House Church Talk - Questions concerning leadership

David Anderson david at
Tue May 11 16:42:21 EDT 2004

>As Wayne J has written in the past - the problem as laid out in Ezek 34:1
>to bad shepherds isn't more leaders, better leaders, modified and
>improved leaders... It is God coming and becoming our Leader... Just as
>He has promised...  verse 11....

   Hi Jim, just one state over,

The fact that Wayne Jacobsen has had to appeal to one of the most cryptic 
portions in Scripture, the prophecies of Ezekiel, to support the "Just 
Jesus" theory of leadership should command our attention.

The shepherds of which Ezekiel prophesied are not necessarily the 
counterparts of the shepherds of the NT church. Israel, of course, was a 
church/state theocracy. They had kings, judges, priests, Levites, 
community elders, which all were the shepherds referred to in Ezekiel 34.

[ John Gill writes: Ver. 2. Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of 
Israel or "concerning" them; the governors of them, as the Targum and 
Jarchi; their political governors, their kings, princes, and civil 
magistrates of every order and degree; so Kimchi interprets it of kings; 
and it was common with the eastern nations, and with the Greeks, to call 
kings shepherds; and one and the same word; in the Greek language, 
signifies to feed sheep, and to govern people; see Ps 78:72, Isa 44:28, 
also their ecclesiastical governors are intended, prophets, priests, 
Levites, scribes, and Pharisees; these were bad shepherds, or they would 
not have been prophesied against; and though they were shepherds of 
Israel, this must be done:]

Here are, imho, a couple of anomalies: 1) God is removing/replacing evil 
shepherds - nothing is said of the other shepherds. So, this prophecy 
doesn't remove all shepherds or the shepherding concept, just those 
shepherds who were corrupt.

2) And just a few verses further along in the same passage is this 
unusual addition, seldom mentioned by the 'Just Jesus" advocates. I say 
'unusual' because the prophet seems to be in several times zones at once, 
making predictions of the future as well as indicting some in the present.

Ezk 34: 22-24 Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a 
prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle. And I will set up one 
shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my SERVANT DAVID; HE 
their God, and my servant DAVID, A PRINCE AMONG THEM; I the LORD have 
spoken it. ('DAVID A,' did you see that? Little 'ole me right there in 
the Bible ;-)

OK, back to work.... If it's only Jesus who is the pastor, why this 
immediate emphasis on David? I'm not certain. But it doesn't seem to help 
the Jesus only position. Yes, I am aware that he was the son of David, so 
to speak.

In the New Testament, we have the Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ, 
co-existing with the under-shepherds whom He appoints to responsibilities 
not offices. I believe these persons are the elders of the church. 
Unfortunately, the church doesn't exactly agree upon whom the elders are. 
The church might take a clue from the word, itself. Pronounce it slowly 
and notice which parties it is contrasted with. (Answer: Either younger 
men or older women, naturally.)

1 Pet. 5:1,2,4 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an 
elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of 
the glory that shall be revealed: FEED THE FLOCK (i.e. shepherd the 
flock) of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by 
constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; And 
when the -- CHIEF SHEPHERD -- shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of 
glory that fadeth not away.   Likewise, ye ??????

"Likewise" is one of the key words to consider in unraveling this 
perplexing leadership mystery. So, do I imply that only older ones should 
shepherd their brothers and sisters in the Lord? Only if you think in 
terms of man-made boxes. Surely, the young Timothy sought to feed the 
flock. Surely, having the elders pray for you would not mean that others 
couldn't pray yet elders are enjoined to pray for the sick. See James 5. 
Shepherding is what they should be especially involved in.

Jim, I am in complete agreement with your other remarks concerning the 
church's inordinate dependency upon clergy. God knows.

Blessings to thy house, brother.

     David Anderson

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