How much authority does your local church have?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by evangelist6589, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    http://www.onthebox.us/2012/06/evangelists-responsibility-to-local.html

    I do agree with this blog article to a degree. However unless I am reading him incorrectly is he trying to say that if I go out on the streets and open air and do not notify my pastors then I am in error? Our church does not operate this way. People are equipped for the works of the ministry and the people go out and create their evangelism missions.


    John
     
  2. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
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    John:

    Not sure about the details concerning your link's situation, but here's my $0.02 ----

    There is a sense in which the local church has some authority in some areas of an individual's life, but I personally don't think that what you're talking about is within a local church's realm of authority.

    I can see maybe explaining to a pastor what you are trying to do, but I fail to see that you'd necessarily have to "clear it" with him (or whatever your church's particular "power structure" may be).

    Where I'm a member ( www.lighthouseministries.org ), the "powers that be" have for several years now released her members to do whatever they want to (within sensible limits) in order to reach out to others. Maybe it's a "kindness outreach" wherein we do some simple but needly things for those who are less fortunate than we may be.

    OTOH, it may involve what may ultimately become a separate "church plant" such as what we've done in an area of Nashville where there's plenty of refugees and other displaced people from all over the world who maybe have never heard the Gospel.

    Your situation may be different than ours depending on where you live, etc. We are in a transient area of the city of Nashville; you may (for example) be in a less heavily-populated area or one that has a different demograohic than ours.

    Whatever you firmly believe the Lord has called you to do (w/in the confines of the NT principles of course), then I say "Go for it," but I'd advise you to at least let your pastor know what you're doing & why. If he's got a problem w/ it, then, for the most part, that's HIS problem, not yours.

    We sometimes try to box others into a mold that really shouldn't exist. A wise old brother in Christ once told me that he knows what the "Seven Last Words of the Church" are:

    "We've Never Done It That Way Before!!"

    Unfortunately, in many cases today (& I'd add, to our shame), what he said is so true true.
     
  3. evangelist6589

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    Thanks brother. The person arguing and advertising this article on FB is I recall of a Reformed mindset and I am of a Dispensationalist mindset. I told him his views do not hold water in my church.

    My leader knows what I am doing as I have asked for prayer before. They have no problem with it. Some reformed think one has to be "ordained" to open air of which I strongly disagree. Was John Bunyan ordained when he preached in his jail? No. However I think some women take it too far and think they could never open air on the street because they Biblically cant preach in the church. I do not agree as being a evangelist on the street is not in the church.

    John


     
  4. Don

    Don
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    Agreed; go for broke. It's a nicety to let the pastor know what you're doing; the only time I'd consider it a necessity is if you're specifically doing it in the name of or as a representative of a particular church or pastor.
     
  5. MorseOp

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    It is not an issue of Reformed vs. Dispensational. There are Dispensational churches that view the authority of the church the same way as their Reformed counterparts. The church does not have the authority to come into your home and tell you what breakfast cereal to eat or whether you have the freedom to dress your kids in cotton clothing. It cannot tell you when to pray or what books to read. But what if you are publicly acting in the name of the LORD? I take it that the OP is written by a person who does open air evangelism. If you are in sync with the leadership of your church then they should actually be blessing your work, not seeking to oppose it. But what if a person is misrepresenting the Gospel? In that case the pastor and elders of the church have a responsibility to correct that error. If the individual refuses the correction then church discipline can become progressive.

    It is a good idea to seek the blessing of your pastor and elders when engaged in public ministry. They should be thrilled to hear about a person who wants to share the gospel or perform a service work. Let them come along side and pray for you; possibly even provide assistance. When people start fearing their churches either they have a wrong idea of the church or the church has a wrong idea of its role.
     
  6. ktn4eg

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    I believe that in some (not ALL, mind you) cases pastor(s)/elder(s) have become control freaks in that absolutely everything done by any member of his/their church has to have his/their ongoing approval and supervision.

    If they're so afraid that "something may go wrong," then I attribute that to his/their failure to properly educate his/their membership.

    When I had the audacity to bring this up on another internet forum, I was summarily (and without any prior warning) PERMANENTLY BANNED from that forum. I say, let that action speak for itself!
     
  7. Tom Butler

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    I'm of the mind that if one feels God leading into a ministry of some kind, that he do more than just inform his pastor and his church.

    This is more than just having some accountability to a local church; it is a matter of having an entire congregation's support, becoming part of its outreach and evangelism efforts.

    Every Independent Baptist missionary (think John of Japan, for one), purposely seeks support from local churches. Southern Baptists have a different method, but in each case there is some accountability, and a huge amount of support.

    I frankly would be a bit leery of some lone squirrel who wants to do ministry independently of his own congregation.

    Now, there may be circumstances where the church does not feel it can support such a ministry. Situations differ, and so do personalities.

    But if I were led into a ministry, I'd welcome support from, and place myself under the authority of, my church.
     
  8. ktn4eg

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    Tom---

    I don't necessarily disagree with your perspective, & occasionally (& here I'm not pointing a finger to any one in particular) "things" can develop to an extreme on either side of the spectrum.

    IMHO, I think we'd all do well to, from time to time, catch our collective breaths & strive to maintain a sensible (Holy Spirit-led perhaps) balance to our approach(es) [by "both sides"] on these matters.

    Realistically, in most cases today (here on BB anyway), I would imagine that most pastor(s)/elder(s) would probably pass out cold if some of his/their members came up to him/them & told him/them, "Y'all think it'd be OK w/ y'all if I do some evangelizing??"!!!.........(I think you'll catch my drift here.)
     
  9. Tom Butler

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    I certainly do catch your drift, and I suspect you're right about it.

    And I'm talking about an ideal situation, of course. I recognize that there can be local church dynamics that come into play.

    I'm thinking of the situation with Paul, Barnabas and Silas. They went out from FBC Antioch, under its auspices and with its blessing.

    Even though Paul and Silas had a disagreement, the church resolved it.

    Somebody might say, "well, SBC missionaries aren't sent out by local churches; they're sent out by the Mission Board."

    Practically, yes, but remember, the Mission Boards are run by representatives of local churches, who approve and commission each missionary.

    So we have a New Testament pattern, and even Antioch had to make some adjustments to deal with a specific situation.
     
  10. ktn4eg

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    Tom--

    I'm guessing that your & my situation are a little bit different in approach. Not saying either or both are un-biblical---just different.

    It seems as though you're coming from a somewhat more organized, structured paradigm than we are. Here again, not saying you're wrong--just different. This is probably due in large part that where we're located (S/SE area of Nashville) it's probably a very different demographic than where you're at.

    In the past few years, we've experienced a rather large influx of transient and displaced peoples from all over the world. EX: Anywhere from displaced Kurds from Iraq to transient Latin American people, etc.

    Due to the different nature of our situation, we've found that more often than not, we've had to operate a lot of times similar to the Good Samaritan scenario that Jesus presented. In our unique (allbeit IMHO God-directed) situation, we're left with folks that come from drastically different backgrounds/cultures than what most congregations normally deal in evangelistic/mission-centered outreach(es).

    In our case, we don't have to send out board-sponsored missionaries (&, here again I'm not condemning those congregations that do). Why not? Well, it seems as if God is actually sending those people that many of the overseas missionaries are attempting to reach right to our doorsteps.

    I'm all for doing things "decently & in order," but in our situation we often find ourselves having to act as front-line medics before we can do any long-term evangelizing/discipling w/what we're confronted.

    I could give you details, but I think I've said enough to show you why, at least temporarily, we have to "do missions" the way we do.

    Feel free to PM me if you wish. I'll try my best as a 66 YO, stroke-affected brother in Christ, to answer any other inquiries you may have. Sound OK to you, my brother & friend?

    www.lighthouseministries.org
     
  11. evangelist6589

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    I got a email from my leader yesterday and he does not see much fruit in street evangelism. He dose not oppose me going out, but does not see much fruit in street evangelism in general. He prefers then "Share Jesus without fear" approach. I am for the Bible and not a method of evangelism. This means I will practice all types if evangelism methods to reach the lost. From open air, to tracts, and to friendships and relational evangelism. All of it can be used.


    John
     
  12. MorseOp

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    John, methodology is different than content. I have done quite a bit of open air evangelism myself. You may be surprised by that since I am Reformed. Where I stop short is pushing for a decision. I do not seek a sinners prayer. I am more concerned with preaching the Gospel, calling on the sinner to repent/believe, and trusting in the work of the Holy Spirit to do the saving. I was trained in the Open Air Campaigners method of street evangelism (sketch boards, rope tricks, handing out tracts, et. al). That was back when I was a student at the Word of Life Bible Institute.

    I still think open air evangelism is a good way to proclaim the Gospel for many to hear/see. Is it effective? I do not know if effective is the right word. No one is saved apart from hearing and believing the Gospel. If your church is not impeding you than that is good. I can only speak for myself, but it you were a member of my church and told me you wanted to do street evangelism, I would want to know how you were going to do it and what you planned on saying. I would not insist on this in order to exercise authority, but to make sure that you understood the Gospel and were presenting it in a way that would be appropriate. Pastors and elders are to protect the flock from error, so any teaching/preaching being done should be examined. The person doing the teaching/preaching should feel a comfort in this, knowing that their church leadership cares.

    May the Lord bless your work as you proclaim the Gospel.
     
  13. ktn4eg

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    MorseOp---Please check you PM's. "You Have Mail" from ktn4eg.......73's & good DX'ing :thumbs::wavey:
     
  14. Tom Butler

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    It's late Wednesday night and I'm just now reading your posts. I don't see any real conflict between our views, just different approaches. I'll PM you Thursday sometime.
     
  15. evangelist6589

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    Thanks brother. I am Calvinistic and fully believe as you do that God brings the converts (Acts 13:48). Ji packer has a good book on this topic and he explains fully that God brings the converts. I only disagree with Reformed in "Limited Atonement" and their eschatology.

    I think brother that God is allowing this to happen to show me that perhaps I should move away from SC. I mean no one is rude to me, however 9 out of 10 times I post something on FB the majority of folks there do not like my posts or comment. I am like an outsider and I am tired of it. Only a few people in the group actually reply to my texts and emails when I send them, so perhaps this is enough to move out. I am been in SC long enough and I think I need to make plans to move back near my family (in the west). I do not fit in with the legalism I see so often in SC and then rigid culture christianity. Unless I meed a woman and get married or get engaged, then I should look for a job and evangelism opportunities in the many churches in the west that need me.

    Spoke with a brother yesterday whom has been in a church for years with his family and is still treated like an outcast. I told him its time to leave and to go elsewhere but he did not listen because his children like the church. However his oldest son never attends church and lives like he was a false convert. One of his other sons got into immorality and it goes so on and so forth. Time to move on.


    John
     
  16. evangelist6589

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    Popularity contests

    Looking at FB I see that some people always get comments and likes on their walls, but others like me, and a few others get mostly ignored. Rebecca has served in missions and loves the Lord, yet gets ignored half the time. Yet Mike a guy whom has questionable views, doctrines, and a lifestyle is very popular a and everything he writes gets a like or a comment. I have almost never heard him talk about God or the Bible.

    I think if and when I leave SC I need to do a open air sermon against some in the singles group! That would be great!! Nah as much as I want too I would be abusing my gift of prophecy. I think I may be dealing with culture christianity, but then I could be wrong.
     
  17. ktn4eg

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    Basically, I'm w/you on this....If God has truly called you to the ministry that you sincerely believe He has, why spend your time where you perceive that you're not wanted.

    Now, I'm not suggesting you necessarily go to CA (although not a bad idea per se). Maybe you can go/move to a church/community where your giftedness is more welcome. That may be just in the next state/area where you're at presently.

    Paul had something like that going on w/him to some extent. While he was at Troas (& possibly desiring to remain on the Asian continent), God had other plans in mind for him----hence the "Macedonian (European) call."

    Just my $0.02.
     
  18. Luke2427

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    What God is doing in this world through people ministry-wise, God is doing through the Church.

    Every ministry should be a part of the Body of Christ.

    No individual should go out and start a ministry without being sent from the church.
     
  19. evangelist6589

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    Okay. Do you listen to Answers in Genesis? Do you donate to compassion international? Do you read books from authors whom are not pastors? Basically you are saying all these should be shunned because they are not from the church.
     

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