The Office of Bishop

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Aaron, Oct 23, 2007.

  1. Aaron

    Aaron
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    A lot of people say they are "called" into the ministry. What does this mean? Scripturally, I think it simply means that a man has a desire for the office of bishop. As I see the Scriptures, any one may serve as a pastor as long as he meets the qualifications. I think I should note here, that not one of those qualifications is an ecstatic experience.

    I don't believe there is a call like the one described by Mark Driscoll of the Emergent Church movement, to whom we were encouraged to listen in another thread. Describing his call he said he had one of those "charismatic moments" where "God spoke to me and told me to preach the Bible, train men, plant churches and marry Grace. Told me exactly what to do."

    There can only be one conclusion here. That he's saying he had a direct revelation of God like one of the prophets of old.

    To borrow an rbell-ism, I say "Pish tosh!"

    So what are your thoughts? Is the call a moment of divine revelation? Is it as I described in the opening paragraph, or somewhere in between?
     
    #1 Aaron, Oct 23, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 23, 2007
  2. Nicholas25

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    I do believe men are called to preach. I know I have not been called and therefore am only a teacher and not a preacher. But my preacher friends have told me about running from the call to preach, but how they could not ecscape it. They finally had to give in. I believe in a supernatural calling from God, I just do not know how to put it into words.
     
  3. Brother Bob

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    I believe it to be a call from God to preach. I am like Nicholas25 about the running part. I think you have a desire to preach the word, or at least I do.

    I also believe that He usually makes it know to some in the church of your calling.

    Sometimes men do the calling and that is when trouble erupts.

    Call it charismatic if you want, I call it the government being upon His shoulders.

    If I did not believe I was called of God to preach, I would not do it.
     
    #3 Brother Bob, Oct 23, 2007
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  4. TCGreek

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    1. If a man is called to be a pastor by God, when the time is right, God may use circumstances and people to bring that about.

    2. For example, If you were to interview several faithful pastors who've answered the call of God, when they described their answering of that call of God, you'll see that everything they say fits into either circumstances that God has used or someone that God has used.
     
  5. Aaron

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    I believe those who meet the qualifications for a bishop or deacon are extraordinary men, but I don't believe there is a call to serve in a particular office. We are all called to serve, and we serve with the gifts that God has bestowed. Generally, men who have the gifts of preaching serve as bishops, but there have been extraordinary men in that they were exceptional vessels of the fruits of the Spirit, but not exceptional speakers who have served as pastors.
     
  6. Aaron

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    This kind of experience is not at all limited to those who serve as pastors.

    The gifts and calling of God are without repentance. They're bestowed by His grace quite independent of the qualifications or actions of the individual, and He doesn't take them back. But one can be stripped of his office by reason of an unfaithful act. To me this is a chief difficulty in referring to the filling of an office as a calling.
     
  7. Brother Bob

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    I agree that preachers are called to preach the word. The office of a Bishop is usually filled with a person who has leadership qualities and is chosen by the church, out of the ones who God called to preach.

    BBob,
     
  8. rbell

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    No time to post...I just wanted everyone to notice:

    Aaron now quotes rbell.

    The process of metaporphosis has begun. It is irreversible. In a matter of weeks, Aaron will begin to feel a strong desire to be my intern, at no cost to my church.

    Aaron, you start on January 2, 2008.

    :laugh:
     
  9. webdog

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    I think sometimes we also confuse being "called to preach" as meaning being called to be a pastor. Scripture is plain that churches should have a plurality of elders, and what those requirements are. If one desires to be an elder, meets the requirements, and is desired by the church, they should. Out of these, there are different gift mixes and one is to "preach". I really see no difference between preaching and teaching, IMO. It's all should be done filtered through the Holy Spirit and the messages should be the same.
    This "call" is something I have struggled with in understanding. I have a great desire to study God's Word. At times I don't feel like I can take enough in. I have even considered going back to school to study theology solely. There are other Christians that don't share such desires, but maybe desire to spend more time evangelizing. I dont' know how my desires and thirst for God's Word falls into a "call" so to speak, but i will keep on praying and studying...
     
  10. EdSutton

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    Aaron, you are exactly right, generally speaking.

    I agree fully with "Pish-tosh!"

    All the 'dancing with the stars' that I have seen over my lifetime has not had the effect of changing one word of Scripture about this. There is no "calling" listed in Scripture as having to do with the offices of either bishop/elder or deacon as far as I can tell.

    The deacons were selected by the assembly, out of the assembly, in the early church, for the Apostles to "appoint over this business" (Ac. 6:1-6). There are specific qualifications of the office, delineated in Scripture. (Ac. 6:1-6; I Tim. 3: 8-13) A "special calling" is not found as one of these qualifications. And I wouold suggest that if and when one does not meet the qualifications of the office, then one should no longer serve in it.

    Likewise, the office of bishop/elder. They are not two distinct offices, one of bishop and another of elder, but two designations for the same office. (Acts. 20:17, 28; Tit. 1:5, 7. The word rendered 'overseer' in Ac. 20:28 (KJV, NKJV, HCSB, etc.) is the Greek "episkopE", from whence we get 'bishop'.) There are also specific qualifications for this office, given in Scripture. (I Tim. 3: 1-7; Tit. 1:5-9) The Holy Spirit appoints one to this office (Ac. 20:28) through the agency of men. (Tit. 1:5) As far as I can tell, they were appointed from the same local body they were going to be overseeing. And the office, with the varied qualifications, is not to be confused, as you have said, with the irrevocable "gifts and callings of God" (Rom. 11:29), which have only the discretion of the Holy Spirit involved. (Rom. 1:1; I Cor. 1:1; 12:1-12)

    And the very first 'qualification' given is a desire for the office. (I Tim. 3:2) I read 'em. You don't meet the qualifications? You shouldn't be in the office. Period. "A special calling to preach" is not one of these qualifications.

    Frankly, if you don't want the office, stay out of it. You can't 'mess it up' if you ain't in it! Don't waste your and my time, and be a hypocrite, by handing me the hogwash of, "God wouldn't let me not 'preach' so I took a church!" (Seldom do I ever hear exactly where they took her! I'm not even sure I want to know!)

    If you are really concerned (and convinced) that God has to have you preach, (like He hasn't somehow managed to get by, and quite well at that, for 6000 years without the help of any of us), :rolleyes:
    but you don't or didn't really want to "pastor a church" (another phrase that one can never fined in Scripture, BTW), just be like Jonah. There are plenty of public street corners to preach from, [​IMG] and no doubt plenty of cities every bit as wicked as Ninevah. [​IMG]

    Back to the OP. One more thing one might consider. I'd say that most of us would consider Paul to be the most outstanding Apostle in Scripture. Paul says he was a deacon. (Col. 1:25 - Gk. "diakonos" or deacon) Peter, held the office of elder. (I Pet. 5:1) There is no mention, as far as I know, that any other apostle of the twelve held any church office in Scripture, possibly excepting John, who may have been an elder, but Scripture does not expressly give that John was the author of the Epistles we generally ascribe to him. Timothy, an apostle not of the twelve (but the exposition of this is for another time), is also called a "diakonos" (I Thes. 3:2), but I don't believe any other of the apostles is ever associated or identified with the particular offices of deacon or elder, other than the three (or four) I just mentioned.

    I edit to add this Scripture:
    As I once heard the late Dr. S. Lewis Johnson say about this verse, you can quickly note three things from this verse. First, the elders do "rule"; secondly, some of them "rule well" (Think about it.); thirdly, not all elders "labor in word and doctrine". Good points. I'll add a bishop/elder must be able to teach, but he does not have to have any gift of teacher/teaching, nor is he necessarily expected to be engaged in that.

    In the process of editing, I just noticed the last two posts by webdog and Brother Bob. (rbell, you might be served to remember the bit about 'desiring the office' where Aaron is concerned.) :laugh:

    I basically agree with what they have said here, as well, for I think that is basically Biblical, and I do also note where Aaron mentioned the plurality of elders. And, that is taught in Scripture, as well. We would all do well to follow the examples given in Scripture, IMO, rather than try and improve on God.

    Ed
     
    #10 EdSutton, Oct 24, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2007
  11. TCGreek

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    You're right.
     
  12. Aaron

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    Only if the first lesson is Choosing Humorous Avatars. :tonofbricks:
     

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