A Biblical Perspective on the practical Functions of Eldership Please?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Onlybygrace, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. Onlybygrace

    Onlybygrace
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    I know that there were elders in the early church. I also know that there is a viewpoint that the term presbuteros relates to function rather than positon and can therefore be seen as one of the functions of the Pastor and not a seperate functional entity. I am not really keen at this point to enter a debate on plurality of eldership as that is a subject in itself.

    What I am interested in is viewpoints on the outworking of the title/function elder particaularly as it relates to decision making.

    Does an elder in his exercise of oversight have the biblical not traditional sanction to make arbitrary decisions of any kind? And if so what are the parameters of those decisions?
     
  2. The Archangel

    The Archangel
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    Here is a good resource for you:

    http://www.9marks.org/

    Here is the section on elders/leadership: http://marks.9marks.org/Mark9

    I hope you'll be able to find your answer there.

    Blessings,

    The Archangel
     
  3. Jerome

    Jerome
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    Yes, "ruling elders" are found in the Bible:
    Diotrephes [3 John]
    The Nicolaitans [Rev. 2]
     
  4. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    If you look at the biblical examples of such decision making, their appears to be no sanction for arbitray decisions by elders.

    In Acts 15, Peter, along with the apostles and the elders of the Jerusalem church, take up the matter of Gentile conversion. Peter speaks, Paul and Barnabus speak, and then James (the Lord's brother and persumably the chief elder/pastor of the church) gives his opinion.

    Scripture then tells us that "it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church...." that the letter concerning the accepted action be sent.

    There seems to be here an example of elders "leading" not "ruling" the church. The final decision being made before the entire body of believers.

    Hope that helps.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  5. Pastor David

    Pastor David
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    No Christian has the right to make any arbitrary decision - especially elders. All decisions should be thoughtfully and prayfully delibrated and implemented according to Scripture.
     
  6. Jerome

    Jerome
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    Be aware that when the old Baptist confessions speak of "bishops or elders", they are simply using biblical language; they were not approving of episcopal or presbyterian governance models or Baptist versions of either.
    Sadly, many modern Baptists are dumping biblical congregationalism for monarchical or oligarchical leadership.
     
  7. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    Heb 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
     
  8. Marcia

    Marcia
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    I think one of the problems with this issue is that in a lot of Baptist churches, deacons are really functioning as elders. In my church, the deacons are functionally both deacons and elders. They do make decisions about certain things, which is in their function as elders.

    I would think the deacons/elders need accountability as well - maybe to the pastor and Board of Trustees. And the pastor is accountable to them.
     
  9. Onlybygrace

    Onlybygrace
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    Ah...but the bible also says submit to one another out of reverence to Christ. We submit to leaders not because of their position but because of their Godly example and the fact that what they instruct us to do is true to the word of God. Eldership is a function not a position!
     

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