Originally Posted by Pilgrim
Oh, but I do have an answer. The Lord Christ sometimes answered a question with a question, so it seemed good in this case that I followed suit. wink
Hey, quit stealing my lines pal. tongue wink

Originally Posted by Pilgrim
1. Re: your answer: Unfortunately, the visible Church consists of myriad and varied members, some of whom are not even regenerated. Thus, this begs the further question, Who in the visible church does one trust? The situation which evoked this question is paradigmatic. One part of the visible church has decreed that homosexuals are qualified to hold the office of elder and deacon. Another part has decreed that women are qualified to serve in both offices. But many others have decreed that neither are qualified. nono
But surely during the time of the Jerusalem Council, the visible church consisted of myriad and varied members, some of whom were not even regenerated. No? So, I’m not sure I get your point. confused

Originally Posted by Pilgrim
2. Now for my answer. As you probably anticipated, I believe that God's inspired, infallible, inerrant, written Word is the final arbitrator in all such matters of doctrine and life. It is the Holy Spirit who leads those who are Christ's to the truth.
Well, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I think your answer is the same one the Judaizers gave is it not? When they advocated for Gentiles to observe the law in order to become Christian, they were appealing to God’s inspired, infallible, inerrant written word. As it turned out though, the final arbitrator was the church, ie. the council, guided by the Holy Spirit.


Originally Posted by Pilgrim
The problem I have with this suggestion is that 1) The Jerusalem Council is irrelevant to the issue at hand. It was a gathering of the Apostles during the infant stage of the Church wherein decisions had to be made in regard to the inclusion of the Gentiles in matters of the ceremonial law and justification by faith alone. Once the Church as an organization was established (cf. Eph 4:10-16), those called to serve in the office of Elder, Presbyter, Bishop, were to preach, teach, and maintain doctrine according to what they had been taught according to the Scriptures.
Now that I didn't expect. I didn't expect you to say the Jerusalem Council is irrelevant to the discussion at hand. Hmmm. Ok, is it relevant to any discussion we might have today? Are you telling me that had the Jerusalem Council decided upon whether homosexuals and women are qualified to serve, it would be relevant, but since they decided upon some other issue it is not relevant? Also, in the New Testament, Elders and Presbyters are the same thing and already existed by this time, as did bishops, so that seems to be more irrelevant to the subject at hand than the council.

Originally Posted by Pilgrim
2) Church councils since that time; I'm including the modern councils of Synods, General Assemblies and such, have erred, do err and will continue to err in their declarations as evidenced by the two abhorrent declarations referenced above. Members of those respective churches/denominations have given their assent to the authority of those bodies and are bound to acknowledge them through their obedience. HOWEVER, they are only obligated to render obedience as far as they are faithful to the Scriptures. This obedience is seen to be universal in scope and application in all spheres of life; e.g., children to parents, wives to husbands, citizens to their governing authorities, etc. When such authorities demand that which is contrary to the teaching of Scripture, then they are not obligated to render obedience. Likewise, where such authorities forbid that which God requires in the Scriptures, then such decrees/requirements are to be ignored.
Yeah, I certainly get all that, but how do you know they’re wrong? Its interp vs. interp. To put it another way, how do you know their interpretation of scripture is wrong while yours is right? Is your interpretation infallible? I'm guessing you wouldn't claim that, so how then do you know your interpretation about what is essential and non-essential is the correct one?

Last edited by Newman; Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:31 PM.