Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 16, 1958

Majority Rule Versus The Bible Way Of Deciding Church Affairs

Lindsay A. Allen, Florence, Alabama

(Sermon delivered Oct. 13 at Isbell, Alabama) INTRODUCTION: Subject defined: Shall the New Testament church be run and controlled by the will of the majority, or shall it be conducted in harmony with New Testament principles? It is a square issue; there is no middle ground.


(A) — Concerns matter of authority-source and extent of.

(1) — Authority always basic, fundamental. (Matt. 21:23-27)

(2) — Great Commission based on the "All authority of Christ." (Matt. 28:18-20)

(3) — Making decisions in "church affairs" involves authority ? Who? Extent?

(B) — Concerns the organic structure of the New Testament Church:

(1) — Strikes at root, foundation of God's order and government.

(2) — Shall we respect God's arrangement?

II. The Supreme Importance Of Government And Organic Structure:

(A) — The United States Government:

(1) — The Federal Constitution; supreme law of the land.

(2)-3 branches of government: (Check and balance system)

(a) — Legislative: Make laws; in harmony with the constitution, the supreme law.

(b) — Executive: Enforce laws passed by legislative.

(c) — Judicial: Interpret in light of the constitution.

(3) — Subject to the will of the people.

(4) — Our national enemies would strike here first. Destroy the organic structure of our government and the rest is easy. No invasion necessary.

(B) — Ancient Israel:

(1) — Satan, in order to defeat God's purpose, invaded the organization and organic structure of God's government.

(a) — Persuaded the people to ask for a king. (2 Kings 8).

(b) — A fundamental change in God's arrangement. Judgeship.

(c) — Israel's downfall and decay begins at this point.

(1) — Idolatry, immorality, corruption, etc., easily follow this fundamental change.

(C) — The Early Church:

(1) — Satan again, in order to destroy and defeat the purpose of God, strikes by invading the organization and organic structure of God's order and arrangement.

(a) — Corrupts the eldership. (Chairman elder with more authority; called the Bishop., etc.)

(b) — Corruptions and changes in doctrine and worship now become easy.

(c) — Great apostasy follows: Roman Catholicism, Denominationalism.

(D) — The New Testament Church Restored: (19th. Century)

(1) — Satan strikes again and at the same point: God's order and government. Seeks to destroy the organic structure of the church.

(a) — Cooperative meetings etc., and finally A. C. M. S.

(b) — Instrument music, other corruptions followed.

(A) — Satan again striking at God's order and arrangement:

(1) — Centralized control.

(2) — Human organizations to take over work of the church.

(3) — Church run and controlled by voice of the majority.

III. Some Evils Of Majority Rule:

(A) — Makes no distinction between the members of the church:

(1) — Age and experienced; youth and inexperienced; worldly and godly, etc.

(a) — All have same vote and voice in affairs of the church.

(2) — Exalts voice of the uninformed:

(a) — Majority are uninformed; premium on ignorance.

(b) — Leads to innovations, corruptions, etc.

(3) — Leads to division and strife among brethren:

(a) — Wedge that tears church apart; leads to politics and political maneuvering; underhanded methods.

(b) — Sows seeds of discord; promotes jealousy and rivalry;

(4) — Open the flood gates for all kinds of corruptions:

(a) — Will of God overthrown; will of the people become supreme.

(5) — Reverses God's order and arrangement:

(a) — Displaces source of authority.

(b) — Makes elders subject to the church.

Hence, violates:

(c) — Acts 20:28; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 1:1- 3.

CONCLUSION: Stress: Importance of maintaining the organic structure and government of the church. As long as this is maintained, the church is safe from innovations and corruptions. When once this has been destroyed or in any way corrupted, the flood gates are open for all kinds of corruptions and perversions of doctrine and worship.