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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
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
They gave qualifications but it seems that there was a lot of room for mistakes because it doesn't seem as if the Holy Spirit picked these men out in the same way He set apart Paul and Barnabus for His specific work.


The choosing of The Seven is very instructive but these are not 'elders' and I am not sure they are even 'deacons' as the term in used in Paul's letters to Timothy and Titus. These men were chosen to accomplish a particular task rather than given general responsibility.

[color=0033FF]Act 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.[/color]

See how they were 'appointed' by the apostles to be in charge of 'this business'. They were given the responsibility of caring for the Greek speaking widows. It is interesting that each of the names of The Seven is a Greek name; these men had a natural link with the Greek speaking Jewish community.

I think we do need to move on to the way in which 'elders' were 'appointed' in the New Testament. But I want to be sure that we are getting a sense of who elders were. They are men of 'stature' in the community. They are already held in regard by their community; they are not imposed on the community from outside.

[color=0033FF]Num 11:16 And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee.[/color]

This is a very interesting instruction where God says you are to choose from the whole company of elders, 'seventy who you know are elders'. It appears that just as all Israel are not Israel, all elders are not elders! I think this is telling us very plainly that not all 'older man' are 'elders'. But from among the older men there were some who Moses would know were 'real elders'.

This is a clear choice of men from a larger company. These men are going to 'share' the Spirit that is on Moses. They will receive special empowerment to enable them to function as 'elders' for the whole community. These men will be like the community elders but with a special ingredient; a unique enabling of the Spirit. These men would function as the 'elders of the church in the wilderness'; the assembly of God, Israel.


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Ron Bailey

 2009/1/5 14:50Profile
ADisciple
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Joined: 2007/2/3
Posts: 835
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 Re:

Quote:

philologos wrote:
This is a very interesting instruction where God says you are to choose from the whole company of elders, 'seventy who you know are elders'. It appears that just as all Israel are not Israel, all elders are not elders! I think this is telling us very plainly that not all 'older man' are 'elders'. But from among the older men there were some who Moses would know were 'real elders'.



"The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness" (Pr. 16.31).


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Allan Halton

 2009/1/5 15:49Profile
dohzman
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Joined: 2004/10/13
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 Re:

Quote:
I think we do need to move on to the way in which 'elders' were 'appointed' in the New Testament.


I look forward to seeing how you develop this in the NT church.


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D.Miller

 2009/1/5 16:03Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re: Did you know that The Internet had elders?

This is just a gentle excursus but it is with a purpose. I came across this article some years ago and was taken with the way it tried to explain something.

[color=0033FF]The first meme above was created by Clark at a 1992 IETF meeting and is now informally known as the IETF Credo. This maxim can not be read as stating that Internet culture has no authorities. Individuals of respect and standing play an important role in the aggregation of individual preferences and development of consensus within the community. [b]Internet rulers can be most likened to Elders: those who through merit, contributions, and experience became or built institutions that affect the Net. Elders are citizen engineers who built wonderful things.[/b] Examples of Elders include Tim Berners-Lee, ("Father of the Web"), the late Jon Postel (IETF RFC Editor and IANA Director), Linus Torvalds (creator of Linux), and Larry Wall (creator of Perl). Amusingly, Guido van Rossum, the creator of the Python, is often respectfully referred to as BDFL (Benevolent Dictator for Life). (In Web years, it need not take much time to establish oneself as an Elder, nor discredit ones-self amongst one's peers.)[/color]

It comes from a [url=http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/archived_content/people/reagle/regulation-19990326.html#_NoKings]Harvard Law Thesis[/url] and is trying to find a way to explain how the internet is 'governed'.

The reason I repeat it here is because I think it captures something of an almost universal concept of the 'village elder'. The problem with our modern society is that we don't have this instinctive sense of what a 'village elder' is really like or what they do. By virtue of their longer experience they have become the archive of 'community wisdom and lore'. They hold their position on merit. It is not an hereditary or elected role; folks just know who the elders are and when another is added to the number.

I am not trying to say we should follow this pattern in the church, just that this concept of a group of men who by mutual community consent are sought out for advice and guidance is an instinctive concept for much of the world. Our modern patterns of democracy and authority have made it difficult for us to understand this other pattern of authority.

But this simpler pattern of authority lies behind the whole concept of 'eldership'. It is authority by consent and its power is moral. It cannot take refuge in legal authority and ecclesiastic or denominational law; it functions at a different primal level.

This is where we are going to struggle. Our whole concepts of authority are based on Gentile power structures.

[color=0033FF]Mar 10:42-44 But Jesus called them [to him], and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.
But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:
And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.
For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.[/color]

This pattern of Gentile power structure, of power over people, is almost built into our genes. It will take grace and real mental effort to see the pattern of true spiritual authority. But if we can make it we may begin to see a whole new world of spiritual truth.


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Ron Bailey

 2009/1/5 17:17Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
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 Re:

Quote:
Ron's: But this simpler pattern of authority lies behind the whole concept of 'eldership'. It is authority by consent and its power is moral. It cannot take refuge in legal authority and ecclesiastic or denominational law; it functions at a different primal level.



I keep thinking of the word 'respect'. When I take the entire post together I can't help but think of 'earned respect' for a person based upon something they have accomplished that sets them apart. An unspoken recognition of 'authority' that is based on the fact that they are highly respected and in that respect they are the 'authority'. There is a saying that- respect is not something that is [i]given[/i] it is [i]earned[/i].

When I think of [u]respect[/u] I think of things like:

1. One with vast experience
2. One known for their faithfulness
3. One in reputation for being upright
4. One that has stood the test and prevailed
5. One in reputation for moderation and wisdom
6. One with a gentle, but strong disposition
7. One that rules his spirit well


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Robert Wurtz II

 2009/1/5 19:43Profile
RobertW
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Independence, Missouri

 Out on a dirt road ;-)

Quote:
Ron's: I think we may have got our wires crossed. The Hebrew word for elder in the references we have been discussing is Strong's H2205 - zaqen.



I kind of took a different route to look at the word. I found the first English reference for elder and then traced it back with an Englishman's to Genesis 1:16.

[color=000066]And unto Shem, the father of all the children of Eber, the elder brother of Japheth, to him also were children born. (Genesis 10)[/color]

I find it interesting that there is a link between being older and greatness. I believe this is where the Hebrews trace their ancestry? This is also the word used for 'High' as in 'High Priest' who had recognized authority even in Paul's time. David's three 'elder' brothers were certainly not greater than David, but yet they were 'older' and seemed to try to boss David around. God totally bypassed this power structure and gave it to David the man after His own heart.

I guess what I am seeing here is that God raises up folk (as in David's life) to prepare them to have a heart to rule by their dependence on God and not on their age, size or some other outward thing.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2009/1/5 20:20Profile
dohzman
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 Re:

The only snag I see in the whole of eldership in what I'm reading is that most churches in America don't really operate thier eldership this way. Also how does authority flesh out in a church where the eldership is based, as it is in most churches here, on private buisness success, or young and available (usually in thier mid to late 30's), or someone with a certain charisma about them, you know what I mean(especially in churches like the AG and the COG), they wear the right clothes and say the right things etc... At what point does authority matter if a true elder is never reconized since most of these men would rather stay in a seculded place out of view and reconition. To what extent can or should they exercise authority? And when you say authority, could you define what you mean? Thank you.


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D.Miller

 2009/1/6 0:00Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
RobertW on 2009/1/5 21:43:32
1. One with vast experience
2. One known for their faithfulness
3. One in reputation for being upright
4. One that has stood the test and prevailed
5. One in reputation for moderation and wisdom
6. One with a gentle, but strong disposition
7. One that rules his spirit well


I like this list. Did you notice you have described character rather than gift?


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Ron Bailey

 2009/1/6 4:33Profile
philologos
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 Re: Out on a dirt road <img src='https://www.sermonindex.net/images/smilies/icon_wink

Quote:
I guess what I am seeing here is that God raises up folk (as in David's life) to prepare them to have a heart to rule by their dependence on God and not on their age, size or some other outward thing.


I think in the Hebrew we are plugging into a concept which is regarded as very odd today, namely, that 'older is better'. Of course, there are exceptions but it is informative that one of the descriptions of God is The [url=http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H6268&t=KJV]Ancient[/url] of Days.



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Ron Bailey

 2009/1/6 4:38Profile
philologos
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 Re:

Quote:
dohzman on 2009/1/6 2:00:24
The only snag I see in the whole of eldership in what I'm reading is that most churches in America don't really operate thier eldership this way.


Nor on this side of the water! But this is why I have tried to stick to the 'revelation' rather than to our current experience. When we find that in personal experience many 'Christians' do not live as the New Testament believers lived what are we to say? "Well, this is all there is and we are stuck with it" or are we brave enough to take a long cool look at the biblical principle and then ask "Is there anything that we ought to change?"

When people like William Wilberforce set himself to see an end of slavery the British establishment could not conceive of the possibility. Their whole economy was based on the 'fact' of slavery. Wilberforce's opponents said it would mean disaster for Britain and all other nations would profit from Britain's too sensitive conscience. It took Wilberforce his entire lifetime to see just the beginnings of change. The practice of slavery is not ended even now but the doctrine of slavery has received a death blow.

Luther used to say "teach before you change".

One of the ways we may progress is if we have eyes to 'see' through the outward expressions of things to an true, inner, reality. Just as in the local church we see tares but the eye of faith can also see the wheat and is not discouraged. It may be that some of the 'current management' are 'true elders'. I recall the admonition of the Lord to those he had commanded to 'see the harvest'....'pray ye therefore... One of the first responsibilities of revelation is prayer.


Quote:
To what extent can or should they exercise authority? And when you say authority, could you define what you mean? Thank you.


Again we need to begin with the scripture rather than current experience. There are two words in the KJV which are translated as 'power'.

[color=0033FF]Act 1:7,8 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own [b]power[/b]. But ye shall receive [b]power[/b], after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.[/color]

1. the first 'power' here is [url=http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G1849&t=KJV]Strong's G1849 - exousia[/url] which is the kind of 'power' that a policeman has to stop a truck. It is delegated responsibility, entrusted to him.

2. the second 'power' here is [url=http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G1411&t=KJV]Strong's G1411 - dynamis[/url]; this is inherent ability. This is the kind of power the world's strongest men have when they pull a truck!!

Exousia can be understand as 'a right' but it is a given right not a deserved or earned right. All exousia is God given, even secular exousia.

[color=0033FF]Jhn 19:10-11 Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power [at all] against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.[/color]


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Ron Bailey

 2009/1/6 5:03Profile





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