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

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PosterThread
philologos
Member



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

 Re:

Quote:
ADisciple on 2009/1/21 13:51:45
In my Bagster's Englishman's Greek/English Interlinear (which is the complete source of my obvious indepth knowledge of Greek ) the letter to Titus concludes with this: "To Titus, of the Cretans assembly first overseer chosen..." It's called the subscription, but a note at the bottom of the page says that it's not considered part of the original manuscript by certain scholars (who are listed).

But there it is. "Titus, chosen the first bishop of the church of Crete..."

2 Timothy has a similar subscription. "To Timotheus second, of the of the Ephesians assembly the first overseer chosen, written from Rome..."

And so this tries to tell us Timothy was THE first bishop of the church of Ephesus.

But again a note at the bottom of the page, stating that certain scholars reject this as being part of Paul's original manuscript.

I am inclined to agree that these subscriptions were added later. For the setting up of one man as bishop of a church is contrary to the scriptural pattern.


These are just comments that the KJV first added and have no basis in the text. Others have just assumed that they are true even if uninspired but as you say they are contrary to what is revealed elsewhere throughout the NT.


Quote:
"For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldst set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee" (Titus 1.5).

(Interesting to see that: "elders in every city...")

But what is this all about, ordaining elders? Surely this is something beyond a ceremony, a procedure, of some kind.


How shall we define 'a city'? I notice that the scripture does seem to distinguish between a 'town' and a city'; Matt 9:35; 10:11; Mark 6:56; Luke 8:1; 13:22 although the KJV and the NKJV don't seem to distinguish between a town and a village. Others have tried to indentify what 'city' might mean in our contemporary world. I mentioned elsewhere that sometimes what is referred to as a city ie [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_Westminster]London[/url] is legally 2 cities; the city of London and the city of Westminster. If you walk down the north side of the river Thames in London you will see where the civic boundaries lies. Some have suggested we ought to use the old postal districts, others have suggested obvious features like rivers or main roads but it is really just a human concept and one that changes from person to person; this is why the strict concept of 'one city, one church' does not and never did hold water. The city of Rome is one the few cities that correspond in size to modern cities and surely Rome would have had many local gatherings of the saints.

Some think an first century city would have had walls! We still have one or two of those in the UK but not many. So the area of a 'city' is really impossible to measure.

As regards the input of apostles or their delegates into the ordination of elders, that is a topic we can give some time to.
The word for 'ordain' in Tit 1:5 is


[url=http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2525&t=KJV]Strong's G2525 - kathistēmi[/url] which means 'to appoint' . Vines has this comment

[color=0033FF]Appoint, Appointed:

a strengthened form of No. 1, usually signifies "to appoint a person to a position." In this sense the verb is often translated "to make" or "to set," in appointing a person to a place of authority, e.g., a servant over a household, Mat 24:45, 47; 25:21, 23; Luk 12:42, 44; a judge, Luk 12:14; Act 7:27, 35; a governor, Act 7:10; man by God over the work of His hands, Hbr 2:7. It is rendered "appoint," with reference to the so-called seven deacons in Act 6:3. The RV translates it by "appoint" in Tts 1:5, instead of "ordain," of the elders whom Titus was to "appoint" in every city in Crete. Not a formal ecclesiastical ordination is in view, but the "appointment," for the recognition of the churches, of those who had already been raised up and qualified by the Holy Spirit, and had given evidence of this in their life and service (see No. 11). It is used of the priests of old, Hbr 5:1; 7:28; 8:3 (RV, "appointed"). [/color]

Vine, of course, was Brethren so that might shape his thinking a little.

The word 'ordain' used of the work of Barnabas and Paul is [url=http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G5500&t=KJV]Strong's G5500 - cheirotoneō[/url] which is used in...

[color=0033FF]So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed. Acts 14:23 NKJV[/color]

and

[color=0033FF]and not only that, but who was also chosen by the churches to travel with us with this gift, which is administered by us to the glory of the Lord Himself and to show your ready mind, 2Cor 8:19 NKJV[/color]

of this word Vines says

[color=0033FF]Appoint, Appointed:

primarily used of voting in the Athenian legislative assembly and meaning "to stretch forth the hands" (cheir, "the hand," teino, "to stretch"), is not to be taken in its literal sense; it could not be so taken in its compound procheirotoneo, "to choose before," since it is said of God, Act 10:41. Cheirotoneo is said of "the appointment" of elders by apostolic missionaries in the various churches which they revisited, Act 14:23, RV, "had appointed," i.e., by the recognition of those who had been manifesting themselves as gifted of God to discharge the functions of elders (see No. 2). It is also said of those who were "appointed" (not by voting, but with general approbation) by the churches in Greece to accompany the Apostle in conveying their gifts to the poor saints in Judea, 2Cr 8:19. [/color]

The word did originally mean to 'appoint' by 'stretching out hands in a vote' but the meaning of a word depends upon its use and not is origin.


_________________
His/yours
Ron B
www.biblebase.com

"Love perfecteth what it begins;

Thy power doth save me from my sins;

Thy grace upholdeth me.

This life of trust, how glad, how sweet;

My need and Thy great fulness meet,

And I have all in Thee.

Jean Sophia Pigott (1845-1882)

 2009/1/22 15:08Profile
RobertW
Moderator



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4611
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
The word did originally mean to 'appoint' by 'stretching out hands in a vote' but the meaning of a word depends upon its use and not is origin.



So in the process of recognizing folk that God had His hand on, there was also a need to follow the guidelines in the Pastorals? Was this to help guide the appointments so as not to confuse a gifted teacher with an elder, etc?


_________________
SermonIndex.net Moderator - Robert Wurtz II

Obedience is better esteemed with God than acquired knowledge, it is the most important lesson -fundamental to the gaining of all spiritual knowledge from God. (GW North)

 2009/1/23 9:50Profile
ADisciple
Member



Joined: 2007/2/3
Posts: 799
Alberta, Canada

 Re:

Quote:

philologos wrote:
As regards the input of apostles or their delegates into the ordination of elders, that is a topic we can give some time to.

Vines has this comment

Not a formal ecclesiastical ordination is in view, but the "appointment," for the recognition of the churches, of those who had already been raised up and qualified by the Holy Spirit, and had given evidence of this in their life and service (see No. 11). It is used of the priests of old, Hbr 5:1; 7:28; 8:3 (RV, "appointed"). [/color]

Vine, of course, was Brethren so that might shape his thinking a little.




Even so, I think this gets it right. And it accords with your earlier reference to God advising Moses to "gather unto Me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people..." (Num.11.16).

Elders whom thou knowest to be elders.

The following quote is from T. Austin-Sparks, "Explanation of the Nature and History of This Ministry."

"...Neither had we studied the New Testament with the object of trying to formulate a New Testament church or its order. We have since come to believe that the New Testament does not give a full and final pattern for reproduction and imitation.

"Thus, having set aside all the former system of organised Christianity, we committed ourselves to the principle of the organic. No 'order' was 'setup', no officers or ministries were appointed. We left it with the Lord to make manifest by 'gift' and anointing who were chosen of Him for oversight and ministry. The one-man ministry has never emerged. The 'overseers' have never been chosen by vote or selection, and certainly not by the expressed desire of any leader. No committees or official bodies have ever existed in any part of the work. Things in the main have issued from prayer."

I like that.

AD

Edit. The Austin-Sparks article is[url=www.austin-sparks.net/english/000535.html ]here. [/url]

 2009/1/23 12:15Profile
ADisciple
Member



Joined: 2007/2/3
Posts: 799
Alberta, Canada

 Re:

Quote:

philologos wrote:
How shall we define 'a city'?

...Some have suggested we ought to use the old postal districts, others have suggested obvious features like rivers or main roads but it is really just a human concept and one that changes from person to person; this is why the strict concept of 'one city, one church' does not and never did hold water. The city of Rome is one the few cities that correspond in size to modern cities and surely Rome would have had many local gatherings of the saints.



I see your point. The "one church one city" concept seems to become too rigid a straight jacket to impose on the kind of demographics we have in our day. You mentioned the London/Westminster situation. And there are cities elsewhere in the world where the population numbers several millions.

Yet the importance of the autonomy of local churches cannot be overstated.

What then do you see to be the factors that govern the limiting boundaries of a local church?

I am thinking they can't be strictly external regulations.

(By the way, thanks for the time you took to answer my question in some detail... the one about ordaining elders, I mean.)

AD



 2009/1/23 14:05Profile
philologos
Member



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

 Re:

Quote:
RobertW on 2009/1/23 11:50:13
So in the process of recognizing folk that God had His hand on, there was also a need to follow the guidelines in the Pastorals? Was this to help guide the appointments so as not to confuse a gifted teacher with an elder, etc?


The Pastorals don't really add a lot to our understanding of the mechanism of appointing 'elders'. 1 Tim and Titus have a lot to say about the credentials of 'elders' but most of what is in those lists could be (should be?) the character of any maturing Christian. The word 'mature' there is instructive.

[color=0033FF] 6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. 1Tim 3:5-6 NKJV[/color]

I used to think this 'credential' was a bit superfluous but it may have a different significance. We always need to tread gently when we dip into unfamiliar words but [url=http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G3504&t=KJV]novice[/url] is Strong's G3504 - neophytos and originally meant a newly planted one. Vine's says

[color=0033FF]Novice:

an adjective, lit., "newly-planted" (from neos, "new," and phuo, "to bring forth, produce"), denotes "a new convert, neophyte, novice," 1Ti 3:6, of one who by inexperience is unfitted to act as a bishop or overseer in a church. In the Sept., Job 14:9; Psa 128:3; 144:12; Isa 5:7.[/color]

but if you look up those Septuagine references you will find that sometimes does just mean a 'newly planted' thing. Here's my suggestion... this may not just be referring to 'new converts' but to 'newly planted' saints in the local assembly. I think many of us will have experienced the trials of 'newly planted' saints who arrive with their own agenda. It can be very disruptive and can easily create polarizations. If on the other hand a new arrival who is already a mature Christian or teacher, is required to acclimatise before taking on leading responsibilities some of those struggles would not take place.

The other special credential of course is 'teachishness', my own word; the instinct to instruct the saints.

You may notice that I avoid the word 'qualifications', this is simply because you might have a saint with all of these credentials but who was not intended, by God, to function as an overseer. These lists in the Pastorals are 'generalisations'... these are the kind of people who can be recognized as overseers.


_________________
His/yours
Ron B
www.biblebase.com

"Love perfecteth what it begins;

Thy power doth save me from my sins;

Thy grace upholdeth me.

This life of trust, how glad, how sweet;

My need and Thy great fulness meet,

And I have all in Thee.

Jean Sophia Pigott (1845-1882)

 2009/1/23 14:52Profile
philologos
Member



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

 Re:

Quote:
ADisciple on 2009/1/23 14:15:42
Even so, I think this gets it right. And it accords with your earlier reference to God advising Moses to "gather unto Me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people..." (Num.11.16).


I think so too but I thought is only fair to point out to others that Vine will have his own way of looking at things... as do we all.


_________________
His/yours
Ron B
www.biblebase.com

"Love perfecteth what it begins;

Thy power doth save me from my sins;

Thy grace upholdeth me.

This life of trust, how glad, how sweet;

My need and Thy great fulness meet,

And I have all in Thee.

Jean Sophia Pigott (1845-1882)

 2009/1/23 14:53Profile
ADisciple
Member



Joined: 2007/2/3
Posts: 799
Alberta, Canada

 Re:

...Just finished listening to your session at Greenock, Ron, the one on "the word of His grace." (Am feeling a bit "backwards" about not listening to it till now...)

I found it so refreshing, so encouraging. Thank you.

And I have the answer to my own question as to what governs the perimiters of a local church.

We just so deeply need the Lord of the church Himself in our midst!

As Austin-Sparks said in the bit that I quoted earlier, the new testament doesn't reveal to us all the detail of how they "did church."

It's so we will cry unto the Lord of the church to come into our midst HIMSELF.

Lord, help us part ways with our chronic bad habit of trying to get it all figured out apart from YOU... and trying to put it all together, without YOU!

...Help us to repent of our twin evils: of forsaking the Fountain of living Waters, and hewing out for ourselves all these myriad of "cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water."

Help us: we recognize that Your call to repentance, to return to YOU, must itself be the enabling "word of Your grace."

Israel in the wilderness, they went after YOU. It was YOU they were in love with! But then they left that first love, and fell in love with Your "things."

"The priests said not, Where is the LORD? And they that handle the law knew Me not" (Jer. 2.8).
How much do we do that ourselves, Lord, becoming so familiar with all the things of your "law," even all the "new testament" things... and at the same time know so very little of hearing, seeing, handling... the Word of Life?

Lord, help us to return to our first love.

AD

 2009/1/24 0:19Profile
philologos
Member



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

 Re:

Quote:
Lord, help us to return to our first love.


Amen to that!


_________________
His/yours
Ron B
www.biblebase.com

"Love perfecteth what it begins;

Thy power doth save me from my sins;

Thy grace upholdeth me.

This life of trust, how glad, how sweet;

My need and Thy great fulness meet,

And I have all in Thee.

Jean Sophia Pigott (1845-1882)

 2009/1/24 10:08Profile
RobertW
Moderator



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4611
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Perhaps having had a bit of a pause here I could ask how elders are typically to handle folk that begin to do things that could be characterized as not being 'decent' and 'in order' within the meeting? Obviously we want God to use the body, but what about when a person oversteps the boundaries or is coming off in a harsh way?



_________________
SermonIndex.net Moderator - Robert Wurtz II

Obedience is better esteemed with God than acquired knowledge, it is the most important lesson -fundamental to the gaining of all spiritual knowledge from God. (GW North)

 2009/1/26 12:07Profile
ADisciple
Member



Joined: 2007/2/3
Posts: 799
Alberta, Canada

 Re:

Hi, Robert. Are you asking how the priest is to trim the lamps?

This verse comes to mind.

"And Aaron shall burn thereon (on the altar of incense) sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps he shall burn incense upon it. And when Aaron lighteth (or, setteth up) the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it..." (Ex. 30.7,8).

In other words, the tending and trimming of the lamps was to be done by the priest in an atmosphere of incense. There was to be an atmosphere clothing, covering, protecting this work on the lamps.

David said, "Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense..." (Ps. 141.2).

So this "dressing" of the lamps must be conducted in a spiritual "atmosphere." Prayer, the Presence of God in the cloud of the incense filling the tabernacle... this must be there.

And when it is, the High Priest Himself will be there, walking in the midst, and the Wisdom of God will be there, dealing with things often spontaneously. And not always necessarily through the ones who "seem to be pillars."

Of course, if that Atmosphere is not there, we end up resorting to rigid controls, designated speakers, prearranged agendas, etc. And are back to square one.

Here's a quote from Azusa Street by Frank Bartleman.

"We were obliged to deal firmly with extreme cases, but in the main the Spirit passed over and moved out of the way irregularities, without further advertising them. Many have declared we cannot throw our meetings open today. Then we must shut God out also. What we need is more of God, to control the meetings. He must be left free to come forth at all costs... Through prayer and self abasement God will undertake for the meetings. This was the secreet in the beginning... A spiritual atmosphere must be created, through humility and prayer, that Satan cannot live in. And this we realized in the beginning. It was the very opposite of religious zeal, and carnal, religious ambition."

AD

 2009/1/26 14:41Profile





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