GA Tech Presentation – Refuting the Governing Body Authority Claims

This presentation group was given to a group of college students in March 2017 at GA Tech University.  The topic was the Governing Body and refuting their authority claims.  Enjoy!

 

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58 thoughts on “GA Tech Presentation – Refuting the Governing Body Authority Claims

    1. michaeljfelker says:

      Long time no see, Rotherham? Hope you’re well. Thanks for sharing the links, and feel free to share any others. Our debate on 1919/FDS would probably be relevant here too.

  1. Rotherham says:

    The governing body is nothing more than the governing element within the whole of Christianity. Since you admit of a LOCAL governing element/body within each congregation, your task is to show why it is only local and not worldwide. The first century governing body/element exercised authority over the whole of Christianity. Thee is no evidence to demonstrate that each congregation was autonomously governed without influence from the greater governing element.

    1. michaeljfelker says:

      Rotherham-

      Why is the burden of proof on me to show that it’s only local? There’s no evidence that i’m aware of that it was anything other than local. Plus, you have the additional burden to proof that a non-apostolic Governing Body exists with worldwide authority and the requirement that anything they put in print should be obeyed and believed absolutely by every true Christian.

      But if you’d like me to provide the proof, you have local elders and deacons who led their own congregations in the first century. The only authority above them were the apostles. So unless you are going to argue for modern day apostles, there’s simply no evidence of an ecclesiastical office higher than local elders.

  2. Rotherham says:

    Again, as I have often mentioned, Eph 4;11-16 demonstrates that the FUNCTION that the elders provided in the first century would continue until full Christian maturity would be achieved. We don’t have modern day Apostles obviously, but we have those who perpetuate the same authority structure over the congregations worldwide, to maintain unity, just as did the Apostles. The Apostles WERE the first century governing body. Ephesians proves that the FUNCTION they performed in keeping ALL the congregations united was to continue into the future. So, as is clear, there was definitely evidence in the first century of an ecclesiastical office higher than local elders. Eph. 4 tells us we should expect that arrangement even now.

  3. Rotherham says:

    2013 by michaeljfelkerPosted in Governing Body, Watchtower
    The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses are adamant in saying that all true Christians must believe everything they teach.
    ***w09 p. 14 par. 5 Treasure Your Place in the Congregation***
    We need to guard against developing a spirit of independence. By word or action, may we never challenge the channel of communication that Jehovah is using today.
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    To hold to the headship of Christ, it is therefore necessary to obey the organization that he is personally directing. Doing what the organization says is to do what he says. Resisting the organization is to resist him.
    One reason why the Governing Body speaks in this way is because all Christians should believe the same things. That is, there should be no disagreements, debates, sects, denominations, etc. What if the Governing Body teaches something you believe is unbiblical? Should the faithful Christian speak up?Or should he remain quiet and “wait on Jehovah” to correct the Governing Body?
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    Jehovah’s Witnesses can most certainly speak up as has been clarified time and again. They can approach their elders with their concerns, they can certainly research the issue themselves, and they can write to the governing body and speak with their traveling representatives about their doubts or questions. The problem is, as I have often stated and continue to stand by that it is NOT having questions or doubts or a different view that is a problem. The problem is the CREATION OF DISUNITY by spreading that different view to others in the congregation. Those who perpetuate disunity in the congregations are condemned in scripture.
    10 As for a man who promotes a sect,+ reject him+ after a first and a second admonition,*+ 11 knowing that such a man has deviated from the way and is sinning and is self-condemned.
    What is here meant by promoting a sect? Let us consider the following words of some well-known commentaries:
    Matthew Henry
    4. Upon continued obstinacy and irreclaimableness, the church has power, and is obliged, to preserve its own purity, by severing such a corrupt member which discipline may by God’s blessing become effectual to reform the offender, or if not it will leave him the more inexcusable in his condemnation.
    JFB
    10. Heretic–Greek “heresy,” originally meant a division resulting from individual self-will; the individual doing and teaching what he chose, independent of the teaching and practice of the Church. In course of time it came to mean definitely “heresy” in the modern sense; and in the later Epistles it has almost assumed this meaning. The heretics of Crete, when Titus was there, were in doctrine followers of their own self-willed “questions” reprobated in Tts 3:9, and immoral in
    Geneva study Bile
    (4) The ministers of the word must at once cast off heretics, that is, those who stubbornly and seditiously disquiet the Church, and will pay no attention to ecclesiastical admonitions.
    It should be apparent from the above that a man who promotes a sect is doing so against the CHURCH, which clearly bespeaks a certain authority that is held by the CHURCH, because it is then the CHURCH that must determine if what is promoted is HERESY. Therefore the ZCHURCH, particularly those taking the lead, would have the power and the responsibility to determine heresy. How else could the instructions at Titus 3:10,11 even be carried out effectively?
    Thayer’s lexicon defines a sect as
    Dissensions arising from diversity of opinions and aims.
    Galatians 5:20 clearly condemns such as among “works of the flesh” which can rob us of our salvation.
    19 Now the works of the flesh are plainly seen, and they are sexual immorality,*+ uncleanness, brazen conduct,*+ 20 idolatry, Spiritism,*+ hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, dissensions, divisions, sects, 21 envy, drunkenness,+ wild parties,* and things like these.+ I am forewarning you about these things, the same way I already warned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit God’s Kingdom.+
    Therefore the CHURCH has the authority, power and responsibility to squelch those who cause division or promote a sect, which would be teachings from within against the CHURCH.
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    Apparently, some Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Ephesians 4:11-16 teaches that unity trumps the perfection of understanding. That is, even if you believe something is true, you should either believe the Governing Body or wait until the Governing Body changes their perspective. The contrary would be to openly, but respectfully criticize the teachings of the Governing Body that you consider to be false. Unfortunately, this is forbidden to the faithful JW.
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    I think this paragraph just offered encapsulate Mike’s error. Back to Titus 3:10 and 11. Now clearly, the one in this verse who is promoting the sect would naturally think that what he is promoting is true, otherwise, why do so? However, considering that the CHURCH would determine it a heresy, what should he do?
    If he is inclined to believe that the issue is strong enough to merit that church as a false religion, he should most definitely depart and continue his search for the true church.
    But, if he is not so inclined, should he not lay the matter in God’s hands and patiently wait for Him to act to correct the church or to correct he himself? In all reality the sect promoter might be wrong in the final analysis.
    With that said, let’s go through Ephesians 4:11-16 verse by verse and see if it teaches what the Watchtower claims it does.
    Contrary to what Mike says above, the contrary would be to cause DIVISION in the church and THAT is the underlying reason why he should WAIT on God, not merely because they have a disagreement.
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    “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,” (Ephesians 4:11)
    Both JW’s and non-JW’s alike are in agreement that there are no inspired Apostles around as there were in the first century. Where we disagree is where we draw the line in our cooperation to those taking the lead, whether it be local elders or a “Governing Body.” Before we get into this, let’s see what the Watchtower has to say about those who take the lead according to Ephesians 4:11:
    *** w07 4/1 p. 28 par. 7 Humbly Submitting to Loving Shepherds ***
    7 Our heavenly Shepherds, Jehovah God and Jesus Christ, expect us to be obedient and submissive to the under shepherds whom they have placed in positions of responsibility within the congregation. (1 Peter 5:5)
    What the Watchtower claims about obedience and what the Bible claims are two different things. See THIS POST for an excellent discussion of Hebrews 13:17 and what it means to “obey” or “submit.” Interestingly, the Watchtower affirmed these ideas to some extent in the same article,
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    Bible scholar R. T. France explains that in the original Greek, the word here translated “be obedient” is not “the normal term for obedience, but literally ‘be persuaded,’ implying a willing acceptance of their leadership.” We obey the elders not only because we are directed to do so in God’s Word but also because we are persuaded that they have Kingdom interests and our best interests at heart. We will certainly be happy if we willingly accept their leadership.
    This is fine as far as it goes, but the same article describes what should happen once you are “persuaded” of the Governing Body’s leadership:
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    9 What, though, if we are not convinced that in a certain case the elders’ direction is the best way of doing things? That is where submission comes into play. It is easy to obey when everything is clear and we agree, but we will show that we are truly submissive if we yield even when we do not personally understand the direction provided. Peter, who later became an apostle, showed this kind of submission.—Luke 5:4, 5.
    This is both a poor Scriptural example and poor exegesis. Is the Watchtower implying that we should accept the elder’s or Governing Body’s decision even when we aren’t convinced that they are correct?
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    See the above information about Titus 3:10, 11. He should wait on God if he is still convinced that the church is God’s church. If not convinced of that he should gladly depart.
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    How is Luke 5:4-5 a parallel when Jesus is the one Peter is submitting to? Is submitting to and putting your faith in Jesus the same thing as obeying the elders or Governing Body? Interestingly, the Watchtower has very recently implied some very strong words of the JW elders,
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    Elders do not go beyond the things that are written in the Bible. And by extension, they do not go beyond the Bible-based counsel written in the publications of the faithful and discreet slave.
    If elders “don’t go beyond the things that are written,” does this mean that the elders are always right?
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    It would ensure that they are in harmony with God’s words rather than just their own.
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    Thus far, we are off to a poor start in going beyond anything Ephesians 4:11-16 has taught us. All Ephesians 4:11 has articulated is who Jesus has provided to, “equip the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.” (4:12) These ones are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. Notice, it is all these ones who are involved in equipping the saints; not just a centralized handful of men with exceptional authority.

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    You re clearly forgetting about the passage of time and the fact these gifts in men die off and are perpetuated by future gifts in men. In all the cases mentioned, the function performed by these gifts in men is CONTINUAL, down throughout history until the final times arrive. It doesn’t mean we have to have actual APOSTLES alive today, but it certainly calls for those who would have the authority and the power to correct the church and maintain it unity, just as the Apostles did. The same kind of work in the area of keeping unity.
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    Moreover, the Watchtower has assumed a particular authority to a fictitious “Governing Body” that isn’t even mentioned in the text. And through this assumption, the Watchtower will continue to insert their beliefs into the remainder of the passage as we will soon see.
    “…for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:12)
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    Although “governing body” doesn’t appear in the text, the workings of such is clearly there.
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    What does Ephesians 4:12 teach us? In context with v. 11, it is all apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers who are to build up the body of Christ. That is, Paul does not give any instructions for believers to look to the teachings of a “Governing body” and leave it to them to equip all Christians with proper teachings. Instead, he leaves it to those who are gifted and rely on the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit to build up and encourage other believers.
    “…until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13)
    In order for such unity to be maintained, it necessitates an authority to direct and maintain it, just as the Apostles did in the first century.
    Instead of relying on Scripture to guide their theological view, the Governing Body uses Ephesians 4:13 to justify their demand for absolute unquestionable obedience of all Christians worldwide:
    *** w01 8/1 p. 14 par. 8 Make Your Advancement Manifest ***
    First, since “oneness” is to be observed, a mature Christian must be in unity and full harmony with fellow believers as far as faith and knowledge are concerned. He does not advocate or insist on personal opinions or harbor private ideas when it comes to Bible understanding.
    Unfortunately, the Watchtower doesn’t provide us with the full picture. Of course, we don’t agree with Christians who have mere “personal opinions” to Bible understanding, for that would be eisegesis. But what about Christians who exegete the Scriptures properly and prayerfully seek the Holy Spirit for guidance?
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    But who determines that they did so properly? The Church!
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    What should this Christian do when he is convinced that he is interpreting a text properly and was led by the Spirit in doing so? Should he abandon his convictions because the Governing Body teaches something different?
    According to Eph 4 and Titus 3, its either that or abandon the church for something better.
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    Apparently, this Christian should abandon his conclusions and instead, believe what the Watchtower teaches. But why shouldn’t it be the other way around? Why doesn’t the Governing Body accept correction? The simple answer is because the Governing Body has already assumed a position that demands correction of the subjects. Therefore, by default, all interpretations that differ from theirs are to be dismissed as “personal opinions” or “private ideas.” Yet, do we see anything in Ephesians 4:13 which assumes this level authority to anyone? Instead, the faithful exegete should determine someone’s beliefs to be unbiblical before referring to these as “personal opinions.”
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    The fact that the governing body corrects what has been determined as false disproves your notion that they never accept correction. We follow the formula played out in Titus 3:10, 11 when it comes to questions and or doubts presented, as we should.
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    *** w01 8/1 p. 14 par. 8 Make Your Advancement Manifest ***
    Rather, he has complete confidence in the truth as it is revealed by Jehovah God through his Son, Jesus Christ, and “the faithful and discreet slave.” By regularly taking in the spiritual food provided “at the proper time”—through Christian publications, meetings, assemblies, and conventions—we can be sure that we maintain “oneness” with fellow Christians in faith and knowledge.—Matthew 24:45.
    Again, there is nothing in Ephesians 4:13 or the context that says anything of the kind. Here, the Governing Body assumes their interpretation of Matthew 24:45 and reads it into Ephesians 4:13 without justification. That is, they suppose that “unity” equals all Christians agreeing with them.
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    Isn’t that exactly what Titus 3:10 and 11 indicates? OTHERWISE, ARE THEY NOT TURNED AWAY?
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    Interestingly, the Watchtower is telling us to have “complete confidence” in their teachings and cites Matthew 24:45. Yet, for decades the Watchtower has admittedly taught a false interpretation of Matthew 24:45.

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    The basic understanding of the prophecy has remained consistently intact. It is only the ambiguous element of who we believe actually and personally constituted the “FDS, not their function.
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    Of course, some Jehovah’s Witnesses cite the Governing Body’s willingness for readjustments as evidence of their “complete confidence.” Yet, Jehovah’s Witnesses will then cite Ephesians 4:14 to display their confidence for a contradictory reason as we will soon see. Either way, whether stagnant or changing in their teachings, the JW’s would still display their confidence in the Governing Body.
    *** w01 8/1 p. 14 par. 9 Make Your Advancement Manifest ***
    Second, the expression “the faith” refers, not to the conviction that each individual Christian professes, but to the totality of our belief, “the breadth and length and height and depth” of it. (Ephesians 3:18; 4:5; Colossians 1:23; 2:7) In fact, how can a Christian be in oneness with fellow believers if he only believes or accepts a certain part of “the faith”? This means that we must not be content with knowing just the basic teachings of the Bible or having just hazy or partial knowledge of the truth. Rather, we should be interested in taking advantage of all of Jehovah’s provisions through his organization to dig deeply into his Word. We must endeavor to gain as accurate and as full an understanding of God’s will and purpose as possible. This includes taking the time to read and study the Bible and Bible publications, to pray to God for his help and guidance, to attend Christian meetings regularly, and to have a full share in the Kingdom-preaching and disciple-making work.—Proverbs 2:1-5.
    For JW’s, “the faith” equals “everything the Watchtower teaches.” Therefore, the JW must accept everything they teach. This is how they must be unified. So again, we see an eisegetical insertion of something that is not taught in Ephesians 4:13. Nowhere does it advise Christians to be unified by accepting teachings from a centralized group of men. Nor does it teach us anything about “private interpretations.” So what does Ephesians 4:13 tell us?

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    Sometime I think Mike sees things, scriptures, in vacuum. They ALL work together to establish their proper understanding. Ephesians establishes that gifts in men, like the Apostles, have the power, authority and the responsibility to maintain and establish unity in regard to teachings. Titus 3:10 and 11 establishes that they have those same characteristic to remove those who create disunity through disagreements. And Matthew 24:45 establishes that there would be an authority for dispensing spiritual food during the PAROUSIA of Christ.
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    First, notice that the unity of the faith has not happened yet. We know this because the body of Christ has not fully matured in having a full knowledge of Christ, “to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” Even the Watchtower has to admit that they aren’t there yet. In addition, they have to admit that they don’t have perfect theological knowledge. They make mistakes and will continue to do so.
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    And will continue to readjust as Ephesian admonished them to do UNTIL it is PERFECT. Entirley to be expected.
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    This is why Paul is commanding Christians who are gifted to continue to encourage, teach, and build up believers for service until they get to that maturity of full knowledge of Christ (Colossians 2:3). What will this look like??
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    And who determines who the GIFTED ones are? Just anybody with some Bible knowledge?
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    “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)
    Paul isn’t providing a solution for unity by telling Christians to obey the Governing Body. Instead, the solution is with believers themselves to take initiative and build up the body of Christ by pointing them to Christ and the Scriptures.
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    But shouldn’t that be a matter of trust as to who is qualified to teach, otherwise, the result is exactly what Ephesians talks about, carried hither and thither by every wind of teaching.
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    “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming.” (Ephesians 4:14)
    This Scripture is quite interesting as it relates to the Watchtower because it flies in the face of their history. First, JW’s place their trust in the Governing Body because they believe they are teaching truth. Yet, they also place their trust in them because they sometimes admit when they have taught something false.
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    As mentioned, this process of self-correction is exactly what is to be expected according to Ephesians. We clearly understand this.
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    But we must question whether Ephesians 4:14 actually applies to the Watchtower. Are they being “tossed around” with their teachings? A quick glance at their sloppy history in formulating fictitious chronologies or their life threatening teachings regarding medical practices would reveal this to be so. To the outside observer, the Watchtower is obviously being “tossed around” by “every wind of doctrine.” Therefore, would it not be within the faithful Christians conscience to use Ephesians 4:14 to abandon their association with the Watchtower and begin to fellowship with believers who don’t appear to be identified with this verse? If we’re really looking for “unity” in this passage, it seems that this would be the more unified choice.
    “but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:15–16)
    Notice that “unity” and “growth” are identified with Christ. We are to grow up through unity in Him and to encourage others to do the same. Instead of applying this, the Watchtower instead seeks to define “unity” by obedience to everything they teach. Ephesians 4:11-16 says nothing of the kind.
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    You seem to forget the importance of identifying the body of Christ as opposed to its counterfeits. Christ works with the church through his spiritual BODY.
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    In addition, we are to “speak the truth in love.” What is the truth and how do we come to such knowledge? For Jehovah’s Witnesses, “the truth” is whatever comports with Watchtower teaching (which they obviously believe to be biblical). Yet, the Watchtower admits they teach things that are false and are capable of doing such for decades. So how can you really “speak the truth” when you are to abandon what you think is truth for the sake of “unity.” In other words, even if you think that your conclusion is more Scriptural than the Watchtower’s, you should abandon your “private interpretation” for the Watchtower’s. This is neither truthful or loving and will not grow you in “all aspects into Him who is the head.”
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    This is just more of the same which has been addressed above.
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    To conclude, we have seen nothing in these texts which speak to “unity” in the way that the Watchtower demands. JW apologists may suggest that “sects” are condemned by God because they aren’t “unified.” Yet, Ephesians 4:11-16 doesn’t provide us with the solution that JW’s think it does; that is, to resolve “sects” by obeying a “Governing Body.”
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    But Titus 3:10 and 11 surely does. It all works together. No scripture exists in a vacuum.
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    Instead, the resolution to sects is to continue to have those gifted teachers and evangelist build up the body of Christ by pointing them to Christ and His Word. Thus, according to Ephesians 4:11-16, when Christ returns in glory, only then will we have full doctrinal unity. Therefore, the work of building up and equipping believers will continue until that time.
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    Yes, but Titus clearly lays out what to do with those who cause division via a heresy and it also bespeaks that SOMEONE has the authority to determine what heresy is and to act upon it.

    Rotherham

    1. michaeljfelker says:

      Rotherham,

      Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed response, but I just don’t see anything new here. If any readers see something that I need to address directly that perhaps I haven’t answered in the past, then I’ll trust they’ll let me know. For now, I’m satisfied with my arguments in the article even in light of Rotherham’s response.

  4. Rotherham says:

    I do have a question after all. Question: If local autonomy was the rule of the day, then w hy were the decrees of the
    Jerusalem congregation made binding upon all other congregations?
    Also, Why was Paul, not a member of the Thessalonian congregation, giving ORDERS to That congregation id they were completely autonomous?
    1 Thessalonians 4:1,2-
    Finally, brothers, we request YOU and exhort YOU by the Lord Jesus,
    just as YOU
    received [the instruction] from us on how YOU ought to walk a
    nd please God, just as YOU
    are in fact walking, that YOU would keep on doing it more ful ly.2For YOU know the
    ORDERS we gave YOU through the Lord Jesus.

    Who was the WE that gave the orders to Thessalonica on HOW TO PLEASE GOD?

    Rotherham

    1. michaeljfelker says:

      Thanks for the question Rotherham. Like most terms, “autonomy” has to be qualified. And perhaps it’s not the best term, which is why i’m happy to explain my ecclesiology. Whether it’s the first century or today, all Christians and churches are under the authority of Apostolic teaching as well as non-apostolic inspired Scripture (e.g. Hebrews, for example, assuming we aren’t sure who the author is). So no, we aren’t “completely” autonomous in the sense that we can just do whatever we want. Hopefully this helps to clarify my position.

  5. Rotherham says:

    Thanks for clarifying your position (and I might have some follow up on what you mentioned) but I was also wanting to know specifically the answers to the questions I asked, if you would.
    Thanks,
    Rotherham

    1. michaeljfelker says:

      Rotherham- your questions assumed a position that I don’t hold to, namely, that churches are “completely” autonomous. Now that I’ve clarified, you’re welcome to re-ask any questions that are relevant to my stated position.

  6. Rotherham says:

    The questions still remain even after your clarification. Why did the Jerusalem congregation (body of elders) have the authority to tell all the other congregations what to believe in regard to circumcision?
    Also, when Paul said to Thessalonica “you know the ORDERS that WE gave you.”, I would like to know from you WHO was the WE that he referenced?

    Thanks,
    Rotherham

  7. Rotherham says:

    Regardless of whether the 1st century congregations were autonomous or not, I would still like to know the answers to the questions above. I think they are important for my understanding of your view.

    Thanks
    Rotherham

    1. michaeljfelker says:

      Rotherham-

      “Why did the Jerusalem congregation (body of elders) have the authority to tell all the other congregations what to believe in regard to circumcision?”

      Because they were accompanied by inspired Apostles who agreed with their decision. Therefore, the weight of the command was Apostolic.

      “Also, when Paul said to Thessalonica “you know the ORDERS that WE gave you.”, I would like to know from you WHO was the WE that he referenced?”

      Presumably, the “we” included Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy (1:1).

      Hope this helps clarify.

  8. Rotherham says:

    So can we conclude that the Apostles had the authority to confer upon other elders that same authority when the need would arise?

    Regards

  9. Rotherham says:

    Well, the eldrs who went to the congregations to deliver the decrees and/or orders, you said that the weight of those orders and decrees would be Apostolic. Naturally then the Apostles had to exend their authority to those elders to present those decrees/orders with the weight of the Apostles. The Apostles in Jerusalem did not go with them, it would be by conferring authority upon the to act in their behalf, right?

    1. michaeljfelker says:

      Rotherham, when anyone (whether myself or an elder) is delivering an apostolic decree, that decree carries with it apostolic authority. So in that sense, all Christians have “apostolic authority” every time we present an apostolic decree to someone. So really, there’s no more weight to a decree, whether it comes from myself or an elder, as long as it’s apostolic.

  10. Rotherham says:

    But in regard to Thessalonica how do we know that the ORDERS given were directly Apostolic? Yet they still had authority to give orders and you stated it was because they had the weight of the Apostles behind them.
    Regards

  11. Rotherham says:

    Some of this depends on who you think comprised the twelve Apostles. Paul was not reckoned among the twelve, was he?

  12. Rotherham says:

    Let me ask you then. If Paul was not with those men who accompanied him, would those men have had the same authority without him?

  13. Rotherham says:

    So elders like Titus, who was entrusted with the authority to corret deficiencies and appoint elders in city after city, had apostolic authority because the source of that authority was apostolic and he was appointed to do so by Paul, an Apostle, right.

    1. michaeljfelker says:

      Sure, so long as Titus was accurately communicating Paul’s commands. But every Christian likewise has that same authority as long as they are accurately communicating Apostolic teachings.

  14. Rotherham says:

    So, as I state earlier can we not conclude that the Apostles had the authority to confer upon other elders that same authority when the need would arise?

  15. Rotherham says:

    So those who properly interpret God’s word would be communication apostolic authority via those correct interpretations, right?

  16. Rotherham says:

    Great, and would not the converse be true?. Those who do no properly interpret God’s Word s would no be communicating apostolic authority. So in regard to those foundation, elementary teachings, those properly interpreting those things would be communicating Apostolic authority, those who do not would not be. Right?

  17. Rotherham says:

    If it is clearly taught in the NT, would it not be Apostolic? Most profoundly the elemenral ones. You would certainly have those correct..

    1. michaeljfelker says:

      If it’s taught in the NT, then yes, it would technically be Apostolic. And all Christians are to faithfully proclaim that apostolic message, regardless of your position in the church. With that said, i’m not sure where any of this proves a Governing Body.

      1. Rotherham says:

        Who then would regulate or “watch over” all Christians, including eld4er bodies, to help ensure that they proclaim the apostolic message correctly? With the dangers of “false teachers”, wolves, and being carried here and there into every wind of teaching by the trickery of men, who would be responsible for ensuring accurate doctrine in today’s world?

      2. michaeljfelker says:

        Rotherham, it’s a great question. Wouldn’t it be nice if Scripture actually told us who is to be OVER the elders? It doesn’t, because aside from Apostles, there is no higher church office than that of elders. For some reason, the Bible couldn’t be more clear on the role of Elders, but we have zero evidence for the role of a Governing Body.

        So the simple answer is, it’s the job of every Christian, and especially of elders, to ensure the Apostolic message is proclaimed accurately. After all, that’s what I believe I am doing with regards to correcting the errors of JW’s.

      3. Rotherham says:

        tHE Scripture DO tell us. Matthew 24:45-47 TELLS US THAT DURING THE PARoUSIA, GOD WOULD APPOINT A ruler over his domestics, his entire household, which would certainly include all the elders. We simply have to discern who are the ones he appointed. And there are ways to discern that.

      4. michaeljfelker says:

        Rotherham, it’s interesting that the Scriptures explicitly mention Elders and Apostles, but no other office. Why not? Seems like a pretty important position to not be clear on.

      5. Rotherham says:

        The scriptures explicitly mention anFDS to rule over his entire household in connection with the parousia. And the pattern of elders answering to an authoritative body is everywhere present as you have concurred. The pattern is explicit

      6. michaeljfelker says:

        And that authoritative “body” is…the Apostles. Interesting how Apostles and Elders are explicit, but the “Governing Body” is nowhere mentioned, even implicitly.

      7. Rotherham says:

        it’s simply a matter of deduction based upon what we know. And please don’t try to convince me that it muat be EXPLICITLY stated as you want it to be. We know where that can lead. We know the elders answered to an authoritative body of men, the Apostles. True, the Apostles died off and, there was an apostasy that would take place that would be corrected in the “conclusion of the age”, also known as the parousia. During this parousia, a ruler over the house of God would be appointed. So lo and behold, the first century pattern would be retored. All would answer to the new ruler during the parousisa.

      8. michaeljfelker says:

        Rotherham, I’ll take even an implicit reference, but I don’t even think you have anything close to that. To be totally honest, I think you have just as much Scriptural support for the GB as does a Catholic for the Pope. In fact, I use many of the same arguments against Catholics. Anyway, I’ll stop here. Thanks for the discussion. Until next time!

      9. Rotherham says:

        Collectively, what I have presented is an implicit statement to the effect that in the parousia there would be an authority, call it what you want, ruling over the household of God. With the first century pattern explicitly clear, it is easy to see that with the appointment of the ruler during end times, the first century pattern is restored. If you don’t want to see irt, that is your choice, the parallel seems beyond coincidence to me. I think those who CHOOSE not to see it, miss something very important

  18. Rotherham says:

    Such as who is God, what is faith, proper teachings on baptisms, everlasting judgment, the laying on of hands (conferring authority and assifgnment to othrs). Those who have those thi9ngs right, should certainly catch our eye as to their trustworthiness, and God’s eye as well.

  19. Rotherham says:

    And if during the last days he appoints trustworthy ones, elders, to take the lead, or to “rule” as the scripture says, it would certainly be from among those who are lovers and fighters for truth, regardless the consequence.

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