Hello, Mr Irony here again. Today, we are going to discuss how to select your church leader according to the example of the Bible. After all, we need to make sure that we do “God’s Government” right. Never mind that His Kingdom is not of the world or even here yet! We’re talking about the Church here, ya know!
Since Christ left no clear commandment on how to appoint church leaders, we need to discern the pattern used in the Bible to be sure that we get it right. After all, real Christianity means being able to read between the lines to make sure we are a tight-knit group. In fact, we need to ensure we are wound so tight that we are ready to snap at any given moment!
But first, we need to discuss a very real problem in how leaders are ordained. I mean, we in the COGs have really been slacking in this department for a very long time.
Naturally, I’m speaking of anointing our leaders with oil. Kings and high priests alike in the OT were always anointed with oil at ordination. We need to make sure that the oil flows down upon the beard ya know!
That reminds me that I need to buy stock in a dry cleaning company.
The anointing comes after the selection of a leader or group of leaders. Of course, the NT had 12 leaders, so we need to make sure we stay Biblical and appoint 12 of them. After all, we need to stay Biblical here. In fact, let’s make it 13, since Paul was an apostle as well. Plus, I need to make sure I get dividends for that dry cleaning stock.
Selection must be “top down”. We can’t let the ignorant lay people have any voice in it, after all. Come to think of it, it might be a bad idea to let elders have any voice in it as well. After all, someone might want to run themselves! Naw, now that would not happen in the Church, would it?
OK, but how to do the selecting? I know, let’s look at how the NT Church did it!
23And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
24And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
25That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
26And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. (Acts 1:23-26, King James Version)
There you have it! If you claim to be looking at the pattern of selecting leaders within the NT Church, then you must be casting lots to select 12 men to be in charge. Otherwise, your form of government is un-Biblical.
….which may explain why there actually was a proposal offered for the United Church of God conference in May, to move to lot-casting in making decisions.
The UCG leaders interpreted that proposal in a different way, of course.
@Richard: Yeah, I realize that I might step on a minority of toes with this one, but the reality is that none of the COGs current leaders (that I'm aware of) have been chosen by this method. Hopefully, proponents of casting lots won't be too offended by my joking around.
Concidering that both the current LCG and the current UCG teachings agree on lot casting, those that believe in lot casting (if you've read the teachings of both the LCG and UCG) could be concidered to be much less than being Laodocian to the point of not having the Holy Spirit at all.
And concidering that H. W. Armstrong appointed J. Tkach Sr. as his successor, where does that leave the Holy Spirit?
Personally I believe that a person should first maintain a great deal of the fruit of the Spirit, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." (Gal 5:22-23) before they attempt to answer that question.
Norbert wrote: "And concidering that H. W. Armstrong appointed J. Tkach Sr. as his successor, where does that leave the Holy Spirit?"
I'm willing to believe the Holy Spirit was where it always is.
Maybe a counter question should be: "Does the Holy Spirit force someone to do God's will, or is the person still allowed to make bad decisions?"
Very true and I imagine nobody in a CoG would claim they are infallible. But when it comes to doctrines it does make for some studying. As Herbert Armstrong said, don't believe me, believe your Bible, believe God.