by Dick Ward
Did You Know the Bible gives SPECIFIC qualifications for those calling themselves "elders" or "deacons"? Various denominations borrow Bible terms but ignore scriptural qualifications. For example, the Mormons send out well groomed young men who wear black name tags with white lettering identifying themselves as "elder" So-and-So. Also, at the age of 12, a Mormon boy can be admitted into the "priesthood of Aaron" as a "deacon". Well, what specific scriptural qualifications show Mormons misuse these Bible terms?
A 12 YEAR OLD DEACON?
God's Word completely furnishes us (2 Timothy 3:16, 17) with the qualifications of deacons (I Timothy 3). Can a 12 year old boy qualify to be a deacon? "Let the deacons be the HUSBANDS of one wife. . ." (I Timothy 3:12). How many 12 year old boys do you know who are married? Well, to appoint a boy or man to be a deacon who is NOT MARRIED is to violate a specific qualification from God. Again, "...ruling their CHILDREN and their OWN houses well." (I Timothy 3:12). How many 12 year old boys do you know who not only are married but who have CHILDREN and have their own HOUSES and are ruling well? Borrowing Bible terms and defacing their true meaning is obviously against God and His Will.
WHAT ABOUT "YOUNG" ELDERS?
The basic meaning of the word "elder" suggests age. To call young men (usually between 19 and 25) "elders" is, on the surface, strained. More important, to compare Bible-elders with Mormon-elders is even more important. First, all the Mormon elders I have ever met were single while the Bible elders must be married men (Titus 1:6 see :5). In the American Standard Version we see the following, "...the husband of one wife, having children that believe." (Titus 1:6). So, elders who meet scriptural qualifications are married men with children who are old enough to be "believers"! Again, we see the borrowing of Bible terms but ignoring proper and scriptural qualifications.
Friends, it would be great if religious folks would get back to calling Bible things by Bible names and doing Bible things in Bible ways! "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." (James 4:17) -- Dick Ward
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Thanks to Dick Ward for the article! He can be reached at 18 El Dorado East, Tuscaloosa, AL 35405; (205) 556-2407).
Email the Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org
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