Greetings to you in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ. How are the brethren over there?
I want to thank you for the support you gave me whenever I come to you. I have always had it in mind that I will do my best to change things I'm sure are going wrong in the church as I gain more knowledge. But what I want to ask about is a bit complex.
I saw a document some time ago, a certificate of registration of the Church with the "Cooperate Affairs Commission" (the body that registers organizations, companies, etc. in Nigeria) and a constitution of the church also stating in it that there is a board of trustee. The issue now is that I have always believed that another church bearing the same name as us does not mean that the church is recognized by Christ unless they practice the New Testament doctrine. Now that the church is now registered as a cooperate body, does that mean we can sue anybody that uses the name without following the constitution?
What worries me most is even the constitution and board of trustees. I thought the Bible is our only source of authority?. And if there are boards of trustees do we still need to preach about the autonomy of the church? Just last week Saturday I learned the board of trustees was meeting in one congregation close to where I worshiped on Sunday. I have also heard of preachers' associations (both at a zonal and national level). I would like to know your view on this.
Another trend now is that of preachers' Bible school (where people are trained to become preachers). I'm not very comfortable with it because I feel one does not need to go to a school to become a minister. If it is just called a Bible school (i.e. a place to broaden one's knowledge of the Bible) then I would be comfortable with it. My reason is that some congregations, when looking for a preacher, will add qualifications that the brother must have had in a Bible school when it should be based on competence, knowledge of the Bible, character, steadfastness, etc. Most of the preachers I know didn't go through any special school to be trained to be preachers; as a matter of fact, I know some very young brothers in my school who have not gone through the preachers' school but are very sound in teaching the word of God and in character.
But I would still like to know your point of view. Thank you.
I know some governments try to regulate religion, but as far as Christians are concerned, these regulations are ignored when they interfere with the church's obedience to God.
There is no organization that represents churches in a country. Each church is independent. That some brethren went through efforts to satisfy the government's demands is fine, but they have no position as far as the churches are concerned. They definitely have no control. And, no, no one has the right to sue to make others conform (I Corinthians 6:1-8).
If preachers wish to get together to study, that is fine, but again there is no basis in the Scriptures for it and such an organization has no power.
The only authorized organization for teaching the Bible are churches and individual Christians teaching others. If brethren in a school wish to teach the Bible, that is fine. That someone has to have attended the school in order to preach is placing power in the hands of an organization that God did not authorize.
You are correct, preachers are judged by their knowledge of the Scriptures and the lives they live. Where they happened to be educated has no meaning.
I really love how you handle issues like this. I just wanted to hear from you before I start talking to the brethren I can speak to. There are people worried about things like this so I want to be able to help them while I do my best to change the things I can. I'm going to speak with my minister to get the details. I'm sure we can take it from there. I'm going to take the time to study the articles you added before taking any steps.
Thank you so much.