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Deacons

“Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His Name.”—Malachi 3:16

Neither Luther or Calvin held those shallow Pelagian views, now so common, of a gradual amelioration and Christianising of the world. Calvin writes, “It is a superstition to think that the world is improving in religion and morality. It is not improving but it is always going back.” Luther says, “I know that the world is becoming epicurean; that is to say, they will lose faith in God and immortality, and give themselves up to the pleasures of the things of this world, and then suddenly shall be heard the voice, ‘Behold, the Bridegroom cometh.'” These statements are Scriptural; we have no warrant to expect the conversion of the world, but in the words of James to the Church at Jerusalem, God visits the…

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Preface

18 May 2015, by

The subject of eldership in Baptist circles has been one of the most misunderstood issues of recent years, with the result that it has become fashionable and even considered orthodox for churches to supplement or replace a single pastor with a team of ‘elders’. I contend this mode of governance is unscriptural, impractical and unconventional. This pamphlet is designed to argue the case why Baptist churches should retain their historic practice of appointing one bishop/pastor, assisted by a group of deacons. I have completed a comprehensive textbook on this subject, which is under review for publication. In the interim, this pamphlet is an abridged preview of the larger forthcoming work, and I extend special thanks to Adam Nixon who encouraged the pamphlet’s preparation, and to Yasmin Cooper and Kevin Price for their editorial notes and helpful suggestions.

Jared Smith

May 2017

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Ephesians 4:11: “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;”

The apostles and prophets were temporary offices, laying the foundation for both the establishment and edification of Christian churches—apostles were primarily sent to organize new churches; prophets were appointed to nurture existing churches. The evangelists and pastor-teachers are permanent offices carrying out a…

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Conclusion

18 May 2015, by

Eldership advocates are not only misguided in what they believe about elders, but they are also mistaken in their crusade to pressure Baptist churches into adopting elderships. Their error is enlarged by their misleading interpretations of scripture and historic Confessional statements. Such is the nature of their self-confidence and arrogance, that many churches are giving in to this pressure through sheer intimidation. Churches should not fear eldership advocates…

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Introduction

10 Sep 2013, by

Clifford Pond served in the pastoral ministry among Grace Baptist churches for more than 50 years. Having seen the need for congregations to better understand the complexities of adopting a plurality of elders, he wrote a book entitled “Only Servants.” The back cover of the book offers a reason why the author is a respected authority on the subject: “Clifford Pond writes out of a lifetime of pastoral ministry, having served churches in Suffolk and Surrey as well as exercising a wider ministry at various times by responsible leadership in young people’s fellowships, associations of churches and the council of Grace Baptist Mission.”

In the fifth chapter, under the heading “Plurality of Elders and Deacons”, Mr. Pond writes:

“Since the Second World War every part of life generally has been questioned, and churches too have been put under the scrutiny of Scripture…For example, in the earlier part of this century the most common structure in local churches was a pastor with a group of deacons. In the absence of a pastor…

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The Affirmations set forth in the following statements are representative views of the historic values maintained by Strict (restricted table) and Particular (restricted atonement) Baptist churches, before and up to the mid-twentieth century. Since the Second World War, most historic churches have (1) adopted the Westcott and Hort text, thereby departing from the high view of verbal inspiration; (2) adopted the teachings of Fullerism, thereby departing from the high view of Sovereign Grace; (3) adopted the philosophy of Ecumenism, thereby departing from the high view of strict communion; (4) adopted an adaptation of Presbyterianism, thereby departing from the high view of Baptist polity.

It appears many Strict Baptists have failed to understand that moving with the times does not mean churches must move from the truth. Conservative values are…

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This is the first article setting forth representative documents that support the truth that Baptist Churches have always had pastors and deacons as their Biblical church officers.

The First London Confession of 1644/46 and the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1677/89 are no doubt the two most influential Confessions of faith in existence. These confessions hold much weight in any discussion of Church Polity. Both can be found in Lumpkin’s Baptist Confessions of Faith. On page 166 of the First London Confession, in Article XXXVI, the subscribers tell us . . .

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22. Stephen

20 Nov 2011, by

Stephen stoned outside Jerusalem, A.D. 34.

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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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