By Del Leger of the Christian Church of God in Grand Junction, Colorado
Have the brethren abdicated their Christian responsibility to the church hierarchy?
Do the Brethren have certain leadership responsibilities over the Ministry?
Or, should they just pay, pray and have no say?
What did the early church do?
WHO SELECTED DEACONS IN THE EARLY CHURCH?
2 “Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: (and they proceeded to chose seven men).”
Deacons were not selected by the ministry but by the brethren.
A DIRE WARNING:
One of the easiest ways to sin, and the quickest way to destroy a church.
Leviticus 19:16 AMP:
“You shall not go up and down as a dispenser of gossip and scandal among your people, nor shall you [secure yourself by false testimony or by silence and] endanger the life of your neighbor. I am the Lord.”
But, what are you to do when problems arise among the brethren?
THESE ARE THE WORDS OF CHRIST:
15 “If your brother wrongs you, go and show him his fault, between you and him privately. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother.
16 But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two others, so that every word may be confirmed and upheld by the testimony of two or three witnesses.
17 If he pays no attention to them [refusing to listen and obey], tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a pagan and a tax collector.”
The church (the body of believers) not the ministry is to settle disputes among the brethren. Many very important decisions, guided and based on god’s word, are made by the church body.
18 “Truly I tell you, (who is he talking to) whatever you forbid and declare to be improper and unlawful on earth must be what is already forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit and declare proper and lawful on earth must be what is already permitted in heaven.” (God’s ordinances are to be our guide NASU & Amp).
Did he mention a church official, a bishop, a pastor general, or a pope?
19 “Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever [anything and everything] they may ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven.
20 For wherever two or three are gathered (drawn together as My followers) in (into) My name, there I AM in the midst of them.”
No church hierarchy mentioned here either. Christ is talking to you.
WHAT ARE WE PREPARING OURSELVES FOR?