But the plural, "Pastors" is found 6 more times in Jeremiah, and once in Ephesians.
However, the word "Shepherd" which is what "pastor" means in Latin, occurs 45 times most of which are referring to a leader/feeder of the flock of God.
Constitution changes at my IFB church:
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The divorce issue: you lost me. Mark 10:11-12 is explicit, but Matthew 19:9 seems to allow divorce in the case of adultery.
It is so very unfortunate that the vast majority of folks think of the husband and wife relationship as a contract between them. That is not true. The vows are not taken as an oath to each other, but before God, in the presence of witness. God takes such vows most seriously. Also, looking at the typical vows, the statements do no allow for divorce even in the matter when adultery is found.
Such also follows why Paul was also very specific concerning the spouse that left and that no permission to remarry was extended to either person. Because of Paul's own history, he would have also been married. Either his wife had died, or she had left him when he converted. In either case, he remain unmarried. My personal opinion is that she left him when he was converted. There is no Scripture nor any records of history to take into account other then the members of the Sanhedrin (pharisees) had to be married. Paul was a member of the Sanhedrin.
The Scriptures are just as clear about intoxicants. Of course, the modern church wants to give way on this issue, but the Scriptures do not state that wine is a mocker if you allow yourself to be intoxicated. Wine is a mocker - intoxication or not. Strong drink is raging - no matter the state of inebriation.
Some point to the Christ as having partaken. But such thinking again is just totally wrong. He did not. "NEW wine" was not an intoxicant. And "old wine" was a bitter vinegar used for cleansing of wounds, purification of water, massaging ointment. There is more to this issue, but the thread isn't about intoxicants. Except one other point. The Scriptures do approve of when one is to be given an intoxicant. It is to be given to the person that has no hope. That would be one who perhaps is in great pain with no hope of relief, no other medical assistance to mediate the pain and suffering. Also, along that line is that very small amount that was to be taken as a medicine suggested by Paul. Such would be in our modern time that in a cough medicine. But, ultimately, there is not permission given in the Scriptures for the consumption of intoxicants being approved, nor did the Lord Jesus Christ consume intoxicants.
Feel? One reads that Bible churches had bishops and deacons, often referred to collectively as the elders of the church.
One does not read that any Bible church had "elders and deacons."
UN-saved people are dead. Dead people can't marry.
There are all kinds of things unsaved people do that saved people do not, and more importantly, a great number of things that Christians do that unbelievers do not.
Why do we die on that hill, when we are discussing what a believer did before they were saved?
As to alcohol:
I'm not sure that explanation makes sense given that "new wine" would get one drunk (Acts 2:13). And Luke implies that old wine is fit for consumption as well (Luke 5:39).
The Scripture also does not say that you WILL be led astray by wine (Proverbs 20:1), it says that whoever is led astray is unwise.
Further, the OT word for wine "yayin", used over 130 times refers to what we think of as wine, the fermented product of grapes. Deuteronomy 14:26 instructs the Israelites to buy wine (yayin) or strong drink (shekar) which means hard liquor.
It is difficult to say the least to reconcile Deuteronomy with Proverbs if one holds fast to an absolute restriction.
It is then even more difficult to reconcile when the words of the Psalmist in Psalm 104 are taken into account. Psalm 104:15 clearly states that God has given us wine--yayin--to make us glad.
The more I look at this, the more concerned I am that the restriction on alcohol might well be a well-meant tradition, but not a strict Biblical prohibition. Certainly not a "on this hill shall I fight and die" prohibition when biblical text tells me that God made wine for the purpose of making men happy.
So, what will you do when they demand alcoholic wine at communion?
If a family's covered dish for potluck is a keg?
"Wine" (yayin) in the bible refers to that which was normally consumed with a meal. It consisted of one part wine and 4 or 5 parts water. The water diluted the wine making it almost impossible to get drunk on it, and the wine killed the microorganisms in the water (amoebic dysentery was endemic in that part of the world at that time).
"Strong drink" (shekar) refers to undiluted wine. The distillation of wine to produce brandy and other hard liquors did not become common until the Christian Brothers started distilling wine into brandy, in the middle ages, so it would travel well, which wine does not do. :)
Such a standard might hairlip every camel in the Middle East, but it is that which both The Christ and Paul established as the truth.
As far as the world and worldly, why would I even attempt to word a doctrinal statement of a church to conform to some worldliness?
Well, you have obviously already made up your mind on the issue, and so it is really pointless to continue the discussion.
It is enough to state that the Baptist tradition has long stood against intoxicants, and it is truly sad that some think that the Scriptures teach that such is permissible.
I will also include that should you have to take a month long journey to get to the church in which you must eat what is available then it is again permissible (medically) to take a strong drink. BUT such is not the situation, and therefore such does not apply to your situation and cannot be used as an excuse or even permission. IF someone in the fellowship is under medical care in which the physician appoints such to be used as medicinal that would be according to both the statement in the Dueteronomy and the Proverbs.
You do know that there is a condemnation in the Scriptures given to those who serve an intoxicant?
But, such is the modern fluff church and believers that seek to use any excuse to quench the Holy Spirit in favor of the spirit that has only one desire, to control and pervert judgment and justice.
Lay teachers. There are many biblical examples, even though they weren't called that, biblically.
"Feel": understand, interpret, believe.
And since I'm not nor have I ever been a Presbyterian it would be more productive if you'd stop referring to me or my church--Berean Baptist--as Presbyterians. We are very much Baptists, we are congregational, and we would like to more clearly articulate the roles of the unsalaried teachers within our congregation.
I asked here because--in theory if not in practice--a community of God fearing believers would be an ideal place to seek godly counsel on such an important issue.
Most of the Christians I know also attend my church, and so I sought--am seeking--the views of those outside that congregation but still within the Body for counsel regarding the implementation.
To be clear: have you never heard of a layman teaching? Do you believe that the concept is counter to biblical guidance?
If you believe that the concept is in fact sinful, then by all means say so.
If however you feel that the idea is not sinful how would you implement it? What characteristics would you seek, if any, in addition to what is specified in Scripture? How would you seek to continue their education and spiritual growth?
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I'm asking for a biblical reason why that particular sin committed before salvation is disqualifying, while say for example, having a bunch of children or murder is not.
As to alcohol: the passage in Deuteronomy commands Israelites to drink wine and strong drink to the Lord. Psalm 104 is clearly not referring to medicinal use. I can accept that there may have been a cultural or temporal circumstance of which I am unaware, but based on Scripture it seems that drunkenness is clearly prohibited but wine--at the very least--condoned.
It would however be helpful if you gave me the Scripture prohibiting the serving of alcohol.
Thank you and God bless!
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And of course the standard is violated on a regular basis by assemblies, because just as in the days of Moses, the standard is considered either unimportant or unattainable.
2) Like I stated, I am done trying to get you to change your thinking about intoxicants.
It is sad that the Baptists are confused by those who are presenting a false witness about the matter of intoxicants.
If it weren't possible to get drunk on it Noah and Lot in particular wouldn't have been able to get drunk on it. It's the same word.
And if it were inherently sinful, that is, in violation of God's perfect law versus merely violating Baptist Tradition--which has no salvific power--then God wouldn't in any way endorse it. He certainly wouldn't require a strong drink offering. Because it would be sinful to even make it, according to Baptist Tradition.
I'm a Five Solae Baptist.
I am absolutely open to being convinced, or at the very least, open to discussion based on Scripture, but Scripture pertaining to this topic, allows significant Christian liberty viz a viz consumption of alcohol, because even if you disregard Deuteronomy and Psalms--which is not the greatest of ideas--alcohol in and of itself is not a violation of the first or second Great Commandments. Fascinatingly, passing judgment on others over non-Biblical standards is.
What one does prior to conversion is NOT erased by the blood of Christ Jesus?
That point of view is illuminating.
My IFB church has but a few "constitutional " rules:
1.) The BIBLE is the highest source of authority in our church til Jesus returns.
2. ) No man-made doctrines of worship & faith, nor man-made rules of worship are accepted. This includes "regenerational baptism", "name it/claim it", the KJVO myth, no pants on women, no tattoos, no long hair on men, & all the other man-made "isms" that Satan has invented to pollute Christianity. One's use of alcohol, tobacco, etc. are between that person and GOD.
3.) EVERYONE is accepted! For a Christian, one's past sins before he/she became a Christian are not held against him/her by us, any more than JESUS holds them against anyone who comes to Him. If any member "strays", but confesses his/her sin, he/she is welcomed back as the "prodigal son" of Jesus' parable was. Again, that person's actual repentance is between that person and GOD.
1. The perfect, complete an inerrant Word as authoritative - Amen! Because really, what else do we have?
2. "No man-made doctrines of worship & faith, nor man-made rules of worship are accepted...." Man-made doctrines tend to lead to pharisaicalism where one tries to be more holy than the Holy Scriptures, which is of course impossible. So that tends to manifest itself as trying to appear more holy than your brother.
3. "EVERYONE is accepted! For a Christian, one's past sins before he/she became a Christian are not held against him/her by us, any more than JESUS holds them against anyone who comes to Him." Because if this were not so, we are all lost and to be most pitied. Paul was an accomplice to murder, and put Christians in prison to be executed before his conversion! Funny that the constitutions of many churches would exclude the man who wrote most of the New Testament.
Also, this is important: the very idea that Christ's sacrifice was not sufficient for those who believe in Him...that is a lie of the devil and from the pits of hell. It attempts to minimize the work of the Living God in the salvation of His people, and is in direct conflict with the Word of God on the matter.
2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new"
Galatians 6:15 "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature."
However, I suppose that I am a 'lay elder' since I am not in receipt of a stipend. Early on in my Christian life I felt a call to preach but due to various circumstances I was unable to take up full-time Christian work. I was encouraged in this by my former church and have for a long time been an itinerant preachers in the many tiny churches in rural Devon UK which cannot afford a Pastor. Shortly after moving to my current church I was appointed a deacon but have in fact been doing the work of an elder for a number of years. Last year I was appointed elder by the congregation at the proposal of the pastor.
I regard my work as being to support the Pastor, not to be a rival to him. I help him with the ministry, lead Bible studies and help with church discipline. He has had a number of family difficulties (nothing in any way sinful) and I have stood in for him when he has had to drive 300 miles to be with his dying father or 100 miles to comfort his daughter. He now proposes to take a three-month sabbatical from October and I shall be in charge of the shop during that time. We are too small a church to have more than one paid person.
So that's what a 'lay elder' does. I am not crazy about the term, but I suppose that's what I am.
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