Disqualified pts 3&4

Part one

Part two

The Warning To Timothy

“This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.” (1 Timothy 1:18–20)

Paul has a desire for Timothy, and that is that Timothy retain and treasure faith in Christ and a good conscience, because a lack of these things leads to shipwreck. Shipwreck is a description of the destruction and ruin that can come upon one who walks away from God by not trusting Christ and not maintaining a good conscience.

When we know the truth, sin and error will work against our conscience. We will know and be aware of our wrong, and our conscience will bear witness to our error (See Romans 2:14-16;9:1-2). When we ignore the testimony of a conscience that is educated by the Word of God and moved by the Spirit, we know that we are persisting in sin. This can only lead to destruction.

Paul warns Timothy that shipwreck is possible. In no circumstance can we assume that shipwreck is a positive thing. Neither should we dare think that one cannot and will not make shipwreck if they ignore God’s Word, His Spirit, and the pangs of conscience. If one makes shipwreck, he cannot continue as he did before. Some shipwrecks may possibly be repaired. Some shipwrecks may be irreparable. Regardless, shipwreck means that life will not go on as if it were in good repair. Ministry cannot continue as if one’s life were in good shape. Shipwreck is destructive to peace of mind, one’s family, one’s conscience, one’s walk with God, and all else in the person’s life. Those shipwrecks from which one can recover are not things that will be fixed over night.

Some shipwrecks are large scale disasters. Paul spoke of two men who had been turned over to Satan that they would learn not to blaspheme. Paul was speaking of church discipline, or excommunication, when he said this (See 1 Corinthians 5:1-5). There is no way that we could ever put into words just how serious this is and how sobering it should be to us. When one is excommunicated from the church and left at the mercy of the devil, there is no knowing exactly what will happen when the flesh is destroyed as God allows Satan to plague such an one. The purpose of this is to bring the shipwrecked person to repentance. One thing is sure, and that is that while the person is turned over to Satan, God is still in control of the process, and “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:31)

Should the shipwrecked person refuse to repent and change their ways, we find that destruction can indeed be a final sort of destruction. We read of some whose sins led to death (1 Corinthians 11:17-34). Solomon was used of God to say, “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” (Proverbs 29:1)

I am convinced that one can sin to the point that his life is taken. We are solemnly warned of this: “If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.” (1 John 5:16) Sin has no other end than destruction.

Shipwreck is a reality. Please do not minimize sin and shipwreck and act as if the consequences thereof are small. There are times that one must step down from the ministry. There are times that the time out of the ministry is permanent. Shipwreck, when minimized as if it has neither consequence nor impact upon the ministry, can only lead to more heartache and destruction. Please, let us not fall prey to the folly of minimizing shipwreck!

 

 

 

Romans 11:29

            With the above things in mind, we must also address one argument that has been presented in the past regarding disqualification from the ministry. It is said that, since God said, “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance,” (Romans 11:29) that one cannot be disqualified. After all, God gives gifts that are eternal, and God does not repent of His calling.

First of all, let us realize how simply shallow and errant this interpretation of the passage is; because it ignores the context in which it was written. The question is asked whether God had cast off His people Israel (Romans 11:1-2), to which a negative reply is given. The apostle then proceeds to present his case based upon the fact that God had given many gifts and made many promises to Israel that He would forgive their sins and make them His people. Paul establishes this argument by appealing to a specific passage of Scripture to show them that God keeps His promises despite the sin of Israel: “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.” (Numbers 23:19–20) Balack the king of Moab desired Balaam the prophet to curse Israel. Balaam stated that, though he tried to do so, God had spoken a blessing upon Israel, and would not repent of it. God had given Israel the gift of being His people, and He was not repenting of doing so. Paul stated that, though Israel was temporarily blinded, their ultimate end and salvation was of God, who promised that He would save Israel and make them His people.

This text can be of great comfort to us when we sin, because we know that God will indeed forgive the sin of His people and not cast us away. It is what comforted Jeremiah when he looked around and beheld the devastation of Jerusalem that came because of their idolatry. He said, “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22–23) God’s faithfulness to His promises was the reason that He was merciful to Israel and refused to completely destroy them. This is also why He spoke to cold, callous, and careless Israel in Malachi’s day, saying, “For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” (Malachi 3:6)  Despite our sins, God keeps His promises. That should indeed comfort us, because we know that those of us who are trusting Christ are securely safe in His steadfast, unchanging love.

What we cannot do, however, is rejoice that this verse tells us that a person cannot disqualify himself from the ministry. That is to disregard the context of the Scripture as God’s promise not to abandon Israel, but to also ignore the fact that people have disqualified themselves and lost God’s blessing upon their labors. Saul is a case in point: He was rejected from being king (1 Samuel 13:13-14;15:22-23), and God departed from Him (1 Samuel 28:15-19). Furthermore, if one could not disqualify himself, it nullifies the qualifications presented in First Timothy chapter three, and makes a mockery of God’s Word by presenting a Bible that conflicts with itself and has portions which are incorrect. This is absolutely unacceptable to any Bible believing person. In fact, this is sin, as we have seen in the previous two articles.

 

Concluding Thoughts

The above truths are hard truths, and they cannot be softened. Sinful men who insist that shipwreck and disqualification cannot happen, or that they are not so serious as many of us believe, must be warned. We must not act as if sin’s consequences are small. We must not act as if our sins will not affect us negatively and even destroy us. We are told that such must be rebuked. “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” (1 Timothy 5:20)

Finally, this series of articles should not be viewed as harsh, judgmental, and unforgiving. The fact is, we cannot present the forgiveness of sin, God’s mercies toward the sinner, and God’s restoring power unless we first present sin as destructive and damning. Those who desire to stand with God’s Word dare not treat sin lightly. They must present the exceeding sinfulness of sin. Only then can we see the glories of the grace of God. “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:20–21) If you are a minister who has fallen and disqualified himself, please take sin seriously. I plead with you to be as David, who confessed his sin and accepted the consequences. Only then can you truly be restored in your walk with God. I do not profess to know your future. I do not know whether or not your ministry can be restored. Maybe it can, and then maybe your reputation is so greatly damaged that you can never again fill the qualifications of First Timothy chapter three. I do know that God will forgive you and restore you to a holy walk with Him, and that is what is of utmost importance.

 

 

Disqualified pt 1

Disqualified

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” (1 Corinthians 9:24–27)

 

The text before us shows us Paul’s passion for preaching Christ. It shows us his desire to be a blessing to others. It shows us that Paul recognizes the need for temperance in order for us to be a blessing to others. Sadly we can fail to have the same passion and the same life as Paul did.

Paul compares the effort to be a blessing to athletic competitions. We are told that we must run if we are to win the prize. In the effort to win a competition, each competitor exercises self control. There are things we must deny ourselves, and there are things we must do in order to have a chance to win. Those who compete in athletics do so in order to win a prize that will not last forever. Our desire is an eternal reward. For this reason, Paul states that he runs with certainly, fights by landing blows instead of shadow boxing, and forces his body to yield and submit in order to win. Why? Because, if he does not exercise this self control, he may become a castaway, or one who is disqualified.

Not every competitor wins his event, and not everyone who crosses the finish line first is qualified. A few years ago, Lilly King competed in the Summer Olympics and won her race; however she was disqualified. King had broken the rules. For this cause, though she won her race, her disqualification caused her to lose the competition: she was not qualified to win. Sadly we can do the same thing in our Christian lives: we can fail in such a manner that, contrary to all appearances, we do not receive the crown. The salt can lose its savor, Jesus said (Matthew 5:13); and the best runner can be disqualified.

In our day we have those who are loudly and boldly asserting that one cannot disqualify himself from Christian service, that the minister can always fill the pulpit and carry God’s Word. This text belies such statements. Can one fail and be forgiven? Can one fall and be restored? Can one sin and be forgiven? The answer is, yes. The fact of the matter remains that there is great loss that goes with moral failures. First Timothy chapter three gives us a list of qualifications for pastors. If one must meet these qualifications to be a pastor, he who does not meet these criteria is disqualified, no matter how well he speaks or how much he is loved and forgiven. Forgiveness does not automatically qualify a person, if it did, the novice who has just been forgiven his sins is qualified. If forgiveness automatically qualifies one for the pastorate, then the qualifications for 1 Timothy 3:1-11 are useless and wrong. This is a grave mistake to make, when one decides to begin rejecting various truths of Scripture in order to maintain a Christian façade, or to retain an office. It is far better to acknowledge the truth, repent of one’s sins, step down from the ministry from which one has been disqualified, and uphold the veracity of God’s Word and the sanctity of the pastoral office.

 

How to Pray for Your Pastor

How to Pray for Your Pastor

“Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:”https://ref.ly/2Th3.1;av1873

    Your pastor is human and cannot lead you by God’s Word unless given strength by God. He needs your prayers. Just as surely as Paul the apostle recognized his need of prayer, every godly pastor recognizes the same need, and echoes the holy plea, “Pray for us.”

    How then must one pray for his pastor? Let us first look to our text.

    We should first pray for his heart. The godly pastor longs for the Word of God to have free course. His passionate desire is that Scripture would not only work unimpeded among those who hear it, but also in his own heart. Pray that God would open his understanding, strengthen his affections for Christ, inflame his passion for God’s glory, and make him strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

    Pray that the Word of God would have free course as your pastor preaches. Pray that his mind will be clear and free from distractions. Pray that his thoughts will be orderly, that he might preach plainly for the good of all who hear. Pray that he will have grace, wisdom, and boldness so that he can preach the Word of God correctly.

    Pray that the Word of God would have free course so that God would fill your pastor with the Spirit and use him as an instrument of blessing. (See also Ephesians 6:17-20;Colossians 4:1-4.)

“From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.”https://ref.ly/Ga6.17;av1873

    Pray that your pastor would be freed from troublesome people in the church. Paul battled against false doctrine, and the battles sometimes became wearisome. Paul longed for people to repent and believe the truth. Every disturbance in the church can be connected to doctrinal error. Scripture teaches that right practice and godly behavior are the result of believing correct doctrines (2 Timothy 3:12-17). There are enough troubles in the world to face, when we serve Jesus.Pray that yourself and all other members of the church would humbly hear God’s Word and learn so that your pastor can be freed from church trouble. The peace of your pastor is also your peace and profit (Hebrews 11:7-8,17).

“Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.”https://ref.ly/Heb13.18;av1873

    Here we find the apostolic writer asking again for prayer. It is crucial that we understand the context. Instruction is given in verse seventeen for the hearers to obey their pastors and submit themselves to them. Truly the only way you can pray well for your pastor is when you recognize the great responsibility laid upon him by God, submit yourself to his leadership (Remember, according to the Scriptures, his position places him as your elder, no matter how old you may be.), and strive to follow His instructions from God’s Word. Knowing his responsibility, and recognizing your own need of leadership, you can then pray earnestly and humbly that God’s power and wisdom would rest upon your brother who teaches you from God’s Word. If you believe it is your prerogative to get on the phone and gossip about him, criticize him, and even seek to rebuke him; remember that will not be to your profit (Hebrews 13:17). Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft (1 Samuel 15:22-23), and you are courting danger if you do these things. 

    Pray humbly for your pastor. He loves you. He longs to help you. He prays for grace to be a blessing to you. You need him. You need his guidance and instruction. Be among those who make the ministry pleasant for their pastor. Pray for him!

A Pastor’s Heart

A Pastor’s Heart

Have you ever considered your pastor’s heart? What makes him tick? Why does he do the things he does? Why is he in the pulpit, the hospital room, the funeral home, and the hospice? Who are his friends? Who is his confidante? Is he happy, sad, burdened, or discouraged? Does he have someone walking with him along the way, or is he lonely?

Paul spoke of the daily care he had for the churches (2 Corinthians 11:28). Care here speaks of great concern, even an anxious concern. Often your pastor feels pain for you and with you, though you may not even be aware. Often he prays for you as he goes about his daily tasks, or he even is up late into the night pleading with God for you.

Your pastor may be younger than you are, yet he is still your elder in position, and should be your elder in the respect you show him. He certainly feels that way toward you. He considers you as precious children, entrusted to him by God; and he determines to be gentle and to cherish you (1 Thessalonians 2:7-8), and greatly longs to be able to help you. Even when he must speak to you firmly and sternly about your sin, he seeks to be meek and gentle like Christ (2 Corinthians 10:1-6). He desires only to help you and build you up.

Your pastor longs to lead you and feed you, because you are Christ’s sheep, and Jesus has called him to the difficult task of providing you with the nourishment, guidance, and discipline necessary for your spiritual well being (1 Peter 5:1-4). Studying God’s Word in order to preach and teach multiple sermons each week is a daunting task, yet your pastor takes pleasure in doing so that he might help you follow Jesus.

Sometimes, no matter how hard he tries, there are those who refuse to yield to his guidance; yet his love and pity for the erring sheep only increases as he spends himself seeking to be a blessing (2 Corinthians 12:15). Often this shepherd’s love for the sheep is not given to him in return. At times your pastor’s heart yearns for you, because he is fearful regarding your precarious spiritual position (Galatians 4:19), and his heart is in great distress for your sake. Sadly, in the midst of this, some view him as their enemy and treat him as such (Galatians 4:16). This causes your pastor pain today, and may cause him to weep over the wayward even at the judgment (Hebrews 13:17).

Your pastor often leads quite the lonely life behind the scenes, as he bears the burden of teaching and guiding some who have little to no desire to truly learn and grow. How can you help him? Become like those whom Paul described as being addicted to serving Christ and others (1 Corinthians 16:15). Become a true yoke fellow who labors alongside your pastor (Philippians 4:3). Be as Philemon, whose life and labors were refreshing to others (Philemon 1:7). Follow your pastor, submit to his leadership, obey his Biblical teaching and guidance, so that he can rejoice over you at the judgment (Hebrews 13:7,8,17).

What is a pastor’s heart? A pastor’s heart is one that is full of the love Jesus, spilling over to Christ’s sheep in teaching leading, correcting, weeping, rejoicing, and seeking to be a blessing. In short, your pastor’s heart is a heart for Jesus that moves him to have a heart for you. “For the love of Christ constraineth us…” (2 Corinthians 5:14)

God Our Enabler

“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;” 1 Timothy 1:12

Brothers, our abilities are of God, who put us into the ministry. We have neither power nor talent apart from Him.

We dare not puff ourselves up with the thought that we are doing a good job, and thus rely upon ourselves.

We must not think that we win people by our personalities/

We should never think that our logical thoughts and rhetorical skills are sufficient for the souls of men.

It is God who enables us, and without Him we can do nothing.

Brothers, let us always recognize our need for God and trust Him who will enable us.

A Simple Guide For Church Business Meetings

Guide For Business Meetings

  1. Motion to enter into business meeting
  2. Reading of the previous minutes
  3. Reading of treasurer’s report 
  4. Call for unfinished business
  5. Call for new business
  6. Call for any matter touching the peace and harmony of the church
  7. Motion to close business meeting

Note: It is well that the pastor, as moderator, be provided with an agenda for the business meeting so that he can be aware of any potentially problematic issues and be prepared to guide the church appropriately.

Order In The Church

Order In The Church

Let all things be done decently and in order.” (1 Corinthians 14:40)

God Loves And Ordains Order

God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” (1 Corinthians 14:33)

            Order in the church is a very important thing. God both creates order and loves order. Our text above shows us that God does not cause chaos and uproar, but rather desires order and peace in the churches.

            Note that the Genesis Creation Account shows us the earth as being a watery chaos into which God quickly brought order by dividing the water from dry land, creating light, establishing seasons, etc. Order in our lives has its roots in the nature of God and in His creative design.

            God, having created order, commands us to submit to it. God is the ultimate authority, and all other authority comes from Him. We cannot live as though we are free from restraint. God is the King, and we are His subjects. Anarchy, disorder, self-will, and chaos are rebellion against God. When we submit to godly order we are submitting to God and honoring God.

The Natural Order

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” (1 Corinthians 11:3) 

            From the very beginning there was order established in society by God’s establishing marriage, giving man a family, and then ordaining civil government.

            From the beginning the husband was the head of his wife and family (1 Corinthians 11:1-10;1 Timothy 2:11-15; Malachi 2:13-16;Ephesians 5:21-6:4). We find many ways in which God placed much responsibility upon the man to care for his family as he leads them. Headship not only involves authority, but also places great responsibility upon the one who is in authority.

            As the families upon Earth grew, there was the need for order among the people. Thus God established a bit of order when He gave command regarding Cain after his murdering of Abel, his brother (Genesis 4:11-16). After the flood we see that God instituted the death penalty as the punishment for murder (Genesis 9:6), which shows us that God does indeed command order in society. We later see this principle reinforced in the New Testament (Romans 13:1-7;1 Peter 2:13-17).

Church Order

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” (Colossians 1:18) 

            The church belongs to Jesus, as He has died for her (Acts 20:28;1 Corinthians 6:18-20;Ephesians 5:25-28). Christ is the head of the church. God has designed that our marriages serve to portray that (Ephesians 5:21-33). Having risen from the dead, and having been exalted to the right hand of God, Jesus’ name is exalted above all others, and He is given to the church as her head (Ephesians 1:19-23;Colossians 1:15-19) God has done this so that we would value Christ above all, and that God would get His glory in Christ.  If we truly long to honor God we must submit to godly order and follow Christ.

Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” (Hebrews 13:17) 

            Note that God has placed rulers within the church. There is an order that is to be observed among God’s people. Christ is God’s gift to the church as our head, and then He has gifted the church with leaders (Ephesians 4:11-16). These leaders are under the authority of Christ and bear the authority of Christ as they preach and teach His Word, and tend to the flock (1 Peter 5:1-4). We are taught to show great honor to those who rule well, to provide for their material needs (1 Timothy 5:17-18), to love them (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13), and to follow them and obey them (Hebrews 13:7-8,17).

Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.” (1 Timothy 2:11–15) 

            The natural order, established by God, is also to be followed in the church. God’s Word teaches us that the men should take the leadership in the church, as this is God’s order from the beginning. The law also established this (1 Corinthians 14:34-45). While there is definitely room for godly ladies to teach and be a blessing (1 Timothy 2:11-15;Titus 2:1-5), it is godly order that the responsibility of leading the church rests upon the men, just as it does in the home. Please note that this is something to which we are all called to submit. Godly order requires submission to the order, both by those who must submit to the burden of leadership as well as those who must submit to the leaders. The ultimate authority in the church is Christ, who has established this order, and we must submit to Him by following His order.

 

See also: Conducting Church Business Meetings

Conducting Church Business Meetings

How To Conduct A Business Meeting

            One of the things that is necessary for a pastor is to know how to conduct a business meeting. The Scriptures teach us that all things should be done in an orderly manner (1 Corinthians 14:40). For things to be done decently and in order, we must have a rule of order.

            Robert’s Rules Of Orderis a handy reference to have on hand, but it is somewhat too detailed for the typical business meeting in a small, Baptist church. There are several quick reference sheets available for purchase, and they could be of great help learning about various questions of order.

Officers

            A church usually has three officers involved in a business meeting: the moderator/pastor, the clerk/secretary, and the treasurer.

            The moderator presides over the meeting. It is his job to guide the meeting and insure that proper decorum is maintained. 

            Note that the term “moderator” involves moderation. The moderator is to be an arbitrator, or an intermediary. All remarks should be made to the moderator rather than to other members of the body. This helps keep things calm and peaceful, as it is easier to be calm and peaceful when one is speaking concerning a subject to the moderator, who is attempting to rule with fairness to all.

            The moderator, presiding over the meeting, is given the responsibility of maintaining order. Should there be a breach of order or decorum, it is the duty and authority of the moderator to note that and reestablish order. Should there be a disagreement regarding a point of order or decorum, the one ruled out of order should never be permitted to dispute with the moderator. He should, in keeping with the general order of making motions, move to appeal the point of order to the body and, should the motion receive a second, the body is to rule on the matter without discussion.

            The clerk/secretary should keep a record of the business proceedings. His duty is to, upon entering into the business meeting, read the minutes from the previous meeting in order that they might be approved by the body. He is to also maintain any correspondence that is deemed necessary by the body.

            The treasurer has the duty to handle the funds of the body, keep a record of all funds received and dispersed, and to give a report thereof as directed by the body.

The Business Meeting

            The typical business meeting opens when a motion is passed to open business. Some churches, having set times for business, may consider the meeting as automatically opening, and thus proceed with their business.

            The typical business meeting closes when a motion to close is passed. Again, some churches consider their business meeting as automatically closing at a previously specified time. For example, I know of one church which holds their business meeting on a Wednesday night, and the business meeting is considered as opened until the succeeding Sunday evening, when it automatically closes.

            Immediately upon opening the business meeting, the clerk/secretary should read the minutes of the previous meeting, and they should be corrected if needed and then approved by the body.

            The next step should be the reading, correction, and adoption of the treasurer’s report, if it is time for the treasurer’s report to be read(Some churches do not give a monthly treasurer’s report).

            The moderator should then ask if there is any unfinished business needing to claim the attention of the body. Robert’s Rules Of Orderstates that unfinished business should have been recorded in the minutes of the previous meeting, and that anything not in the previous minutes dies and needs to be brought up as new business; sometimes there are issues that take longer to deal with than one month. For this cause, I think it best to issue a call for unfinished business at each business meeting. The moderator may deal with this according to his discretion.

            Next should be the call for new business.

            Baptist churches should believe in and practice church discipline. They should also consider the peace and unity of the body as being of great importance. Thus, at the end of the business meeting, there should be an opportunity given to consider matters touching the peace and harmony of the church. Should there be issues relating to the welfare of the body in this manner, these should then be considered by the body. It is of utmost importance that the moderator/pastor should seek peace, harmony, and promote reconciliation in these times. It is also important that, should any member have an issue to bring to the body during this time, he bring it to the attention of the pastor/moderator before the business meeting begins.[1]

Rules Of Order

  • If one wishes to speak or to make a motion, he must first obtain the floor (the right to speak) by being the first to stand when the person speaking has finished; state Brother Moderator/Pastor. Raising your hand means nothing, and standing while another has the floor is out of order, as that is an interruption. One must be recognized by the Chair before speaking. 
  • Before the motion is stated by the Chair (the question) members may suggest modification of the motion; the mover can modify as he pleases, or even withdraw the motion without consent of the one seconding the motion; if mover modifies, the one seconding the motion can withdraw the second. 
  • A motion that does not receive a second apparently does not hold interest to anyone other than the one making the motion and thus dies. It cannot be discussed or voted upon.
  • Debate/discussion can not begin until the Chair has stated the motion or resolution and asked for discussion. If no one rises, the chair calls for the vote. Note, that the time for discussion/debate is only after that there has been a motion and a second. Also, after the vote is taken, debate is out of order, as the question is settled unless there is a vote to reconsider, or to rescind the act.
  • No member can speak twice to the same issue until everyone else wishing to speak has spoken to it once. For the sake of fairness, everyone should be given an opportunity to discuss before a member speaks to the issue a second time.
  • Only one member shall speak at a time, who shall rise from his seat and address the Moderator; and the speaker shall confine himself to the subject properly in debate and cast no reflection on the body or any member thereof, and shall not be interrupted while speaking.
  • No person shall speak more than three times upon the same subject without permission of the body.
  • To modify, or amend, a motion simply takes a vote of the body to do so. Once made, a motion belongs to the body and not to the one making the motion. The body has the right to amend a motion at any time during discussion of it. To amend a motion, one simply needs to follow the regular order of making a motion, and then move to amend the motion under discussion.
  • To table a motion is to simply remove it from discussion and consideration until a later time. This can be done in two ways: a motion can be tabled until a specified time, or it can be tabled for an indefinite period of time. To table indefinitely is simply to remove an item from discussion, and leaving open the time of bringing it back to the floor for discussion. Never is tabling a motion the correct way for one who is opposed to the motion to over rule the motion and stop it from moving forward. Note also that, for something to be tabled, it must first be on the floor for debate and discussion. To bring a matter back to the floor for discussion, a motion to bring the matter off of the table to the floor is all that is required.
  • A majority of messengers present shall be necessary to carry any proposition or motion and the Moderator shall vote as other messengers when the question is taken and in case of a tie the motion is lost.
  • The moderator is the presiding officer. No deacon or other member has the authority to usurp this position. The ruling of the moderator is authoritative and can only be over ruled as stated above. To dispute with the moderator, or to ignore his ruling and continue doing what has been ruled out of order is insubordination and rebellion, which is worthy of rebuke and possibly church discipline.
  • A point of information generally applies to information desired from the speaker: “I should like to ask the (speaker) a question.”
  • Point of Order: Infraction of the rules, or improper decorum in speaking. Must be raised immediately after the error is made
  • Divide the Question: Divides a motion into two or more separate motions, which must be able to stand on their own.
  • A motion to reconsider: Can be made only by one on the prevailing side who has changed position or view.
  • The moderator shall decide questions of order but an appeal from such a decision may be taken to the whole body, which shall decide without debate.

[1]It is my desire to present a study of the issue of church discipline in depth at a later time.

Of Duties And Doctrine

As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.” (1 Timothy 1:3–4)

 

As Paul left Timothy at Ephesus, he gave him very explicit instructions concerning his duties. Timothy had three things to do:

  1. Charge them to teach no other doctrine.
  2. Command them to not listen to religious stories and tales that stir up doubts in people.
  3. Charge the teachers to edify the people in the faith.

 

Note that there are three things one must do when it comes to wrong doctrine:

  1. We must not teach it.
  2. We must not listen to it.
  3. We must teach the truth in order to build people up.

 

Brothers, we must be established in what the truth is in order for these things to have a place in our ministry. We can only discern the doctrine that is not good by knowing the true doctrine. Sadly we are finding ourselves in the times of which Paul later told Timothy, times in which people would rather hear tales and stories rather than true doctrine (2 Timothy 4:1-8). Even in the pulpits of conservative and fundamentalist churches there is little concern for sound doctrine. A man who studies and spends time teaching and preaching doctrinally is an oddity who is often looked upon as out of touch and potentially dangerous. This should not be. Brothers, we must be established in doctrine. We must spend time studying doctrine, and we must saturate our preaching with doctrine. The very basic truths of the faith are often considered as deep things which cannot be understood. This is not only sad, but it is very dangerous. We must be established in the truth that we might teach the truth in opposition to fables.

 

We must not listen to unsound doctrine. “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” (1 Corinthians 15:33) Bad company and unsound teaching will lead to ungodly behavior. Brothers, if it takes calling people by name, we must stand in the pulpits and warn people against those who teach unsound doctrine. There are those who write books, appear on TV, and are on the radios, of whom we should warn the people. They do not need to hear it. If they hear it, they will be tempted to accept it. In accepting even a little bit of untruth, God’s people can be led astray into ungodliness. Brothers, notice that we cannot say, “Well, I simply want to teach the people how to live right: I’m not to concerned about academic and intellectual pursuits.” That will not do. Doctrine is necessary to right living (See 2 Timothy 3:16-17). We must teach and preach sound doctrine if we are to lead God’s people into holiness. We must also realize that we must combat falsehood by commanding God’s people to not listen to it.

 

Finally we must teach the truth in order to build up. Timothy was to command the ministers and teachers at Ephesus to edify in the faith. The faith is the doctrine God has given to the church. It is the truth which we believe when we are saved. It is the doctrine which helps us gain greater assurance. It is the teaching that increases our love for God. The faith is the doctrine that teaches us how to worship God and honor Him in every aspect of our lives. The faith is doctrine that builds us up. It is the duty of those who lead the flock of God to teach them in order to help them to grow. Brothers, we cannot help people be established in the faith if we do not teach and preach the faith. We cannot build up our brethren without presenting doctrinal truth to them. We can lead the flock to worship and serve God acceptably without informing them of who God is and what He expects from us. Edification comes through the faith, which is our doctrinal foundation.

 

There is a great deposit given to the people of God. It is the “faith which was once delivered to the saints.” (Jude 1:3) This great deposit is ours to uphold, as the church is the pillar and ground of the truth (See 1 Timothy 3:14-16). We have young people who are starting their families, and they need the truth so that they can raise their children aright. The children need to be instructed in the truth from their youth that they might believe it and be saved. Old people need to be reminded of the truth so that they might maintain holiness in their later years and not let it slip away. When the true doctrine is taught, believed, and put into practice, it will establish us in holiness (2 Timothy 3:14-17).

 

Brothers, let us saturate our preaching with doctrine! As far as the unsound doctrine goes, don’t teach it and don’t listen to it. The faith will edify us all.