New Testament Church Proliferation Digest

Spreading the Gospel via House Churches

NT Church Proliferation Digest Tuesday, September 17 2002 Volume 02 : Number 166
[NTCP] eldership relative
Re: [NTCP] eldership relative
RE: [NTCP] Wolves as pastors

Date: Sun, 15 Sep 2002 17:01:57 -0400
From: David Anderson <david * housechurch>
Subject: [NTCP] eldership relative

Alexander Campbell and his followers started a number of churches and
colleges in our Appalachian region in the 1800's. You may recognize his

Like you and I, he naturally examined the question of leadership in these
"new" churches, desiring neither to over-simplify things or to
excessively complicate them. He believed in plural eldership and in this
quotation below demonstrates how eldership is a relative thing.

"So long, then, as in every community there are some more advanced in
knowledge, experience, and years than others, and so long as every
Christian community has the living oracles - the writings and teachings
of the apostles and prophets - there is not a case likely to happen, in
which it will be lawful to forsake the assembling of themselves together
for all the acts of social worship, because of the want [lack] of
officers or persons to serve them in any capacity.

If they are all such perfect babes in Christ - infants unable to speak a
single word of edification - let them READ, and sing and commemorate the
Savior's death, with the book in their hands, under the presidency
[guidance] of the oldest infants in the Lord among them. The senior
infants, chosen and appointed to lead the way, are to them elders and
overseers in the Lord... For if the church is composed of such very
babes, she will not require learned men to instruct her (the church). One
that is a few days in advance will be relatively a senior among them, and
fit to assist them in the Lord.

submitted by David Anderson

- Millenial Harbinger, pp. 495-501, 1835

------- <><><> -------

Date: Sun, 15 Sep 2002 23:35:26 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] eldership relative

David Anderson wrote:

>Alexander Campbell... believed in plural eldership and in this
>quotation below demonstrates how eldership is a relative thing.
>"...The senior infants, chosen and appointed to lead the way, are to them elders and overseers in the Lord... "
Dear David,

Thanks for the the Campbell quote. It says it very well. Any time even
two or three are gathered in Jesus Name, He is there, and so is His
authority, it is resident in those gathered. All that is needed is that
we discern it.

Today's emphasis on youth dulls that discernment. It's neither helpful
nor attractive.

Yours in Christ,


------- <><><> -------

Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2002 01:57:25 -0400
From: theologuscrucis * cs
Subject: RE: [NTCP] Wolves as pastors


I have often used this little piece of Christian myth myself:

>I recall reading a tradition attributed to the apostle John, that a certain heretical teacher was in a bathhouse in Ephesus where John had gone to bathe. ÝWhen John, according to the tradition, found out that the man was there, he said to the one with him that they should leave. ÝHe did not want to be under the same roof with a man under such judgement.<<

You see, Link, he wouldn't teach it straight out from behind the pulpit. The only reason I know is thru personal conversation and by the books in his office. I can also tell, subtly, thru what he emphasizes in his sermons.

Link, the higher textual criticism from Germany that was introduced in the Enlightenment and brought to America and expressed by what we call "liberalism" was began by pietists. For them, it wasn't the doctrine -- they just wanted more of Jesus. They believed what every scientist believed on weekdays, but in church service they believed that Jesus lived, died, and was resurrected in their hearts. So rationally they were Materialists, and spiritually were almost evangelical "in thier hearts."

It was an uneasy peace between faith and rationalism. Jesus never raised from the dead in history, but the Jesus of fgaith did in the hearts of those who believe. I grew up and managed in a denomination not unsimilar -- headknowledge vs heart knowledge.

I go because it is an IC church, and the minister is actually irrelavent. He isn't the real Elder, it is a guy named Fred and he is as orthodox as you or I. There are many believers there -- especially the Christian Ed committee people. They are the ones that I break bread with. Now there are some who would line up with the "pastor" -- they wanted the Easter Bible study to be Borg's book about meeting Jesus again for the first time. But in any church, IC or HC, there are the wheat and the tares, the visible and the invisable church.

And besides, Link, I really don't want to be here indefinately. Before I went to run their youth group, I prayed about it and sought counsel from my friends and the sectional leader. I want realease from there, Link, but God put me there. Hopefully in January I will be able to leave. Only God knows.

Blessings, Link.

End of New Testament Church Proliferation Digest V2 #166 < Previous Digest Next Digest >

house church eldership servanthood lord's day lord's supper world missions