voting on church business

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by acts17_11, Oct 19, 2004.

  1. acts17_11

    acts17_11
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    Did the members of the early church have a vote like we do today? Did they get to vote on installing AC? I don't think so! So why do we run our churches like a democracy today?

    We vote on everything:
    vote in Pastors, Deacons, Elders.
    We vote on the color of the carpet, and where to have the church picnic? Is there anything that comes about in our churches that don't require a vote?

    Didn't Paul tell Timmy to appoint elders? Did the church vote on the life of the couple that lied to the Holy Ghost?

    I got an idea... Let's vote out the vote...
    What say ye?
     
  2. Pastor Larry

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    The input of hte early church was an approval of the pastor's direction.

    Me either, since they didn't have AC. However, since it is the people's money, they should have a vote on where it is spent.

    We don't, in most cases. In most cases, there is far too little congregational input. The pastor and deacons act like they are the only ones with God's Spirit. The rest of the congregation are considered as nothing, with no input on the direction of the church.

    Not usually.

    And with good reason. They are the ones you will have to follow. Peter told the congregation to select the deacons (ACts 6). We should not depart from that model.

    You shouldn't.

    Many things ... We should be voting on things that affect the whole body with respect to the direction fo the church.

    No.

    Different situation. Paul did instruct that the church at Corinth should have removed the sinning man. He did not give that job to the elders. IT was the job of the church. That implies the statement of hte body about the matter.
     
  3. pastorjeff

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    I have a problem with the idea of getting a vote of where the money is spent. That is what leadership is appointed for. We have a problem here of everyone earmarking their money for what they want it to go to. The problem is we have more than enough for one thing and not enough for the general bills of the church. God has asked us to give to Him through the local church for what He sees fit to use it for. To ask that my money go to a certain thing is pretty much telling God you can have this , but only for what I want it to go to. I am possitive the congregation must know what's going on, but there is no evidence of voting in scripture. It is a thought that stems from our democratic society.
     
  4. James_Newman

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    Malachi 3:10
    Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
     
  5. pastorjeff

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    That's the very verse that changed my life in the area of giving. What are you saying James Newman?
     
  6. Pastor Larry

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    ONe of the big benefits of local church giving is that you have control and accountability. I think it is wrong for a person to give money to an organization apart from their local church. When you send money out to another ministry, they have no accountability to you. Within the context of the local church, you can contribute to the ministry philosophy.

    The leadership sets ministry priorities, but the people approve the budget, as they should. It is a part of the accountability and the "every member ministry" that the local church should be.

    I agree with this. I encourage people not to designate, but to give to the general fund. On occasion, we will encourage special offerings above the regular offering for certain events or occasions. But I discourage special designations.

    Yes and no. In most cases, the money that is designated is going for a project or event that has already been approved. For instance, someone recently designated money to replace the floor in a ladies' bathroom. It was over and above their regular giving and meant that we did not have to dip into the general budget for that repair.

    The problem you have with a complete ban on designated giving is that the church at Macedonia set a pattern for designated giving when they gave out of their poverty to help other saints in need. There is also the offering for the famine at Jerusalem (depending on if you think those are two different events ... I can't remember all the ins and outs). But there seems to be a clear example of designated giving.

    How was the church at Corinth supposed to put the sinning member out of the congregation? It certainly implies a vote. How was the church at Jerusalem supposed to select from among them seven men to be deacons? It certainly implies a vote. That is not stemming from our democratic society but rather from the express pattern of Scripture.

    As for Malachi 3:6, the biggest problem is a failure to recognize the distinction between Israel and the church. It always humors me to see people, especially dispensationalists, quote that verse to support giving in the church. IT was never intended to be such a command or a promise. It was given to Israel in a specific economy where God's blessings were tied to giving to the theocratic government (the temple/priests). It has no direct relevance to the church. The teaching from that passage is about the changeless God and our response to him. The church is never commanded to tithe. God never promises material blessings to the NT church for giving. That is a false teaching that is found in many of hte health, wealth, and prosperity preachers, and in far too many Baptist churches. If you are going to use this verse, then you must tithe like the OT people did. They gave two tithes every year and a third tithe every third year. That means an average of 23 1/3& a year. Do you hear anyone saying that these days?

    The NT plan for giving in 1 Cor where we are told to giving proportionally, regularly, and cheerfully, and sacrificially. I am convinced many people give 10% when they should be giving 30-40%. They are cheating God and being selfish so they can drive two cars and have TVs in every room and 2 week vacations to Florida and all that. And I have no problem with any of that. I have two cars, I have two TVs, and I have taken a vacation to Florida. But not at the expense of the church. We need to get to NT giving.
     
  7. pastorjeff

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    I agree. You misunderstood my position on designation. I agree on all your points. The problem comes when people earmark evrything. I only have one other question. You said that that special giving should come from above and beyond their regular giving. How can there be an above and beyond if there is no determined tithe? I also feel the prophets were getting at the heart of the issues and they were dealing with universal truth. The point is not the tithe, but the robbing of God.
     
  8. gb93433

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    The BGEA is very accountable. Much more than most churches. Sometime ask to see the books in a large church. Just ask to see how much the staff are paid, etc. Most often it is hidden. Why do you think some of those pastors make over 500K each year. Then go to the local high school and ask to see the books and then ask yourself who is more accountable and open. In virtually every case you will get the same answer.

    I believe you are in for a big surprise soon. Recently the theological seminary I graduated from surveyed its theology students and 2/3 did not want to pastor but to either be a part of or start a parachrch organization. In that same denomination they know that 2/3 of the churches are either plateaued or declining.

    Are plateaued or declining churches a sign or accountability? Where were all the fancy buildings in the NT? How fast did the gospel spread too?

    BTW some churches expect the congregation to give to mission organizations. They bring them in to speak. A good example is The Gideons. Another is Wycliffe Bible Transaltors. How many churches are doing Bible translation and reaching unreached people groups?
     
  9. APuritanMindset

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    We imply voting to stuff in the Bible because it is the way we have been raised or indoctrinated. Jesus doesn't command a vote when it comes to the removal of someone from the church. He says to reprimand them individually, then with witnesses, and then before the congregation and if they don't listen to the church, then to remove them from fellowship for the hope of restoration at a later time. There is no vote. Voting and everyone having a say is an American thing and a democracy thing. Disagree if you want to, but congregational church polity can not be backed up with Scripture apart from reading it into the text.
     
  10. Pastor Larry

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    Giving is determined individually, based on the principles given in 2 Cor 9:7 (purposed in his own heart). Designated giving should be above that. It is an individual thing.
     
  11. Pastor Larry

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    Perhaps so, but not the issue. I guarantee you that you have no say in what the BGEA does.

    Again, irrelevant. That fact that some do it underhanded does not mean that we should abandon church accountability. I have never seen a church such as you suggest. Sometimes, the individual's salaries are hidden (all salaries are lumped together). That is not a bad thing necessarily. Nor do I know of any pastor's making more than 500k from their church.

    But you are appealing to the wrong people to justify why my comments are wrong. I am not referring to those. I will stand against those who do it that way. The point remains that giving to the local church is where you have the most influence over where the money is spent. It is where you can hold them accountable. It is where you should be serving and supporting.

    Why would that be a surprise to me? I think that very statistic regarding parachurch organization shows just how weak the churches are. I am amazed in here even at how many people do not know simple Baptist polity. They are not being taught. That is the fault of hte churches.

    It can be a sign of a number of different things.

    They met in homes. You had a totally different culture and phenomenon going on there.

    Again, irrelevant to this discussion.

    The answer is not enough. Here, our church missions dollars are given solely to church planting missionaries, or missionaries involved directly in church planting. We do not give missions suppport to other organizations.
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    Perhaps so, but not the issue. I guarantee you that you have no say in what the BGEA does.

    Again, irrelevant. That fact that some do it underhanded does not mean that we should abandon church accountability. I have never seen a church such as you suggest. Sometimes, the individual's salaries are hidden (all salaries are lumped together). That is not a bad thing necessarily. Nor do I know of any pastor's making more than 500k from their church.

    But you are appealing to the wrong people to justify why my comments are wrong. I am not referring to those. I will stand against those who do it that way. The point remains that giving to the local church is where you have the most influence over where the money is spent. It is where you can hold them accountable. It is where you should be serving and supporting.

    Why would that be a surprise to me? I think that very statistic regarding parachurch organization shows just how weak the churches are. I am amazed in here even at how many people do not know simple Baptist polity. They are not being taught. That is the fault of hte churches.

    It can be a sign of a number of different things.

    They met in homes. You had a totally different culture and phenomenon going on there.

    Again, irrelevant to this discussion.

    The answer is not enough. Here, our church missions dollars are given solely to church planting missionaries, or missionaries involved directly in church planting. We do not give missions suppport to other organizations.
     
  13. Dr. Bob

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    Yep. They voted and decided. NOT the pastor or board of deacons!

    Body governed. Let me wait for the wife to get home to go get my notes from the basement. Feet are not working today! [​IMG]
     
  14. Dr. Bob

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    </font>
    • 1. Church, not pastor/apostle, received members</font>
    • 2. Church, not pastor/apostle, disciplined members</font>
    • 3. Church, not pastor/apostle, readmitted lapsed members</font>
    • 4. Church, not pastor/apostle, selected own leadership</font>
    • 5. Church, not pastor/apostle, sent messengers to Jerusalem council</font>
    • 6. Church, not pastor/apostle, carried the messages</font>
    • 7. Church, not pastor/apostle, sent our missionaries</font>
    • 8. Church, not pastor/apostle, received reports from missionaries upon return</font>
    [adapted from Myron Houghton, Faith Baptist Theological Seminary, Ankeny, Iowa, in a seminar October 12, 2004]
     
  15. James_Newman

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    Just that the church requires money to do it's work. The church needs to have a storehouse. If a church has a leadership, that leadership should be able to make decisions on how the money of the church is spent. If people want to earmark every dollar that they give for a pet purpose, perhaps they should deliver those dollars personally. What will they want next, to approve the sermons? Hmmm...
     
  16. pastorjeff

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    Amen Bro. James. It is amazing how we agree on some things and not others, but I think you hit the nail on the head.
     
  17. Logos1560

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    • a phrase from Acts 14:23 in the earlier pre-1611 English Bibles:

      ordained them elders by election in every congregation (Tyndale's, 1537 Matthew's, 1539
      Great, 1539 Taverner's)
      ordained them elders by election thru all the congregations (1535 Coverdale's)
      ordained them elders by election in every church (1557 Whittingham's, 1560 Geneva, 1568 Bishops')

      The 1599 edition of the Geneva Bible has a marginal note at Acts 14:23 that observed that the apostles "chose and placed them [pastors] by the voice of the congregation." THE DUTCH ANNOTATIONS as translated into English by Theodore Haak in 1657 presented the first part of the text of Acts 14:23 as follows: "And when they in every church with lifting up of hands had chosen them elders."
     

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