R E M A R K A B L E ! !
Your evangelical church has elders because evangelicals assume they are reflecting New Testament precedence. It is supposed that evangelicals have a strong allegiance to the Bible. But do they? More important, do you?
Regarding elders, you can easily determine commonality or conflict between evangelicalism and the Bible. Simply type “elder” and “elders” into BibleGateway (or another searchable online Bible) to learn about NT elders; is there similarity between them and the elders of your church?
Paul tells Timothy that an elder must be “able to teach”. Can we assume that NT elders were teachers? However, your church elders are not teachers, not primarily. (Have you been taught by church elders?) Their distorted role is to support a salaried pastor and oversee church affairs; this is not conducive to the Bible evangelicals assume they are modelling.
If you type in “board of elders” in the search bar you may be dismayed. There is no such thing; board-of-elders is an evangelical creation. Also, the NT teaches “elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor”, and yet only the pastor is financially supported. Also, Peter taught that elders were to “shepherd the flock of God”; your church elders do no such thing. And he said that elders are to “be examples to the flock”; but how can they be examples to the majority of whom they never associate? (Do you associate with them?)
I had participated (I no longer participate) in five evangelical churches over a stretch of 15 years or so, and have had contact with some of the many church elders. Quite rare was the occasion whereby an elder spoke the name of Jesus. When someone speaks Christ I notice (and so do you). Why? As the song says, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, there’s just something about that name.” Also rare was an occasion whereby a member of a board of elders elder quoted a Scripture verse in conversation. Work, business and church affairs (church-ianity) were, with few exceptions, their consuming concern. There were very few that I could define as a ‘man of God’ or a disciple of Jesus Christ. All were followers of man. None were followers of Christ.
Nonetheless the Lord Jesus provided me with a true elder brother. Richard first approached me, an unknown, in the foyer of a small pentecostal church. Soon after he was helping me with the construction of concrete walls for a house I was building for my family. Soon after that we were walking along railway tracks and park pathways, and slurping coffee or sharing meals in various restaurants. Richard loved Jesus Christ. Richard loved the Bible. Richard loved his family. His deepest craving was for time…. time to spend in prayer, time to soak in Scripture. Often he would carefully remove a page from his Bible, one particularly precious to him, fold it and carry it in his shirt pocket for easy reference, and later tape it back into his Bible. Richard made for himself a very cramped prayer closet complete with a kneeling pad in his basement. (Jesus: “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet.”KJV)
Richard the elder, I the young sibling. Richard the chatterer and I the listener. Conversations did not often stray from spiritual matters. We seldom spoke church-ianity. We sometimes disagreed on certain matters but never argued; both wanted truth, both had “ears to hear”. Richard has long ago gone to heaven yet I credit his friendship for the fruit forthcoming from my christianity. Richard was a true elder because he was a true disciple of Christ. He led by example. I know he prayed for me though he never said so.
If the reader thinks I am wanting you to suspect the validity of evangelicalism, through this message and many others, you are entirely correct. The sad reality: evangelicalism gets everything wrong. This religion, like every religion, is a compilation of “commandments of men”. It has already damaged your relationship with “the Lord of lords and King of kings”. (While it is possible for a non-evangelical to attend an evangelical assembly, caution and wisdom are essential.)
Evangelical elders (and pastors) are contrary to the Bible and therefore contrary to Jesus. Nonetheless most reading this posting will continue to feel obligated to invest the bulk of their giving into evangelicalism. This is truly REMARKABLE
and clearly demonstrates the lack of allegiance evangelicals have for God’s Bible.
Now what about you? Will you continue to follow the crowd that is, so obviously, going the wrong direction? Or will you commit yourself to God’s Bible (as you progressively understand it)? Will you repent and recommit yourself to your fully trustworthy Elder Brother, the Lord Jesus (“the firstborn among many brethren”)?
God bless you!