Vol.XVIII No.IV Pg.7
June 1981

?You Know What?

Robert F. Turner

We Have A Backlog Of Questions, From Many Different People And Places...

Can a church scripturally have deacons without elders?

Deacons (servants) are needed in many team activities, and if you have scripturally qualified men I see no reason not to appoint them to this service (Acts 6:1-f). But they are NOT overseers; and neither deacons or overseers are "officials" occupying an hierarchal position (Matt. 23:8). If you have an "official" concept of "organizing" the church, there is a danger that appointed "Deacons" could usurp the place and work of bishops. You should continue to have business meetings (or however you have been making decisions relative to church work) and let those "deacons" stick to their place of appointed servants.

Is it right for a church to require all who lead in public prayer to go to the microphone at the front?

This is a matter of judgment, but it seems a reasonable request if the reason is that all may hear what is said, so all may pray together. If it is a formality, it is still a matter of judgment, but in my judgment, has far less to recommend it.

Various school "camps" bus people to their locations on Sunday afternoon, and have a period of songs, prayer, and devotional talks that evening. But they provide no opportunity to partake of the Lord's Supper. So —??

So, evidently they do not think of this as a church, called together for worship, but rather as the kind of "singing" or devotional service you might have in your home on Sunday afternoon, for a few friends. Apparently they figure those attending will have partaken of the Lord's Supper earlier in the day, at the various churches where they are members. It is also possible they may make a deliberate effort to avoid a "church" role.

A series of questions re. the state of the dead, resurrection of wicked, degrees of punishment, Hades and its divisions, etc.

I told people all about these matters 45 years ago, when I first began preaching. Strange, the questions are still making the rounds!!!

I believe the Bible teaches a general resurrection and judgment (1 Con. 15:22, Matt. 25:31-f), but I long ago gave up trying to spell out details. When J.W.s try to sell their ideas of heaven on earth, or Premillennialists hawk the "Rapture" or some such matter, I try to point out their inconsistency or misuse of scripture, but I am not interested in building up a speculation of my own. It seems we can better use our time studying and practicing things that will help us get ready for that final day.

I am satisfied that God has made the proper arrangements for the dead, and for their final destiny. I believe a Christian can live in hope and confidence, and can face death unafraid, because of his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Con. 15) — faith that manifests itself in humble submissive obedience to His word.