Representative Government?


We have an elder in our church who has stated that he "represents" a certain number of people that he feels are neglected, although they are long time members, some with a lot of influence. I thought that our form of church government was not to be representative. Any thoughts?

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I think he means that his opinions represents or reflects those people's views.  

I agree with the interpetation of JZ. However, to continue with this middle ages notion that Elders rule over the congregation is totally undemocratic and a big turnoff. Elders are there to address the spitiual needs of the congregation and should be trained in this area. . An elected board should run the church as representatives of the membership. The deacons should become an appointed  group who are dedicated to social action and no governance.role  Its time to bring our church governance into 21st century  and compliy with internationally accepted democratic and human rights principles.

The elders are elected, not just once, but over and over again.   Hard to get more democratic than that.  But they have a ruling and specific leadership function which goes to a much earlier time than the middle ages.   They answer to God before they answer to the "membership".   But God uses the membership to authenticate or validate their leadership as well.  

If the democratic and human rights principles that the world has adopted is in agreement with scripture, and with God's desire and will, then well and good.   If those human rights principles are in disagreement, then not so good for those "principles".   In any case, within the operation of the church, which is the body of Christ, the idea of "international acceptance" is not a good parameter for how the church should operate.   Imagine for example if international principles said that no organization could discriminate on the basis of religion;  hmmm, do "international principles" say that?   So a hindu or buddhist could be a board member for a christian church?  ......?   Or a die-hard hutterite could be a board member for a roman catholic mission?  ....? 


The Church is not a democracy.

A democracy is a government run by the people, over which those people have authority.

Jesus is the only King of the Church. He appoints leaders to rule on His behalf (Eph 4), and they are responsible to Him for what they do. Neither elders nor deacons represent the people to the council; they represent Jesus to the congregation and the world. The appointment (or 'calling') is discerned by both individual and believing community; that's what the election of office bearers is for.

Well, that's how it's supposed to work. Too often our humanity usurps God's authority and the Church becomes just another human institution. We have enough of those.