Saturday, May 27, 2006

J.N. Darby: Does the Word of God Authorise the Naming Pastors and Presidents?

John Nelson Darby wrote:

"Those who cling so fondly to the practise of making and settling churches, quote the Epistles of Timothy and Titus, with most undoubting confidence, as serving for the guidance to the churches in all ages; whilst they were really never addressed to any church whatever. It may be observed that the quotations from God's word on matters most bearing on those who are engaged in settling churches, such as the choosing of elders, deacons, etc., must be derived from these epistles alone- and most remarkable it is, that those companions of the apostle who posessed his confidence, were left in the churches, or else sent to them when already existing, in order to select such elders, when the apostle had not done it- a clear proof that the apostle could not confer upon the churches the power of choosing their elders, even when churches he had formed were still in existence; and notwithstanding, we hear all this adduced as instructions for the churches in after times. Official nomination is an assumption of apostolic authority, and contrary to the order and principles on which it took place then. Nor has this left the saints without resource when God graciously works. Pastors, and doctors (teachers- D.F.), and evangelists are gifts which have their places in the unity of the body, and have their just exercise wherever God has graciously given them; and in 1 Corinthians 16:15, 16, I find the Holy Ghost directing submission to all who in devotedness of heart have given themselves to true labour in the Lord. So in 1 Thessalonians 5:12, and Hebrews 13:17, teach the same godly substance to those who labour, and thus take the lead in the work of the Lord."

Taken from On the Formation of Churches in Collected Writings, vol.1, p.148-149


Ryan S. said...

I think pastors shouldn't be called "Reverend."

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I agree with that. However, what a pastor is and what he does are far more important issues than his title.

God Bless


Kitty Cheng said...

Yes the title 'pastors' in the five fold ministry according to Ephesians 4 is a functional role, not a positional role. I also wonder why there is so much empasis on pastors instead of apostles, prophets, evangelists and teachers these days? Any idea Matthew?

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Kitty, thanks for visiting.

It is convenient to worldly men to make the gift of the pastor into a profession.

I do not believe that God gives the gift of apostle or prophet today. I believe those are foundational gifts on which the church is established. It would not be in harmony with the principle of the canoncity of Scripture for there to be apostles and prophets today.

Every Blessing in Christ


pecheur said...

Darby is so confusing to read.

but anyway. I, of course, have no problem with Pastors or Bishops or whatever you want to call them. There seems to be evidence that all are not "pastors". It might could be argued all could be "preachers". But that is splitting hairs.

God has surely equipped the church with leaders that he calls and this call is confirmed to the church by the presence of the Holy Spirit in that one's life.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Pecheur, pastors are a gift of the Holy Spirit; it is unscriptural for men to appoint them.

Elders were appointed, but by the apostles. In the absence of any apostles, we must do without elders.

Every Blessing in Christ