Two Questions from commentors…

I wanted to address these questions, but didn't want them to get lost in the shuffle. Thursday was a 15 hour day (work and college combined), Friday I came home and went to sleep, Saturday I did homework and housework)...

The post is here:

The first question is from Moonshadow: My question - and I doubt anyone here can answer it - is whether the Orthodox feel responsible for our departure, for letting us go.

If I remember the history right, Rome was not pushed out - they left. Not so much because of differences in doctrine (although there were a few), but because of political power. Before that split there was unity. I think of a marriage and a one-flesh covenant. If one spouse leaves the covenant, can the other truly force them to stay?

The nest is from Kelly: My question was, what do you feel should follow as far as the leadership of the church.

My answer: what is the New Testament model?

- Does the New Testament speak of an infallible teaching body? No.

- Did the word "Ekklesia" refer to a magisterium, or to a local assembly? It referred to a local assembly, or to the entire body of believers.

- When the writers of the New Testament spoke of church discipline, who were they instructing to deal with it (the local church).

- Are the specific requirements for church leadership? Yes - and Rome requires that priests and on up be unmarried, a blatantly unbiblical requirement.

The New Testament model for church leadership is

  • leadership based on Biblical standards
  • teaching and doctrine based on Scripture (which included the letters from the New Testament writers)
  • local autonomy in reference to church discipline
  • local elders are to lead by example, not by "lording it over" the flock

Here is an example of a local church led by a "plurality of elders".

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