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T O P I C    R E V I E W
DARRIELHAGANS Posted - 01/28/2004 : 14:49:57
To get right to the point-

What is your view on eldership. Is their a Senior Elder? Do we get rid of the Word Pastor? Do we get rid of Tithing? Do we get rid of Membership? When I say get rid of , I mean do we teach it as a must to have a complete assembly called church?

1. Is Their a Senior Elder?

2. Do we get rid of the Word Pastor?

3. Do we get Rid of Tithing as a must?

4. What is the Major difference in Cells other than we meet in a home?

Please answer without looking at the negatives of the way Church is run now. I imagine every an anything we do will have negatives.

2   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Link H Posted - 01/29/2004 : 17:09:55
There is a Biblical meaning of the word 'pastor' and their is the cultural meaning. Since there is so much unbiblical baggage that has attached itself to the word 'pastor' I believe it is very important to teach the Biblical role, and if necessary, explain how it is different than the cultural role.

Since 'pastor' means a lot of things in modern English that it does not refer to in the Bible, it may be a good idea to stick with the words used more often in the Bible, like 'elder' and 'overseer.' ('Bishop' is a loaded term as well.)

One of the problems with the word 'pastor' is that it has associated with it a set of duties that the Bible does not assign to one senior 'pastor' in the assembly. For example, preaching a main sermon every Sunday, doing all the visiting of the sick, marrying the young, burying the dead, and being the CEO of a 501c3 corporation.

In the Bible, the ministry of the word was conducted by more than one person in the assembly. In I Corinthians 14, we see that there was not just one main speaker. The elders, plural, were to visit the sick. The Bible does not teach that marrying people is the role of church leaders. This is Christianized Roman customs of marriage. Before Christianity, the Romans had a pagan priest officiate a ceremony, and hasd various other cultural practices for their marriage. But Roman culture was very influential in the history of Christianity.

The Bible shows us that there is one 'Chief Pastor' over the elders. He is the Lord. The rest are to tend His sheep, and not their own. If the Bible doesn't teach to put one elder above the elders, why should we do such a thing?

The idea of one 'five-fold' pastor over a group of elders who are not 'five-fold' ministers is not Biblical. The Bible commands elders to PASTOR the flock of God (Acts 20, I Peter 5.) Unfortunately, some translations translate this as 'feed' or 'tend' and the connection with 'pastoring' is obscured.

Elders have to live up to a specific set of conditions before being appointed. One thing to consider is that elders are 'older men' not gifted younger men. "Elder" implies age in both English and Greek (presbuteros.) I Peter 5 and I Timothy hint that elders are older men. (Likewise ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder-- Peter.)

The apostles appointed ELDERS to tend the flock of God. They did not appoint pastors who did not live up to the qualifications of elders. These elders are to pastor the flock of God, and they are supposed to be able to teach them. If a man is gifted to tend sheep and teach them, but he hasn't ruled his house well, and met up to the other qualifications, he might be a pastor in terms of gifting, but he shouldn't be put in authority as an overseer in the church.

As for tithing, we need to realize that this is a part of the law, like firstfruit offerings and other things. Of course, we can learn about righteousness from the Law, and we should encourage people to be disciplined in giving. For many people, this includes giving 10% of their income. But we should not preach to them as if they are under the Old Testament Law. And we should not twist Old Testament laws to make our own budgets 'the storehouse' in a legalistic manner.

James Bell Posted - 01/28/2004 : 16:27:36
A short answer:

The "set man" or "overseer" is the "pastor". Pastor is a part of the five-fold ministry concerned with caring, nurturing and exhorting. Elders and Deacons have biblical qualifications described, but leave us guessing about much of their actual functioning in the church.

But people will continue to use the word, "pastor" for the man in charge of the church leadership. It is ingrained in the culture. It has, like many other words, taken on a new meaning. And if people love the Lord and his work, they will joyfully tithe.

In summary, we are choking on a gnat and swallowing a camel when we get focused on the "right word" and the "authentic structure". The power and purpose of God will be manifested when people repent, crucify the flesh, initiate worship, and reach out to the lost. Period.

p.s. It is a lot less expensive, too.

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