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

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ChrisJD
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Joined: 2006/2/11
Posts: 2895
Philadelphia PA

 Re:

Hi everyone,

Have been peeking in here from time to time and when I read the following I thought of Luke 19:44(KJV):

"In 'Vines it says that the Greek Spt OT in Exodus 3:16 the word 'Episkope' is used where it says that God 'visited' Israel in their captivity. This would mean he did not just passivly visit, but looked into and checked them out! He was overseeing them; being a Bishop to them."



Thought I would share it with you all.




It appeares as though the word translated [i]visitation[/i] there in Luke 19:44 is related here?


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Christopher Joel Dandrow

 2009/1/7 18:26Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
Ron's: Did you know that God is referred to as an 'overseer'? What is man that thou visitest him... In the Greek Old Testament that the early Christians used this is the verb for 'to shepherd' and yet if you check it out you will find it frequently refers to a 'check up' kind of a visit.



OK. Now I'm coming off the rails a bit in my understanding. What then is the difference between elder and pastor/teacher? I always thought pastor and shepherd were the same? :-?


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Robert Wurtz II

 2009/1/7 21:16Profile
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Joined: 2003/7/18
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 Re:

Quote:
dohzman on 2009/1/7 19:39:27
Overseers, do they function the same as do shepards in the book of EZE 34? with its description of what they were to be about?


I am trying to distinguish, but not necessarily separate, roles and function. We, and the KJV, is dominated by the idea of 'offices'. This was partly due to the political agenda behind the KJV (which is still my Bible of choice!!). The Anglican church understands ministry in terms of 'offices' to which a person is appointed by the proper authorities. In other words it has a kind of 'org chart' in which the structure is seen in terms of CEO, CFO Chairman etc. Perhaps you have seen those org charts which had the names and 'positions' of the organization and the occasional slot which says something like 'Office Manager - TBA' ie Office Manager to be announced. In other words the structure is in place first and we are looking for someone to fit into this role. This is the way most people think of local church organization too so we get advertisement for 'Director of Music' or 'Youth Pastor'. We have the structure we are just looking for the personnel to put into the slots.

I wonder can we even imagine another way of doing things which is 'gift' orientated and consequently organic rather than organizational? The letter to the church at Corinth does not mention any of the 'officers' in the church in Corinth. This is not because they don't exist but because the letter is focussing on the church as a body and hence function rather than office.

Now to your quick question! ;-) Elder is the 'office', overseeing is the 'function'. All elders will have the responsibility of 'overseeing' but others may also 'oversee' who are not 'in office'. If this happens in a strongly structured local church it is likely that the 'officers' in the church will put the person who is spontaneously 'overseeing' in his place; it is not appropriate they may say for you to take this responsibility. But to 'visit'/oversee the widows and orphans is a responsibility for all God's people.. see James' epistle.

elders (recognized leaders) will have to give an account of their stewardship in their overseeing of the [u]whole[/u] flock, but each of will have to give an account of our 'overseeing' of our brother. Am I my brother's keeper or is that the elders' job?

Now look at this for the link between 'rule' and 'service'. Adam was given 'dominion' - 'rule' for all the creation but look how that plays out in the scripture..

[color=0033FF]The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. ESV[/color] That word 'work' is translated in various ways by different translators. The NASB has 'cultivate' and the RSV has 'till'. The KJV has 'dress'. But Young's LIteral translation has another word...

[color=0033FF]And Jehovah God taketh the man, and causeth him to rest in the garden of Eden, [b]to serve it[/b], and to keep it. Youngs Literal [/color]

Why has Young's changed the whole picture? Simply because the word [url=http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H5647&t=KJV]Strong's H5647 - `abad[/url] is the ordinary Hebrew word for 'serve'. The KJV translates 'abad' as follows... AV — serve 227, do 15, till 9, servant 5, work 5, worshippers 5, service 4, dress 2, labour 2, ear 2, misc 14. The word, according to the BlueLetter website is used 290 times. The real sense of the word is 'to serve'. This is God's version of an eco-friendly humanity. Man was placed, great word, into the garden in Eden in order to 'serve and guard'. That could almost be a definition of 'eldership'.. someone who is place in a specific position/role in order to 'serve and guard'; you may notice the conspicuous absence of the word 'rule'. We have to re-educate ourselves as to what God originally meant by rule... he meant have delegated authority to serve and to guard.

Others may serve and others may guard but the specifically delegated responsibility for this in the local church is the eldership.


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Ron Bailey

 2009/1/8 6:30Profile
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Joined: 2003/7/18
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Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
RobertW on 2009/1/7 23:16:07
OK. Now I'm coming off the rails a bit in my understanding. What then is the difference between elder and pastor/teacher? I always thought pastor and shepherd were the same?


Are we talking verbs or nouns? :-D


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Ron Bailey

 2009/1/8 6:35Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
Are we talking verbs or nouns?



I suppose both. :-? I can see how the elder has the task of oversight. But I also thought that pastor/shepherd had the task of oversight also. Are these basically the same function- only one is local and the other itinerate? Is it proper to think of pastor/teacher as shepherd?


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Robert Wurtz II

 2009/1/8 7:12Profile
RobertW
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Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
Ron's: Man was placed, great word, into the garden in Eden in order to 'serve and guard'.



This is quite a link. If we play this out then we find that Adam failed in his eldership by allowing [u]Sin[/u] to enter. This may also give us a picture into what our accounting will someday look like. God called for Adam and began to question him with questions as [i]if[/i] He didn't already know the answers.

So the elders job primarily and that which Adam failed at is to keep Sin and Satan out or at least seek to prevent his infectious influence. I immediately think of I Cor. when the man was taken in the great sin of fornication. It seems that Paul reprimanded them for not putting him out; hence, for not protecting the local church from the little leaven that could have leavened the whole lump. He said they were puffed up.

Now, it seems to me that the elders (I suppose with the consent of the assembly) would have had the responsibility to deal with the man with 'sufficient punishment' that brought him to repentance while at the same time protecting the local church. I think now of the 7 churches when Jesus reprimanded them for 'suffering' people to do things that could injure the church.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2009/1/8 7:27Profile
Heydave
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Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1306
Hampshire, UK

 Re:

Quote:

RobertW wrote:
Quote:
Are we talking verbs or nouns?



I suppose both. :-? I can see how the elder has the task of oversight. But I also thought that pastor/shepherd had the task of oversight also. Are these basically the same function- only one is local and the other itinerate? Is it proper to think of pastor/teacher as shepherd? The names are all interchangeable applying to the one office of Elder.





Pastor and Shepherd are two ways of translating into English the one Greek word. They are both the same as I understand it.

Elder is the name given to describe the type of person (and maybe the office) and Pastor/shepherd is the name given to describe what they do. Therefore an Elder is (or should be) a Pastor/Shepherd and an overseer.

Do you agree Ron?


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Dave

 2009/1/8 8:53Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
Heydave on 2009/1/8 10:53:08
Elder is the name given to describe the type of person (and maybe the office) and Pastor/shepherd is the name given to describe what they do. Therefore an Elder is (or should be) a Pastor/Shepherd and an overseer.

Do you agree Ron?


Let me re-shape it... elders should shepherd and oversee the flock. The responsibility does not lie with the 'resident pastor' in this sense. I don't think that 'pastor/shepherd was ever the NAME that was given to anyone, only a description.

When we read that 'Paul, called an apostle' it does not mean that they addressed him as Apostle Paul. (any more than when it says 'the Corinthians were called saints means Saint Dave or, perish the thought, Saint Ron!!) These are descriptions not titles.

I think this may be slow going for some but I think it is important that we take our time to make sure we are understanding what we are all saying. When we are sure what we are saying we can decide whether or not we agree with it! ;-)

The normal means of addressing Paul seems to have been ...'our beloved brother, Paul'. See how frequently this form of 'address' is used in the New Testament [url=http://www.blueletterbible.org/search/translationResults.cfm?Criteria=beloved+AND+brother&t=KJV&sf=4]here.[/url]


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Ron Bailey

 2009/1/8 11:42Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
RobertW on 2009/1/8 9:27:42
So the elders job primarily and that which Adam failed at is to keep Sin and Satan out or at least seek to prevent his infectious influence.


Adam's job was positive and negative, constructive and destructive. The role cannot focus on just the inward or just the outward.


Quote:
I immediately think of I Cor. when the man was taken in the great sin of fornication. It seems that Paul reprimanded them for not putting him out; hence, for not protecting the local church from the little leaven that could have leavened the whole lump. He said they were puffed up.

Now, it seems to me that the elders (I suppose with the consent of the assembly) would have had the responsibility to deal with the man with 'sufficient punishment' that brought him to repentance while at the same time protecting the local church.


It is interesting, if we remember how Corinthians is addressed, that Paul holds the 'saints' responsible for this situation. The 'punishment', if 2 Cor is speaking about the same situation, was imposed not by the 'elders' but by [url=http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=2Cr&c=2&v=6&t=KJV#vrsn/6]the majority.[/url] It seems it was the church who implemented Paul's direction. I am sure the elders played a role in counsel and guidance but the 'responsibility' is not left with them.


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Ron Bailey

 2009/1/8 11:52Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
RobertW on 2009/1/8 9:12:58
]I suppose both. I can see how the elder has the task of oversight. But I also thought that pastor/shepherd had the task of oversight also. Are these basically the same function- only one is local and the other itinerate? Is it proper to think of pastor/teacher as shepherd?


Please see my reply to Dave on essentially this same issue. Pastor is the Latin and Shepherd is the English. These are just two words to express the Greek word for someone who has care of a flock.

We struggle, I think, because we automatically think of 'pastor' as some kind of 'office' or 'title'; it isn't it is a description of behaviour and, perhaps more importantly, character.


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Ron Bailey

 2009/1/8 11:57Profile





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