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narrowpath
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Joined: 2005/1/9
Posts: 1008
Germany NRW

 Submission to church leadership


After reading Greg's book about Ignatius, the issue or submission to leadership and honoring elders came to my attention.

1 Corinthians 16:15-17
15 I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,) 16 That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth.

Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

In our day and age where everybody can voice their opinion to the rest of the world, we have to recover this ancient doctrine of submission and headship.
God is the head of Christ, Christ the head of the church, husbands heads over their wives, children under the rule of parents. We are also subject to every civil authority, be they godly or ungodly, as long as we do not have to compromise our faith. Women should cover their heads in service while praying or prophesying.

Overseers, bishops and elders as well as deacons are servant leaders, and we do well to both honour them and submit to them. That does not mean they are to control all aspects of our live, but as far as the body of Christ is concerned, we should obey, honor and support them that have the rule over us. Therefore only the godliest and most mature and seasoned men should have the rule.

This does not mean that their actions cannot be questioned and they are not above the authority of scripture. There are biblical mechanisms in place that can remove failed leaders from their offices when necessary.

God will hold every leader to account about the works and fruit of those under their care.
If we obey, honour and support them it will be a lot easier for them and good for ourselves, too. If we make it difficult for them and work against them, we will come under God’s judgment.

When looking at Paul’s ministry, we see that he used to give orders to others who worked with him.
Timothy and Erastus received orders from Paul how to order affairs in the churches on his behalf. John Mark was personal assistant to Paul and Barnabas and did errands for them.
Titus was sent to appoint elders in Crete. Philemon received orders as to how to deal with Onesimus. Priscilla and Aquila were considered helpers, too.

This was only possible when the apostles authority was duly recognized, otherwise they could have answered back saying “What are you to command me, I can receive orders from God for myself, it is not my calling to be called on by you”.
I am glad we have examples of apostolic workers who not only submitted to God but also saw it as a privilege to serve their leaders and were willing to even risk their lives for them

Romans 16:3-4
3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: 4 Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.

Apostolic or bishopric leadership
I believe the apostolic type of leadership is necessary for the establishment of the church in its foundational stages. Apostles were never meant to stay beyond the foundational phase and would eventually hand over the episcopal leadership of the local fellowship to others:
2 Tim 2:2 and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.

There were no denominations with differing doctrines of views in the apostles time. They either adhered to the apostles doctrine (Acts 2:42) or they were counted as sectarian. So they could appoint bishops who oversaw these household-based fellowships in the city.

For us in the 21st century it would be unthinkable that Baptists, Pentecostals, Anglicans, Episcopalians, Reformed and Methodist would come under one bishop or a council of bishops in one city. Perhaps it will take persecution and hardship to make us adapt such a model.

Our democratic understanding of government is incompatible with God’s principle of biblical headship and servant leadership. Are our Egos to big to submit to leaders and see them worth of double honor according to 1 Timothy 5:17 ? While living in Asia, I discovered that they are much more inclined to submit and honor leaders than we in the West.
Surely, undue respect and unchecked submission to leaders will eventually lead to abuse, and there were many scandals that have hit the church. Some of us will remember the heavy shepherding movement around Derek Prince and Bob Mumford and their companions. Fortunately, they repented, but damage was done.
On the other hand, disrespect for God-appointed leaders will lead to a low view of scripture and a low standards of holy living. No wonder our churches cannot shake off worldliness.

Can we come to a balanced approach to authority and submission in the body of Christ?

 2019/4/21 16:24Profile
EAGLEFLYING
Member



Joined: 2012/9/25
Posts: 562


 Re: Submission to church leadership

Narrowpath,
I believe that the leaders are accountable.. We are to be accountable to them with ministry.. However i have seen and find that if you do not agree totally with their doctrinal interpretation then you get the left foot of fellowship. (:
If you try to reconcile and they do not want to over your doctrinal differences the leaders can say you are in rebellion..
I believe this will lead to believers not wanting to be accountable.. Sheep bites hurt and Im sure we all have stories.. I believe the LORD would have leaders be accountable and train in the 5 fold ministry Eph 4:11.. to quip and train.. To Ephesians 4:11-16 New King James Version (NKJV)
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the [a]edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love..
I believe the 5 fold ministry should be restored to equip and train to do the work of the ministry outside the church walls.. I also believe we are to be accountable for the leaders are accountable for your souls..
Blessings
in Christ
Sister Frannie



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Frannie

 2019/4/21 17:25Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
Our democratic understanding of government is incompatible with God’s principle of biblical headship and servant leadership. Are our Egos to big to submit to leaders and see them worth of double honor according to 1 Timothy 5:17 ? While living in Asia, I discovered that they are much more inclined to submit and honor leaders than we in the West.



I agree with this, there are single house church elder brothers who are over 5 million or more believers. They call them "uncles" but there is a great sense of submission to authority in all things. We can much from them in this.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2019/4/21 21:14Profile
savannah
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Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 1913


 Re: Submission to church leadership


narrowpath asks,

"Can we come to a balanced approach to authority and submission in the body of Christ?"

I think that this short book, "The Great Ecclesiastical Conspiracy", may help some answer that question.

"The Great Ecclesiastical Conspiracy" can be read at the following link;


http://www.inthebeginning.com/books/ecc.htm

 2019/4/21 23:36Profile
Martyr
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Joined: 2012/6/10
Posts: 216
United States

 Re:

So what is one to do if they disagree with the authority that has been established?


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Tyler

 2019/4/22 0:52Profile
narrowpath
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Joined: 2005/1/9
Posts: 1008
Germany NRW

 Re:

1 Timothy 5:19-21 King James Version (KJV)
19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.
20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

 2019/4/22 2:32Profile
twayneb
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Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 1958
Joplin, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
This does not mean that their actions cannot be questioned and they are not above the authority of scripture. There are biblical mechanisms in place that can remove failed leaders from their offices when necessary.



Narrowpath just gave the scripture that refers to this. But there is an attitude that we should have as well. If we see an elder in error, we are to intreat them as fathers. In other words, even in error, they are to be treated with respect and their error discussed with them in person. If they are unrepentant and if there are more than one person that can verify the error, then they can be rebuked before others that all may fear. But I believe that this rebuke should come from other leadership. Remember, Paul is giving instruction to Timothy who is a young leader.


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Travis

 2019/4/22 10:21Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
But I believe that this rebuke should come from other leadership. Remember, Paul is giving instruction to Timothy who is a young leader.



Yes I agree with this, leadership usually are the ones that keep other in balance and check. Usually saints with stronger giftings who are teachers and manifest the character of Christ.


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 2019/4/22 11:24Profile
twayneb
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 Re:

There are several things that come to my mind about this whole issue.

First, think of the reason for the admonition given in scripture. Leaders have followers looking to them. If that leader stumbles, there are many young and immature people who are hurt and are caused to stumble. This is a very serious matter. When bloggers online feel it their right to openly rebuke or correct leaders, they create chaos in the body, disunity, and they cause weak believers to stumble and possibly fall away entirely. This is not to mention the effect this has on the world that we are trying hard to reach for Christ.

Look at Paul's admonition about believers taking one another to court in the world's courts. He says, "Hey guys, you are creating a foul taste in the mouths of unbelievers about believers." Where then does taking fellow believers to court in the open forum of public opinion fall in this admonition? There may not be a lawyer and an official charge, but the two are the same thing.

If we are to become like Christ through intimacy with Him, if we are to bear His image and have His love living in and through us, why would we handle things in a way that could cause young believers to stumble and prevent many people from coming to Christ? Why would we not rather go to God and cry out for the leader in error that God would break through to his heart and that he might find a place of repentance? Why would we not personally contact the leader and entreating him as a father, speak to him about the error of his ways?

This is not to say that if I am a leader in a flock, that I do not have personal conversations with that flock and teach them to avoid an error if it has the potential to lead them astray. I have had believers ask me about certain men or certain teachings, and I have had to instruct them about error in the man or the teaching. But this is a far cry from decrying the leader publicly before the world. There is an order that we need to follow in these things.

That is why I like the rule here of, "Play the ball and not the person." We might discuss issues and doctrines with the goal of arriving at truth. We should never debate issues with a mind to proving ourselves right or attack a person in a way that a weak and young believer or a person from the world would be caused to stumble or become offended.


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Travis

 2019/4/22 11:50Profile
EAGLEFLYING
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Joined: 2012/9/25
Posts: 562


 Re:

Quote:
But I believe that this rebuke should come from other leadership. Remember, Paul is giving instruction to Timothy who is a young leader.



Yes I agree with this, leadership usually are the ones that keep other in balance and check. Usually saints with stronger giftings who are teachers and manifest the character of Christ.


I am in agreement with this.. IF there is a difference.. A brother or sister should contact in private.. IF there is no reconciliation.. Go to the church.. You are to forgive and try to reconcile with respect.
Reconciliation must always be attempted
Matt 18:15-17 Phillips translation.
“But if your brother wrongs you, go and have it out with him at once—just between the two of you. If he will listen to you, you have won him back as your brother. But if he will not listen to you, take one or two others with you so that everything that is said may have the support of two or three witnesses. And if he still won’t pay any attention, tell the matter to the church. And if he won’t even listen to the church then he must be to you just like a pagan—or a tax-collector!

Everything should be done in love and in order by both parties.. All leaders and lay ministers should be respected.

I also believe that Leaders Pastors deacons deaconesses.. should be accountable to other leaders.. satan was kicked out of heaven because he had pride and wanted to be equal to GOD and did not want to be accountable to anyone but himself..


“The 5 ‘I Wills’ of Satan”
Compiled by Rev. George F. Parsons
Let us consider the five "I WILLS" of Lucifer as found in Isaiah 14:13-
14:
1) "I WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN." Lucifer wanted to mount up or
scale to the heavens. He desired to occupy the highest heavens: to probe,
and to penetrate the kingdom of the infinite God. He wanted to have a very
HIGH position!
2) "I WILL EXALT MY THRONE ABOVE THE STARS OF GOD."
Lucifer’s position and service before God’s throne was not enough. He
wanted a throne from which he could exercise final authority and make
decisions pertaining to the angelic host ("the stars of God"). He wanted to
rule over all the angels. God had made him an exalted angel, but Lucifer
wanted to be exalted even more. (He was not content to shine as the
"morning star"; he wanted to shine as the star of stars--with a brilliance that
would far outshine all the other stars (even as the sun’s brightness makes all
the other stars fade away so that you cannot even see them during daylight
hours).
3) "I WILL SIT ALSO UPON THE MOUNT OF THE
CONGREGATION." He desired to sit or be enthroned in the highest place
having all the angelic assemblies in submission to him. He wanted to be the
center of attention. He wanted to be IDOLIZED by all.
4) "I WILL ASCEND ABOVE THE HEIGHTS OF THE CLOUDS."
"Clouds" are often used in the Bible to speak of the glory of God (see
Matthew 24:30; Acts 1:9; Rev. 1:7). Lucifer coveted God’s glory for his
own. He failed to acknowledge that his glory and beauty all came from and
was dependent upon God. In his sinful pride, Lucifer wanted a glory that
would impress and dazzle all creatures.
5) "I WILL BE LIKE THE MOST HIGH." He wanted to be EQUAL with
God and to take God’s place as Possessor and Ruler of all. He wanted to
become a completely independent creature, responsible to no one.
Pastor George F. Parsons created this helpful diagram to show Lucifer’s five
haughty "I WILLS":
Final Note by Rev. David J. Bauer: We are asked may times just what is the problem
we encounter most often in our work with strife-torn congregations. In general I can put it
into one word: PRIDE.
• Pride causes us to put self on the throne instead of Christ our Savior.
• Pride causes us to not own our sin, nor be broken over it and the damage it causes
others in and out of the church.
• Pride keeps us from apologizing to those we have offended.
• Pride keeps us from authentic biblical repentance and restoration.
• Pride is deadly to our personal and spiritual life, and to the life of the church.
• Pride is as ancient as the fall of Satan, and is still one of his favorite tools.
“Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” –Proverbs 16:18
“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to
another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to
the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may
exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be
vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking
whom he may devour.” –1 Peter 5:5-8
Bible Related Ministries ..
Just some thoughts..
in Christ
Sister Frannie


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Frannie

 2019/4/22 18:49Profile





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