Democracy in Church???

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by TaliOrlando, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. TaliOrlando

    TaliOrlando
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    In some Churches any decisions are taken via Vote and in some the Pastor has the final authority??

    Which one is Biblical and which one is not???


    If a church believes that the pastor is the sole authority and he is the one that God placed so what he says goes... I mean he will listen to opinions but there will be no votes.. he makes the final decision is that from GOD.


    At the same time...

    If a church believes always in making votes on elected officials... is that right or wrong?

    Which one is Biblical ???
     
  2. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    Here are some examples of congregational action:

    Matthew 18:16 Jesus instructed the disciples to take a dispute with a brother to the congregation if it can't be resolved. The congregation is to pass judgment on the offending member.

    Acts 1 The congregation held its first business meeting to choose a successor to Judas.

    Acts 9:26 Paul went to Jerusalem and sought to join the congregation there. They were afraid of him and refused his effort to join them. Later Barnabas vouched for Paul and the church at Jerusalem accepted him. It was a congregational decision, not that of James, the pastor


    I Corinthians 5 Paul admonishes the church at Corinth to exclude a man from the congregation because of his sin. Paul's instruction was to the congregation, not the pastor.

    Acts 10:47 When the Holy Spirit fell on the people at Cornelius's house, Paul asked "can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?" This was not a church membership vote, but Peter basically took a vote on whethe to baptize them. Sort of "anybody here vote no?" Peter, one of the twelve, did not take it on himself approve baptizing the Gentiles there without first asking the approval of the others present.

    In none of these cases is the pastor instructed to do anything.



    .
     
  3. LeBuick

    LeBuick
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    I believe the Church is run by God. He has sent one to lead his people who is the Pastor. Just as Moses sought God and followed his divine leadership, so should the Pastor. Moses did not seek take any votes. The Church where you fellowship happens to be two separate entities existing under one name. It is a divine institution of God and a non-profit organization. The Divine institution is just that, God's, and should be lead by God.

    I have mixed opinions on the non-prifit organization which I won't share at this point. I will say this is all Man and none of God.

    This has to do with Church discipline and settling disputes in the Church. It is not about Church business.

    I don't know if this is a good example, they chose Mathias who was only "numbered" with the 12. I believe the Apostle that replaced Judas was Paul. I guess we'll know for sure when we see the 12 foundations of the city.

    God did send word to Anninias, the man of God. Giving testimony is not the same as Church business.


    Again, Chuch discipline.

    I view this very differently, sure the Jews felt the uncircumcized should not be baptized. After the sermon, the non jews praised God and spoke in tounges to show that they were obviously touched by the Holy Spirit. I believe Peter was syaing, "how can you deny that this is also their God" and was not seeking an approval of the membership to Baptize.

    Then what is the role of the Pastor, just to preach on Sunday?
     
  4. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    The rebellion toward Gods leadership in todays churches is astounding.
     
  5. webdog

    webdog
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    To answer the OP, neither congregational rule nor pastoral rule are biblical. The Bible is clear that a plurality of Elders are to run the church, with deacons falling under their authority. The congregation is to submit to the authority in the church...not be the authority, nor is it biblical for one man to make all of the decisions.
     
  6. J. Jump

    J. Jump
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    I would agree with webdog on this one. The problem that you run into with congregational rule, especially these days, is that you have at least the same number or more spiritually immature people voting and leading the direction of the church as you do spiritually mature.

    Congregational rule means every member of the church gets a vote, which includes kids.
     
  7. TaliOrlando

    TaliOrlando
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    What if in the believe statement of a church one of the main points is that the Pastor has the final word. The Pastor makes decisions and there is not debate because God appointed the pastors and called them for that purpose???
     
  8. LeBuick

    LeBuick
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    How do you choose this plurality of Elders? How do you determine how many Elders you should have? What is the criteria? Are the God appointed or chosen by Man?
     
  9. LeBuick

    LeBuick
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    This is what I referred to above where a Church is both a divine institution and a non-profit organization when you get into belief statements, constitutions etc...
     
  10. drfuss

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    Quote:
    "To answer the OP, neither congregational rule nor pastoral rule are biblical. The Bible is clear that a plurality of Elders are to run the church, with deacons falling under their authority. The congregation is to submit to the authority in the church...not be the authority, nor is it biblical for one man to make all of the decisions."

    I agree. There was no position of Pastor in the N.T. church, only a ministry of pastoring. Although this article was posted on another thread a while back, I will give it again for those who may not have seen it.

    www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=414.
     
  11. webdog

    webdog
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    Prayer and the same way it was done in Acts...pick a number of men (not all men, or everyone for that matter) in the church to determine the number of elders...and who should serve as such using the criteria for elders and deacons found in 1 timothy and Titus.
     
    #11 webdog, Sep 26, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2006
  12. Jerome

    Jerome
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    Was there a position of Bishop? I have noticed that elder-rule advocates almost uniformly prefer the term elder to the equally-biblical terms presbyterand bishop. Why is that?
     
  13. J. Jump

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    I would be EXTREMELY cautious of said church. Absolute power lying in the hands of one is dangerous these days unfortunately. As a pastor I would not want 100% authority as I am not "on" spiritually 100% of the time as is no other human being.
     
  14. LeBuick

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    Was what took place in the Acts correct and ordained by God or was Paul the replacement Apostle?

    There are many times when we as man take divine things into human hands.

    I guess I have trouble seeing the Church (the divine portion) as a democracy or even run by a board. I have said many times, I believe the example Jesus left for the Church is that of Sheep and Shepherd. There is no board or committee of shepherds, there is THE SHEPHERD.

    Yes, he would be a fool to believe in his human self he has all the answers but he is the one accountable to God. If the Sheep don't eat he is accountable. If the sheep stray or fall in a ditch, he is accountable? How can he be accountable if the sheep is going various directions because multiple people are doing the leading?
     
  15. webdog

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    I don't see where it was refuted, and since 2 Timothy 3:16 states that ALL Scripture is useful for teaching, correcting, training, etc. I would say that this would be the Scriptural model to follow. Your same argument is used by those who believe that females can be pastors in trying to question the requirements for elders and deacons in 1 Timothy 3.
     
  16. drfuss

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    Jerome writes:
    "Was there a position of Bishop? I have noticed that elder-rule advocates almost uniformly prefer the term elder to the equally-biblical terms presbyterand bishop. Why is that?"

    Because the scripture treats them as the same position, see the article I referenced in post #10.
     
  17. LeBuick

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    I think this is a bit deeper than that. In the end, there will be 12 foundations for the Apostles. I know Acts says man cast lots and chose Mathias, however, Paul repeatedly says Christ chose him. So this will have a real and final answer as opposed to female preachers, well that's another discussion.

    I do say and know Man often get's ahead of God thinking he isn't aware of the situation or that he needs us to move on his behalf. We pray and that is to make everything "God Blessed". I believe that's why the Lord said, "be still and know that I am GOD".
     
  18. Jerome

    Jerome
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    The author says bishop equals elder, but does not explain why he uses the term elder rather than bishop.
    Is there a reason to consistently use the term elder for that position when the Bible does not, and never does in the same context with deacons?
     
  19. LeBuick

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    I see people here implying an Elder is other than the preacher. Am I misunderstanding? I don't see that clearly in scripture. I do know there are times when Paul is saying elder in terms of being older than the younger but the position Elder is the Preacher which includes the Pastor.

    1 Peter 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
    2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
    3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
    4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

    1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
    18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.
    19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.
    20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

    These are both referring to the Preacher???
     
  20. drfuss

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    The N.T. does not speak of only one elder or preacher in a church. There was a group of elders with various gifts some of which were the preachers. The "obey those who have the rule over you" type scriptures never say "obey Him". It is always plural. Today we have the single pastor (or senior pastor) system. Since the N.T. churches had a group of elders type government, some of the scriptures are not directly applicable to our form of church government. The church has a constitution and bylaws to provide a balance in church government since we are not organized like the N.T. church.
     

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