    If I’m left to tend to myself and what I want rather than what God needs from me. (Love towards him)

    I am destructive in every since of the word.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
  7. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hierarchy deniers often do so because they do not want to be under the authority of a hierarchy. To not have a hierarchy over me is to say God told me (from Bible or dream or whatever) and you have no right to tell me otherwise. It's a philosophical tradition of independence much more than the following of any Biblical way of thinking.
     
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  8. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The other thing is ... just how does discipleship work in a totally flat church where nobody is there to represent the pedigree of the faith?
     
  9. True Counterphobia

    True Counterphobia Slave to Christ

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    I should clarify to be fair to my authority figures. They would not call it a hierarchy, however, they do feel there are certain responsibilities to greater degrees within the Church. Whether this means better rewards in heaven or not, I am not sure as I did not get a clear answer on that.

    I honestly just want to know what is True here and it could be that I just don't know my authority figures positions well enough to know yet.
     
  10. chevyontheriver

    chevyontheriver Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think there are informal hierarchies where formal ones are said not to exist. So expect a hierarchy of some sort, but by a different name. People resist being 'under' a hierarchy but it is a necessary part of human organization so it gets reinvented on the fly even by people who would never admit to it. And, of course, it is Biblical.

    I think those people in leadership have a frightful duty, whether they tremble at the responsibility or not. I doubt they get as much reward in heaven as those who are plain old faithful praying people. In Catholic parlance you have the Peter and you have Mary. Peter goes to councils and preaches and all of that. He's in the thick of the hierarchy. Mary gives her 'fiat' and treasures things in her heart. She is about as un-hierarchical as you could get. Peter is important but Mary is the one all generations call blessed. We can be more like Peter or more like Mary. I think the reward is far better for those who follow Mary's path over Peter's path. Even for those who are leaders but who do not let that predominate in their lives.
     
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  11. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

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    This is the difficulty: hierarchy implies the idea that some members are subject to others. It implies that some have great authority within the church than others.

    This means that in a church which truly contains no hierarchy, no one member has more authority than any other. No one voice carries more weight than any other. There is no organizational subordination within the church.

    It seems to me that such a model could only be maximally democratic, with each decision being decided by referendum. That would be crazy. It's true that some organizations are more hierarchical than others, but I believe they are all hierarchical. Even democratic bodies have hierarchies where elected members possess more authority in a temporary way via term limits.
     
  12. True Counterphobia

    True Counterphobia Slave to Christ

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    Here's a contrary opinion to the one you gave here: Ministry Belongs to the Members: How God Uses Ordinary Saints

    A Quote from the article: “God gave us leaders to equip church members, not to supplant them. Ministry belongs to the members.”
     
  13. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

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    But why would the belief that common members ought to minister imply that there is no hierarchy? That would be an unsound argument, as follows:

    1. If ministry belongs to common members, then there is no hierarchy.
    2. Ministry belongs to common members.
    3. Therefore, there is no hierarchy.​

    The problem is that premise (1) is false. There is no inherent connection between who ministers and whether a hierarchy is present. Granted, I just skimmed your article which is more about ministry and the role of the common member than hierarchy.

    Unless we are working with drastically different definitions of "hierarchy," the question is not whether pastors like Paul are the "supply line" to common members, but rather whether Paul has the ability to exercise legitimate authority over the common members. If the common members are answerable or subject to Paul, then there is a hierarchy. This is true whether or not the common members are engaged in ministry.

    Speaking more to the point of your article, a church which reserves all forms of ministry to "pastors and elders" would probably be involved in a hierarchical abuse, but it does not follow that the absence of this exclusivism signifies the absence of hierarchy. It would only follow that it signifies the absence of that particular form of hierarchical abuse.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
  14. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Where does it say that one has to believe everything that other people in a church or its leadership believes?

    In a nut shell is it a salvation issue?
    As it isn't then there is room to disagree on this issue.
     
  15. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Okay.
    I'd be very surprised if these people in your own church think that being in such positions means better rewards in heaven for them.

    Well, if the truth that you want to determine is just whether there are supposed to be different positions of leadership in the church, history and the New Testament both show us that it was so.
     
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  16. pescador

    pescador Newbie Supporter

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    Of course there is hierarchy within the church. There always has been and there always will be.
     
  17. Minister Monardo

    Minister Monardo Truth In The Nebulous

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    In support of your response, I will submit these verses:

    Matthew 20:25 Jesus called them to Himself and said, You know that the rulers of the Gentiles
    lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them.

    26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him
    be your servant.

    27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—
    28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life
    a ransom for many.

    Luke 17:
    7
    And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come
    in from the field, Come at once and sit down to eat?

    8 But will he not rather say to him, Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve
    me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink?

    9
    Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not.
    10 So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say,
    We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.


    Brother TC, if rewards is a topic of interest for you, I have just posted something for you
    on this forum. Grace and Peace to you and all.
     
  18. Dan Perez

    Dan Perez Member

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    Hi and even Peter in 1 Peter 5:2 to not preach for the money !

    And in verse 3 NOT TO BE LORD'S over God's heritage , but be examples !!

    And in the Body of CHRIST , Acts 20:28 it is the HOLY SPIRIT who appoints OVERSEERA / EPISKOPOS !

    Acts 14:23 says how Pastors or BISHOPS and SERVANTS which are MINISTERS or DEACONS as written in Phil 1:1 !!

    Please notice that the Greek word THEY BELIEVED / PISTEUO is in the Greek PLUPERFECT TENSE which to have existing results and the HOLY SPIRIT will have its sway to all appointments , is what I see !!



    Also Pastors and ELDERS and DEACONS must be the husband of only ONE WIFE and not devoiced as written in Titus 1:6 !!

    dan p
     
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