Monday, September 23, 2013

A time for business

In many Baptist churches, voting or decision making has often degenerated into the 50.1% forcing their will on the 49.9%. In turn the 49.9% scour the bushes to find supporters to come to business meeting so they can become the 50.1% and force their will on the new 49.9%. Then the new 49.9% scour the bushes....
....and so on.

There is a better way. 

The church is a "decision-making" body
Christ in the Head. The decisions the church makes is to follow the commandments of their Head (not make laws). Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Decisions are made when all the church is gathered together (i.e. not by one individual or a select group). 1 Corinthians 5:4-5 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Decisions of the church are final (in the sense there is no higher ecclesiastical authority). Matthew 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

It is not about majority rule.
Unity is an enduring Bible principle. Psalm 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
The church should endeavor to come to the unity of the faith. It is not about majority rule, as in common democratic process. 1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

The whole church – leadership and consensus
The "they" -- all 120 of Acts 1:15 -- under the leadership of Peter, and in unity and consensus, appointed two qualified brethren and sought the Lord's choice. Acts 1:15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)...Acts 1:23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
The whole multitude of disciples, guided by the leadership of the 12 apostles, chose 7 men to conduct the church business concerning widows. Acts 6:2 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...Acts 6:5-6 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.
The whole church at Jerusalem, guided by the apostles and elders (especially Peter and James), unitedly chose men and sent a letter to the Gentile churches. Acts 15:13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:...Acts 15:22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas and Silas, chief men among the brethren:
(Cf. Also Matthew 18:15-18; Acts 13:1-3; Acts 15:1-3; 1 Corinthians 5 & 6; 2 Thess. 3:6-15)

How do we make it work in practice?

No comments: