Decisions—The Bible as Our Final Authority

Posted: July 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

Today I had the chance to spend a good amount of time in conversation with a fellow pastor.  We have been working this week in Guatemala and I have enjoyed the time with this godly man.  At one point in our day today we both found ourselves taking a break and sitting under a nice shade tree while others plugged along in the work.  While we were seated we talked about life and ministry.  As we talked about ministry we found ourselves talking about church government and some things we are dealing with at Oak Park.  There are a couple of thoughts that have stuck in my mind as this conversation is behind me.    

First, I am more convinced of the biblical model of plurality in terms of pastoral leadership than I was previously.  I am sold on the idea that the New Testament clearly teaches a plurality of elders within the context of congregationalism.  The pastor that I spoke with would probably not agree, but talking through the issue with him gave me yet another opportunity to hear objections and questions.  Thus far I have found there are few strong arguments against plural-elders.

Secondly, the issue of the place of pragmatism in this discussion was made apparent yet again.  When talking with others about the idea of a plurality, often what is first to be asked is a series of pragmatic questions.  Such as, “How does it work when there is not one man to make the decision at the end of the day?  That doesn’t seem like it would work.”  Or, “Doesn’t someone have to lead, to cast vision, to command the troops?”  These are not invalid questions, but I would submit that they are not the most important.  These questions can be asked, but at the right time and in their turn.  The first questions that must be asked are ones that deal with the Bible.  The first question when ordering the Bride of Christ is, “What has God said in His Word?”  After that is determined we can then ask our pragmatic questions.  And, if something doesn’t seem practical but it is biblical, the biblical always trumps the seemingly practical.

So, as we work through the issues of life we always ask first what God has said.  He is the Lord of all and deserves to have the first say.  What He says, we heed.  This comes to issues of life and ministry.  What God has said in terms of manhood, womanhood, sex, money, drugs, and rock and roll is what determines my decisions in regards to those things.  What God has said through His revealed Word in regards to the church, its offices, and its structure is what determines my decisions in regards to those things.  In all things, God rules and we obey.

So in your daily decisions about life…let the Bible be your final authority.  For what it says, God says.

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