Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Church Government mixed with Angels We Have Heard on High

Since it's Tuesday, this post will be about Adam Kaloostian's 2nd part of his section of Church discipline in his series on Reformed Theology.  Since it's the 3rd day of Christmas, this post will also feature versions of "Angels We Have Heard on High."

I really like this video from Sixpence.  It's fun to watch, Leigh Nash changes the words to the song, and it's just sweet.

1. What is a church “office, and what are the three offices in Christ’s church”? Where does the Bible teach us that the minister of the Word is a distinct office from that of the elder?
The church office is a position which Christ has given through which He exercises His authority.  1 Timothy 5 describes qualities of church governors.  The three positions are: minister of the Word, elder, and deacon.  When the minister and the elders meet together, it is called the Consistory.  When you add deacons into the mix, it is called the Council.  In my EPC church, we just call it Session.  Both ministers and elders are considered the same thing.  Ruling elders or presbyters, are to be given double honor in the church.  Preachers are special elders entrusted with the proper preaching and teaching of the word, so he is called a Teaching elder and is given especial honor.

Third Day's version, this time labelled correctly.

This one is from Chris Tomlin.  It's so good to be finding versions by for real Christians.

2. What are the duties of the minister of the Word?
The minister of the Word, aka, the teaching elder is entrusted with the grave task of the right preaching and teaching of the WOG.  He is a servant of the Word.  He is tasked by Jesus to preach the Word.  He is also responsible for the right administration of the sacraments and church discipline. 

This is the Las Vegas Philharmonic.  Ironic town, but I was impressed by this choir.

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.  This should not be allowed.

3. What are the duties of the elders?
Elders are trained members that run churches and make decisions.  This office is seen in Acts 14:21; the apostles appointed elders when they planted churches so that the church would not be left alone to make its own decisions.  Church is not a dictatorship headed by the preacher; it is a checks and balances.  Christ appoints the elders based on the instructions in Timothy and Titus.  While the elders do take suggestions from the congregation and biblical instruction from the pastor, they still serve to keep the church pure in prayer, doctrine, offices, sacraments, and discipline.  They especially come in Matthew 18:17 where if you have a dispute, you tell it to the church.  The whole congregation doesn't know, but the trained elders can handle it.

This is a beautiful version by Andrea Bocelli.  It's in Italian, and I love the organ part.

David Archuleta looks like he's 13, but he has a great voice.  I think this guy is Mormon but I'm not sure.  I do like his voice though.

4. What are the duties of the deacons?
Deacons were first appointed in Acts 6.  The Apostles did a great job preaching, but the charity work of the church was falling to the wayside, so they appointed seven men, one of them Stephen, do serve the poor, help with administration, and meet physical needs while the elders could still preach the WOG correctly.

The late Robert Shaw used to conduct the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and I got to see him conduct two Christmas shows in his retirement.  I wish I could do that again.

 Third Day again, this time live with Mac Powell's deep southern voice talking amidst it.

5. What is the relationship of the local Consistory to the broader assemblies?
It is "prudent, important, and necessary" for local churches to meet with others for the wisdom of broader assemblies.  This is another checks and balances to hold churches accountable for sticking with correct Biblical teaching and doctrine.  The big meetings of elders from a region is churches is called Presbytery and General Assembly by the EPC, but Adam calls this a Classis and Synod. 

A final version by Andrea Bocelli and David Foster from PBS.  Enjoy!

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