Acts The Church and Ministerial Training

Kaitiaki's picture

Basically this is just a "what do we learn about the Church from Acts?" thread. As we watch Paul and Barnabas and then Paul and Silas building the Church in Acts, what can we learn about their concept of the Church as a whole? Robert suggested my original plan was too cumbersome so asked me to create new threads.

Thread Moderator: Kaitiaki

There are two aspects to this thread: the training of the local congregation (for the work of ministry - as in Ephesians) and the theological training of ministers (or pastors).

Acts shows us local congregations that trained young men (and women) for every appropriate aspect of Church work. That included the work of ministry and missions. Discuss this statement. Do you think it is valid? What implications (if any) are there for the present system in almost every denomination of sending young men to a seminary to be trained? How does your Church seek to apply those implications in the way they train ministers and missionaries?

DanFugett's picture

Kaitaiki, I offer this response to your posting

Since there has been no reply to your point I would like to address it Kaitiaki. The premise Viola and Clark are operating from is a misreading of scriptures such as the one below, and a misunderstanding of the definition of a mature Christian. A mature Christian is defined in Heb 5-6 as one who consumes more than the milk of God's Word. A person who has been saved many years is not necessarily a mature Christian. Heb 5-6 proves that point pretty clearly. Now add to that misunderstanding a complete misreading of the passage below and one can see how the beliefs we are hearing from the Viola camp have permeated so much of the Church's thinking about itself.

But, if we read this passage careful even a mature Christian needs the 5-fold ministry listed below. We need the apostolic and prophetic ministry (the verses before this passage), which IMO, is "contained" in the New Testament. Some refer to these as special offices because scripture did not provide a means for the succession of these offices. We need the pastor and teacher and evangelist for which a means of succession is spelled out in scripture.

MOre important, how long is this ministry to continue and foe whom does it apply? I read this passage to say the entire Body of Christ needs all 5 offices of scripture occupied by ministers of God. There is no room in the language here to interpret this as functional tasks vs real people in a specific sacred office. But for whom is this work of the ministry? The entire Body of Christ. For how long? Until we ALL (Catch that word) attain ...

This is the part Viola's group twists.

If Clark is a mature Christian, and that isnt under debate, then he still has no right to abandon a biblical pastor until the ENTIRE Church attains ... That is, these sacred, full time, for pay, God ordained ministries are meant for the Church until we ALL get to Heaven. Why do I say that? Because as a living organism the Church continues to see births and so people are in different stages of growth at any given point in time. The ministry, AS PART OF THE FLOCK, is valid until teh Church is with Christ.

Note, the one point of agreement here with Clark is this. I dont bow to my pastor. He is not my boss. Biblical rule and headship does not mean I jump like the people of Jim JOnes cult were trained to do. Biblical authority does not rule like the Gentiles. I dont accept what he says apart from my conscience approving it as biblically consistent with the Gospel revelation in scripture. Like the Bereans, I weigh what he says and am obligated to follow Paul's command in Gal 2 of rejecting his message if it does not line up with the Gospel revelation. But I dont have a right to abandon having a Pastor and go where I can hear the messages I want to hear.

My concern lies entirely in the fact that, using the words below, the scheme of getting baby Christians to abandon the larger organized Church will cause them to be tricked and tossed about by the waves of man-made doctrine.

Eph 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

In Christ,

Dan Fugett

In Christ,

Dan Fugett, Sr Moderator