"Either the congregation or the pastor can create an imbalance by seeking to usurp the authority that rightly belongs to the other"

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Ted Bigelow's picture

Kevin writes,

Under Christ, the local church of the New Testament operates with dual authority.

But Kevin, how do you know that?

When you wrote that same sentence in last week's post, it was corrected by the very book you were claiming it was taught in, 3 John.

You then claim,

It admits members, disciplines them when they err, and restores them to fellowship when they repent.

How do you know that?

When you wrote the same thing (last week's post), you were shown in 3 John that Diotrephes sinfully threw members out by his own authority, and that "the elder," once he came, would restore them to membership by his own authority. And all of this authority to discipline or restore members is shown in 3 John without any reference whatsoever to the congregation. See, here's the book in the NT that deals with those two membership issues most clearly, but it appears you have an alternative authority than Scripture.

Then you wrote,

On the other hand, the pastor (or pastors—the number is not the issue)

How do you know that?

Is there a book (or person) other than the New Testament that taught you this? After all, in the New Testament there is not one example of a church with a single pastor, but only examples of churches with multiple pastors (i.e., Acts 20:17, 28). And when the apostles wrote precepts for pastors in churches, the precepts always refer to pastors in the plural (i.e., Titus 1:5, 1 Tim. 5:17). Why, you even noted some of them (Heb. 13:17, 1 Thess. 5:12). Was it awkward to note those references to plural pastors when yet applying them to something they don't refer to - churches with a single pastor?

Kevin, you don't want elders that rule, right? So you only discuss their teaching office to support your dual authority thesis:

The New Testament clearly teaches that the office of pastor-bishop-elder is the teaching office of the church. It exercises a unique spiritual authority. For example, the church is told to respect and love those whose duty is to warn them (1 Thess. 5:12). 

If you love the NT, why would you chop up 1 Thess. 5:12 - you skip over the first two duties pastors have and only mention the last - "warning." Could it be because the first two don't fit your ecclesiology: "labor" and "have charge over"? Do you love 1 Tim. 5:17?

Kevin, brother, it seems that you do indeed believe in a dual authority for churches - but are either of those authorities the inspired writings of the apostles and prophets?

James K's picture

An emasculated pastor and rebellious congregation keep all the people from biblical literacy and the need to look to professors to do their job.

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

James K wrote:

An emasculated pastor and rebellious congregation keep all the people from biblical literacy and the need to look to professors to do their job.

No, I feel quite certain that Kevin sincerely desires to be as helpful as he can be to pastors and churches. We owe him our love, the kind that "believes all things."

Phil Siefkes's picture

Dr. Bauder is to be commended for his wise and Biblical reminders on this topic. This healthy repetition is what we should expect from a man in his position.

I may not always agree with Dr. Bauder, but to impugn his motives is simply not Christlike.

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