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Thread: Christ's Commandments

  1. #331
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    1Tim 5:22 . . Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily

    That ruling seems primarily concerned with the avoidance of fast-tracking candidates for aldermen, senior pastors, associate pastors, deacons, and deaconesses; in other words: church officials; whether high ranking or low ranking.
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  2. #332
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    1Tim 5:23 . . No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.

    In the days prior to the proliferation of antiseptics, antibiotics, inoculations, and a host of other mass-produced treatments; wine was an important remedy for just about everything from indigestion to open wounds. (e.g. Mark 15:23, and Luke 10:34)

    Medicine has come a long ways in the last 2,000 years so that even if a little wine would still help whatever ailed Timothy's tummy, there's probably much better over-the-counter, non-alcoholic remedies available for his condition in our day.

    Paul mentioned that his friend had other problems too. I have no clue what those might have been; but I have to ask: Why didn't Paul utilize his apostolic gift of healing to cure his friend? My answer is: probably because Timothy's problems didn’t require a miracle. For example Mark 16:13 where Christ' men utilized oil to treat certain people rather than miracles. In other words: when First Aid will do, surgery is unnecessary.

    I think that Timothy simply wasn't taking proper care of himself and/or getting enough rest. His diet may have been inadequate too. The old adage-- God helps those who help themselves --is very true in some cases. My view is: if you can fix your own flat tire, then don't expect God to fix it for you. Like when a farmer prays for a good crop, he really needs to say amen with a hoe.

    What else might be taken from 1Tim 5:23? Well; I would say do NOT rely upon so-called faith healing. Too many children are being lost these days to treatable conditions because their parents are putting so much trust in their church's interpretation of passages like Jas 5:14-15. If Paul recommended a remedy for Timothy's tummy; don't you think he would recommend a remedy for your child's treatable condition? Yes; of course he would. In many, many cases; people don't need a miracle; they just need a doctor.
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  3. #333
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    1Tim 3:3b . . not pugnacious

    Webster's defines pugnacious as: militant, defensive, warlike, combative, confrontational, pushy, assertive, scrappy, and belligerent. Some men are natural-born bullies and others are ready to "take it outside" at every challenge. You sure don't want one of them running your church. God forbid!

    1Tim 3:3c . . gentle, non contentious

    A good church officer isn't what might be called shrinking; but rather, he's an affable, courageous man who selects his conflicts carefully. For some people, every disagreement is an act of war: they're assertive, demanding, reactive, defensive, and confrontational not just some of the time; but all the time. A gentle man is not so quick to draw his guns at the slightest provocation. However, though shepherds walk softly so as not to frighten the sheep; at the same time; they carry a big stick.
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  4. #334
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    1Tim 3:3d . . free from the love of money.

    L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, started out as an author of pulp fiction novels for a penny per word. One day he came to the conclusion that the real money was in religion, especially if it had a non-profit tax exemption.

    Well; today, the net worth of just the top three of Scientology's upwards of thirty entities-- Scientology International, the Flag Service Organization, and the Church Of Spiritual Technology --is in the neighborhood of 1.5 billion dollars. The personal net worth of David Miscavige, Scientology's current head, is rumored to be somewhere around 50 million. It's very curious how a supposedly non-profit church, and it's head, amassed such fortunes.

    Back in 1988-99, a tel-evangelist named James Orsen Bakker was sentenced to 45 years in Federal prison (later reduced to 8) for embezzling millions of dollars from his own ministry and using some of the money to construct an extravagant mansion-- complete with gold plumbing --for he and wife Tammy, and a luxurious kennel for their pet dog.

    I would highly recommend that a prospective church officer's background be checked before proceeding with the interview process. Is his credit good? Does he have gambling debts? Does he prefer gourmet foods and restaurants? Does he wear Armani suits, hand-made shoes, a Cartier wrist watch, and drive a new Lexus SUV? What's his current home worth? What part of town does he live in? . . because, unfortunately, there are men out there seeking careers in the business of religion, and are very good at finding ways to get their fingers in a church's treasury-- and not a few are looking for lucrative wage and benefit packages instead of an opportunity to serve Christ faithfully, loyally, and effectively; and to look out for his best interests instead of their own.
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  5. #335
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    1Tim 3:4-5 . . He must manage his own family well, and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?)

    There's respect, and then there's "proper" respect which has to be nurtured because a father cannot get proper respect by force. Tyranny doesn't earn respect; it earns fear, suspicion, mistrust, and dread. Instilling fear into the hearts of one's children is sure to backfire some day when they're older.

    Back in Ephesians, we pointed out that children are discouraged by fathers that abuse their human rights. Well, abusive church officers are just as bad. Despots and dictators are certain to discourage their congregations just as surely as abusive fathers break their children's spirit.

    Managing a home falls into the category of stewardship; which is a power very easily abused if one isn't careful. I would say that Joseph was a good steward because he didn't use his power for personal gain, but rather for the protection of the Egyptians under whom Pharaoh put his control. But not all stewards are like Joseph.

    Take for example Bhumibol Adulyadej, the late king of Thailand. His personal wealth at the time of his death was estimated to be 30 billion dollars. I really have to question the integrity of a steward who goes to his grave with 30 billion dollars the meanwhile that poverty levels in his country are rising.
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  6. #336
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    1Tim 3:6 . . He must not be a novice, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the Devil.

    Conceited people are usually infected with a superiority complex; which can be roughly defined as a sort of master-race mentality.

    If an inexperienced Christian is advanced too soon in church, they could easily become so proud of themselves that they regard their position as an achievement instead of a sacred trust. When someone is promoted to a position in church they ought not celebrate as if they won valedictorian in their senior graduating class; no; they really ought to be scared because God will hold them to a higher standard than the rank and file.
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  7. #337
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    1Tim 3:7 . . He must also have a good reputation with outsiders

    Paul lists that qualification as a must, as opposed to merely a good idea.

    You know; that's all a church needs is to install a new church officer only to find out later he's the classic neighbor from Hell.

    The new guy might be a one-eyed Jack in church, but the kids on his street, and the people whose property adjoins his, the post man, the convenience store, the gas station, the super market, the department store, the drive-up at McDonald's, the trick-or-treaters, the bank, the paperboy, etc, have all seen the other side of his face. It had better match the one he's shown you or your church's overall influence in the community will be in the tank; and you will have a man in a key spot whom Christ does not approve, and with whom he does not care to associate.
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  8. #338
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    1Tim 3:8-9 . . Deacons likewise must be men of dignity; etc, etc.

    "dignity" is from the Greek word semnos (sem-nos') which means venerable, i.e. deserving honor and respect, especially by reason of age; viz: esteemed.

    The koiné Greek word for "deacons" is diakonos (dee-ak'-on-os) which means: an attendant, i.e. (genitive case) a waiter (at table or in other menial duties).

    Deacons aren't necessarily clergy. In point of fact, many are laymen because theirs is a support role rather than a shepherd's role. And "deacon" isn't a career track, rather, deacons are typically uncompensated volunteers.

    It would be very difficult, if not impossible, for a church's officers to run the operation all by themselves without a ready pool of reliable grunts; viz: ones who step up to routine, unglamorous tasks.
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  9. #339
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    1Tim 3:10 . . And let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach.

    The vetting process must of necessity include interviewing people who've had experience with a candidate; for example:

    "Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution.

    . . . And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, "It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word." (Acts 6:1-4)

    The men considered for deacons in that passage were not only above average spiritually, but also "of good repute". In other words: men being considered for deacons really ought to be required to provide some character references.
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  10. #340
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    1Tim 3:11 . . In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect; not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.

    Though an applicant for deacon may himself be a pious man, he's to be disqualified if his wife's piety isn't on a par with his own.

    I think that may be based upon Gen 2:18; where it's stated that a wife's purpose is a supporting role rather than a starring role. An impious wife is probably not going to be very enthusiastic about her husband's devotion to the care and function of a church.
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  11. #341
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    Post Re: Christ's Commandments

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    1Tim 3:12-13 . . Let deacons be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households.

    Qualifications for deacons are very similar to those for the officers they assist. (cf. 1Tim 3:2, 1Tim 3:4-6)
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