by Keith Sharp Introduction Several years ago I spoke by phone to a preacher who works with a large congregation in South Texas. As we conversed he asked if I was “anti-cooperation.” I told him I knew what he was talking about, but that I advocated scriptural cooperation between churches of Christ. He changed the…

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Question: I read the reply by Ney Rieber, to the question posed by one that was having a problem reconciling with a congregation that does not have elders. These questions come to mind and I hope you can help answer them when you have time or maybe point me toward a similar question you have answered.…

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Question: We have no elders at our small congregation. Do you have information available on the workings of these meetings and its rules? What authority its president has versus its preacher? This probably a funny question to ask, but we do need some advice. Answer: It is clear in the New Testament that congregations did…

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Question: I’m having a problem reconciling attending a church without elders. The Bible doesn’t lay out an alternate plan for church leadership. What does a church do in lieu of leaders? Can a church be scriptural without them? Who is responsible for the growth and protection of new members if there are no elders? Answer:…

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Question: How long should a person attend a church that does not have any elders or deacons?  What are some of the problems associated with a church not having any elders or deacons? Answer: The follow-on question is: Are there no elders because none one currently attending is qualified, or are there no elders because the…

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by James R. Cope in The Preceptor, Vol. 1, No. 5, March 1952. To Bible students and faithful Christians majority vote and rule in the church of Christ are as foreign to the Bible’s teaching on church government as Russia is foreign to a democracy. The majority vote always means an open division in the body…

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by James R. Cope via The Preceptor, Vol. 1, No. 4, February 1952. All civilized countries recognize the necessity of government. Different forms of government hold sway in various lands but all admit the necessity of some final tribunal and ultimate authority. Chaos and confusion prevail where no rule obtains. Whether we study the civil,…

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by James R. Cope via The Preceptor, Vol. 1, No. 3, Jan. 1952. The word “pastors” occurs only one time in our English version of the New Testament. More often the original is rendered “shepherd” or “shepherds.” By implication, the pastoral work is identified with the office of bishops or elders. Since this office is…

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Question: When there are no elders in a congregation and the church chooses certain men to lead, is this scriptural? Answer: I probably would need more information to answer your question. Much depends on what you mean by “lead.” During worship service, there are men who lead various parts of the worship. “How is it…

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