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Evangelism #55400
Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:32 AM
Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:32 AM
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Tom Offline OP
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Evangelism
I was involved in a Facebook discussion on the issue of evangelism. Two people who are regulars on that particular forum and who are also Reformed chimed in and went totally against the grain everyone else was. One of them made the statement that sharing the Gospel is not evangelism in the biblical sense. He went on to say that according to Romans 10 only the God ordained means of salvation is preaching and went on to say that the book of Acts testifies of this. He also added that the pastoral epistles clearly teach that only the gifted, called and ordained should preach.
In other words, they believe that the only ones who are qualified to do evangelism are those who are ordained to preach. Something else one of them said, is this is clearly the teaching of Reformed Paedo-Baptists affirm.

I need to admit here, in my 39 years as a Christian, although I may have forgot about it; I do not remember hearing this before. However, I do not want to dismiss it out of hand without doing some research on the matter.
As I think about the issue, I believe there is a difference between “witnessing” and “evangelism”.
Witnessing is basically baring witness to the Savior. Giving one’s testimony is a good thing, but it is not evangelism.
Evangelizing is sharing the actual Gospel with people and repentance and faith must be part of this. Perhaps, their problem is with the word “share”. However, when I think of the word “share” in this sense. I think of proclaiming the Gospel to people.
I have no problem at all with gifted and ordained preachers preaching and that is certainly evangelizing. However, to say that only the gifted and ordained can do evangelism, goes against everything I have been told to do; both when I was an Arminian and as a Calvinist.
They are basically telling me that every time, I proclaimed the Gospel to those around me, I was actually sinning, because I am not “ordained”.
Of course, when it comes to who can administer Baptism and the Lord's Table, only elders can do this. Yet they add evangelism to this.

Also , Eph. 4: 11-16 comes to mind. “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds[a] and teachers,[b]to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,[a] to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”

If part of equipping the saints, does not mean equipping the saints (Christians) how to rightly divide Scripture, so we can properly share (proclaim) the Gospel, then every single Church I have ever been a member of taught me wrong.
I decided to see if Ligonier Ministries said anything on the issue. Here is a fairly short article on the matter. https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/what-evangelism/
Here is a quote from the article. “God has created us with different personalities and gifts, and some of us are more adept at the verbal proclamation of the Gospel than others. Nevertheless, declaring the message of salvation through Christ is the responsibility of us all, and we must seek opportunities to preach the Gospel. Only if we confess Him before men will He confess us before the Father (Matt. 10:32–33). “
Did you notice the words "declaring the message of salvation through Christ is the responsibility of us all."

I would be interested in getting some feedback on the issue.

Tom

Re: Evangelism [Re: Tom] #55401
Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom
Of course, when it comes to who can administer Baptism and the Lord's Table, only elders can do this.

Reference, please?


Meta4

There is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. - C.H. Spurgeon
Re: Evangelism [Re: Tom] #55402
Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:26 AM
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The LBCF 1689 says that only those qualified are able to administer Baptism and the Lord's Table. The WCF uses even stronger words saying only an ordained minister may administer Baptism and the Lord's Table. However, while the LBCF 1689 may be less specific, they use the same Bible references that the WCF uses. Both cite 1 Cor. 4:1 to support their statements. Samuel Waldron, says while the verse doesn't at first glance seem to support the view. He says there is a clue in the verse to the concept of steward's being ordained elders. Titus 1:7: Luke 12:42; Matt. 24:45; Luke 12:42 are other verse that are used to discribe the concept of stewards.

Tom

Re: Evangelism [Re: Tom] #55403
Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:41 PM
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Tom, thanks for taking the time to post those references. To me, the inference seems very tenuous at best. Even if granted that stewards refers to ordained men, there seems to be nothing in 1 Cor. 4:1 to link them (ordained or not) to either baptism or the Lord's Table. I just wish there was more solid evidence either for or against.


Meta4

There is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. - C.H. Spurgeon
Re: Evangelism [Re: Meta4] #55404
Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:47 PM
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Tom Offline OP
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Meta4

If I had more time, I would go into the matter a little deeper. I will say however, that if one looks at the other verses I provided, one can understand why both the confession came to that conclusion.
I believe this topic has also been covered on this site before. Try the following link.
http://www.the-highway.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/12775/all/the-sacraments.html


Tom

Last edited by Tom; Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:24 PM.
Re: Evangelism [Re: Tom] #55405
Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:58 PM
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Meta4

I just thought I would add what I would consider an interesting note concerning the agreement that only ordained men may administer baptism and the Lord's Supper in both the WCF and the LBCF 1689. I thought it was interesting that on this issue, the LBCF 1644 did not have this stipulation about who may administer baptism.

There is something I noticed about the differences between the LBCF 1644 and the LBCF 1689. This is not the first issue I have noticed differences on.
One thing that I have noticed is that those who believe in New Covenant Theology; often claim that the LBCF 1644 supports New Covenant Theology. I believe this is questionable at best; but it would be pretty hard to make the same claim about either the WCF or the LBCF 1689.

My knowledge of the LBCF 1644 is quite limited, seeing most of my study of the confessions goes to the LBCF 1689 and a bit to the WCF.
Something else I found interesting, is that although CH Spurgeon quoted the LBCF 1689 a fair amount in his writing. He also liked to quote the WCF in a favorable light.

Tom

Re: Evangelism [Re: Meta4] #55406
Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:00 PM
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Methinks that perhaps you are wanting "direct, clear, propositional command(s)" that states Elders, who are the first of two divinely established office bearers in the Christian Church, are to administer the Lord's Supper and Baptism? scratch1

What I and the overwhelming consensus among the three predominant forms of church government; Prelacy, Presbyterian and Independent, is that Elders/Bishops/Pastors, are given the authority to administer the two sacraments/ordinances. This has been the view throughout recorded Church history... with some rare exceptions noted.

As it is with the doctrine of the Trinity, there is no one perspicuous biblical passage that establishes the answer you are looking for, but rather the doctrine is established by several passages progressively. And, perhaps you will be a bit disappointed if I don't take the time necessary to build the case for you, given time restraints on my behalf and space restraints allowed for posts on the board. But I will try to provide a whirlwind excursion for the doctrine, stated once more, that Bishops/Elders/Pastors (synonymous terms in Scripture) are given the authority and responsibility to administer the sacraments/ordinances of the Lord's Supper and Baptism in the Christian Church.

1. In Ephesians 4:11,12 Paul wrote, as taught to him by Christ himself, that after the resurrection the Holy Spirit, in Christ's stead, appointed some 'offices', some being extraordinary and temporary, and others typical and permanent in the Church. The first three being: Apostles, Prophets and Evangelists, which were given for the laying of the foundation of the Church as it made the transition from the Jewish/Theocratic church to the new covenant, Christian Church. Thereafter, when the foundation was laid, these offices no longer were needed and thus they ended. The permanent offices: Pastors, Teachers and Deacons (not mentioned in this particular passage but mentioned in 1Tim. 3:8f. (cf. Acts 14:23, 20:17,28; 1Tim 5:17; James 5:14; 1Pet 5:1-3; et al).

2. Again, in Eph 4:12, the purpose of establishing the permanent office of Pastor is "for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the building up of the body of Christ:" The Eldership is given the responsibility of both 'ruling', i.e., governing/presiding over the community of saints and to educate through preaching and teaching the Word as shepherds of the flock.

3. The sacrament/ordinance of Baptism includes the testimony of the church through its Elders that the recipient has provided a credible confession of faith and thus is accepted into the Body of Christ as one of its members. The sacrament/ordinance of the Lord's Supper is where true believers are called to commune together and with Christ, Who is present with them through the Holy Spirit, in remembrance of His great love and sacrifice for them that secured them from the punishment due them and calling them from darkness into light, having been redeemed through the shedding of His blood.

4. I told you this would be very brief. giggle But to summarize, Christ established His Church and appointed men to be overseers of His flock; nurturing, feeding, instructing, reproving, and correcting them unto all godliness. Those called by the Spirit to leave the world behind and join with those who await the world to come and live in the interim in all righteousness are received by baptism and nourished by the Lord's Supper, which are administered by those men ordained to the office of Elder.


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Re: Evangelism [Re: Pilgrim] #55407
Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom
I believe this topic has also been covered on this site before. Try the following link.
http://www.the-highway.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/12775/all/the-sacraments.html

That was a very interesting read, with some valid points raised. Sadly, I noticed that most of the posters in that thread are no longer ones who have posted here recently. Some are marked as unregistered (presumably ones who left the forum), but others seem to have become lurkers.

[Side-note to Pilgrim: that link shows the entire thread, but it also allows to select Page 2 and Page 3, each of which seems to contain only repeated posts from the first page.]

Originally Posted by Pilgrim
Methinks that perhaps you are wanting "direct, clear, propositional command(s)" that states Elders, who are the first of two divinely established office bearers in the Christian Church, are to administer the Lord's Supper and Baptism? scratch1

Well, yes, that would be nice. joy

Quote
What I and the overwhelming consensus among the three predominant forms of church government; Prelacy, Presbyterian and Independent, is that Elders/Bishops/Pastors, are given the authority to administer the two sacraments/ordinances. This has been the view throughout recorded Church history... with some rare exceptions noted.

. . .

1. In Ephesians 4:11,12 Paul wrote, as taught to him by Christ himself, that after the resurrection the Holy Spirit, in Christ's stead, appointed some 'offices', some being extraordinary and temporary, and others typical and permanent in the Church. The first three being: Apostles, Prophets and Evangelists, which were given for the laying of the foundation of the Church as it made the transition from the Jewish/Theocratic church to the new covenant, Christian Church. Thereafter, when the foundation was laid, these offices no longer were needed and thus they ended. The permanent offices: Pastors, Teachers and Deacons (not mentioned in this particular passage but mentioned in 1Tim. 3:8f. (cf. Acts 14:23, 20:17,28; 1Tim 5:17; James 5:14; 1Pet 5:1-3; et al).

Thanks for taking the time to post the summary. I do not disagree with "this-or-that source said something", but still do not find compelling scriptural evidence that only ordained clergy may administer the two ordinances.

An interesting point from what you wrote in 1. above: In what sense do evangelists no longer exist? Or put another way, what then does evangelist mean, other than an ordained, itinerant preacher?


Meta4

There is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. - C.H. Spurgeon
Re: Evangelism [Re: Meta4] #55408
Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Meta4
Originally Posted by Tom
I believe this topic has also been covered on this site before. Try the following link.
http://www.the-highway.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/12775/all/the-sacraments.html

That was a very interesting read, with some valid points raised. Sadly, I noticed that most of the posters in that thread are no longer ones who have posted here recently. Some are marked as unregistered (presumably ones who left the forum), but others seem to have become lurkers.

Yes, since 2004, when that thread started, those designated as "Anonymous" have either left or were removed. "Lurkers" is a pointed term which could be applied to the vast majority of even present registered members. Why is this the case? shrug perhaps there are several reasons.

Originally Posted by Meta4
[Side-note to Pilgrim: that link shows the entire thread, but it also allows to select Page 2 and Page 3, each of which seems to contain only repeated posts from the first page.]

scratchchin Hmmmmm, I read through the entire thread; 3 pages, but there was no repetition of the first page on the latter two pages.

Originally Posted by Meta4
Originally Posted by Pilgrim
Methinks that perhaps you are wanting "direct, clear, propositional command(s)" that states Elders, who are the first of two divinely established office bearers in the Christian Church, are to administer the Lord's Supper and Baptism? scratch1

Well, yes, that would be nice. joy

What you would like to see, i.e., direct quotes, isn't to be found. But I don't say that in an apologetic manner for direct commands, references, etc. are always to be preferred, but Scripture itself teaches that it is not to be understood in that way in all things. Sound doctrine is also to be found by inference, by example, by comparing Scripture with Scripture, by acknowledging that God has revealed His truth progressively, where some things are temporary and thus they are not permanently applicable nor universal, etc. The first example that comes to mind is the doctrine of the Trinity. There is not one explicit propositional didactic statement that the one true God exists in three persons. But this doctrine is incontrovertibly true and can be deduced from myriad statements about God's works, nature, attributes, et al which are applied to all the three persons. So put it another way, the Bible is not a celestial encyclopedia where one can simply lookup a word and find information about it all rolled into one. [Linked Image]

Originally Posted by Meta4
An interesting point from what you wrote in 1. above: In what sense do evangelists no longer exist? Or put another way, what then does evangelist mean, other than an ordained, itinerant preacher?

"Evangelists" is now said to mean "itinerant preachers" but the biblical definition of the word is different. As I mentioned above, there were three temporary offices given by Christ; Apostles, Prophets, and Evangelists during the transition from the church of the old covenant (administration) to the church of the new covenant (administration). When that task was completed, e.g., the bringing in and recognition of Gentiles as co-equal believers, the establishment of the organizational structure of the Church in various parts of the world, etc. these three offices ended. It has been awhile; 15 years rolleyes2 since I provided a rather lengthy section from Banner's book on the Church, so I'm going to guess that in that section it includes a discussion on the office of "Evangelist". He definitely has a section dedicated to that office in his book, but again, I'm going to guess that that section is in the attached file. :dunno:

Go here: My original post and click on the link at the end of my comments.


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Re: Evangelism [Re: Pilgrim] #55409
Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:31 PM
Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Pilgrim
Originally Posted by Meta4
Originally Posted by Tom
I believe this topic has also been covered on this site before. Try the following link.
http://www.the-highway.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/12775/all/the-sacraments.html
[Side-note to Pilgrim: that link shows the entire thread, but it also allows to select Page 2 and Page 3, each of which seems to contain only repeated posts from the first page.]

scratchchin Hmmmmm, I read through the entire thread; 3 pages, but there was no repetition of the first page on the latter two pages.

The link you provided at the bottom of your post, while resulting in the same thread, is actually a different link than the one Tom posted (quoted above) which contains the word "all"--perhaps that has something to do with it?
Originally Posted by Pilgrim
"Evangelists" is now said to mean "itinerant preachers" but the biblical definition of the word is different. As I mentioned above, there were three temporary offices given by Christ; Apostles, Prophets, and Evangelists during the transition from the church of the old covenant (administration) to the church of the new covenant (administration). When that task was completed, e.g., the bringing in and recognition of Gentiles as co-equal believers, the establishment of the organizational structure of the Church in various parts of the world, etc. these three offices ended. It has been awhile; 15 years rolleyes2 since I provided a rather lengthy section from Banner's book on the Church, so I'm going to guess that in that section it includes a discussion on the office of "Evangelist". He definitely has a section dedicated to that office in his book, but again, I'm going to guess that that section is in the attached file. :dunno:

Go here: My original post and click on the link at the end of my comments.

Though I haven't yet had time to read through the three .pdf files in your .zip file, I did do a search on them, and "evangelist" does not appear, apart from one time in a footnote in the first file.


Meta4

There is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. - C.H. Spurgeon
Re: Evangelism [Re: Meta4] #55410
Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Meta4
Though I haven't yet had time to read through the three .pdf files in your .zip file, I did do a search on them, and "evangelist" does not appear, apart from one time in a footnote in the first file.

Let me see if I can get the section on the office of "Evangelist" scanned in and uploaded for you. grin


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Re: Evangelism [Re: Pilgrim] #55411
Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Pilgrim
Originally Posted by Meta4
Though I haven't yet had time to read through the three .pdf files in your .zip file, I did do a search on them, and "evangelist" does not appear, apart from one time in a footnote in the first file.

Let me see if I can get the section on the office of "Evangelist" scanned in and uploaded for you. grin

Thanks, but don't go out of your way. Perhaps a link to an Internet resource would be sufficient; or I can try searching it out myself.


Meta4

There is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. - C.H. Spurgeon

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