Saturday, June 20, 2009

Myths dispelled.....

The following comes from Keith Giles who had posted this on another site.
I just found it interesting as we need to be understanding the truth about the Truth of the Word.

The Myth of the Pastoral Epistles by; Keith Giles

"Search it up on Wikipedia.org and you'll find a brief entry about how 1 and 2 Timothy and the book of Titus (and sometimes Philemon) are referred to as the Pastoral Epistles of Paul the Apostle.

Nevermind that these are not written to Pastors.

Nevermind that Timothy is, like Paul a travelling missionary and church-planting evangelist.

Nevermind that Titus is also not a pastor but has been 'left behind in Crete' to help establish
a church community there before he moves on to plant other churches elsewhere.

Nevermind that Philemon isn't anything other than a slave-owner who needs encouragement from Paul regarding treatment of said slave.

Nevermind that both of the epistles to Timothy and the one to Titus deal primarily with the charactor of elders (plural) within the church community.

Nevermind that the word 'Pastor' does not appear in any of these so-called 'Pastoral Epistles'.

Nevermind that the word 'Pastor' only appears once in the entire New Testament.

As long as you can overlook all of these minor details, you should have no problem referring to these as the Pastoral Epistles of Paul."
K. G.

Now here is some information from another gentleman Alan Knox to coincide with the above statement.

"Second, as to the name 'Pastoral Epistles'. I agree. The nomendature is incorrect/ imprecise, which leads people to believe that the teaching is for 'pastors' or 'elders'. As you (KG) said, neither Timothy nor Titus nor Philemon are called pastor, elders, bishops, etc. in Scritpture. Timothy is called apostle and possibly a deacon(servant).

The idea that Timothy and Titus were bishops comes from a couple of hundred years later (Eusebius) when it was normanl for cities to have a single bishop. I think this has caused much confusion in our understanding of these letters and our understanding of the church." Alan Knox


One more thing Alan Knox pointed out was the terminology of which I find highly interesting and I will explain later.

Terminology
1) pastor = "poimen" = "shepherd"
2) elder = "presbuteros" = "an older person"
3) bishop = " episkopos" = "an overseer/caretaker"
4) deacon = "diakonos" = "a servant"
5) minister = "diakonos" = "a servant" -yes, the same term

"In the scriptural teaching specifically related to elders/bishops (1 Tim. 3, Titus 1, Acts 20, 1 Peter 5), the two terms elder and bishop/overseer seem to be interchangeable. The term 'pastor' is not used in these passages."
Alan Knox

I appreciate the way all of this was presented by Keith and then how Alan put his imput into it. Granted on the original post more people commented also, yet what Alan said really stood out in terms of well terminology.

I have been struggling with the whole "elder" issue for a while. Meaning that when we use it in everyday terms we mean those who are older than us. Like say our parents, grandparents etc.
Yet in the church we don't usually mean it that way. Looking down through history and also in modern days look at other cultures. The elders truly are the oldest, most wise of the group. Men who by very nature have lived their lives and have experiences to relate with those who are younger.
So why does it have a different meaning in the church? Or better yet why do we interchange it with pastor?
You have a young man who is fresh out of seminary who gets his "license" to preach. Then gets "hired" at a local body, does that automatically qualify him as an "elder".
I don't see that to be the case, and yet many churches place young men in the elder position.
Most of the discriptions in the bible about elders talks about them being the husband of one wife, or keeping their children in order. So to me that describes someone who knows something about marriages and kids. Someone who has "life"experience. Along with deacons also.
I may be wrong and stand corrected. So please don't crucify me for these thoughts.
I having grown up in the Catholic church in my past had a problem with getting counseling from a man about marriage when they themselves aren't nor ever were married. Or yet being told how to raise kids when in fact they have never had children.
There is a great significance to all of this. Granted the Lord does give wisdom to those who ask.
But the issue still stands with who could be an elder according to the word of God?

People may say that I am just chasing rabbits and need to focus on proclaiming the gospel only.
Yet this is very important. We need to get our history and definitions straight so we can have a clear understanding of the word of God. So when we go out and make disciples we will be able to teach them the full counsel of God according to the truth.
This is very important to the function of the body of Christ. It has great implications.
We have become a group of Christians who allow a few to do all of the work because of wrong teaching and misunderstanding of the word.
So while we go and proclaim we should also be examing what we believe and see the word in the light of truth.

Again I deeply appreciate the wisdom of Keith Giles and Alan Knox.
These two gentlemen truly love the Lord and truly want to do right unto HIM.
Thank you.

3 comments:

A. Amos Love said...

Steven

“We need to get our history and
definitions straight so we can have a
clear understanding of the word of God.”

Sounds like a worthwhile occupation.
Keep chasing those rabbits.

So much of what we have
learned is traditions of men and
not in scripture.

A continual question has to be;
Where is that in the Bible?

Can you find disciples exercising authority?

Mark 10:42-45 Ye know that they which are
accounted to rule over the Gentiles
EXERCISE LORDSHIP over them;
and their great ones
EXERCISE AUTHORITY upon them.

But so shall it not be among you:

but whosoever will be great among you,
shall be your minister: (servant)

And whosoever of you will be the chiefest,
shall be servant of all.

For even the Son of man came not to
be ministered unto, but to minister, (serve)

and to give his life a ransom for many.

Why would anyone want to be a leader
or be spiritual authority if they
"can’t" EXERCISE AUTHORITY?

Can you find leaders in the new testament?
I can only find servants.

Do I want someone following me?
Or following Jesus?

But the the church,
the body of Christ,
male and female,
are called to be servants.
Not serving people, serving Christ.

Jesus said,
No servant can serve two masters. Lk 16:13

Jesus said to His disciples,
Neither be ye called masters:(leader)
for one is your Master, (leader)
even Christ. Mt 23:10

Jesus then says, if any man serve me,
let him follow me. John 12:26
Paul also says, to serve the Lord Christ.
Colosians 3:24
Paul ( Romans 1:1), Jude ( Jude 1:1),
Peter, ( 2 Peter 1:1 ), James ( James 1:1 ),
call themselves -
servants of Jesus Christ.

None call themselves leaders, only servants.

Can you find anyone in the Bible
tithing silver, gold or money.

With all the instructions Paul had
given he never mentions it. Hmm.

The Bible warns us about,
the commandments of men,
the doctrines of men,
the philosophies of men,
and the traditions of men
that make the Word of God
of non effect.

Enjoy the chaseing of rabbits
sometimes you find a Tiger.

And life is always a Myth.
Sometimes it is a mythtery.
Sometimes it is a mythstake.
And sometimes it is a mythtconseption.

Be blessed in your search for truth.

In His Service. By His Grace.

Steven O. said...

A. Amos Love,

Thank you for taking the time to stop and comment.
We are in a situation where we must continue to move forward in the word. And that means dispelling myths along the way.
Amen!

revolutionaryintent said...

Steve,
I understand where you are going from my friend. I too have my struggle with some churches ecclessiology. But I think what you have presented is valid.

Amos Love,

your statement about leaders speaks volumes I may have to use that today.