Since you ask I will continue...

The whole issue of submission to deny the types of things I have been saying is...well...a straw man. An argument which holds no water. Not saying you are using this argument to discount anything Magil...just saying.

What is an elder? I mean biblically speaking. It is my understanding that he (and it was a he) was someone who was...well...older (i.e. elder) in his mature Christian walk. Someone who could be publicly recognized as a leader of God's people if he not only was an elder in maturity based on his character but also had the desire to enter into the work, and it is a work, of shepherding the sheep.

An elder was not and is not only someone who is recognized as such. Elders do not become older overnight. The Holy Spirit raises them up over time as He matures them.

So my first point is that it is perfectly possible to encounter an as yet unrecognized elder among our Christian acquaintences.

Are we to submit to others only because they are recognized? I dare say not.

May I add that we are not to submit to only recognized elders or unrecognized elders but also to one another as fellow brethren. We are to head to the bottom in loving service to others.

Tell me something...which of the following two is the greater submission?

#1. I go to a Sunday Church faithfully. I go and sit and stand, kneel and pray, sing and clap when the sheep are encouraged to do so. I do that dutifully as a good sheep should. I respect the Church leaders and I do what I am asked to do each Sunday. After all it's their Church I reason to myself. Then when the service is over I go home and live for myself the rest of the week until the following Sunday.

#2. I don't go to a Sunday Church. I get with Christians throughout the week to counsel them, to love on them, to help them in their every day needs and to otherwise shepherd them. I consider myself to be their servant and aim for the bottom in pushing them ahead of me. To be more than me in Christ. I submit and yield to them in things that they might want to do when we get together that are not sinful because my desire and outlook is to be their servant in a very real sense.

May I suggest that case #2 is far more in line with the submission that the Lord intended for us to have than case #1.

We claim far and wide that we are living in submission simply because we attend a Sunday service when in fact we may be very rebellious in heart in the eyes of God overall.

Whereas a person may not go to Church on Sundays and externally may appear by sight to be rebellious when in fact in the eyes of God they may be the most submissive of all.

I personally have to yield to God through authorities in my life every single day. My landlord, the government, other Christians who come into my life and with whom I might have a tendency to want my own way with. I must yield to all in so far as God wants me to serve all.

It is a piece of cake to go to some Sunday Church and play the submissive game on the surface. It is quite another to actually learn to be submissive when I don't want to be out in the real world among real people in real interactions.

Ironically I have encountered leaders who are anything but submissive in heart. Who react like little kids when someone tries to take their toys away at the very thought that someone might not recognize them as leaders or bow to their opinions. Thankfully not many are like that but there are some.

But I would say that many leaders have not themselves learned submission in the school of real life. Their lack of true submission make further divisiveness in the Church more, not less likely. They have little true humility in their hearts. It's pretty tough to have a dispute with a godly, humble man whose aim is to place themselves under you in service.

Mind you that doesn't mean leaders are to be wishy washy or to allow others to step all over them but any standing up is for the glory of God and for the good of the sheep and most certainly not for themselves.

Am I submissive to elders? You bet...when I am around them. But whether I find myself around them or not I am submissive to all as God would have me be. 7 days a week and not just on Sundays.

Carlos


Last edited by carlos123; Sun May 31, 2009 9:43 PM. Reason: Changed something to someone when referring to elders :)