Vol.II No.IX Pg.7
October 1965

Queries And Answers

Robert F. Turner

Dear Bro. Turner:

What is the scriptural procedure for the appointment of additional elders? Is this wholly the responsibility of the existing elders?


We have neither command nor example of this matter in the N.T., hence must appeal to scriptural principles that are involved for a solution.

One may desire, and presumably prepare himself for, the work of a bishop (elder); and may be scripturally appointed only if he meets the qualifications set forth in God's word. (1 Tim.3: 1-f. Titus 1:5-f.) This shows that arbitrary selection on the part of existing elders is not right; nor is this an "office" to which "successors" may be named by the "authority of the incumbent."

It is reasonable to suppose that existing scriptural elders would know those members who are best qualified to be considered: and all else being equal, those with whom they could best function as a team. These factors were present in the Jerusalem church, however, when the Apostles called the multitude of the disciples together and asked them to "look out among you" seven men to care for the Grecian widows. (Acts. 6:1-6)

Elders are "shepherds" of the local "flock," having the "oversight." (1 Pet.5: 1-3) In order for the sheep to move and function as a flock, submission on the part of the sheep is essential. (Heb.13: 17) The very nature of collective action necessitates some common direction and/or guidance; and the scriptures justify the conclusion that elders sometimes act on behalf of the saints. (Acts 11:30) Since there is no authority for arbitrary rule ("lords over God's heritage" 1 Pet.5: 3 Matt.20: 25-f) I conclude that there is a realm of "rule" delegated to the elders by the congregation, by virtue of selection or appointment. (This realm, of necessity, is in matters of judgement only; for neither one nor many have the right to usurp Christ's power to legislate in matters of faith. Jas.4: 12) All these things point to the selection of proposed elders by some open, above-board process by which all members who are to be "ruled" may express themselves. Do these men meet the qualifications demanded by the Holy Spirit? Are they men to whom we would trust such matters of judgement as may be proper for them to make on our behalf? Are they of such temperament as to work well with our existing elders? When these questions can be answered in the affirmative there need be no hesitancy in appointing such men as elders of the church.


Mimeographed Tract Received....

From some anonymous sender, saying "STANDING REWARD OF TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS for anyone who could show in the Bible that JESUS CHRIST ever 'repealed' the law of HEALING----" etc.

We're a little "short" right now, and we haven't seen the other fellows money either, but we'll put up a good clean ten dollar bill for the man who can prove Jesus Christ ever HAD a "law of healing" in the first place.