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

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

 Re:

Quote:
These are just two words to express the Greek word for someone who has care of a flock.



Would it be correct to say the difference between elder and pastor/teacher is that one exists in the local church and the other is itinerate?



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Robert Wurtz II

 2009/1/8 12:44Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
RobertW on 2009/1/8 14:44:11
Would it be correct to say the difference between elder and pastor/teacher is that one exists in the local church and the other is itinerate?


The elder does function as a specific authority in the local church. The pastor/teacher is a gift to many churches and may function in a local church and in a wider capacity. The elder has specific responsibility for the whole local church in which he serves. They have different areas of responsibility and function. These areas of responsibility can intersect.

When the 'pastor/teacher' functions in a local church I would see that function as being subject to the local eldership and not in any sense 'over' them.


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Ron Bailey

 2009/1/8 14:02Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
...I would see that function as being subject to the local eldership and not in any sense 'over' them.



Certainly. Are there biblical examples of apostles and prophets also being subject to elders?



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Robert Wurtz II

 2009/1/8 14:28Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
RobertW on 2009/1/8 16:28:02
Certainly. Are there biblical examples of apostles and prophets also being subject to elders?


Not that I know of.
When we try to understand things like this we are really creating a scenario and then asking if it fits the data. If we examine the scenario that most of us are familiar with and ask the question..'does this fit the New Testament data?' The answer would have to be 'no'. We are creating a best-fit hypothesis.

I am not sure that we have any biblical data for apostles/prophets and elders functioning in the same meeting. This has caused modernist to conjecture that there are two opposing models for local church in the New Testament. They claim that Paul favoured the 'charismatic' view whereas Peter and James favoured the more traditional synagogue pattern.


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Ron Bailey

 2009/1/8 14:37Profile
ADisciple
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Joined: 2007/2/3
Posts: 835
Alberta, Canada

 Re:

I have been thinking about the mention in Acts 15 of "the apostles and elders."

"...They determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question" (Acts 15.2).

They (the apostles and elders) are spoken of together like this in a few verses: 15.2,4,6,22,23, and 16.4.

I've been thinking about this for a few days, just wondering why it doesn't read that they went up "to the elders."

Because Peter the apostle considered himself an elder (1 Pt. 5.1).

Why then say, the apostles and elders?

But then I realized I had my wires crossed in my thinking. I should have been questioning why it didn't just read that Paul and Barnabas went up "to the apostles" about this question.

No, they went up to Jerusalem to "the apostles and elders..." showing us, I believe, the weighty place the elders had in the early church.

We do not read of a separate council of the apostles as a sort of governing body. Or of the prophets. The apostles at Jerusalem were among the elders. Once again, this reveals to us the total absence of the hierarcy kind of structure that is so written in stone in our day.

AD


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Allan Halton

 2009/1/8 18:02Profile
ADisciple
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Joined: 2007/2/3
Posts: 835
Alberta, Canada

 Re:

Quote:

philologos wrote:

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]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]

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.



This is a precious insight.

We, the church, are God's new creation. God's garden. "God's husbandry" (1 Cor. 3.9).

And he gives "some," who are themselves part of the Garden, a "dominion" which is expressed in their serving the other plants in the Garden. They till, plant, water... do some weeding from time to time. But God giveth the increase.

AD


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Allan Halton

 2009/1/8 18:21Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
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Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
ADisciple on 2009/1/8 20:02:34
We do not read of a separate council of the apostles as a sort of governing body. Or of the prophets. The apostles at Jerusalem were among the elders. Once again, this reveals to us the total absence of the hierarcy kind of structure that is so written in stone in our day.


Good observation. Thanks.


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Ron Bailey

 2009/1/9 5:18Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
Ron's: And Jehovah God taketh the man, and causeth him to rest in the garden of Eden, to serve it, and to keep it. Youngs Literal



What is the scope of the responsibility of the elder? Is their responsibility mainly in the meeting, or do they visit the 'lost sheep' and the sick, etc.? How does that play out typically? Or is that considered the responsibility of everyone therefore the elders have not special emphasis there?


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Robert Wurtz II

 2009/1/9 7:11Profile
Heydave
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Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1306
Hampshire, UK

 Re:

Quote:

RobertW wrote:

What is the scope of the responsibility of the elder? Is their responsibility mainly in the meeting, or do they visit the 'lost sheep' and the sick, etc.? How does that play out typically? Or is that considered the responsibility of everyone therefore the elders have not special emphasis there?




Can I add to this question and ask how much leading and direction should Elders have over the flock in their Shepherding and oversight?

To what degree should they correct error (false doctrine) and sin among the local church which they are responsible for? Looking at some of the Epistles it would seem this is an important function, but when to step in and rubuke; warn, correct and when to hold back can be a difficult decision I think.

Are Elders responsible to give or confirm 'corporate' direction and 'vision' to their local church?


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Dave

 2009/1/9 7:28Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Let's widen it before we narrow it.
Those who are genuinely regenerate begin to partake of the divine nature. Every true son will carry the genes of his father. Christ is variously referred to as pastor, overseer: Peter calls him the pastor and overseer 1 Pet 2:25. This itself should show us that the two terms are not exact synonyms. He is also, in Hebrews 3:1 he is referred to as the apostle. He is also the prophet that Moses promised and is the embodiment of the Good News or evangel.

If Christ is in each of us would you not expect aspects of those characteristics to be present it all the saints? In essence every saint has aspects of apostle, prophet, shepherd, overseer... What we are seeing in the descriptions 'apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor-teacher are degrees of these aspects which have come to characterize the holders. They are not labels or job designations to be inserted into an org chart but mature expressions of the character of Christ himself which are now describable in those terms. This is not a hierarchy or org chart.

So all saints have a measure of responsibility in terms of the apostolic, prophetic, evangelistic and pastoral. All have a measure of responsibility in terms of caring for the the saints and watching over them.

Elders only have the authority that is given to them by those for whom they care. If I do not give a man my trust he cannot serve me as a leader. Hence the admonition in Heb 13:17 "trust your leaders and submit yourself to them for they watch for souls as those who must give account..." Eldership cannot be imposed.


Quote:
Heydave on 2009/1/9 9:28:10
Looking at some of the Epistles it would seem this is an important function, but when to step in and rubuke; warn, correct and when to hold back can be a difficult decision I think.


I think you are thinking primarily about Timothy and TItus? These are two fascinating men. They have no titles. They were certainly NOT 'pastors' as so many presume. They are apostolic delegates. They are carrying Paul's authority in churches in which he has had a foundational input.

I think I have said previously that I see the eldership, as a body of oversight, has having a veto in the local church. As regards...
Quote:
how much leading and direction should Elders have over the flock in their Shepherding and oversight?

can you see that tell-tale 'over the flock' in that question? ;-)

As the elders too are partakers of Christ and his nature they are not less responsible that any others for seeking the mind of Christ in the local church. As 'older brothers' they will 'lead by example' in shepherding and oversight but not exclusively so. They, alone, will be required to give an account for the well being of the whole local assembly. Consequently there will be times when their decisive counsel will be necessary but not as those who are required, by job definition, to 'have the vision for the church'. Oh, Lord, where did this language come from. It preshapes so much of our thinking.

In terms of discipline they will often be required to take a lead in such matters but not in any domineering pattern.


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Ron Bailey

 2009/1/9 10:48Profile





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