“Deaconized” Pastors; Amish Lessons; Prophets Among Us and More

Weekend Links (August 14, 2011)

Last week’s collection of links drew a lot of interest. I hope this week is as helpful. As always, I post the links, I don’t necessarily endorse all of them. But all of them are thought-provoking.

Growing as a Leader

What are the Biblical Responsibilities of Deacons (9Marks)
Standing with Persecuted Christians (NewsReal Blog)
The “Deaconized Pastor” (Terry Ivy)
Comparing the National Debt to a Family Budget (Dave Ramsey)

Engaging with Culture

Book Review: Thinking about God (Greg Ganssle)
The Liberal Silence of Ideas (John C. Goodman)
Learning from the Amish (USA Today)
Why Our Politicians are Lying About the Budget (NPR)
Obamacare Infringement on Personal Liberty (Star Parker)
Ignorance, Stupidity or Connivance? (Walter Williams)
Debt Panel Patty and Democratic Foolishness (Michele Malkin)
Tribute to Mark Hatfield (Cal Thomas)

Growing in Doctrine and Grace 

Faith, Works and Justification (Justin Taylor)
Transformed Life: How Glorious to Be His (Tim Burt)
Are There Prophets Among Us? (J.D. Greear)
Sound Reasoning on Same Sex Marriage (Stand to Reason)

Just for Fun (and a bit of insight)

Random Thoughts on Everything (Thomas Sowell)

4 thoughts on ““Deaconized” Pastors; Amish Lessons; Prophets Among Us and More

  1. Marty,

    Interesting to see the links on Deacons since I’m just in the process of teaching a class on DIAKONIA (I finish part 2 on Sunday). So of course I read them right away. I must say I was disappointed in both articles because they seem to advocate a form of “deacon” that does injustice to the original Greek. John Collins has done considerable research in correcting the traditional “servant-not-leader” understanding of diakon- words. While Collins advocates a rather extreme version of the two a number of verses have recently jumped out at me:

    1. References where Paul refers to himself using diakon- words — surprising since he is one of the key leaders of the early Christian movement:

    -2Co 3:5 Who is Apollos? Who is Paul? They are servants who helped you come to faith. Each did what the Lord gave him to do.
    -2Co 3:6 He has also qualified us to be ministers of a new promise, a spiritual promise, not a written one.
    -2Co 6:4 Instead, our lives demonstrate that we are God’s servants. We have endured many things: suffering, distress, anxiety,

    2. In Acts 6, the famous “first deacons” passage, it is interesting to note that diakon- words are used by the 12 to describe the problem that needed resolving AND the work the 12 themselves were doing.

    Just a couple of quotes (sorry this comment is so long):

    Alison McRae, in her dissertation entitled “De-Centred Ministry: A Diaconal View of Mission and Church”, says on p 44, “In respect to what he calls the ‘servant myth’ [Anthony] Gooley argues that in the context of Acts 6:1-7 Luke does not use the title diakonos to describe any activity of charitable service in relation to the Seven. Rather, he suggests that ‘proclaiming the word, leading communities, representing communities & taking messages between communities & other forms of ministry are associated with those who are called diakonos in the New Testament’.”

    The Church of England document “For Such A Time As This” puts it is understanding of Diakonal ministry in a great way:

    “A renewed … diaconate, operating as a catalyst for Christian discipleship, in the mission space between worship & the world, can help the church to become more incarnational. In worship the church gathers to receive & to celebrate its identity, to be renewed in the Spirit, & to be sent forth in the name of Christ & in the power of the same Spirit to bring God’s reconciling, healing grace to a world full of brokenness.”

    Finally, Benjamin Hartley says, “the term emissary is gaining recognition as a complementary interpretation of the traditional “servant” designation for diakonos & related terms.”




    1. Mike,
      Thanks for your thoughts, but I must say, as the author of one of the posts you took issue with, you missed the intent and the application of my article. I was not discussing the disposition and character of a servant, which should be present and cultivated in every christian, especially those overseeing (bishops/elders), those pursuing training or functioning in a ministry gift (5-fold), and those in the office of deacon. The thrust of my article was concerning the duties and limitations (and abuses) of those called and chosen to serve in the recognized office of deacon to a local body. And, though ‘office’ is not present in the original greek, the passage about the qualifications of a deacon (1Tim.3) is certainly predicated upon the understanding of a recognized office.

      My article, “The Deaconized Pastor,” focussed upon the abuse which occurs in many churches which operate with a democratic form of church polity. I have ministered to many wounded Pastors who have felt the pain of abuse from men in the ‘office of deacon’ who wrongly assumed they were the board ‘over’ the overseers! The history and fault in this thinking goes back to the pilgrims…but that’s another issue.

      The concerns you expressed are over the character of being a ‘servant’ in all capacities. Mine was not. Mine was about the ‘office of deacon.’ Therefore, your criticism fit the classical ‘apples and oranges’ category. In short, you painted with a broad painter’s brush (character), while I was using a very narrow one! (office) Hope this helps…

      In Christ,


  2. Terry,

    Thanks for your reply to my post. I perhaps should have written this on your site but I was really responding in general to Marty’s list.

    I do see what you are saying and I do agree for the most part. (In fact it was in the back of my mind when I was writing.)

    I guess for me the issue is not so much “character” vs “office” in as much as it is the fact that we have misused and misunderstood the word “deacon” to such a way that it no longer resembles the biblical meaning. To build on your analogy, it’s like the original plan was for the church to have apples but someone replaced them with oranges. Thus we run into the problems you talk about in your post. I myself have faced those issues and work with many others who face them on a day-to-day basis. It seems to me that there is often a power-struggle between two opposing forces — the Pastor and the Board that is nothing like what the Bible describes as the model.

    A return to a more biblical understanding of office, based upon not only the traditional “office of deacon” passages, but also upon the other passages that refer to what you call “character” is essential to resolving the issues raised in your post.



    P.S. I will cross-post this comment on your blog as well out of respect to you 🙂


    1. Mike,
      I certainly agree that the heart of being a ‘servant’ should be the foundation of everyone and the motive of everything. (The Greatest is servant of all.) Thanks for sharing. I would have one addendum to your comment above. The “power struggle” you mentioned, at it’s core, is more than just a lack of having a servant’s heart. It is prompted by the unscriptural position (ruling, overseer) most Deacons are placed into. When men called into Ministry of the Word (Elders/Pastors) are ‘under’ men who do not carry those gifts and burdens (Deacons), the formula for disaster exists. Unfortunately, the history and damaged testimony of American churches bear this out very clear. So, both ‘character’ and ‘due order’ are necessary to eradicate the “power struggle!” Again, thanks… Terry


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