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Patternism, Again

            A friend says a “legalistic pattern” of church government “does not exist” in the Bible.  I am trying to figure out what a “legalistic” pattern is, and whether he really believes there is no pattern at all.

            Some churches have Church Mothers in white dresses as the official decision making force in the church.  Some designate one bishop, and grant him decision making power, including deciding who preaches where.

            The Bible describes congregations as overseen by elders, also called bishops, and served by deacons.  They were appointed in each church by apostolic command.

            If a “Legalistic pattern” enshrines abuses, or adds human requirements, I do not advocate one, but it is not necessary to be “legalistic” to recognize there is a pattern of church government in the Bible.

            Is congregational rule by Church Mothers or a Bishop all right, but just something we do not prefer, or is there a pattern it violates?

Preacher Talk, Volume 8, Cecil May, Magnolia Bible College

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