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Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, Jan 27, 2013.
Should a man be able to serve as a deacon and an elder at the same time?
William Rider (first pastor of what came to be Metropolitan Tabernacle Baptist Church, London) in 1656:
"in the word Elders is comprehended all officers in the Church . . . and so Elders is distinguished into several offices in the Church, as Bishops and Deacons"
Benjamin Keach (prominent signer of the 1689 LBC) in 1701:
"Moreover, the Deacons are to be helps in Government. Some think Paul calls the Deacons Elders, when he speaks of Elders that rule well [I Tim. 5:17] (as our Annotators observe)"
SBTS's Greg Wills, "The Church: Baptists and Their Churches in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries":
"Many of these held that the pastor and deacons jointly constituted the eldership. South Carolina’s Tyger River Baptist Association, for example, judged in 1835 that "the eldership of the church" consisted of "the ministers and deacons."
Shaftsbury Baptist Association, 1804 Circular Letter:
"[Bishops and Deacons] are both called Elders. . . .By these Elders, we understand Bishops and Deacons; and we have not learned from the scriptures, but that these two are the only officers to be ordained in the Christian Church."
American Baptist Magazine, 1829:
"The term elder was, probably, a general term equivalent to our word officer; and thus it could be applied to a pastor, or to a deacon ; and the elders of a church included the pastor or pastors and the deacons."
The Sword and Trowel, 1866:
"the term elder is applied both to bishops and deacons. This might be supposed to prove too much, as though there had been no separate offices in the Church. It goes, in fact, just to the extent we require, that distinct officers were recognized by the Church, but they were lovingly blended together. There was no contention about a name as expressive of an authority, which it would have been sacrilege for others to invade."
An interesting thread/question.
Since I've never attended a church without leadership titled pastor and deacons. Always thought that the pastor and deacons were the "elders" (leadership) of the church. A Baptist church -- As desginated roles and corresponding responsbilities may be different in belief systems.
So, it will be interesting to see how this thread evolves.
Only if the person is insane!!!
If we draw a distinction, and I believe we should, between elders as the leadership and deacons as servants freeing up the elders to do what is more important for their ministry, then it would appear counterproductive to be both.
Having said that, even oldtimer pointed out that the terms get blurred in many baptist churches and so the function of deacons is less about service and more about leadership. If that is the case, then why not be both.
My church (just became an elder), we stress the leadership of the elder and service of the deacon. It functions quite well. But no elder would do (or want to do) the ministry of a deacon because that would conflict with the entire point of having deacons in the first place (assuming Acts 6 is insinuating the beginnings of the role of deacons).
Is your church a Baptist church?
I believe the elder is the preacher/pastor. The office of deacon was established at the request of the Apostles:
1. And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
2. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
3. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
4. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
So I would say an elder should not serve as a deacon. What I have seen of deacons they are pretty much useless except they serve communion. And there are pastors who do nothing but preach 2-3 services a week. No visitation, no funerals, no anything; and they draw a hefty pay check.
Not the one I'm serving in while in Honduras. It is an international, interdenominational church... (but I am also a member of an SBC church in the states)
We have a Brother who was ordained a Deacon about three years ago. Later on, he announced his calling to preach God's Word. He isn't ordained as an Elder yet, but has been "set aside/liberated", and is still in his role of being a Deacon. If I am remembering correctly, in the ORB, in such cases, they can be in this dual role, seeing that both an Elder and Deacon can serve the Lord's table during communion.
NO, for the Biblical example was that Elders were also called pastors/Bishops, and the Apsotles seem to view themselves as seperate/distinct from the position of Deacons...
I tend to see the Elders as Pastors/elders, accountible to God for the spiritual leadership in a church, while Deacons more the day to day like maintanence of the church ..