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One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests. Thomas Paine turned off by priests. It is a fact that the Bible as used by the priestcraft was not the inspired version. Paine never saw beyond the priestly parables.
But is it not altogether at variance with reason that the ploughing oxen should starve, and the lazy asses be fed? They will say, however, that they serve at the altar. I answer, that the priests under the law deserved maintenance, by ministering at an altar;
but that, as Paul declares, the case under the New Testament is different.
And what are those altar services, for which they allege that maintenance is due to them? Forsooth, that they may perform their masses and chant in churches, for example,
partly labor to no purpose,
and partly perpetrate sacrilege, thereby provoking the anger of God. See for what it is that they are alimented at the public expense! John Calvin
A Non-Christian posted on 3/14/01 12:45:44 AM
What biblical basis do we have for preachers?
JerryS posted on 3/14/01 8:25:06 AM
In what context?
Jamlamp posted on 3/14/01 11:35:11 AM
Romans 10:14-15 How then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent?
But how shall they ask him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? Rom 10:14LIV
The word "preacher" is a bad choice of words because the Greek is:
Kerusso (g2784) kay-roos'-so; of uncert. affin.; to herald (as a public crier), espec. divine truth (the gospel): - preach (-er), proclaim, publish.
Jesus set the example by "going out." Jesus issued the command by sending out. The apostles obeyed the example by going into the world.
One might imagine a "located Paul Revere" in order to get the point. Or a "located traveling salesman."
He "goes" in response to the commission and he preaches or heralds the evangel as he goes.
"At its heart, this is a moral matter. In the ancient world the herald not only had to possess a powerful voice, but qualities of character as well. Hauch Friedrich observes":
"In many cases heralds are very garrulous and inclined to exaggerate. They are thus in danger of giving false news. It is demanded then that they deliver their message as it is given to them. The essential point about the report which they give is that it does not originate with them ...The herald does not express his own views. He is the spokesman for his master... Being only the mouth of his master, he must not falsify the message entrusted to him by additions of his own." (Robinson, Homiletics, p. 804).
Paul insisted of the elders:
- Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. Tit.1:9
JerryS posted on 3/14/01 2:06:47 PM
That's why I asked in what context. The preacher described there is preaching to the lost. Is there a New Testament example of the equivalent of the "pulpit preacher" most churches have today? I have heard the verses 1 Corinthians 9:9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, "You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing." God is not concerned about oxen, is He?
1 Timothy 5:18 For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing," and "The laborer is worthy of his wages." quoted to justify a paid pulpit minister. I believe that neither does, because in the first, Paul is talking about people serving in the role of missionaries and the second is talking about elders.
Most people didn't have a threshing oxen. The oxen was like a modern threshing machine or combine. While he was threshing your wheat he was allowed to nibble. However, when your crop was threshed the oxen didn't move into the house and become overseer of you, your wife and your children and demand to be fed all winter.
The Jewish clergy was given a daily dole of food but only when on duty. If they wanted a new chariot they made tents or always had some vocation. Train up a child means to give everyone a skill or trade. Paul was a vocational preacher even in respect to the authorized dole of food, housing or travel. Because the Levites were warriors, judges, teachers, policemen (even at the temple) and cared for most civil duties, the 10% must be equated to our income tax. The priests got 1% for their food.
Even one who claimed to be an inspired prophet or apostle was judged in the Dicache by how long he remained. He could preach any new revelation in a couple of days and if he remained longer he was not honest.
Bottom line - I believe the Bible talks about preachers, but not about them doing what most of the people our churches call preachers are doing.
The Bible gives up on humans as intercessors or teachers. Therefore, God would come in human form as His Own "Arm." No longer would men be able to teach as Erasmus viewed the professional clergy.
Know what I mean? Seen this guy?
A Non-Christian posted on 3/15/01 1:32:31 PM
The context is pulpit ministers. Why do we have them if it is not mentioned in Scripture as the norm for worship?
- Preaching is billed as one of the "acts of worship." Because the sermons do not fill the bill of the practice of the Synagogue or "speaking it as it has been taught" passive listening to another person is not an act of worship. All experience knows that the lecture is the least effective way of communicating anything.
- For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him,
- being read in the synagogues every sabbath day. Acts 15:21
- In order to "preach Moses" it was only necessary to read his writings.
- Other "reading" examples:
- De.31:11 Jos. 8:35 2K.23:2 Ne.8:3,18 Ne.13:1 Je.36:6. Ex.24:7 Jos.8:34 Je.36:8 Lu.4:16 Col.4:16.
- And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. Luke 4:16
And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. Luke 4:20
And he began to say (lay forth) unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. Luke 4:21
JerryS posted on 3/15/01 2:17:16 PM
There are preachers who are not pulpit preachers or ministers. I have seen street preachers. The Apostles Paul and Peter were street preachers. That is why I asked about the context.
As far as them being mentioned in scripture in the sense that we have paid pulpit preachers preaching from week to week to a congregation composed almost entirely of believers, I believe they are not.
As for the last part of your question, where is it stated in the New Testament that the purpose of the assembly of the saints is for worship.
To my knowledge, the word worship is never used in the New Testament in the context of what is done in the corporate assembly.
- That is a fact. The only one who might have worshiped in Corinth was the unbeliever who might listen if he heard everyone prophesying or speaking the Word as it had been delivered. Rather than that they heard both men and women speaking or singing their own songs out of their own spirit or mind. The implication is clear that they still favored instruments because they were "just out of paganism."
- But again, the Bible does not define the assembly as "worship services" but the time to remind ourselves and others through the Lord's Supper is a teaching activity. Jesus placed prayer as "in spirit" or in the secret places of our mind. Alms were given from my hand to the hand of the poor. Jesus stood up to read Scripture and then sat down as in the usual synagogue. Singing sentimental poetry is an act of worship of our own senses or the song writer. The command for the assembly is "teach and admonish." Again, "church" is the Greek equivalent of "synagogue" which was for education with no praise service.
A Non-Christian posted on 3/15/01 8:00:21 PM
What is the purpose of the church service? Why don't we meet in homes and break bread together and eliminate the church service?
Jerry S posted on 3/15/01 10:04:50 PM
I'm pretty much ok with meeting in homes and breaking bread together there. The church my wife and I are members of is a cell based church that has the view that pastoring (including ministry, accountability, exhortation and admonition at a personal level) happens in the cell and that the Sunday morning assembly is a time for worship & celebration. I do not feel that the present situation is all that close to those functions, especially not for me with regard to my present fellowship. We have been going through a merger with another church congregation of a different traditional background for the last year or so, so we are still is a process of metamorphosis.
The model of the church was yeast and not a tree. Each small congregation was a "cell" and not a cell-within-a cell. When the mushroom spore spreads out each cell gives birth to a new "congregation" and so the leaven of truth spreads into all the world. Large groups can function if the emphasis is upon the Synagogue or church model as a school of the Bible and not a discipling to the minister scheme. We have added some notes about worship beginning here:
One could follow Jesus and pray in the woods or in bed but public prayer in the synagogue was reciting simple passages such as the Shema which God said and Jesus confirmed that "God is One" and not three people. Hymning is praying using God's Words.
Some have noted that frequently the "cell" is not autonomous and is therefore an outreach of the tentacles of the dominant clergy.
The cell model is an ideal that I aspire to, however, to have relationship on a level with at least a few fellow believers who will love me enough to call me to account when I'm straying off the path, to give me encouragement to faithfulness, provoke me to good works and for whom I can do the same types of things.
- The word "church" in Greek is the same as "synagogue" in Hebrew. The synagogue was school and not temple or worship center. They read and explained the Word and thee was no instruments or praise service in the synagogue.
Dicky D posted on 3/16/01 11:43:19 AM
Jesus worshipped in the synagogue, yet I haven't found any biblical basis for the synagogue. It seems to have been an expediency.
Note the above link: The command was to teach the law in the local communities and the central meetings of the adult males was "muster" more than worship. The priests had the duty in their local areas to teach the word even as the Levites took care of more civil affairs. Whenever two or three people (ten males for the synagogue) met for instruction you had an assembly or synagogue but not an institution which had to be supported all week. The Jewish congregation of the people did not "worship" at the animal sacrifices and were, in fact, put outside the camp when the loud instruments sounded as warning.
The same is true of church buildings. It isn't "wrong" to have and use them, so long as we don't change the church into an institution as a result, and we understand that our true worship is daily, not just one or two hours on Sunday.
The last few years has seen the colleges preparing men for profession more than ministry. As such, negotiating salaries is very important. Once entrenched, the pastor needs to protect turf and from this motive comes all expansive movements to organize Jubilees and other schemes after the Willow Creek model. As the "gospel" is pared of all but its "core" nothing is left but to substitute the unlawful pyramid of ministry first suggested by a Midianite priest and described by God as a curse when Israel's elders demanded: "Set a king over us." No surprise that men like David lived like the kings of the nations. And so, the cursed "institution" gets bigger and bigger to deliver larger "fixes" of music and performance preaching.
It seems to me that "elders" should be our preachers (if we want to keep the position) since they are required to be good teachers and are to edify the church. If we're going to pay someone to work full-time it might be more productive to hire evangelists who can spend their time going into the community and presenting the gospel to sinners.
- True: The word elder is a hyphenated word: Pastor-Teacher. He is the local teacher. As such, "Apt to teach" does not mean "He is as apt to chase a coon as to be able to teach."
A Non-Christian posted on 3/16/01 1:58:17 PM
Honestly, how many people do you think hold the same view that you do? I think that you are on to something. Now what?
More than you think. However, the pastor system can only exist when literate Bible students are silenced. Most churches are in the intimidated mode and led to believe that the preacher and musicians will perform the worship or lead you into God's presence. The "fix" however is just endorphins (morphine-like) to give you the thrill experience which will wear off before evening service and, as in Corinth (1:17) your assemblies do more harm than good.
Because purchasing silly sermons is the primary motive of many groups, the internet allows you access to more than the theologian has the mental horsepower to imagine. So, one solution is to get your educational component from reading and writing for the web as the God-sent new system of open dialog (often translated preach.)
Excessive supplies of money is the thing which keeps these false systems in business. You can vote, you know?
- As institutional churches (or institutional anti-institutional) groups die out God will raise up others because His body does not ride on the back of performing rituals. In fact, He died to remove the "burden" which is defined as "spiritual anxiety created by religious ritual."
JerryS posted on 3/16/01 2:48:07 PM
I hold that view as well. The biggest problem I have with the pastoral system as it is practiced in many churches is that the pastor, who actually fills the role of the elder described in Timothy and Titus, can be a young person fresh out of seminary who is both unqualified scripturally and lacking in the maturity and experience to be a spiritual shepherd over a local flock.
"Give money to make poor pious youths learned clergy, or vain pretenders to erudition; and they pray that they may preach to you; yes, and pay them too. Was there ever such a craft as priestcraft? No, it is the craftiest of all crafts. It is so crafty that it obtains by its craft the means to make craftsmen, and then it makes the deluded support them!" (Campbell, Alexander, Christian Baptist, Dec. 1, 1823, Vol. 1, p. 91).
"Money is of vital consequence in the kingdom of the clergy. Without it a clergyman could not be made, nor a congregation supplied with a 'faithful pastor.' O Mammon, thou wonder-working god!" (Ibid., p. 124).
"'Will you,' said an honest inquirer, 'allow the clergy no salary at all? Will you not allow the poorer class of the clergy a decent little competence?' I replied I have no allowances to make. Let them have what the Lord has allowed them. 'How much is that?' said he, Just nothing at all, said I.
A church constituted upon New Testament principles, having its own bishop or bishops, or, as sometimes called, elders, will not, and ought not to suffer them to be in want of any thing necessary, provided they labor in word and doctrine, and
provided also, they are ensamples to the flock in industry, disinterestedness, humility, hospitality, and charity to the poor.
Such bishops will now be esteemed very highly in love for their words sake; but especially those who, by their own hands, minister not only to their own wants, but also to the wants of their brethren." (Ibid, p. 140).
"That any man is to be paid at all for preaching, i.e. making sermons and pronouncing them; or that any man is to be hired for a stipulated sum to preach and pray, and expound scripture, by the day, month, or year, I believe to be a relic of popery." (Ibid., Vol. 3, p. 185).
"Our Elder labors with his own hands, that he may live honestly..." (Vol. 5, p. 163).
"... our elders labor... for their support, and are not burdensome to the church; but in case of need..." (Vol, 5, p. 95).
As I had noted in other threads, there is much more scriptural justification for a paid elder than a paid pulpit minister.
Paul permitted "double honor" for the elder whom Lenski describes as "already laboring to the point of exhaustion in preaching and teaching." The elder by definition is a older man who already has the respect of the community and like the deacons is spirit filled or "holds the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience." A clear conscience means that he is in on the mystical language of Scripture which Jesus said was used to hide the truth from those who do not love the truth." (Matt 13) A "pastor" is the defacto elder and in the pastoral system the elders are simply his "board of directors" who know "when to fold em." A young man cannot fulfill the biblical mandate and an older, biblically illiterate man cannot either. When you don't have a scheme to silence everyone this is not a problem.
- Paul also labeled as "robbers" those who used his practice of accepting help from churches he had left as authority for pay.
A Non-Christian posted on 3/16/01 6:35:16 PM
When Christ was on earth, He spoke some and then He let the disciples follow Him around. I do not believe that you have to go to seminary in order to follow Jesus Christ. I agree with the experience thing you mentioned. Find the person(s) in your church who know Christ and follow them around. Knowledge can not always replace experience. How do we put this idea into effect?
- To know Christ demands that he know about Christ. That is, he is not the Christ-looking person whom you may be infatuated with. Rather, he is the one who follows in the steps of Jesus which means that he speaks only that which he has heard form Jesus through the writers. The steps of the Spirit is a military term: we put our feet into the places He has already stepped and do not depend on "us" too much because "us" will let you down. Look for one interested in the Bible with no financial motives.
Dicky D posted on 3/17/01 4:53:10 PM
I'm suspect there are many people who understand the elder 'thing' the way I do, as JerryS proved in his post. The way things like this change is slooooooooowly over much time. However, with the internet and sites like this issues can be discussed much more freely, and people here and there can begin studying these things in a downloaded manner. That's the kind of environment where changes can happen more effectively because there's no fear in asking honest questions, and there are people of different faiths who can comment on our traditions from a 'fresh' perspective. This is awesome!
The internet is the only way known so far for pure evangelists to "go into all the world and preach the gospel." With them on their duty station there would be little religious division in the world. Larger groups like Mormonism and Catholicism have expressed fear about the internet because they depend upon the tithe or other coercive means of collecting money.
It is much more important that we find Christ-taught and Apostle-revealed answers to our questions.
It is still important to assemble but to return to a purer model of meeting for the Lord's Supper, study of the Word and looking out for any poor or needy in your group. While it may sound "anti" no group larger than the local group of people meeting as a true family (no surrogate father or husband) can exist without doing more harm than good. Good motives do not excuse violating spiritual principles.
The facts never change: the honest preachers dedicated to the ministry are always hindered by those who see "preacher" as one might see "doctor."
Those who have corrupted the "pattern" cannot grasp why the system slowly winds down as the "one another" is replaced with a priest.
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