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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Elders--Married Only?

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havok20x
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Joined: 2008/9/14
Posts: 769


 Re:

Peter was an elder in Jerusalem for sure. He also was married for sure. Paul never settled in a place like Peter did. He was a missionary to the day of his death.

 2014/5/1 13:21Profile
havok20x
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Joined: 2008/9/14
Posts: 769


 Re:

The apostle john also called himself an elder in his epistles. Was he married?

 2014/5/1 13:27Profile
lovejt
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Joined: 2005/11/5
Posts: 121


 Re:

I've heard someone say Paul was an 'Elder of elders'. The Holy Spirit will witness to a disciple that this person is or is not an elder/leader. That is what to look for ultimately.


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james

 2014/5/1 22:36Profile
twayneb
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Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 1930
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: Elders--Married Only?

I think it is important that we do not accidentally apply our own idea of what an elder is to the biblical text. Bishop and elder are used interchangeably in the new testament to mean an overseer, or one who oversees the flock. Apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher are all ministry gifts to the body to grow the body into maturity. Paul was an elder, and also an apostle. Some elders functioned as ministry gifts to the body. All were to minister to the body. But I do not see a requirement of marriage. Only that elders with families must rule them well. I agree though that elders are to be men.


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Travis

 2014/5/1 23:03Profile
havok20x
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Joined: 2008/9/14
Posts: 769


 Re:

1 Corinthians 9:5 shows that Paul was unmarried but the other apostles were married. However, still not definitive proof.

I definitely lean more toward the side of needing to be married. I do think it was too simple to put "if" in the greek

 2014/5/2 10:25Profile
twayneb
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Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 1930
Joplin, Missouri

 Re:

Havok, I will ask a related question for consideration in this question. Does this mean that an elder not only has to be married, but also has to have children? If you read the text, we find he must have his children in subjection. If we accept that Paul is saying marriage is a requirement, then to be scripturally consistent we must also accept Paul as saying that children are a requirement.


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Travis

 2014/5/2 11:24Profile
havok20x
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Joined: 2008/9/14
Posts: 769


 Re:

To be perfectly clear, I am not saying I am sure of either one, but a simple reading of the text shows that an elder ought to be married, have children, and rule his household well--his children need to be faithful, not accused of dissipation or insubordination.

I am asking, because the people at my church are beginning to discuss what a biblical church looks like including: structure, character, purpose, etc.

My pastor meets all of the qualifications (whether we are being strict or lenient on the definition of the qualifications). But, as we move forward, I am hoping that we seek the bring every stitch of what we do into submission to Jesus Christ. Not just to be doctrinal for doctrines sake, but because I believe that we ought to be faithful in the small things as well as the major things.

 2014/5/2 11:56Profile
twayneb
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Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 1930
Joplin, Missouri

 Re:

havok: I totally understand brother. I asked the question because it helps us think about the question in another light. I am in total agreement with a church that has a desire to come into alignment with the word of God in every area. We SHOULD do this. I am not really sure that the Bible is clear on what governmental structure is required except that the body should have elders that meet Biblical qualifications overseeing the flock and that the body needs apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers for the sake of bringing the body into maturity. All five of these are elders, but not all elders function in one of these five rolls.

I have real concerns with some of the leadership structures that I see in the American church, primarily the top down, CEO style of leadership structure that is so common with its clergy / laity distinctions. And yet this structure is not always bad, and I have seen some very healthy churches that function under this model. Ultimately, every local fellowship will go the general direction of the leadership in that fellowship. Bad leadership = problems and flakiness. Good leadership, that is Biblical leadership will result in a stable, growing, solid, mature body that will in turn produce more stable, Biblical leaders.


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Travis

 2014/5/2 12:32Profile
havok20x
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Joined: 2008/9/14
Posts: 769


 Re:

"And yet this structure is not always bad, and I have seen some very healthy churches that function under this model."

That's what makes the Lord so awesome in this regard. He didn't make it so that if we were not totally knowledgeable or we were immature in an area, that the entire rest of it would collapse. That gives us room to grow spiritually and seek the Lord. Or else, how would a brand new Christian or brand new fellowship of believers have any hope?

Now, I am not saying we should walk in disobedience, but it takes the pressure off of us to get everything right--especially for those of us who have the tendency to think that we gotta get it all right before the Lord will use us or move in our hearts. I am learning day by day, it takes a move in our hearts to get us to the point that we see that apart from Jesus Christ we can do nothing and that only by his grace can we grow.

I like what Leonard Ravenhill said: 'On the other hand, remember there is no finality to the Christian life this side of eternity. While we are in the flesh, we "press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." '

 2014/5/2 12:57Profile
ginnyrose
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Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7421
Mississippi

 Re:

Eusibius declares that the Apostle Paul was married - quoting from Clement's writings. The fact Scriptures is silent on this would indicate it was irrelevant to the preaching of the Gospel.

Source: Ecclesiastical History by Eusibius Pamphilus. Chapter XXX: "The Apostles that lived in marriage.


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Sandra Miller

 2014/5/2 22:08Profile





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