Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Servant or Deacon

It starts with the name. The Greek word is deacon and it means servant. So the question becomes why it is sometime translated (servant) and sometimes transliterated (deacon). How do you know if the word refers to someone who is designated with responsibilities (Deacon) or if it is someone who is a doing service? How do you decide which way to translate the word? Is it a designation or a description?

I do believe it clearly is used in different ways in different places. In I Timothy 3 the word must mean something besides just being a servant or you can only do service if you are a married man. But it can't always mean Deacon or in Mark you would describe Jesus as not coming to be deaconed, but to deacon.

So it seems to me that context must be used to see the difference between describing an office -- or someone with the designation of servant -- and describing someone who is doing service. That would seem to be what most translations have done. In I Timothy, they have used the context to assume Deacon is an office. They have assumed Phoebe in Romans 16 to be one who does service. Doesn't make them right, but does show the process of using context.

So what does that have to do with whether women should be deacons? Only that when you insist on speaking about how the word deacon should be used, be sure to look at context. It means differnt things in different places.

In the future, I will look at some of the verses about deacons.

Let me hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Thanks God

...for the fact that are celebrating this holiday with with all four great-grandparents still with us and active. What a spiritual heritage and our grandkids are beginning to know that.

... for letting me hear Joe Don teach last Sunday. He is gifted, he has credibility with his peers, and he gets it. I learned from him.

... for my grandson Jake asking for a basket for Christmas. He wants to fill it with food for the homes that don't have food. Glad his parents are teaching him.

... for hearing grandkids singing their favorite songs: So Beautiful, Mighty to Save, and Holy, Holy (the Revelation Song).

Four parents that have modeled following Jesus, a wife that shows me Jesus every day, four kids that are intentional about passing on their faith, and five grandkids who fill our lives with joy.

And a God who is going to let me live with him forever.

I may be the most thankful man ever.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010



Southern Hills recently went thru a selection process for Deacons. There was much spirited discussion among elders and ministers about the whether women should serve officially as Deacons. Our elders decided that Deacons should be men, tho we do have a number of women serving as ministry leaders. And a number of men chose not to be Deacons but continue leading in certain ministries. So I thought I might share my thoughts on this.

First let me say that this issue has been discussed and debated for centuries in the church. I know strong scholars on both sides of the issue. I do not believe this is a salvation issue. I don't believe that church organization issues determine who is saved. That is not to say that there is not truth on the subject. Women either were -- or were not -- Deacons in the New Testament. And they either can -- or they can't -- be Deacons today. It is even possible that it doesn't matter.

They basic positions are: Deacons are men only, or deacons may be men or women. There is a third position rarely talked about: that couples (husband and wive) serve together as Deacons.
I am not a scholar. I am certainly not a Greek scholar. But I will look at some pertinent passages and try to raise a few questions. So over the next few posts I will look at the word deacon, I Timothy 3, Acts 6, Phoebe, and Deborah.

And let me add one more thing. Most Christ centered people I know are not concerned about titles. But the Southern Hills elders had to decide whether to have Deacons or not, and whether they could be men and women or not. So I have thought, studied, and prayed about this. I do not agree 100% with how we addressed this issue. I didn't agree with everything preached on this. And everyone didn't, and won't, agree with me on everything. But best of all, our congregation accepted the decision and all went forward. Unity in spite of differences. Pretty cool concept.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


Drawing lines over baptism

I have been in a number of discussions recently over the subject of baptism and fellowship. Often it is phrased as "...how can you say someone is going to hell just because they are not baptized"?. Or "why is your business who's in or out?" Or, "why draw lines when Jesus didn't?"

First of all, I don't say people who are not baptized are going to hell. That is God's business. But at the same time, don't ask me to say someone not baptized is going to heaven -- which is what I would be saying if I extend fellowship to them. That would be going against what I believe God says. I hope God saves everyone who believes in Jesus, baptized or not. But I am not arrogant enough to encourage people to not worry about something that I believe is clearly taught in Scripture. I would be violating my conscience to ignore what I believe God says. And I would be a hypocrite to ignore what I believe in order to please men.

I am not deciding who is "in or out". I just want to be faithful to God and what He says to do to express my faith in His Son. Since I am a shepherd of a congregation of God's people I do have the responsibility, along with my fellow shepherds, to have core convictions for those wanting to be part of God's family. If you don't agree with baptism, there are fellowships that would accept you. You have to do what you believe God wants, as do I. If I am wrong, I'll see you in heaven. If I'm right, I pray God will extend mercy to those who listened to men instead of Him.

And Jesus would wonder why we are drawing lines over baptism when he did not. I think he would wonder why anyone would not be baptized. The line is not drawn because we are baptized. It is being drawn when we are not.

So yes, I believe it is essential that you express your faith in Jesus by being crucified with him in baptism and being raised to a new life. Even writing this reminds me of how incredible is God's grace. I die. I live forever. Wow. My sin nailed to the cross. My Lord nailed to the cross. And then me with him. That's it. It is amazing grace. Thanks God.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?