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Commissioned Church Workers

There has been a lot of chatter about Recommendation 7 from the PCA women’s study committee.  Concerns arise from all sides about what it does or does not say about Church authority and whether the notion of a commissioned church worker constitutes the creation of a new church office.  In this article I attempt to make some observations about the nature of authority as well as the propriety of the light of nature in Church organization.  I’m neither advocating for nor against a change to the PCA’s Book of Church Order (BCO) but I do want to correct some poor argumentation in the hopes of focusing the discussion.

First, I want to make some observations about leadership and authority.  Much has been said and written about leadership from both sides. …

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Psalm 35

Psalm 35 (ESV)

35 Of David.

    Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me;

fight against those who fight against me!

    Take hold of shield and buckler

and rise for my help!

    Draw the spear and javelin

against my pursuers!

       Say to my soul,

“I am your salvation!”

    Let them be put to shame and dishonor

who seek after my life!

       Let them be turned back and disappointed

who devise evil against me!

    Let them be like chaff before the wind,

with the angel of the Lord driving them away!

    Let their way be dark and slippery,

with the angel of the Lord pursuing them!

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Colossians 1:24-29

Colossians 1:24-29 (ESV)

24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.…

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Celebrating Sanctification

Psalm 95 (ESV)

Let Us Sing Songs of Praise

95 Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;

let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!

     Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;

let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

     For the Lord is a great God,

and a great King above all gods.

     In his hand are the depths of the earth;

the heights of the mountains are his also.

     The sea is his, for he made it,

and his hands formed the dry land.

     Oh come, let us worship and bow down;

let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!…

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Luke 23:6-25

Luke 23:6-25 (ESV)

Jesus Before Herod

When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that he belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer. 10 The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. 11 And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him.…

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Luke 22:24-38

24 Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest. 25 And He said to them,  “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ 26 But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. 27 For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.
28 “But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials.…
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By Whose Authority? (Luke 20:1-8)

20 One day, as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders came up and said to him, “Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave you this authority.” He answered them, “I also will ask you a question. Now tell me, was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?” And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From man,’ all the people will stone us to death, for they are convinced that John was a prophet.” So they answered that they did not know where it came from.…

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Lord, Heal! (Mark 7:24-36)

Mark 7:24-36

The Syrophoenician Woman’s Faith

24 And from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not be hidden. 25 But immediately a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell down at his feet. 26 Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 And he said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 28 But she answered him, “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29 And he said to her, “For this statement you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.” 30 And she went home and found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.…

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The Circumcision of Christ (Col 2)

Colossians 2

For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.…

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Sin, Faith, and Service (Luke 17:1-10)

Luke 17:1-10

1 And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! 2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.3 Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, 4 and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” 5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6 And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

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