Essay on The Christian Congregation - Does It Have Judges?


In this talk we are going to discuss whether or not the Christian congregation has a secular authority. We also will discuss 3 main questions regarding the Christian Elders Authority in the congregation using Bible principles. After, we will discuss what evidence is to be provided before making a judicial decision. 

Who, if anybody, is the Christian congregation's secular authority? Many people may think that the Christian Elders are part of a court. Although the elders do act in the role of a judge at times they do not have any secular authority. But when someone in the congregation has sinned and may need to be removed the christian elders must act as Judges and decide whether or not to remove this christian. 

So Now to the three questions about the elders' authority. The first one some may ask is who may the christian elders judge? If you would turn with me to 1 Corinthians 5:12,13. (Read Scripture) As this scripture points out that they are to judge those inside the congregation and God is to judge the one outside. 

So should the Elders remove anyone who has sinned?

Since we are all imperfect humans God does not expect us to be perfect. Although, he does ask that we are repentant after we have sinned. The Bible states in Galatians 6:1- “try to readjust such a man in a spirit of  mildness. This means the Elder may help redirect a brother or sister to think clearly again. Also, if this member of the congregation shows repentance after sinning they probably will not be removed from the congregation.

The last question is: How must the elders make their decisions. Everytime elders make decisions they make them out of love. If you turn with me to 1 Peter 5:1,2 (Read Scripture). So did you notice in verse 2 it said they do it not for love or dishonest gain but eagrly. Well, let think of an example, say a friend asks you to watch their child. Of course you would want to take good care of them and  make sure you feed them. And if they got sick you would make sure they received any needed medical care. Just like the person watching the child the elders must lovingly watch over the sheep in the congregation and feed us spiritually. And one has sinned or gotten sick they make sure to get them the spiritual help they may need.

So what evidence is to be provided? First at least two or three witnesses must agree that the things being said are true. They must also weigh the evidence without prejudgment. Only after both have been done may they sit down and decide on what is to be done.

So as we have discussed, although there is no Secular authority in the christian congregation the elders do act as judges when handling a member in the congregation who has sinned. We also discussed that clear evidence has to be made before making a decision and the elders must meet together before deciding. Therefore don’t we appreciate all these loving elders and what they  do for the congregation eagerly and out of love.

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