Gen lesson 1, part 1, ch 1

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Current Trends in Christianity

The issue of moral decay in America is a serious concern for many conservative evangelicals. However, should not the real concern be the superficiality and impotence of biblical churches?

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Christ’s Design for His Church

Why are there so many denominations and so much confusion in Christianity?

It is important for the contemporary Church to cease from following religious traditions and begin to exegetically research the purpose and design of the Church as Christ intended it to be.

How is it that the percentage of people attending churches has actually increased but the influence and cultural impact of Christianity has drastically lessened?

Perhaps one key factor is the failure of the Church to follow Christ’s provisions for His Church.  The typical prominent “office” of Protestant churches is that of “pastor.”   Pastor is the Latin translation of the Greek word poimen and simply means “shepherd.”  As a noun it refers to Christ on two occassions outside the Gospels (Heb 13:20 & 1Pet 2:25) and on a few occassion in the Gospels but primarily it simply refers to literal shepherds.  The key idea is one who feeds, leads, guards, and cares for sheep.    However, in Scripture the noun is never used of an office in a local church except in a compound form in Eph. 4:11 where it is linked with the word “teacher” (a “feeding, leading and protecting” teacher).  The New Testament does mention the office of Teacher on several occassions (Acts 13:1; Eph. 4:11; 1Cor 12: 28; James 3:1).

The significant distinction is in the priority of being one who educates and disciples Christ’s followers rather than being a “care giver.”  This is not to imply a teacher is not concerned with the personal needs of the church (thus “pastor/teacher” of Eph 4:11) but the teacher is to “equip the saints for the work of ministry” (Eph 4:12) and through this process there will be many effective “care-givers” who, when properly equipped can more effectively minister to the whole assembly.

This presents the opening proposition for our discussion.  Submit your comments as you wish.

Dr G

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