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Discussion in 'Forum for Polls' started by SaggyWoman, Aug 7, 2008.
How important is church government?
I believe that the failure of baptist churches to maintain a plurality of elders without ruling deacons has contributed to many church conflicts.
[Did I just write something that rhymes?]
Oops. I didn't think about choosing multiple options. Count one more vote for "not essential to salvation."
I have yet to find anything in the Bible about committees or boards. I do find info about pastors, preachers, elders, and deacons -
Church government has nothing to do with salvation, but it is still important. There probably is only one way that is right, in line with God's will for His church. But I don't know what that is, because I'm not sure any church has it 100% correct. Pastors and deacons are servants, and the body is to govern the individual church. A deacon board and pastor making all the decisions, including finical is not good. we visited a church where they did this and had only 1 business meeting a year. No accountability for the pastor and deacon board.
As for committees and boards, there has to be order, and committees provide that. Can you imagine everyone wanting a personal say, wanting their own way. A committee is not rulers of a church, they present whatever they are a committee of to the church, and the church decides, but they can know that the committee has looked at the different options, and find this the best.
And there certainly is nothing in scripture prohibiting them
I'd say this is true in some instances but not in all instances.
I voted other...
I believe there is only one head to the Church which is Christ. We have plenty of Biblical examples where the Lord has used a singular representative on behalf of His people such as Noah, Moses, Joshua, The judges, Kings etc... There were times when the Apostles discussed doctrine but we also know Paul didn't consult the others on every Epistle.
The template Jesus gave us for the Church is that of the sheep and shepherd relationship. There is only one shepherd ultimately responsible for the flock. You can only have confusion in this example if you have multiple shepherds and confusion is not of God. For this reason I believe in A singular Pastor who is very much and directly accountable to Christ who should greatly respect and welcome the views, opinions and input from the other Church leaders but in the end he is directly accountable to Christ.
I am sure Joshua didn't have majority vote to cross the Jordan in to the promise land. However, that was the Will of God. When others gave input the Word of God was not followed completely and now we have the war in the middle east to this day.
None of this has anything to do with Salvation except the Church is Christ bride and consist of His people.
The only "government" in churches that I'm used to is where all the members have an equal say with meetings and voting on decisions.
I am about to begin teaching, for the third time, the course in Baptist Polity at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. There are always a good many Baptist students at this United Methodist seminary, and the course in Baptist Polity is eagerly awaited by some of them, particularly those who seek American Baptist credentials.
There is a theme that runs through my course; indeed I just about ask the students to memorize it:
Pastoral authority without the informed involvement of Christ's people is tyranny; but church government by nothing more than majority rule leads to ineffectiveness.
Between the two poles implied in that statement lie many discussions about the grounding of authority in the congregation itself (obviously assuming that ultimately it is Christ who is the Lord of the church, but how is His will communicated?). And then the discussions about organizing for mission and not just for self-perpetuation.
If there is anyone who would find my syllabus helpful -- it contains a good bibliography on church government as well as an outline that at least hints at what I will be teaching -- I would be glad to share an electronic copy. Email me privately via the Baptist Board system.
i sent you a PM since I wasn't smart enough to figure out that email system.
I agree with your statement, it is almost like a body, the head might be in charge and makes the final decisions but it very much needs input from the rest of the body or you may over do it...
:thumbs: I agree.