Showing posts with label Deacons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Deacons. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

The Whole Gathering

Pick out from among you seven men of good repute …”

When was the last time your local church “read out” or excommunicated someone?

I know some churches that have never done it. Even in churches that have, for most it’s been a very long time, to almost nobody’s regret. In these litigious days, telling a brother or sister they are no longer welcome in the fellowship of the saints is not an action in which anybody is particularly enthusiastic about participating. Nor should it be: there is plenty of financial risk involved, as well as the potential risk to testimony if a person so excluded elects to push back in a public way and the church’s version of the excommunication narrative is called into question by people incapable of understanding its purpose.

Who jumps at handling a hot potato like that? Nobody with a keen sense of self-preservation, that’s for sure.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

The Essential Deacon

Two major Christian denominations view deacons as being ministers of the third order, below bishops governing a diocese, and below priests responsible for a local church. Nonconformist churches generally regard a deacon as one not formally trained in the faith, but given the task of caring for the non-spiritual needs of the flock; this especially in the proper distribution of welfare for the needy. It may be derived from the example of Acts 6:1-5 when compared with the qualifications required of deacons in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Building Blocks of Reality

The Old Testament is full of hints, winks and nudges. Or so it seems to me.

For example, I cannot read Abraham’s words to Isaac, “God will provide for himself the lamb,” without marveling at the subtlety of the wording. It works as a double entendre in either Hebrew or English. Was Abraham a straight man or a prophet? I can’t tell you, but I love that line. From thousands of years down the road we look back and say, “He certainly did.”

That’s not a comment on our cleverness, of course.