EChurch@Wartburg – 2.26.12

Welcome to the second gathering of EChurch@Wartburg

Enhanced Rainbow by Barb Ver Sluis

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=3180&picture=enhanced-rainbow

 

Here is our order of worship. 

 

A prayer attributed to St Patrick: (@470AD)

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.

I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me;
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's hosts to save me
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a mulitude.

Christ shield me today
Against wounding
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through the mighty strength
Of the Lord of creation.

Amen

A prayer by Clement of Rome, early church father, 1st century

We beseech thee, Master, to be our helper and protector.
Save the afflicted among us; have mercy on the lowly;
raise up the fallen; appear to the needy; heal the ungodly;
restore the wanderers of thy people;
feed the hungry; ransom our prisoners;
raise up the sick; comfort the faint-hearted

In the name of Jesus:   Amen

Dear EChurch@Wartburg Viewers,

My name is Wade Burleson. Rachelle, my wife of thirty years, and I are friends of Dee and Wanda (aka Deb) at The Wartburg Watch. We are participating in the formation of EChurch@Wartburg because we have a heart for people who love Christ but have been hurt by the church. In a moment you might choose to watch today's video message, and it is only fair that I tell you a few things about myself before you take the time to listen.

First, you will be joining the fourth Sunday morning worship service of the church I serve in Enid, Oklahoma. I realize that the visual of me wearing a suit and standing on a platform may trigger some bad memories. If I could, I'd be casual and relaxed sitting across a coffee table from you and we'd simply talk about Jesus, life, and the Scriptures. Try to ignore the venue. If it helps, grab a cup of coffee or a glass of tea and relax as you listen. I will personally welcome you and all the EChurch viewers at the beginning of this video because you are important to us. Our church believes that people who have been burned by organized religion and have either opted out of going to church or are in transition are as important to Christ as faithful, dedicated members of any organized church. We would like to play just a small role in your healing process as you reorient to what is really important in your walk of faith.

Second, I am not a professional entertainer. I won't use props or gimmicks to get you to like either the message or myself. May we find our source of life in Jesus Christ. I will go verse by verse through the Scriptures and talk of Him. Feel free to disagree with me! Yell and scream at what I'm saying if you feel like it! I am nobody's spiritual authority, nor do I have some special insight into spiritual things. I am just an ordinary Jesus-lover who believes the Truth will set you free. If you make it through the 30 minute message and come away knowing a little more about Christ and find Him a tad more satisfying, then I will have succeeded.

Third, we at EChurch@Wartburg are NOT trying to control you, fix you, change you, or get something from you. We just want you to know that somebody really does care for you. We are like you — we love Christ and His Word, but we believe the church and organized religion have a tendency to screw things up! If at some point you can enter into personal relationships with people in your area who share a love for Christ, we want to encourage you to develop those relationships! Until then, we welcome you to EChurch@Wartburg for some spiritual refreshment and encouragement.

Scripture Reading:  Hebrews 10:15-16 (NASB  Bible Gateway)

 And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying,
“THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM
AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD:
I WILL PUT MY LAWS UPON THEIR HEART,
AND ON THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM”

The Law of the Spirit of Life (Hebrews 10:15-16) from Emmanuel Enid on Vimeo.

Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear than we to pray, and to give more than we either desire or deserve: Pout upon your church the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things for which we are noteworthy to ask, except through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen (Phyllis Tickle-Divine Hours)

 

Closing Prayer – The Lord's Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, 
Hallowed be thy Name. 
Thy kingdom come. 
Thy will be done, 
On earth as it is in heaven. 
Give us this day our daily bread. 
And forgive us our trespasses, 
As we forgive those who trespass against us. 
And lead us not into temptation, 
But deliver us from evil. 
For thine is the kingdom, 
and the power, 
and the glory, 
for ever and ever.

Amen.

 

Thank you for worshipping with us.  May you be blessed by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Comments

EChurch@Wartburg – 2.26.12 — 51 Comments

  1. “I realize that the visual of me wearing a suit and standing on a platform may trigger some bad memories.”

    Yes it does.
    It helps to turn on the screen-saver with just the audio on.

    “Second, I am not a professional entertainer.”

    Really? Well, I will have to think about that one.

  2. TS
    Welcome to EChurch. Take your time deciding whether this is about entertainment. We are just glad you dropped by.

  3. TS,

    Welcome to TWW! Hope you’ll stick around. My hubby has a problem with pastors who don’t wear suits, so to each his own.

    What’s important in our EChurch is that people are given the opportunity to experience “authentic worship”.

  4. Dee,

    Watching Duke basketball and choosing songs for next week’s EChurch is a great combination. These videos are incredible!

  5. Deb: “What’s important in our EChurch is that people are given the opportunity to experience ‘authentic worship.'”

    How?

    By

    a. Posting and having texted conversations?
    b. Watching music videos?
    c. Watching video sermons?
    d. All of the above?

  6. Anonymous,

    Thank you for your comment and challenge regarding “authentic worship”.

    I believe authentic worship primarily concerns my vertical relationship with Almighty God. Anyone who believes this can only occur within the confined walls of a church building doesn’t understand true worship, IMHO. I can authentically worship God together with a fellowship of believers, with my family, with just my blogging partner Dee, or by myself.

    In the book Authentic Worship, Herbert W. Bateman IV (professor of NT Studies at Grace Theological Seminary) writes:

    “One of the pivotal issues around which church life moves concerns the understanding and praxis of worship. Throughout Scripture, God desires that his people worship him, celebrate him, and memorialize him. In fact, the Westminster Confession of Faith rightly acknowledges that ‘The First Commandment teaches us whom we are to worship. We are to worship the true God only. The Third Commandment teaches us who they are that worship God. They are those who profess his name (take his name) with true sincerity of heart.’ ”

    I can only speak for myself, but when I watch the music videos we post here, pray the prayers we include in the order of worship, read God’s Holy Word and listen to Wade Burleson’s message, I know in my heart that I have experienced authentic worship.

    I love Jesus Christ with all my heart, soul, and strength, for I am His and He is mine. I would caution you about judging whether it is possible for Christians to experience authentic worship through this EChurch experience.

  7. How?

    By

    a. Posting and having texted conversations?
    b. Watching music videos?
    c. Watching video sermons?
    d. All of the above?

    Hello Anonymous

    a) Words are the means of communicating and fellowshipping between individuals regardless of the method used. Paul did both via the written word with all the believers in all the churches.

    b) Most churches today have video screens with the words to the songs for the convenience of those who don’t know them.

    c) The Word is preached that’s all that matters. Many believers listen to teachings and preaching via the internet. Praise God for this venue.

    d) Yes, all of the above and more! It’s a uniting of spirits that transcends time and space. That’s what the universal church is, after all.

    Blessings to you, my brother and/or sister.

  8. Anonymous 3:24

    He is present whenever and wherever we gather. And for some who have been hurt by the church, this is sort of a way station. Emmanuel is praying for these folks as are we. They are a part of our lives, even if it is just by text. We still share parts of our lives, perhaps even more so because we can be transparent with those whom we do not feel can hurt us. You might be surprised to find out what goes on behind the scenes as we reach out via email and even phone.

    You are allowed to watch the sermon and disagree, out loud. You can stop rewind and listen more carefully. Then you can call Emmanuel and talk to a real person or even call us. Yes, it is different, but somehow it feels like it should be. Thank you for your thoughtful question.

  9. Dee,

    How sad would it be if we the only place where we could experience authentic worship was in a church building?

    At the moment, I am preparing dinner for my hubby and me and experiencing authentic worship in my kitchen through our EChurch experience.

    I have such a joyful heart, and it is a blessing in my life!

    P.S. Have I told you lately how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Mac laptop? πŸ™‚

    P.S.S. And yes, I do have my laptop cluttering one of my kitchen counters at the moment. πŸ˜›

  10. Another truly beautiful service! Thank you Deb and Dee. Please convey my thanks to Pastor Wade as well.

  11. Victorious,

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I’m going through the EChurch service once again as I make dinner. I call it “cooking with Jesus”. πŸ™‚

    I’m fairly sure Wade will be reading through these comments when he has time, and I know he will be grateful that you benefited from his message.

  12. God bless you and your church, Wade. Your sermons have touched my heart. Can’t wait until next week’s sermon. I have NEVER heard these things in my Fundy church. Makes me hopeful that there is hope for me to live a life without perpetual guilt and feeling like a loser.

  13. Haven’t listened to everything yet, but how coincidental that the song “Above All” was chosen. This song is one of two that were singled out by Bob Kauflin, director of SGM worship, in his book “Worship Matters” as examples of bad theology pervading the CCM industry; the line “you thought of me above all” is theologically incorrect because Jesus wasn’t thinking of you above all on the cross, he thought of the Father’s glory above all. Oops, I forgot…. this is a “baloney free zone.” πŸ˜›

    Don’t worry, I think Bob is dead wrong on that song; “Above All” doesn’t contextually refer to “above everything that ever existed,” but as in “God though of me above his own comfort and even his very life, being willing to embrace suffering and death for my sake.” I personally use this song all the time. And I forgive you for using Mercy Me and Casting Crowns, in the same service.

    To his credit, Bob Kauflin does have some pretty incredible music that is very worth checking into.

  14. Miguel,

    Above All
    is one of my favorite songs. So Bob Kauflin doesn’t think it’s theologically correct…

    I saw this comment by M.R.H. about Kauflin’s critique, but the hyperlink provided doesn’t work. Do you know where Bob’s commentary is on his blog? I’d like to read it there. By the way, is M.R.H. you? Just curious.

    Bob Kauflin Critiques “Above All”

    M.R.H. said…

    In his blog, http://worshipmatters.blogs.com/bobkauflin/2007/03/qa_fridays_why_.html, Bob Kauflin commented on this song and how he responds to people who want him to use it in worship services:

    “There are a number of things about this song I really like. The melody is enjoyable to sing and easy to remember. It does a great job emphasizing God’s sovereign rule over all, and focusing on the sacrifice of Christ. The poetic images are engaging and the harmonic progression is creative.

    But two parts bother me, both near the end of the song. The first is the line “you took the fall.” It seems like an understated way of describing what Jesus did. Not wrong, but not the best.

    The other problem is the line, “and thought of me above all.” I have no question that Jesus loved me and gave himself for me (Gal. 2:20). But he didn’t think of me “above all.” Jesus went to the cross to satisfy God’s righteous judgment against a sinful humanity. He thought of his Father’s holiness, justice, and glory above all. It may seem like a theological nuance, but it’s the difference between our faith being man-centered and God-centered. I don’t think that’s what the writers intended, but I think it could cause some confusion in people’s minds. Besides, I think we have other songs that better articulate Jesus died for because he loved us and for his Father’s glory. But, thanks for suggesting it, and please let me know if you have any other thoughts!”
    April 9, 2007 3:21 PM

  15. Scooters.mom: I just want you to know how much I love reading your comments and they touch my heart.

    The Gospel is indeed Good News. Having been brought up in a fundamental Baptist church and only knowing that doctrine for the first 35 years of my life, I understand your journey. Then I read the Bible. πŸ™‚

  16. Deb and Dee, I thank God everyday how is he is using the two of you to come up with a ministry like this. All the comments, even those who are honest about their angst and anger are a joy to read. This is a safe place to be where people are. My heart is so rejoicing in this ministry.

  17. Debbie K,

    We are convinced that this new ministry was inspired by the Holy Spirit. To God be the glory! We believe He is using your pastor to heal broken hearts and bind up those who have been wounded through spiritual abuse.

    When we met with Wade back in December, he said he thought our blog was in its infancy stage. None of us knew at the time what God had in store. When Dee and I attended Emmanuel, my initial response to Wade after the service was “More people need to hear this message!” It took less than two months for Dee to call me and share a wild idea, which has become a reality. I am still amazed.

    I have just finished picking out the songs for next weekend – two of them were sung at Emmanuel this morning. I believe it will be a powerful EChurch experience.

    Blessings!

  18. scooter’s mom
    You are not, nor have you ever been, a loser. Please tune in next week. You may hear something special and specific. πŸ™‚

  19. Miguel
    God can redeem anything, including music by those who oppressed so many people. How far SGM strayed from the concept of a God who deeply loves us and sent His Son to die for us, SGM and some of the Calvinistas are now into the theology of the slugs. God had to save us to redeem His own glory (my interpretation of the logical conclusion of SGM and other Calvinista theology). We are merely the slugs that, sigh…God had to put up with. How sad these people are.

  20. Debbie
    You are an integral part of this ministry. Where would we be without the body of Emmanuel of which you are a part?!!

  21. Dee, that is insightful. I had slowly been formulating a similar conclusion of the Charismatic calvinists, but you put it quite succinctly. It’s not an absolute rule, but a strong tendency. I really think, though, the get this from the Puritans. Spend a week in the “Valley of Vision” and see if you don’t come to see yourself as a slug. Sure, I’m a totally depraved sinner, but for pete’s sake, that’s neither my favorite nor most important theological point to dwell on. There’s something fairly significant that ought to really overshadow it… let me see… I’m sure I can think of it… grace maybe? I suppose that the problem with “mourning for sin,” despite the pious pretense of the penitential practice, is that it fails to dwell on the more glorious truth of God’s forgiveness, which is greater than our sins are deep.

  22. Thanks Bob! It’s so good to have you joining us. I often read your comments over at Wade’s blog. Blessings!

  23. Dee and Deb and Wade,

    Thank you for this so much. Thanks for your boldness in doing this. Again, thanks, and thanks.

    Argo

  24. Dee and Deb,
    You realize you will get a thousand asinine questions over this eChurch. I won’t hold it against you if you don’t answer them all. I wouldn’t. My answer? A big whatever. If it offends your clearly superior moral sensibility, then you are free to go away. I hate being like that but sometimes to respond to silliness is, in fact, JUST a waste of time.

    BUT, I will say this: In reference to the post above (yo, and your implication that this endeavor is obviously soooooo wrong because someone might fold laundry while listening to the sermon is certainly unassailable evidence that this idea is so bad that you can actually, literally see it dripping in its own pervasive depravity. So, the next time you get up and take your kid out to the lobby so he/she can run around and you listen to the sermon over the loudspeaker while you keep him/her from eating a rubber band, consider yourself utterly condemned, sinner!

    Anyway, Dee, Deb and Wade, again, for being so bold in doing this and for all of the nonsense you’ll have to suffer for it, thank you again!!

    I’ve never cried during a sermon. This is the first time I came close.

  25. Argo
    You have the unique ability to make me laugh and tear up at the same time! Tis a gift. You should have been a preacher!

  26. Miguel
    Do I see my kids as slugs? I love them and see them as a precious creation. True story: Due to a funny circumstance, a Korean man was attempting to compliment me. I had said that he was no slug when it came to studying the Bible. In front of a large group of friends, he said “Well, you must be a giant slug, then! Since that time, some of my closest friends in a Bible study still call me “slug.”

    i was thinking of you earlier while preparing dinner. You had mentioned that Bob Kauflin had written some beautiful music. It reminded me of a book that I read called The Sparrow. It is a sci fi book and it features a priest. Earth had picked up music coming from a planet in a nearby solar system. It was the most beautiful music that anyone had ever heard and they wanted to find out who these people must be, thinking them to be beings with a great love for beauty. Spoiler alert: This transcendent music was composed and sung during the most heinous of abusive acts.

    I have read more stories on the SGM Survivors blog and have had many people come to this blog with testimony of abuse that has turned my stomach. Yet Kauflin was a part of all of that. I know that God can redeem the bad, but I must confess that whenever I see one of his songs, I get a pit in my stomach for all those hurt in that ministry.

  27. Back when I was a kid (Jurrasic Age) the old Lutheran Hymnal (Concordia 1941) still had time and key signatures. My fave then and now is “Beautiful Saviour” (F major & common time).
    ===> (smiley face goes here)

  28. Argo,

    I actually enjoyed responding to the anonymous comment about “authentic worship”. It helped put into perspective what worshipping Almighty God involves. Dee and I have NEVER been intimidated by anyone’s questions. That’s not about to start now, I can assure you, but you were kind and thoughtful in your comment. πŸ˜›

  29. I haven’t been able to attend church regularly for about eight years. My little son has severe autism and has to do a lot of jumping and hand flapping and yodelling to feel okay. Needless to say, not a lot of churches are set up to accommodate impromptu yodelling. πŸ™‚

    I’ve been praying for my church – wherever it is, whatever form it might take – for a while now. And then last week I found your site. Pastor Wade, both weeks your message brought me to tears.

    Dee, Deb, Pastor Wade – thank you, so much.

  30. RenΓ©,

    Your comment brings great joy to my heart! We are committed to this internet ministry, and I pray that it will enrich your life week after week.

    God bless you!

  31. Dee,

    My beef with Kauflin is a bit personal, so much so that I’ve considered writing him concerning it.

    But here’s the thing: much of his music was made before Mahaney ever hired him. He was actually an arranger and performer with the group “Glad.” Consider that instead of being an active perpetrator of spiritual abuse, he may be somewhere between a passive ignorer to a downright victim himself. Regardless, I don’t know of any of the survivors that cited him as having an active role in their pain. But I’ve hardly followed the story.

    In his book, he spends a good fourth of it on the right relationships that should be in a worship leader’s life. One of the chapters is devoted to the relationship between the worship leader (me) and the “senior pastor.” Well, you can probably guess the line he took: “Don’t touch the Lord’s anointed,” more or less. But it wasn’t the same as the Chuck Smith “Moses model” I grew up on: It was much more convincingly spiritualized and infused with reformed theology (i.e., a “God glorifying relationship looks like this…”). I fell for it, and took to an overly submissive approach to relating to my boss, making excuses to myself for his shortcomings and telling myself that if I honor his wishes (even when I had strong convictions to the contrary) God would grant me success. Let’s just say, I don’t work there anymore, and my critical thinking skills have improved since then. And the resolution was something less than God glorifying; my former pastor is to this day in great need of accountability, which he absolutely does not believe in.

    But apparently Kauflin is no hypocrite, he has really practiced what he preached; from what I hear he wouldn’t stand up to Maheney. What I want to know is, has his conviction been shaken at all? Has he reconsidered that maybe honesty is more important in a ministry relationship than rank?

    Three must hears even for the bitter skeptic: “Mary Mary,” one of the best Glad a cappella pieces.
    “O Great God,” adapted from a prayer in “The Valley of Vision,” and his remake of “Oh the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus.” Of all hymn remakes, this one is the closest to an improvement of the original I have found. Despite my grievance with his ghastly guidance, I will probably continue using that one.
    And I definitely want to read The Sparrow now, even though you blew the ending.

  32. Rene
    First let me say how much I admire your willingness to sacrifice for your son. He is blessed to have such a mother. I am so glad that this gathering is helpful to you. Welcome to EChurch!

  33. Miguel
    Apparently there is a sequel. But it is interesting that the main character is a Jesuit priest who experiences the whole of the story. There is more to the ending which deals with the lack of empathy and belief by others regarding the abuse experiences. (Gads, that makes little sense. I am tired, I need more coffee).

    I constantly spell Kauflin’s name wrong and I don’t know why. Psychological? I will listen to the music you suggested. I did not know his connection to Glad. I enjoyed them in my long forgotten youth.

    You know, you story about submission is most intriguing. If you would ever like to work it up, we could post it under a pseudonym. It could help others struggling in this area. Submission is a funny thing. I have come to the conclusion that I could submit to someone who I believe would lay down their life for me. For example, I would submit to the request of a firefighter. I also would submit to a guy who can admit that they are flawed and need the input of others. I have had a couple of pastors like this. Awesome men! Why do I get the feeling that Mahaney would duck and let me take the blow if we were being attacked?

  34. Debbie & Dee

    Thank you for the encouraging words. I can never put into words what it means to me to be able to talk from my heart and not be told I’m being disobedient or sinful. Thank you again.

    Argo – Good to know I’m not the only one that cries, or comes close to it when something Wade preaches touches me so personally. It’s as if he knows me personally and knows MY story. This is what I call a “God moment”.

  35. BTW – sorry it takes me so long to answer back but I don’t always have ready access to a computer.

  36. Dee – if you haven’t read the sequel to The Sparrow yet – go for it. It’s a better book (imo) and deeply troubling, which is (imo) a good thing.

  37. By the way, the “Canticle of Turning” is FREAKING AWESOME! I found the octavo online, and I’m totally scheduling it for our choir to sing on Pentecost sunday, and to be used by the band the following week. I just subscribed to GIA music club, so I even get a discount. Thanks for the helpful resource!

    Dee, much of my story I’m really trying to leave behind, so I probably wouldn’t do anyone a whole lot of good to drag them through it. If I did, though, I would probably not wish to use a pseudonym. I prefer to deal with the underlying issues in the abstract, its much safer. I’m not perfect either, and am not entirely interested in the self-incrimination such a project would entail. πŸ˜›

    I am still a firm believer in authority, rank, and submission. But even authority has to be open to the possibility that they are wrong. Some pastors really send of the vibe that they’re not interested in your well being, but in your compliance. You are correct to say that they do not deserve our submission. The solution isn’t to restructure their church. As long as they’re the pastor, they should have the authority that goes with it. But people should simply not attend that church. Then his level of true authority will be revealed.

    The firefighter illustration is great. However, given some of the experiences I’ve had with toxic congregations, I wouldn’t judge any pastor for trying to protect his own neck. You can only get crucified so many times and maintain your mental sanity. A pastor’s authority is there to protect him too. Accountability should be there to protect the laity. It absolutely must go both ways. “Don’t touch the Lord’s anointed” basically means “I’m above accountability.” Chuck Smith pioneered this approach as an overreaction to denominational red tape that was frustrating his ministry attempts. His frustration was warranted, but his conclusions rather short-sighted.

    Like I’ve said before, I really believe the Presbyterians have the corner on the marked when it comes to mutual accountability, mutual submission, and a system of checks and balances. The trade off is, however, they also own the red-tape store.

  38. Miguel
    The Canticle is one of my favorites. It is sung frequently at my church. I have more where that came from and will put them in the lineup.

    Can you define the word “authority” to me in any way that makes sense? For example, Piper is now saying women cannot read Scripture or pray for the church during a service because that is an activity that is “authoritative? Now, I am not trying to argue the woman thing here but the actual word “authoritative.” Every time I ask someone to define it for me, they never respond except to give me the verse that says the pastor is “in authority.” I truly have no idea what is meant by this.

  39. Dee, authority means different things in different contexts, I suppose. Many of the Calvinistas really stretch the definition of the word to support their cultural patriarchy. At my church, we don’t have a problem with women doing the readings, which happens occasionally, but we almost always have men doing it simply because we view it as the elder’s job to lead the worship services. But we’ve had some of our deacon ladies do it, our youth leader, and even members of the youth group, many of whom were gals.

    The kind of authority I believe in I guess would have to include a few things. First, the pastor has the authority to speak on behalf of the church. When he preaches, he is proclaiming the common message of the church. Second, he has the authority to forgive sins. But that’s just a Lutheran thing. Also, since I believe congregations should have a plurality of elders, the pastor kind of serves as chairman of that council, organizing and pointing it in the direction he believes most spiritually helpful for the congregation. Whether or not he really is the “first among equals,” as the seminary trained elder, the rest always will look to him for some leadership. Also, he tends to serve as the head of staff; as a music minister, my pastor is also my boss, and he should have the right, if for nothing other than corporate efficiency, to tell me what to do on the job. The elders as a board have the authority to align the church with a tradition or denomination, to establish the doctrinal statements of the church, to administer communion and bar unbelievers from receiving it. The ordained ministers also have the authority to pronounce a couple as husband and wife.

    Basically, anything that is too tedious to have a full congregational vote on, the Pastor ought to just be able to do it without jumping through the hoops of winning unanimous approval. Otherwise his entire life consists of navigating red tape.

    But he does not have the authority to betray a confidence, to micromanage the lives of people in his congregation, or to manipulate people into his preferred lifestyle patterns such as ministry service or giving. The elders as a board can establish expectations of the membership, provided they understand how to make exceptions based on necessity.

    Just a few random and quick thoughts on the issue. I feel this is based more on common sense and efficiency than actual scriptural exegesis. Pastors going to scripture for authority often are trying to justify something.

  40. tem,

    Thanks for letting us know that you liked Wade Burleson’s message. I think you will find the upcoming one very encouraging. We’ll be posting it Friday evening. πŸ™‚

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