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Christian: How Does Your Church Make Decisions?

Discussion in 'Same Faith Debates' started by dan, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

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    How does your church arrive at decisions? Is it a vote? Is it revelation? Is it an appeal to scripture?

    For LDS folk, many doctrinal decisions are left up to the individual.

    Should I drink caffeine? You figure it out for yourself.

    Is birth control OK? That's between you two and the Lord.

    There is a saying that we must have unity on the essentials and toleration on the non-essentials. I feel the essentials are the things found in the scriptures. Many people misunderstand Mormons and their doctrine, and it's mainly because they don't understand what constitutes doctrine. They read Mormon Doctrine by McConkie and think that is official, but that's not the case. There is a very specific route to take to arrive at doctrine.

    For something to become doctrine the High Council of the Church (consisting of the first presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles) must formally declare it as such. This happens very rarely. So rarely, in fact, that you can find pretty much all of our doctrine in our standard works: The Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. If you ask an authority in the LDS church about doctrine they will always refer you to the scriptures. A major line that has to be drawn is the line between a practice or administrative standard, and doctrine. The denial of the priesthood to African Americans was a practice, not a doctrine.

    When our prohpets and Apostles speak to us in their official capacities we think of their words as being the will of the Lord for us. We liken it to scripture, but not in the sense that it is canonical - only in that it is inspired counsel. This is the case because we know the will of the Lord is not always the same for us. As times change so does the specific will of the Lord. This should be pretty darn evident, but some don't see how this can be.
     
  2. BUDDY

    BUDDY User of Aspercreme

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    I am a member of the church of Christ. We strive to follow the Bible as our source for doctrine in the church. We have elders that run the local church and look to the Bible for guidance on the administration of the congregation. As members of the church, we look to the Bible for guidance on how to live our lives.

    1Tim.5

    [17] Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
    2Tim.3

    [16] All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
     
  3. vbchick1717

    vbchick1717 New Member

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    I am also a member of the Church of Christ. We use the elder/deacon system as the best way to get things accomplished. If I am correct, which I may not be, each elder and deacon may serve a 4 year term, after which they may choose to be placed back on the ballot for re-election or may step down from the position. The congregation has the final say on just about everything (I can't think of anything that they don't have say on at the moment, and I doubt there is anything) and vote on who they want to be the deacons and elders of our church. The elders meet once a month as well as the deacons and then they have a general board meeting every few months. All 4 of our ministers also attend all the meetings so that they know whats going on and can help everyone communicate a little better. We also have a yearly congregational meeting in which the board will present the budget for the year as well as any thing else that needs to be brought to our attention. We then can vote on anything that needs to be voted on as well as voice our opinions about the goings on in the church. So basically everything that my church does leads right back to the congregation. I hope that helps you understand the Church of Christ, atleast in my town, a little better!
     
  4. Mike182

    Mike182 Flaming Queer

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    i don't "belong" to any one church, but the vineyard church i mostly attend for worship if governed by a group of senior pastors who make decisions based on situation, finance, and their personal morality based on prayer and Bible study.

    it's not an open debate or vote, but i think decisions can be challenged privatley (ie, you can contact a senior pastor to raise your concerns)
     
  5. Baerly

    Baerly Active Member

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    Hey BUDDY, Write me a PM sometime. I would like to talk to you about the scriptures you wrote about. They seem interesting to me (1 Peter 4:11). Baerly
     
  6. Baerly

    Baerly Active Member

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    The church I attend uses the bible and it alone for doctrine (2Tim 3:14-17). It's because all doctrine is settled in heaven and in earth (Matt.16:19). Jesus has all authority and he is our creed (Matt. 28:18-20). The bible says we have all we need pertaining to life and godliness within the bible according to (2Peter 1:3). The bible says to teach no other doctrine (1Tim. 1:3).
    Now if your talking about the color of the carpet our Elders can make that decision. The bible also talks about Elders must be the husband of one wife and he must rule his children well according to (1Tim. 3). -in love Baerly
     
  7. athanasius

    athanasius Well-Known Member

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    Of coarse. if any decisions are made they should be made by the church who has the authority to speak for Christ(Luke 10:16) and the authortiy to bind and loose doctrine and practices(Matt 18:15-20, Matt 16:13-19). It is this Church historically that could come together and speak infallibly(Acts 15:28) at councils on matters of faith and morals. This same church that passed down its authority to its historical successors(titus 2:15, 2 tim 1:6) And it is this same church historically that came together in many ecumenical councils(Such as the Council of Nicea 325 A.D) to declare the truths of the Christians faith and settle disputes. It is this church that can historically trace its succession back to Peter who was given these gifts by Christ(Matt 16:13-19, John 21:15-18, LK 22:31-32, Acts 15:6-9). And it is this Church that Jesus historically promised he would giude into all truth(John 16:13) and would be with until the end of the world to guide the(Matt 28:28). It is this same church historically that the Fathers of the church of the first 8 centuries refffered to. Of coarse this the Catholic church that can trace its histrory and teachings to Peter and the apostles and to Jesus. It was this same Catholic church that formally canonized the new testament of the bible in 382 A.D. att eh council of Rome under Pope Damasus I, which all protestants and LDS follow. So to answer your question its the Catholic church! Amen. All other denominations of Christians came from them. It wasn't until the 1500's that Prots came along and then they borrowed from some of the teachings of the Catholic ecumenical councils(LIke Nicea) and its new testament canon. The LDS wasn't created until the 1800's and they borrow the new testament canon from Catholics too. So unless they are Catholic they are really just picking fruit from a tree that they didn't plant. As Jesus says when you have a dispute you take it to the Church(Matt 18:15-19). This church was historically the Catholic church as Ignatius of antioch admits in his wriitngs. Ignatius was a disiple of the apostle John himself. He says in the year 110 ad "Wherever Jesus Christ is , there is the Catholic church"-letter to the smyrnaeans
     
  8. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    I agree with almost all you said, but only because you didn't use the adjective Roman. As far as I'm concerned, the four Patriarchates that make up the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church and not the one that is the Roman Catholic Church are the true Catholics. The only thing I would question is your overemphasis on St. Peter, but then I expect that from an RC. Just be aware that Catholic and Roman Catholic are not synonyms and nor do you have a monopoly on the use of the word.

    James
     
  9. Snowbear

    Snowbear Nita Okhata

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    My church is God's creation.
    God Himself makes all the decisions :D
     
  10. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Well, I've got to get ready for work now and will not be able to post until this evening. But for now, I'll just say that even though we use the Bible, it would definitely not be accurate to lump us in with the Protestants in terms of how we began. We are not part of a Reformation of any sort but are a Restoration. The two are entirely different concepts.
     
  11. athanasius

    athanasius Well-Known Member

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    Dear james. Actually I belong to the Catholic church. ALTHOUGH I am a Roman catholic, I belong to the Catholic church, not just to the Latin Rite. This is because the Catholic church also includes 22 other eastern rites that are in full union with Rome and recognize the Pope as the Infallible head. these Eastern rites are not orthodox, but they are Catholic in union with The Pope. Some of these rites are the Byzantine Catholics the Maronite Catholics...etc. It is becuase of this that our offical Catechsim is simply called "the Catechsim of the Catholic church" not just the Roman Catholic church. To be Catholic is to breath with both ends of the church both east and west as our Former Holy father Pope JPII said. So James I hope that helps. Benendict 16th Rocks
     
  12. Lindsey-Loo

    Lindsey-Loo Steel Magnolia

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    I am a nondenominational member of a church of Christ. When a decision needs to be made, the elders of my church meet and discuss. They look to the scriptures for everything. They will inform the congregation of the decision they reached after the sermon or at a congregational meeting, and invite those who have problems or questions to speak with them following the dismissal prayer. Scripture is always presented.

    Sometimes, one member will have a problem with the way another member is living. Perhaps Jim-Bob smokes and Mary Doe knows that he does. She also knows that our bodies are supposed to be temples of God, and that putting harmful things into them is a sin. The first thing she'll do is go to Jim and talk to him about his smoking. She'll show him the scriptures that support her belief that smoking is wrong. Jim will either agree and repent and try to break his habit, or he will say that Mary is wrong. If that's the case, she will get one or two others who know that Jim smokes and they will all go to him and try to talk it over. If Jim still refuses to believe that he is in the wrong, Mary will go to the elders, who will talk to Jim. In worst-case scenarios, a member would refuse to acknowledge that they're living in sin, whatever the case may be, and they would be disfellowshipped. I really want to emphasize, though, that all that we do comes from the scriptures down to the smallest detail. If it's not supported by scripture, you won't see it in our congregation.
     
  13. shema

    shema Active Member

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    At my Church, the Pastor makes most of the Decisions
     
  14. Lindsey-Loo

    Lindsey-Loo Steel Magnolia

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    I wonder...is it safe to give one man all the power to make decisions?
     
  15. dawny0826

    dawny0826 Mother Heathen

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  16. shema

    shema Active Member

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    of course, he is not perfect, but he is a man of God who feeds us nothing but the word of God
    Jeremiah 3:15




    15Then I'll appoint wise rulers
    who will obey me,
    and they will care for you
    like shepherds.
     
  17. Snowbear

    Snowbear Nita Okhata

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    :( :confused: :( :confused:

    Are you serious??? Someone could get kicked out of the church for sinfulness???
    Where is THAT in the Bible?
    Whatever happened to loving God and loving everyone else... no matter what.... and letting God be the judge of their sinfulness? Sure the person could, and probably *should* be counseled. But how could the church members... especially the elders... possibly consider themselves sinless enough to 'disfellowship' a member who smokes (or whatever) they consider more sinful than themselves???
    John 8:1-11
     
  18. Baerly

    Baerly Active Member

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    I know churches today do not teach church discipline but it can be found in the bible. It will be practiced if we love our brethren. You can find this subject in the following verses: (Matt.18:15-17) (Rom 16: 17,18) (1Cor.5) (2Thess.3:6,14.15)
    (Titus 1:10,11). This is a subject I know well. If you want to learn more about this subject go to the preachersfiles.com and look up Church Discipline. You can also contact me and I will be more than glad to speak with you about this subject. in love Baerly
     
  19. Baerly

    Baerly Active Member

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    To follow the biblical principle of church discipline is to follow the commandments of the Lord (1Cor.14:37) (John 14:15,21). Jesus said if you love me you will do my commandments. He also said if your my friend you will do my commandments (John 15:14). We love our brethren when we apply church discipline like the bible says. Nowhere in the bible does it say to overlook sin. That is not loving the person. If we love an individual in sin we will go to them like (Gal.6:1,2) says,if he repents (Luke 17:3,4) we win our brother back,if he refuses to repent we apply church discipline. in love Baerly
     
  20. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    Baerly,

    I know you sign your posts in love, but it is anything but love the website you lay down show.


    It's discimination at it's very finest.
     
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