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passerby
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Joined: 2008/8/13
Posts: 607


 Re:

The link savannah provided earlier, is a good one to read with eyes wide open.

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

Here is the parting verse at the end of the book:

"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross." (Philippians 2:5-8 RSV)

 2019/4/24 18:49Profile
narrowpath
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Joined: 2005/1/9
Posts: 1057
Germany NRW

 Re: Submission to church leadership

It wonders me why almost all replies are about the accountability of leaders and abuses of power. We should not forget that we are equally obliged to support them and submit to them.
If we fall to do so we are do disservice to our head which is Christ himself.


It reveals to me how deep the distrust towards leaders is among us.

 2019/4/25 1:59Profile
cryinthenite
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Joined: 2010/9/22
Posts: 71


 Re:

That is the point , Christ alone is the head . We are all brothers . Submit one to another in love. We submit to Christ in one another. Elders are given as a gift to the church as those who have gone before us. Not some paid pro speaker or even an unpaid talent. Call no man teacher but Christ. There are teachers in the body but they are to have no title. Just because most christians have only known top down clergy leadership doesn't mean it is in the new covenant.It is a beautiful thing to be among brothers who come to one mind in all things in Christ without a clergy but Christ alone. waiting on one another till the least of us is fully persuaded in their own mind concerning Gods will.It is the flesh that wants a title and submission to one own ideas.

 2019/4/26 21:12Profile
docs
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Joined: 2006/9/16
Posts: 1983


 Re:

What might there be wrong with referring to someone as a teacher in the body of Christ? You are not giving them a title per say but just identifying what their function is in the body.


_________________
David Winter

 2019/4/26 21:31Profile
cryinthenite
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Joined: 2010/9/22
Posts: 71


 Re:

No problem.It is about the heart for sure and only the Lord really knows that

 2019/4/26 23:44Profile
CofG
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Joined: 2017/2/12
Posts: 391
Cambodia

 Re:

Brothers and Sisters

According to the Holy Spirit, the apostles, evangelists, prophets, teachers and elders were given to the church as gifts from God for the building up and strengthening of the Body; individuals and the larger corporate body. Further, elders have a responsibility to feed and protect the flock from the wolves and those who would tear her down. Beyond those functions, the Scriptures are not specific. I could quote the verses to support these statements, but I"m sure all know.

There is no "office" of bishop described in Scripture.
unless one is prepared to say that all elders are bishops. I put the word office in quotations because that word is used in Scripture on a limited occasion and quoted from OT.

Apostles were not always foundation layers in the building metaphor as has been suggested. Paul laid foundations, but Apollus built on that foundation that had already been laid by Paul. Paul was a planter and a "waterer" in the garden metaphor whereas Apollus was described only as the latter. Thus, there were church planters and church strengtheners and each either on their own or in teams traveled around building the spiritual temple of the Lord.

Elders were chosen from among the local church body after a period of growth and maturation had occurred and those with such calling and gifting as could be seen in their life.

The idea of apostolic succession is not seen in the Scriptures other than the choosing by lot of Mattias and this example is not portable to the future because the elements of Mattias replacing Judas had to do with being a witness to the resurrection which was essential to the Apostles with a big "A" ministry and authority.

All that I have written is from Scripture. There is no opinion or personal preference or belief involved. Finally, there is no "tradition" or church practice in these statements that are at best fallible.


The reason I write these things is not to correct but to suggest to those who are in long standing church cultures that these Scriptures and functions of the apostolic body were very important in the newly birthed church where there was no church history or culture. They were essential instructions and functions that helped churches in unreached areas survive, have brotherly fellowship and grow to maturity and the likeness of Christ.

In established church areas, it seems the tendency is over time to institutionalize and make church leadership into a profession and job. This is especially true in cultures where Christianity is tolerated or even embraced on a cultural though not spiritual level.

The function of the apostolic leaders was primarily to lay foundations and then help grow the newly birthed believers and churches to a maturity level where they could for all intents and purposes self regulate with elders and other gifted people strengthening and growing the younger believers. In addition, the older men and women in the faith discipled the younger beievers as instructed in Scripture. The apostles were restricted by geography, time and resources to these roles and Scripture has very limited instances of Apostles exercising management of any kind after elders were appointed unless gross doctrinal error or sin in the church arose.

The idea of hierarchical authorities is so limited in Scripture that it is very hard to justify what we see in many denominations today.

Using Paul or the other 12 Apostles as an example of what church leadership should look like today is fraught with difficulties because Paul's own descriptions about why he had authority would not apply to any today.

In countries where the gospel has not advanced far, the apostolic method of planting and strengthening nascent church bodies in small villages is the only model that makes any sense practically. I do not use that as support for what I've seen Scripture saying. However, much of what the West practices as authoritative in church leadership is not only mostly unfound in the Scripture, but it is also very impractical and can't be done in small villages far apart with 5-10 families belonging to the local body. These churches have no connection to a denomination, no spiritual support and are too young to have any real maturity in their midst. The situations in these countries, villages and bodies is much the same as that found in the early church in Acts and the epistles.

No matter what you call or title the people, the advancing kingdom needs gifted and called mature men to plant and strengthen the small churches in villages and to help them be protected from the evil that would try to destroy them. Otherwise, we end up evangelizing, starting a work and then abandoning that work and those new believers which is a practical and prevalent tragedy. Many denominations have done just that. This isn't just theoretical where I work. There are so many spiritual orphans in villages who are discouraged, spiritually immature and without guidance and protection.

I get the idea of trying to be respectful to the traditions that have gone before but in all due respect, you can't export institutions. All the theories, ideas, strategies, opinions and preferences are not as useful in an advancing kingdom as the model that the book of Acts lays out.











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Robert

 2019/4/27 2:41Profile
narrowpath
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Joined: 2005/1/9
Posts: 1057
Germany NRW

 Re: Submission to church leadership

Young believers need role models of Christ in every aspect.
If they submit to godly elders and deacons they will make quick progress. But even if the leaders are questionable in some aspects, which is not ideal, they can still grow like David grew under Sauls rule.

Ever thought why God placed Saul under the rule of Samuel and David under the rule of Saul?

Saul did not submit to the rule of Samuel despite having a father in Christ to guide him, David submitted to Saul despite of the fact that Saul was a failed King rejected by God. David prospered more and more and Saul diminished in power until there was only his title left.

Daniel prospered under heathen Dictators who surrounded themselves with thugs.

David dared not to touch God's annointed one and regretted tearing the tassel of Sauls robe, Saul rent Samuels robe and his kingdom was torn away from him.

I know this is a hard one and some of you will protest.

I am not saying that we should not confront fallen leaders, but what can we learn from this in respect to leadership?





 2019/4/27 7:15Profile
twayneb
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Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 1999
Joplin, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
What might there be wrong with referring to someone as a teacher in the body of Christ? You are not giving them a title per say but just identifying what their function is in the body.



Moses wrote that Moses was the meekest man on the face of the Earth. Paul wrote that He was an apostle. There is nothing wrong with knowing and acknowledging the gift that is in you from God for the rest of the body. There is something very wrong with finding your identity in that gift instead of finding your identity in Christ. In fact, it is only a man whose identity is firmly established in Christ that can assume a "title" in humility. That, I think, is where we get messed up. We do not find our identity in Christ, but rather in giftings, callings, titles, accolades, etc., and it leads us deeper into the flesh with the deception of thinking it is the Spirit because it has the trappings of ministry.


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Travis

 2019/4/27 8:12Profile
twayneb
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Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 1999
Joplin, Missouri

 Re:

Robert: I agree brother. Very clear way of putting it. The only thing I would add is that I have found Bishop and Elder in the NT to be interchangeable terms for the same role, overseer of the body.


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Travis

 2019/4/27 8:15Profile
BranchinVINE
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Joined: 2016/6/15
Posts: 636
Australia

 Re: Narrowpath

My thoughts:

David did not go through Saul to God. David had a direct link to God.

Daniel did not go through heathen dictators to God. Daniel had a direct link to God.

Therefore, David was not affected by Saul's failure. And Daniel was not affected by the heathen dictators' rejection of God.


John 3:30 -- He must increase, but I must decrease.

Instead of being magnified, shouldn't every human leader seek to fade away till Christ alone is seen and is all in all?



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Jade

 2019/4/27 9:29Profile





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