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Discussion Forum : Revivals And Church History : Just who IS responsible for this state of affairs?

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Heydave
Member



Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1306
Hampshire, UK

 Re:

Ron wrote:

'But this simpler pattern of authority lies behind the whole concept of 'eldership'. It is authority by consent and its power is moral. It cannot take refuge in legal authority and ecclesiastic or denominational law; it functions at a different primal level.'

'This is where we are going to struggle. Our whole concepts of authority are based on Gentile power structures.'

This I think is the whole essence of the issue of Eldership and church government and so rare today. The problem is not just that our concept of authority being wrong, but the that our 'flesh' and ego wants power and recognition. I think even if we get the right church structure in place with this pattern we will still have to struggle against the ego and flesh wanting it's head.

I guess that is why character is the all important credential when recognising who are elders and not talent or gifting. Do you think that it is possible for those who are gifted (as say teachers or evangelists)can still operate in these gifts, but may not be considered elders due to character weaknesses?

One scripture I think of in regard to laying down of ego is Phillipians 2v5-6.

'Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.'

The phrase ' not consider robbery' as I understand means 'NOT SOMETHING TO BE TAKEN BY FORCE OR GRASPED HOLD OF'. This in essence means that although Jesus knew who he was He did not have to HOLD ONTO IT BY FORCE, He did not have any problem humbling Himself to be a servant and even allowed Himself to be mis-understood and mis-treated as if he were the lowest of all men!! He did not assert His authority at this time (although He will when He comes back).

May God give us leaders like this and may we all strive to have this attitude. I don't know about you, but just when I think I am making progress in walking with God in a right attitude to Him and others, my flesh suddenly exposes it's ugly self in one way or another. I am then reminded that we are so so dependant upon His life lived out in us by His Spirit.


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Dave

 2009/1/6 5:35Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
Ron's: Exousia can be understand as 'a right' but it is a given right not a deserved or earned right. All exousia is God given, even secular exousia.



Since authority is given by God, how is that authority recognized in a local assembly? How does an elder know they are an elder? At what point does the exousia and responsibility come upon the person and when does it lift off?


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Robert Wurtz II

 2009/1/6 6:58Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
HeyDave's: I think even if we get the right church structure in place with this pattern we will still have to struggle against the ego and flesh wanting it's head.



I think this is why God has brought us to these truths about church life at this juncture because He has previously taken us through the revelation that those that are in Christ are [i]not[/i] in the flesh but are in the Spirit (if so be that the Spirit of Christ dwells in them).

So I see this happening step by step. Genuine regeneration first and genuine church life second. "Having begun in the Spirit" first and genuine church life second. The one baptism into Jesus Christ and His death (dead to the Law and the law of Sin, etc.) and genuine church life second.

Not as if the unregenerate cannot receive something in the meetings, etc., but rather genuine regeneration is absolutely essential among the members individually for them to be part of the process; especially as an elder.

Now I know that God can speak through a mule or from rocks, God's enemies, etc., but this is not the usual pattern. In these cases almost always the preferred pattern was missed because someone was off track.

So genuine regeneration, the receiving of the Holy Spirit, death to Sin and the law (he that is dead is free from Sin), the love of God poured out into our heart by the Holy Spirit, the spirit of disobedience replaced with the Holy Spirit, no longer in Adam- but in Christ, no longer in the body of Sin- but in the Body of Christ, grafted into the True Vine, yielding the fruit of the Spirit in place of thorns and briars, no longer in the flesh but in the Spirit, sons and daughters of God where we were once by nature children of the devil (Eph. 2). The mind of Christ has replaced the carnal mind.

Love brings joy and joy brings peace, etc. Because we are full of love then we are free from bitter envy and strife that leads to a 'wisdom' that is earthly, sensual and demonic. This ought to protect our meeting from axe grinding, ego's, etc., many other hurtful things.

I think it is like the whole of God's creation. Today it is in a state of in-utility because of Sin, but there was a time when it functioned in perfect symphonic equilibrium. God as a master composer and director leading the whole of creation into a perfect and unfathomably complex harmony. But when sin entered the picture- the whole process became compromised.

I long to see Christ stand again in the churches as a Master Director- orchestrating the meeting- with human instruments after His own heart.




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Robert Wurtz II

 2009/1/6 7:20Profile
Heydave
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Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1306
Hampshire, UK

 Re:

RobertW,

I Amen your thougts that there needs to be a genuine regeneration and walking in the Spirit, but are you saying that a regenerate person cannot get to function in the flesh?!

There are may exhortations by the Apostle Paul to regenerate believers to 'walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh'; 'to put on the new man' etc etc.

I know this is another subject so I don't want to divert the topic, but I thought your comments needed clarifying.


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Dave

 2009/1/6 9:44Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
HeyDave's: but are you saying that a regenerate person cannot get to function in the flesh?!



Well, I almost had to laugh as I brought this up because it has been one of those hot topics over the years between Ron and I. I think (and he may challenge this) that we agreed that we are not in the flesh but in the Spirit if so be that Christ dwells in us. But we also agreed that at times folk can act inconsistent with their new nature. To say more would be to open a whole can of worms. ;-)


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Robert Wurtz II

 2009/1/6 10:02Profile
Heydave
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Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1306
Hampshire, UK

 Re:

Robert,

I did not know this was a well trod subject between you and Ron, so I except your explanation and best leave it here for now so the subject of eldership can continue.

Many thanks. :-)


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Dave

 2009/1/6 10:09Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
RobertW on 2009/1/6 8:58:12
Since authority is given by God, how is that authority recognized in a local assembly? How does an elder know they are an elder? At what point does the exousia and responsibility come upon the person and when does it lift off?


In the church here we adopt a triple filter.

a. the current eldership
b. the prospective elder
c. the whole church

When all three are in sync we move forward.

As regards 'lifting off' I would suggest the same triple filter although b. and c. might need transposition.

These decisions are so important that, in my view, they requires absolute unanimity.


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Ron Bailey

 2009/1/6 10:56Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
Heydave on 2009/1/6 12:09:47
I did not know this was a well trod subject between you and Ron, so I except your explanation and best leave it here for now so the subject of eldership can continue.


It's not a thorny subject just a project we are still working on. :-D


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Ron Bailey

 2009/1/6 10:59Profile
ADisciple
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Joined: 2007/2/3
Posts: 835
Alberta, Canada

 Re:

Quote:

RobertW wrote:
I long to see Christ stand again in the churches as a Master Director- orchestrating the meeting- with human instruments after His own heart.



So do I, Robert. And each one of us tuned to Him, and with our eyes on Him.

AD


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Allan Halton

 2009/1/6 12:58Profile
ADisciple
Member



Joined: 2007/2/3
Posts: 835
Alberta, Canada

 Re:

Quote:

philologos wrote:
Quote:
dohzman on 2009/1/6 2:00:24
The only snag I see in the whole of eldership in what I'm reading is that most churches in America don't really operate thier eldership this way.


Nor on this side of the water! But this is why I have tried to stick to the 'revelation' rather than to our current experience. When we find that in personal experience many 'Christians' do not live as the New Testament believers lived what are we to say? "Well, this is all there is and we are stuck with it" or are we brave enough to take a long cool look at the biblical principle and then ask "Is there anything that we ought to change?"



"Are we brave enough?"

This reminds me of the days of King Josiah, who called for repair to the house of God. In the process, Hilkiah the high priest found "a book" (2 Chr. 34.14).

In my mind's eye I see him cleaning in a back room, and he comes across this scroll covered in dust.

It is a copy of the law of Moses, and Hilkiah gives it to Shaphan the scribe, who takes it and reads it to the king.

Josiah upon hearing it rends his clothes.

Hopefully something like this is happening on this thread. Maybe we aren't finding a Book-- for here in western lands we are suffocating in Bibles, as RobertW (I think it was) said in a thread some time ago.

But maybe to some degree we are discovering what the Book-- the Divine blueprint-- calls for.

Do we take it seriously? "For great is the wrath of the LORD that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD that is written in this book" (2 Chr. 34.21).

...Not that we can then bring what we're seeing into being, but we can spread the blueprints out before the Lord, hold them up to Him, and say, Lord, you read this. You are the ARCHI-tect and Builder, and we want to be "workers together WITH you."

...I do pray an earnest Spirit of repentance come upon us, upon all who are reading this thread.

I know, the kind of church structure we see all around us is so entrenched that some of us have at times despaired of seeing real change.

But I see a glimmer of Light.

...To what extent, amid all the calls for revival these days... to what extent do we really want to see the Lord?

AD


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Allan Halton

 2009/1/6 13:34Profile





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