Priesthood of Believer

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Shortandy, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. Shortandy

    Shortandy
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    This is big deal for Southern Baptist I know because I am one. But I have a question that I have never thought about before and I wanted to see what you guys thought.

    In a recent meeting where church conference was being discussed a debate broke out about children voting at conference. A woman who supported children's rights to vote used the priesthood of the believer to validate her positon. "That 7 year hold that has the Spirit should be able to vote of church business" she said.

    Is she correct. Does priesthood of the believer apply here?
     
  2. donnA

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    I don't think a 7 yr old has the wisdom of an adult, what sounds good and fun to them may not be the right choice.
     
  3. Tom Bryant

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    I am not sure that the Priesthood of believers has anything to do with a child voting in a church business meeting.

    Maybe a little background about your discussion: Were you discussing the bylaws and changing them? Or was it that she was sure the adults would be against whatever she was talking about and wanting to add some voters who would support her?

    The priesthood of believers deals with our relationship with God not with voting rights at a church business meeting.
     
  4. Shortandy

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    It was a meeting to discuss some bylaw changes about active and inactive membership list. One of the issues being discussed was was to safe-guard conference from being highjacked by members who never come. But one member of this group asked a question about kids being able to vote because the bylaws didn't mention them and the debate broke out. The appeal was made that a child isn't mature enough to vote on business and the priesthood of the believer card was played.

    Im looking at google now and see that many SBC churches allow kids to vote...of course the Convention has no real stance on it on the website.

    The homework for the commitee was to search this matter out biblically (chapter and verse).
     
  5. Tom Bryant

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    Not sure you'll even find voting in the NT. :laugh: just consensus building and casting lots.

    Safeguarding your church from absent members is a good thing. We have that 6 month absence from church prior to the announcement of the vote makes a person ineligble to vote. (learned by a previous pastor the hard way!)
     
  6. Jerome

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    How is that determined? Is attendence recorded for every service?
     
  7. Tom Bryant

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    We usually do it thru SS attendance. But when the church is small enough (ours is under 140 worship attendance in 2 services), we can generally see who's there. People are assigned to care for members thru a Deacon ministry.

    It might be unwieldly for a larger church. But the alternative is to not have a check on who can vote and that is not an alternative for us. Anyone can attend church. Anyone can attend SS, but there is a formal process by which people commit (join) our local church. We have unbelievers who regularly attend our services, they can have no right to vote for our budget or calling an associate pastor or determining the direction of a ministry.
     
  8. Jon-Marc

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    Just as children cannot vote in political elections, I don't think they should vote in church matters. However, teens can be very knowledgeable if not wise in political matters. Pre-teen is too young for any voring in my opinion.
     
  9. Tom Butler

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    When I was seven years old, I had every right and privilege of a citizen of the United States--with some restrictions.

    I could not get a license to drive a car.

    I could not legally by beer or liquor.

    I could not vote.

    I could not be President of the United States or serve in the US Senate or Congress.

    All of those restrictions assumed that some degree of maturity was required, and one measurement of that maturity was age.

    Should churches do less?
     
  10. sag38

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    Children, for the most part, will vote the way mom and dad say too.
     
  11. Tom Bryant

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    Until they turn 14 and that changes... :tongue3:
     
  12. donnA

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    which really means mom and dad get more votes
     
  13. preachinjesus

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    This isn't what priesthood of the believer means theologically.

    You're talking about a matter of church polity and something that is decided for the church by its members.

    Its up to your church to decide...that's autonomy of the local church. The church I grew up would let children vote when we took up paper ballots for major decisions. It was funny (I recall) that students, children, and adults had different colored ballots. I found out years later that they did not count the children's ballots, but thought it was a good practice to get kids into.
     
  14. paul wassona

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    The woman debating in a church coference goes directy against what the bible tells us that women are to learn at home.

    A 7 year old isn't quite the age of some one who ought to have voting privileges in matters of the magnitude a church conference should be called for.
     
  15. Salty

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    I would ask that woman if she allows her 7 year old son to balance her checkbook - he should be able to as he has the Spirit!

    Our church Constitution only allows active senior (age 18+) to vote, and NO proxy votes are allowed. There are provisions to put members on the inactive list - if they move, ect; on the discipline list if need be. And death will not get you out of our church membership list as we then put you on the memorial membership list (non-voting :smilewinkgrin: of course)

    Salty
     
  16. Berean

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    This isn't what priesthood of the believer means theologically.
    preachinjesus; I agree please give me your understanding of Pof B
     
  17. Tom Butler

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    My view of Priesthood of Believers:

    It means we have direct access to God. We have no need of an earthly priest to make sacrifices on our behalf. We have no need of an earthly priest to speak to God for us. We may pray directly to Him.

    As believers, we also have the privilege of pointing others to God. All believers may declare the terms of entry into the kingdom (repentance and faith). Each one of us has the keys to the kingdom.

    The priesthood of believers also eliminates the distinction between clergy and laity.

    Peter declared this to be so when he described us as a kingdom of priests (I P 2:9)
     
    #17 Tom Butler, Feb 24, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2010
  18. Berean

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    ========================================================
    I totally agree.
    Not only a big thing among Baptist but very scripturally.
     
  19. go2church

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    With selective Bible quoting you could make "eye plucking" and "hand chopping" an active practice in the church. Not such a good idea.

    Though priesthood of the believer (not believerS) has been watered down by the whole of the SBC in recent years, I don't think this individuals opinion on child voting has anything whatsoever to do with this cherished distinctive. This is about church polity, which in the world of the of Baptists is completely up to each individual church.
     
  20. Onlybygrace

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    I think it goes way beyond whether or not a child is qualified to vote because they are believer.
    We assume that just because a person is an adult believer that he/she is qualified to vote. A lot of people that come to business meetings and influence decisions are carnal believers who make no real contribution except for complaining and don't have the things of God in mind but the things of men. These are the same people who we then entrust decision making to and hope that God will sovereignly superintend our sinful choices for His glory, so why not let kids vote, what's the difference if you believe in voting...which I do not for the record.
     

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