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Old 03-05-2009, 06:48 AM
 
Location: MI
1,289 posts, read 1,331,333 times
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Matthew 23:8-10 "But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and He is in Heaven. Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ."

Obviously, those verses are taken from within and surrounded by others. I'm wondering what all of you think about these verses. Have we gone away from what the Lord wanted of us...to be equals together, providing mutual edification...to a hierarchy system? Has the position of "preacher" or "pastor" or "priest" etc caused an unbalanced gathering? Has it in some places replaced our Lord as the Headship?

I know a lot of you know early church history...Constantine and on from there. Hasn't there been a distinct difference since before he instituted changes? In the early church, outside of evangelizing, weren't gatherings of church members orderly yet with each member providing something to the gathering (and I don't mean mowing grass or cleaning a bathroom)? And now we tend to sit all facing the same direction...towards one person.

I'm not good at starting conversations...can someone help me out? lol
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Old 03-05-2009, 09:06 AM
 
1,534 posts, read 937,090 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StirringWaters View Post
Matthew 23:8-10 "But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and He is in Heaven. Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ."

Obviously, those verses are taken from within and surrounded by others. I'm wondering what all of you think about these verses. Have we gone away from what the Lord wanted of us...to be equals together, providing mutual edification...to a hierarchy system? Has the position of "preacher" or "pastor" or "priest" etc caused an unbalanced gathering? Has it in some places replaced our Lord as the Headship?

I know a lot of you know early church history...Constantine and on from there. Hasn't there been a distinct difference since before he instituted changes? In the early church, outside of evangelizing, weren't gatherings of church members orderly yet with each member providing something to the gathering (and I don't mean mowing grass or cleaning a bathroom)? And now we tend to sit all facing the same direction...towards one person.

I'm not good at starting conversations...can someone help me out? lol

Hi SW,

Quote:
Have we gone away from what the Lord wanted of us...to be equals together, providing mutual edification...to a hierarchy system? Has the position of "preacher" or "pastor" or "priest" etc caused an unbalanced gathering? Has it in some places replaced our Lord as the Headship?
To your question I would answer, yes and no.
Not that really helps..right? Let me explain...

Quote:
Matthew 23:8"But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers.
For that passage to make sense we have to back up a bit..

Matthew 23:2 "Saying, "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:"

What is the seat of Moses? Moses was the law-giver, which simply means that these scribes and Pharisees have taken over God's law, and they are rewriting the law without the authority to do so.

From the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, which is approximately four hundred and fifty years before the time of Jesus birth, the Levitical priesthood has been totally replaced.

So at the time that Christ walked the earth, the scribes and Pharisees were sitting in the place where the Levitical priesthood should have been sitting. They were the governing body then.

In I Chronicles 2:55: "And the families of the scribes which dwelt at Jabez [Jerusalem]; the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and Suchathites. These are the Kenites that came of Hemath, the father of the house of Rechab."

These are the forefathers of the scribes of Jesus day, and they had no right being in their position as scripture lawyers of the law in the Temple.

Matthew 23:8 "But be not ye called Rabbi: for One is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren."

Jesus is telling both them and us today that Jesus Christ is the teacher.

All others are brethren sharing equally in the responsibility of teaching others and sharing in the work that needs to be done.

To elevate yourself, or duty of any other, in the eyes of God's people, is to demote yourself in the eyes of God.

My friend, that prayer partner on his knees at home in the closet is equally as important as the usher, or the minister, or the person in the back row of the choir.

The person who faithfully gives His tithe in the secrecy of an envelope is just as important as the one that spends it in the work of the Lord. They will all share equally, except the ones that don't do their work as God instructs from His word.

So, I do think the early 'churches' that meet in homes had a leader....

1Ti 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach.

Ac 14:23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

So they had elders and or bishops, but the teacher of these men must be Christ.

Anyway, that's the way I see it...
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Old 03-05-2009, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Maryland
3,540 posts, read 4,285,083 times
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I also like Acts 6:1-7.

Sounds like a "heiarchy" to me
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Old 03-05-2009, 04:54 PM
 
3,086 posts, read 4,070,744 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mshipmate View Post
So, I do think the early 'churches' that meet in homes had a leader....

1Ti 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach.

Ac 14:23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

So they had elders and or bishops, but the teacher of these men must be Christ.

Anyway, that's the way I see it...
Good post..

One thing that I found with the book "Pagan Christianity" (you're reading it, SW, correct?) is that there were alot of points that had a good thought behind it, but IMO were not entirely biblical truth. This subject for example.

It is clear that there were leaders and teachers in the NT. I do not believe that all their meetings were necessarily "round table" meetings where each one shares spontaneously, altho undoubtedly they had some meetings like this. There were meetings with preaching and teaching, and there were elected elders who could meet from the different congregations, discuss and make decisions, and report back to the congregation. Is this a heirarchy? I don't see it that way.

But at any rate, what was experienced in the NT is a far cry from the church relationship people experience today. For example, the leaders were chosen from among their own brethren.. they were personally handed the confidence and trust.. not just hired fresh out of Bible college and filling a paid position as pastor, and unaccountable... if they don't like him, he'll find another church. The difference between these two examples may not appear great on the surface, but I believe it is extreme and has had far-reaching consequences.

The church of the NT was all one brotherhood.. they each had a say, each were accountable, each could fill their place, were equally submitted to each other and to God. That doesn't sound like a heirarchy to me... other than a body with Christ as the head.

Jesus said "whoever will be great, let him be a servant".. and this is truly what the leaders of the NT church were. A servant, not an idol or "holy man of God up above everyone else."
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Old 03-05-2009, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Central US
852 posts, read 830,240 times
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I, personally believe there are many who know more than I do about the bible. I like to listen to their "thinkings."----unless, I obviously see that their "teachings" do not line up with the bible. Then, I simply do not listen.

Through these "thinkings"...I read for myself and see if it lines up with what I've came to know.

These thinkings should profide edification for me...if they do not...then I give it more serious thought...either choosing to agree or not.

For I still am of the belief that if we believe with our every being in Christ and we have read the bible and studied to the best of our ability then we are fine.

Love, first and formost for God, then for others should always be taught...no one should ever condemn another....love even for the unbeliever who pounds your beliefs into the ground...or for the "teacher" who is obviously not teaching what is in the bible. For how can we not want for them to "see."
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Old 03-05-2009, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Nowhere'sville
2,345 posts, read 2,637,629 times
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Interesting! I've always seen "Church Leaders" "Pastors" and "Preachers" as the ultimate "Spin Masters"! They, like a lot people here, can take any verse and SPIN it any way they want to make it fit their personal mode of belief.
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Old 03-05-2009, 10:51 PM
 
23,191 posts, read 11,396,093 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaniMae1 View Post
Interesting! I've always seen "Church Leaders" "Pastors" and "Preachers" as the ultimate "Spin Masters"! They, like a lot people here, can take any verse and SPIN it any way they want to make it fit their personal mode of belief.
True . . . but the character of Jesus and His love and acceptance of ALL who wanted to follow him is clear. His life and death are unmistakable . . . he harmed no human being ever and was clearly concerned with the spiritual "state of mind" of those who followed Him . . . not their carnal state. If it is NOT what the Jesus we know from His own example would do, say, think, want, require, or . . . whatever . . . it is NOT Christian. It may be biblical ("Biblean" or "Jehovan") or Church doctrine ("Churchian") . . . but it is NOT Christian.
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Old 03-06-2009, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Florida and East "by God" Tennessee
1,889 posts, read 2,859,482 times
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Here's a picture of the Moses Seat... it's real and I've sat in it.

Equality vs Hierarchy-seat-moses.jpg
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Old 03-23-2009, 09:02 AM
 
Location: MI
1,289 posts, read 1,331,333 times
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"Jesus called them together and said, 'You know that those who are regarded as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.'" Mark 10:42-45
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Old 03-23-2009, 12:10 PM
 
4,512 posts, read 4,703,287 times
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stirring waters, you need to be commended for this thread and the question you are asking. however, many people in this world today may not be able to address the social issues in biblical language.

and: what would be a ransom to such people? self-sacrifice for the temporary goodwill of the next best successful business?

sorry, i seem to be at a loss here.
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