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Thread: Appoint elders in Every Town

  1. #16
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    Re: Appoint elders in Every Town

    Quote Originally Posted by Radagast View Post
    Are you sure that καταστήσῃς κατὰ πόλιν πρεσβυτέρους ("appoint, according to towns, elders") doesn't mean one elder per town?
    When Moses first introduced the concept of elders, it was a group. Jewish culture continued this when appointing town elders, a group of respected elders sat at the town gate to run the affairs of the town. Then knowing this consistent precedent of groups of elders, the 12 apostles appointed a group of leaders in Jerusalem, and chose to call them elders.

    Then in Ephesus, a town, Paul calls together a group of the elders of Ephesus, according to Acts 20:17. So there were more than one elder in Ephesus.

    An overseer is another name for an elder, in Philippi there were more than one overseer: Phil 1:1 To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons

    So I'm pretty sure when Paul tells Titus to appoint elderS (plural) in every town, that's just what he meant, a plural of elders in every town.

    Titus 1 :The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.

  2. #17

    Re: Appoint elders in Every Town

    Quote Originally Posted by DurbanDude View Post
    Then in Ephesus, a town, Paul calls together a group of the elders of Ephesus, according to Acts 20:17. So there were more than one elder in Ephesus.
    I'll give you that.

    Quote Originally Posted by DurbanDude View Post
    An overseer is another name for an elder, in Philippi there were more than one overseer: Phil 1:1 To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons
    Probably, an overseer is another name for an elder, so I'll give you that too -- but Ephesus and Philippi were large towns.

    Quote Originally Posted by DurbanDude View Post
    So I'm pretty sure when Paul tells Titus to appoint elderS (plural) in every town, that's just what he meant, a plural of elders in every town.

    Titus 1 :The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.
    Perhaps you didn't notice what I wrote, so I'll say that again. In Titus 1:5, Paul writes: καταστήσῃς κατὰ πόλιν πρεσβυτέρους ("appoint, according to towns, elders").

    Are you sure that doesn't mean one elder per town? Because the Greek is not actually saying "a plural of elders in each town."

  3. #18
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    Re: Appoint elders in Every Town

    Quote Originally Posted by Radagast View Post
    I'll give you that.



    Probably, an overseer is another name for an elder, so I'll give you that too -- but Ephesus and Philippi were large towns.



    Perhaps you didn't notice what I wrote, so I'll say that again. In Titus 1:5, Paul writes: καταστήσῃς κατὰ πόλιν πρεσβυτέρους ("appoint, according to towns, elders").

    Are you sure that doesn't mean one elder per town? Because the Greek is not actually saying "a plural of elders in each town."
    Sure its possible to read it in the manner you propose, but given the precedent of elders always been in a group as per Moses, as per town elders, as per Jerusalem elders, as per Ephesus elders, as per the 24 heavenly elders of Rev 4, Rev 5, Rev 11 and Rev 19, elders are a group of leaders.

    Regarding overseers being elders, Paul clearly refers to the elders in Ephesus as overseers. He also tells them to be pastors (shepherds).


    28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God

    I don't want to be prescriptive about this, but certainly even apostles moved around in groups of apostolic teams, and regularly rebuked eachother. So the team way is the best, even with the most powerful position in the church (apostle). So too with elders.

  4. #19
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    Re: Appoint elders in Every Town

    Quote Originally Posted by Radagast View Post
    That's what denominations are for: a "boss" for the pastor (i.e. a "bishop") or a group of other pastors (i.e. a "presbytery") provides the accountability.
    A more correct model is a group of elders mutually accountable to each other. These elders are also accountable to a group of apostles. Those apostles are also mutually accountable to each other.

    There is no place for ego, when Paul an apostle that never even walked with Jesus in the flesh , can rebuke Peter, a renowned apostle who walked with Jesus and was close to Jesus. Mutual accountability even among apostles.

    And the problem with "bishops" of today is that they haven't got the attributes of an apostle. A leader over multiple churches should behave like this:
    2 Corinthians 12:12
    I persevered in demonstrating among you the marks of a true apostle, including signs, wonders and miracles.

    The mark of those who wish to be leaders over multiple churches should be signs, wonders, and miracles.

  5. #20

    Re: Appoint elders in Every Town

    Quote Originally Posted by DurbanDude View Post
    but certainly even apostles moved around in groups of apostolic teams
    Really?

    Quote Originally Posted by DurbanDude View Post
    A more correct model is a group of elders mutually accountable to each other.
    That's exactly what a "presbytery" is.

  6. #21
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    Re: Appoint elders in Every Town

    Quote Originally Posted by Radagast View Post
    Really?



    That's exactly what a "presbytery" is.
    Yes a presbytery sounds great. Groups of leaders over an area.

    Yes the apostles used to work in groups/teams. Peter and John etc in Jerusalem and the Middle East. In Europe, Paul traveled with apostolic companions. He sometimes traveled with his "co-worker" Timothy, and mainly with the apostle Barnabas, or Silas.

  7. #22
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    Re: Appoint elders in Every Town

    Quote Originally Posted by Radagast View Post
    That's what denominations are for: a "boss" for the pastor (i.e. a "bishop") or a group of other pastors (i.e. a "presbytery") provides the accountability.
    What that suggests is accountability comes from above, and not from beneath. A hierarchical system has its own concerns, eg elitism. We've all heard about the "accountability" of the Roman Catholic Church with respect to the Pope's management of priestly sex offenders?

    No, I'm suggesting that biblically, there must be a more "horizontal" accountability, not protected by an elite group of leaders. Elders, designated as such by their maturity and reputation, provide this kind of accountability, because they are mature, and yet not strictly a "board" or administrative. The Scriptures say we are to "submit ourselves to one another"--not submit yourselves to those above you.

    To be fair, a church may have this kind of accountability already in play, depending on what's in their bylaws. I'm just suggesting that too much centralization leads to too much control, with the result that the weaknesses and sins of the leadership tend to not be balanced by a more shared leadership.

  8. #23
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    Re: Appoint elders in Every Town

    Quote Originally Posted by Radagast View Post
    That's exactly what a "presbytery" is.
    Just to check how biblical a presbytery is, are all the members mutually accountable, or are some higher ranked than others and the lower ranks are accountable to the higher ranks. That would mess with the biblical model of mutual accountability of elders (unless apostles with supernatural gifting are in town.)

    Do they meet because it's a job, or because they are preparing the Christians in that region for works of service?

    Are they threatened when their congregations meet spontaneously in each other's homes to worship and teach each other?

  9. #24
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    Re: Appoint elders in Every Town

    Quote Originally Posted by DurbanDude View Post
    Just to check how biblical a presbytery is, are they all mutually accountable, or are some higher ranked than others and the lower ranks are accountable to the higher ranks. That would mess with the biblical model of mutual accountability of elders (unless apostles with supernatural gifting are in town.)

    Do they meet because it's a job, or because they are preparing the Christians in that region for works of service?

    Are they threatened when their congregations meet spontaneously in each other's homes to worship and teach each other?
    My own belief is in autonomous local churches, or in the sovereignty of the local church. These local churches can legitimately belong to denominations, in order to follow a prescribed bath, developed in certain historical situations.

    For example, my denomination, the AoG, developed in a time of emphasis on spirituals gifts and holiness, in contrast to the loss of experience and vitality associated with Christian churches of the time. Belonging to a Pentecostal denomination allowed fellowship from local church to local church while maintaining local autonomy. This gave the local church control of the internal discipline and regulation of the church, while remaining connected to the church denomination in matters of emphasis, in order to preserve the initial vision.

    Of course, there are other advantages to belonging to a denomination, such as collaboration on common missions, pooling resources, etc. At any rate, I do not find the diversity of denominations necessarily an impediment to Christian unity, although I think that does result at times. There have simply arisen, at various times in history, different needs in different countries, which are then dealt with by denominations designed to deal with those different needs. Assuming they hold to the same creed and practice there should be little to prevent fellowship across denominational lines. The more recent Charismatic Movement has shown that.

    The Baptists appear to have a similar structure to my own AoG model, which I believe avoids the problem of centralization, and the problems that come with that. Too much control in the hands of a few invites corruption, and the lack of an ability to regulate it, or control it. And that power tends to produce a cocoon to protect that power, insulating itself against problems, real or imagined. The result is that the weakness of the leadership at the time is disseminated throughout the denomination. Local control guards against that.

  10. #25
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    Re: Appoint elders in Every Town

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    My own belief is in autonomous local churches, or in the sovereignty of the local church. These local churches can legitimately belong to denominations, in order to follow a prescribed bath, developed in certain historical situations.

    For example, my denomination, the AoG, developed in a time of emphasis on spirituals gifts and holiness, in contrast to the loss of experience and vitality associated with Christian churches of the time. Belonging to a Pentecostal denomination allowed fellowship from local church to local church while maintaining local autonomy. This gave the local church control of the internal discipline and regulation of the church, while remaining connected to the church denomination in matters of emphasis, in order to preserve the initial vision.

    Of course, there are other advantages to belonging to a denomination, such as collaboration on common missions, pooling resources, etc. At any rate, I do not find the diversity of denominations necessarily an impediment to Christian unity, although I think that does result at times. There have simply arisen, at various times in history, different needs in different countries, which are then dealt with by denominations designed to deal with those different needs. Assuming they hold to the same creed and practice there should be little to prevent fellowship across denominational lines. The more recent Charismatic Movement has shown that.

    The Baptists appear to have a similar structure to my own AoG model, which I believe avoids the problem of centralization, and the problems that come with that. Too much control in the hands of a few invites corruption, and the lack of an ability to regulate it, or control it. And that power tends to produce a cocoon to protect that power, insulating itself against problems, real or imagined. The result is that the weakness of the leadership at the time is disseminated throughout the denomination. Local control guards against that.
    Yes the original church was a very loose organization. Basically some people became generally recognized as full of faith and supernatural anointing, and were then asked by apostles to join them in visiting churches and planting churches. These were then also called apostles. They were free to disagree with each other, and even disagree with the apostles in Jerusalem. As long as the true gospel was being preached, it's as if no one cared about the details or church structures. The group of believers in a whole town was seen as the church, and had elders and multiple small groups meeting in homes.

    The AoG and Baptists seem pretty good as denominations go. There's an organisation called NCMI which is closer to the original church model, incidentally from Durban my home town. They have planted hundreds of churches around the world, they work with an eldership team and groups of traveling apostles, yet make the mistake of having a "lead elder" and are congregation based rather then town based. The lead-elder position reverts back to the ego problem of a revered person whose personality dominates the congregation and people are nervous to question his authority.

    Examples of early leadership, Paul and later Timothy were invited to join the apostles and gradually became apostles themselves as they were used by God to preach and visit churches. The requirements to be sent on an apostolic mission trip seemed to be passion, faith, and miraculous anointing.

  11. #26
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    Re: Appoint elders in Every Town

    Quote Originally Posted by DurbanDude View Post
    Yes the original church was a very loose organization. Basically some people became generally recognized as full of faith and supernatural anointing, and were then asked by apostles to join them in visiting churches and planting churches. These were then also called apostles. They were free to disagree with each other, and even disagree with the apostles in Jerusalem. As long as the true gospel was being preached, it's as if no one cared about the details or church structures. The group of believers in a whole town was seen as the church, and had elders and multiple small groups meeting in homes.

    The AoG and Baptists seem pretty good as denominations go. There's an organisation called NCMI which is closer to the original church model, incidentally from Durban my home town. They have planted hundreds of churches around the world, they work with an eldership team and groups of traveling apostles, yet make the mistake of having a "lead elder" and are congregation based rather then town based. The lead-elder position reverts back to the ego problem of a revered person whose personality dominates the congregation and people are nervous to question his authority.

    Examples of early leadership, Paul and later Timothy were invited to join the apostles and gradually became apostles themselves as they were used by God to preach and visit churches. The requirements to be sent on an apostolic mission trip seemed to be passion, faith, and miraculous anointing.
    Interesting! It appears to have started in S. Africa? I've also had a brief time in a couple of local Calvary Chapel churches. That is another major "denomination" emphasizing local autonomy. Still, it retained Chuck Smith's emphasis on the "imminent, pretribulational Rapture." And I find it difficult even in autonomous churches challenging the denominational characteristics that I don't find to be biblical.

    I also spent time in a completely independent charismatic church, where the former Lutheran pastor had been "kicked out" of his denomination for teaching "speaking in tongues." I didn't like that there was very little reference to church ministries in a broader sense, whether teaching, music, or evangelical ministries. But there was some accountability and trans-church relationship with other like churches. Thanks for your input.

  12. #27

    Re: Appoint elders in Every Town

    Quote Originally Posted by DurbanDude View Post
    Just to check how biblical a presbytery is, are all the members mutually accountable
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by DurbanDude View Post
    Are they threatened when their congregations meet spontaneously in each other's homes to worship and teach each other?
    Not threatened, but a pastor's job is to pastor. That includes keeping an eye out in case members of the congregation start spreading false teachings.

  13. #28
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    Re: Appoint elders in Every Town

    Quote Originally Posted by Radagast View Post
    Yes.



    Not threatened, but a pastor's job is to pastor. That includes keeping an eye out in case members of the congregation start spreading false teachings.
    That sounds pretty good, reasonably close to the home church model of the first century.

  14. #29
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    Re: Appoint elders in Every Town

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Interesting! It appears to have started in S. Africa? I've also had a brief time in a couple of local Calvary Chapel churches. That is another major "denomination" emphasizing local autonomy. Still, it retained Chuck Smith's emphasis on the "imminent, pretribulational Rapture." And I find it difficult even in autonomous churches challenging the denominational characteristics that I don't find to be biblical.

    I also spent time in a completely independent charismatic church, where the former Lutheran pastor had been "kicked out" of his denomination for teaching "speaking in tongues." I didn't like that there was very little reference to church ministries in a broader sense, whether teaching, music, or evangelical ministries. But there was some accountability and trans-church relationship with other like churches. Thanks for your input.
    There was a mini revival in Durban in the mid 80s, that's when I was saved. The young leaders of that revival formed New Covenant Ministries, which has been an effective international movement. Church planting has occurred everywhere, but mainly Africa, USA, Europe and Australia. Although there is a little accountability, it still remains one leader (lead elder) running a local congregation, which I feel needs to change.

    The home group system within churches has worked well, I just feel a further step away from a Sunday congregation would be even better. Home churches running themselves, with neighborhood elders keeping an eye on the spiritual health of the believers in that neighborhood is the future way to go.

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    Re: Appoint elders in Every Town

    Quote Originally Posted by DurbanDude View Post
    There was a mini revival in Durban in the mid 80s, that's when I was saved. The young leaders of that revival formed New Covenant Ministries, which has been an effective international movement. Church planting has occurred everywhere, but mainly Africa, USA, Europe and Australia.

    The home group system within churches has worked well, I just feel a further step away from a Sunday congregation would be even better. Home churches running themselves, with neighborhood elders keeping an eye on the spiritual health of the believers in that neighborhood is the future way to go.
    Thank you, I appreciate your input on this. I've been having issues with my own local church, and its organization/methodology for a long time now. I'm not one to upset the status quo on my own. I really have to have an alternative, and not just criticize without a solution. I've been looking at this thing at all angles before I give up. There has been so little ministry--so many leaving and so few coming. If little ministry to the outside world is happening, I feel that I'm wasting my time and resources.

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