October 1, 1987 Issue

Ronny F. Wade


Question: In a congregation that does not have elders, is it scriptural to vote in our business meetings? If it is, on what matters can we vote, and should all male members be allowed a vote regardless of age or maturity in the faith?

Answer: This question and its implications has far reaching consequences. The Church of Christ is not a democracy. Never has been, never will be. Christ is head Eph 5:23 and has supreme authority Mt 28:18-20. Matters of right and wrong; truth and error cannot rightfully be voted on. It doesn't matter how many vote for error, that wont make it right. In a church without Elders, there surely must be a better way of settling matters than voting. A consensus should be sought and reached. There are, obviously, inconsequential matters such as what color to paint the building which may allow for difference of opinion resulting in some kind of decision being reached by show of preference etc. Even in these situations brethren should seek to reach complete agreement. Members new to the faith should not have the responsibility of making major decisions for the church. I personally have seen young men who were baptized on Saturday attend a business meeting on Sunday and vote with as much authority as a brother who had been in the church for thirty years. Such is not only a travesty of scripturalness, but sound reasoning as well. All such problems arising from voting, unscriptural use of power etc. should show us the necessity of developing Elders and implementing scriptural church organization instead of drifting along year after year satisfied with the status-quo. One additional thought: when the majority fails to rule where voting takes place, the minority does. Surely we can see the problems created by such a system.

Question: What should happen when a brother continually retards the growth and progress of the church by refusing to go along with those who desire to work and move forward?

Answer: I personally believe, after trying to convince and work with such a brother, in the spirit of love and caring, if he refuses to cooperate, then the rest of the brethren must override him and move forward.

Question: When did Paul receive the Holy Ghost, when he was baptized?

Answer: Acts 9:17 "The Lord, even Jesus, who appeared to thee on the way, has sent me that thou mightest receive thy sight and be filled with the Holy spirit."

Some have argued that Paul received the baptism of the Holy Ghost when he was baptized, because of this statement. I do not believe that conclusion is justified. Since Philip could not impart the Holy Spirit to the Samaritans, I see no reason to assume Ananias could. The statement made by Ananias was one of simple futurity, a statement of fact, not of time. Being an apostle of Christ, Saul was later baptized in the Holy Spirit. The exact time when this happened, however, is not on record. The thing he had to do to be saved was "arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins" Acts 22:16. Water baptism forgave his sins, but did not impart the miraculous powers of the Spirit. Holy Spirit baptism was from God, not man. It was received direct from heaven and not by the impartation of hands. As an apostle, Paul was not a "whit behind them all" so he did receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we just do not know where or when, because inspiration did not reveal it.

Other Related OPA Article Links

Holy Spirit
Business Meetings 
Querist Column

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