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Page 300

Why would viewing the church's power as coming from the people, rather than from God, be a dangerous error?

Approximately once a month a consistory meeting is held. Public announcement is given in order to inform all church members of the meeting. In this way, any member with a church concern, difficulty, or other matter is invited to share this with the consistory, providing Matthew 18 has been followed in matters pertaining to individuals. Anyone bringing a matter to a congregational meeting which has not first been brought to a consistory meeting to be resolved at that level, is not following the Matthew 18 Principle. More people are exposed to difficulties or problems than is necessary to resolve them, which increases the potential for discord rather than unity and peace in the body of Christ. This does not mean that the consistory cannot seek input from the church membership through committee appointment or congregational meeting discussion regarding matters of a more material or operational nature. Democratic elements are desirable when appropriate. The direction and provision for this, however, should still come from the King through His appointed rulers - the consistory. The basic principle of operation must remain autocratic.

This autocratic (kingly) rather than democratic form of church government, however, does not permit those who are appointed by God to be "kings." There is one, and only one, King of His church. Officebearers are appointed to serve the King for the good of His church. They may not think their own thoughts or do their own wills. They must speak and act according to God's will as revealed in Scripture. Therefore, as the form of ordination states, they "are in duty bound diligently to search the Word of God, and continually to be meditating on the mysteries of faith." Only in this way will they be thinking the thoughts, speaking the words, and living the life of Scripture. No one, neither member nor officebearer, has a right to self-rule, either demanding or commanding, in the church of Christ; there is only one Sovereign. Both members and officebearers must "bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (II Corinthians 10:5b).

The more that the governing Kingship of Christ is understood and practiced in the church, according to our Reformed/ Presbyterian form of government, the greater the difference we would see and feel between a humanly founded and governed society and the divinely founded and governed church of Christ.

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