Tag Archives: elders

Following Up

Following Up

A few weeks ago I responded to the accusation, leveled in a report by Private Investigators International, that Robert T. Ketcham was guilty of “long-time sexual addictions.” At the time I noted that the report specified four sources for the accusation: E. Alan Cockrell (interim executive administrator of the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism… Continue Reading

On Accusation and Rebuke

On Accusation and Rebuke

A bishop has to meet stringent personal qualifications, the broadest of which is that he must be “blameless” (1 Tim. 3:2). Of course, blameless does not mean sinless, but it does require at minimum that no credible charge of scandal can be lodged against him. In other words, a minister’s reputation is one of his… Continue Reading

Pastors, Deacons, and Whatsits

Pastors, Deacons, and Whatsits

The New Testament specifies two offices for the local church. The apostle Paul, in 1 Timothy 3, told his young protégé that he was writing so that Timothy would know how “thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God” (as the old King James puts it). The behavior that Paul had in mind… Continue Reading

Congregational Authority (Part 2)

Congregational Authority (Part 2)

Last time I wrote, I gave the first of three points that demonstrate the authority of the congregation. Here is a second way that the Bible describes the congregation exercising authority. (2) The congregation is involved in the selection and election of deacons and elders. That deacons are selected by a congregation finds clear precedent in… Continue Reading

Tilting to the Other

Tilting to the Other

Under Christ, the local church of the New Testament operates with dual authority. The congregation selects its own servants and calls them into account. It defines its own doctrines in accordance with what it perceives to be apostolic teaching. It admits members, disciplines them when they err, and restores them to fellowship when they repent.… Continue Reading

Bishops and Fathers

Bishops and Fathers

Debates over congregationalism and elder rule usually end up, sooner or later, at 1 Timothy 3:4-5. In these verses, Paul states that a bishop must manage his household well, because a man who does not know how to manage a household will not be able to take care of the church of God. Among other… Continue Reading

Acts 6 and Church Decisions

Acts 6 and Church Decisions

Some people believe that church government, and particularly church decisions, ought to be in the hands of one or more elders rather than the congregation. One of the principal arguments that they use to justify their theory is that the Lord’s people are compared to sheep, and sheep (they claim) are rather stupid. Sheep cannot… Continue Reading

Elders Rule! But Congregations Decide

Elders Rule! But Congregations Decide

Those who think that churches should be governed by a self-perpetuating boards of elders have two main arguments. The first is that the sheep (i.e., ordinary believers under the care of shepherds or elders) are not competent to make church-wide decisions. This argument is easily refuted by even a cursory reading of the New Testament.… Continue Reading