Some non-denominational churches are now arguing for a Moses model of leadership (theocratic) where the sheriff picks his possy so t speak. Surprisingly, these are often dispensational churches... and not so surprisingly there are increases reports of pastoral abuse due to lack of biblical oversight. I believe it's the Calvary Chapel movement that teaches that the people murmered against Moses in the Exodus thus giving example that a congregational governament is not pragmatic.
Obviously, Neil if all or nearly all the men in a church are elder qualified, then they function as a governing body in a small church. I would suppose they could justly pick the leadership. At IHCC, they stopped congregational involvement many years ago. The old elders picked the new ones with the congregation may point out why a man isn't qualified. It's something like passing the bar for secular judges. This has work very well in IHCC case, which has kept doctrinal purity for a long time. I in other instances at other places, it could keep error in place or let it slowly seep in, but not as fast as a congregational setting. I see no place where democratic rule is sanctioned in governing a church body.
Of course the final responsibility rests on the individual. If he believes that his church is not biblical in major theological area, and the elders show no sign of changing their minds -- then he should jump up -- and leave. [URL=http://www.ihcc.org/article_print.php?art_id=Xp8yadWJKsjgjlfo05fgK3q7H]]]IHCC Statement of Faith[/URL] and [URL=http://www.ihcc.org/article_print.php?art_id=ewuUDRugbdehfzCkikDzX7W1D]]]IHCC Constitution[/URL]
Actually, Fed Up, we're discussing, usually, the various news articles on here and sometimes there are no comments to some news articles. I admit sometimes many of us stray from the obvious, q.v., [URL=http://www.ihcc.org/images/booklets/pdf/L123.pdf]]]A Different Gospel: An Evaluation of the Teachings of Robert Schuller[/URL]. Even to the point, where for instance I don't even get your last point, Neil? You mean there's suppose to be some democracy in picking church leaders? Not necessarily,
Titus 1 4 to Titus, my true child after a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Saviour. 5. For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that were wanting, and appoint elders in every city, as I gave thee charge;
The U.Meth. Church has quite a bit of democracy, but has more tares than wheat ruining that process. A congregational system, only works--and not flawlessly--because all men are flawed--when the congregation is Christian.
Judgment starts at the house of God. Only one thing thou? Is the Crystal Cathedral the house of Jesus I don't think so. Let Jesus stand true. Mybe Rev Rob don't have en'uf faith? Or lacks the hour of his power.
Neil, if both the pastor and the board of elders are biblical they are going to get along, if they aren't they won't. Of course just because a leader and group gets along doesn't mean it's behaving biblically. I was on an administrative board of my local Methodist church, when I was a member of it. It usually got along with the minister, everyone accepted majority ruled (biblical action taken or not) It more or less functioned. I have seen enough of Church government, Methodist style, to never want to have a taste of it again. However, even the best of churches go the way of all flesh, either from internal or external influences. God doesn't guarantee local churches or denominations will continue, only that "His Church" will continue.
Well, you've made your stance very plain, now, Neil, and I can't make any mistakes on that again. (Well, I'm not getting any younger, so I'll probably make some mistakes somewhere. ) If the "head guy" and the elders are biblical, then I don't see any possibility that they wouldn't support each other? How are the elders to be picked? Besides having the qualities that are given in the Bible, that plus bible quizzes? Many times the congregation is not qualified to pick leaders. Sometimes head guys, elders, and congregations all drift along in the wrong direction. In that case I would say it is time for the Christian to pack up his bags and leave. Good right-headed leadership at the top rather than mob rule from the bottom seems to stave off decay, which is the fate of all human institutions including churches.
Jim, I am in favor of family *integrated* churches (no age segregated worship or SS), not families establishing their own, private ones (except out of necessity).
Haven't I repeatedly advocated on these forums a plurality of elders as normative for church gov't (a real plurality, not mere henchmen for the Alpha male)? This only confirms my suspicion that you don't read posts carefully.
Neil, I had supposed, probably inaccurately, were in favor of family churches, which of course lack the oversight of elders. If I'm wrong about that, excellent! Family churches may have to exist from necessity, but are never the most desirable form of a Christian assembly.
I agree, Neil. Many today are referring to what a person says--"The Pope says....", "Pastor says.....", etc. As for these mega ministries, it is no surprise to see them rise and fall when so much attention is given to one person.
Neil, a church leader does have much to do with setting the theology of an organization. Schuller of course is a particularity bad example of this, q.v., [URL=http://www.ihcc.org/images/booklets/pdf/L123.pdf]]]A Different Gospel: An Evaluation of the Teachings of Robert Schuller[/URL]. Church government never supported anarchy. This is why a system of elders was instituted to help with the running of a church.
Gil Rugh said or, wrote: The church is God's household and he has set out clearly what are the qualifications of those who would exercise leadership in the church. There is no distinction of a clergy class, they are not better, they do not have more privileges or better access to God. It simply means that there is order in God's household. These qualifications should be true of every believer.
I was never really a big fan of Schuller. I think he was a lot like Joel Osteen (sp?) in the way that he was good for drawing people to Christianity and presenting a positive message, but the program was clearly milk (or a milkshake) for "baby" Christians at best. I didn't watch enough to get the full picture of his philosophy, so anyone who wants can correct me if I am wrong. I always thought he went in to dangerous territory by denying real problems with "the power of positive thinking". I'm not a negative guy, I like cheerleaders like Joel, but when there are real problems it only hurts to deny them. The whole 'name it and claim it' thing is dangerous because we can't all be successful in this world. God loves poor people just as much as the rich. In this life time on Earth it is a very real possibility that you might not get to have an abundant life. Depending on where a person lives they might be lucky to eat every day. At the same time,we don't have to take a vow of poverty or be ashamed of the good things that we get to enjoy, but we should all keep in mind that God is here for everybody. This denial of reality may be one of the reasons why the Schullers have had such a hard time transitioning.