Tag:

congregational

Is there any particular form of Church government revealed in the New Testament? And if so, what is it?

These questions will be variously answered by Christian scholars and Bible students. Some hold that no specific form can be deduced from the sacred records, and that no one form is best suited for all people and for all places; and that it was purposely left for Christian wisdom and prudence, guided by experience, to decide that question. . .

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A review of Baptist Church History will reveal that Baptists have always maintained one type of church polity. Only in more recent days have some Baptist leaders added another way of doing church governance. Baptist history is replete with extant documents that substantiate this observation. When one reads representative Baptist ecclesiastical writings such as confessions of faith, tracts, books, ordination sermons and church minute books, it becomes obvious that this assertion is correct.

Baptists have historically interpreted the New Testament Scriptures to describe one type of church polity. This polity has been described as Congregationalism with the biblical leadership of a pastor and deacons. And if a Baptist church was large enough, it included more than one pastor in church leadership.

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Augustus Hopkins Strong (1836-1921), a leading Theologian espousing Particular Baptist convictions and author of “Systematic Theology”. With reference to the pastoral office in a church, he wrote:

In certain of the New Testament churches there appears to have been a plurality of elders (Acts 20:17; Philippians 1:1; Titus 1:5). There is, however, no evidence that the number of elders was uniform or that the plurality which frequently existed was due to any other cause than the size of the churches for which these elders cared.

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