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Discussion on matters of general mainstream Christian churches. What are the differences between Catholics and protestants? How has the charismatic movement affected the church? Are Southern baptists different from fundamentalist baptists? It is also for discussions about the nature of the church.

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Church Leadership

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  • #16
    Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    IMO it would be rather more profitable to reconsider whether the church has indeed failed for 2,000 years.
    The problem is the answer is yes and no. Yes, there have been failures and some pretty spectacular. Yet there have also been successes. Not sure how a look at over 2,000 years of failure will make things better now.
    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

    "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

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    • #17
      Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post
      I have a lot of thoughts on the topic of "what church should look like," but I'm having a lot of trouble concentrating.

      Marg Mowczko posted this article by a young-looking pastor to her Facebook page. It at least touches on a lot of things on my mind.

      Gordon Fee has a couple of good essays from a while back -- "Laos and Leadership Under the New Covenant" and "Reflections on Church Order in the Pastoral Epistles." I think they're only available in his books.
      Fee covered some related material in one of his chapters that appear in all editions of Discovering Biblical Equality, "The Priority of Spirit-Gifting for Church Ministry."

      Here is a summary of the chapter with several quotes from the chapter, and a few opinions by the "summarizer."

      Here appears to be a summary of a lecture or seminar by the same title.

      Two big takeaways for me:

      -- It is striking how little we actually know about "how they did church" in the Early Church, or about how much uniformity vs. diversity there was.

      -- It was much less about "Who's in charge here," and much more about "How can we all best serve each other?"
      Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

      Beige Federalist.

      Nationalist Christian.

      "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

      Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

      Proud member of the LGBFJB community.

      Would-be Grand Vizier of the Padishah Maxi-Super-Ultra-Hyper-Mega-MAGA King Trumpius Rex.

      Justice for Ashli Babbitt!

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      Arrest Ray Epps and his Fed bosses!

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      • #18
        Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post

        Fee covered some related material in one of his chapters that appear in all editions of Discovering Biblical Equality, "The Priority of Spirit-Gifting for Church Ministry."

        Here is a summary of the chapter with several quotes from the chapter, and a few opinions by the "summarizer."

        Here appears to be a summary of a lecture or seminar by the same title.

        Two big takeaways for me:

        -- It is striking how little we actually know about "how they did church" in the Early Church, or about how much uniformity vs. diversity there was.

        -- It was much less about "Who's in charge here," and much more about "How can we all best serve each other?"
        I'm fine with the first link. Since I've seen arguments from the Bible justifying the structure of the Roman Catholic church and denominations to others that say only an independent church is Biblical, I have to agree that the Bible is ambiguous about how a church should be organized. It probably was very diverse back in Biblical times. It does also seem to indicate there are leaders in the church.

        My take is the articles are more advocating that qualified people be put into leadership. I've seen too many people in leadership because they helped found the church or are a big donor rather than being actually qualified to do anything. I agree with an article I read recently that the person who wants a leadership position isn't qualified to have it.

        Personally, I think John 13:1-17 has been pushed out of proportion. It's not about the leader being the servant of the community. Jesus affirms He is still Load and Teacher. I think the more correct message in the passage is no task is below the dignity of the leader to perform.
        "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

        "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post

          I'm fine with the first link. Since I've seen arguments from the Bible justifying the structure of the Roman Catholic church and denominations to others that say only an independent church is Biblical, I have to agree that the Bible is ambiguous about how a church should be organized. It probably was very diverse back in Biblical times. It does also seem to indicate there are leaders in the church.

          My take is the articles are more advocating that qualified people be put into leadership. I've seen too many people in leadership because they helped found the church or are a big donor rather than being actually qualified to do anything. I agree with an article I read recently that the person who wants a leadership position isn't qualified to have it.

          Personally, I think John 13:1-17 has been pushed out of proportion. It's not about the leader being the servant of the community. Jesus affirms He is still Load and Teacher. I think the more correct message in the passage is no task is below the dignity of the leader to perform.
          One of the points Fee makes in at least one of those articles of his that I cited is that the whole notion of a separate "class" of leaders/ministers is an Old Covenant "priests and Levites" concept that is not properly part of the New Covenant, but that "the Church" has drifted back into.
          Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

          Beige Federalist.

          Nationalist Christian.

          "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

          Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

          Proud member of the LGBFJB community.

          Would-be Grand Vizier of the Padishah Maxi-Super-Ultra-Hyper-Mega-MAGA King Trumpius Rex.

          Justice for Ashli Babbitt!

          Justice for Matthew Perna!

          Arrest Ray Epps and his Fed bosses!

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post

            I'm fine with the first link. Since I've seen arguments from the Bible justifying the structure of the Roman Catholic church and denominations to others that say only an independent church is Biblical, I have to agree that the Bible is ambiguous about how a church should be organized. It probably was very diverse back in Biblical times. It does also seem to indicate there are leaders in the church.

            My take is the articles are more advocating that qualified people be put into leadership. I've seen too many people in leadership because they helped found the church or are a big donor rather than being actually qualified to do anything. I agree with an article I read recently that the person who wants a leadership position isn't qualified to have it.

            Personally, I think John 13:1-17 has been pushed out of proportion. It's not about the leader being the servant of the community. Jesus affirms He is still Load and Teacher. I think the more correct message in the passage is no task is below the dignity of the leader to perform.
            Part of the issue is that the New Testament is not a manual on how to to church; the letters are generally occasional pieces written to deal with a particular situation, and the gospels/Acts are historical/biographical. What we see in the NT is the apostles appointing leaders to various churches, and those leaders appointing others (see, e.g., the pastoral epistles). What we don't see is local churches independently appointing their own leaders.
            Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

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            I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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            • #21
              Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post

              One of the points Fee makes in at least one of those articles of his that I cited is that the whole notion of a separate "class" of leaders/ministers is an Old Covenant "priests and Levites" concept that is not properly part of the New Covenant, but that "the Church" has drifted back into.
              I think we're actually talking about the same issue from different perspectives. I think we're both concerned with the rise of "elite" leadership and putting the organization ahead of the people. While these are probably not necessarily bad, we have too many examples of them failing in the past few years.

              For leadership failures, the names Jerry Falwell, Jr., Rob Bell (not morally but going apostate), Mark Driscoll come to mind. Organizationally, we've watched the RCC deal with how they protected priests for years blow-up in their face and now we find the similar practices in SBC and the Mormon church. On a different level, we've watched other denominations like PC(USA) fall away from faithfulness or have messy splits like United Methodist Church.

              I'm sure issues like this occur in local churches as well. A local mega-church and a para-church ministry both recently made the news for concealing sexual abuse. I guess the difference is, the local groups faded out of the news pretty quickly, but the denominational scandals persist.

              I guess it's no wonder people are distrusting organized religion. It's not necessarily that they are falling away from Christ, but they are falling away from organizations that don't have their best interests in mind. In other words, they are rejecting leadership that serves the organization instead of the members.
              "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

              "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post

                I think we're actually talking about the same issue from different perspectives. I think we're both concerned with the rise of "elite" leadership and putting the organization ahead of the people. While these are probably not necessarily bad, we have too many examples of them failing in the past few years.

                For leadership failures, the names Jerry Falwell, Jr., Rob Bell (not morally but going apostate), Mark Driscoll come to mind. Organizationally, we've watched the RCC deal with how they protected priests for years blow-up in their face and now we find the similar practices in SBC and the Mormon church. On a different level, we've watched other denominations like PC(USA) fall away from faithfulness or have messy splits like United Methodist Church.

                I'm sure issues like this occur in local churches as well. A local mega-church and a para-church ministry both recently made the news for concealing sexual abuse. I guess the difference is, the local groups faded out of the news pretty quickly, but the denominational scandals persist.

                I guess it's no wonder people are distrusting organized religion. It's not necessarily that they are falling away from Christ, but they are falling away from organizations that don't have their best interests in mind. In other words, they are rejecting leadership that serves the organization instead of the members.
                Falwell Jr. came out recently and said that he never wanted to be a Christian leader in the first place, and that he wasn't even the churchgoing type. So the lesson in his place is that we need to avoid structures that lend themselves to nepotism. Which isn't to say that all sons who follow their fathers into ministry are automatically suspect, but that if it ends up becoming an expectation, we're at risk of subverting the notion that ministry should be a calling.
                "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post

                  Falwell Jr. came out recently and said that he never wanted to be a Christian leader in the first place, and that he wasn't even the churchgoing type. So the lesson in his place is that we need to avoid structures that lend themselves to nepotism. Which isn't to say that all sons who follow their fathers into ministry are automatically suspect, but that if it ends up becoming an expectation, we're at risk of subverting the notion that ministry should be a calling.
                  Joel Osteen is NOTHING like his dad -- I went to numerous "pastors conferences" with John Osteen, and he was rock solid.
                  The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                    Joel Osteen is NOTHING like his dad -- I went to numerous "pastors conferences" with John Osteen, and he was rock solid.
                    It's always a head-scratcher when you say that. I enjoyed listening to him back in the late '80s when he was a tongues-speaking Word-Faith preacher.
                    Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

                    Beige Federalist.

                    Nationalist Christian.

                    "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

                    Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

                    Proud member of the LGBFJB community.

                    Would-be Grand Vizier of the Padishah Maxi-Super-Ultra-Hyper-Mega-MAGA King Trumpius Rex.

                    Justice for Ashli Babbitt!

                    Justice for Matthew Perna!

                    Arrest Ray Epps and his Fed bosses!

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post

                      It's always a head-scratcher when you say that. I enjoyed listening to him back in the late '80s when he was a tongues-speaking Word-Faith preacher.
                      Yeah, that came later.
                      The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post

                        Falwell Jr. came out recently and said that he never wanted to be a Christian leader in the first place, and that he wasn't even the churchgoing type. So the lesson in his place is that we need to avoid structures that lend themselves to nepotism. Which isn't to say that all sons who follow their fathers into ministry are automatically suspect, but that if it ends up becoming an expectation, we're at risk of subverting the notion that ministry should be a calling.
                        Put another way, this shows the dangers of letting a church become a business instead of a ministry.
                        "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

                        "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post

                          Put another way, this shows the dangers of letting a church become a business instead of a ministry.
                          Liberty wasn't a church. But he did flout the university's rules with his social media posts about partying. So that suggests a lack of accountability.
                          "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post

                            One of the points Fee makes in at least one of those articles of his that I cited is that the whole notion of a separate "class" of leaders/ministers is an Old Covenant "priests and Levites" concept that is not properly part of the New Covenant, but that "the Church" has drifted back into.
                            Is there any way to avoid the existence of a hierarchy in the New Testament churches? True, primary obedience is given to God and the gospel, but authority is also vested in those who are charged with maintaining proper order in the churches (and it would be rather difficult that argue that responsibility can be conferred without the authority to undertake the task). Hebrews 13:24 acknowledges the existence of leaders, 1 Corinthians 4:19-21 shows somewhat that authority is vested in Paul, as also Acts 17:15 likewise, 2 Thessalonians 3:6, Titus 2:15. 2. See also 1 Tim 4:11. Corinthians 10:8 shows that the direction that authority should take. "Lording it over others" is not properly within the authority of church leaders, but there are times when exercising authority is necessary, and the separate class is inherent in the responsibility and authority conferred by those roles (Eph 4:11-12).

                            1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω
                            Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
                            .
                            "when the church no longer teaches its people why they believe what they believe, the world will often step in and fill in the gaps." Ryan Danker

                            "The synoptic gospels claim that Jesus was crucified on the 15th day of Nisan and buried on the 14th day of Nisan:" Majority Consensus

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                              Part of the issue is that the New Testament is not a manual on how to to church; the letters are generally occasional pieces written to deal with a particular situation, and the gospels/Acts are historical/biographical. What we see in the NT is the apostles appointing leaders to various churches, and those leaders appointing others (see, e.g., the pastoral epistles). What we don't see is local churches independently appointing their own leaders.
                              If the Gospels and Epistles contained such instruction there would have been no need for the Didache

                              I'm always still in trouble again

                              "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                              "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                              "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

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