Baptist No longer a Church Democracy, We Are Now a Theocracy?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by govteach51, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. govteach51

    govteach51
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    I believe in God's guidance in church votes, but my preacher this morning gave a sermon saying we are no longer a democracy as Baptists, we are now a theocracy....didn't we learn anything from the Munster Incident?
     
  2. Alive in Christ

    Alive in Christ
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    A'hem.

    What is the Munster incident?
     
  3. freeatlast

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    I don't know what the " Munster Incident" was but I do not believe that the Lord EVER intended the church to be a democracy. I cannot find that in scripture any place. We are to be lead by our shepherds, pastors bishops elders or what ever we call them but there is no evidence that the congregations were ever to take part in leading the church. Shepherds lead and sheep follow. Sheep do not vote.
     
  4. Crabtownboy

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    Many do not know their history and have no idea what you mean by the Munster incident. It was a horrible example of over zealous folk and created a theocracy. May it never ben repeated.

    The pastor who preached the sermon, did he say who is to be the Baptist spokesman for God? Is he, the pastor, the spokesman?

    I'd look for another church.
     
  5. Ruiz

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    There are two points. First, Munster was wrong and I doubt your Pastor was saying that today.

    Secondly, the church of God, not secular government, should be a theocracy--run by God in accordance to His laws. This is nothing like Munster.

    BTW, I do not see democracy found anywhere in Scripture. This is mostly an invention in American churches.
     
  6. Crabtownboy

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    Ruiz, who would speak for God in the local church? Just curious, not bating or arguing.
     
  7. nodak

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    One of the cardinal teachings of Baptists for many years was soul freedom.

    Folks, you are putting yourselves back under the priesthood of man.

    Just wait til all those who believe they are in authority now--aren't.

    Bet they will cry foul!

    Please read some e y mullins, some fisher humphries, some shurden.

    We're selling our souls for a mess of pottage.

    And regarding "obeying those in authority over us"--the greek isn't obey like you obey the police or children obey parents. It is an exhortation to trust based on the fruits said "authority" produces.

    So since Jesus told us the chief would be the servant of all, not lording it over others, the desire to rule would be the first foul fruit sending me running.

    Obey Jesus, not man.
     
  8. govteach51

    govteach51
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    I have to agree. Have read Fisher Humphries and Mullins when I was in seminary and one of the major traditional beliefs of being a Baptist was the "Priesthood of the Believer." If you have to be lead, we may as well be Anglicans or Catholics.
    I have literally been torn up by the sermon today. What has become of the Baptists?
     
  9. Don

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    Sheep cannot vote, not "do not." I would also caution that we have only one shepherd.

    What is your viewpoint on the priesthood of the believer? Or, as some call it, freedom of conscience or soul liberty?
     
  10. freeatlast

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    I suppose it depends on the sheep.
    I don't want to highjack the thread. Please start your own on that subject and I will respond.
     
  11. Don

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    Actually, it's quite relevant to this thread. If there is no priesthood of the believer (i.e., our individual responsibility for our relationship with God, which extends to how we conduct and have worship with others), then you're correct that we are supposed to do nothing of our own volition, and simply follow what our pastors/elders teach us.

    If we do have an individual responsibility for our relationship with God, then there's a problem with your premise.
     
  12. quantumfaith

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    FAL, pastors are to LEAD the church (local congregation) not RULE the congregation. I hope you agree that there is a difference.
     
  13. freeatlast

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    Like I said so as not to highjack the thread start your own and I wll reply.
     
  14. freeatlast

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    I fail to understand why you feel the need to ask when you quote exactly what I wrote. Strange! If by chance you did not read the quote may I refer you back to it.
     
  15. Ruiz

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    The official representatives of the congregation are the elders. They have been entrusted with the oracles of God in maintaining doctrine and practice within the church.
     
  16. Ruiz

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    We are to submit to our Elders... according to the BIble. Every Protestant believes in the priesthood of the believer, but the 1800's radical interpretation of individualism is neither Biblical nor an honest dealing with the text. Yes, we are priests and yes we are to submit to our Elders and give those Elders double honor as they look out for our souls. Radical individualism found in the modern Soul Freedom movement rejects much of the latter while Catholics reject the former.
     
  17. righteousdude2

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    Sad...

    ...if this is true, it is a sad day for the church as a whole!

    As for the Munster Incident....is that the 60's black and white sit-com that didn't last that many seasons?
     
  18. Tom Butler

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    Most Baptist churches I know about do not have pure democracies, where the church has all the authority. Most Baptist churches consider the pastor (elder) as "chief among equals." He is accorded honor, given extensive authority that goes with being pastor. My congregation delegates authority to its committees to recommend actions to the church.

    Sometimes committees and individuals are authorized to act unilaterally for the church.

    My congregation, for instance, approves the music budget for the year. Once it is approved, I may spend every penny of it without going back to the church. The spending decisions are mine alone.

    Our trustees also function as the House and Grounds Committee. They are given broad authority to do what is necessary to keep the church in good repair, the vehicles running, and the ground looking neat. The church expects them to make those decisions.

    My pastor has the authority (as pastor) to set dates for revivals, the arrange the church calendar among other things. He alone will determine who fill fill the pulpit. He will have strong input into hiring of church staff, since he is the head of the staff.

    Elder rule does not constitute a theocracy, whether it's a single elder (pastor) or multiple elders.

    Even God had Moses, and told him to delegate authority to tribal judges and administrators.

    Even at Jerusalem, the congregation chose the deacons, at the direction of the apostles. The apostles did not choose them.

    The congregation at Jerusalem chose a successor to Judas, at the direction of the apostles. The apostles did not choose Matthias.

    However a church sets up its government, it is always shared power and responsibility, and ideally God's guidance will be sought for vision and direction.
     
  19. dh1948

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    Excellent reply! Thank you.
     
  20. Don

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    Several others have responded regarding the subject; they apparently don't consider it as hijacking the thread, but an integral part of the answer.
     

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