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Do Our churches Have Traditions?

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Re: Do Our churches Have Traditions?

Postby Paidion » Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:51 pm

As for my opinion I would say the Plymouth brethren are clearly out of line. "Let each one examine himself and so let him eat" Paul says.


Hmmmm... I always thought Paul's words referred to examining himself concerning his life—such as having a grudge against a brother. Jesus said as recorded in Matthew 5:24 "First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift." I know Jesus words do not refer to communion, but I thought the principle was the same. It had never occurred to me that Paul's words might address examining oneself to see whether one be in the faith or not.

Open communion permits murderers, adulterers, blasphemers, etc. to walk into a church and take communion. How can such a person be a part of such a holy celebration? I once heard one such sinner boasting that he could go to any church in Winnipeg and take communion. But he was wrong. He didn't try any of the assemblies of Plymouth Brethren (so-called).

To answer your question, yes, twice a month, we still meet with an assembly, part of a fellowship of assemblies that others call "the North Battleford Group" but which participants refer to as "the Move of God." The other two Sundays we meet with a Mennonite Church that has broken away from the Conservative Mennonite Conference of churches.
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Re: Do Our churches Have Traditions?

Postby dwight92070 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:28 am

To say or imply that the belief in one pastor for each church is a tradition of man rather than a different understanding of the word of God is, in itself, a misunderstanding. You may not agree with one pastor for each church, but obviously thousands of other sincere Christians do, so according to the Bible itself, you should "let each person be fully convinced in his own mind." I know that quote is referring to eating or not eating meat and/or regarding one day above another, but I think the principle is the same here. I don't agree with a plurality of elders/pastors for each church, but I do not label that belief a tradition of men. I call that a different understanding and interpretation of the word of God.
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Re: Do Our churches Have Traditions?

Postby Paidion » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:59 pm

Dwight, I have reread all the posts in this thread twice.
I could not find even one post in which the writer said that the belief in one pastor for each church is a tradition of man.
Though that is my personal belief, I didn't say it, and I don't think I implied it.

Of course you don't label the practice of plurality of elders/pastors a tradition of men since it was practised from the beginning of the church, whereas a single elder/pastor in each church was a later development.

Acts 14:23 So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.


The very use of the word "every" suggests that several elders were appointed in each church. If Luke had meant one elder per church, would he not have written? "So when they had appointed elders in all the churches" or perhaps "So when they had appointed an elder in each church."
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Re: Do Our churches Have Traditions?

Postby dwight92070 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:47 pm

Paidion wrote:Dwight, I have reread all the posts in this thread twice.
I could not find even one post in which the writer said that the belief in one pastor for each church is a tradition of man.
Though that is my personal belief, I didn't say it, and I don't think I implied it.

Dwight: Forgive me, I thought you had implied that on the previous page. But since that is your belief, why do you find it necessary to question my conclusion that you do believe that?

Of course you don't label the practice of plurality of elders/pastors a tradition of men since it was practised from the beginning of the church, whereas a single elder/pastor in each church was a later development.
Dwight: I don't see that in the scripture.

Acts 14:23 So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

Dwight: In Acts 14 several churches are mentioned: The church at Iconium, the church at Lycaonia, the church at Lystra, the church at Derbe, and the church at Antioch. Each city most likely had several home churches, so when it says that "they had appointed elders in every church", it could easily be understood that several elders were appointed in each city, because there were several home churches in each city. Therefore, to interpret that verse to mean that there was one elder for each home church is not by any means a stretch, especially in the light of other scripture, such as 1 Timothy 3:4-5. These verses clearly show that just as one man is the manager in each household, so one elder is to manage each home church, or each individual church. To try to make these 2 verses say otherwise, in my opinion, IS a stretch.
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Re: Do Our churches Have Traditions?

Postby Homer » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:06 pm

Dwight,

I think you are mistaken. Note elders (plural), in every church (singular):

Acts 14:23 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
23. When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.


And here it is even clearer:

Acts 20:17 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
17. From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church.


If you were correct it should read "elder of each church".
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Re: Do Our churches Have Traditions?

Postby Singalphile » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:58 pm

Deacons also must be good managers of their children and home (1 Tim 3:12).
... that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. John 5:23
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Re: Do Our churches Have Traditions?

Postby dwight92070 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:36 am

[quote="Homer"]Dwight,

I think you are mistaken. Note elders (plural), in every church (singular):

Dwight: I don't think so. You are right that "church" is singular, because it is referring to the singular church in each city that Paul had evangelized. For example, today we could say the church in Denver or the church in Seattle. But the church in Denver is comprised of many individual churches (plural), so it would take many elders (plural) for each individual church in Denver to have one.

Acts 14:23 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
23. When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.


And here it is even clearer:

Acts 20:17 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
17. From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church.


Dwight: Again the church at Ephesus was comprised of many home churches, so "elders of the church" refers to all the singular elders of each individual church. If you are correct, then there would be only one individual church in Ephesus, but we know that can't be true. There were too many believers in the whole city for all of them to meet in one location on a regular basis.
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Re: Do Our churches Have Traditions?

Postby dwight92070 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:09 am

Singalphile wrote:Deacons also must be good managers of their children and home (1 Tim 3:12).


Dwight: Yes, so what's your point? Ideally, every Christian man should be a good manager of his children and home, but we know that that is not always the case. But not every Christian man is called to be a deacon or an elder. Nor is every Christian man or deacon called to manage the church, but elders are. Nor is a deacon required to be able to teach, as an elder is. Again, 1 Timothy 3:5 makes it very clear that a prospective elder must be able to manage his own household well. How does he do that? Does he look for another brother in the church to give the same authority over his family that he has? Of course not. The buck stops with him. He is the authority in his family, under the headship of Jesus. So, in the church, an elder should not have several other brothers in the church, all of which are trying to be the manager. There can only be one manager (of the church) in each individual church, again, under the headship of Jesus.
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Re: Do Our churches Have Traditions?

Postby Homer » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:51 pm

Dwight,

You wrote:

Acts 20:17 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
17. From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church.

Dwight: Again the church at Ephesus was comprised of many home churches, so "elders of the church" refers to all the singular elders of each individual church. If you are correct, then there would be only one individual church in Ephesus, but we know that can't be true. There were too many believers in the whole city for all of them to meet in one location on a regular basis.


You are going far beyond what the scriptures say. You say there was one church in Ephesus composed of many individual churches, each having one individual elder. Where do you find proof for your position in the scriptures, or even a hint of it? How do you know, for example, that there wasn't two dozen home groups, some with an elder among them, some with none? How do you know there wasn't six elders overseeing 24 home groups? The church we attend has a number of home groups with five elders overseeing all of them.

There seems to be considerable evidence the early church organization was patterned after the synagogue. Following is from Biblica (the International Bible Society):

D. Church government was identical to synagogue government:
1.      When Jews were converted to Christianity, they wholesale adopted the pattern of church government from the synagogue.
a.       Churches and synagogues were governed by a PLURALITY of men, not a single man like in the Roman Catholic church.
b.      The Greek word Presbuterion is plural for elder and signifies an equal BODY of men.
2.      Both synagogue and church share these qualities:
a.       Synagogue leaders were a body of plurality of qualified, older, experienced men and directly correspond to church overseers/elders/shepherds.
b.      Synagogue attendants were servants of Synagogue leaders with no oversite except that delegated from the Overseers and directly correspond to church deacons.
c.       Pharisees were the legal experts who preached and taught the Law of Moses and correspond directly with church pulpit ministers.

We do not find the single head of a congregation until later.
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Re: Do Our churches Have Traditions?

Postby dwight92070 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:49 pm

Homer wrote:Dwight,

You wrote:

Acts 20:17 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
17. From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church.

Dwight: Again the church at Ephesus was comprised of many home churches, so "elders of the church" refers to all the singular elders of each individual church. If you are correct, then there would be only one individual church in Ephesus, but we know that can't be true. There were too many believers in the whole city for all of them to meet in one location on a regular basis.


You are going far beyond what the scriptures say. You say there was one church in Ephesus composed of many individual churches, each having one individual elder. Where do you find proof for your position in the scriptures, or even a hint of it?
How do you know, for example, that there wasn't two dozen home groups, some with an elder among them, some with none? How do you know there wasn't six elders overseeing 24 home groups? The church we attend has a number of home groups with five elders overseeing all of them.

Dwight: If this was the only scripture we had to go on, then I would agree with you. All of those scenarios would be possible, EVEN MY SCENARIO - are you willing to accept that possibility? Where is my proof in the scripture? I will not presume to call it "proof", but there are scriptures that do "hint at", i.e. seem to indicate there was one leader. One of those is the same one I've been referencing all along, i.e. 1 Timothy 3:4-5 "He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?)"

Dwight: So if he does know how to manage his own household (and meets the other requirements), he (singular) will be qualified to manage the church of God. I can see how many believe (maybe you are one) that this does not necessitate that he is the only elder in an individual church. But can you see that another valid interpretation of these verses is that one elder is sufficient (and possibly even preferred) for each individual church, just as one father/husband is God's ordained plan for each family?

Dwight: How about another place where single-man leadership is suggested? Jesus, after He was raised from the dead, and before He ascended to the Father, told Peter, "Shepherd My sheep". Jesus had been their pastor or shepherd for 3 1/2 years. Now He is going to physically leave them, but He did not leave them without a shepherd (pastor). Peter was the leader among the remaining 11 apostles. In each of the 3 lists of the 12 apostles, Peter is the first one listed. In fact, in Matthew 10:2, Matthew actually calls Peter "the first".


There seems to be considerable evidence the early church organization was patterned after the synagogue. Following is from Biblica (the International Bible Society):

Dwight: If this is true (and I am skeptical), then it was a huge mistake. Paul made no mention of it. In fact, he gave instructions about church meetings in 1 Corinthians 14. Again, there is no mention here of following a synagogue pattern. In fact, if synagogues were governed by a plurality of men, this could be where some Christians mistakenly think the New Testament church should do the same thing. Paul warned about going back to the way the Jews lived, while under the law. Of course, the synagogue was totally a man-made idea, not prescribed in the Old Testament. So it would be a mistake for us today to pattern the New Testament church after a man-made Jewish tradition.

D. Church government was identical to synagogue government:
1.      When Jews were converted to Christianity, they wholesale adopted the pattern of church government from the synagogue.
a.       Churches and synagogues were governed by a PLURALITY of men, not a single man like in the Roman Catholic church.
b.      The Greek word Presbuterion is plural for elder and signifies an equal BODY of men.
2.      Both synagogue and church share these qualities:
a.       Synagogue leaders were a body of plurality of qualified, older, experienced men and directly correspond to church overseers/elders/shepherds.
b.      Synagogue attendants were servants of Synagogue leaders with no oversite except that delegated from the Overseers and directly correspond to church deacons.
c.       Pharisees were the legal experts who preached and taught the Law of Moses and correspond directly with church pulpit ministers.

We do not find the single head of a congregation until later.
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