The Teaching Office

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Phil Siefkes's picture
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Since 6/2/09 09:19:17
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Well said

Well said, Dr. Bauder. 

Discipling God's image-bearers to the glory of God.

Jim's picture
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Since 5/6/09 20:47:03
6853 posts
Programs with doctrinal components

Many churches have "bolt-on" programs with doctrinal components. Examples. AWANA and Growing Kids God's Way. 

  • Todd Mitchell has written a helpful review of the rewards culture of AWANA. I have concerns that they truly do not understand "believe". I wrote to AWANA HQ about this when I was a pastor and pointed out that there is a "commit" component to "believe" (seen in the translation of πιστεύω as "commit" in John 2:24). This was in response to AWANA material that specifically stated that "believe" does not mean "commit to"
  • Much has been written about Growing Kids God's Way (sample ... Google for more)
  • Same could be said for the financial improvement programs (Dave Ramsey
  • 20-40 years ago Gothard was the go to bolt on youth program! 

There should be pastoral oversight over all of these bolt-on programs. Just because they work and are popular doesn't mean they are doctrinally and methodologically sound. 

 

Jim's picture
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Since 5/6/09 20:47:03
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AWANA a "third rail" ... touch it and you are toast

AWANA a "third rail" ... touch it and you are toast

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Since 1/1/13 18:49:52
379 posts
Our church uses Kids for

Our church uses Kids for Truth. My kids have grown out of it now but I found it to be an excellent program. Doctrinally excellent.

TylerR's picture
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Since 9/7/12 14:42:56
1143 posts
AWANA

I have always had a big problem with the award culture in AWANA. If oversight is not controlled, the entire program quickly becomes about saying the most verses vice actual comprehension. In AWANA a while back, I had a young child perfectly recite Jn 3:16 to me. He'd already had a teacher sign his book. I asked him what it meant. He shrugged his shoulders and said, "I don't know!" 

This is not necessarily a fault of AWANA; but a Pastor must emphasize the goals of the program up front. It's not about AWANA bucks or trips to the AWANA Store, or about the prize at the end of year ceremony. It's about comprehension of the material and the Gospel. This goes back to Bauder's remark about responsibility for overseeing programs in the church. 

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

TylerR's picture
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Since 9/7/12 14:42:56
1143 posts
josh p

I thought heavily about using Kids4Truth this coming Fall for Bible Club. In the end, I decided against it. We bought their VBS for this Summer, and while I found the content fine, the layout and organization of the program is haphazard and amateurish. The program was very hard to understand. I wasn't impressed. I feared their Kids Club material would be the same. Tell me what you've experienced with it, if you would!

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

Greg Linscott's picture
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Since 5/22/09 14:27:02
2324 posts
K4T- quick response

We've used K4T for about 5 years here, as well as some of the time we were in Maine. I am very happy with the content, and the program itself is very customizable to your situation. The HQ staff is very easy to work with, and would be something I would consider a strength of using the materials.

The potential downsides:

  • The content strikes some as being very intensive, initially- in my experience, more the parents and workers than kids.
  • They provide a lot of content- probably more than you'll be able to squeeze in if you run Sept-May.
  • The lessons that teachers give to the kids again, strikes many as being pretty intensive. Some get overwhelmed, and struggle to relate it to children.

That being said, in my experience, kids adjust well to it, and the principles they retain provide an excellent doctrinal foundation upon which to build as they get older. 
If you want anything more than this, feel free to contact me!

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Ted Bigelow's picture
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Since 6/2/09 07:10:12
585 posts
Since When is Autonomy a Good Thing?

"Ultimately, the congregation must define the church’s doctrinal parameters."

Yes, that is true... in the congregational system.

But in Christianity, the apostles of Jesus Christ define the church's doctrinal parameters.

Kevin - you forgot Acts 16:4. If the congregational provided the ultimate approval at the business meeting, then why did Luke approve the apostles lying to all the brethren in Derbe and Lystra?

Rob Fall's picture
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Since 6/2/09 22:22:22
898 posts
Who do you

recognize as Apostles in 2014.

Ted Bigelow wrote:

SNIP

But in Christianity, the apostles of Jesus Christ define the church's doctrinal parameters.

SNIP

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Ted Bigelow's picture
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Since 6/2/09 07:10:12
585 posts
Who do you recognize?

Rob - the apostles in 2014 are the same apostles in the first century.

Jesus Christ made a promise to them by which they are the foundation of all Christian doctrine. Referring to the teaching ministry of His Holy Spirit to His own personally chosen apostles, Christ said, "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth" (John 16:13) . The "you' of this verse is not Kevin's church, but the apostles.

So those who believe Christ to be the Son of God incarnate believe the writings of His apostles to be all the truth, which are collected in the 27 books of the NT. These men's writings, and nothing else, are the ultimate parameters of doctrine, not the people of each church, as Kevin teaches (congregationalism).

If you accept what Kevin teaches you accept defection from Christ. His teaching not-so-subtly shifts submission to the apostles and the ministry they received directly from Christ to the people of one's church. Principally, it is no different than Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, or the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Hence, the authority in his religion defects from Jesus Christ's apostles to his own church, from God, to man.

 

James K's picture
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Since 8/29/10 19:10:56
909 posts
That is exactly right Ted.

That is exactly right Ted.  Kevin glossed right over Acts 16:4, which alone renders his entire article unhelpful.

Acts 15:6 - "Then the apostles and the elders assembled to consider this matter."

Acts 16:4 - "As they traveled through the towns, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders at Jerusalem for them to observe."

Who met to decide?  Who made the decision?  The apostles and elders.  Kevin apparently saw that the church welcomed them and therefore had a say in the matter.  No, as you see from the text, the church AGREED with the decision of the apostles and elders.

Kevin's series has reminded me the words of William Tyndale: “If God spare my life, ere many years pass, I will cause a boy that driveth the plow shall know more of the Scripture than thou dost."  The simple who know the text demonstrate more knowledge of the Scriptures than many "doctors" today.

Paul addressed the situation where the church sets doctrine and allows the preacher to preach within those parameters in 2 Tim 4:3.  I wonder how much error Kevin thinks the new pastor must operate within to maintain integrity.  Teaching the truth by permission of the church is the mantra now I guess.

I do understand that the situation Kevin has described in his series is necessary to perpetuate his employment, but it is worldly thinking rather than Christian thinking on these topics.  If Jesus is Lord of the church, then his words stand as the final word.  Kevin's wisdom runs contrary to the scriptures and has perpetuated a false method, which will only lead to more ruin.

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.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture
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Since 6/4/09 13:10:12
1726 posts
TylerR wrote:

TylerR wrote:

I thought heavily about using Kids4Truth this coming Fall for Bible Club. In the end, I decided against it. We bought their VBS for this Summer, and while I found the content fine, the layout and organization of the program is haphazard and amateurish. The program was very hard to understand. I wasn't impressed. I feared their Kids Club material would be the same. Tell me what you've experienced with it, if you would!

Tyler,

I've never used the VBS program - didn't even know there was one, but I introduced K4T to the church I was pastoring almost 10 years ago. Even though I have been out of the pulpit for some time now, my wife and I decided to continue using it as our base homeschool Bible material for our elementary aged children. I love the program for both the kids and the adults involved. As Greg mentioned, the younger children cannot use the program without parental involvement, but the same thing is true in Awana and with school homework. The most important difference I found between Awana and K4T was the focus. Awana is more of an evangelistic program, while K4T is most emphatically designed to be a discipleship program. That is a philosophical approach that agrees with my understanding of the purpose of the church. It is primarily for the saved, not for the lost. Of course, there are many other issues with Awana that started me looking for an alternative in the first place. Frankly, the program is a lot simpler to run than Awana, and it is very malleable as Greg noted.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

TylerR's picture
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Since 9/7/12 14:42:56
1143 posts
James K

This:

I do understand that the situation Kevin has described in his series is necessary to perpetuate his employment, but it is worldly thinking rather than Christian thinking on these topics.  If Jesus is Lord of the church, then his words stand as the final word.  Kevin's wisdom runs contrary to the scriptures and has perpetuated a false method, which will only lead to more ruin.

was a really cheap shot. 

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

James K's picture
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Since 8/29/10 19:10:56
909 posts
Tyler, I have addressed

Tyler, I have addressed multiple times how seminaries as currently run are hindering the local church.  When pastors are trained for years and are somehow still unable to train their own people as the NT says, then something is fundamentally wrong with the system.  There is nothing wrong with perpetuating employment.  It is only wrong if the system is wrong.

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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Since 6/2/09 08:08:04
884 posts
Don't Blame the Seminaries

I've been around long enough to see the result of churches that think they don't need seminaries. While most are in their second generation, a few are in their third. The first pastor passed the role to a second generation who was usually the youth pastor (a title that is another subject) that he trained. Many times that heir was also his son. Like copies of copies on an old Xerox machine, the next generation was slightly less brilliant than the original. I've yet to see any whose theology and methods were sound but they were "safe" because that's what the patriarch believed. Are seminaries perfect? Of course not. Is practical training in a local church setting a necessity? Certainly. Seminary training should be coupled with a meaningful internship.

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

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Since 1/24/13 00:47:27
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Priesthood of the believer anyone?

I agree that the lead pastor of the local church should have oversight of teaching within the church.   However, let's not forget the priesthood of the believer.   Every saint is a minister of the gospel.  As such every saint has a teaching role within the body of Christ.  

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Since 1/1/13 18:49:52
379 posts
Tyler, with respect to K4T I

Tyler, with respect to K4T I agree with Greg and Chip's assessments. My kids learned the material well and I was really impressed with the approach. To me AWANA seems like something closer to proof texts while K4T is exegetical and theological. IMHO it seems like kids need to learn theology just to deal with all the false things they will hear without the proper discernment and Bible knowledge to reject it. If however they know some basic theology then they have a stronger foundation. I believe K4T provides that. One thing that I found impressive is that it really emphasizes God's sovereignty in salvation and in all things. If you want to hear the creator explain his methodology check this out:

http://ccggrockford.org/childrens-ministry-as-biblical-discipleship-bob-...

DavidO's picture
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Since 5/3/10 10:36:03
814 posts
@Ted and James

So who are the pillar and ground of the truth?  Or does that verse refer to the institution, in your opinion?

I read Dr. Bauder's article and and understand it to mean that congregation holds today's pastor accountable to preach the doctrine they, the congregation, received from the last generation of teachers among them.  Presumably, this chain of doctrinal integrity would go all the way back to the apostles.  Although I'm not advocating any trail of this or that here. 

Of course, if there were a point of doctrine in the church confession that was erroneous, the elder(s), having met together and agreed on a correction, would be free to teach the congregation into the proper understanding, to the point that they would likely then vote to change the statement.  

I actually see Ted's articulation as closer to the Catholic mode than what Dr. Bauder espouses.  If the church doctrinal statement is, in practice, the personal theology of the pastor, then every time they get a new pastor, he will, like a little pope, issue new doctrinal edicts in his sermons.  

A confession jealously guarded by generation of members of the church who call pastors who conscientiously subscribe to said confession (which, of course, should be faithful to the doctrines of the apostles), guards better against an ad hoc popery.  

DavidO's picture
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Since 5/3/10 10:36:03
814 posts
a particular

One of the doctrines of the Apostles congregations really should hold their elders to is

The Lord's slave must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach, and patient, instructing his opponents with gentleness.

Ted Bigelow's picture
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Since 6/2/09 07:10:12
585 posts
who *are* the pillar and ground of the truth

Hey David - in 1 Tim. 3:15, "is" is singular not plural - leading me to prefer the institution of the church over the people of the church. This is confirmed for me by the context as 1 Tim. 3 defines the two offices in the institutional church, elders, and deacons. Also, do a gut check - when do the people of church prevent the institution from slipping into a denial of 3:16? I'm sure there are some rare cases, but by far, the typical case is the institutional leaders who do that. Look at the NT - who keeps the churches protected from the false teachers, but the leaders writings the letters telling the people what to do.

A confession jealously guarded by generation of members of the church who call pastors who conscientiously subscribe to said confession (which, of course, should be faithful to the doctrines of the apostles), guards better against an ad hoc popery. 

Agreed, brother, but not very real. Sheep follow shepherds, not vice versa. Churches will follow a man they love, even to hell.

One of the doctrines of the Apostles congregations really should hold their elders to is

The Lord's slave must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach, and patient, instructing his opponents with gentleness.

Probably better to see that more as a practice than a doctrine. But frequently congregations rebel against good and faithful shepherds who confront them for sin. Look at Corinth, and Paul and Timothy. Look around you today.

If eldership leaves you feeling vulnerable and congregationalism feeling protected, you might want to brush up on 1 Tim. 5:19-20, and weave into your meditation on that verse two things - how does this pattern of accusation/protection fit within congregationalism (it doesn't, imo), and how does it fit within eldership (it does, imo).

Blessings - T

 

 

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Since 5/6/09 20:45:47
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Not buying it

Ted Bigelow wrote:

If you accept what Kevin teaches you accept defection from Christ. His teaching not-so-subtly shifts submission to the apostles and the ministry they received directly from Christ to the people of one's church. Principally, it is no different than Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, or the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Hence, the authority in his religion defects from Jesus Christ's apostles to his own church, from God, to man.

If you honestly believe this is what Dr. Bauder is saying, you are ignorant and misunderstanding him.  Shame on you for misrepresenting him so.

"Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers" - I Timothy 5:1

 

 

"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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Since 5/6/09 20:45:47
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Maybe, but...

James K wrote:

Tyler, I have addressed multiple times how seminaries as currently run are hindering the local church.  When pastors are trained for years and are somehow still unable to train their own people as the NT says, then something is fundamentally wrong with the system.  There is nothing wrong with perpetuating employment.  It is only wrong if the system is wrong.

I don't think that is the fault of the seminaries - it's the fault of the pastors who are not training their own people.  It seems to me that you are misdiagnosing the problem.

"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

DavidO's picture
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Since 5/3/10 10:36:03
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Ted Bigelow wrote:Agreed,

Ted Bigelow wrote:
Agreed, brother, but not very real. Sheep follow shepherds, not vice versa. Churches will follow a man they love, even to hell.

Real enough that I've seen it happen.  And you make my point for me about which party is more likely to perpetrate ad hoc popery.  

Probably better to see that more as a practice than a doctrine. But frequently congregations rebel against good and faithful shepherds who confront them for sin. Look at Corinth, and Paul and Timothy. Look around you today.

You missed my point there, but that's OK, it wasn't primarily directed at you.  

If eldership leaves you feeling vulnerable and congregationalism feeling protected, you might want to brush up on 1 Tim. 5:19-20, and weave into your meditation on that verse two things - how does this pattern of accusation/protection fit within congregationalism (it doesn't, imo), and how does it fit within eldership (it does, imo).

My feelings.  Well.  

I'm very comfortable with a biblical, plural eldership.  I am not comfortable with stripping the congregation of its responsibility and authority.  I Tim 5:19-20 is completely compatible with a proper eldership that is held accountable by its congregation.  

 

 

[/quote]

James K's picture
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Since 8/29/10 19:10:56
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David, I am glad to see you

David, I am glad to see you agree with plural eldership.  Can you tell me which area of responsibility and authority Ted is stripping away from the church?

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.

James K's picture
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Since 8/29/10 19:10:56
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Jay wrote:

Jay wrote:

 

James K wrote:

 

Tyler, I have addressed multiple times how seminaries as currently run are hindering the local church.  When pastors are trained for years and are somehow still unable to train their own people as the NT says, then something is fundamentally wrong with the system.  There is nothing wrong with perpetuating employment.  It is only wrong if the system is wrong.

 

 

I don't think that is the fault of the seminaries - it's the fault of the pastors who are not training their own people.  It seems to me that you are misdiagnosing the problem.

Pastors are also to train faithful men.  This is part of their job.  If they are not doing this, then they are failing.  Many seminaries and their profs will argue that pastors are not equipped to train men.  The pastors need to send the men off to seminary.  So off goes Johnny to seminary.  He spends years and thousands learning how to be a pastor from a text book.  Johnny becomes pastor in a church.  After all the time and money spent, Johnny is unequipped to train men and must also send them to seminary for the real training.

Of course not every seminary is like that, but if you think that is too harsh of an assessment, I have interacted with several profs from the big fundy seminaries to verify that reality.

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.

DavidO's picture
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James K wrote:

James K wrote:

David, I am glad to see you agree with plural eldership.  Can you tell me which area of responsibility and authority Ted is stripping away from the church?

Holding elders accountable to preach proper doctrine.

James K's picture
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Since 8/29/10 19:10:56
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Jay wrote:

Jay wrote:

 

Ted Bigelow wrote:

 

If you accept what Kevin teaches you accept defection from Christ. His teaching not-so-subtly shifts submission to the apostles and the ministry they received directly from Christ to the people of one's church. Principally, it is no different than Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, or the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Hence, the authority in his religion defects from Jesus Christ's apostles to his own church, from God, to man.

 

 

If you honestly believe this is what Dr. Bauder is saying, you are ignorant and misunderstanding him.  Shame on you for misrepresenting him so.

"Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers" - I Timothy 5:1

 

 

Kevin's entire series has argued for a system that runs counter to NT theology.  The Lord of the church has spoken.  Kevin has offered an alternative.  How is it anything but a defection?

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.

James K's picture
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DavidO wrote:

DavidO wrote:

 

James K wrote:

 

David, I am glad to see you agree with plural eldership.  Can you tell me which area of responsibility and authority Ted is stripping away from the church?

 

 

Holding elders accountable to preach proper doctrine.

I was hoping you could provide some scripture that would support the idea that the church has doctrinal oversight of the elders.  This isn't the president and congress.  Which passage were you thinking of?

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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Since 5/6/09 20:45:47
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Disagree

James K wrote:
Kevin's entire series has argued for a system that runs counter to NT theology.  The Lord of the church has spoken.  Kevin has offered an alternative.  How is it anything but a defection?

First off, if the entire series is wrong, how come only two people on this site (you and Ted) see it?  Ted, in particular, repeatedly argued for his own system with little acceptance and buy-in from the rest of us, and who also repeatedly ducks the hard questions he's unable to answer?  Furthermore, I don't see Dr. Bauder advocating division or false doctrine.  I don't know the man, but from reading his stuff for over six years, I'd be very surprised if he did.

Secondly, if you're going to call Bauder a heretic - which is what you're doing when you say he is 'running counter to NT theology' - then I'm going to need to see your proof.  Basing your arguments from one passage in Acts that Bauder hasn't addressed isn't sufficient.  Even if Bauder ~IS~ wrong, you're still responsible to entreat him as a father and try to gently convince him of his error, which is why I posted the verse I did.  You don't do it by accusing him of heresy on a discussion board.  Have you tried to contact him directly?

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother". -Matthew 18:15

"As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned". -Titus 3:10-11

"But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere."  
- James 3:17

"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

Ted Bigelow's picture
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Since 6/2/09 07:10:12
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Who Ducks the Hard Questions?

Jay, I've answered the questions; but being an SI guy you just don't read them even after being entreated to do so time and again.

As for Kevin, his ecclesiology is staggeringly deficient. One single verse upends his posts on congregationalism. Don't condemn us. If you must condemn anyone, take it out on Luke, the author of Acts 16:4.

Kevin is a dear and beloved brother in the Lord. But his teaching on this matter ensures defection from Christ, though he would vehemently disagree. Yet, as I pointed out above, being a congregationalist, he has no precept in Scripture that teaches his system. Not a one. Not only is that a defection from the most basic Bible study principles - especially for how we determine church practices - he is teaching others both his same shallow methodology and then commanding others to practice the fruit of it in their churches.

Who ever taught a doctrine as biblical without a clear precept, except someone with an unbiblical agenda? And when it comes to ducking questions, who gets their articles posted on a blog and then doesn't reply to questions and criticisms?

Are we to be despised for calling attention to what Scripture does say?

So yes, defection, for Christ is the Lord of the Church. He clearly defines what a church is and how it functions in both precept and example in Holy Scripture.

 

DavidO's picture
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James K wrote:I was hoping

James K wrote:
I was hoping you could provide some scripture that would support the idea that the church has doctrinal oversight of the elders.  This isn't the president and congress.  Which passage were you thinking of?

Well let's back up.  Dr. Bauder has made a case for congregational election of officers.  I need not remake it.  Furthermore, I Cor 5/2 Cor 2 give example of congregations being (partly) responsible for discipline.  I'm being simple here for lack of time, but it follows that an elder teaching heterodoxy would be disciplined by the church.  Ted's excission of the congregational participation in the process referred to in I Tim 5:19,20 is unwarranted, given the implication of the above and other passages (Matt 18, for instance).

And frankly, his tone towards the sheep approaches condescension.

DavidO's picture
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Ted Bigelow wrote:As for

Ted Bigelow wrote:
As for Kevin, his ecclesiology is staggeringly deficient. One single verse upends his posts on congregationalism. Don't condemn us. If you must condemn anyone, take it out on Luke, the author of Acts 16:4.

To redirect, Dr. Bauder spent much of one article demonstrating that the congregation participated (Acts 15) along with the elders in determining doctrine.  Yes, they were led by the elders, but they gave approval as well.  That Acts 16:4 refers to that in a sort of partial way upends nothing.

Of course Jesus is Lord and King of the Church.  We are discussing a proper interpretation of the doctrine of the Apostles, not inventing new doctrine to supplant it.  If that's how we looked at it we'd turn your words around and call you the defector.  Note who has been reduced to name calling.

You post here.  But you're not a Sharper Iron guy because why?  So you can paste those here with whom you disagree with a handy epithet.  How becoming.

Ted Bigelow's picture
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Since 6/2/09 07:10:12
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Ted's excission of the

Ted's excission of the congregational participation in the process referred to in I Tim 5:19,20 is unwarranted, given the implication of the above and other passages

David - show where I taught excission. Otherwise it's just standard practice for SI - when you don't like what someone says, just accuse the person and deflect from the real issue, which is there is no precept for Bauder's congregationalism in Scripture, and his examples of it are refuted most easily. All the rest is noise.

And you are welcome to visit Grace Church and talk to "the sheep." We're real people.

DavidO's picture
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Ted Bigelow wrote:David -

Ted Bigelow wrote:
David - show where I taught excission.

Ted Bigelow wrote:
. . . brush up on 1 Tim. 5:19-20, and weave into your meditation on that verse two things - how does this pattern of accusation/protection fit within congregationalism (it doesn't, imo), and how does it fit within eldership (it does, imo). 

I made no slash and dash attack.  I made a brief but coherent argument.

I did charactarize your tone in referring to the capabilities of sheep, and your comments remain on display in the posts above as exhibits.  None need visit CT to investigate.

 

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Since 10/1/09 18:28:43
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Speaking for myself, I will

Speaking for myself, I will give Ted Bigelow an ounce of credibility on the day he credibly explains how he does not break his own rules (one church/one town) with his church in CT. This is a question he has ducked probably 20 times. Until then, I am not really inclined to pay much attention.

Ted Bigelow's picture
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but they gave approval as well

David - it's an important point critical to Bauder's thesis, that "they [the congregation] gave approval as well." Now you need to show why Acts 15:22 establishes governmental "approval" as opposed to just "going in along with." Remember, you are establishing church practice here, and the church belongs to Christ, so mere inference won't do.

You also need to show why Acts 16:4 refers to only "partial" authority (other than that it fits your view of Acts 15:22). What in the words of Acts 16:4 teaches partial authority? Think about it, friend. If the ultimate authority for establishing doctrine in the church were the congregation (as Bauder claims), and yet Acts 16:4 has Paul and Silas telling the churches of Derbe and Lystra that the decisions were made by the apostles and elders, then Paul and Silas were not telling the truth in who ultimately gave human authority to the council. Morever, they were being being unsubmissive to the ultimate authority of the churches of Derbe and Lystra​ as well since they did not reinforce the beliefs of those congregations that the ultimate human authority by which doctrine is established is by the congregation, not it's leaders.

Further, Paul and Silas delivered (gk: paradosis) to the churches the Council's decisions (gk: dogmata). If those decisions rested on the authority of the church in Jerusalem, why then were they binding on two other autonomous churches: "for them to observe"? Does your church receive decisions from other churches as binding?

Yet, the Galatian churches weren't free to vote on whether or not to accept those decisions for they came with an authority higher than those churches. To accept congregationalism one must believe the churches of Galatia, and all other churches, were free to accept or reject the "burdens" of Acts 15:29 based on congregational vote. Yet this directly violates the mandated obedience to the contents of the letter, a subjugating of Paul and Silas' authority under their own, and a rejection of Luke's words which required compliance at the end of Acts 16:4.

And if you are still getting caught up in the phrase "the whole church" in Acts 15:22, then consider this. Do you think that the people of the church in Jerusalem who believed in salvation-by-circumcision went along with the apostles and elders? If not, were they still a part of "the whole church" in Acts 15:22?

Or, we could believe Acts 16:4 as it is written.

 

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GregH wrote:

GregH wrote:

Speaking for myself, I will give Ted Bigelow an ounce of credibility on the day he credibly explains how he does not break his own rules (one church/one town) with his church in CT. This is a question he has ducked probably 20 times. Until then, I am not really inclined to pay much attention.

Greg, really? Kindly read Location, Location, Location, and the comments too. Just don't expect me to try to gain your credibility when I explain my self fully somewhere else and you don't read and interact with it.

 

BTW, what book(s) are you teaching at church?

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Ted Bigelow wrote:And if you

Ted Bigelow wrote:
And if you are still getting caught up in the phrase "the whole church" in Acts 15:22, then consider this. Do you think that the people of the church in Jerusalem who believed in salvation-by-circumcision went along with the apostles and elders? If not, were they still a part of "the whole church" in Acts 15:22?

Or, we could believe Acts 16:4 as it is written.

Ted, 

Do we still have apostles to consult with?  Is it possible (or even reasonable) for someone in Italy (much less America) to consult with a now-defunct church in Jerusalem in regards to local church polity?  Is it even desirable?  Does God give us any kind of hierarchy other than the one outlined in the Pastorals?

You're basing an awful lot of eccleisology on one verse.  And it's also one verse out of a book of transition that is not normative for NT believers.

"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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We are discussing a proper interpretation...

I tried to reason Scripture with you, David. I tried. When you are ready to discuss the actual passages in Scripture, and not simply make general assertions, I'll rejoin you. Otherwise I'm out.

[quote=DavidO]

 

You post here.  But you're not a Sharper Iron guy because why?  So you can paste those here with whom you disagree with a handy epithet.  How becoming.

 

Again, David, the point is not to slander and run (I am almost convinced you won't do otherwise), but to examine the argument and be a good Berean.

Kevin's ecclesiology is defective, easily disproven, and leads away from Christ. Ought I not show why, and where?

As to SI, join the 25,000 plus and read. Not enuf bona-fides? I think I have several other articles here as well.

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Just for kicks

Here are some of the hard questions Ted ducks, from the previous thread:

I think I would argue that the reiteration / command to raise up elders in the NT church is actually foreshadowed in the OT - in Deuteronomy, to be exact.  So if Moses had to divest himself of leadership responsibilities to ensure that the civil society of Israel functioned, even down to groups of fifties and tens (Deuteronomy 1:15), then I'm not sure why you seem to think that we only need one set of elders per city for our religious institutions.  Can you expand a little more? 

To which Ted said that it's taught in Titus 1:5.  So I pushed for more detail:

Follow-up question for you, since you want to talk Titus - Titus 1:5 refers to the elders in Crete, which is both an island of approx. 3,220 square miles, according to Wikipedia, and it's own distinct country.  If you are arguing (as you seem to) that there should only be one set of elders for the Roman province of Crete, then should there be only one set of elders for the United States?  If not, where do you draw the line that a new set of elders becomes necessary for the nation?  Also, if there are elders in Crete, then why did Paul and others appoint elders in Jerusalem, Ephesus, Philippi, and Antioch?

To which Ted never answered.  We did, however, begin a discussion on the novelty of his position, which others commented on as well:

If this is true, then why are you the only person on SI that sees it?  

The Bible doesn't give us ideas and patterns that are new to the interpreter over 2000 years later - it's clear and understandable, so long as someone is a Believer and has the HS dwelling within.  Yet I've never heard of this position outside of your teaching.  Why is that?

Rob Fall - interesting.  I think Jay's question is more like who has supported your view since the NT times.  From my reading of Baptist history, no one. 

TylerR - I believe Ted's problem is even worse than that. From my reading in ecclesiology, and a perusal of historical theology texts, I am not aware of anybody in history who has supported Ted's position. If somebody has, I honestly want to know. 

and at this point, I brought other passages into play:

Yes, that is exactly my point.  I've been through both Bible college and Seminary, and I've never heard of this position.  Furthermore, the NT authors repeatedly refer "to the churches":

Galatians 1:2 - and all the brothers who are with me, To the churches of Galatia:

1 Corinthians 16:1 - Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are todo.

1 Corinthians 7:17 - Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.

1 Thessalonians 2:14 - For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews,

Galatians 1:22 - And I was still unknown in person to the churches of Judea that are in Christ.

2 Corinthians 8:1 - We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia,

1 Corinthians 11:16 - If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.

2 Corinthians 8:24 - So give proof before the churches of your love and of our boasting about you to these men.

1 Corinthians 14:34 - the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says.

For me, there are two issues with this.  First is that this is a new(er) position in the development of theology in over 2000 years.  It's so new, actually, that more than a few of us - all of which have theological training - have never heard of it, with the exception of Watchman Nee.  Which is it's own kettle of fish :).

Ted then tried this argument out on Mark Snoeberger of DBTS, who wasn't impressed either.

Ted did pop back on, and someone noted this unspoken assumption of his (comment is excerpted):

Any additional body of believers in close proximity is a threat to the unity of the original body. 

Which then merited another follow-up question to Ted that is still unanswered:

I don't see this espoused anywhere in Scripture.  

Jesus clearly desires that all of our believers be and act as one (John 17).  Paul argues against unnecessary schisms in I Corinthians 1-3. Yet the presence of believers in close to proximity to another church is somehow a threat?  Doesn't that violate the teaching ofEphesians 4:1-5?

That makes no sense whatsoever.

So now we're doing the dance again.  And I stand by my original questions to Ted...but I'm not buying into it, and frankly am beginning to consider him a schismatic.

"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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Ted Bigelow wrote:Again,

Ted Bigelow wrote:
Again, David, the point is not to slander and run (I am almost convinced you won't do otherwise)

And please kindly show where I slander?

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Jay wrote:

Jay wrote:

 

James K wrote:

Kevin's entire series has argued for a system that runs counter to NT theology.  The Lord of the church has spoken.  Kevin has offered an alternative.  How is it anything but a defection?

 

First off, if the entire series is wrong, how come only two people on this site (you and Ted) see it?  Ted, in particular, repeatedly argued for his own system with little acceptance and buy-in from the rest of us, and who also repeatedly ducks the hard questions he's unable to answer?  Furthermore, I don't see Dr. Bauder advocating division or false doctrine.  I don't know the man, but from reading his stuff for over six years, I'd be very surprised if he did.

Secondly, if you're going to call Bauder a heretic - which is what you're doing when you say he is 'running counter to NT theology' - then I'm going to need to see your proof.  Basing your arguments from one passage in Acts that Bauder hasn't addressed isn't sufficient.  Even if Bauder ~IS~ wrong, you're still responsible to entreat him as a father and try to gently convince him of his error, which is why I posted the verse I did.  You don't do it by accusing him of heresy on a discussion board.  Have you tried to contact him directly?

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother". -Matthew 18:15

"As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned". -Titus 3:10-11

"But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere."  
- James 3:17

Jay, friend, we both know that truth is not determined by consensus.  I posted 2 verses that disprove Kevin's point.  His point is a major pillar in his system.  I don't think Kevin is maliciously trying to undermine the church.  I give him the benefit of the doubt in his intentions, but his doctrine is still full of error.  Since it is contrary to the NT, it is divisive.  Someone really is wrong about this.

I am not basing my arguments on something Bauder hasn't addressed.  Go back and read his articles where he engages Acts 15.  His latest article is just a rewording of previous posts.  Acts 15 ALONE disproves his point, but in case there was any doubt, Luke was explicit in Acts 16:4.

I fail to see how Matt 18 applies to internet discussions of those not in the same church.  I don't think Bauder is self-condemned, just ignorant on this matter.  Maybe be more clear with your James reference.

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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DavidO wrote:

DavidO wrote:

 

James K wrote:

I was hoping you could provide some scripture that would support the idea that the church has doctrinal oversight of the elders.  This isn't the president and congress.  Which passage were you thinking of?

 

Well let's back up.  Dr. Bauder has made a case for congregational election of officers.  I need not remake it.  Furthermore, I Cor 5/2 Cor 2 give example of congregations being (partly) responsible for discipline.  I'm being simple here for lack of time, but it follows that an elder teaching heterodoxy would be disciplined by the church.  Ted's excission of the congregational participation in the process referred to in I Tim 5:19,20 is unwarranted, given the implication of the above and other passages (Matt 18, for instance).

And frankly, his tone towards the sheep approaches condescension.

The closest thing one could argue is that deacons are nominated by the assembly.  Even in Acts 6, the apostles had to confirm them.  NEVER is an elder chosen by the congregation in the NT by example or precept.  Kevin managed to turn Acts 6 upside down and then beat up some poor passages until they cried out for mercy regarding the choosing of elders.  If you agree with that case, then you have a lower threshold for what constitutes good exegesis on this point than I do.

Regarding tone, I won't bother playing that game.  The sensibilities of one are not those of others.  Truth isn't beholden to the ability of the hearers to hear.

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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DavidO wrote:

DavidO wrote:

 

Ted Bigelow wrote:

As for Kevin, his ecclesiology is staggeringly deficient. One single verse upends his posts on congregationalism. Don't condemn us. If you must condemn anyone, take it out on Luke, the author of Acts 16:4.

 

To redirect, Dr. Bauder spent much of one article demonstrating that the congregation participated (Acts 15) along with the elders in determining doctrine.  Yes, they were led by the elders, but they gave approval as well.  That Acts 16:4 refers to that in a sort of partial way upends nothing.

Of course Jesus is Lord and King of the Church.  We are discussing a proper interpretation of the doctrine of the Apostles, not inventing new doctrine to supplant it.  If that's how we looked at it we'd turn your words around and call you the defector.  Note who has been reduced to name calling.

You post here.  But you're not a Sharper Iron guy because why?  So you can paste those here with whom you disagree with a handy epithet.  How becoming.

David, sadly this is the whole point.  Show me where in Acts 15 that the church participated in any kind of decision making or gave their approval.  This is like talking to presbos about infant baptism.  You believe it is there because you want it to be there because you have a system that is perpetuated on it being there.

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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Ted has another issue

I don't have time to find the exact quote, and I suppose Ted can correct me if I am mistaken, but when he was asked how he came to be recognized as a legitimate elder at Grace Church he could offer no other support than that he deemed himself worthy of that mantle. He cannot allow for the congregation to exercise such authority, for he denies that they have any right to do so, but in the method which he derives from his own unique interpretation of TItus 1, the only Biblical means by which a man may become an elder in a church is that he is appointed by one who has authority to do so. It would seem that Ted's view of elder-appointment would require either a landmark type of church succession or an unbroken episcopacy from the time of the apostles.

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Let's back up a second.

pvawter wrote:

I don't have time to find the exact quote, and I suppose Ted can correct me if I am mistaken, but when he was asked how he came to be recognized as a legitimate elder at Grace Church he could offer no other support than that he deemed himself worthy of that mantle. He cannot allow for the congregation to exercise such authority, for he denies that they have any right to do so, but in the method which he derives from his own unique interpretation of TItus 1, the only Biblical means by which a man may become an elder in a church is that he is appointed by one who has authority to do so. It would seem that Ted's view of elder-appointment would require either a landmark type of church succession or an unbroken episcopacy from the time of the apostles.

Yes, this is absolutely correct.  Here is the exchange that pvawter is thinking of:

Thanks, Jim.

In my case, it was sort of myself who "appointed" me. Then I, along with congregational testing and approval, appointed the other elders within several weeks. They have as much authority as I; I have no more than they. 

As for my appointment, not a good way to do it, but a horribly sin-filled group of men and women caused it. We had about 100 people who left a church and no one was questioning me as to whether I was qualified. We had about 20 men who had been extensively trained to evaluate church leadership by 1 Tim. 3 and Titus 1. That in small part caused the split.

Here's my position, though. If I had been less-than qualified my actions would have been high-handed sin against Jesus Christ. As for the other men who became elders, they were appointed by the qualification of Scripture. That process - how we did what we did - is probably what you want to evaluate/test for its merits. Good for you. May your tribe increase, Jim.

So too, when a congregation votes a man into pastorate/eldership/diaconate who is not qualified, it is the same high handed sin against Jesus Christ. The vote doesn't qualify a man to serve Jesus Christ any more than watching a Superman movie qualifies a man to fly. 

Now, JamesK said:

Jay, friend, we both know that truth is not determined by consensus.  I posted 2 verses that disprove Kevin's point.  His point is a major pillar in his system.  I don't think Kevin is maliciously trying to undermine the church.  I give him the benefit of the doubt in his intentions, but his doctrine is still full of error.  Since it is contrary to the NT, it is divisive.  Someone really is wrong about this.

James, I'm not saying that truth is determined by consensus.  Maybe I missed your verses earlier, so can you re-post them or give me a link and I'll re-examine them?

My issue is that you and Ted are both crediting Dr. Bauder with teaching theological error.  That's a serious charge, and if he is teaching error, then he becomes both divisive and a false teacher.  While I have no doubts about the sincerity of anyone on this board, I do think that if you're going to charge him with theological error, then at least call it what it is.  It's error, and the person bringing it is a heretic (at least as Merriam-Webster defines it).  So let's not play this game of 'he's a nice guy, but it's error and that's OK'.  Either it's heresy and should be shot down as such, or there's just differences of opinion that don't jeopardize doctrine.  Of course, you and Ted are the ones accusing him of teaching error.

"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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Jay, this is from my first

Jay, this is from my first post on here:

Acts 15:6 - "Then the apostles and the elders assembled to consider this matter."

Acts 16:4 - "As they traveled through the towns, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders at Jerusalem for them to observe."

Who met to decide?  Who made the decision?  The apostles and elders.  Kevin apparently saw that the church welcomed them and therefore had a say in the matter.  No, as you see from the text, the church AGREED with the decision of the apostles and elders.

I do believe it is heresy in the sense that it is divisive.  I would say the same thing about paedobaptism and amillennialism.  The apostles set up one correct doctrine on these matters.  I have responded to each of these articles for the precise purpose of explaining why I reject it and find it unbiblical.  This belief does has consequences that I believe harm the church and perpetuate manmade solutions.

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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Jay wrote:

Jay wrote:

Here are some of the hard questions Ted ducks, from the previous thread:

I think I would argue that the reiteration / command to raise up elders in the NT church is actually foreshadowed in the OT - in Deuteronomy, to be exact.  So if Moses had to divest himself of leadership responsibilities to ensure that the civil society of Israel functioned, even down to groups of fifties and tens (Deuteronomy 1:15), then I'm not sure why you seem to think that we only need one set of elders per city for our religious institutions.  Can you expand a little more? 

To which Ted said that it's taught in Titus 1:5.  So I pushed for more detail:

Follow-up question for you, since you want to talk Titus - Titus 1:5 refers to the elders in Crete, which is both an island of approx. 3,220 square miles, according to Wikipedia, and it's own distinct country.  If you are arguing (as you seem to) that there should only be one set of elders for the Roman province of Crete, then should there be only one set of elders for the United States?  If not, where do you draw the line that a new set of elders becomes necessary for the nation?  Also, if there are elders in Crete, then why did Paul and others appoint elders in Jerusalem, Ephesus, Philippi, and Antioch?

To which Ted never answered.  We did, however, begin a discussion on the novelty of his position, which others commented on as well:

If this is true, then why are you the only person on SI that sees it?  

The Bible doesn't give us ideas and patterns that are new to the interpreter over 2000 years later - it's clear and understandable, so long as someone is a Believer and has the HS dwelling within.  Yet I've never heard of this position outside of your teaching.  Why is that?

Rob Fall - interesting.  I think Jay's question is more like who has supported your view since the NT times.  From my reading of Baptist history, no one. 

TylerR - I believe Ted's problem is even worse than that. From my reading in ecclesiology, and a perusal of historical theology texts, I am not aware of anybody in history who has supported Ted's position. If somebody has, I honestly want to know. 

and at this point, I brought other passages into play:

Yes, that is exactly my point.  I've been through both Bible college and Seminary, and I've never heard of this position.  Furthermore, the NT authors repeatedly refer "to the churches":

Galatians 1:2 - and all the brothers who are with me, To the churches of Galatia:

1 Corinthians 16:1 - Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are todo.

1 Corinthians 7:17 - Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.

1 Thessalonians 2:14 - For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews,

Galatians 1:22 - And I was still unknown in person to the churches of Judea that are in Christ.

2 Corinthians 8:1 - We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia,

1 Corinthians 11:16 - If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.

2 Corinthians 8:24 - So give proof before the churches of your love and of our boasting about you to these men.

1 Corinthians 14:34 - the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says.

For me, there are two issues with this.  First is that this is a new(er) position in the development of theology in over 2000 years.  It's so new, actually, that more than a few of us - all of which have theological training - have never heard of it, with the exception of Watchman Nee.  Which is it's own kettle of fish :).

Ted then tried this argument out on Mark Snoeberger of DBTS, who wasn't impressed either.

Ted did pop back on, and someone noted this unspoken assumption of his (comment is excerpted):

Any additional body of believers in close proximity is a threat to the unity of the original body. 

Which then merited another follow-up question to Ted that is still unanswered:

I don't see this espoused anywhere in Scripture.  

Jesus clearly desires that all of our believers be and act as one (John 17).  Paul argues against unnecessary schisms in I Corinthians 1-3. Yet the presence of believers in close to proximity to another church is somehow a threat?  Doesn't that violate the teaching ofEphesians 4:1-5?

That makes no sense whatsoever.

So now we're doing the dance again.  And I stand by my original questions to Ted...but I'm not buying into it, and frankly am beginning to consider him a schismatic.

Jay - you had the hardest time following the simple things I was explaining in small comm boxes so I pointed you to articles on my web site. Yet you refused to read them. The world is bigger than SI. Do you even know what a schism is, and why I have devoted so much of my life to ending it?

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DavidO wrote:

And please kindly show where I slander?

 

"Ted's excission of the congregational participation in the process referred to in I Tim 5:19,20 is unwarranted" - I asked you to show me where I teach excission - never got that one answered.

"his tone towards the sheep approaches condescension." to which i invited you to visit the church and speak to the sheep I help shepherd. Instead of apologizing you simply referred to people on this web site, none of whom I shepherd.

"We are discussing a proper interpretation of the doctrine of the Apostles, not inventing new doctrine to supplant it.  If that's how we looked at it we'd turn your words around and call you the defector." I'm Inventing new doctrine?

"you can paste those here with whom you disagree with a handy epithet" - that I'm argumentative.

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pvawter wrote:

pvawter wrote:

I don't have time to find the exact quote, and I suppose Ted can correct me if I am mistaken, but when he was asked how he came to be recognized as a legitimate elder at Grace Church he could offer no other support than that he deemed himself worthy of that mantle. He cannot allow for the congregation to exercise such authority, for he denies that they have any right to do so, but in the method which he derives from his own unique interpretation of TItus 1, the only Biblical means by which a man may become an elder in a church is that he is appointed by one who has authority to do so. It would seem that Ted's view of elder-appointment would require either a landmark type of church succession or an unbroken episcopacy from the time of the apostles.

Dude, that's just plain sinful. You really don't know what you are talking about, are erroneous in virtually everything you assert, and utterly misrepresent me and my teaching. It is not to me to defend myself, but the same invitation to David is extended to you. Visit us. Talk to the church.

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