"Offices" of the Church

Discussion in 'Other Biblical Issues' started by Jim an Apostle, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Male

    Absolutely. We're just running in circles here. You post as "Jim an Apostle", then take the position that you weren't really claiming to be an apostle. You post at length about the "office" of apostle, but then say that even if we accepted your claim and your teaching, "nothing would really change". So until "something changes", I'm not worried about any charge that I've rejected legitimate apostolic authority.
  2. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Male

    Jim, there's a curious dance going on here. You say that if we accept your claim, "nothing will really change", but if we reject your claim it is "serious business". How can rejecting your claim be serious business if accepting it has no practical consequences?
  3. FollowingHim

    FollowingHim Administrator Staff Member Male

    Jim, I have no opinion on whether or not you are an apostle, I don't know you, and I feel the issue is irrelevant to our discussions here. It's not my job to judge another's servant. I see the apostolic ministry as just another way the Holy Spirit works through people, alongside prophets and teachers etc, and that's great. Like you I also have giftings I believe very strongly, with supernatural confirmation, that God has placed upon me. That's how He works.

    Like Steve I see that people may have multiple giftings, so that a person may function in the role of both an evangelist and an apostle (if they're a missionary converting individuals then starting a church), or both a prophet and a teacher, or an apostle and a teacher, etc.

    My only interest here is this ministry. If this is truly where you're coming from, then I can't see any issues:
    In that case, we just have a disagreement over words. Jim thinks it is appropriate to shout to the world what gifting he believes he has by naming himself "Jim an Apostle", while some others such as myself think it is more appropriate to keep such matters between ourselves and God. This is partly a cultural thing - for example, Americans like titles (e.g. every university lecturer gets called "Professor"), while in Commonwealth countries, particularly NZ, titles are issued more sparingly (e.g. "Professor" is a formal title reserved for the highest ranking academics only), those who have titles rarely use them, and people are more likely to assume anyone calling themselves by a title is just being a pompous git. I've run into this cultural issue before here and have had to learn to look past it. The appropriateness of a username is a matter of individual opinion. Let's not get too hung up on that. However to avoid confusion on your motivations, and to help people discuss issues such as this without immediately assuming a personal motivation behind your postings, I would strongly suggest changing your username to remove the apostolic claim and just be yourself (myself or Andrew can do that if you request, just tell us what you'd like) - note that we're not formally requiring you to do so at this stage, it's just a strong suggestion from me personally.

    If on the other hand you attempt to speak with a presumed authority that you feel you have been given as an "apostle", based on your understanding of the role of an apostle, obviously that won't go down well. Clearly you recognise this and understand why, I don't have to elaborate.

    Regarding the role of an apostle, my understanding is that their primary role is church planting (which is separate from evangelism, evangelism being bringing individuals to Christ and church planting being the organisation of such individuals into assemblies to allow them to function as a body, one individual may operate in both roles but they are separate), and ongoing mentoring of the leadership of that church to ensure they are established soundly (as evidenced by Paul's return to particular congregations).

    Your focus is however on the establishment of doctrinal truth (as evidenced by Paul's authorship of many letters to churches expounding on such truths). These are two very different roles, and I believe we may be talking at cross-purposes somewhat because we are all saying the same word but perceiving it as meaning quite different things. I see an apostle as someone who founds churches and mentors church leaders. I don't necessarily see them as a source of perfect doctrine, because they are fallible humans. Paul wrote many letters as part of his mentoring role, and they are a good record for us of doctrinal truth, but there were many more apostles than Paul and most of them didn't write much scripture, while some scripture was written by men who are not usually labelled "apostles". But all were sent forth by Yeshua to evangelise, and to organise the Body into assemblies (either in Jerusalem or elsewhere).

    I think there is clear scriptural support that an apostle is a church-planter, and this role continues today. There is also no conflict between this apostolic role and the leadership structure of this ministry - if you're off planting churches you're doing an important work and we'll just cheer you on! But there is much more shaky support for the idea that there are modern apostles who are a source of doctrinal truth, we could debate that forever, and that understanding of apostleship is far more likely to result in conflict.
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  4. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Male

    Samuel, as usual, hits just the right tone. That's why you're Chief Moderator, brother!

    Jim, you're a likable guy, and I enjoyed hearing your story at the Tennessee retreat, and like you I wish we had had more of a chance to talk there. And I'm 100% with Samuel on this:
    I'm ready to move on if you are.
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  5. Mojo

    Mojo Well-Known Member Male

    I came in at the beginning of all of this, and it seems, now, the end. I've been busy, so couldn't keep up with y'all here.

    Initially, my antennae went up when I began to hear talk of apostles and prophets. I get very suspicious more from the title prophet than from apostle, in all honesty. People throw around prophet designations in ways that are very concerning to me, especially when their "prophecies" are refutations of well established orthodoxy (I immediately think Joseph Smith).

    I won't attempt to add more than what has been posted. I will just state my final thoughts:

    • Jim, you should look at this scrutiny in a positive light. The members of this forum see this site as a treasure amongst the garbage out there on the www. We seek to protect it, even if it means throwing some elbows from time to time.
    • Jim, if you believe you have a special anointing as apostle, then overt, or even covert proclamations will trigger those of us who hold tight to the protection of the faith to question that proclamation to "test the spirit" to see whether it be of God. If you do have it, it will become evident over time.
    • I agree with Samuel in that we shouldn't try to pigeonhole ourselves or others into single gift roles. Some folks could have many, while others just one. It's unfortunate in our evangelical circles that we ask our "pastors" to fill roles of prophet, teacher, evangelist...the list goes on, when many of them clearly have none or only one of those gifts.
    • I can't say for certain that what Jim interprets as "apostle" is truly what scripture describes as apostle, but I won't deny it either. I only say this: If any people claiming titles of prophets, apostles, plumbers, carpenters, or Indian Chiefs claim that scripture is not reliable or sufficient enough for us to know God personally, freely receive Christs's salvation, and live sanctified lives, but that their personal revelations are superior to scripture and time tested orthodoxy, then I can only fellowship as a fellow man, not a brother. It may be narrow, but scripture is the standard. It is what it is. If I change the standard, then I have something new. A coin or bill press, must be flawless. One single extra mark will disqualify it as legal tender. Jim, I am not saying you are claiming extra revelation power that would usurp established scripture, but if you do, I won't be able to accept it.
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  6. Jim an Apostle

    Jim an Apostle Active Member Male

    Here are some quotes I found re-reading the Authority, submission and chain of command thread:

    Andrew: More specifically, we're not commanded not to fight, we're commanded not to judge each other's beliefs and actions, which is a much higher standard and keeps you from even getting to fighting.

    Then why do you judge my beliefs... and even before you have heard them?

    Vv76: Who gives the elder(s) this authority? The husbands!

    This is a complete misunderstanding of the Kingdom. In the Kingdom all authority comes from God from the top down... not the bottom up... that is ‘democracy’ not ‘kingdom’ thinking.

    Following him: Elders clearly have authority over matters directly relating to the function of the assembly - what doctrine is taught as valid,

    Yet, you proclaim that an Apostle would not have any jurisdiction over doctrine?

    Mark C: They were in fact proponents of "Scripture as Written", until it came to practice.

    Without Scripture to show a change, Samuel would change the jurisdiction and work of an Apostle to fit his understanding.

    Vv76: Perhaps a better way to determine authority is to define their responsibility first. What are they accountable for? Responsibility follows accountability and authority is derived from how one fulfills responsibility.

    Authority comes from God! Responsibility always comes with it. I cannot have responsibility for something if I have no authority in the matter. That being said, it can be abused. The gift of a calling does not guarantee there will be no abuse of that calling. (King Saul)

    Andrew: It's always been about responsibility—"authority" and power grabs are a red herring (except maybe in the case of husbands...). What are elders responsible to God for, and what are husbands responsible to God for? How are they the same (given that the same word is used to describe both)? How are they different (given that the groups of souls 'managed' is different)?

    Again, with Authority, automatically comes responsibility. Both are in play at all times. Which comes first... the chicken or the egg... Authority!!

    Samuel: But there is much more shaky support for the idea that there are modern apostles who are a source of doctrinal truth, we could debate that forever, and that understanding of apostleship is far more likely to result in conflict.

    What Bible do you read that indicates any change in Apostolic function for future Apostles? You are guilty of cultural bias that you fight so hard against when it comes to PM; but, you will stand for the status quo regarding church authority; and I guarantee you, I have much more New Testament Scripture concerning church government and the role of Apostles than you have for PM. (I believe in PM... I have 2 wives)

    1Cor. 9:16-17 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! 17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.

    This dispensation is a “dispensing of.” It includes an administration, a jurisdiction, and a revelation! The dispensation is not the whole, but a part. Paul did not claim that Peter had no gospel or that he (Paul) was the only Apostle with truth. Paul just declared that he had declared the whole counsel of God. That could only refer to the amount that he had been given. Paul also said:

    1 Cor. 3:10
    According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

    Paul did not give the total understanding of all things. He just laid the foundation! Future Apostles were to follow and finish the work! Biblical Apostles went out of fashion and the church, and the world, went into the ‘dark ages.’ With Luther and Wycliff and others, the path out was begun; but, the task is not finished yet. More work is needed to just return to where the Church “went wrong” on so many things... let alone finishing the work that Paul only started!

    Any proper “new” revelation will probably come from an Apostle. Sometimes, it might come by a Prophet; but will probably need Apostolic clarification; and from any source it comes (even from a child) it should have Apostolic verification! The establishment of doctrine is the exclusive domain of the apostles!

    Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

    They did not follow Momma's, Daddy's, Pastor’s, Elder’s, or even the Prophet's doctrine! It was the Apostle's doctrine that the church relied upon!

    If this was so important, why did not Paul see to it that the proper structure was defined and the role of Apostles was carefully laid out? It was so normal at that time for the Apostles to be recognized and accepted; and with the power of God so manifest, I believe they did not consider that the next generation would lose sight and practice of following Apostolic men in the ultimate leadership of the church. Remember, Paul also said, “we which are alive and remain...” This indicates that at that time, Paul expected to see the coming of the Lord “in the flesh.” Paul did not dream that his letters would be preserved as Scripture for 2000 + years. He expected the New Testament Church to be led by Spirit filled men according to their gifts and callings.

    He told Timothy:

    2 Tim. 2:2
    And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

    He did not tell Tim to write everything down for future generations. We now (especially on this website) debate even the New Testament Scriptures on a level that rivals the rabbis. Do not misunderstand me... I love the Scripture!! I have a tremendous advantage because it was preserved for you and me to the degree it was. (We do not know if we have an accurate book of Enoch, Nathan, or Jasher. We are missing writings from the Prophets Iddo, and Shemaiah. However, we need less debate and more men of revelation.

    As many as are led by the Scripture... No... I agree the Scripture has its place... but the Scripture says:

    Romans 8:14
    For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

    If you leave the Spirit out of the equation, you end up with dead letter. Even the letter of the New Testament becomes rhetoric and law... if the Spirit is left out.

    Romans 7:6
    But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

    2 Cor. 3:6
    Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

    God never intended for the New Testament to become “letter,” (i.e. just a book without living spiritual men to oversee the church and its doctrine.)

    Andrew: I think that if we ever start to put together a coherent picture of leadership in the body of Christ it will address the issue you wanted to discuss.

    Look at the post that started this thread. That is exactly what I began to do! The conversation quickly ignored the concepts and became personal. The search for the Kingdom was abandoned in favor of finding any reason to discredit the messenger, and the message was ignored.

    There was not one question as to why I chose this order. No attempt to see if there could be any reason to accept me. The focus, from the start, was rather to find any reason to reject me.

    Samuel comes riding in on his “white horse” and proclaims,

    ”The apostolic ministry is to be sent forth by one assembly, and plant a new assembly somewhere else, appoint an initial set of elders to run the assembly, then move on to plant a new one. That's what Paul and Barnabas did as apostles,”

    I proceeded to show his error, and Samuel’s error goes unchecked by anyone else, and he gets off ‘Scott free!’ Apostles, especially Paul and Barnabas, returned to the churches they planted; they did not just move on. He also said Apostles are not needed for doctrine. I have clearly refuted that as well.

    Another error I did not address previously, although the local church recognized their call, it was God who called and actually sent them. Again the Kingdom works from the “top down.”

    So Samuel comes with his errors, and his “mystery calling,” and his authority is not questioned... in spite of his glaring errors. If we do not know what Samuel’s calling is, how can we give proper weight to his words? All voices are not equal. I, on the other hand, declare my calling, declare his errors, and it suddenly is his definition of a Apostle which is accepted in the face of refuting Scriptures... without debate! The guy who has claimed and demonstrated an Apostolic call in his life from his teens, is suspect. The Apostle surely just does not have the revelation of what an Apostle is... compared to Samuel. Andrew joins in, and the majority opinion is settled. Your majority opinion does not change the Scripture... or the truth!!

    Your retreat into the ‘comfort zone’ of ‘the majority’ does not establish truth! It does nothing to establish Kingdom.

    MOJO: ...If any people claiming titles of prophets, apostles, plumbers, carpenters, or Indian Chiefs claim that scripture is not reliable or sufficient enough for us to know God personally, freely receive Christs's salvation, and live sanctified lives...

    I completely agree!! But it is not enough for your 'perfection.' (Eph. 4:11-14)

    ...but that their personal revelations are superior to scripture and time tested orthodoxy, then I can only fellowship as a fellow man, not a brother

    It is a good thing you did not encounter Paul in his day, you would have rejected him.

    Jim: If I were actually recognized in this ministry as an Apostle, nothing would really change. I would continue as I always do, endeavoring to bring unity among the brethren.

    Samuel: One further question: How do you wish to function as an apostle in the context of this ministry? In other words, why do you want us to recognise you as an apostle, and what would you do then?

    Andrew, I think you are being a little unfair with the context of the question. You asked me to answer Samuel’s question. I thought I did. But I see that your question seems to really be different than that of Samuel’s.

    It seemed to me that Samuel’s question was about what would I do differently if accepted as an Apostle. My answer was that nothing would change... I would simply continue to post as I have, and present my understandings with appropriate Scripture as I have been doing. If there would be any change, it would be on the part of those who accepted my ministry as valid. I would not change unless invited to take a greater role beyond teaching truth. I agree there can be multiple callings and giftings, although Paul taught that we do not all have all of the gifts; therefore we need one another to make up a complete body.

    Steve: ...by people allowing all of the gifts to flow through each of them?

    (That is Steve’s error, if he really believes this.)

    Andrew: You post at length about the "office" of apostle, but then say that even if we accepted your claim and your teaching, "nothing would really change". So until "something changes", I'm not worried about any charge that I've rejected legitimate apostolic authority.

    . . . Jim, there's a curious dance going on here. You say that if we accept your claim, "nothing will really change", but if we reject your claim it is "serious business". How can rejecting your claim be serious business if accepting it has no practical consequences?

    You're either claiming to be an apostle of Christ or you're not, and if you are and you're not who you claim to be, that's a bit of a problem.

    Yes! I do make that claim. However, because I also recognize that all of the offices work by submission, such a claim only creates a relationship with those who will receive it.

    Would there be change? Yes... but not on my part so much as on the part of those who would accept that my voice, like Paul’s, would have a presumption of revelation attached to it, when speaking directly of Doctrine.

    Unless invited, I have no interest in intervening in the affairs of this ministry. I have seen nothing out of line with your handling of this forum or the retreats. I think your insights and experience regarding PM are most helpful.

    So, would there be change and consequences? Most things have consequences. Will your rejection affect me? Yes! Will your rejection or acceptance affect you? Yes! You will receive, or miss out, on the benefits of my gifts. I also would like to receive the benefits of your gifts. They could be a blessing to me. If I rejected you outright, or you reject me, we each may never receive what God has given the other.

    It was “strongly” suggested that I change my screen name to accommodate Samuel’s understanding of Apostleship, and to accommodate the sensibilities of the readers of this forum, to avoid “conflict” (conflict, Samuel’s word).

    Galatians 1:10
    For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

    Thanks for your time. I commend you for finding the truth about PM.
    I commend your attempt to protect your “domain.” However, if you “err on the side of caution...” you still err.

    If you are willing to give me some time and watch my postings on other subjects, and with the possibility of getting to meet face-to-face again at some future retreat, perhaps we can drop this discussion for now and see what the future brings.
  7. Mojo

    Mojo Well-Known Member Male

    Jim, I don't know you personally, and don't care to fight over this issue. But, like I said, I am very protective of scripture and wary of new "revelations"

    You included me in your response, so I will respond as well.

    You said I would have rejected Paul if I lived in his day. What would I have rejected? Paul either used great amounts of OT to prove his doctrine (he didn't just pull it out of thin air) or he reiterated what every other disciple had seen. He couldn't say something contrary to the facts of what happened to Jesus because literally hundreds, if not thousands could esily refute him.

    1Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
    2By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
    3For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how thatChrist died for our sins according to the scriptures;
    4And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

    I don't reject Paul here!

    5And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
    6After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whomthe greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
    7After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.

    He acknowledges that he is accountable to speak the truth because so many others could refute a non-orthodox rendering of the truth of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. His words could be easily scrutinized. I don't reject him here either.

    8And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

    Paul saw the risen Christ. He was then met by his skeptics, was confirmed by them, then went off to study in Arabia. I don't reject him here either because his calling was confirmed by eyewitnesses and other firsthand witnesses to Christ's ministry and doctrine. What would I reject that the other "first church" members didn't reject?

    Again, not trying to make this personal, but are your ministry credentials even close to the credentials of Paul, who was almost singlehandedly responsible for the establishment of the Western Church? If your claims are that since I merely question your title of apostle (I have not openly rejected it) that I would also reject Paul, it seems as though you are equating yourself to him. God is no respector of persons, but these are some lofty equations.

    Even Paul himself halted before expressing personal revelations and made sure others knew his opinions were merely opinions, not a rewriting of scripture or new revelation (especially in matters of sex and marriage).

    2I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, Icannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth such an one caught up to the third heaven.
    3And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, Icannot tell: God knoweth
    4How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

    Many scholars believe Paul was being humble and the "man" he describes was probably him. But, even the great Paul stopped short of using his apostleship to capitalize on sensational revelations.

    I will reiterate that if your apostleship is bonafide, then it will only be a matter of time before the rest of us will(like Peter did with Paul) recognize it.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
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  8. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Male

    Okay, so apparently we're not going to "move on", and this is going to turn into a tar baby thread instead.

    Jim, your post has so many non sequiturs I'm not even going to try to do a point-by-point rebuttal. I've seen enough flip-flopping and double-speak to leave this to others to clean up if a cleanup is deemed necessary.

    I'm on record as believing that you mean well but need help and accountability to really become as useful as you could be to the kingdom of God. If you truly have an apostolic calling, you're mismanaging it, and consequently you're not as effective as you could be. Meanwhile, here and now you're just another guy with a perspective and a set of beliefs.
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  9. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Male

    I need to say this also:

    Jim's argumentation has just about convinced me that the term apostle should be reserved to the original biblical apostles and no more, and I have believed in the existence of apostles as a permanent office of the church for decades. I just haven't seen it work very well yet in practice.

    The most important factoid qualification of the original apostles is that they had been with Jesus during his earthly ministry. Paul had a specific encounter with the Risen Lord, and some of the guys Paul trained and worked with may have also qualified as NT apostles (Barnabas, Timothy, Silas, et al), but they were trained by Paul (in other words, they carried his doctrine and his testimony of his encounter with Christ).

    When Christ rose from the dead, he needed messengers (the translation, not transliteration, of apostolos) to spread the good news and establish fellowships of believers. Then came the written gospels and letters, then came the printing press, then came the internet, and along the way the modern experience of growing up in a culture in which the resurrection of Christ is old news. 2000 years old. Apart from direct co-laboring in the flesh with Jesus 2000 years ago, or Paul's unique encounter and the men he trained as force multipliers to project his ministry, I'm honestly reconsidering what the definition of "apostle" is and how it affects us today.

    Jim, this isn't aimed at you, and it isn't "personal", this is just me sharing with my brothers what I'm thinking tonight. You wanted a discussion of apostolic authority; apparently you've got one.
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  10. FollowingHim

    FollowingHim Administrator Staff Member Male

    Jim, we are not judging your beliefs before hearing them, we are simply discussing apostleship, an issue that you yourself have raised.

    On that issue, you have not proven your position (that apostles exist today and have the role of establishing biblical truth), rather you have stated your view on particular verses that you interpret to support your position, verses that others may interpret differently. Just presenting a plausible interpretation of a verse does not constitute proof of a position. For just one example,
    Or, that same verse can be interpreted from the context of the preceding verses to mean "I laid the foundation of the Corinthian church, and Apollos has taught you even more". Or it could be taken to mean "I laid the foundation of the Corinthian church, and the elders I appointed and their successors will build upon that foundation in terms of practical organisation, without changing the doctrine at all". The idea that future apostles were to follow is only one of several ways to interpret this verse, so the verse itself does not prove future apostles would establish new doctrine.

    For this reason, you claim to have disproven my statements, but I fail to see how you have done so. You have simply stated your own viewpoint forcefully. I'd be quite willing to have a calm discussion on what the role of an apostle is, unfortunately that does not appear to be occurring.

    You are severely misinterpreting our intent by assuming motives and opinions that do not exist. Nobody is judging your beliefs without having heard them - if we don't even know what they are we have nothing to judge. Not automatically accepting you as an apostle just because you say so does not in any way imply an assumption that you're a heretic. I for one am proceeding on the assumption that your doctrine in other areas is entirely sound, as I've seen nothing to indicate otherwise. Nor have I stated that apostles certainly do not have a role in determining doctrinal truth - only that that is debatable and so would require a long discussion to determine it clearly. I am quite willing to have such a discussion.

    You're most welcome here to discuss anything calmly and humbly as our brother in Christ. And anyone else is also welcome to disagree with you, again calmly and humbly.

    Now, I'll put my moderator hat on.
    The personal arguments are over (more than enough has already been said). Any further posts directed at an individual will be deleted, regardless of whatever other good content they may contain. That goes for statements against Jim as much as it does for statements against anybody else.
    The remainder of this thread (should the discussion continue) is to be devoted purely to whether there are modern apostles and what their role is, without reference to any particular individual, either overt or implied.
    If this can't be followed I'll lock the thread, but I'd prefer to give a chance for a profitable discussion first.
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  11. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Male

    Thank you.
  12. Mojo

    Mojo Well-Known Member Male

    Bravo. Thank you Mr. mod
  13. Jim an Apostle

    Jim an Apostle Active Member Male

    I am good with that! Thank you, as well.
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  14. steve

    steve Well-Known Member Male

    I would hate to throw the baby out with the bath water.
    One possibility is that the hierarchy is intended simply for the specific churches that an apostle has started. That if you didn't start a work, you don't have a general authority in the work.
    That would leave Nathan as the apostle that this board answers to.
    I am good with that.
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  15. nathan

    nathan Administrator Staff Member Male

    Yo! Why ya gotta go drag me into this? I officially disclaim that title, without commenting on anything be discussed in this thread. (Dragging his sorry self out quickly...)
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  16. FollowingHim

    FollowingHim Administrator Staff Member Male

    It's also possible that having started the church, the apostle elects elders, hands the authority to them, and from that point has an advisory role. Anything he says is to be taken as an extremely strong suggestion, but not necessarily as law, the elders being the judge of what is accepted as law from that point on.
    Nathan might be more comfortable with that approach, but I'm not suggesting it for anyone's personal reasons, rather simply so all options are on the table for consideration.
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  17. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Male

    I think that's the main and most reliable witness of the scriptures. Other stuff may or may not happen around the edges, but that's right down main street.

    I think Nathan's most comfortable being left out of this whole discussion.... ;)
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  18. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Male

    Ima say this once so I don't have to post a disclaimer on every post and no one else has to either (see, e.g., Samuel's post above): Anything I say from this point forward on this thread is for purposes of general discussion only. Whether any shoes fit any feet in the room is not the purpose of the post, and everybody should just focus on the matter at hand. But it's going to be difficult for us to talk about any of this without making connections in our minds about how it might or might not apply in practice, and I think we just have to cut each other some slack.

    I am still processing the surprising development that I'm actually considering whether apostleship was a first century phenomenon only. Seems to me that men who had been with Jesus, plus one guy specifically selected from a pool that was limited to those who had been with Jesus, plus one guy who got knocked off a horse by a risen Jesus, went out into the world with some very specific 'good news' that no one had ever heard before. They had a specific eyewitness testimony of the resurrection (even Paul). They weren't just 'church planters', although that may be about as close as we can get our minds around today. They had seen the resurrected Lord, and where they preached that news and found believers, they as a secondary function had to set up some organizational guidelines that would sustain the group after the messenger/ambassador/herald went on to the next town.

    Further bulletins as events warrant....
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  19. Mojo

    Mojo Well-Known Member Male

    And then there's this:

    And this:

    This is NOT directed at anyone. It's just a general reminder to all of us: We will be known by our fruit, and we need to seek the higher gifts at all times.

    I'm done on this topic....peace!
  20. Mojo

    Mojo Well-Known Member Male

    Ughhhh! It's like the mafia. I keep getting dragged back in. I would say @andrew is about where I am at, but I am open to others' insights. If we somehow, magically reach consensus, I just don't know how it will change my life, though.

    I guess it's like lingerie. In appearance, it's great to look at, but in practice, I can't wear it, and in intimate moments, it just gets in the way, so, why spend my resources on it?

    (Just a little humor to lighten the mood....can I use that kind of humor here?:eek:)
    FollowingHim and andrew like this.