Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Congregational Government

Frank Turk has an awesome post up at Pyro, which included this beauty in the comments. Give 'em a read.

One theme that comes up a few times is the dispute between elder-governed and congregational-governed churches. Not wanting to derail the thread too much, I figured I'd just post this here instead. Plus, it gives a nice easy four-minute update (perfect for those busy work weeks), and the timing is quite cromulent all around, oddly enough.

When we were in Israel, at one of the sites James MacDonald taught a lesson from Mark 15 et al about the many grave injustices involved in sentencing Jesus to death. Seemingly at every step, someone broke the law or acted deceitfully or used extreme cowardice, in order to railroad the innocent man to the cross. In so many ways, this was a spectacular sin.

At one point, he talked about the crowd turning against Jesus. Just days before, they had praised him as he entered Jerusalem through the east gate from the Mount of Olives, shouting Hosannah and greeting him as the king he is. Yet here they were not even a week later, a bloodthirsty mob calling for his death. Quite a sobering look at how fickle and depraved we are, and how it's only by the grace of God that those of us who are in Christ remain in him.

But here James took a minor tangent, and pointed out that this was just par for the course for large crowds in the Bible. The challenge - name a time a right decision was made by the crowd. Let's see... give us a king so we can be just like everyone else... we're too afraid to enter the Promised Land, take us back to Egypt... make us an idol, Aaron... who does Moses think he is, let's follow Korah... crucify him! There may be a counter-example somewhere I can't think of offhand, but so far the congregation's track record is looking exceptionally bad. So commenting on this trend, that in scripture decisions made by the congregation are (almost?) always horrible, James revealed the title of a book he hopes to publish someday:

Congregational Government is from Satan

It's pretty hard to tell where he stands on some of these issues, isn't it? So anyway, aside from the clear commands throughout the NT (particularly in the pastorals) that the church is to be elder-led, this maybe sheds some extra light on the case against congregational rule. Or maybe it doesn't. Whatever, I thought it was an awesome title, even if there's almost zero chance someone will publish it.

1 comment:

Tha Deuce said...

Just look at the whole AIG bonus scandal. Buz had this discussion with me many years ago before I voted for the first time. This is precisely the reason that the electoral college exists...