Thread: Eldership
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Old 09-16-2008, 12:25 AM   #20
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Russia
Posts: 173

Originally Posted by Peter Debelak View Post
P.S. I will state here that I don't think the office of eldership is prescribed.
Allow me to disagree! Eldership is not only described but also prescribed in the New Testament. Take, for example, Heb. 13:17 - "Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account..". It is a clear prescription. In 1 Pet. 5:1-2 the elders are commanded to shepherd the flock of God, serving as overseers. And they are promised the reward from the Lord for their service. Then 1 Tim. 3:1 says that if a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. And then we are given qualifications of a bishop. I am convinced that eldership is not some kind of Jewish hangover, but a very important principle for the church life.

P.P.S. If the eldership is prescribed, then that means that formal recognizable congregations are also prescribed and that each individual must be under an eldership.
Exactly!!! Check Heb. 10:24-25! It is very unhealthy to be on our own, or in some kind of small groups that are detached from the rest of the body in our city.

Of course, that doesn't answer the question of which congregation... which is a question being wrangled with all over this forum...
This matter is quite simple. Be in a congregation where you feel at home, where your gifts are developed, and where you can serve and submit others. But at the same time remember that your group is only a part of the body in you city. Therefore, it is very healthy to seek out fellowship with other Christians and establish relationship with them. That is what I am trying to do. We have a small meeting - where we basically practice house church principles. But I keep in touch with many Christians (including pastors) in our city. Last week I had a spiritual need. Saints where I meet were not available. So I went to a big church in our city. And since I established relationship with many of them, I felt like I was home. They always rejoice when I visit them, and give me a warm welcome. I had a time of worship with them and my need was satisfied.

In my experience, those who are afraid of strong church ties, close relationship with other Christians and being under the authority of leadership are those who were either spiritually abused, or are introvert in their disposition and don't generally like to be around people. It is a serious spiritual problem that must be dealt with. It is especially dangerous when a theological basis is developed to support that kind of attitude.
Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it. Soren Kierkegaard
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