9Marks, Church Discipline Process, CHURCH GOVERNANCE & POLICIES, Church Governance or Policy Issues, Extra-Biblical Nonsense, John MacArthur, Spiritual Authority

Church Member Responsibility and Church Discipline at Pastor Eric Davis’ Church

Church membership, church discipline, Pastor Eric Davis, Cornerstone Church


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Church Member Responsibility and Church Discipline According to the Cornerstone Church By-laws

mind-the-gap

-by Kathi

I recently wrote about how Julie Anne and I dared to comment on an article at The Cripplegate which subsequently caused our comments to be deleted and comments to be closed. Pastor Eric Davis provided an entirely too long explanation about how the discussion had run its course, more humbleness in being a part of God’s community was needed, and that there was too much focus on logistics. Let’s not forget that he provided the wonderful 16-point article challenging excuses for not going to church. But who’s focusing on logistics?

I was up most of the night wondering who Eric Davis is and what kind of church he runs. Here is Eric’s profile at The Cripplegate:

screenshot-2017-01-11-at-9-01-17-pm

Eric’s bio on Cornerstone Church’s site states that he holds an M.Div. from Master’s Seminary and a M.A. in Biblical Counseling from The Master’s College. It is important to note that all but one leadership team member at the church hold some type of degree from The Master’s College or Master’s Seminary. Oh, look! Cornerstone Church even shows up on The Master’s College site as a TMS Alumni Church!

While I can’t find the specific article, I remember reading something on 9Marks (or The Gospel Coalition?) about membership responsibility. What stood out then was how members who live too far away from a “good church” should move, and if members are working on Sundays that take them away from church, they should get their work schedules changed. These two points were in Eric’s post and it caused me to be suspicious that Cornerstone Church might be affiliated with 9Marks. I looked up Cornerstone Church on the 9Marks site and sure enough, they’re affiliated (Search by zip code 83001. It’s a different physical address but same web link). No surprise to me.

So now we know that we have John MacArthur taught leaders in a 9Marks affiliate church. What could their by-laws be like? Since the original post Julie Anne and I commented on was specifically about members, we’ll look at membership and church discipline at Cornerstone Church which is found in Article V of the by-laws.

How to apply for membership:

Section 4. Applications for Membership – All requests for membership shall be made to a Pastor, Elder, Deacon, or Steering Committee Member. Upon making such a request, the person shall be given an application for membership, along with a copy of the Statement of Faith contained in the Articles of Incorporation and a copy of the Bylaws. …… Each applicant shall assent to the Statement of Faith, subscribe to the Bylaws, and shall testify publicly before a duly appointed Committee of the Board, per Article VI, Section 17 of these Bylaws, at a regularly held meeting for prospective members.

Your membership may be denied:

Section 5. Denial of Membership – If, upon review of an application for membership or after meeting with a prospective member, the Board of Elders, or Steering Committee if not yet replaced by the Board of Elders, determines that the applicant does not confess Jesus Christ as his or her Lord and Savior, or that there is a lack of evidence of a Christ-like lifestyle, membership shall be denied. The decision made by the Board, or Steering Committee if not yet replaced by the Board of Elders, shall be final and there shall be no appeal to any court from that decision.

The Board of Elders holds the power to deny your membership if they deem that you are not a true believer or if they think your lifestyle is not Christ-like enough. Forget going to court over it; their decision in final. Why bring up appealing to court over a denial for membership? Does this happen? I guess it must or, this is simply 9Marks talk to cover all bases.

How you are admitted into membership:

Section 6. Admission of Applicants – Applicants admitted to membership shall, if possible present themselves at a worship service designated by the Pastor and Board of Elders, at which service such applicants shall publicly affirm their membership commitment and be publicly acknowledged as members.

Here one stands before the congregation to acknowledge commitment to the church. Keep reading, though, . . . you’ll find that you might “stand” before the congregation for another issue – perhaps not physically, but surely in spirit.

Member responsibility:

Section 7. Responsibilities of Members – Members shall seek to exercise their spiritual gifts for the work of service to honor Jesus Christ and build up the church and shall submit to the loving shepherding of the Elders, or Steering Committee if not yet replaced by the Board of Elders.

Serve Jesus and accept loving shepherding. Now we move on to the “loving shepherding.”

Purpose of church discipline (Church Discipline is Section 8):

a.) Purpose: The purpose of church discipline is to glorify God by: 1) pursuing a sinning believer for the purpose of helping them be reconciled to God and the church (Matthew 18:12-18, 1 Corinthians 5:5, Galatians 6:1) 2) promote the holiness of Christ in the local church (1 Corinthians 5:6) 3) promote a biblical fear of God and turn away from sinning (1 Tim 5:20).

PPP – pursue, promote, promote. Honestly, it’s the pursuing that concerns me.

The process of church discipline:

b.) Process: Members of this church and all other professing Christians who regularly attend or fellowship with this church who err in doctrine, or engage in conduct that violates Scripture as determined by the Board of Elders, or Steering Committee if not yet replaced by the Board of Elders, shall be subject to church discipline including dismissal according to Matthew 18:15-18.

Say I’m a member of this church and I need to undergo church discipline. For this scenario, we’ll say I’m questioning the leadership by commenting on a blog post in regard to doctrine or church policy (because we all know that would happen):

First, someone who knows about my sinful conduct should come alongside me to warn and provide correction. If I do not repent, then the next step would be for the warning individual to find one or two other people who agree with my sinful nature. Those individuals would also provide warning and correction. But, I’m stubborn and I still do not repent.

My continued stubbornness causes the elders to investigate the matter. If they are able to determine that, yes, I am sinful in my questioning and that I have been warned but did not repent, then:

(b. iii.)…the Board of Elders, shall inform the church and the congregation thereof at a regularly scheduled worship service in order that the church may come alongside the erring individual to call them to repentance and restoration.

Yes, airing my sinful nature during a worship service would totally signify to me that they are walking along my side. Say I still do not repent, even after public rebuke. Now I am publicly dismissed from the church during a regular worship service. The elders can choose to bypass the first two steps and go straight to the congregation if I publicly refuse to repent, disseminate “doctrine deemed false or erroneous by the elders” or if I disregard two warnings.

But here’s the real kicker:

d.) The members of this church, and all other professing Christians who regularly attend or fellowship with this church, agree that there shall be no appeal to any court because of the dismissal or because of public statements to the congregation at the third or fourth stages of church discipline. Members who are under discipline by the church, as defined in the previous paragraphs, forfeit and waive the right to resign from this church. Resignations from membership are possible only by members who are in good standing and who are not under any disciplinary action.

Did you catch that? You cannot appeal this decision or any statements made publicly in a court. The only recourse you have is to appeal to the elders. If you are under church discipline, you “waive your right to resign from this church.” WHAT??!! With the expectation of members fully adhering to the leadership and the process of church discipline, is it any wonder that Eric Davis has opinions about the reasons people give for not going to church?

I did not see anything that states that members need to sign a membership agreement, but I would venture to guess that this happens. Don’t do it folks! You are only giving written permission for this leadership to call you out for what they deem as conduct that “violates Scripture.”

I’m sure that includes asking questions.

238 thoughts on “Church Member Responsibility and Church Discipline at Pastor Eric Davis’ Church”

  1. So, how do I deal with this passage? “For this reason I am writing these things while absent, so that when present I need not use severity, in accordance with the authority which the Lord gave me for building up and not for tearing down.” (2 Cor. 13:10)

    Paul is claiming leadership. Do we toss 2nd Corinthians into the fire?

    Acts 4:33 “And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all.”

    The apostles had power, does that make them sinful? Do I have to throw Acts out because it doesn’t map to your believe that men should not have power?

    Luke 22:24-26: And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest. And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant. For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.”

    Jesus is saying, the role of leader is that of a servant. Just as I (the leader of all) became a servant of all, if you want to be a leader (he uses that work), you must be a servant.

    Obviously, Jesus’s disciples didn’t get the message you are claiming. No, they didn’t call themselves “leaders”. They called themselves apostles, prophets and elders. They claimed that they were apostles, prophets and elders not because an assembly of people thought they were cool, but because Jesus himself made them apostles. And then from that position, they write letters encouraging believers, correcting false doctrine and even commanding action.

    You and Salty haven’t actually engaged me in debate, instead, you’ve taken a few verses completely out of context, and completely isolated from the rest of scripture and thumped them as if they were somehow a lens that I should use to interpret my entire life, even though I’ve given you example after example of the apostles doing exactly the things you claim that no one should ever do. So, I’m in a dilemma. Do I, like Thomas Jefferson, take scissors to the Bible and cut out every passage that seems to conflict with the “NO CHURCH LEADER” policy, or do I say that the Bible interprets itself, and somehow Jesus isn’t saying there aren’t leaders in the church.

    Another example: Jesus said: “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery.” The church takes this as an absolute prohibition against divorce for things like pornography, abuse of any sort, refusal to work, etc. If I take your literal approach to “no leaders”, how can I not take a literal approach to “no divorce except for adultery”?

    Did Peter not have a reputation? Did Peter not have power? What about Paul? What about James? Again, the problem is not reputation and power. The problem is using guilt and shame manipulation to maintain reputation and power rather than power that comes from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit doesn’t need us to guilt and shame people to sanctify them.

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  2. Mark

    Have you ever noticed? In the Bible?
    Jesus has a unique take on ”Exercising Authority,” for ”His Disciples?”

    ”Do NOT?”

    Mark 10:42-44 KJV
    But Jesus called them to him, (them = ”His Disciples”)
    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: (minister: = ”Servant.”)
    And whosoever of you will be the chiefest,
    shall be servant of all.
    xxxxxxxxxx

    So, what good is ”postional Authority” for one of ”HisDisciples?”
    If they are NOT to ”Exercise Authority?”

    If being one of ”His Disciples” is important?
    Wouldn’t what Jesus taught ”His Disciples” in the Bible, be important?
    Wouldn’t what ”His Disciples” did, taught, in the Bible, be important?

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  3. “We know the believers met from house to house throughout the NT. So whatever ‘the church’ is, it’s not a meeting nor a building nor an event which today we call ‘going TO church’.”

    There are some ancient secular sources for some of this. Example, the early church in Rome seemed to be mainly Jewish until Claudius kicked them out in AD 49(?). Then it was Gentile until the Jews came back around AD 54. So the venue changed much. Paul’s letter around 57 would have been passed around to the various groups trying to heal the schism. Then the venue changed again due to persecution.

    In Ephesus years ago, some archeologists uncovered what they thought was an unusual but typical home remodeled to hold about 65 people. The typical home could squeeze in about 25. They think it had been remodeled to accommodate a larger Christian gathering. So there would be several groups meeting all over the city at various times and venues passing around letters, receiving visitors who would stay for months, etc. This must be why Paul’s letter to Laodicea was lost! I am amazed we have what we have.

    Frankly, the whole thing was messy and about as uninstitionalized as one could get. But it worked. :o)

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  4. Lydia, I am not authoritarian. I’m am not reading the Bible through an authoritarian lens.

    I’m saying that you can’t throw the concept of authority in the trash simply because it’s been greatly abused.

    The problem is that authority that is not based on the scripture principles of servanthood becomes authoritarian and abusive. Sheep herding. When people start to get that they are getting sheep herded and lorded over, the Authoritarians add a word, “servant”. It doesn’t mean they are any less authoritarian, just that people are baffled into thinking that being domineering is somehow an act of true “servant leadership”.

    Jesus was laying forth true principles of what it means to be a leader, and acting them out. For example, did Jesus guilt and shame those who left him? No, he turned to his disciples and said, “are you going to leave, too?” Jesus did the dirtiest tasks – washing the disciples’ feet. Do our leaders take on the dirtiest tasks in the church? Jesus is saying, the natural tendency is for leaders to want prestige and power. But, having a bad experience at a few churches and claiming that every last church leader is motivated by a desire for power and prestige is to deny what Jesus said.

    I could ask you why all the letters were not addressed to “elders” to carry out the “binding” decisions?

    Did Moses speak, or did Aaron? In Exodus, God says that Moses will speak to Aaron, and Aaron to the people, yet, later on, it says Moses spoke. Did Moses overcome his speech impediment and decide to talk, or did the author set up a pattern God->Moses->Aaron and then let us use that understanding when he later says, “Moses spoke”.

    When we say a law was passed, do we have to say that a representative wrote the law, presented it to a committee, the committee approved it to be voted on by the full House, then it was introduced in the Senate committee, modified, passed, and then went through a reconciliation process and was passed again by both houses before being sent to the president for him to sign? Or do we just understand that the mechanism of passing the law isn’t pertinent to the point that we are trying to make?

    Can you say that Congress has no authority, simply because historians don’t always mention Congress when they say such and such a law was passed?

    I’m saying, I cannot comprehend someone being “removed” (1 Cor 5:12) without there being something from which that someone can be removed. That implies a lot more than people in a neighborhood that just happen to assemble occasionally to praise God.

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  5. Hi Mark,

    I’m sorry if my comment offended you. It was not my intention to claim ‘superior knowledge’. I’m just a housewife and it’s not like the Lord used fishermen or donkeys. 🤷‍♀️😜🙋

    What Scriptures do you think I am ignoring? I am happy to give you my understanding of any and all passages.

    Open to be corrected by any and all.

    Jesus is building his Ekklesia.

    If his Ekklesia is a one hour religious meeting then that’s kinda disappointing 🤦🏻‍♀️

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  6. Hi Mark,

    In Galatians 6:1 there’s a challenging passage about dealing with a brother who is in sin.

    Is this an authority verse for The Pastor?

    Or is this relevant for any members of the body who are ‘spiritual’?

    Mark, can you name one man who is called The Pastor?

    How is it that God placed a mature godly couple (elders, by ‘biblical’ definition) into my life when I have no weekly clubhouse and meet in their home?

    Is it possible for God to use such elders to rebuke, exhort and encourage WITHOUT having me sign a twenty page ‘membership covenant’ promising to be an obedient girl under their perceived authority?

    Isn’t the fact that I’m inside an elder’s house being ‘ministered’ to a sign that I’ve ‘submitted’ to their ‘godly oversight’ (if anyone desires to exercise oversight they aspire to do a good work)

    Why the need to command and demand?

    Not once have these elders demanded submission.

    It’s automatic once they exercise gentle guidance and patient listening.

    Leaders don’t need titles they guide by example.

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  7. Salty,

    Your willingness to listen to these “elders” God has placed in your life is admirable. Very few people are humble enough to listen to those God sends to them.

    However, let’s not forget that there’s a really big world out there. The heart of God is concerned with reaching the whole world with the Gospel.

    Our willingness to be humble and listen to others is very important but that’s a separate issue from all the people that God is raising up to reach the world.

    Amy Carmichael didn’t ask permission from anyone when she answered the call of God on her life to go to India. She gave over fifty years of life to doing the work of the ministry, rescuing many small children from horrific abuse and getting laws passed to protect future generations of children.

    That’s what we’re discussing—how God gives out ministry gifts and expects work to get done.

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  8. [salty]“We know the believers met from house to house throughout the NT. So whatever ‘the church’ is, it’s not a meeting nor a building nor an event which today we call ‘going TO church’.”

    [lydia]There are some ancient secular sources for some of this…. Then the venue changed again due to persecution.

    I think a lot of the meeting in houses instead of something like Temple was logistical and specific to the timeperiod. Which is why I don’t think you HAVE to have a physical church building but I also don’t think you can’t. I don’t think house churches are the solution to every problem.

    I think the early Christians were flexible and they went with what worked for them in that time and place. And so should we.

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  9. “So, how do I deal with this passage? “For this reason I am writing these things while absent, so that when present I need not use severity, in accordance with the authority which the Lord gave me for building up and not for tear ining down.” (2 Cor. 13:10)”

    Could Paul throw them in prison like he did when a Pharisee? The only time he tells people to kick someone out he is far away. It was for the entire group to do. Not an elder. He uses the similar language in Philemon alternating between persuasion, begging and shaming.

    . So what really is his authority? Truth. Period. “Severity” could be like what he told Philemon or the Galatians about emasculating themselves. He begs, he threatens, he declares, he persuades.

    Paul wrote some interesting stuff while in chains, too. :o)

    Check out 3John for how John handles an authoritarian wolf.

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  10. I’m saying, I cannot comprehend someone being “removed” (1 Cor 5:12) without there being something from which that someone can be removed. That implies a lot more than people in a neighborhood that just happen to assemble occasionally to praise God.-MARK

    Does it? If I have a rotating cocktail party, and Bob is always invited and then Bob does something awful, don’t you think we can all disinvite him without having ever formalize the cocktail party membership?

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  11. Avid, interesting you mention Amy Carmichael. I was thinking of her today as I recalled in her autobiography she wrote about her encounter with Anglican CMS missionaries. She was puzzled by their lack of love, passion and interest in ‘the mission’ she was so deeply committed to.

    I don’t have any issue with God giving gifts to his people for work.

    I’m not arguing against gifts of any sort.

    I’m arguing against men and women supposing they POSSESS said gifts and assigning themselves TITLES and commanding SALARIES to serve.

    That’s what I’m against.

    If the Ekklesia managed to meet for fellowship for several hundred years before Constantine, it shouldn’t be too hard to go back to simple fellowship.

    That’s my point.

    I’ve got elders who guide me. So what’s the problem guys?

    Truly, what am I NOT doing?

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  12. Let’s ponder for a moment what would have happened if the Apostle Paul had ignored his ministry gifting. What if he had just been a tentmaker only—never preached, never ministered, never wrote any NT letters, never evangelized, never gave his testimony in front of Governor Felix and the Emperor, etc.

    That’s the whole topic we’re discussing.

    If the ministry gifts don’t exist, then Paul would have sat at home and made tents only. He would have never given his famous speech on Mars Hill or explained the deep truths of God’s Word in writing the NT.

    What would have happened if Paul had just stayed home and done nothing other than work a regular job? That’s what would happen if people disregard the gift of God inside of them.

    Let’s not forget the heart of God in the Parable of the Three Servants. The one who did nothing with his gifting was referred to as “wicked and lazy.” Those aren’t my words. I’m NOT suggesting anyone here is that. I’m just thinking about where the Heart of God is on whether He wants these ministry gifts to disappear.

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  13. Lydia, ““Severity” could be like what he told Philemon or the Galatians about emasculating themselves.”

    Since this is the only real response to my argument, I will say there are similar passages about authority…

    Acts 5 – But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last; and great fear came over all who heard of it. The young men got up and covered him up, and after carrying him out, they buried him.

    At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s portico. But none of the rest dared to associate with them; however, the people held them in high esteem. And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number, to such an extent that they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on any one of them.

    Would you say that Peter was in Jerusalem “wishing that [Ananias] would emasculate himself” Perhaps what happened to Ananias is representative of the power the Holy Spirit had given to the apostles. Yet, here is scripture saying that Peter had esteem and he had power, and this appears to be a GOOD THING, not a sign that Peter is going to suddenly be exposed for having multiple affairs and abusing the flock.

    Lydia, “Servants dont have authority. They have trustworthiness.”

    Is that what you read in Acts 5? Peter had no authority?

    Lea, “Bob does something awful, don’t you think we can all disinvite him without having ever formalize the cocktail party membership?”

    This is not what happened. Bob did something awful, and there was a division between those who thought it would be really nice to invite him and those who didn’t want to invite him, yet, he was told he was still invited. Then some random guy sends a letter that says, “I forbid you to invite him”, and not only that, but “if you invite him, your club will be polluted by his sin”. Then maybe a year later, he sends another letter that says, “hey, he’s sorry now and not inviting him to the party is making him sad, so you’d better invite him back.”

    I think the church has suffered from too much the cocktail party mentality. For all its ills, the Roman Catholic church maintained a single body made up of people with all sorts of different theological positions. The Reformation splintered that, to the point that two denominations that join often create four denominations. Each denomination lobs grenades over into the other denominations based on some narrow interpretation of one or another issue. That’s the result of the cocktail party mentality – two families getting together to worship because everyone else in the town has one or the other unacceptable doctrinal position.

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  14. For all its ills, the Roman Catholic church maintained a single body made up of people with all sorts of different theological positions.

    At great cost. And they don’t ‘officially’ have different positions, do they? There certainly are plenty of Cafeteria Catholics.

    You strained my cocktail party metaphor pretty far, and turned it around and since that’s not what I’m saying at all I’m just going to leave it.

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  15. Mark

    Have some questions…
    And, I like your style… 🙂
    Iron sharpens Iron…

    In your understanding of ”Leadership” and ”postional Authority?”
    In the Body of Christ?

    Is it in the form of Mere Fallible Humans?
    Who are designated leaders, and have authority?

    “If” it is in the form of Mere Fallible Humans?
    Who are designated leaders, and have authority?

    ”Over,” You and Me, and WE…
    WE, His Disiciples, His Servants, His Ambassordors…
    His Ekklesia, His Called Out Ones, His Church, His Body…
    His Kings and Priests, His sons…

    How do WE? His Disiciples, His Servants, His Ambassordors…
    His Ekklesia, His Called Out Ones, His Church, His Body…
    His Kings and Priests, His sons…

    How do WE? Who have the ability to “Be LED” by the Spirit?
    How do WE? Who have the ability to go ”Directly to Jesus?”
    NO middle man?

    How do WE? His Disciples?”
    Determine ”WHO” these ”Leaders” are?

    How do WE? His Disciples?”
    Determine ”WHO” will be ”MY Leader?”

    Are there any requirements to qualify to be a ”Leader?”
    Any Qualifications for this ”Leadership?”

    Do you know anyone who qualifies to be a ”Leader?”
    xxxxxxxxx

    How do WE? His Disciples?”
    Determine ”WHO” has this ”postional Authority?”
    “Over” WE, His Disciples?”

    ”Authority” to do what?

    Are there any requirements to have this ”postional Authority?”

    Any Qualifications to be able to exersize this ”Authority?”

    ”Authority” to do what?

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  16. Amos,

    When a mother feeds her child—is feeding considering having authority over?

    There’s a lot of spiritual newborns who need the milk of the Word to grow into full maturity.

    Of course, Jesus is the ONLY mediator between God and man.

    We agree with you that all of us—spiritual newborns included—must be led by the Holy Spirit. Even Jesus Himself was led by the Holy Spirit—we can review those verses if you want.

    That still doesn’t eliminate Jesus word’s “If you love Me, FEED My sheep.”

    That’s something that Jesus repeated THREE times just in case anyone missed it the first time.

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  17. Mark

    Who is your ”Leader?”

    Who do you know who is in “Leadership?”
    In the Body of Christ?

    Are you in “Leadership?”

    Who is your ”Leader?”
    xxxxxxxxxx

    Who do you know who has ”postional Authority?”
    In the body of Christ?

    Who is your ”postional Authority?”

    Do you have ”postional Authority?”

    ”Authority” to do what?

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  18. Amos.

    It’s called Bible College Qualification$

    Sheesh!

    4 years of study = piece of paper = instant title = salary to serve.

    Just add expensive and completely unnecessary mortgaged building and watch the Lawd add to that THING called Church.

    God knows we can’t run this THING without leaders.

    But…

    If Jesus isn’t building a THING but rather a Spiritual House (people) then he doesn’t need authoritative psychos I mean leaders because he is totally able to move his people wherever he needs them just like he did with Pharoah and Paul and Philip and anyone else in the Bible who is likened to clay.

    Amos. You’re pretty cool 👊

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Mark

    You write…

    “So, how do I deal with this passage?

    “For this reason I am writing these things while absent,
    so that when present I need not use severity, in accordance with
    the authority which the Lord gave me for “building up”
    and not for tearing down.” (2 Cor. 13:10)

    Paul is claiming leadership. Do we toss 2nd Corinthians into the fire?”
    xxxxxx

    Aren’t you claiming ”Leadership?” – For Paul?
    Paul never called himself leader.
    Paul called himself a servant.

    ”His Disciples” never called themselves leader.
    **”His Disciples”
    called themselves ”Servants.”

    Ro 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ…
    Php 1:1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ…
    Col 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ…
    Tit 1:1 Paul, a servant of God…
    Jas 1:1 James, a servant of God…
    2Pe 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant…
    xxxxxxxxxx

    From 2 Cor. 13:10, Paul, had limited authority – authority to build up.
    But, NOT for tearing down… yes?

    And, ALL ”the church.” ALL His called out ones, ALL His ekklesia…
    Have this ”Authority,” this teaching,** from Paul…
    To build up.

    1 Thess 5:11 KJV
    Wherefore comfort yourselves together,
    and edify one another, even as also ye do.

    Edify = Strongs #3618 – oikodomeo – to build
    In the KJV – build 24, edify 7, builder 5, build up 1,

    Rom 14:19
    Let us therefore follow after the things
    which make for peace,
    and things wherewith one may ”edify another.”

    Edify = Strongs #3619 – building, edify, edification.
    xxxxxxxx

    And other sheep I have, which are NOT of this fold:
    them also I must bring, and they shall “hear My voice; “
    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd.
    John 10:16

    If not now? – When?

    One Voice – One Fold – One Shepherd – One Leader

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

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  20. Salty

    Your cool also…

    It took me quite a few years, after leaving “The Corrupt Religious System.”
    To begin to understand these things…

    You’re understanding, and your way of explaining it, is just real “COOL.”

    Luv it.❤️

    Like

  21. A. Amos Love, I’ll try to respond:

    –Who are designated leaders, and have authority?

    In Acts 6, the congregation chose leaders who had distinct characteristics. “Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.”

    The apostles, though they might, did not pick the seven. I’ll go on from an argument of silence. They did not put the seven over the congregation in informal roles of leadership. They did not nominate them. They did not pick them and then ask the congregation to assent. They did not guilt or shame the congregation into picking these men.

    Instead, these men were those the sheep recognized as the shepherds. They “heard [Jesus’s] voice” in these men.

    These men were then ordained (officially recognized) as having charge over the task.

    –NO middle man?

    Ezekiel 34:10 ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will demand My sheep from them and make them cease from feeding sheep. So the shepherds will not feed themselves anymore, but I will deliver My flock from their mouth, so that they will not be food for them.”’”
    23-24 “Then I will set over them one shepherd, My servant David, and he will feed them; he will feed them himself and be their shepherd. And I, the Lord, will be their God, and My servant David will be prince among them; I the Lord have spoken.”
    John 21:17 Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.”

    We know that the we can feed ourselves – we have wells of living water and we are feed by scripture, yet there is still a reality that there are shepherds send to guard the flock. We have one shepherd, and yet that shepherd has sent other people to “tend” us.

    –Any Qualifications for this ”Leadership?”

    Titus 1:5-9, 1 Tim 3:1-7

    Specifically, “It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.”

    Isn’t is somewhat nonsensical to have an office of “the person I think God is currently using to speak into my heart”? What does overseer mean? (Strongs)

    1985 epískopos (a masculine noun, derived from 1909 /epí, “on/fitting contact,” which intensifies 4649 /skopós, “look intently,” like at an end-marker concluding a race) – properly, an overseer; a man called by God to literally “keep an eye on” His flock (the Church, the body of Christ), i.e. to provide personalized (first hand) care and protection (note the epi, “on”).

    “Though in some contexts 1985 (epískopos) has been regarded traditionally as a position of authority, in reality the focus is upon the responsibility for caring for others” (L & N, 1, 35.40).

    –Do you know anyone who qualifies to be a ”Leader?”

    Yes, and I don’t like pastors who say that no one can qualify. I think that tends to abuse. Yes, Frank had an affair, but, well, honestly no one qualifies for this office. That’s a load of horse manure. But, that has to happen when we are involved in each others’ lives. When I go to a service with 10,000 people and I take church classes that are lectures, I can’t identify who those people are. I can’t hear Jesus’s voice when some guy is reading from a study guide. So there is a strong aspect of fellowship, and again, I think you recognize the failing, and have found a vehicle that allows you to be faithful and in the lives of others. When I was involved in small groups in a small church, and saw the same people interacting at church functions and being invited over for dinner. I got to see much more of them. Yes, there are people I knew were disqualified simply by the fact that their family was run by fear, but there are others whose disqualifications only showed up later.

    –”Authority” to do what?

    Ezekiel 34: “Those who are sickly you have not strengthened, the diseased you have not healed, the broken you have not bound up, the scattered you have not brought back, nor have you sought for the lost; but with force and with severity you have dominated them. They were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and they became food for every beast of the field and were scattered. My flock wandered through all the mountains and on every high hill; My flock was scattered over all the surface of the earth, and there was no one to search or seek for them.”
    1 Tim 3:5 “(but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?)”
    Titus 1:9-11 “holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain.”
    2 Tim 4:1-5 “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
    Peter 5:1-5 “Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.”
    Acts 20:28-30 “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.”

    Like

  22. Avid, when believers meet together and fellowship they have the capacity to use the gifts they have and share what the Lord is doing in their life.

    How did Jesus expect Peter to ‘feed’ His sheep?

    Weekly Sermons?

    Or bearing burdens?

    They didn’t have pocket New Testaments back then.

    So how was Peter to take care of the people?

    By loving them?

    Encouraging them?

    Praying with and for them?

    This is real servant ‘leadership’ isn’t it?

    And Peter didn’t get paid nor was he called Pastor Peter.

    Interesting. 😊

    Like

  23. Mark,

    Check blue letter bible. There’s no such with as “the office of a bishop”.

    The translators invented the good old OFFICE.

    It’s not in the Greek.

    🔥🙋 thanks

    Like

  24. And I hope you’re not playing word games. “Leader” is one who leads. A shepherd in Biblical times led his flock to food and water. Jesus, Peter and Paul “led” by example as shepherds.

    “Servant leader” makes me vomit in my mouth, not because the concept of leadership (shepherding/oversight) is not inextricably tied with the concept of service (slave/servant), but because those who proclaim themselves as servant-leaders are more likely to be the fat sheep who are taking all the food to themselves and leaving the thin sheep to starve. They twist the words such that domineering is their “service” to the congregation.

    But, I still cannot deny that Jesus (and Peter and Paul) have appointed shepherds to guide us to spiritual food and drink, who judge between us, who rebuke us and protect us from wolves. That that appointment is something that I assent to, not something I get to take or leave. I can’t say someone is not my shepherd simply because he tells me something I don’t want to listen to.

    Like

  25. “Since this is the only real response to my argument, I will say there are similar passages about authority…”

    And there are many passage that contradict them, too. Peter, Paul, John, etc had no positional authority at all. They were poor, often despised, run out of town and came to gruesome ends that aren’t even recorded in scripture. The only authority they had was truth.

    The institutions (not all) often mirror the exact problem God had with the OT priests He had prophets rail against in the OT. Same with the NT Pharisees/Sadduces and even scribes of the 2nd temple institution. The people with religious “authority”. The “religious leaders” of His own tribe? Jesus cursed the temple. He claimed to be the temple where God resides. And JTB despised it, too. Just like a prophet. :o)

    I do think you have missed the larger point. There are NO mediators. We are all priests. At some point the sheep metaphor breaks down, I hope. It is often taken way too far.

    It is good to mature spiritually. One should rejoice when a new believer grows not keep them feeding at the same trough for years due to authority issues. The institutions and caste system do more to prevent such growth than anything. In our freedom now away from a state church and full literacy, we have every opportunity to study, pray and be the kingdom or light of the world. We have no excuses. There are tons of resources at our fingertips. And living out our beliefs is a whole other topic that often gets left out of the supposed biblical church power politics discussions.

    Seeking to have authority over people, lead them or have power is an indicator that person has a real problem and should be avoided at all costs.

    26 I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. 27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him. 1 John 2

    Like

  26. Mark

    Just read a little…

    “In Acts 6, the congregation chose leaders…”

    You call them, the seven, ”leaders.”

    The Bible does NOT.
    xxxxxxx

    Acts 6:3
    “…select from among you seven men of good reputation,
    full of the Spirit and of wisdom,
    whom we may put in charge of ”this task.”

    What was ”this task?”

    Seems the task was “serving tables.” 🙂

    Acts 6:2
    Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them,
    and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God,
    ”and serve tables.”

    And taking care of the widows who were ”murmuring.”

    Acts 6:1
    …murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews,
    because their widows were neglected in the daily “ministration.”

    ministration Strongs #1248. diakonia- service, ministry:–

    NOPE – I’m-a-thinkn..

    These seven were chosen to be ”Servants”

    NOT ”Leaders.”

    Like

  27. “And I hope you’re not playing word games. “Leader” is one who leads. A shepherd in Biblical times led his flock to food and water. Jesus, Peter and Paul “led” by example as shepherds.”

    The way it is used in the NT has the connotation of, “one who has gone before” as in being in the trenches. In the book of Hebrews such leaders were Moses, David, etc. But where your definition breaks down is that in Christ ANYONE can go before. Uneducated fisherman, women, slaves, etc. and yes, it is more of an example than the Western understanding of leader.

    Never forget, the NT was written mostly by Hebrew thinkers in Greek. Western Christianity pretty much ignored Hebrew understanding even though our Savior came and lived as the perfect Jew. The perfect Jew was an example for everyone.

    Like

  28. Okay, Salty, but you are simply ignoring the passages you don’t want to answer to.

    Also, not so fast: http://biblehub.com/greek/1984.htm

    The word is literally “overseership” vs “overseer”. Yes, you can argue that “office” is invented, but seems that at least the concept is there.

    -ship (dictionary.com)
    1. a native English suffix of nouns denoting condition, character, office, skill, etc.:
    clerkship; friendship; statesmanship.

    So, the translators chose to “add” a word that they thought best represented what was written in the original Greek. I don’t always agree with the translators, but in this case, I don’t see a better word that conveys the different form of the word that is used in the original.

    Like

  29. Mark.

    You know what makes me vomit in my mouth?

    Pastors who don’t have the name Jesus.

    For those interested:

    Here’s a list of all the Shepherds in the New Testament:

    https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G4166&t=KJV

    Because the word Pastor isn’t in the Scriptures except that one time in plural form in Ephesians. And that word Pastors is POIMEN in Greek from which we get the word SHEPHERD (see link above).

    So if you want to know what a true biblical Shepherd looks like… I’ve give you THE list.

    Like

  30. Mark.

    “Okay, Salty, but you are simply ignoring the passages you don’t want to answer to.”

    I’m waiting for a list of passages you accuse me of ignoring.

    You haven’t given me any passages yet. 😊

    Providing oversight of younger believers is just that. If I saw a younger believer hitting on my better half I’d surely ‘exercise oversight’ by giving them a nice hearty rebuke.

    What’s the issue here?

    Like

  31. Hey ALL

    Sorry – gotta run…

    It’s been a great day – Really enjoyed the back and forth.

    And talken bout

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another:
    and the LORD hearkened, and heard it,
    and a book of remembrance was written before him
    for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.
    Malachi 3:16

    Like

  32. Salty,

    Amy Carmichael is a great example of someone who did the work of the ministry without letting “hierarchy” get in the way. She didn’t need a seminary degree either.

    Of course, we all agree that simply graduating from Bible college doesn’t automatically qualify anyone as being called by God into the gifting of pastor, etc.
    God chooses those people. On the other hand, I would encourage those people who are chosen by God to get all the training that they need.

    Real pastors are seen out doing the work of the ministry, binding up broken wounds, feeding the flock, etc (see Eze 34 & Eph 4 for further description). My point is that we can all discern who has the ministry gifts “by their fruit.”

    To answer your question—when Jesus said “If you love Me, feed My sheep,” He didn’t add a list of how that gets done. I shudder at the thought of adding anything or taking away anything from what He said. I’m in favor of all forms of feeding the flock.

    This has been a discussion about whether God still calls people to feed the flock.

    I don’t understand how anyone can take a scissors and cut NT verses like 1Cor 9 right out of the Bible.

    By the way, the Apostle Paul specifically referenced Peter as an example in 1Cor 9 while he was making the case for those doing the work of the ministry receiving their living from it. There’s all kinds of verses about Peter doing the work of the ministry which answer the question about whether any of Jesus disciples moved in these ministry giftings. If you wish, we can review all of these verses, but I don’t want to exhaust everyone.

    Like

  33. Lydia, my definition doesn’t break down.

    “Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in reply.” (Acts 4:13-14)

    Their authority/leadership did not have to do with their caste membership (unlike the Pharisees). Instead, it was because they were with Jesus.

    Absolutely, in our patriarchal system, we fall back into the Pharisaical trap of looking at the outside appearance and that has become ingrained in Western thinking. However, that was not that far from Hebrew thinking, where it was a real question, “why was this man born blind, was it his sin or his parents?” The Hebrews equated the physical and spiritual – that’s why Samuel looked at David’s oldest brother and said, wow, this guy must be the one, but God had to rebuke him – it’s the heart, not the outward appearance.

    That’s why we get bamboozled by this. Tullian is an heir to the Billy Graham empire. He knows the walk and he knows the talk, and he is pretty wealthy. People got sucked into the outward appearance and yet repeatedly ignored clear warning signs that he was not who he said he was.

    Like

  34. Avid, no one is cutting out 1 Cor 9. It’s about Paul not you and I. It was written 2000 years ago not last week.

    It is criminal to use 1 Corinthians 9 and pretend it’s about modern day self titled control freaks who like to equate themselves with first century apostles haha.

    It’s scripture twisting gone mad.

    1 Corinthians is a letter not written directly to you and I. Yes we can learn from it but it’s not to US.

    Applying chapter 9 to modern day situations is OK if you are a travelling missionary with no capacity to work.

    If you’re a modern day ‘pastor’ then unfortunately 1 Corinthians 9 is not about you haha. Twisting this to justify professional clergy roles is about as bad as it gets.

    Night time here. Ciao.

    Carry on gospel soldiers. 🙃🔥

    Like

  35. Salty: I’m waiting for a list of passages you accuse me of ignoring. How did Jesus expect Peter to ‘feed’ His sheep? Weekly Sermons? Or bearing burdens?

    2 Tim 4:1-5 “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”

    You ignored that one.

    You know what makes me vomit in my mouth? Pastors who don’t have the name Jesus.

    1 Peter 5:4 “And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.”

    How can there be a “chief” shepherd if there are no other shepherds? Who are the other shepherds? The ones Peter is talking to: “The elders” who “feed the flock”.

    Like

  36. “Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in reply.” (Acts 4:13-14)”

    Come on, Mark! What did they both basically spend their lives telling people and died gruesome deaths for as a result?

    “You, too, can know Jesus”

    And you can do even greater things. Slave, free, Jew, Gentile, male, female. All can receive full inheritance. All can be Priests.

    Like

  37. Salty,

    No one is trying to use 1Cor 9 to justify “self titled control freaks.” We’ve discussed several examples of humble people doing the work of the ministry:
    Amy Carmichael
    David Wilkerson
    Gladys Alyward
    etc

    We’ve already discussed how Jesus warned us about those “self titled control freaks.”

    I would hope that we can use our discernment to avoid them.

    But the existence of wolves in the flock doesn’t eliminate the existence of humble people called by God to do the work of the ministry. There’s plenty of Amy Carmichaels laboring around the world today. How can someone work a full time job in America to support their family while simultaneously volunteering their time serving on the foreign field full time in another country? It takes resources to take the Gospel to the world. No amount of denial will change that. Yes, there are plenty of short term missions trips that do great work but that doesn’t accomplish everything that needs to be done by full time workers pouring out their lives overseas.

    Amy Carmichael wouldn’t have accomplished what she did if she had stayed at home and just worked a full time job while trying to minister on the weekends. She had to devote her whole life, time, years, overseas to fulfill her destiny. She said what inspired her was listening to Hudson Taylor describe how multitudes of people were dying overseas without having heard the Gospel. She couldn’t have reached those people by staying at home.

    By the way—saying that NT verses don’t apply to us today is the same thing as taking a scissors and cutting out Scriptures. Instead, let’s study the Bible, looking at the Heart of God and remembering the Words of Christ.

    The one thing that Jesus told us to do was “go ye.” The Heart of God hasn’t changed in two thousand years since then.

    Like

  38. “By the way—saying that NT verses don’t apply to us today is the same thing as taking a scissors and cutting out Scriptures.”

    I hope all the men reading here are greeting their brothers with a holy kiss. :o)

    Like

  39. “When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.”
    2Timothy 4:13 (NIV)

    Lydia,

    You have a great point. We all understand that we don’t have to go to Troas and pick up scrolls either. And we know that Jesus didn’t literally mean we were supposed to literally eat His flesh and drink His blood.

    But there’s a difference between patterns that run throughout the whole Bible and taking one verse out of context.

    Jesus never told us to greet each other with a holy kiss but He did say that “workers deserve their pay.” If we are going to build our lives on the words of Christ, we can’t pick and choose from His words.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. “Jesus never told us to greet each other with a holy kiss but He did say that “workers deserve their pay.” If we are going to build our lives on the words of Christ, we can’t pick and choose from His words.”

    Can you tell me exactly what you are referencing? A parable?

    I can pick and choose interpretations. That is the beauty of not living in a state church environment. And you can’t excommunicat me. So then, what? Accuse me of not building my life on “the words of Christ”?

    OK. No problem.. accuse away.

    Like

  41. Paul said it: 1 Tim 5:17-18 “The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.””

    Keep in mind that honor is probably referencing money or other tangible goods – the same goods that the Pharisees were to use to honor their father and mother, but instead dedicated to God.

    For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother, is to be put to death’; but you say, ‘If a man says to his father or his mother, whatever I have that would help you is Corban (that is to say, given to God),’ Mark 7:10-11

    Like

  42. FYI: Paul was also the one who seemed to be obsessed with the holy kiss. “Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.” (Rom 16:16)

    Also, 1 Cor 16:20, 2 Cor 13:12, 1 Thess 5:26.

    I choose to obey by greeting my wife with a holy kiss 😀

    Like

  43. Dee: What are they teaching in seminary’s these days; didn’t you mean Cemeteries? Well, if church people had heeded Derek Prince’s early teachings on Witchcraft in the Church. Look at Steve Hassan books on Church/Leadership abuses., Ungodly Fear by Stephen Parson’s. Is, Master’s College really legitimate? Does anyone know a Group that investigates besides “Trinity Foundation” in Dallas, TX? Does anyone want to take them to Media to be investigated (Google: All email addresses for media) and let them know about this group?

    Like

  44. Mark/Avid,

    I’m not exactly sure what you are accusing me on not believing or adhering to?

    The passages you post Mark are about teaching other believers.

    I teach other believers daily using social media, email and my mouth. I get taught by other believers in similar fashion whether in person or by electronic means. I’m not denying that God gifts believers to benefit others so I’m not sure what you are accusing me of. ??

    Avid, The term ‘The Ministry’ is used for religious posturing.

    The term ministry simply means service. It’s not a special term only used by the ten employees in a religious organisation. That is how believers use the term today, to elevate themselves to look spiritual.

    Eg: if I sent an email out to all my friends with a photo of my family looking sober and said, “please pray and prayerfully consider supporting our family as we serve the Lord in THE MINISTRY”…

    That is Christianese for:

    “We are doing something special for Jesus and we want you to pay for it”.

    My point is this:

    WE ARE ALL CALLED TO SERVE WHERE WE ARE.

    I have a relative who sends emails like this monthly.

    She’s gotta be the most unhappy, bitter bible college attended I’ve ever seen. She is convinced she’s on a special mission from God and she postures herself religiously to seek ‘support’ to continue her self deception.

    It’s what religious people do and they use bible terms to do it.

    They use words like teach, teachers, feed the flock, pastors, evangelists, elder (which they change to Elder), and so on.

    God is not impressed with our religious posturing.

    It is toxic and evident throughout Christendom.

    Yes, our God gives gifts to his people for his work.

    But so far I’m doing pretty well not needing a ‘ministry website’ with a photo of my fat head along with lots of emotive language to persuade you to give to my special cause.

    Why?

    Because I’m convinced we are ALL called to serve and not make ourselves appear to be humble. We should share Christ and give generously and use the gifts we have been given.

    Christendom is one big boast fest.

    “Oh did you hear his sermon it was such a blessing!!! Blessings! What a servant of the Lord”

    This is Christianese and we have all been trained in it.

    Do you think my friends who come to my house for tea and to talk about Jesus leave saying, “thank you for the excellent sermon Pastor. Where can I leave your wage?”.

    No.

    It’s a privilege to teach about the Lord. Filthy lucre and making merchandise is not my thing.

    Mark, the ‘double honor’ you mention for elders… if it’s in the form of a salary does this mean the widows in 1 Tim 5:3 should get salaries also? Do we do this today? Know any widows on half the Senior Pastor’s wage?

    The elders in my life have unbelieving family. If they required financial assistance then I’d step up to the plate. Fortunately our society provides for tax payers so the application of this passage isn’t relevant for our particular day and age. In a third world country it’s a different story and most definitely the godly elders who have worked hard and lived godly should be supported by younger folk. But the context isn’t a religious organisation or meeting. It’s younger believers taking care of older ones.

    You are interpreting these verses through the establishment lense.

    I see them in a community without a temple. So I don’t see those words as loaded.

    I have godly teachers in my life. I teach others also. God gives the gifts.

    The issue we are arguing is the identifying of these gifted people, no?

    Leaders are identified by their leading not by religious posturing.

    I lead others and I get led by others. Not in some one hour meeting but through fellowship and community.

    I’m not denying any gifts. So what’s the problem?

    What am I not doing Mark?

    Like

  45. Mark/Avid,

    I’ve been thinking about our discussion about gifts/teachers/elders and I honestly believe that we’re talking about the same thing but our understanding about HOW God operates is different.

    I get the impression (correct me if I’m wrong) that you think we need to join ourselves to some type of institutional place (call it a church if you must) in order to meet with ‘appointed’/’identified’ ‘leaders’ for the purpose of allowing these gifts to be utilised through means of programmed tuition in the things of God. Is this correct?

    I’m only led to this conclusion because I’ve tried to explain and show that for over three years I’ve been out of and away from any and all ‘Christian’ institutional influences and yet I’m managing to learn from the Lord and grow in my daily walk. I’ve got older godly folk who teach me and counsel as required and I too, meet with younger believers and we talk about spiritual things.

    Does the description above sound like teaching, leading and fellowship to you?

    Is what I’m DOING by living my life and trusting God to give gifts to me and others as required… is this ‘ENOUGH’? Is this ‘IT’?

    What am I missing?

    I get the impression that you would have us re-enact scenes from Pauline epistles, Mark.

    That we need to ‘appoint elders in every city’ somehow.

    I don’t interpret the Scriptures in this way.

    I read it and think, “OK, so they identified godly mature older folk in each city for the purposes of providing oversight and counsel”.

    This has absolutely NOTHING to do with institutional buildings called churches and weekly religious meetings.

    The first century apostles simply identified those godly older folk who were able to ‘lead’ or take care of the new converts.

    No issues here.

    Can I ask:

    How would YOU have us organise, arrange, posit ourselves so that God can use our gifts?

    What should we be doing Mark?

    Or rather, what am I NOT doing now?

    Truly, I’m asking.

    Like

  46. Mark

    When I asked @ JANUARY 20, 2017 @ 12:15 PM…
    Any Qualifications for this ”Leadership?”

    You answered with @ JANUARY 20, 2017 @ 1:02 PM…
    “Titus 1:5-9, 1 Tim 3:1-7”
    xxxxxxxxxx

    In those two portions of Scripture there are 17+, very tuff Qualifications.

    I’ve noticed, over the years, searching for qualified elder/overseers…
    Most, who desire, and take the “Title/Position”
    pastor/shepherd/elder/leader/reverend…
    Will “Ignore” and “Twist” these tuff qualifications… 😦
    In order to mis-appropriate, this ** “Title/Position,”** pastor/elder/overseer.

    I was ordained, in leadership, when I realized…
    I did NOT meet these tuff qualifications… 😦
    Hmmm? Now what Lord?

    What should a pastor/elder/leader/reverend do?
    If they do NOT meet these tuff qualifications?

    Shouldn’t the Un-Qualified pastor/elder/overseer, remove themselves?
    And be a good example to the Flock?

    It took a few years…
    Eventually I walked away from being an elder/leader…
    And ripped up my precious papers…

    And I decided to Follow Jesus… NO turning back…
    “MY Sheep – Hear MY Voice – and Follow ME, Jesus” John 10:27

    And become like one of ”His Disciples” in the Bible.

    And, NOT one of “His Disciples” took the “Title,” or called them self pastor.
    Or shepherd. or leader; Or reverend.
    xxxxxxxx

    Let’s look at just three of these 17+, very tuff qualifications.

    1 – Must Be ”BLAMELESS”
    2 – JUST. 3 – HOLY.
    xxxxxxxxx

    When you believe the lie you start to die…

    When you continue to live the lie…
    You die slowly, day by day…

    Like

  47. Mark

    Here’s just the first Qualification in both 1 Tim 3, and Titus.

    1 – Must Be BLAMELESS.

    Titus 1:5-8 KJV
    5 …ordain elders in every city…
    6 If any be BLAMELESS, the husband of one wife,
    having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
    7 For a bishop “Must Be” BLAMELESS,
    as the steward of God; NOT self willed, NOT soon angry,
    NOT given to wine, NO striker, NOT given to filthy lucre;
    8 a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober,
    JUST, HOLY, temperate;

    1 – Must Be
    Strongs #1163, die. – It is necessary (as binding).
    Thayer’s – necessity established by the counsel and decree of God.
    This must be is the same Greek. – You must be born again. Jn 3:7
    Seems to be a small word but very important. Yes?

    1 – BLAMELESS
    Strongs #410 anegkletos – unaccused, irreproachable, blameless.
    Thayers – cannot be called into account, unreproveable, unaccused.
    Dictionary – Without fault, innocent, guiltless, not meriting censure.

    How many, pastor/leader/elder/reverends…
    Who honestly examine themselves…
    Seriously considering this one qualification…
    Can see themselves as **BLAMELESS,* without fault, innocent…
    And thus qualify to be an pastor/leader/elder/reverend?

    And if you can see yourself as BLAMELESS?
    Is that Pride? Deception? Delusion?
    And NO longer without fault? 🙂

    And, if a pastor/elder/overseer does NOT Qualify???

    Will they remove themselves?

    And be a good example to the Flock?

    Like

  48. Mark

    Here are two more Qualifications from Titus.

    2 – JUST
    Strongs #1342 – dikaios {dik’-ah-yos} from 1349;
    Thayers – righteous, observing divine laws, innocent, faultless, guiltless.

    3 – HOLY
    Strongs #3741 – hosios {hos’-ee-os}
    Thayers – undefiled by sin, free from wickedness,
    religiously observing every moral obligation.

    Now that’s three tough qualifications for pastor/elder/overseers. Yes?

    If WE, His Ekklesia, His Church, His Called Out Ones, His Body…
    Take seriously the many tough Qualifications in 1 Tim 3:1-6, and Titus 1:5-9…

    The number of Biblically Qualified – pastor/leader/reverends…
    Is quite small. 😉

    But, will these UN-qualified, pastor/leader/reverends…

    “Remove Themselves?”

    And be a good example to the flock?
    xxxxxxxxxx

    The Bible talks about elder/overseers.
    And Qualifications for elder/overseers.

    Can you have one without the other?

    Like

  49. Mark

    Who is your “leader?”

    Does your “leader” meet these 17+, very tuff qualifications?

    How about just these 3 Qualifications?
    1 – Must Be ”BLAMELESS”
    2 – JUST. 3 – HOLY.
    xxxxxxxx

    Who is your ”postional Authority?”

    Does your “postional Authority” meet these 17+, very tuff qualifications?

    How about just these 3 Qualifications?
    1 – Must Be ”BLAMELESS”
    2 – JUST. 3 – HOLY.
    xxxxxxxxxxx

    The Bible talks about elder/overseers.

    And Qualifications for elder/overseers.

    Can you have one without the other?
    xxxxxxxx

    I have Decided to Follow…

    The ”ONE” Leader – The ”ONE” Shepherd – The ”ONE” Teacher

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Like

  50. p.s. he also took his picture down? lol. thanks for doing your research! Leonard Ravenhill confronted that in a sermon, imagine Jesus making someone a member of a church, no, no, no, a thousand times no believe it was his 1-27-1991 message in Anaheim CA it’s on the net=one of the most powerful messages ever, one of the best. really appreciate the as iron sharpens iron comments here. and amos on confronting eric’s orig.memo.

    Like

  51. I don’t think there’s a point in debating this any more. We obviously have a different idea of how scripture works. I look at all of scripture as authoritative, and yes, I struggle with passages that seem to contradict, but in studying this issue to respond to you, what I’ve held seems to be underscored by scripture after scripture. I find it pointless to search scriptures for things that contradict what you’re saying, only to have the very same thing come up two or three posts later.

    I continue to believe that there are fundamental failings in the organized church, not because the organized church is somehow fundamentally evil, but because power and prestige are what the world seeks after, and, unfortunately, most of what is out there is the world. It’s not just the church. Fathers lord it over their wives and children. Policemen lord it over the poor and minorities. Politicians lord it over all of us.

    We can’t argue from the specific to the general. Evil priests did not make the priesthood unscriptural, neither evil synagogue leaders make the synagogue wrong, nor did evil Kings make the throne of Israel and Judah illegitimate.

    Like

  52. Thanks Mark. I got a pretty good laugh from your comment.

    We obviously have a different idea of how scripture works. I look at all of scripture as authoritative, and yes, I struggle with passages that seem to contradict…”

    Jesus said, “ONE fold. ONE shepherd. ONE body. ONE head”.

    I look at Jesus’ plain words as authoritative and not my limited understanding of a particular text validated by years of ‘christian’ tradition and commentary. – me

    “I continue to believe that there are fundamental failings in the organized church, not because the organized church is somehow fundamentally evil, but because power and prestige are what the world seeks after, and, unfortunately, most of what is out there is the world. It’s not just the church. Fathers lord it over their wives and children. Policemen lord it over the poor and minorities. Politicians lord it over all of us.”

    There’s only the church Jesus is building Mark and it’s not failing at all because Jesus is an excellent builder. You’re referring to the churches built by men. Not the same ‘church’.

    “We can’t argue from the specific to the general. Evil priests did not make the priesthood unscriptural, neither evil synagogue leaders make the synagogue wrong, nor did evil Kings make the throne of Israel and Judah illegitimate.”

    Jesus’ priesthood looks nothing like the one in the OT.

    No physical temples. No more sacrifices. No religious services.

    Whatever the ‘church’ of today is DOING, it has no foundation in Jesus Christ. His people ARE the ‘church’ not the weekly religious meeting.

    We are on two very different wavelengths Mark.

    Thanks for the discussion.

    If I’m completely wrong then I truly hope the Lord will open my eyes.

    Like

  53. Salty

    Yes – Yes – Yes
    “There’s only the church Jesus is building Mark
    “and it’s NOT failing at all”

    because Jesus is an excellent builder.”

    You’re referring to the churches built by men. 😦

    Not the same ‘church’.

    Like

  54. Salty

    WE, His Ekklesia, His Called Out Ones, are warned…
    That some will preach another Jesus. 2 Cor 11:4

    Dontcha think some are preaching another Ekklesia?
    A false ekklesia, where man is in control? And NOT Jesus?

    Isn’t Jesus is the head of ”The Body, The Church?”

    Didn’t Jesus teach ”His Disciples” NOT to be called Rabbi/teacher?
    For you have ”ONE” Teacher – Jesus?

    Didn’t Jesus teach ”His Disciples” NOT to be called ”Master/Leader?”
    For you have ’ONE” master/leader – the Christ? Mat 23:1-10 KJV

    Doesn’t the Bible warn ”His Disciples” about “Titles?” Job 32:21 KJV

    1st Samuel chapter 8 is about God’s people ”Rejecting God’s Leadership.”
    For that of ”a Human, A King,” to be like the other people. 😦

    God was NOT happy…
    But, He gave them what they wanted, ”And a Little Bit Extra.” 🙂 🙂

    1 Sam 8:7
    And the LORD said unto Samuel,
    Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee:
    for they have NOT rejected thee, but they have rejected me,
    that I should NOT reign over them.

    And how did having Kings turn out for Isreal? My.. My… Tsk… Tsk…

    If folks want a Mere Fallible Human to “Reign Over” them?
    To have “Authority” over them? To be THEIR leaders? THEIR shepherds?

    And NOT  – The **“ONE” Leader? The ”ONE” Shepherd?
    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    God will give them what they ask for, ”And a Little Bit Extra.” 🙂 🙂

    1 Sam 8:11
    This will be the manner of the king that shall ”reign over you:”
    He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots,
    and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots….

    Your King will take your sons.
    Your King will take your daughters.
    Your King will take your fields.
    Your King will take your vineyards.
    Your King will take your oliveyards.
    Your King will take the tenth of your seed.
    Your King will take your menservants.
    Your King will take your maidservants
    Your King will take your asses.
    Your King will take the tenth of your sheep.

    and you shall be ”the Kings servants…”

    1 Sam 8:19
    Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; **
    and they said, **Nay; but we will have a king over us…

    Human Kings, leaders, don’t look like such a good idea now, do they? 🙂

    But, God, will give you what you ask for, ”And a Little Bit Extra.” 🙂 🙂

    Like

  55. Yes Amos.

    We have been warned many, many times.

    Who can we trust?

    The One who is Truth and the One who promised to dwell in His people to guide them in The Way.

    Sounds mysterious huh?

    Haha.

    “Go into your room and pray to your Father”.

    He didn’t make it difficult.

    He even gives the Spirit to us for free!

    But we want books and tapes and conferences and SERMONS.

    No thanks.

    I’m good 🙋👊

    Like

  56. Mark I find it pointless to search scriptures for things that contradict what you’re saying, only to have the very same thing come up two or three posts later.

    This inabilitiy to see other viewpoints is a hallmark of being in deception. Or of someone seeing a truth and rigidly cliniging to it and being unwilling to see other, qualifying or supplementing truths.

    Everyone’s views are to a greater or lesser extent influenced by their experience. You are undoubtedly right about error in the institutional church, but the equal and opposite error is the ‘Jesus and me alone’ error. The body of Christ does not consist of one member!

    You have to balance the truth that Jesus as the good shepherd does indeed teach and tend each individual Christían direct, and that he gave gifts amongst men that some should be pastors and teachers. In other words, part of Christ’s ministry comes to men through other men.

    I’ve had to learn as I have got older that within the institutional church are genuine, authentic NT churches. That even if someone carries the title reverend or pastor they may actually being fullfilling that ministry amongst those they serve and care for. You have to judge on a church by church basis.

    Like

  57. Hi Amos,

    Well, we know that Peter had a wife and most likely several children. He left his fishing career to follow Christ while Jesus was traveling around and ministering. How did Peter provide for his family while he was on the road traveling with Jesus for three years?

    Like

  58. Avid Reader

    Peter trusted God to meet his needs???

    Php 4:19
    But my God shall supply all your need
    according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

    Luke 12:28-32 KJV
    If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field,
    and to morrow is cast into the oven;
    how much more will he clothe you,
    O ye of little faith?
    And seek NOT ye what ye shall eat,
    or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.
    For all these things do the nations of the world seek after:
    and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
    But rather seek ye the kingdom of God;
    and ALL these things “Shall be added unto you.”

    2nd Cor 9:7-11 KJV
    Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give;
    not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
    And God is able to make all grace abound toward you;
    that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things,
    may abound to every good work:
    (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad;
    he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.
    Now he that ministereth seed to the sower
    both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown,
    and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
    Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness,
    which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.

    Like

  59. “Well, we know that Peter had a wife and most likely several children. He left his fishing career to follow Christ while Jesus was traveling around and ministering. How did Peter provide for his family while he was on the road traveling with Jesus for three years?”

    Most likely family and the extended family business of fishing. That would have been tradition. It’s not as if he had a benefactor ( the Roman tradition) right away. We do know in Luke 8 the women traveling with them had means and provided for them financially. That is not a “tithe”, though. Nor is it a salary with benefits, 401k and tax free housing allowance. :o) it was quite messy, I imagine. We don’t see much official bookkeeping after Judas. :o)

    I think we might come at this differently. You communicate in a way that we “owe” certain titles because supposedly Jesus commanded it to work that way. I think you have misunderstood. Each person can decide to whom to help with an offering and how much. I don’t view it as my business what you do in such cases. I am perplexed why you view it as your business what others decide even down to insisting we must choose your interpretations.

    Like

  60. Amos,

    Yes, Peter trusted God. But how did that translate to food on the table for his wife and children? How did he keep a roof over their head while he was gone on the road, following Jesus?

    Like

  61. Avid Reader

    Okay – “Peter,” is found in 156 verses.

    I just quickly read them all… 🙂

    And NOT one verse answered your questions…

    “But how did that translate to food on the table
    for his wife and children?
    How did he keep a roof over their head
    while he was gone on the road, following Jesus?

    NOT one verse had, “Peter,” providing food for his wife, and children.
    NOT one verse had, “Peter,” having children.
    NOT one verse had, “Peter,” providing a roof.

    But I cudda missed it… 😉
    Maybe you can help? Where are these verses that answer your questions?
    xxxxxxxxx

    When “Peter,” travelled with Jesus…
    ”Judas,” carried the money they needed…
    And many women provided for them… Yes?

    Luke 8:3 NKJV
    and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna,
    and many others
    who provided for Him from their substance.
    xxxxxxxxxx

    Luke 18:28 KJV
    Then Peter said,
    Lo, we have left ALL, and followed thee.

    Acts 3:6 T
    Then Peter said,
    Silver and gold have I none;
    but such as I have give I thee:
    In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth
    rise up and walk.
    xxxxxxxxx

    Once again…

    What’s your point?

    Like

  62. On another note, I remembered that Paul describes Phoebe as both a deacon and “protasis” which means patron or benefactor . He mentions that in relation to many people, not just himself. That could mean she funded many in their ministry endeavors or helped poorer believers while also a deacon serving others. But Greek is weird in that is has much fewer words and some words can mean different things depending on the context. My guess is she was wealthy, traveled and helped a lot of people along the way. He wanted to Roman church to accept and respect her.

    Like

  63. Hi THOT,

    It sounds like you may have mistaken me with someone else.

    Someone else asked you that question.

    By the way, I really appreciated you recommending the book:

    Ten Lies the Church Tells Women

    That’s a great book—I highly recommend it as well.

    Like

  64. Good morning Amos,

    Sometimes the real world interrupts and pulls me away from the keyboard right when I’m trying to respond. Now things have settled down and I’m back.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. 156 verses on Peter? Wow! I’m impressed that you would take the time to read through all 156!

    Here’s the verse about Peter having a house:

    “When Jesus arrived at Peter’s house……” (Matthew 8:14 Berean)
    (this is where Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law)

    I’ve been thinking a lot about what you wrote in several comments on this thread and where we had our long discussion about pastors on another thread. You had asked the question of whether Jesus or any of His disciples ever were “paid professionals” (in the sense that pastors receive salaries today).

    That got me thinking—how was Peter providing for his wife and children? In the ancient world—it was pretty normal for people to have large families. Absent any physical impairment, Peter and his wife would have had several children. We also know that his mother-in-law lived with them, as well.

    Then the Apostle Paul specifically referenced Peter in 1Cor 9:5 as an example of someone having the “right” to provide for his wife while doing the work of the ministry.

    So are we missing the forest by looking at the trees?

    We’ve had a long debate over whether Jesus is the only pastor or God still calls people to do the work of pastoring. We’ve debated whether all pastors have to work a full time job or whether they can receive a salary from doing the work of the ministry.

    We know that Jesus worked in carpentry during the first thirty years of His life. Was Jesus still working full time as a carpenter to pay his bills while He traveled and ministered for three years?

    Jesus and the disciples were doing ministry full time during the three years that they traveled together—they didn’t need any titles but they did need to provide for their families.

    You had specifically asked if any disciples had had any titles. Peter specifically referred to this in Acts 1:20 when they take a vote among on early church on who replaces the “office” Judas had held.

    Peter references Psalms as authority for the decision they were making on how
    “May another take his office.”
    Acts 1:20 (Berean)

    Peter says
    “So now we must choose a replacement for Judas from among the men who were with us the entire time we were traveling with the Lord Jesus.”
    Acts 1:21 (NLT)

    “And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two YOU HAVE CHOSEN to occupy THIS MINISTRY and APOSTLESHIP from which Judas turned aside……”
    Acts 1:24-25 (NASB)

    Here’s an example of the disciples using titles—not that titles matter. But they still sought the heart of God over who God had chosen, not who wanted that job. That’s the whole key to this discussion. It’s about who God chose and gifted for doing the work of the ministry. No one here is suggesting that we have to support self proclaimed apostles and pastors. We judge them by their fruit. Real apostles and pastors just do the work of the ministry without trying to “exalt” themselves.

    The Apostle Paul specifically referenced the analogy of a solider going to war. Does a soldier receive a salary to provide for his family while he’s gone or does he have to work full time as a welder to pay his way to serve in the military overseas? That’s not my words. That’s 1Cor 9 where Paul was telling the Corinthian church that they weren’t contributing their fair share—thus because of their decision Paul had “robbed” other churches to accept the support that the Corinthian church wasn’t contributing.

    “I robbed other churches by accepting their support in order to serve you.”
    2Cor 11:8 (Berean)

    If we are going to say that the whole chapter of 1Cor 9 doesn’t apply to us today— then the whole books of First Corinthians and Second Corinthians don’t apply either. We can’t have it both ways.

    In the early days of American history—when Virginia was a colony of England—there were laws that only one Christian denomination was allowed. Everyone had to attend that one. No one could preach without a license from the government run church. The early Baptist preachers were thrown in jail for preaching without that license. There’s a story about how Patrick Henry rode horseback for many miles to reach the trial of three Baptist pastors so he could serve as their defense attorney. He gave a resounding speech that brought the whole courtroom to their feet by asking basically why are we putting them on trial for the “crime” of preaching the Gospel?

    So when America became a nation, Patrick Henry and James Madison had a big argument over whether Virginia could levy the tithe as a legal tax. Patrick Henry wanted that tax. James Madison argued against the tax because he felt that if people had freedom of religion, they could choose whatever church they wanted to support and then the good pastors would receive the support and no one would want to support the bad pastors. Ironically, neither of them had a problem with pastors receiving a salary, they just wanted the churches that were actually helping people to thrive and the rest to be held accountable by congregations that could vote with their feet. Guess who won the argument and wrote the Bill of Rights. 🙂

    Like

  65. Salty,

    If you’re called by God to be a hand in the body of Christ, you’ll naturally be attracted to wrist groups and repulsed by shoulder, elbow and knee ministries. We are not suggesting that you have to try to fit somewhere that you don’t feel that you belong.

    The danger that all believers face is how easy it is for us to get comfortable within whatever four walls of Christian groups we attend and forget that the heart of God beats for reaching the whole world with the Gospel. The heart of God wants ministry to get done around the world. Each part of the body of Christ has a part in that.

    Like

  66. Hi Avid, the body of Christ has many members and God gifts each member for a specific ‘ministry’ or service (if you prefer). Jesus was mocked for saying the temple would be destroyed and raised again in three days. Of course he was referring to his Body.

    The Body of Christ is not a religious meeting, group or institution called ‘the church’. The weekly meeting is not ‘the temple’ or ‘house of God’. The church Jesus is building has its members all over the world as there is only ONE body of Christ. We house the Spirit of the living God.

    My point in all this is that what everyone continues to call ‘the church’ is not the church Jesus is building.

    It would have to be the biggest delusion going.

    “Come to the house of the Lord. God is going to do something amazing tonight”.

    Jesus said, “don’t go”.

    I understand God gives his people gifts.

    He does not give a person a gift in evangelism so they can hold ridiculous ‘evangelism meetings’ which are held in ‘churches’ built by men and always attended by professing believers. We are given gifts to Goooooo.

    Where?

    Out into the world.

    But nooooo.

    Christians want meetings.

    “I hate your solemn assemblies” said some prophet we don’t bother reading.

    Like

  67. Avid

    Seems – We have a mis-understanding…
    About the use of the word ”Tithe.”

    My understanding of ”Tithe” in the Bible.
    ”Tithe” = NEVER Money.
    ”Tithe” = NEVER required of one of ”His Disciples” in the NT.
    ”Tithe” = NEVER required to be given to a NT church.
    ”Tithe” = NEVER required to be given to a NT pastor.

    And we seem to have a big mis-understanding…
    About people who serve the Lord full time…
    Or people who serve the Lord part time…
    Trusting God – Living by FAITH…
    Receiving ”Money.”
    From people….
    Donations..
    Offerings…
    Gratuities…
    Housing…
    Clothes…
    Cars…
    xxxxxxxxxxx

    I have lived this way – By FAITH – Depending on the Lord to provide…

    Left my profession in the late 80’s…
    Went to work for the Lord with a foster care agency…
    Working with abused teenagers… NO salary…

    After savings were gone…
    Lived 10 years without a bank account…

    And the Lord provided through people…
    ”Money”… Housing… Clothes… Cars…

    ”Money” would show up from strangers, friends.

    Had some ”ODD” Jobs along the way. – Emphasis on ”ODD.” 🙂

    ”Volunteering” with homeless ministries…
    ”Volunteering” with food pantry ministries feeding in the streets…
    ”Volunteering” with veterans at a homeless shelter at a VA hospital…

    Often full time… For Months… Years… NO salary… Trusting…

    NOT always my choice… But, the Lord provided… 😉

    Like

  68. Avid

    You might have missed this comment on the other thread.

    https://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2017/01/07/comments-closed-and-removed-at-the-cripplegate/comment-page-1/#comments

    “Comments Closed and Removed at The Cripplegate”
    xxxxxxxxxx

    JANUARY 14, 2017 @ 9:02 AM
    Avid Reader

    I have NO problem with any believer giving MONEY.
    Giving MONEY to a ministry… Giving MONEY to people…

    I encourage believers, often, To Give Freely. – But…
    To ask Jesus first – where to give this MONEY. – Yes??? 🙂

    If Jesus has asked you to give MONEY to pastor Jeff?
    Or anyone who has taken the Title/Postion, pastor/leader/reverend?
    A Title that does NOT exist in the Bible for one of His Disciples.

    Please, do what Jesus asks you to do.

    If Jesus asks you to give 10%, from your wages, MONEY…
    To pastor Jeff? Or any pastor?

    Please, do what Jesus asks you to do.

    But, If that pastor says, you, Avid, are required to “Tithe”???
    Give 10%? From wages? Weekly? To a “local church?”
    As a requirement? From the Bible?

    That is NOT in the Bible. That is NOT the Truth.
    That pastor is a Wolf and a Con Artist.
    Whether That pastor knows it or NOT.

    That is what “Today’s Corrupt Religious System” often teaches. 😦

    You asked @ JANUARY 12, 2017 @ 7:45 AM…
    “Is it a sin for “good pastors” to receive tithes?

    I believe “a good pastor” would NEVER ask you to give tithes.
    And, “a good pastor” would NEVER receive tithes.

    Because, in the NT, Jesus, taught His Disciples

    There is NONE GOOD but “ONE,” that is God. Mat 19:17.

    And, Jesus, called Himself, The Good Shepherd. John 10:11-14.

    And, Jesus, called Himself, ”The “ONE” Shepherd.” John 10:16
    xxxxxxxxxx

    Jer 50:6
    “My people” hath been “lost sheep:”
    THEIR shepherds have caused them to go astray,

    1 Pet 2:25
    For ye were as sheep going astray;
    BUT are now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Like

  69. Hi Avid

    You write @ JANUARY 24, 2017 @ 8:03 AM…

    “You had asked the question of whether Jesus
    or any of His disciples ever were “paid professionals”
    (in the sense that pastors receive salaries today).”

    “You had specifically asked if any disciples had had any titles.”
    xxxxxxxxxx

    Well, NO…
    That’s NOT the questions I ask. 🙂

    I never ask…
    “any of His disciples ever were “paid professionals?”

    I never ask…
    “if any disciples had had any titles?”
    xxxxxxxxxx

    This is one form of the questions I usally ask…
    I guess these questions need repeating… 🙂

    xxxxxxxxxx

    Haven’t ”you,” Avid, ever wondered? Why? In the Bible?

    NOT one of ”His Disciples” took the “Title” pastor?
    Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend?

    NOT one of ”His Disciples” called them self pastor?
    Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend?

    NOT one of ”His Disciples” was ever “Hired or Fired” as a pastor?
    Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend?

    NOT one of ”His Disciples” ever bacame a…
    Paid, Professional, Pastor, in a Pulpit, Preaching, to People, in Pews?
    xxxxxxxxxx

    If being one of **”His Disciples” is important? – To you?**

    Wouldn’t what Jesus taught **”His Disciples” – be important?**

    Wouldn’t what **”His Disciples” did – be important?**
    xxxxxxxxxx

    Did Jesus teach ”His Disciples” to have the “Title/Position” pastor?
    Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend?

    NOPE

    Did Jesus teach ”His Disciples” to become a…
    Paid, Professional, Pastor, in a Pulpit?
    Preaching, to People, in Pews?
    Weak after Weak?

    NOPE

    What is popular is NOT always “Truth.”
    What is “Truth” is NOT always popular.

    Like

  70. I want to share a story with you all:

    6 months ago I went to a ‘Christian event’. It was something related to an organisation my better half was involved with ten years ago.

    I met a woman who I did not know but she knew my other half. She asked me about my ‘testimony’ and my fave question, “where do you GO to church?”.

    I laughed and said, “are you really sure you want to talk about this now?”.

    She said, “why not?!”.

    Then I shared my story how I came to faith in Christ and also told her all my ‘church’ experiences. I told her why we stopped attending weekly religious meetings called ‘worship services at church”.

    Her jaw dropped as I was telling her this. She looked really surprised by my perspective.

    I asked her why she was so shocked and she grabbed my arm and explained that she’d realised something was ‘not right’ at ‘her church’ but she wasn’t sure how to put it all together.

    In the car trip on the way to that event she asked God to help it make sense to her.

    Then a couple hours later we meet.

    Her ‘church’ has the same problems as the rest.

    The Diotrephes character.
    Salaried professional servants.
    Emasculated men.
    Elders all leave due to rock ‘worship’.

    This is so normal now we never think to ask, “is this really what Jesus is building?”.

    “I will build my weekly meetings”.

    Bible words to look into:

    Temple – Body – Spiritual – House – People

    Then also play a fun game called “find the Pastor, worship meeting, liturgy and church building”.

    It’ll be hours of fun 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  71. Salty

    Nice story about the lady…

    Yes – Most today know…
    “something was ‘not right’ at ‘her church’
    but she wasn’t sure how to put it all together.”

    xxxxxxxxx

    Then also play a fun game called find the Pastor,

    HaHaHaHaHa

    Liked by 1 person

  72. Yep, Boston Lady: Amos Love/Salty are so very right! So, sad that so many brainwashed so-called Christians are giving money to all these big names and NOT inquiring of the Lord what to really do with the money as these FALSE ministries are robbing the TRUE entities and helping people that need to be/get done=SOBERING! How fearful it will all be on judgment morning/day!

    Liked by 1 person

  73. Salty wrote

    “Jesus said, “don’t go”.”

    Please show me where that verse is.

    I like the verse you shared from Amos 5:21. That’s a great passage about how God wants justice to get done.

    “But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”
    Amos 5:24

    There’s a lot we can learn from the OT. So far, I’ve tried to focus on NT verses but if you’re interested—we can analyze the OT verses on this topic too.

    Liked by 1 person

  74. Hi Avid,

    In Matthew 24 Jesus says something very interesting.

    “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before.”

    I have no doubt many Christians interpret this differently based on their view of Matthew 24.

    I look at the fact you’ve got:

    False Christs and prophets.
    Signs and Wonders.
    Deceived brethren.
    Claims that Christ/God is here or there.

    Every week there are meetings in my town where Christians claim God ‘shows up’. These people teach the Christ of the Cross… “They will come in my name saying I am he”.

    They sings songs to the Lord. Lift up their holy hands… and claim that the “Spirit of God is IN THIS PLACE tonight”.

    No.

    The Spirit of God dwells in His people.

    Not here nor there.

    Jesus warned us.

    Like

  75. Salty,

    That’s a real powerful point about how Jesus warned us about the wolves.

    If anyone’s interested—the Apostle Paul continued that thought in
    Acts 20:29-31(Berean)

    “I know that after my departure, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number, men will rise up and distort the truth to draw away disciples after them. Therefore be alert and remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you…..”

    Like

  76. Amos,

    Thank you for clarifying that thought.

    The way that you have selflessly poured out your life for others is admirable. I would hope that we can all aspire to giving more of ourselves and trusting the Lord on a deeper level in our lives as you have just described.

    However, the admirable decision to live by faith doesn’t eliminate the need for material goods. As long as we’re breathing, we still need food, clothes, and shelter. That’s been the focus of this discussion—that people doing the work of the ministry still need to provide for themselves and their families. Material needs don’t evaporate the moment we answer the call of God to serve in the ministry. Peter’s wife and family didn’t evaporate the moment he “left all” to follow Christ. We know that Jesus had a habit of helping the poor—He wouldn’t have wanted Peter’s family to starve while Peter was traveling with Him.

    Now I’m confused. You stated that
    “I have NO problem with any believer….giving money to a ministry….”

    But at the same time during this really long discussion that we’ve moved from another thread to this thread—you’ve stated your position that Jesus is the only pastor therefore there are no other pastors, called by God. If that’s not what you’re saying—please clarify.

    Amos wrote:

    1-21-17 8:16AM
    “I have Decided to Follow…
    The ”ONE” Shepherd – The ”ONE” Teacher
    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}”

    (We all agree that we should follow Christ—does following Christ mean that Christ is the only pastor therefore God doesn’t call anyone else to do ministry work? Sometimes we cook dinner for our families. Sometimes we go out to dinner and let someone else do the cooking. Does eating a restaurant meal automatically translate to putting the restaurant as a mediator between us and God? Does eating at a restaurant put the restaurant in the position of “king” over us?)

    Amos wrote:

    1-24-17 9:32AM
    “And, Jesus, called Himself, ”The “ONE” Shepherd.” John 10:16”

    1-18-17 9:58AM
    “In the Bible? Have you ever noticed?
    NOT one of ”His Disciples” ever took the ”Title” pastor?
    Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend?”

    “NOT one of ”His Disciples” ever became a…
    Paid, Professional, Pastor, in a Pulpit, Preaching, to People in Pews?”

    Amos,

    According to your words, it sounds like you’re saying that the ministry gifts (i.e. pastor, teacher, evangelist) don’t exist. Please clarify if that’s what you actually meant.

    Like

  77. Avid,

    Yep there’s lots of warnings for us to heed.

    Is it ok if I make a comment about the financial support for ‘pastors, teachers and evangelists’.

    Avid, I ‘do the work of an evangelist’.

    I ‘teach’ others about the Lord using the Scriptures.

    I ‘guide/shepherd’ younger believers in the ways of the Lord.

    This IS ‘the work of the ministry’.

    It is not a special secret ‘calling’ for a select group of believers who take titles for themselves and command financial support to ‘serve’.

    I am not involved in any religious organisation and yet I am somehow functioning as a member of Christ’s body to do the job he has gifted me to do.

    Not one verse in the bible suggests we should be paying money to ‘Pastors, teachers, evangelists’ when Paul himself set the example by ‘working willingly with his own hands’.

    Religion/Christianity has taught you, Avid, that ‘ministry’ is something very special.

    It’s truly not.

    The words simply means service.

    Every.member.of.the.body.is.called.to.minister/serve

    If you want to pay your ‘Pastors and teachers and evangelists’ then please ensure the widows and pope get their pay cheques first (as per Jesus and Paul’s exhortations), then pay the kitchen ladies who minister with hospitality gifts and also those with gifts of mercy who do hospital rounds.

    No member of Christ’s body should be getting a salary to SERVE.

    It is appalling.

    Like

  78. Avid, please don’t give the pope any money.

    I meant poor.

    Poor not pope.

    The pope is a deceiving, blasphemous scoundrel.

    We have One Father.

    He does not live in the Vatican 💀💩

    Like

  79. Regarding certain words and phrases in the NT.

    Please everyone help yourselves out by reading and or at least listening to ‘the Great Ecclesiastical Conspiracy’.

    It highlights how the King James Bible translators put Ecclesiastical terms in to suit their agenda.

    To justify -the Church- that is not Christ’s Ekklesia.

    And don’t let the word ‘conspiracy’ turn you off.

    There’s no tin foil hat nonsense in the free book.

    It’s relatively easy to check what they claim by using free online bible study websites.

    “Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good. Everything else throw in the dung 💩 heap” – paraphrased salty version

    Like

  80. Salty,

    Throughout this whole discussion, you’ve shared many fascinating thoughts. I’d hope that you would always feel welcome to continue joining whatever discussion Amos and I are having. By the way, as you requested—I did read that history on the KJV.

    I totally agree with you that each believer is called to do the work of the ministry.

    I totally agree with you that real ministry is service not thrones.

    But as we’ve already discussed, the person who’s called by God to be a paramedic and devotes sixty hours a week to their job, doesn’t have as much time for doing the work of the ministry as someone that is called to devote their whole life to the ministry according to Eph 4:11. There’s all kinds of work that needs to get done around the world. That work takes more than part time service. It takes every part of the body of Christ answering the call of God on their lives as God has set them in the body.

    By now we’ve discussed so many Scriptures on this subject that we’ve memorized probably all of them. I don’t want to repeat all the ground that we’ve covered.

    However I’m trying to understand why you would say that
    “Not one verse in the bible suggests we should be paying money to ‘Pastors, teachers, evangelists’ when Paul himself set the example by ‘working willingly with his own hands’.”

    What are we supposed to do with what Paul wrote in 1Cor 9:13-14 (NIV)?

    “Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple get their food from the temple, and that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar?
    In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.”

    When Gladys Alyward was rescuing one hundred little children from a brutal life on the streets, there were many times when she ran out of resources and had to literally knock on doors and beg for food to take care of the children. Why would we want the next generation of Gladys Alywards not to have the resources to go overseas and do the work that needs to be done?

    Why would Jesus send out the seventy on the road to do the work of the ministry and then tell them not to take any money with them because “the worker deserves his pay?” Luke 10:7 (NET)

    Like

  81. “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.” Luke 10

    The recompense is hospitality as in shelter, food, etc.

    Here are His instructions for the 12 in Matthew 10:

    9 “Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts— 10 no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. 11 Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. 12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.”

    Again, hospitality is the reward. Sharing space, food, etc. it was much more of a barter economy, anyway, so receiving regular pay just does not fit. The tithe does not fit at all.

    Not carrying money also meant people would not be clamoring to get them to spend it with them. It would be pure hospitality and openness to their words. I suspect they had a lot of doors slammed in their faces, too.

    “But as we’ve already discussed, the person who’s called by God to be a paramedic and devotes sixty hours a week to their job, doesn’t have as much time for doing the work of the ministry as someone that is called to devote their whole life to the ministry according to Eph 4:11. There’s all kinds of work that needs to get done around the world. That work takes more than part time service. It takes every part of the body of Christ answering the call of God on their lives as God has set them in the body.”

    A favorite book of mine is Matt Redmonds, “God of the Mundane”. He left pastoring and went to work at a bank. He talks about his opportunities to minister to people out in the real world while doing his job. As a friend of mine said, there is a real need and opportunities for serious Christians all over the workplace and professions. They become very “set apart” in the institutions as in separated.

    I think it is sad we compartmentalize so much. As if a lowly clerk does not have opportunities to minister daily. I guess I am no longer sure exactly what “full time ministry” means anymore. Are there unreached people groups? Are there brave souls who will go to Saudi Arabia, undercover? It used to be that missionaries would go and live among people to minister. Globalism has changed a lot of things. My sister was in China for a while about 20 years ago. She said the underground church was so different we would not recognize it as church. It did not operate like we know it. Where she was, The state sanctioned churches had salaried pastors. The underground church did not. That does not mean there were no offerings of help for who needed it. It is all a personal decision what we support as we are to be stewards, too.

    Like

  82. Lydia,

    I agree with you that there are lots of opportunities for everyone—including the store clerk to do ministry. However, the important work of the ministry that is done by the store clerk doesn’t eliminate all the other callings and giftings in the body of Christ.

    Lots of good things would happen if every part of the body of Christ made good use of all their opportunities.

    Like

  83. Hi Avid,

    We are the temple of the living God.

    Matthew 23: Jesus has interesting words for religious people who wish to peddle their brand of God overseas. We’d do well to put aside our thoughts on their noble efforts and consider what He says about it.

    Yes, God has used missionaries who get paid money to spread the good news.

    I’m not talking about them.

    I’m talking about people who want kingdoms on earth that involve temples and not wanting to use their own dinner tables and living rooms (elders must be given to hospitality).

    Another story:

    I used to have a very good job in the city (pre- kids).

    I made friends with an older unbeliever. We would meet for walks and breakfast. They were new to my city and needed a friend. I shared Christ with them and gave them a bible. Told them to read John. One morning they text me: “I understand now. It makes sense. I believe in Jesus now”.

    This is evangelism. This is teaching. This is shepherding. This is —– The Ministry—-

    It’s not a separate calling for a special person who needs to posture themselves religiously.

    I don’t have postcards on people’s refrigerators saying:

    — SERVANT OF GOD— please consider supporting the work of this very important work.

    No. It’s religious posturing.

    All those people who get up on stages and get pats on their backs and hand claps for doing ‘the work of the ministry’… they have their rewards.

    Jesus was so clear in Matt 23. He hates religious posturing.

    So where does that leave us all as individual members of the Body?

    We are to view ourselves as SERVANTS of a KING.

    We do ‘his business’.

    Read George Mueller’s biography. If we need money for God’s work: he’ll surely provide.

    I know missionaries who have gone overseas only to later get converted to Jesus Christ.

    This happens.

    Elders also.

    It’s real and goes on. Religious posturing is a thing.

    Like

  84. “However, the important work of the ministry that is done by the store clerk doesn’t eliminate all the other callings and giftings in the body of Christ.”

    Excepting missionaries/evangelists, like Paul, who often made tents, can you give examples? Why does a pastor need to be at the office in a mostly empty building all week?

    Earlier in the thread you put the word “office” in quotes. That is one of those words added by translators. The giftings are functions. They are verbs, not nouns.

    Sadly, adding words is not that rare. You won’t find “symbol of” in the early manuscripts in 1 Corinthians 11, either. And those two additional words totally change the meaning as did adding “office”. But it is understandable since our translations came from a church state mentality. .

    Like

  85. I meant to add that anyone is free to support whomever they choose in their work with offerings.I am not sure if you agree with that freedom or not since you believe in a tithe system. (The church building is the temple in that thinking)

    If not, who gets to choose for us whose work is worthy of our hard earned money? If it is not between an individual and the Holy Spirit, who has that authority? I am confused on your position.

    Like

  86. Again, hospitality is the reward. Sharing space, food, etc. it was much more of a barter economy, anyway, so receiving regular pay just does not fit. The tithe does not fit at all.

    And that made sense in that economy. It doesn’t always make sense in ours.

    Excepting missionaries/evangelists, like Paul, who often made tents, can you give examples? Why does a pastor need to be at the office in a mostly empty building all week?

    Ah. This is a good question. Biblical or not, traditionally pastors have many jobs within the church, including teaching on sundays and at various bible studies/sunday school, visiting the sick, doing weddings and funerals, etc. I know our church also has ministries to help people who wander into the office asking for it.

    Whether you want to choose to contract those things to a pastor, via the church, is up to you. But I can’t say I see anything wrong with it either.

    Like

  87. I am confused on your position.

    It seems like some believe you must support full time ministers and others believe you absolutely must not. I don’t fall in either camp.

    Like

  88. Thank you all for replying. There’s lots of good food for thought here.

    To clarify as requested….

    Lydia,

    I totally agree with you that each of us should vote with our feet. We get to choose which people to support. We are supposed to judge them by their fruit—whether they are actually doing the work of the ministry or only self-proclaimed apostles, etc.

    We were discussing earlier how if you’re called to be a hand in the body of Christ you’ll naturally be attracted to wrist ministries and naturally feel like you don’t fit with shoulder, elbow and knee ministries. Therefore I’m NOT saying that anyone has to try to fit somewhere they feel they don’t belong. I would hope that everyone knows they are free to decide where to get involved. That’s why I shared that part of history about why we have freedom of religion built into the laws of our country.

    There seems to be some confusion here.

    You wrote
    “The church building is the temple in that thinking” (meaning believing in tithing)

    Nope.

    I totally agree with you that we are the temples of the Holy Spirit. That’s a fascinating thought. God could have chosen anyone to dwell inside of us—an angel, some other spiritual being—but God didn’t trust anyone to dwell inside of us but Himself.

    No pastor ever should try to usurp the Holy Spirit’s job in our lives. They are called to comfort the hurting, reach out to the lost, “feed” sheep and protect them from wolves. That’s totally different from the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

    Nowhere in the Bible does it say that you can’t have a church building. There’s a lot of different parts of the body of Christ. All I’m saying is that the home fellowship people and people who attend a brick and mortar church can’t say to each other “I don’t need you.”

    The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”
    1Cor 12:21 (NIV)

    Also, pastors shouldn’t be sitting inside an “office” for forty hours a week. Real pastors go outside the four walls to do the work of the ministry. Through the years, the people that I got to know who had the gift of pastoring—whether they had any title or not—you could always tell who actually had the pastoring gift because they were going out and doing ministry where people needed it the most.

    Case in point—there was a retired Anglican pastor who would spend his time going out and finding homeless teens. He would get them something to eat and just listen to them. Hear their thoughts. Let them vent. Counsel them. Help them get off the streets. Many times he was able to convince them to return home to their families. That’s the thing. Real pastors have the heart for people that drives them to reach outside of the four walls of the church even when they don’t have a pulpit anymore.

    That’s why I’m still trying to understand how some people believe that Jesus is the only pastor therefore there are no pastors. That doesn’t make sense when there’s a tremendous amount of work that needs to get done.

    Like

  89. Salty,

    I admire your heart for people. You’ve shared many powerful stories that help us understand how ministry works in the real world.

    None of us are saying that you have to support some self-proclaimed apostle. We’ve discussed the difference between the people that God calls and the people that exalt themselves. I’m just saying that there has to be at least one George Mueller/Gladys Alyward somewhere in the world that we can all find and support. Hopefully we can find several to support. Each part of the body of Christ is needed and needs all the other parts.

    By the way, thank you for recommending George Mueller’s biography. I highly recommend it as well. It’s pretty powerful. Once again, someone was doing the work of the ministry, trusting God to provide. How did God provide? Through other people. There were many people who contributed to Mueller’s work. God isn’t going to drop material goods out of the sky.

    Here’s the thing—we all believe in the concept of helping others and contributing towards the work of the ministry around the world. None of us want to burden anyone struggling under a difficult economy. But since we believe in the concept of sending laborers to the harvest, why would it be so offensive to believe in the idea of contributing ten percent? It’s not that much of our income. Most of us actually give more than that to charity anyway.

    Like

  90. Hi Avid 😊🙋

    “That’s why I’m still trying to understand how some people believe that Jesus is the only pastor therefore there are no pastors. That doesn’t make sense when there’s a tremendous amount of work that needs to get done.”

    If we can ignore 1700 years of pagan ‘christian’ tradition (called ‘church history’) and focus only on the Scriptures:

    The modern day pastor is no where to be found.

    The closest character you will find is a guy called Diotrephes. It’s not a positive report.

    Elders are all over the New Testament and as the word is an adjective which means AGED PERSON it is not a special category of super saint called Priest, Bishop, Pastor or capital E elder.

    It’s just an old fart.

    If you wanna step it up we could go to the list of qualifications for an AGED person who desire to exercise ‘oversight’ (counsel/shepherd/guide:- there’s your ‘pastor’)

    Name one Pastor in the religious world who meets those qualifications. As Amos has highlighted there are few who would come close.

    Surprise surprise.

    So the question is:

    Why are Christians so obsessed with having a man who does not meet the qualifications set forth in our textbook lording over us and doing menial tasks like ‘visiting the sick in hospitals’ etc… when we are all perfectly able to do such tasks ourselves.

    Hmmm…

    It’s easier to pay someone else to serve me.

    Why is it that many church goers never get to really know other people they attend ‘church’ with?

    Lack of care?

    Too busy?

    That’s what we pay that guy at the front for, right?

    Excuse my cynicism but we are the members which God uses to shepherd and burden carry.

    Not some guy who doesn’t exist in the Bible.

    And Avid.

    We have Jesus as our Shepherd because He said it was so.

    Look up every verse for shepherd in the NT.

    That’s your Pastor.

    Like

  91. doing menial tasks like ‘visiting the sick in hospitals’ etc…

    First of all, I don’t think that is a menial task. Second, absolutely people at church can and should be visiting people! But sometimes there is something comforting about a pastor specifically, whether that makes sense or not. There is a reason hospitals have chaplains, for that matter, who btw are also paid.

    Why is it that many church goers never get to really know other people they attend ‘church’ with?

    In good churches they do. But you won’t know everyone. You might miss someone who really needs that connection.

    Like

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