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Christianity Godfidence Theology

Biblical Church Leadership III

Continuing my posts on Biblical Church Leadership let me again warn the new reader that this is a continuation and it is recommended that you begin with the original post to fully understand the content.

WARNING: Up to this point most people will probably have been in agreement with the major thrust of this series, this is the place where we may part company however I ask you to leave me your comments so that we both may grow.

Plurality of Elders

There are only a few occasions where the term elder is used in the singular, and those include Peter and John (I Pet 5:1 and 2Jn 1:1 and 2Jn 1:1 respectively) referring to themselves as individuals, which would naturally be singular. Outside of those references we only find two other singular references to an elder:

a. An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Titus 1:6

b. Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. 20 Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning. I Tim 5:19

While there are many passages that show a plurality of elders, including plural elders in a singular church or location.

  1. Acts 11:30 This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.
  2. Acts 14:23 Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.
  3. Ac 20:17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church.
  4. Ac 21:18 On the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present.
  5. 1Ti 5:17 Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.
  6. Tit 1:5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are , and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you-
  7. Heb 13:7 Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.
  8. Heb 13:17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.
  9. Heb 13:24 Greet all those who rule over you, and all the saints. Those from Italy greet you.
  10. Jas 5:14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
  11. 1Pe 5:1 The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed:
  12. 1Pe 5:5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Ordination of Elders

It is simple to see how Christians became elders in the Bible; we see many places where Apostles or their delegates, Titus and Timothy, are sent to ordain elders. What that means may not be completely clear in the NIV notes Acts 14:23 this way:

Paul and Barnabas appointed elders Or Barnabas ordained elders; or Barnabas had elders elected for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.

Looking into the term for ordain[i], it is a term related to hand raising or voting. Although no other translation I read included this note or translated it in any way related to voting, a look into early church history reveals commands from the early church fathers to the churches to “Appoint for yourselves therefore bishops and deacons worthy of the Lord, men who are meek and not lovers of money, and true and approved”[ii]. This is dated back to the early second century. It is feasible that the Apostles selected the elders for the churches; although it isn’t inconceivable that the churches had input into the decision much like the deacons we see in Acts chapter 6.


[i] Strong’s Concordance GR#5500

[ii] Didache 15:1 http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/didache-lightfoot.html

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Through The Bible

Through the Bible: I am the Law

Judge DreadI have to admit, not that it is unusual, reading through the Law is not my favorite time of the year. I know there are a few loons who love this part but I don’t. Many thoughts run through my head while I read the over 600 rules and regulations of Leviticus: Thank God for Jesus fulfilling the law, how did they remember all that and these people are sick.

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News Politics

Tax Time

Tax ManI try to keep this blog as clear of politics as possible but it is the time of year I can’t help but vent.

Imagine if you will the scene at a grocery store where a woman has a two hundred and fifty dollar bill. She hands the cashier three hundred dollars to pay for said bill and when she receives her fifty dollars of change she shrieks “Oh, I have fifty dollars. I am so glad for this time because now I have more money.” The cashier and those around her look at her peculiarly as she dances away thrilled with her new found fortune.

This would be a strange event would you witness it but daily this time of year. People are thrilled to get their tax refund without realizing that it is nothing but change from a bill they have been paying all year. Only in this case the government holds your money all year so that they can earn the interest on it instead of allowing you to spend it on what you wish. This was started to bring in extra money to pay for WWI but has continued because according to the Department of Treasury:

This (withholding) greatly eased the collection of the tax for both the taxpayer and the Bureau of Internal Revenue. However, it also greatly reduced the taxpayer’s awareness of the amount of tax being collected, i.e. it reduced the transparency of the tax, which made it easier to raise taxes in the future. (History of the U.S. Tax System. U.S. Department of Treasury. Retrieved on 200610-31.)

Ask many people how much they pay in taxes and they have no idea or even worse they may say “None, I got a refund this year” not even realizing they have merely gotten change from a bill they have been forced to pay without their knowledge or even consent.

According to the Tax Foundation people work from January 1 until April 30 just to pay their taxes, one third of our labor is just to pay the taxes on that labor. And this date is getting latter and latter every year, but most people never realize it because they have been drugged with the chemical of withholdings. Wake up and pay attention to the amount of money taken from your pay check, the thousands in income tax, the hundreds in social security (you will NEVER see again), and hundreds more in other taxes.

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Entertainment

Friday Funny: Woman as explained by an engineer

Ok, I thought this was funny enough to post. If you have dial up you may not be able to download some of the images. If you click on the images you will be able to see the entire thing, I realize some of them have been cut off, I am to lazy to fix them.

Properties

FormulaChemical PropertiesControlShopping

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Christianity Godfidence Theology

Biblical Church Leadership II

LeadershipThis is a continuation of a previous post, if you haven’t read Biblical Church Leadership I suggest you first read it to make sure completely understand the context of this post.

Today we will examine the elder.

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Through The Bible

Through The Bible: I Found it.

Jouney Through The BibleWhen writing a previous Through The Bible post I made the following point:

Simeon and Levi are condemned by their father for their act of vengeance against the man, and his people, who raped their sister. So, their glorious mission of revenge is not condoned by their father, and their anger has lost them a great deal. However, if I am remembering them correctly from the last time I read the Bible it is the Levites willingness to fight that earns them another reward in the future. We will have to see when we get there.

When it was this week that I found what I was looking for in Exodus 32:29 Moses has just come down from the mountain and seen the wickedness of the people.

So he stood at the entrance to the camp and said, “Whoever is for the LORD, come to me.” And all the Levites rallied to him.

Then he said to them, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.'”The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died. 29 Then Moses said, “You have been set apart to the LORD today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and he has blessed you this day.”

The same Levi who was condemned by his father for his rash slaughter of an entire tribe is now ordained because he was willing to stand with the Lord and do the same thing. I believe later when explaining why the Levites will be the priest hood God recalls this day, if so I will point it out when we get there. Interestingly, standing with the Lord in this case was not an easy thing to do. I sometimes think in our Christ friendly culture it is far to easy to call yourself a Christian, as if we have lowered the bar on what it means to be a disciple of Christ. I believe God is still looking for people who will make him Lord of their lives to the point where nothing else matters. But wow do I think I am not prepared for that sometimes. I just pray God continues to have grace on me and change me to the point where I am ready to give all for the sake of His Gospel.

If you are reading on our schedule now please be strong, I understand that reading through Leviticus can be a bit tedious. Pray for God to reveal thing to you and at least help you to appreciate what it means that Jesus fulfilled the law and you are no longer bound to these ordinances. It is good to look back at where you have come from.

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Family Life Godfidence

Wow, answer to prayer!

Prayer HandsI have to add this post to my normal rotation because it was such a great day. I prayed today, more than normal, for God to open the doors for me to share the gospel, to remove the yellow from my back to walk through it and to give me the proper words in the event.

Well out of the blue today a co-worker asked me about which bible to buy because she hasn’t read it in a long time and want to read it for ‘educational purposes.’ She is pretty anti-church although God has used me drop a few seeds of pure Gospel into her life so this was a real surprise. I was able to talk to her about the word of God and I am continuing to pray that God will speak to her through his word and use me if he desires so that she can come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

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Videos

Friday Vids: The Greatest White Rapper

Move over Marshal Mathers…

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Christianity Godfidence Theology

Biblical Church Leadership

Apostle PaulI have recently started down a road of examining ecclesiology, or how the church is structured. Although I was taught a little about it in Bible College I have been challenged on the Biblical veracity of some of those teaching and so I began to study the concept. I understand that we all come into any conversation or study with tons of baggage and have done my best to come at this study objectively however I welcome any input you may have that could enlighten me on views I have not addressed.

With that I will jump right into some of the notes I took to get started, the words the Bible uses to address leadership in the local church.

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Through The Bible

Through the Bible: Insert Clever Title Here

I have to be honest, I am way behind with my reading and as I am hitting some very familiar territory, I am having trouble focusing because “I have read it before.” Then to top it off God begins to give the law this week, which isn’t the easiest stuff to read so I decided to try my hand a little historical fiction. I have thought all week about the exodus story. I wonder if we can truly see the story though out traditional lenses.

For instance, I wonder how the conversation went between Pharaoh and his magicians when the plagues began to hit. The Nile has just turned to blood before the eyes of Pharaoh and all of his officials. Pharaoh turns to his magicians and they repeat the plague turning water into blood themselves. Had I been Pharaoh I would have them executed, I didn’t want someone to repeat the plague, I would want it reversed. All they could do was add to the problem repeatedly, until they are not even able to do that. It appears that while Moses was receiving his instruction on how to consecrate Aaron, Aaron was molding a golden calf. Which speaks to me of God’s grace; God knew what Aaron would be up to still chose him to be the high priest of all Israel.

Unfortunately, this week will be a short post as I catch up on my reading and prayer.