Churches are among the only communities in the world which view ‘elders’ as an appointed or elected office. The universal and historically recognized meaning of the term refers to unofficial leaders of a community, distinguished by their age, wisdom, wealth and influence. They are not appointed or elected to an office of eldership. Rather, they assume an informal role of leadership when the younger members of the community acknowledge them as elders. Indeed, this is precisely how the term is used in the scriptures. The appointment or election of persons to an eldership is based squarely on ecclesiastical edicts and traditions, which are read into the scriptures. Over the last sixty years, many Baptist churches have adopted these traditions. Regardless of the Reformed Baptists claiming to retain the congregational order of a church with the installment of elders, they have uprooted the scriptural polity of a church which undermines her congregational integrity. The Reformed Baptists are a confused bunch, and have wreaked much havoc among the Particular Baptists of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Jared Smith

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This article was written by Jared Smith for the AHB Facebook Page several years ago. That page no longer exists, so the article has been added to this online resource.



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