Thursday, April 03, 2008

OBEDIENCE TO ELDERS IN MATTERS OF OPINION

Here is an excellent article by Terry A. Martin that is a reminder for the church to respect the authority of the Elders even in matters of opinion (where the Scripture gives no clear judgment) and at the same time it is an appeal for the Elders to thoughtfully consider the opinions of the congregation. Martin reminds the church not to outright deny the authority of Elders, as some are counseling, just because they could abuse that authority. We don't deny the authority of the government because it might abuse its authority. We don't deny that fathers have authority because of fear that they might abuse it. Elders are granted authority by God for the good of the congregation. Sure it's a risk, but not as big as the risk of having less qualified or no Leaders at all.
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More on this topic:
Obey the Elders
Obey Your Servant Leaders
Selection of Elders - Congregation Involvement
Elders, Overseers, Shepherds
Greek Preposition Showing Our Relationship to Elders

2 comments:

  1. I'm wondering, what do you make of the contrast between the article you to which you linked and the article at the address I provide here? http://www.nrawinningteam.com/harvard.html

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  2. In the speech by Charlton Heston, whose memory I love and respect almost as much as I do Ronald Reagan's, he said the following: "So that this nation may long endure, I urge you to follow in the hallowed footsteps of the great disobediences of history that freed exiles, founded religions, defeated tyrants, and yes, in the hands of an aroused rabble in arms and a few great men, by God's grace, built this country." I couldn't agree more. Those great old patriots Nathan Hale [for spying on British troops, he said just before being hanged, said, "I regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."], Patrick Henry [Arguing to go to war against Britain, said, "I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"], Paul Revere and Founding Fathers who declared independence, are heroes to me. The Leaders in the Church are heroes too. They represent God's moral and legitimate authority. Rebellion here is not an option. They sometimes have to make difficult, Biblically informed decisions, and the church is commanded to obey and submit to them (Heb. 13:17; 1Pt. 5:6, "You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders;"). Mr. Heston, as I understand his speech, is talking about rebellion against those authorities that have lost their moral authority. In such cases, men have a moral imperative to say with the Apostles, regardless of the nature of the authority, "we must obey God rather than men."

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