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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : The Authenticity of Biblical Leadership

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ZekeO
Member



Joined: 2004/7/4
Posts: 1014
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

 Re:

Quote:

eagleswings wrote:
Try adding a dash of “World Domination or Dominion” (Austin-Sparks’)



Thanks Eagelswings, that was good stuff, I enjoyed this comment: [i]We have moved into a new phase of things. 'Revival' is being sought earnestly, and certain great names in revival history are in mind, on lip, and much used to stimulate revival-mindedness or mentality. But it may be that God is not going now to allow a great work of His to be related to men's names.[/i]

If you had spoken to any of the revival pioneers none of them would have wanted to attach their name as the man who did this, it started because I did that. Again I state my concern, that the issue is everything that he said, but added to that is the knowledge that man is involved, but not in a meddling 'domination' mentality. It is with the knowledge that we want to keep what God is doing as biblical as possible, flowing in a structure that allows for those things we find questionable to happen. Not that God can do anything unbiblical, but in mans response to his moving. That the skeleton of church is built with the eternal word and principles of God. it must be flexible enough to keep the believers free, but rigid enough not to tolerate sin.

An Example: Evan Roberts, mightily used as a channel for God himself to change a whole nation, what killed the revival? It was when certain emphasis and extremes within the move where seen as demonic and soulish, that the problems started. I wonder how many folk who are praying for revival will actually reject it when it comes because it does not fit into their 'paradigm' of how the 'holy' God acts in his church. Its happened, and how many of those same people will go scurrying to the word to try and show that this is not how God must/can act in his church. Even Andrew Murray almost missed a move of God while ministering in South Africa.

How many of us would tolerate what happened in any of the revivals we so long for and wish could happen, in our day? God needs men who can create a wineskin that is 'exactly according the pattern shown you'. For if you look at revival history it was not that man was able to start it, ever, but he was certainly able to stop it, and that is the goal of this thread. What is the bibilcal plumb line for church leadership and governance at a pratical level, not just at the level of the heart and essential spirituality. God has given us everything we need for life and for Godliness, and that is not just at a personal level, but at a corporate one as well.


_________________
Zeke Oosthuis

 2004/11/14 8:55Profile
philologos
Member



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

 Re:

Quote:
Quote:
"philologos wrote:
His comments on Deborah are particularly interesting.

Does your group have the same outlook on women in authority as Terry Virgo and the NF Churches?"


Please excuse my ignorance but what is their outlook? All I know is that woman in leadership is allowed/tolerated/condoned by the team of NCMI.

Unlike many groups in the UK NF churches will not allow women elders or women in any place of authority in the church.

Quote:
p.s. What is 'Bhoti'

It is a long time since I ate it but it was quite spicey and served with mangoes I think. I obviously spelled it wrongly, or am completely mistaken, or am having 'senior moment'!


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2004/11/14 18:14Profile
philologos
Member



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

 Re:

Quote:
An Example: Evan Roberts, mightily used as a channel for God himself to change a whole nation, what killed the revival? It was when certain emphasis and extremes within the move where seen as demonic and soulish, that the problems started.

I'm not sure I understand that. Are you saying that the problems were demonich and soulish or that the problem was that some things were being 'seen' as demonic and soulish?


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2004/11/14 18:18Profile
dohzman
Member



Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132


 Re: Catching up on your thought.

I personally appreciate this thread.Thank you.Let me see if I have it right so far.Basically by elders you're speaking of older men and women who have distinguished themselves in thier conduct and dedication to servanthood?? I'm trying to get a mind of exactly what and where you're heading. I understand the types as displayed by Jesus as servant, when he had washed the disciples feet ---the picture language here is beautiful and I thought of Paul's exhortation to encourage each other daily. Now for the million questions, sorry for my lack of patience,I sure you're going to address them anyway but here they are: 1)Is an elder appointted by God or reconized by men as such? 2) Looking at the present day church how do elders function? 3) By Ron's explaination of eldership based on the OT pattern where they sat at the gate(they basically were a representitive of that town and responsible for what entered it[ am I on tract here] and also that they were a hedge of protection). Can you elaborate here for me and give me some detailed examples of how elders did what they did at the gates?? Sorry to be a pain and I don't mean to make you go backwards in your thought. I have some more questions but will wait and watch and ask as this thread develops.God Bless bro. Daryl


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D.Miller

 2004/11/14 23:33Profile
philologos
Member



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

 Re:

Hi Daryl

Quote:
Thank you.Let me see if I have it right so far.Basically by elders you're speaking of older men and women who have distinguished themselves in thier conduct and dedication to servanthood??


Close! I have not mentioned ‘woman elders’ and neither does the scripture. We may need to examine this in due course. The characteristics of elders/overseers/bishops are identified in 1 Tim 3 and Tit 1. I am using my words very carefully here. I did not say ‘qualifications’; I don’t think that is what we have in these two letters. I think Paul’s words are the answer to the kind of question which says ‘what kind of people are elders?’. ‘These are the kind of people’ says Paul. And a 75% pass rate will not do, ‘an overseer’ says the scripture ‘must be…’ As someone said looking at this list ‘only dead men need apply’. (BTW the English word 'bishop' is derived from the Greek word 'e[i][b]piskop[/i][/b]os' which literally means 'someone who watches over'.) By the end of the first century a different kind of 'bishop' had developed which further developed into the kind of bishop that 'e[b][i]piskop[/i][/b]al' - churhces ruled by bishops - churches that we have today. It is important to remember that whenever we read, in the scripture, the word 'bishop' is simply means a man who is part of an oversight group known as 'elders' or 'overseers'. The single, monarchical, bishop has no place in biblcal revelation.

However in many ways these characteristics could be expected in some measure in all Christians with the exception of ‘apt to teach’. In other words you could have all these characteristics and the person still not be an elder. Eldership ‘must be’ this kind of people, but there is more I believe. In that sense the lists in Tim and Tit are more like potential disqualifications. If these characteristics are lacking, whatever else he may be able to do, he cannot be recognised as an elder.

Quote:
Can you elaborate here for me and give me some detailed examples of how elders did what they did at the gates?? Sorry to be a pain and I don't mean to make you go backwards in your thought. I have some more questions but will wait and watch and ask as this thread develops.


There is another ‘characteristic’ which I think is especially relevant to this part of your question. [b] And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. [/b] (1Ti 3:7 NASB) This is an interesting and often ignored ‘characteristic’. The NASB here uses the word ‘reputation’. It’s really the word ‘witness’ or ‘testimony’ but the NASB carries the sense. An overseer must have an ‘outside reputation’. These are not men who have retreated into monasteries but who have sufficient contact with the outside world to have been ‘recognized’ by those outside.

Why would this be a ‘necessary’ characteristic whose absence would disqualify a man from eldership/overseership even though all the other characteristics were in place? (Remember, this is up to a standard not down to what we can afford).

I think it was ZekeO who first mentioned elders and the gates, but it is an important part of the development of the biblical idea of eldership. ‘Sitting at/in the gate’ became a title almost like a ‘town councillor’ in the UK or ?? I don’t know the American equivalent, but it is the local governing body of a district which makes decisions relating to the locality. Originally it was the place where those in authority gathered to discuss and decide points of law and their application. (2Sam 19:8, Est 5:13, Ps 69:12, Prov 31:23, and many ther places. Perhaps the best illustration is from Ruth; [b] Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down. And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down. And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech's: [/b] (Rth 4:1-3 KJV) This passage shows the ‘elders’ ‘sitting at the gate’. For UK readers we have continuing link in the term ‘alderman’ which was ‘elderman’ or ‘elder’.

These men have become, although we are not given the process, ‘responsible’. They were not elected to these positions initially but their authority is essentially a moral authority. They certainly would have been men of trustworthy character but they would have also been men of experience; the older/elder brothers of the community. They would have acquired a ‘reputation’ for wise counsel or local knowledge or the bearers of the group history. Try to forget any official roles that folk may have in your assembly and ask the question, ‘if a land dispute arose’ or ‘a new pattern that wasn’t the traditional way of doing things’ ‘who would you talk to, instinctively?’ Note I am not talking about ‘offices’ or ‘titles’ but ‘reputation’. The person who came to your mind is probably ‘an elder’ irrespective of what a denomination might call him.

A family unit did not require elders. It was only as numbers and needs grew that they were required. Not every church needs elders and many get themselves into a mess by inventing them because they think it is a ‘bible pattern’. There are hundreds of little ‘churches in homes’ which have foundered because someone decided that in order to be a ‘proper’ church they had to have elders. Families don’t need elders, only communities need elders. Don’t ask me for a ‘number’ it depends on the history and pattern of the group.

A family does not need an ‘interface’ with the outside world, but a community does. I think this is why it is essential that a characteristic of the kind of person who will be an elder is that they will inevitably be the ‘official’ face of the church to the outside world. I think this is why their marriages have to have certain characteristics too; the husband of one wife. For the sake of the testimony and the outside world’s perception of ‘church’ it is absolutely ‘necessary’ that he be the husband of one wife ( I can hear those questions starting up!)

I think there is another little cameo of ‘responsibility’ in Acts 20:28. These men are the ‘elders of the church in Ephesus’ and are said to have been made ‘overseers/bishops’ by the Holy Spirit. Paul reminds them that their responsibilities are for ‘the all the flock’. I think this is another key indicator of ‘eldership’; they are not the spokesperson for a group with the local assembly, not the young people’s spokesmen, or the single’s spokesman. Their responsibility is the whole flock. Personally when I begin to see this sense of care for the ‘whole flock’ emerging it is one of the clearest signs that God is preparing a man for eldership. The man is driven not be need to fulfil his ‘ministry’ but by a shepherds heart for all.

Before anyone ‘volunteers’ for this role I should say that not only are they ‘responsible’ men within the community but they will be ‘held responsible’ before God for the wellbeing of the community. This is clearly seen in the OT eg Deut 21 and the implications are plainly declared in the NT [b] Yield to those taking the lead of you, and submit, for they watch for your souls, [u]giving an account[/u], that they may do this with joy, and not with grieving; for this would be unprofitable to you. [/b](Heb 13:17 LITV)

Quote:
Is an elder appointed by God or recognized by men as such?

Both. And in that order.

I think we will touch on the current operations of elders a little later.


And ‘you are not a pain’. There are no dumb questions, although I cannot claim the same for my answers. ;-)


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2004/11/15 4:39Profile
Nasher
Member



Joined: 2003/7/28
Posts: 404
Watford, UK

 Re:

Quote:
For the sake of the testimony and the outside world’s perception of ‘church’ it is absolutely ‘necessary’ that he be the husband of one wife ( I can hear those questions starting up!)



Hi Ron, just to clarify, you're not saying that an elder must be married? Are you?


_________________
Mark Nash

 2004/11/15 8:15Profile
philologos
Member



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

 Re:

Quote:
Hi Ron, just to clarify, you're not saying that an elder must be married? Are you?


No. ;-)


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2004/11/15 9:02Profile
dohzman
Member



Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132


 husband of one wife

How does this standard apply to thoughs in a divorce/remarriage situation who may have been saved after a divorce situation occured.Also--in eldership what are some of the corresponding titles?names? given to elders---like bishop/decon/pastor ect... And lastly Are true elders even in todays hodgepodge of churches still responsible for all the house of God? It seems like it would be an impossible task since there are so many different churches and all of them have different structures.Thank you bro. Ron I appreciate what I've read so far it sounds like these men are to be given completely to prayer in watching and to some degree must have a life in the world outside of the church at least in some kind of dealings inorder to get a good reputation among the unsaved. Am I on trak so far? Thank you---bro.Daryl


_________________
D.Miller

 2004/11/15 13:27Profile
philologos
Member



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

 Re: husband of one wife

Hi Daryl
I guessed by comments about being the husband of one wife would get the hares coursing! This verse has been interpreted at just about every level. The Anglo Catholics in the UK would not allow a widowed 'priest' to remarry. In some ways this intersects with the threads on divorce and remarriage which always seem to go round and round and then stall. In my current thinking I would say it signifies 'only one wife at a time'; polygamy was widely practised in the 1st century. However, because of the outward facing testimony, I think we need to ask the question 'would a much married man who only now had one wife be an appropriate choice'?

Quote:
And lastly Are true elders even in todays hodgepodge of churches still responsible for all the house of God? It seems like it would be an impossible task since there are so many different churches and all of them have different structures.

Lastly?!? I don't believe you!. I think I may have misled you. I didn't mean to give the idea that having a shepherd's heart for the whole flock meant the whole church of Christ. That flock has one shepherd; Christ Himself. Elders only function in a locality though I think elders might also have a role in neighbouring assemblies. And as ZekeO that is no reason why a man should not be an 'elder at home' and something quite different elsewhere.


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2004/11/15 14:48Profile
Delboy
Member



Joined: 2004/2/8
Posts: 199
Worthing UK

 Re: NFI

Hi Ron,
Your quote;

Quote:
Unlike many groups in the UK NF churches will not allow women elders or women in any place of authority in the church.



As you know i am in a new frontiers church here in Worthing,
Yes you are right about the stance with regard to women elders,but there are women in posistions of authority, ie creche, kids work,
etc
many prophesy in meetings although this is not authority over :-)
this discussion is great by the way


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derek Eyre

 2004/11/15 18:40Profile





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