Acts 6 and Church Decisions

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Acts 6 and Church Decisions

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James K's picture
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Meh.  The obvious poisoning

Meh.  The obvious poisoning the well and other conversational terrorism tactics were used.  I expected as much.  This whole series has simply repeated the same assumptions.  Apparently Kevin thinks that if you say it enough times it is true.  Surely a research effort should reflect better, um, research.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

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James K.

You wrote:

Apparently Kevin thinks that if you say it enough times it is true.

Some of us could say the same things about your position. You have continually ridiculed the congregationalist position without ever advancing your own positive case. 

TylerR is the Pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Divernon, Il. He blogs here

Jim's picture
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Still waiting

James K wrote:

Meh.  The obvious poisoning the well and other conversational terrorism tactics were used.  I expected as much.  This whole series has simply repeated the same assumptions.  Apparently Kevin thinks that if you say it enough times it is true.  Surely a research effort should reflect better, um, research.

Still waiting for your position .... 

 

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Tyler, I don't have to make a

Tyler, I don't have to make a case of what the Sun is made of to debunk those who think it is made of bacon.

Btw, if by congregationalists you mean autonomous, then I do believe in that.  If by congregationalist you mean church voting and other myths perpetually put forward by Kevin, then I would reject that.

Do this for me.  Kevin has stated over and over that the church defines doctrine according to Acts 15.  Read that passage to yourself and ask yourself who met to discuss the doctrinal dispute.  Then tell me where the (non-elders) church was and if they voted or made their voice heard prior to the announcement of the conclusion by one of the elders.  Pay careful attention to verses 4-6.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

Ted Bigelow's picture
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James is right, but don't

James is right, but don't take his word for it. Take Luke's: Acts 16:4

James K's picture
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Those who believe in voting,

Those who believe in voting, read each of the "proof" texts and ask yourself if it can be resolved without requiring a congregational vote.  Once you do that, ask yourself why you would keep forcing something not in the text upon the text.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

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This is what scares me

Throughout his lengthy ministry Pastor X regularly proclaims that there are no church votes in the New Testament. As a result, he makes all the decisions, sets his own salary and benefits as well as the salaries of staff/teachers. He appoints elders but none of them have any knowledge of the financial dealings of the church and the pastor is accountable to no one, except God, of course. After 50 years he hand picks his successor and the sheeple love to have it so.

Personally, I see a healthy tension between the shared responsibilities of leaders and the congregation.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

James K's picture
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Ron, the position is not

Ron, the position is not megalomaniac or congregational voting.  Anecdotal evidence for a bad pastor hardly justifies a manmade solution, like the one Kevin put forth.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

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Megalomania aside

In your scenario, who makes the decisions regarding salaries, benefits, pastoral succession, and selection of elders and deacons?

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

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Reality ... for majority of S/I members (guestimate)

Reality ... for majority of S/I members (guestimate)  ... some sort of voting takes place.

  • Probably at the very least affirming a call to a new pastor
  • Probably an annual budget vote AND
  • Some selection of officers. (Deacons / elders)

I know the "experience" word sounds like this poster is not concerned about the authority of Scripture, BUT ... I do believe congregational government best suits the NT teaching. Now back to experience. Congregational government works. It can be messy but it works.

Jim's picture
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When congregational government works well

When congregational government works well:

  • Mature, spiritual Christians (and when not the case ... gets very messy)
  • Informed voters
  • Leadership transparency
  • Financial transparency
  • Clear processes in place (like how deacons are vetted and elected)
  • Scheduled meetings
  • Enough time
  • Ballots for elections and budget voting

 

 

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Our church

Jim wrote:

Reality ... for majority of S/I members (guestimate)  ... some sort of voting takes place.

  • Probably at the very least affirming a call to a new pastor
  • Probably an annual budget vote AND
  • Some selection of officers. (Deacons / elders)

I know the "experience" word sounds like this poster is not concerned about the authority of Scripture, BUT ... I do believe congregational government best suits the NT teaching. Now back to experience. Congregational government works. It can be messy but it works.

In our church:

  • The elders present a pastoral candidate to the congregation for approval​
  • The elders/deacons collate budget requests and present a unified budget for approval 
  • The elders/deacons/women's council select candidates to add to the board, then put them through a rigorous screening process for about a year (sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on progress) for the congregation.  We then affirm (and annually reaffirm) each position at our annual meeting.  If something comes up that disqualifies a elder/deacon/woman's council member, it's addressed immediately and the congregation is informed afterwards.  If a Board member (elder/deacon/woman's council) gets two or more votes, the church provides an opportunity to meet with the people in question at a specified time and place in order to resolve it.  If the No voters don't come forward to address the issues, then they are dismissed as non-factual (since there's no verifiable evidence).

In every case, the congregation votes on the most important matters after the deacons/elders/women's council review whatever needs to be addressed first. It can get messy - esp. if someone has an issue with an elder or a pastor - but we are generally able to resolve issues as they arise and they don't become ignored elephants in the room or exploded bombshells in meetings.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

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Manmade solutions to manmade

Manmade solutions to manmade problems are not a great answer to whether or not something is biblical.  The ability to make it "work" is subjective and hardly worthy of what the NT explicitly teaches.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

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Do you have an answer?

James K wrote:

Manmade solutions to manmade problems are not a great answer to whether or not something is biblical.  The ability to make it "work" is subjective and hardly worthy of what the NT explicitly teaches.

 

I repeat my question. 

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan