9Marks Churches

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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Tim Bonney » Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:36 pm

Ed Pettibone wrote:
Ed: Sandy you stared well. In Baptist Polity ordination is a function of the local church, however in practice in each of the 9 SBC affiliated associations in which I participated for over 48 years every male ordained to The Gospel Ministry by a church in good standing with the SBC was recognized as an ordained minister. In fact for many years there was carte blanch reciprocity between SBC and ABC-USA, on this matter until (I have not looked up the year) sometime after the so caller SBC reformation was started the ABC-USA initiated a certification process for pastors coming from other entities including the SBC. But not all ordination councils where made up of ordained clergy I served on four as a layperson while in the SBC. And in none of those associations where there any churches with elder rule. In truth perhaps one could say the Deacons filled both roles. there where I belive a few associations in Kentucky that had elder rule when I was there But even in 90-92 I believe High View was the only one in the Long run association I am sure with Al's influence there are now more.


Ed that is more the way I experienced SBC ordination in Missouri and Illinois where I served in SBC churches.
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Tim Bonney » Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:44 pm

Sandy wrote:And since there is no ecclesiastical authority attached to ordination itself, without a local church involved, there's no "clerical" function outside of a local church. So a church that ordains elders would list them in the associational annual according to their ministry role. There are a lot of people listed in those annuals who are not "vocational" pastors. I'm not saying their roles are the same, but there's no ecclesiastical authority of pastors over deacons. Now, I've been in a few Baptist churches where the deacons definitely had a level of authority beyond servanthood, but there's no clerical order.


That just is not the way I experienced it Sandy. One of the things about Baptists is that each local church writes its own bylaws. In the local churches I pastored the pastor, by bylaws, had quite a bit of clerical authority ceeded to the pastor per agreement with the local church. Those same churches who interviewed recognized me as an ordained minister though my ordination took place in a different SBC church even in a different state convention. They had a clerical understanding of ordination that you seem at great pains to deny despite the fact that the earliest Baptist confessions give the government of a church to pastors and deacons and that in early Baptist history Pastor and elder were synonymous and not lay leader and elder or church board and elder.

What I see here, no matter how a local church uses its autonomy as per Baptist polity, is that the creeping Calvinism in the SBC has not only been creeping more deeply into the theology of the SBC but because theology and polity are intertwined, presbyterian polity is also creeping into SBC church through Calvinist pastors.

I certainly don't care if SBC churches want to adopt a presbyterian polity. Nor do I care that this seems to violate a strict reading of the BFM. But I do wonder if other Southern Baptist might care. Wasn't there some discussion about churches not being in friendly cooperation with the SBC if they didn't follow the BFM here on this forum not too long ago based on changes to membership rules in the SBC? I seem to vaguely remember some such discussion.

So while it matters not to me (remembering that I'm not champion of local church autonomy as a pastor in a Church with episcopal polity) I wonder if it matters to other Southern Baptists and if not why not?

Edit: - Oh and as an addition. It seems to matter to you that Baptist churches not be seen as changing their polity when change to Elder boards is an obvious change of polity.
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Sandy » Fri Sep 05, 2014 5:28 pm

I don't think the BFM 2000's description of church polity is descriptive or specific enough to be used to deny an elder led church membership in the convention body.

Here in Western PA, most Baptist churches are independent of denominational affiliation, but most of them aren't like the IFB folks down south. There are a few GARBC churches as well, and all of them are elder led. So that's existed in the greater Baptist family for a long time.
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Tim Bonney » Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:00 pm

Sandy wrote:I don't think the BFM 2000's description of church polity is descriptive or specific enough to be used to deny an elder led church membership in the convention body.

Here in Western PA, most Baptist churches are independent of denominational affiliation, but most of them aren't like the IFB folks down south. There are a few GARBC churches as well, and all of them are elder led. So that's existed in the greater Baptist family for a long time.


How can you get more specific than "...Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons." ?? Seems pretty clear.
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Haruo » Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:57 am

How about "Its scriptural officers are pastors and bishops and overseers and shepherds and deacons and servants and old folks and elders"? And can't an argument be made for "apostles and evangelists" being officers as well?
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Haruo » Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:59 am

In AA the tradition is that "Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern", which is routinely misquoted as "Our leaders are but twisted serpents; they try to govern"... AA is at least as much into congregational autonomy as the Baptists. I felt right at home.
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Ed Pettibone » Sat Sep 06, 2014 5:18 am

Haruo wrote:In AA the tradition is that "Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern", which is routinely misquoted as "Our leaders are but twisted serpents; they try to govern"... AA is at least as much into congregational autonomy as the Baptists. I felt right at home.


Ed: Haruo, I was never an official participant in AA but I did hang-out with AA folk a good bit in two separate locations while dating during an extended period of adult singleness and it seemed I heard as much or more referring to "The Big Book" as I do to the Bible in many churches, and there seemed to be more unanimity in the AA groups, so you profession of autonomy within AA sounds a bit strange to me. Could you attempt to clear this up for me? As an addendum I will say AA seemed to me to be more diverse both racially and economically than are most churches.
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Sandy » Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:03 am

As far as the BFM statement goes, the apostle Peter, in I Peter 5:1-5 uses the terms elder, pastor and overseer interchangeably, and in addition to that, applies the term elder to himself as an apostle and church leader. Likewise, Paul, in listing qualifications for overseers and deacons uses the same terminology. The BFM chooses the term "pastor" probably because that's a more traditional Baptist perspective, but Baptist churches have, for a long time, ordained those who serve the church vocationally besides just the lead pastor, or "senior pastor" in multi-staff churches. It's pretty clear, in Capitol HIll Baptist's church order, that elders include both his associate pastors on the paid staff, and leaders of ministries not paid by the church. So I think it would be difficult to use that statement to declare a church "not in friendly cooperation" based on that statement.

Article V, Baptist Faith and Message wrote:Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.

All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.


That's the only other part of the BFM in which there would be a doctrinal conflict between Calvinists and non-Calvinists. And this statement was drawn from the historic New Hampshire Confession of Faith. There's always been a Calvinist influence among Baptists in America, and the way the SBC developed, you can find both Calvinists and non-Calvinists worshipping together in the same church. I'll conclude by saying, 1) regardless of the influence of 9Marks churches, or Southern Seminary, the percentage of Calvinists among Southern Baptists will ebb and flow as it always has, and 2) Calvinists will not "take over" the convention, in that you can't "take over" an organization to which you already belong, and are already entitled to participate equally with others. Whether or not they become the majority in leadership remains to be seen. It doesn't look like it now.
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Haruo » Sat Sep 06, 2014 10:36 am

Haruo wrote:How about "Its scriptural officers are pastors and bishops and overseers and shepherds and deacons and servants and old folks and elders"? And can't an argument be made for "apostles and evangelists" being officers as well?

Oy vey! I forgot the presbyters!
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Haruo » Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:06 am

Ed Pettibone wrote:
Haruo wrote:In AA the tradition is that "Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern", which is routinely misquoted as "Our leaders are but twisted serpents; they try to govern"... AA is at least as much into congregational autonomy as the Baptists. I felt right at home.


Ed: Haruo, I was never an official participant in AA but I did hang-out with AA folk a good bit in two separate locations while dating during an extended period of adult singleness and it seemed I heard as much or more referring to "The Big Book" as I do to the Bible in many churches, and there seemed to be more unanimity in the AA groups, so you profession of autonomy within AA sounds a bit strange to me. Could you attempt to clear this up for me? As an addendum I will say AA seemed to me to be more diverse both racially and economically than are most churches.

Yes, the Big Book, the Prologue, the 12 Steps and 12Traditions are all quoted much the way Christians often quote the Bible, the Creeds (and Confessions of Faith), and the Four Spiritual Laws. (The 12 Concepts are less widely quoted because few know of them unless they've been involved in "the Service Structure".) The Big Book (of which only the first 164 pages are generally given "scriptural" clout) is normally cited by chapter, page, and sometimes paragraph (since Bill W didn't have the foresight to put in verse numbers ;-). Here's an AA page from NW Arkansas that shows how some use the Book to fight 'heresies': http://www.nwarkaa.org/aintinthebook.htm.

The autonomy of AA groups is spelled out in the 12 Traditions: see Tradition Four (and, for the issue of non-governing leaders, Tradition Two).

There's at least as much wiggle room in the AA scriptures as there is in the Bible.
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Tim Bonney » Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:29 am

Haruo wrote:How about "Its scriptural officers are pastors and bishops and overseers and shepherds and deacons and servants and old folks and elders"? And can't an argument be made for "apostles and evangelists" being officers as well?


Sure could Haruo. Just not out of Southern Baptist's own confessional statement. :wink:
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Tim Bonney » Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:31 am

Haruo wrote:
Haruo wrote:How about "Its scriptural officers are pastors and bishops and overseers and shepherds and deacons and servants and old folks and elders"? And can't an argument be made for "apostles and evangelists" being officers as well?

Oy vey! I forgot the presbyters!


No, you got it. Elder=presbyter - presbuteros.
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Tim Bonney » Sat Sep 06, 2014 11:39 am

Sandy wrote:As far as the BFM statement goes, the apostle Peter, in I Peter 5:1-5 uses the terms elder, pastor and overseer interchangeably, and in addition to that, applies the term elder to himself as an apostle and church leader. Likewise, Paul, in listing qualifications for overseers and deacons uses the same terminology. The BFM chooses the term "pastor" probably because that's a more traditional Baptist perspective, but Baptist churches have, for a long time, ordained those who serve the church vocationally besides just the lead pastor, or "senior pastor" in multi-staff churches. It's pretty clear, in Capitol HIll Baptist's church order, that elders include both his associate pastors on the paid staff, and leaders of ministries not paid by the church. So I think it would be difficult to use that statement to declare a church "not in friendly cooperation" based on that statement.


So in their perspective are the Elders lay people or pastors?

The way the scripture reads to me, as you've said above, elder, pastor, and overseer are used interchangably. Deacon seems to me to be a separate office. And how do they justify eliminating a scriptural office? Or do they still have deacons doing something else?
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Sandy » Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:11 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:
Sandy wrote:As far as the BFM statement goes, the apostle Peter, in I Peter 5:1-5 uses the terms elder, pastor and overseer interchangeably, and in addition to that, applies the term elder to himself as an apostle and church leader. Likewise, Paul, in listing qualifications for overseers and deacons uses the same terminology. The BFM chooses the term "pastor" probably because that's a more traditional Baptist perspective, but Baptist churches have, for a long time, ordained those who serve the church vocationally besides just the lead pastor, or "senior pastor" in multi-staff churches. It's pretty clear, in Capitol HIll Baptist's church order, that elders include both his associate pastors on the paid staff, and leaders of ministries not paid by the church. So I think it would be difficult to use that statement to declare a church "not in friendly cooperation" based on that statement.


So in their perspective are the Elders lay people or pastors?

The way the scripture reads to me, as you've said above, elder, pastor, and overseer are used interchangably. Deacon seems to me to be a separate office. And how do they justify eliminating a scriptural office? Or do they still have deacons doing something else?


There's no separation between "laity" and "clergy." Some of the elders serve vocationally, and they are paid by the church, some are volunteer, but still serve in the role as elder. Deacons are called and exist as well. I don't know about 9Marks, but in CMA churches, Deacons have a servant ministry role with the "widows and orphans" ministry, benevolence, and those sorts of things. We have two elders who are paid by the church, three who head ministries and are not paid by the church. Baptists, at least in my experience, may use words like laity and clergy to distinguish "vocational" or "volunteer" but there's not a separate class, and that doesn't eliminate a scriptural office. The elders are church members whose calling to ministry leadership has been recognized by the church. There's no "elimination" of a scriptural office.

Clergy and Laity are classes of church membership that evolved out of the Catholic church culture that inserted a hierarchy into the church over time, as they elevated certain offices, like Bishop of Rome. It's a traditional, not scriptural, practice and those who hold to a strictly scriptural order for called ministers would reject that.
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Tim Bonney » Sat Sep 06, 2014 3:37 pm

Sandy wrote:Clergy and Laity are classes of church membership that evolved out of the Catholic church culture that inserted a hierarchy into the church over time, as they elevated certain offices, like Bishop of Rome. It's a traditional, not scriptural, practice and those who hold to a strictly scriptural order for called ministers would reject that.


No, I'd disagree. The seeds of a church polity/hierarchy are found in the New Testament with the designations of Elder/Presbyter and Overseer and the office of Deacon. The seeds of ordination are also found in the New Testament with the setting aside of Paul and Barnabas with the laying on of hands, still practiced in ordination to this day.

Now you can find what appear to be the beginnings of more than one model of church polity in the New Testament. The easiest to find are the Presbyterial system and the Episcopal system. It is darn hard to prove the existance of congregationalism as a model before the radical reformation of the 17th century. Congregations in the New Testament do not appear to be indepdenent autonomous entities. They don't appear to choose their own pastors/Elders. And the Apostle Paul clearly acts as an Overseer/Ruling Elder/Bishop over a group of churches he helped start.

Of course where the Baptist churches moving to an Elder model fail to fulfill the Presbyterian style of leadership is that they also still maintain congregationalism which Presbyterians do not.
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Haruo » Sat Sep 06, 2014 8:53 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:
Haruo wrote:
Haruo wrote:How about "Its scriptural officers are pastors and bishops and overseers and shepherds and deacons and servants and old folks and elders"? And can't an argument be made for "apostles and evangelists" being officers as well?

Oy vey! I forgot the presbyters!


No, you got it. Elder=presbyter - presbuteros.

Yeah, I know, but I included both bishops and overseers, so I thought the presbyters should have a place in the list. Mrs. H. reading over my shoulder suggests an additional office, "apostates"...
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Tim Bonney » Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:10 pm

Haruo wrote:Yeah, I know, but I included both bishops and overseers, so I thought the presbyters should have a place in the list. Mrs. H. reading over my shoulder suggests an additional office, "apostates"...


Don't forget heritics. :D Most of us would appear on someone's list of heretics.
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Haruo » Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:28 am

;-)
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Dave Roberts » Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:33 am

My eye doctor told me I am presbyopic. Where do we fit that one in? :lol:
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby William Thornton » Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:45 am

Dave Roberts wrote:My eye doctor told me I am presbyopic. Where do we fit that one in? :lol:


Messed up overseer...I guess.
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Tim Bonney » Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:11 am

Dave Roberts wrote:My eye doctor told me I am presbyopic. Where do we fit that one in? :lol:


Maybe a sign of wisdom David (as I reach for my reading glasses. :D ).
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby KeithE » Thu Sep 25, 2014 10:46 pm

Dave Roberts wrote:When a sermon is an hour long, it's often more suppository that expository.

Golden Spur material. Suppository may be what is needed after sitting for an hour.
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby David Flick » Sun Sep 28, 2014 3:01 am

Dave Roberts wrote:When a sermon is an hour long, it's often more suppository that expository.
    KeithE wrote:Golden Spur material. Suppository may be what is needed after sitting for an hour.

      Golden Spur to both of you! Both of you made me :lol: .
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby Lamar Wadsworth » Sat Oct 11, 2014 10:23 pm

Reference was made several posts back in this thread to Sovereign Grace churches. In my experience, the churches that self-identify with this term are not only strict Calvinists but Landmarkers with a strong emphasis on Baptist successionism (The Trail of Blood), the teaching that Baptists are the only true gospel churches in a line of unbroken succession from Jesus and the apostles.
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Re: 9Marks Churches

Postby William Thornton » Sun Oct 12, 2014 6:51 am

Churches that are identified as Sovereign Grace churches are identified with the largest evangelical sex abuse case to date. ABP's story below.

http://www.abpnews.com/culture/social-issues/item/29352-maryland-high-court-denies-abuse-lawsuit-appeal
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