Ecclesiology

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Repent-or-Burn, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. Repent-or-Burn

    Repent-or-Burn
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    I've heard the statement that the ekklesia of God must needs have eldership over it. Can anyone make the argument, from scripture?

    Thanks.
     
  2. The Archangel

    The Archangel
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    Here are two articles by Mark Dever, Pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC.

    Should a Church Have Elders?


    Baptists and Elders


    Both of these articles are from the 9 Marks website and are well worth the read.
     
  3. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    The ekklesia which I serve does have an elder over it. We call him our pastor. On occasion I tease him and call him Bishop.

    Some Baptist churches, such as Mark Dever's, have gone to the elder-led church government, with a plurality of elders. I think there is some Biblical support for that where circumstances warrant, but I'm not ready to support it as something all Baptist churches should do.

    I'm still basically a pastor and deacon kind of guy.
     
  4. Johnv

    Johnv
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    The setup of church government isn't a matter of a scriptural "do this or else" mandate. It's a matter of practicality. Scripture gives some guidelines, and churches are welcome to adopt and apply those guidelines to accommodate what worls for them. If they have deadons, or deacons and elders, whether they choose a more presbyterian setup, or more of a congregational setup, that's entirely up to them how they choose to run their church.
     
  5. Shortandy

    Shortandy
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    If your church is like most baptist churches the deacons serve more as elders than deacons anyway. In the baptist churches I have served in the deacons made decisions; both physical and spiritual ones for the church. Yet this is not the role of a deacon in scripture; they are to be servants and nothing more. So how you feel about multiple elders doesn't matter because you probably have them already....but without the title.
     
  6. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    There's no question that in many Baptist churches deacons exercise great influence and power, and consider themselves as a sort of governing board.

    In my church, we have gone to great lengths to dispel any notion that we run the church. We consider ourselves servants, no more. However, our congregation has assigned the deacons certain tasks. But it has also assigned certain tasks to our Finance Committee, our House and Grounds committee and the Lord's Supper Committee.

    Yes, some deacon bodies act like elders. Ours tries not to. But we may not be like most Baptist churches in that regard.
     
  7. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    Good post! And since as Jesus said that the path to leadership is servanthood, it stands to reason that the Deacons who are servants will be leaders.

    I am blessed to have a great group of deacons. Each of them serve the Lord and the church. Because of their servant's heart and attitude, we discuss what in Mark Dever's church would be elder like decisions.
     
  8. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    Here's my take on how deacon bodies wind up being deacon boards which act like ruling elders:

    Ideally, deacons should be, and most are, wise and spiritually mature men. Their election reflects a confidence in them by the congregation. It is natural that the congregation should listen when these men speak, or give an opinion.

    So I suspect in many cases, the congregation simply gave the deacons some responsibilities, and with them came the authority to get them done.

    You can see where I'm going with this. There are not many steps between being a deacon body and a deacon board.

    What were the wisest men in the church morphs into men who think they're smarter than most--including the pastor.
     

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