x161......The Proof of a deacon
(open your Bible to 1Timothy chapter 3, verses 8-15)
1. Grave---honorable in their deeds, honest
2. Not Doubeltounged----not devious--saying one thing to one person and something else to another
3. not given to much wine,-----
4. not greedy of filthy lucre;----not greedy, not eager to gain money for themselves
5. Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.---they must understand what faith is--that we are saved by faith
6. then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. -----if they meet these requirements they will be able to serve God and not be accused of anything
7. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.---the same exact requirement are made to their mates---that they be honest, not devious, not drunken, and understand faith.
8. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.---They should have one mate (husband or wife) and not have domestic difficulties--if they do, they should take the time away from their home ministry, in order to fix the problems. In other words, the family comes first.
When we honestly consider the requirements to be a "deacon"--when we examine the Biblical "proving" of a deacon, we should ask ourselves some things.
How many people in your church meet these requirements?
Why should not everyone who meets these requirements be considered a "deacon" (minister)?
If a person meets these simple requirements, doesn't this give them the right to be recognized as "ministers"?
*** And let these also first be proved ***
This line is very often taken out of context and use to say that a person must meet the requirements of leadership in the church--whatever they decide they should be. We take these simple requirements, and misinterpret the idea of "proving"--WE MISINTERPRET THIS VERSE TO MEAN THAT IN ORDER TO BE A DEACON YOU NEED "PASTORAL APPROVAL"--PROBLEM--THE WORD PASTOR IS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND IN THESE VERSEs ABOUT MINISTRY AND LEADERSHIP--SINCE "PASTOR" IS AN ANOINTING--A GIFT OF CHRIST--PASTOR IS A MINISTRY--NOT A TITLE OF LEADERSHIP!! THE PASTORAL ANOINTING IS FOR THE USE OF THE DIAKONOS (DEACONS)....
" And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry (diakonos), for the edifying of the body of Christ:"(Ephesians 4:11-12, KJV).
According to the Bible, the pastoral anointing is a "deacon ministry"--it
is a function which any Christian (who can meet the above requirements)
can and should be able and allowed to operate in.
MINISTRY HAS BECOME POLITICIZED BY TRADITION.
From the tradition of the Roman empire--to the Catholic popes and hierarchy---on to the time after the reformation when the kings of Europe utilized the church for political control--to control and rule people, and used the Bible to attempt to establish their own rule over others. This is a very firm tradition within the church---that ministry is ruler ship--God-given ruler ship--but these ideas are simply not in the Bible.
In the Bible, ministry is always "service"--and specifically NOT rulership. The word "diakonos" (which means "servant") was translated hundreds of years ago as --minister---servant---deacon--as well as the word "office". It was translated to fit the experience of the translators--in order to give the idea that minstry was a special "office" of rulership. If we would look purely at the Greek--and translated this word consistently, we would see the Bible gives a consistent picture of ALL ministry as servanthood.
The "office" of deacon is not a political contrivance (how often even today are the deacons of the church given this "title" because of some political reason-- they have been in the church for a long time--they are the biggest tithers--the leadership is attempting to keep them in the church, so they are placated by being given a title.)
What we are reading here are the simple requirements given in the Bible in order for someone to serve God--to be a minister--a "deacon" (diakonos). They are really quite simple (the fact that the wives or mates of the deacons are required to meet the very same requirements should tell us how general and simple they are!)
IN order to serve God one must be ---honest--not drunken---not greedy---and they must understand faith. These are truly simple requirements--and they agree completely with the Bible fact that ministry is "a gift which is given unto every one of us"