"You have to work hard to offend Christians. By nature, Christians are the most forgiving, understanding, and thoughtful group of people I've ever dealt with. They never assume the worst. They appreciate the importance of having different perspectives. They're slow to anger, quick to forgive, and almost never make rash judgments or act in anything less than a spirit of total love . . . No, wait--I'm thinking of Labrador retrievers!" David Learn, 1998

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Grace under Siege 69: High noon at the Grace Corral

     This Sunday we will be voting on three things: 
    1. The revised Statement of Faith
    2. The affirmation of each of the current 29 elders, including Lou, Hachet Man/Saul, and Jesus Eyes.
    3. The ordination of one of these elders as a pastor.
     Personally I am going to vote "no" on everything,* as a vote of "no confidence" for the whole leadership. All but two of the elders have violated Scripture and the Bylaws and are following a man who does not preach or value the Bible. So I will vote "no" on all but those two. *Keith Benson and Chuck Horton have stayed true to the Lord and the Bylaws, indicating so by signing and returning the document sent to all of them by the Watchmen. (I have posted this document below.)
     I cannot in good conscience vote for any of the others as long as they see their purpose (as two of the elders told us--neither of them one of the ones named above) "to make Lou successful."
     If you vote "no" on a candidate, you may have to indicate on your ballot whether the man is not qualified Biblically to be an elder at all or is not qualified for a specific job as an elder (in which case he can remain an elder). If you mark "not qualified Biblically," you can use one of the following passages which list the qualifications for elders, I Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-16, or I Peter 5:1-4. I quoted them in my December 29, 2011 post, grace-under-siege-38-qualifications-for-elders:

    "If any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. An overseer, then, must be above reproach. . . temperate. . . respectable. . . not. . . pugnacious but gentle, peaceable. . ." (I Timothy 3:1-7).
     "(A)ppoint elders. . .above reproach . . . not quick-tempered. . . not pugnacious. .  but. . . self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. For there are many . . . deceivers. . . They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him. . ." (Titus 1:5-16)                                            
     "Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you. . . [not] as lording it over those alloted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory." (I Peter 5:1-4)
    As I wrote on that post, "If, at the next annual business meeting, we members of Grace Brethren Church are asked to affirm that these men are qualified to continue as elders, before God, how can we?

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