söndag 17 januari 2010

Plural eldership

I punkt 9 i Svenska Baptisters bekännelse 1861 kan vi läsa:

"9 Wi tro, att en ordentlig Christi Församling är ett samfund af troende och döpta christna, som hafwa med hwarandra öfwerenskommit att söka hålla allt hwad Han hafwer befallt: att uppehålla offentlig gudsdyrkan; att under den Heliga Andas ledning utwälja ibland sig sjelfwa h e r d a r eller t i l l s y n i n g s m ä n, och t j e n a r e; "

Här i den här predikan av Duncan Ross, pastor i Mount of Olives Baptist Church i Duluth Minnesota, kan se hur denna punkt i bekännelsen används som argument för multipla äldste i församlingen.

" In
The Second London Confession of 1677 and 1688 we read, “...the Officers appointed by Christ to be chosen and set apart by the Church...for the peculiar Administration of Ordinances and Execution of power, or duty which he entrusts them with, or calls them to, to be continued to the end of the world, are BISHOPS or ELDERS [plural] and DEACONS.” This is the pattern we see throughout the New Testament. Finally, let me cite a document that represents the specific heritage of the denomination to which this church belongs. The Swedish Baptist Confession of Faith (Stockholm) of 1861 which dates from much later than the first two documents says in article nine, “We believe that a true Christian church is a union of believing and baptized Christians, who have covenanted together to strive to keep all that Christ has commanded, to sustain public worship, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to choose among themselves [not imported, paid professionals] SHEPHERDS or OVERSEERS [plural] and DEACONS...” I hesitate to spend time reading sections of Baptist confessions, but I think it is important to know that although those of us here TODAY may not associate a plural eldership with Baptist churches, for much of the history of the Baptist movement, a plural eldership was not thought to be unusual and was even included in the confessions of Baptist denominations."

Jag kan inte säga att det avgör frågan för mig. Men, visst är det så att det historiskt har funnits baptistförsamlingar med flera äldste. Det här blogginlägget ger några exempel från England.

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