Was There A Pastor At Philippi?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by TCGreek, Dec 8, 2007.

  1. TCGreek

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    1. "Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus:
    To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons" (Phil 1:1).

    a. We have the members (saints)

    b. The leadership (overseers/elders and deacons.

    c. What about the pastor?

    2. Should we understand then that one of the elders/overseers did double duty, as in 1 Tim 5:17?
     
  2. StefanM

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    Why limit it to one? It is completely possible that the church had several pastors.
     
  3. Jerome

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    Why not also ask: Were there elders at Philippi?
    "Elders" are not mentioned in Philippians.
     
  4. Alex Quackenbush

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    An overseer IS a Pastor.

    The word here used is episkopos.

    The same is used in 1 Timothy 3

     
  5. TCGreek

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    1. Then we have diverted:

    Local Church Government:

    Senior Pastor
    Elders
    Deacons
    Members

    2. I know each local church is autonomous, but here is a church model that I have noticed in some Baptist churches.
     
  6. TCGreek

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    Elders, presbyteroi, is a term used interchangeably with overseers/bishops, episkopoi, in the NT (see Acts 20:17, 28; Titus 1:5, 7).
     
  7. Jerome

    Jerome
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    Historically, nearly all Baptists rejected the church office hypothesis promoted by the Presbyterians and others.
    Reading scripture, most Baptists understood bishops, elders, and pastors to be one office. Many others understood the offices of bishop (or pastor) and deacon to jointly comprise the church's eldership. Very few created a distinction between elders and pastors.
    Neither scripture nor the Baptist confessions of faith describe the church structure--Senior Pastor, Elders, Deacons, Members--that you have noticed some Baptist churches switching to recently.

    Philippians 1:1 describes this structure:

    saints
    bishops
    deacons
     
    #7 Jerome, Dec 9, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2007
  8. TCGreek

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    1. Here the New Hampshire Confession of 1833:

    "Of a Gospel Church We believe that a visible Church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers (66), associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel (67); observing the ordinances of Christ (68); governed by his laws (69), and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by his Word (70); that its only scriptural officers are Bishops, or Pastors, and Deacons (71), whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus."

    2. Bishops and Pastors refer to the same function in the local church.
     
  9. Jerome

    Jerome
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    Exactly, and here is the 1689 London Baptist Confession and commentary by one of its prominent signers, Benjamin Keach:

    LBC 1689
    Chapter 26
    8. A particular church, gathered and completely organized according to the mind of Christ, consists of officers and members; and the officers appointed by Christ to be chosen and set apart by the church (so called and gathered), for the peculiar administration of ordinances, and execution of power or duty, which he intrusts them with, or calls them to, to be continued to the end of the world, are bishops or elders, and deacons.

    Those recently pushing "plurality of elders" on Baptist churches often merely cite the confessions' use of the term elders, presuming that their modern-day Presbyterian-influenced concept was what was meant back then.
    Take a look at how one of the actual signers understood the term:

    Benjamin Keach on mandatory "plurality of elders", 1697
    an Elder, or Elders, a Deacon, or Deacons, ought to be elected in every Congregation,”.

    Benjamin Keach on "non-pastor" elders, 1697
    "Query, Are there no ruling Elders besides the Pastor?
    Answ. There might be such in the Primitive Apostolical Church, but we see no ground to believe it an abiding Office to continue in the Church, but was only temporary.
    1. Because we have none of the Qualifications of such Elders mention’d, or how to be chosen.
    2. Because we read not particularly what their Work and Business is, or how distinct from preaching Elders; tho we see not but the Church may (if she sees meet) choose some able and discreet Brethren to be Helps in Government. We have the Qualifications of Bishops and Deacons directly laid down, and how to be chosen, and their Work declared, but of no other Office or Officers in the Church, but these only."

    Benjamin Keach on "non-pastor" elders, 1701:
    "others think there were men ordained Elders, that were not gifted to preach, but to be helpful in Discipline, or in the Governement of the Church : but we reading neither of their Qualifications, or how to be chosen (nor of their peculiar Work, distinct from Pastors, nor any such elders chosen in any particular. church in the Apostles days) can see no ground for any such an Office, or Officers in the Church"
     
    #9 Jerome, Dec 9, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2007
  10. TCGreek

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    Then we must conclude that a senior pastor has not scriptural support.
     
  11. Jerome

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    Yes, Baptists found no basis in the Bible for the oligarchical and monarchical church governments erected by the Presbyterians and Roman Catholics/Anglicans, respectively. I think that the authoritarianism that characterizes many Baptist "senior pastors" today would have been rejected by early Baptists who were all too familiar with the abuses of the episcopal system.
     
  12. TCGreek

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    Where then would a Timothy or Titus fit?
     
  13. Jerome

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    ...Early Baptists did not, however, have a problem with a single pastor ministering to a small congregation, and probably would not quibble over the mere use of the term senior pastor to refer to the oldest or most respected one among several.
     
  14. TCGreek

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    But that is not the case today---in fact, you have senior pastors who are in their 20s and 30s. This doesn't fit.
     
  15. Allan

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    There is nothing wrong a singular or plurality of Elders/Pastors.

    However, we DO find biblical support that one person is accountable for whole in many places of scripture, even where a plurality exists.

    In the OT with the priests and yet there was only one High Priest. Even among their groups there heads of those divisions.

    Moses to took some to help him, yet he alone was accountable for the whole.

    In the Family we see the same thing. Husband and wife have a dual authority in the home but it is the Husband alone who will account for the family's knowledge of and or growth to spiritual maturity.

    Take the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ and the writtings to the seven churches. Was the letters written to the governing body of pastors or was it written to the 'angel' of the Church of...

    So it is not so about the wording 'Senior' but more to the fact that though others come along side as God gives the church, there is one who will always shoulder the accountability of the whole - the one whom God has called to guide, protect and lead that body of believers.
     
  16. Major B

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    And what does any of this have to do with the New Covenant Church and the leadership plainly outlined by the Holy Spirit in over 20 passages? And where does the Bible say that the messengers of the churches were "pastors?"
    Elder


    1 Tim 5:19 , 1 Pet 5:1 , 2 John 1:1, 3 John 1:1

    Elders


    Acts 11:30

    Acts 14:23 "So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed."

    Acts 15:2 "Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question."

    Acts 15:4, 6, 22-23 Acts 16:4 "

    Acts 20:17 "From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church."

    1 Tim 5:17-22 "Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. 18 For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain," and, "The laborer is worthy of his wages." 19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. 20 Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear. 21 I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality. 22 Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people's sins; keep yourself pure."

    Titus 1:5-11 "For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you; 6 if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. 7 For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict. 10 For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain."

    James 5:14 "Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord."

    1 Pet 5:1 "The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed:"

    1 Pet 5:5 "Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.""

    Overseers

    Acts 20:28 ""Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood."

    1 Pet 5:2 "Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;"

    1 Pet 5:4 "and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away."




    Pastors


    Eph 4:11 "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,"

    1 Pet 5:2 "Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;"

    Phil 1:1 "Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:"

    Verses which clearly refer to elders, bishops, and pastors without using the terms

    Heb 13:7 "Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct."

    Heb 13:17 "Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. …."

    Heb 13:24 "Greet all those who rule over you, and all the saints. Those from Italy greet you."

    1 Th 5:12-13 "And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. Be at peace among yourselves."

    Verses Which appear to also apply to elder/bishop/pastors, based on Eph 4:11—“…pastors and teachers…”


    James 3:1 "My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment."

    Acts 13:1-2 "Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers:

    Here are All the Verses that refer to a single pastor, elder, or bishop in a New Testament Church


    (there are no such verses)

    Here are all the verses that describe the duties of a single pastor in a New Testament Church


    (There are none)

     
    #16 Major B, Dec 22, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2007
  17. TCGreek

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    Allan,

    1. I find it rather instructive that elders are never referred in the singular nowhere in Scripture, when reference is to the church. We always find a plurality of elders, taking the oversight and shepherd the flock.

    2. On his second missionary campaign, along with Barnabas, Paul appointed elders (Acts 14:23). In Miletus Paul met with the elders of Ephesus and gave them stern warnings about apostasy (Acts 20:17, 28ff).

    3. Paul left Titus in Crete to appoint elders (1:5).

    4. Scripture knows nothing of a singular elder caring for and taking the oversight over a local church--there was a pluarity of elders at Philippi (Phil 1:1).

    PS: Let's stick with Scripture! :thumbs:
     
  18. Allan

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    Of course they were! He was writting to the whole church and ALL of those in authority. I have not disputed others can and do share in authority.

    And your point is...? Again in Miletus he was speaking to those who were pastor/teachers there, possible the 12 of Acts 19. Here is a question for you. Was there only one church in Miletus or was there potentially others as well? If possible, did ALL churches have a plurality of Elders? Does the Word of God establish there must be a plurality of Elders in order for the Church to be considered Gods or operating in the Spirit or even opporating properly? Answer: No, no where is it found that a church MUST have a plurality of elders. Can it be benificial to have other help (plurality) in so daunting a task? Just ask Moses.

    Another question: Who was in authority until the elders were appointed and how much time did it take before and between each appointing till all the churches there about were first, set in order and then elders appointed? If you contention is just, Paul should have set a couple of other people to make up an eldership of the bat and THEY could have set forth OTHER elders. But we find that was not the case, now was it?

    OK here we have Titus being given the authority to appoint Elders. So just what exactly gives him that authority by to appoint unless he himself is an elder. He was also told that he is to set things in order. So by virtue of his authority to be the one to set things in order, and to appoint elders (to help in setting things in order) We find Titus being the head till everything is set in order and elders are appointed. Thus one is responsible in the plurality as I showed earlier.

    Why didn't Paul write to Timothy and his elders. We know that Timothy was the first elder ordained in church of the Ephesians. So later in his ministry when other elders were appointed, did Paul figure that Timothy was not as strong nor able as the other elders? Why did Paul write to Timothy in the presumtion that Timothy was the one in authority there?

    Scripture is actually silent on the issue, neither agreeing or disagreeing. Yes there was a plurality of elders, but who has denied this. The question is did the church have a designated head amongst the elders. As I said already Titus was a singular head and over even the other elders till all was set in order for that was his charge from Paul. Timothy was another singular, in Rev with regard to the 'angel' of the church of ...,et...

    Agreed! Just let us not leave out scripture for personal preferences either :thumbs:
    Can a church have one pastor/bishop? - YOU BET, and scripture illistrates it thusly with people like Timothy, and Titus.
    Is it more benificial and effienct in the care of the church to have more than one? - YOU BET, and scripture illistrates it with those same people who LATER had other come along side in that ministry.
     
    #18 Allan, Dec 23, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2007
  19. TCGreek

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    1. Authority in the local church resides in the elders (1 Tim 3:5; 5:17)

    2. We have the NT word on elders for the church. We don't need Moses at this time on the issue. The NT is clear about a plurality of elders for the local church.

    3. I find your line of reasoning to be quite swallow, since a church must first be established and then things must be set in order.

    4. Then Paul was an elder, even though Scripture never refers to him as an elder in a church functional capacity.

    5. Titus was never considered an elder. Rather, Titus like Timothy was a gifted preacher and minister.

    6. Timothy like Titus was not an elder. Timothy was a preacher and minister (1 Tim 4:6; 2 Tim 4:5).

    7. Somehow in the church we can never get this church poity right.

    8. Why are you saying Scripture is silent when it has already spoken? I find your brand of approach to the Scripture to be just that--your approach.
     
  20. Allan

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    Again, I never said it didn't. But Timothy like Titus had the authority to judge even the elders. (1 Tim 5:19-21, Tit 2:15)

    So the NT has no comparisions in or with the OT?
    Wow, that's a new one!
    The Moses thing illistrated that one man having to be over many was not only burdensome but insane! It is the same principle in the NT.

    That is fine if you think it is shallow, I'm not accountable to you. :)
    Of course it must FIRST be established, and therefore you have ONLY ONE at the time. You must train up others or others be led to you that they fulfill the qualifications of Bishop/Elder/Pastor. You know as well as I do that it wont take a week or two. They were their for months if not years some times being the only one before appointing others that met the qualifications.

    If he was an elder, he functioned in that capsity but I'm sure due to his Aposlitic calling they gave allowance for him to continue and retain the office he was appointed to. We don't know if communicated back and forth with them keeping up on Church things and still giving his input. We know we don't have all of Pauls writtings. He might have or maybe not. An office was not just honorarily given, and if it was I doubt Paul would have received it.

    He was appointed by Paul was he not? And Titus had to appoint others did he not? Elders appointed other elders do they not? Do you see a pattern?
    An elder is a bishop/pastor correct? He was to do everything a pastor should and appoint more for the tasks. A pastor or bishop is one who is an overseer of the church right? In all that Paul appointed Titus to do, just what was not the same that the Bishops/Elders did. No, it does not state Titus was an elder, but also doesn't state he was a preacher either. It states PAUL preached the gospel. But Paul tells Titus he is to train church, rebuke the church and elder if need be, appoint bishops to them... sounds like the office of a bishop to me, but maybe I'm wrong and all laymen have the authority to do these things, huh?
    First Timothy was the FIRST BISHOP appointed to the church of the Ephesians (2 Tim 4:22).
    Are not the Terms Elder and Bishop synonomous? Or did I miss something?
    And if Timothy was so appointed to appoint other bishops by Paul does that not follow the same for Titus?

    So an appointed minister of the Word is not an elder/bishop?
    Timothy was a teacher of the church and commanded to reprove, rebuke, exhort. He is told by Paul that those who sin (speaking of elders and they did not stop) REBUKE before all the church. Timothy had the authority to even judge the elders but the charge must be set forth by two or three witness. Who has that kind of authority TCG? A layman?

    So who was Timothy and Titus? What office did they hold which both were command the same things as I listed above among others.

    No, it is silent as to specifically saying he is or is not an elder. But again, with all the authority given them, just what office did they fill in the Church. Since they were able to even rebuke and reprove the elders, teach the church, and as Timothy first appointed to Bishop and was to appoint others, so it should be that Titus was like Timothy. An Elder appointed to appoint others. But also having the authority rebuke even the elders at need for sin. Does this not speak to someone (if no one else at LEAST Bishop Timothy) as being over the other bishops so appointed?

    It might be my approach but I can only proclaim that which I have both seen and heard :)
     
    #20 Allan, Dec 23, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2007

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