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

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philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
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 Re:

Quote:
RobertW on 2009/1/10 9:12:53
I noticed that in Titus their is a link between elder and bishop. Maybe you already covered this and I missed it. But it seems in Titus that the term elder is being used synonymously with bishop:


I don't think we have mentioned it but 'yes' we are talking about the same people.

The 'same' man is an elder, that's who he is...
the 'same' man is an overseer, that's what he does.

Quote:

I noticed also that the term bishop has a root that means to 'visit'. I found a familiar verse with that root...


It's really the other way around. The Greek word for 'visit' is derived from the word to 'watch-over' or 'oversee'.


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Ron Bailey

 2009/1/10 13:16Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
Heydave on 2009/1/10 11:19:05
Which shows that sometimes the word is used as a sort of label


It is used as an identifier and in that sense it is a label. but it is not a title and there is no record of anyone being called 'Elder Peter' or 'Apostle Paul' OR 'Pastor John'.


Quote:
So maybe we cannot forbid the use of the name of bishop or pastor, as long as we understand it really is descriptive of function and not a title of position.


I am not 'forbidding' the use of the term 'pastor' or 'elder'. It is biblical, or even 'elder'.. Peter called himself a 'co-elder' so does John.

Here is some more grist for your mill... Judas was an overseer!
Acts 1:20


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Ron Bailey

 2009/1/10 13:22Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
Brothertom on 2009/1/10 15:14:46
Bishop is translated from Episkopos, which occurs 5 times in the testament..[Acts 20....Phil.1.....1Tim 3......Titus 1.....1Peter 2...] It means Shepherd, and yes, as a shepherd oversees, Overseer.


Bishop does not MEAN shepherd. Bishop in the KJV means Overseer. All the elders in Acts 20:28 are required to 'shepherd' the flock.

Quote:
Shepherds, equal and plural, were always the leadership model,


It is 'elders' which is always in the plural except for the passages in 1 Tim and Titus. We have no record of anyone in the NT who is called 'shepherd' 'pastor' other than Christ himself.




Quote:
The Scottish Covenanters fought a War, with King James 1, in 1539 and 1540, over unlawful assembly, outside the "LORD BISHOPS" dictate of the Church of England. This was called the "Bishop Wars".


The Bishops' Wars was really the first round of our civil war which took place in 1642. I think you have some dates wrong here. James 1 did not come to the throne of England until 1603. This article in [url=http://www.british-civil-wars.co.uk/military/bishops-wars.htm]Bishops Wars[/url] will put you in the picture.


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Ron Bailey

 2009/1/10 13:34Profile









 Re: Bishops in every local assembly..


It was Charles not James in the bishop wars. Thanks for the date correction. However, Bishop and overseer are interchangeable. They have the same meaning and same function, stemming from the same word. My point is and was; There is no preeminence; either by Pastor, by overseer, or by bishop. They are exactly the same in title, and in function. anything other than this is Catholic, and nicolaitan, and destroys the brotherhood, as it always has.


Because the English chose the now archaic word Elder, to translate this word is irrelevant. You could call them the assembly of bishops in Acts 20, or overseers, or elders, if you so desired. My point is that preeminence did not exist among any of that ordained company. They were all equal. The Catholic power brokers introduced that, which the Anglicans and others maintained to dominate.



Ambitious men who desired it were rebuked, and the body was one. The community precedes the meeting, and this removes the sting out of those who make a living off of the back of the church, even those who exercise their superior education over the least of the brethren, and the simple, to gain oversight, control and a paid position.



These shepherds were always submitted, unpaid and unprofessional, equal, and brothers first. There is no hierarchy in any of the church in function, or in title, in that the shepherds served...and had equal oversight to Feed, protect, and see Jesus as Lord over the least. There primary function was to see that the Holy Spirit was not quenched, and that the spirit of Psalms 23 prevailed over the least of the brethren, and throughout all of the church entrusted to them.



Brothertom

 2009/1/10 17:45
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 Re:

Quote:
Brothertom on 2009/1/10 19:45:16
Bishop and overseer are interchangeable. They have the same meaning and same function, stemming from the same word.


They ARE the same word originally. They are two different English translations for the same Greek word 'episkopos'.
epi upon or over
skopos as in 'teleSCOPe' and microSCOPE' seeing.


Quote:
There is no preeminence; either by Pastor, by overseer, or by bishop. They are exactly the same in title, and in function.


I don't believe they ARE the same, not all three. the elder oversees the flock and shepherds them but the word PASTOR is not directly applied to any elder; they have all the shared responsibility of 'shepherding' but no individual is 'the shepherd/pastor' of that flock. The pastor-teacher of Ephesians, I believe, had a different role and, I suggest, was itinerant.


Quote:
My point is that preeminence did not exist among any of that ordained company. They were all equal.


I agree that there was no preeminence but I am cautious about using the word 'equal' in that no two people are 'equal' in gift or character. I suspect that in every group you will have individuals who are more mature than the others in some areas of spiritual life.

In our own local church we have four elders but no leader. At different points in the church life individual men will take responsibility for some aspect of that church life but they are not designated to a particular authority. None of these men has a paid position in the church. There is, as you say, no hierarchy in this relationship.


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Ron Bailey

 2009/1/11 9:30Profile
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 Re: The Didache and the letter of Polycarp to the Philippians

Another very early document from the end of the Ist century is the letter of Polycarp to the Philippians. You can find a translation of it [url=http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/polycarp-lake.html]here[/url].

It is not scripture but gives a very clear idea of the moods of the saints around the time of the death of the apostle John. I know that everyone won't have the desire to do this but to compare this letter and the 1st letter of Clement to the Corinthians and then to compare them with the writing of Ignatious and the document known as 'the martyrdom of Polycarp' is very enlightening.

In the writings of Polycarp and Clement you will find no hint of hierarchy but when you move just a few years later and read the letters of Ignatious and others the difference in quite amazing. It is astonishing just how quickly things moved towards hierarchy after the end of the 1st century.

If you read the writings of Ignatious you will see how hard he works to convince people to recognize a single 'bishop' and to allow him to be the 'priest' of the gathering. He is working hard because he was selling a line which people were resisting, in my view.

Polycarp had known John the apostle and there is a tenderness and total lack of hierarchy which is wonderful to note. Polycarp and Clement are writing in the genuine spirit of the New Testament but Ignatious and the author of the martyrdom of Polycarp are a world away from the New Testament.

Here are a couple of paragraphs from Polycarp. In the second passage he sorrows over a presbyter who has become covetous.


[color=0033FF]CHAPTER 6

1 And let the presbyters also be compassionate, merciful to all, bringing back those that have wandered, caring for all the weak, neglecting neither widow nor orphan nor poor, but "ever providing for that which is good before God and man," refraining from all wrath, respect of persons, unjust judgment, being far from all love of money, not quickly believing evil of any, not hasty in judgment, knowing that "we all owe the debt of sin."
2 If then we pray the Lord to forgive us, we also ought to forgive, for we stand before the eyes of the Lord and of God, and "we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, and each must give an account of himself."
3 So then "let us serve him with fear and all reverence," as he himself commanded us, and as did the Apostles, who brought us the Gospel, and the Prophets who foretold the coming of our Lord. Let us be zealous for good, refraining from offence, and from the false brethren, and from those who bear the name of the Lord in hypocrisy, who deceive empty-minded men.[/color]

and this is the section which refers to the avaricious elder...

[color=0033FF]CHAPTER 11

1 I am deeply sorry for Valens, who was once made a presbyter among you, that he so little understands the place which was given to him. I advise, therefore, that you keep from avarice, and be pure and truthful. Keep yourselves from all evil.
2 For how may he who cannot attain self-control in these matters enjoin it on another? If any man does not abstain from avarice he will be defiled by idolatry, and shall be judged as if he were among the Gentiles who "know not the judgment of God." Or do we "not know that the saints shall judge the world?" as Paul teaches.
3 But I have neither perceived nor heard any such thing among you, among whom the blessed Paul laboured, who are praised in the beginning of his Epistle. For concerning you he boasts in all the Churches who then alone had known the Lord, for we had not yet known him.
4 Therefore, brethren, I am deeply sorry for him [i.e. Valens] and for his wife, and "may the Lord grant them true repentance." Therefore be yourselves also moderate in this matter, and "do not regard such men as enemies," but call them back as fallible and straying members, that you may make whole the body of you all. For in doing this you edify yourselves.[/color]


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Ron Bailey

 2009/1/11 10:10Profile









 Re: Polycarp



Philo: OH! for 10 men like him Polycarp today! We would take the world in 3 years.


Thank you so much. This displays the elders heart; the true shepherds.


We are in agreement concerning the equality issue [of eldership]. There are differences in calling and anointing. Paul set PETER strait! Who would have thought this possible a few years before?


Who could have stood but Paul? In the face of Satan himself, and all of Hell's might...he prevailed. We are his testimony.



Maybe equality in the sense that I am not over you, or anyone. Maybe equality unto the least of the brethren, or any blood washed saint on the Earth. I am not speaking about anointing, but the unclean and ambitious desire to ascend....to be preeminent...to be the chief.


I am against the professional for this reason, and the one man show. I am against wearing suits up front, as a method to prove your ministerial worth, or position. To me, it is as silly as greeting your wife and children at the breakfast table in a three piece suit to prove your love and position as the head of the house. I am against the Tithe, as a means to "run the show", and to supply the clergy....for the clergy and the saved leper are the same to me. "Not for filthy lucre!"...as Peter and Polycarp both stood for.



[ I might add that a man or woman cannot be a Christian without being a giver, and I am for extravagant giving..unto the Lord....BOTH GLORY..[WORSHIP.]...AND STRENGTH...[SUBSTANCE.]


The good shepherd lays his life down for his brothers, the sheep of God. He is their great reward.

Tom








 2009/1/11 10:40
ADisciple
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 Re:

I, too, appreciated this excerpt from Polycarp.
Thanks.

AD


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Allan Halton

 2009/1/11 11:44Profile
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 Re:

Quote:

Brothertom wrote:

The entire model of Nicolaitan, or Clergy Laity heresies, derives it's power from a "Priest Class", or "Clergy Class", or, as it is in Western churches, the "Pastor, or Ministry Class of Christian brotherhood. It, in my opinion, has done more to divide the Church, and to quench God's spirit than [b]any other heresy ever.[/b]



Hi Tom. Through the years I've heard the term Nicolaitan used to refer to the artificial clergy/laity distinction, and myself have used it that way.

But is this actually what the Lord was referring to when using the word (in Rev. 2.6 and 2.15)?

I share your passion about this, I believe the clergy/laity division is responsible for the stunted condition of large numbers of Chrsitians. But I am wondering if this is actually what Nicolaitan refers to.

AD


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Allan Halton

 2009/1/11 11:56Profile
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 Re:

Quote:

philologos wrote:
Here is some more grist for your mill... Judas was an overseer!
Acts 1:20



...Or rather, an anti-overseer?

But actually, becoming an overseer was something which was there for him just potentially. When the Lord chose him (Jn. 6.70), he was not initially an overseer. He could have become one if he had walked faithfully. If he had been proven, and approved.

The "bishoprick" that was designated to be his was given to another because Judas disqualified himself, and "by transgression fell" (Acts 1.25).

AD


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Allan Halton

 2009/1/11 12:35Profile





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