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Featured The Pastor King (New)

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by LoveofTruth, Dec 20, 2017.

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  1. LoveofTruth

    LoveofTruth Christ builds His church from within us

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    I am not speaking about any other so called “orthodox” people, but about you in particular

    Just saying words like “you are clearly misguided in much of your thinking” means absolutely nothing. You cannot resust the clear scripture commands for body ministry , plurality of elders not one man in preeminence. The simple fact that we never see a man over all the body called in a title “pastor” getting a regular salary and doing most of the ministry.

    It is amazing how you simply adhere to your tradition which fights against the truth of God and you have no scripture to correct me or any sound words even.

    I have this image of you bowing before your icons and looking at them with adoration.

    Sad very sad
     
  2. LoveofTruth

    LoveofTruth Christ builds His church from within us

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    It is a similar thing to your entire religious form that was simply copied from the traditions of men way back that fight against Gid’s Order in scripture.
     
  3. truefiction1

    truefiction1 Fool

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    I dare to say what I say by the Holy Spirit. Do you think that He wants you to remain ignorant of the Truth? Especially if it's true what you say about being so committed to the work of the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ?
     
  4. LoveofTruth

    LoveofTruth Christ builds His church from within us

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    I speak the truth in Christ and according to scripture

    You have no arguments against it you simply mud sling

    You have no scripture to refute anything I ave said here. According to Paul spiraling the commandments of the Lord that those who don’t a knowlege what he wrote about church order are ignorant

    Take heed
     
  5. truefiction1

    truefiction1 Fool

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    Scripture does not teach what you teach. It teaches that there is a Church with Christ's authority residing upon certain shepherds in the Church (John 21:17). The only truth you are speaking is your own personally fabricated truth that is based on Scripture only in a very narrow sense, and constructed largely of imagery and ideas supplied by unhealthy sources: demons and their human mouthpieces with their false witnessing and teachings.

    This is not mudslinging I'm doing. It's just the the telling of truth.
     
  6. LoveofTruth

    LoveofTruth Christ builds His church from within us

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    who is this guy you quote in the bottom of your page?Did he speak truth or did he say things like this,

    "Jaak Panksepp: Yeah, well, I think all of us have these emotional powers that have remained mysteries. We attach words to them, and, you know, we can’t agree on what the words mean. Even we can’t agree what an emotion is for real. I tend to follow a Darwinian approach that the emotions of animals have certain displays; like when an animal gets angry, it’s very clear. ..."
     
  7. LoveofTruth

    LoveofTruth Christ builds His church from within us

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    I teach exactly what scripture teaches. Show me of the many scriptures i use here any one that is not right.

    And it might actually help if you read all I wrote and examine the scriptures I gave



    The Exalted Pastor over all

    As shocking as this may seem, there is not one verse in the New Testament that speaks of a man over all the church called, “The Pastor”, who does most of the ministry, gets a regular salary and who acts as the head of the church. Rather, in the New Testament, we see the whole church ministering to one another in Christ who works effectually in all believers (Eph 4:11-16 , 1 Cor 14:26-38, 1 Peter 4:10,11) and we read of elders (plural) in every church (singular) who watch over and feed others spiritually (Acts 14:23, James 5:14, 1 Peter 5:1,2). They are not to Lord over others and control them in a supreme authority but are to be examples.

    Paul said to the church, “Not that we have dominion over your faithbut are helpers ..” (2 Cor. 1:24). The word “dominion”, here means “to rule: have dominion over, lord, be lord of...(from 2962),...supreme in authority, ie (as a noun) controller. By implication, Master (as in official title..)...” (Strongs Concordance. # 2961). Jesus also warned of such a false dominion and authority over others (Matthew 20:25-27),and said “it shall not be so among you”.

    Yet in many gatherings today, this person called “The Pastor”, is exalted above all others as he stands on top a large platform behind a “pulpit”. He is the one who dominates and has preeminence over all others and does most of the speaking week after week. He generally rules in a large castle-like structure unbiblically called “the church” with lower ranked servants under him. Sometimes he has a sign outside with his name on it. Many flattering titles are given to him such as, “Reverend”, “Master of Divinity”, or “President”, and he uses expressions such as “My church” or “My people”. Scripture warns against one man in and exalted role having the preeminance over all in the church (3 John 9,10, 2 Cor 11:12,13,20, Acts 20:29-31, Col 2:8, Job 32:31,32) and Jesus said “Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ” (Matt. 23:8,10).

    Almost all of the activities in the assembly today are controlled by the Pastor and no one is permitted to speak or minister unless he allows it. There is rarely opportunity for anyone else to minister as Christ leads, for they are not on the man made programs in man’s order. Many are unaware of their freedoms in the body of Christ and even if they were, they would be afraid to speak as God leads them, fearing the disapproval and rebuke of the pastor. Many dangerously look to this one man alone for all their spiritual guidance in the assembly, rather than wait on God and to be led by the Spirit in mutual edification of one another in God’s order.

    The Modern Pastoral Role is Unbiblical

    The position that the modern Pastor holds today is unbiblical. It fights against the priesthood of all believers (1 Peter 2:5,9, Rev. 1:6, Rom. 12:1), the mutual edification of one another in the body of Christ as He leads, (1 Cor. 14:26-38, 1 Cor 12:7, 1 Peter 4:10, 11, Col. 3:15,16, Eph. 4:16) and it hinders Gods direct leading and working in all believers in the church (Heb. 13:20,21, 1 John 2:27, Eph 4:16,21, Col 3:15,16). The role of the modern Pastor over all often quenches the spirt in the rest of the body and hinders the very function and growth of the church.

    This modern role of “The Pastor” today, sets him up to reign as a king (or Lord) over the body of Christ and exalts him (2 Cor. 11:12,20, Rom 12:3-5). His position as head of the church can usurp the headship of Christ in the meetings (Col 2:8, 19) and bind up the saints in the traditions and commandments of men that turn from the truth and fight against the commandments of the Lord (1 Cor 14:26-38, Col 2:8,19, Titus 1:14).

    Paul warned us of such serious things and said, “Beware, lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world and not after Christ(Col. 2:8). The word ”spoil” implies, leading believers away and robbing them of their goods. The one modern pastor tradition does this in part and makes the word of God of no effect by this role (Mark 7:13).These controlling men don’t allow believers to edify one another in the gatherings as they are commanded to do in scripture and hinder them from being good stewards of their gifts from God (1 Cor 14:26,30,37, 38 1 Peter 4:10,11). But If any man reject God’s commands to do so they are ignorant and should not be listened to and withdrawn from (1 Cor 14:26,30,37, 2 Thess. 3:6).

    If anyone examines scripture closely they will see that this modern Pope-like figure called the “The Pastor “ today does not come from scripture but rather comes out of the worldly traditions of men, mixed with an OT priesthood and pagan traditions. It stems from the (so called) “church fathers”, such as; Ignatius of Antioch, Cyprian and others, from Constantine, a false Roman Catholic hierarchy and from reformers who retained many of the Catholic priest roles and misunderstanding of Christ headship in the body ministry.

    Many Gifts Not Just a Pastor Gift

    We read in scripture that God ”...gave gifts unto men...he gave some, apostles; and some, and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:”, (Ephesians 4:8,11,12) Notice that the word, “pastors” is in the plural form. We do not find the singular one man pastor over all in the New Testament. All of these gifts are needed in the body of Christ and not just pastors. But somehow through the traditions of man, this one “pastor” gift come to dominate over all the other gifts.

    Though there are blessed pastor giftings in the body of Christ, (just as there are apostles, prophets, evangelist and teachers), the modern role of the exalted “Pastor” over all does not exist biblically and is a dangerous distortion spiritually to the church. Many of those in this unbiblical role may be true believers and loving men with sincerity and have many good qualities, Others may be seeking their own glory and reputation. But either way they are still in error in this exalted role and they still hinder the body from functioning in Christ.

    Despite the confusion of many religious forms today and the multitude of believers who gather in them, with the exalted Pastor over all, their various spiritual moments, evangelistic aspects and some good ministration seen in many of these gatherings, there is still a great problem in the churches and it must be corrected and set in God’s order.

    We see in many assemblies today a weak, dysfunctional body that plays church and cannot follow the leading of the Spirit in the assembly as good stewards in mutual edification. Instead they are forced to look at the back of each others heads and are drawn after the exalted man on the the platform. Is Jesus Christ outside of many gatherings
    today knocking and wanting to come into them and to “sup” with them (Revelation 3:16-20) and to participate with them, or is He ready to spew some out of his mouth, while they think all is well and they are rich and increased with goods and need nothing.

    The reality is, that if this modern role of the Pastor today was taken away from most assemblies they could not function and would most likely be in a fearful panic and possibly collapse. But if you take away the modern one man Pastor role over all from a true biblical church gathering, they would still be able to use their gifts and edify one another and minister as God intended in His order.

    God’s Order and Man’s Order

    God’s order in the body of Christ is His spiritual working in every part as he leads and empowers believers in all things. Though hidden from the eyes of natural men, it is there nevertheless. This order begins in the spirit and the patient waiting on God as He leads into all gifts, ministry and fruits of the Spirit and sets the order in the gatherings, (Titus 1:5, Col. 2:5, Psalm 37:23, Eph. 4:15,16, 1 Tim 3:15, 1 Cor. 14:26-37, 1 Cor. 11:34, Heb 13:20,21, 1 John 2:27). No person can know this order unless they are in Christ, and walk in the spirit. But sadly, even many christians today are drawn away from God’s order and rule in their hearts into a religious form of man’s order and the dominion of exalted leaders.

    Man’s order does not begin in the spirit, it begins in man’s carnal mind and human wisdom, and by what they know naturally ( 1 Cor 2, Jude 1:10) and is regulated by the modern pastor role, programs and traditions of men in the rudiments of the world.

    Jesus said, “I will build my church” and he is fully able to do this by his power and might, which he has been doing all along. God’s order is very different than mans order and traditions in the church.

    “Give us a King”

    There is a story in the bible where God’s people said, “Give us a King, to judge us(1 Samuel 8:6). God allowed it, but told Samuel, “they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me that I should not reign over them” (1 Samuel 8:7). God also told Samuel to warn them that the king would bring them into bondage, take their goods and use them for his glory (1 Samuel 8:11-19).

    Saul also had some of the Levites killed (1 Sam. 22:17,18). The Levites being a type of the priesthood of all believers. Similarly, as Saul had them killed and they could no longer minister, so the modern one man Pastor Lord also quenches the spirit in the body and hinders or cuts off the priesthood of all believers where they can no longer minister freely.

    Today, similar to the story of Saul, you can almost hear the people cry, “Give us a Pastor, like all the other churches”, especially when they are looking for a new one. But by doing so, they may be rejecting God from reigning over them in the gatherings.

    Body Ministry to One Another

    The bible teaches that Christ is to lead in every part of the body as the head of the church, “From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:16). This is how Jesus Christ builds (or edifies) His church. Notice, that through Christ headship the whole body can edify one another, and not just rely on one man the Pastor. This should be allowed to happen every time the saints gather together in Christ and wait on the Lord.

    When the church comes together all can have something revealed to them and share it (1 Cor.14:30). They can also have a psalm, a doctrine, a tongue, a revelation and interpretation, (1 Cor.14:26);comfort and edify one another (1 Thess. 5:11); use all their gifts as they wait on God (Rom. 12:1-10); have a spiritual manifestation to profit all (1 Cor 12:7-); admonish one another (Rom. 15:14); teach one another (Col. 3:16); exhort one another, (Heb. 3:13); warn unruly (1Thess. 5:14); confess their faults one to one another (James 5:16); anoint the sick (James 5:14); prophesy to one another (1 Cor. 14:31); discipline erring brethren (1 Cor5:3-5, 6:1-6); pray for one another (James 5:?); lead in prayer and song (1 Cor. 14:15); have a psalm, hymn or spiritual song (Col. 3:16); any man can speak or minister as God leads (1 Peter 4:10,11). We must follow after Christ who will lead us in this way, and not follow after man-made programs and dead rituals and the exalted Pastor role that quench the Spirit.
     
  8. LoveofTruth

    LoveofTruth Christ builds His church from within us

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    show me one verse with a man called a pastor over a who assembly who is in charge of all and exalted over all and in control of all?

    And show me a man wearing a robe called a priest over all in the New testament church.
     
  9. truefiction1

    truefiction1 Fool

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    This animal behavior researcher wrote some things that are true about animals, and some things that maybe aren't true, and some things that are plain false. Scientific writings are pretty much always like that.
     
  10. truefiction1

    truefiction1 Fool

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    Everyone probably wore robes in the New testament Church. Pants weren't in style at that time. Robes are still used in the Church because they are the metaphorical language of Scripture (Isaiah 61:10) (Psalms 93:1) "But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their robes..." (Acts 14:14)

    The early New Testament Church kept much of the customary clothing and worship characteristic of Jewish temple worship. The Orthodox Church still does.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  11. truefiction1

    truefiction1 Fool

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    FYI: God alone is adored and bowed before. The icons only reveal the glory of God pointed to in the imagery of them. The glory of God in Heaven is bowed before in spirit and in body. The bowing is before the Glory of God Who is everywhere and filling all things, in adoration and in contrite repentance and in true humility that is the gift of the Holy Spirit. The worship of a wooden object is strictly forbidden to the children of God. It's not in our nature to worship creation. This is not what we do.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  12. truefiction1

    truefiction1 Fool

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    Instead of submitting my own individually targeted arguments and Scriptural quotations in response to all of these arguments and Scriptural excerpts (which I have examined and am well acquainted with by the way), of yours, I'll simply share a link to an online article that illustrates how incorrect your assertions are because of what Scripture reveals about "Pastors" (which means "shepherds"): https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-8-who’s-charge-church-1-timothy-31-and-other-scriptures

    Allow me to state that you aren't entirely wrong in the many things that you've shared here. It's just that your thesis has overlooked a great deal of Scriptural support for the role of "shepherding" in the New Testament Church. The author of this article has covered this topic pretty well. I agree with most of his conclusions. Due to time constraints on me it makes sense that I defer to this article rather than constructing a new one of my own.
     
  13. truefiction1

    truefiction1 Fool

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  14. LoveofTruth

    LoveofTruth Christ builds His church from within us

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    only one verse uses "pastors" as a noun in the plural form and it is found in the five gifts from God in Ephesians 4:11.

    You will search all day for one pastor over a church, or a manacled the priest in the New testament wearing long robes doing religious duties over the church.

    in fact God set some in the church firstly apostle, secondary prophets thirdly teachers 1 Cor 12. Paul doesn't even mention pastors there. He is not showing a hierarchy but a functioning in the body of different gifts.

    1 Corinthians 12:28
    "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, ...."

    How does this verse fit into your man made theology that puts a pastor , or priest over the church ?

    all of these gifts are somewhat involved in the work of shepherding even though they may not specifically be called "pastor". The pastor gift is specific, but others can feed and do the work that is similar. This may be like prophets, that is a specific gift yet all can prophesy. Pr Timothy was an apostle, yet he could do the work of an evangelist.

    The word "pastor, once used in the New testament as a noun, is unique. We do see elder/overseers in the plural watching over the flock. But as I have shown an elder is not just a pastor. Peter was an elder and an apostle. This shows that elders can be any of the five fold gifts.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  15. LoveofTruth

    LoveofTruth Christ builds His church from within us

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    some thoughts from this site

    "
    REIMAGINING LEADERSHIP

    The New Testament doctrine of ministry rests therefore not on the clergy-laity distinction but on the twin and complimentary pillars of the priesthood of all believers and the gifts of the Spirit. Today, four centuries after the Reformation, the full implications of this Protestant affirmation have yet to be worked out. The clergy-laity dichotomy is a direct carry-over from pre-Reformation Roman Catholicism and a throwback to the Old Testament priesthood. It is one of the principal obstacles to the church effectively being God’s agent of the Kingdom today because it creates a false idea that only ‘holy men,’ namely, ordained ministers, are really qualified and responsible for leadership and significant ministry. In the New Testament there are functional distinctions between various kinds of ministries but no hierarchical division between clergy and laity.

    —Howard Snyder

    When we go back to the Word of God and read it afresh, we see that the clergy profession is the result of our human culture and history and not of God’s will for the church. It is simply impossible to construct a defensible biblical justification for the institution of clergy as we know it.

    —Christian Smith

    Today, the leadership structure that characterizes the contemporary church is hierarchical and positional. In the following pages, we’ll examine this structure and reimagine a form of leadership that’s completely different. One that is envisioned in Scripture and rooted in the triune God.

    The present-day leadership structure is derived from a positional mindset. This mindset casts authority in terms of slots to fill, job descriptions to carry out, titles to sport, and ranks to pull. It resonates with concern over explicit leadership structures. According to the positional mindset, terms like pastor, elder, prophet, bishop, and apostle are titles representing ecclesiastical offices. (An office is a sociological slot that a group defines. It has a reality apart from the character and actions of the person who fills it.)

    By contrast, the New Testament notion of leadership is rooted in a functional mindset. It portrays authority in terms of how things work organically. That is, it focuses on the expression of spiritual life.

    Leadership in the New Testament places a high premium on the unique gifting, spiritual maturity, and sacrificial service of each member. It lays stress on functions, not offices. It emphasizes tasks rather than titles. Its main concern lies in activities like pastor-ing, elder-ing, prophesy-ing, oversee-ing, apostle-ing, etc.

    To frame it another way, positional thinking is hung up on nouns, while functional thinking stresses verbs.

    In the positional leadership framework, the church is patterned after the military and managerial structures of contemporary culture. In the functional leadership framework, the church operates by life—divine life. Mutual ministry comes forth naturally when God’s people are equipped and hierarchical structures are absent.

    Native to hierarchical/positional oriented churches is a political machine that works behind the scenes. This machine promotes certain people to positions of ecclesiastical power and authority. Native to functionally oriented churches is the mutual responsibility and collegial interplay of its members. They listen to the Lord together. They affirm each other in their Spirit-endowed gifts. They encourage one another toward Christ.

    In sum, the New Testament orientation of leadership is organic and functional. The hierarchical/positional orientation is fundamentally worldly.

    Jesus and the Gentile/Hierarchical Idea of Leadership

    Our Lord contrasted the hierarchical leadership style of the Gentile world with leadership in the Kingdom of God. After James and John implored Jesus to grant them the glorified power-seats beside His throne, the Lord replied saying,

    You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. (Matthew 20:25–28 nasb)

    And again,

    The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called “Benefactors.” But not so with you, but let him who is the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as the servant. (Luke 22:25-26 nasb)

    Significantly, the Greek word for “exercise authority” in Matthew is katexousiazo. Katexousiazo is a combination of two Greek words. Kata, which means over. And exousiazo, which means to exercise authority. Jesus also used the Greek word katakurieuo in this passage, which means to “lord it over” others.

    What Jesus is condemning in these texts is not oppressive leaders as such. He’s condemning the hierarchical form of leadership that dominates the Gentile world.

    That bears repeating.

    Jesus was not just condemning tyrannical leaders. He was condemning the hierarchical form of leadership itself.

    What is the hierarchical form of leadership? It’s the leadership style that’s built on a chain-of-command social structure. It’s rooted in the idea that power and authority flow from the top down. Hierarchical leadership is rooted in a worldly concept of power. This explains why it’s endemic to all traditional bureaucracies. It’s present in the vicious forms of liege-lord feudalism and master/slave relationships. But it’s also present in the highly stylized spheres of military and corporate America.

    While often bloodless, the hierarchical leadership style is undesirable for God’s people. Why? Because it reduces human interaction into command-styled relationships. Such relationships are foreign to New Testament thinking and practice. Yet hierarchical leadership is employed everywhere in secular culture. And the institutional church operates by it.

    Summing up our Lord’s teaching on this style of leadership, the following contrasts come into sharp focus:

    • In the Gentile world, leaders operate on the basis of a political, chain-of-command social structure—a graded hierarchy. In the Kingdom of God, leadership flows from childlike meekness and sacrificial service.
    • In the Gentile world, authority is based on position and rank. In the Kingdom of God, authority is based on godly character. Note Christ’s description of a leader: “Let him be a servant,” and “let him be as the younger.” In our Lord’s eyes, being precedes doing. And doing flows from being. Put differently, function follows character. Those who serve do so because they are servants.
    • In the Gentile world, greatness is measured by prominence, external power, and political influence. In the Kingdom of God, greatness is measured by humility and servitude.
    • In the Gentile world, leaders exploit their positions to rule over others. In the Kingdom of God, leaders deplore special reverence. They rather regard themselves “as the younger.”
    In brief, the hierarchical leadership structure characterizes the spirit of the Gentiles. The implanting of these structures into the church, therefore, is at odds with New Testament Christianity. Our Lord didn’t mince words in declaring His implicit disdain for the Gentile notion of leadership: “It shall not be so among you!” (Matt. 20:26 kjv) is His explicit feeling on it.

    All in all, there is no room in the teaching of Jesus for the hierarchical leadership model that characterizes the institutional church.

    Jesus and the Jewish/Positional Model of Leadership

    Our Lord also contrasted leadership in the Kingdom with the leadership model that marks the religious world. In the following text, Jesus vividly expresses God’s perspective on authority in contrast to the Jewish perspective. Note His words:

    But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth your father: for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. (Matthew 23:8–12 nasb)

    Gathering up the content of this text, we may glean the following:

    • In the religious climate of the Jews, a class system exists made up of religious, guru-like specialists and nonspecialists. In the Kingdom, all are brethren in the same family.
    • In the Jewish world, religious leaders are accorded with honorific titles. (Examples: Teacher, Father, Reverend, Pastor, Bishop, Minister, etc.) In the Kingdom, there are no distinctions of protocol. Such titles obscure the unique honor of Jesus Christ and blur the New Testament revelation that envisions all Christians as ministers and priests.
    • In the Jewish world, leaders are exalted into positions of prominence and outward display. In the Kingdom, leaders find their identity in the lowly towel of servitude and in the unassuming basin of humility.
    • In the Jewish world, leadership is rooted in status, title, and position. In the Kingdom, leadership is rooted in inward life and character. (In this vein, the current fad of bestowing honorary “doctorates” before the names of countless clergy is one example of how the contemporary church mirrors those values that run contrary to God’s Kingdom.)
    In sum, leadership according to Jesus is a far cry from what it is in the institutional church. Our Lord dealt a deathblow to both Gentile/hierarchical and Jewish/positional leadership models.

    These ego-massaging models are incompatible with the primitive simplicity of the organic church and the upside-down Kingdom of Jesus Christ. They impede the progress of God’s people. They suppress the free functioning of the believing priesthood. They rupture the image of the church as family. They do violence to the leadership that exists in the triune God. And they place severe limitations on the headship of Christ. For these reasons “it shall not be so among” those who bear the name of the Savior.
    Read more at Who Is Your Covering?" While i don't fully agree with everything Frank says, I have talked with him in person and we had some good discussions.
     
  16. LoveofTruth

    LoveofTruth Christ builds His church from within us

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    "
    While the “clergy/laity” distinction is embedded and assumed in religious circles, it cannot be found in the New Testament. Because the New Testament knows nothing of “clergy,” the fact that a separate caste of the “ordained” permeates our vocabulary and practice illustrates rather forcefully that we do not yet take the New Testament very seriously. The “clergy” practice is a heresy that must be renounced. It strikes at the heart of the priesthood of all believers that Jesus purchased on the cross. It contradicts the shape that Jesus’ Kingdom was to take when He said, “You are all brethren.” Since it is a tradition of man, it nullifies the Word of God. The clergy system stands as a monumental obstacle to genuine reformation and renewal.

    —Jon Zens

    Much Christian leadership is exercised by people who do not know how to develop healthy, intimate relationships and have opted for power and control instead. Many Christian empire builders have been people unable to give and receive love.

    —Henri Nouwen

    "While God has established official authority to operate in the natural order, He hasn’t instituted this kind of authority in the church. Granted, God gives believers authority (exousia) to exercise certain rights. Among them is the authority (exousia) to become the children of God (John 1:12); to own property (Acts 5:4); to decide to marry or live celibate (1 Cor. 7:37); to decide what to eat or drink (1 Cor. 8:9); to heal sickness and drive out devils (Matt. 10:1; Mark 3:15; 6:7; Luke 9:1; 10:19); to edify the church (2 Cor. 10:8; 13:10); to receive special blessings associated with certain ministries (1 Cor. 9:4–18; 2 Thess. 3:8–9); to govern nations, and to eat of the tree of life in the future Kingdom (Rev. 2:26; 22:14).

    "Yet astonishingly, the Bible never teaches that God has given believers authority (exousia) over other believers. Recall our Lord’s word in Matthew 20:25–26 and Luke 22:25–26 where He condemned exousia-type authority among His followers. This fact alone should give us pause for serious reflection.

    Therefore, it’s a leap in logic and an over-extrapolation of reason to suggest that church leaders wield the same kind of authority as dignitaries. Again, the New Testament never links exousia with church leaders. Nor does it ever suggest that some Christians have exousia over other Christians.


    Read more at Who Is Your Covering?"
     
  17. LoveofTruth

    LoveofTruth Christ builds His church from within us

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  18. truefiction1

    truefiction1 Fool

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    2. Christ exercises His headship through spiritually mature elders.
    There are two main terms used interchangeably in the New Testament to describe church leaders: “elders” and “overseers” (Titus 1:5, 7; Acts 20:17, 28). “Elders” (Greek, presbyteros; see also 1 Pet. 5:1-4) looks at the man himself. It refers to a man of maturity, not necessarily in years, but in spiritual discernment. While the Bible doesn’t put any age requirement on the office, I would say that an elder under 30 should be an exception (Jesus began His ministry around that age). Once in a while you see a Spurgeon come along, who began pastoring at 17 and was a godly example and a superb Bible expositor from the start. But that is rare. “Overseers” (Greek, episkopos; 1 Tim. 3:1-2) looks at the nature of the work. It refers to men who superintend, watch over, or guard the local church. This term points to a man who is spiritually mature enough to discern spiritual dangers and to guard and guide the flock into spiritual growth.

    A third word, “pastor” (= “shepherd”), is used in noun form only once for church leaders (Eph. 4:11), where Paul says that God has gifted some as pastors and teachers, the two concepts being tied together. The verb is used of church leaders in several places (John 21:16; Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:2). In 1 Peter 2:24, Jesus is called the Shepherd (Pastor) and Guardian (Overseer) of our souls. Thus human pastors and overseers work under and are accountable to the Lord Jesus, the “Chief Shepherd” (1 Pet. 5:4). The word “pastor” looks at the work from the analogy of a shepherd and his sheep.

    A fourth word (Greek, prohistemi, from a compound, “to stand before or first”) means to lead or have charge over (1 Thess. 5:12; 1 Tim. 3:4, 5, 12; 5:17; Rom. 12:8). A fifth word (Greek, hegeomai, we get our “hegemony” from it) means to lead or rule (Heb. 13:7, 17, 24; Luke 22:26). While it involves authority (Heb. 13:17), it also requires servanthood (Luke 22:26).

    The point of these various terms is that there is to be a designated body of leaders in the local church. The Bible prescribes several things concerning these leaders:

    A. Elders should be men, not women.
    As we saw last week (1 Tim. 2:11-15), leadership in the local church is to be male, not female, in order to preserve God’s order instituted in creation, but violated in the fall. Also, every time elders are mentioned in the New Testament, they are men, not women. The qualifications (1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Pet. 5:1-4) also make it plain that this office is for men (“husband of one wife”). This means that the elder who is supported as the teaching pastor (1 Tim. 5:17) must be a man. Women may serve on the staff of a local church as pastors and teachers of other women (Titus 2:2), but not over men.

    B. Elders should be spiritually mature men.
    This was already indicated in the terms used for the office: elder, overseer, shepherd, and leader. But it’s also spelled out in the list of qualifications. We will examine these more carefully (next time), but for now please note that as a whole the list consists of qualities that reflect spiritual and emotional maturity. “Above reproach” heads both lists (1 Tim. 3:2 & Titus 1:5) as a comprehensive term looking at his integrity and reputation. Of the other qualities listed, only one has to do with ability or giftedness (“able to teach”). The others have to do with his home life and personal ethics, especially qualities that can be readily observed.

    C. Elders should be a plurality.
    The term is always used in the plural with regard to a single local church (see Acts 14:23; 20:17; Phil. 1:1; Titus 1:5). It may be that one elder had oversight of a single house church. It also may be that one elder, especially the one supported to preach and teach (1 Tim. 5:17-18) will be looked to as the leader among the elders, as Peter was among the apostles and as James was among the elders in the Jerusalem church (Acts 15:2-21; 21:18; Gal. 2:9). But the church in a city was viewed as a unit over which there were several elders.

    There is wisdom in many counselors (Prov. 11:14) and there is wisdom in sharing the responsibility and authority in the church, so that no single person will dominate without accountability. The only one-man ruler in the New Testament is Diotrephes, whom the Apostle John castigates because “he loves to be first” and he exercised heavy-handed authority by himself (3 John 9-10). The elders need to be subject to Christ through apostolic authority (now, the New Testament; Diotrephes was not). From that base, they can then relate to one another in harmony as a practical expression of the Body of Christ.

    Thus the elders should be spiritually mature men, subject to Christ as Head of His church. How are the elders selected?

    D. Elders are selected by God and recognized by the church.
    As already mentioned, the church is not a democracy. That may sound un-American, but remember, not everything that is American is biblical. Democracy may be a great way to run our country, but it’s a lousy way to run the church. The church is a living organism under the headship of Jesus Christ, subject to His Word. As such, the church must be living in submission to Christ as it seeks to discern His mind in line with the requirements of His Word. That’s a lot different than just taking a vote and following the majority opinion!

    Acts 20:28 states how a man becomes an elder or overseer: “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.” How does this happen? Originally, it was by apostolic appointment (see Acts 14:23). Paul didn’t hold elections; he appointed elders. Later he had his delegates, Timothy and Titus, appoint elders (Titus 1:5). In 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9, we have the Holy Spirit-inspired qualifications which we must look for in those who are to be elders. It is the responsibility of the church to seek the Lord (Paul fasted and prayed, Acts 14:23) to discern which men meet those qualifications and are willing to devote themselves to that ministry, and to recognize them as elders.

    Thus rather than “voting” for elders at our annual meeting, we should view it as confirming these men as meeting the biblical qualifications. To that end we have elder candidates fill out an extensive personal questionnaire to learn about their walk with God, their home life, etc. The nominating committee interviews each candidate, going over these questions. Also, the committee welcomes any input from the congregation. We want men in office who are examples of godliness.

    There are no stipulations in the New Testament as to the number of elders per church. That should be determined by the number of qualified men and the need for shepherding in the church. It is almost impossible for one man to shepherd more than 20 families, so the larger the church, the more elders will be needed.

    Although there is no concept in the New Testament of elders serving a set “term” of office, it is not a bad idea to have a fixed term so that an elder can be reviewed by the congregation and so that he can determine whether to continue serving or to take some time off. It’s a demanding ministry, and men who work in an outside job can’t always continue in it year in and year out. Also, family pressures change with the ages of a man’s children, and so it seems wise to allow him to limit his commitment or renew it as his personal circumstances dictate. I understand that our new church constitution will allow for the elders serving terms, as is currently the case for our deacons.

    Thus the basic principle of church government is that Christ is the Head of His church. He exercises His headship through spiritually mature elders. What are those elders supposed to do?

    3. The elders’ task is to lead by shepherding God’s flock.
    The various terms used for church leadership as well as several of the key passages reveal several broad areas in which elders are to serve:

    A. Elders should provide leadership by example and servanthood.
    (See 1 Thess. 5:12; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 5:1-5.) Elders have charge over the flock and are accountable to the Lord. But they are not to lord it over those allotted to their charge, but to be examples to the flock. Peter reflects the leadership style set forth and modeled by the Lord Jesus, who humbly washed the disciples feet and instructed them, even on that night, that the leader among them should be as the servant (Luke 22:24-27).

    Leaders know from the Word and from experience what healthy spiritual maturity is so that they can guide others in the ways of the Lord. Thus as elders humbly walk with God in their own homes (1 Tim. 3:4-5), they lead the church into maturity by their own example.

    There are times, of course, when those who lead by servanthood and example must exercise authority. Paul tells Titus (1:9) that an elder must “be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.” There are times when certain practices among God’s people must be prohibited and wrong doctrines must be confronted. There are times when church discipline must be carried out. None of these things are easy or pleasant. But servant leadership is not soft leadership. An elder must never be self-willed and use authority for personal power. But he must be strong in leading God’s people in truth, which means confronting error.

    B. Elders should shepherd God’s flock.
    (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:2.) The word “shepherd” is the same as “pastor.” The work of pastoring is shared by the elders. It is impossible for one man to adequately pastor a church this large. The ministry of pastoring involves doing what a shepherd does for his sheep: He knows them (John 10:14); he leads them (John 10:3-4); he feeds them and guides them into the rich pastures of God’s Word (John 10:9; 1 Thess. 5:12; Titus 1:9; Heb. 13:7); he guards them from wolves (John 10:12; Acts 20:29-30); he seeks the lost and straying sheep and helps heal their wounds by getting them restored to the Lord (John 10:16; Ezek. 34:4-5); he corrects the erring or rebellious (2 Tim. 4:2); he equips the flock for maturity so that they can serve the Lord as He has gifted them (Eph. 4:11-16).


    C. Some elders should concentrate on preaching and teaching.
    (1 Tim. 5:17-18.) We will cover this in more detail when we get to these verses. But you will notice that Paul distinguishes some elders who labor in word and teaching. Verse 18 makes it clear that such men should be supported financially in their work. It takes both giftedness and hard work (which means time) to do an adequate job of preaching God’s truth. Those who are so gifted should devote themselves to that ministry. In the early church, the apostles were being pressured by the practical needs of the congregation to get involved in administrative matters. But they told the church to select qualified men who could take care of these matters and added, “But we will devote ourselves to prayer, and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4). Sadly, too many pastors in our day allow themselves to get diverted from prayer and the ministry of the Word. The entire church suffers if a few men do not devote themselves to this crucial work.

    D. Some elders should concentrate on administration and oversight.
    (1 Tim. 5:17.) The deacons, as we will see, can aid the elders in this important task, just as the first deacons in the Jerusalem church relieved the apostles from ministering to the needy. But the elders should lead by overseeing and by equipping those under their oversight for various ministries in the church. Remember, an organism is not the same as an organization, but an organism is highly organized. This means that we can’t just adopt business management principles straight into the church. But we do need proper organization, delegation, equipping, and oversight for the local body of Christ to function effectively.

    Conclusion
    Thus the answer to “who is in charge of the church?” is, Jesus Christ is! He exercises His headship in the local church through elders who are spiritually mature men, selected by God and recognized by the church, who through example and servant-hood shepherd His flock.

    Note one final thing: In 1 Timothy 3:1 Paul says that a man should aspire for and desire the office of overseer. It is a fine work. The word “aspire” means to stretch oneself out or to reach after. This is not ambition for power and status, but a reaching toward spiritual maturity so that you can serve the Chief Shepherd by helping to shepherd His flock. Some of you men should have this desire from God to become elders. To get there, you should be growing in godliness (the qualities of 1 Tim. 3:1-7) by daily time in His Word and in prayer. You should be shepherding your own family, setting an example in your own home. You should be taking advantage of every opportunity to serve God’s people, building caring relationships with others with the goal of seeing them become mature in the faith. In other words, the church should not put a man into the office of elder so that he can serve; it should recognize as elders the men who are already living the life and doing the work. We need men who desire that fine work of oversight in this flock. We cannot grow without it. I pray that some of you will aspire to that work.
     
  19. truefiction1

    truefiction1 Fool

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    I've read "Who Is Your Covering". The thesis of the work of the author, Frank Viola, is defeated at the very outset, because his range of vision, understanding, or cognizance does not include the ecclesiology of the Orthodox Christian Church. Much of what Viola is stating is found within the expressed truths of Orthodox Church ecclesiology. Viola, however, has built his position entirely upon everything that is wrong with the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, and the denominational system characteristic of the Reformation Churches. His failure to make any mention of the Orthodox Christian way of doing things when giving his evaluations of the systems in use by the other Churches betrays his ignorance about the ancient way that is still in use in the ancient Orthodox Church. In order for his vision for the Church to have any real credibility, Viola would have to study the ecclesiology of the Orthodox Christian Church and demonstrate a genuine understanding of it. Then he would have to prove it to be erred. This would be about impossible for him to do because the ecclesiology of the Orthodox Church is far too close to his own ideas about how authority in the Church works, and the result would likely be that he would end up joining the Orthodox Church at some point.
     
  20. LoveofTruth

    LoveofTruth Christ builds His church from within us

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    No, this is not accurate

    And I expose your Orthodox Church simply using the order found in scripture
     
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