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    • By 1Timothy115 in Devotionals
         11
      Psalms 119:1-8                                         Sep. 5 - Oct. 2, 2019
      1 ALEPH. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
      2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
      3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
      4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
      7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
      8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
      The following verse stood out to me...
      5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
      At first glance it seemed to me this person’s soul is poured out with intense desire to have God’s direction in keeping His Word.
      I made a small wood fire in our backyard for my granddaughter, Julia, since she would be staying overnight with us. My wife and Julia stayed outside at the fire for about half an hour. Then, I found myself alone to watch the fire die out on a particularly lovely evening. So I took my verse from above and began to repeat it for memorization. As I repeated the verse, I tried to contemplate the words and apply them to what I was seeing around me. 
      The moon and stars were out now peering through the scattered clouds above.
      [Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. Genesis 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, Genesis 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.]
      Thought 1         
      The moon has stayed his course since the day God created him, also the stars, obeying the statutes directed by God from the first day they were created. Can you imagine God’s direction to the Moon and stars, “moon you will have a path through the sky above the earth, stars you will occupy the firmament above the moon and be clearly visible in the cloudless night sky.”
      Then, the trees, grass, even the air we breathe obey the statues God gave them from the beginning. None of these creations have souls, none have hearts, none have intelligence, but they all observe God’s statutes, His instructions for their limited time on earth.
      Thought 2
      What if we were like the moon, stars, trees, grass, or the other creations which have no soul? We would be directed to keep God’s statutes without choosing to keep them. This is not the image of God, there would be no dominion over other creatures, or over the earth. We would not be capable of experiencing the joy and peace of learning the love of God
      Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
      Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
      Thought 3 (October 2, 2019)
      Is the psalmist pleading God to force God’s statutes to become the man’s ways? No, he is speaking of his own failure in keeping God’s statutes and his desire to keep them, very much like Paul in Romans 7:14-25.
      God doesn’t work through force to turn men from their ways that they would desire His statutes or desire God Himself. Men must reject (repent) put aside his own ways and voluntarily seek God and His statutes.

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Can someone please explain to me, a Baptist Church has a pastor, he has a assistant pastor, deacons, and the committee, chosen members. When this group gathers together to make a decision for the church to present it to the members. Why is it that they, the leaders are making the decisions, before presenting it to the members of the church. Presenting it to the members for the first time and asking for a vote on the issue, when the decision is already made from up Top.

it’s like me asking everyone what kind of pizza would they like to eat, everybody put their input, but at the end I said, thank you I already ordered pepperoni pizzas. Why ask for a vote in the first place. I see this happening in many churches. They are fooling the members, making them feel like they are part of the decision making, but they are really not. Sad. 😞

GIF by funk

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I'm not familiar with the example you provided. I've never seen the church staff ask for members to vote without first opening it up for discussion. I've even seen the "decision" be changed or altered many times after the church discuses the issue. 

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I have to say @E Morales, I think you're misunderstanding what is happening. I've never heard of a Baptist church doing this, and I KNOW that none of them I've been a part of have. The pastor usually brings things before the deacons and certain others in the church to see if it can be presented to the body as a recommendation. As PastorMatt has stated, then there is usually a time of discussion and recommendations, then a vote on the matter. The discussion period is crucial. The pastor isn't authorized to make the decision on his own, or with the blessings of the deacons and certain members of the church. It simply doesn't work that way.

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Any church business should be presented to the whole congregation before any business meeting concerning it is conducted. It is not fair or ethical for only a few, even if they are staff, to know about and deliberate on things before introducing them to the congregation.

In this scenario the few get plenty of time to talk things over, examine them, take and make suggestions and such. Then it is presented to the congregation, to whom this is all brand new and they have no time to even think about it before having to discuss and vote.

I am talking about important church business, not something as simple as who is going to bring what to a pot luck. For important church business time should be provided for people to think, discuss, and research any important business.

To me, this can be one o the main problems with having things like Deacons and committees and extra staff. Even thought some of these may be needed in a large church, they should not be allowed to "run the show".

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4 hours ago, BrotherTony said:

I have to say @E Morales, I think you're misunderstanding what is happening. I've never heard of a Baptist church doing this, and I KNOW that none of them I've been a part of have. The pastor usually brings things before the deacons and certain others in the church to see if it can be presented to the body as a recommendation. As PastorMatt has stated, then there is usually a time of discussion and recommendations, then a vote on the matter. The discussion period is crucial. The pastor isn't authorized to make the decision on his own, or with the blessings of the deacons and certain members of the church. It simply doesn't work that way.

Everyone that’s in the ministry knows the proper ways and the bylaws, but they seem to twist it to their advantage. Let me say that they are not stealing or doing anything wrong. But by not letting the members not participate. There are those that will read this post and not openly say that they are doing this, because it’s wrong. Hopefully they will follow the bylaws if they are being watched. If the membership start going down, this could be the reason why.

Edited by E Morales
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1 minute ago, E Morales said:

Everyone that’s in the ministry knows the proper ways and the bylaws, but they seem to twist it to their vantage. Let me say that they are not stealing or doing anything wrong. But by not letting the members not participate. There are those that will read this post and not openly say that they are doing this, because it’s wrong. Hopefully they will follow the bylaws if they are being watched. If the membership start going down, this could be the reason why.

I don't believe that is so, @E Morales. You can't lump all preachers in together, just as you cannot lump all Baptist churches in together. If you don't believe these people are doing anything wrong, then why bring this "issue," or what seems to be an issue in your eyes, to the forefront? It seems sort of disingenuous to me. Usually the reason the membership/attendance goes down is because the people have no wish to listen to sound preaching, true doctrine, and pointed talk about sin. Granted, some pastors have become lax in their duty to preach these things. But, I still find the problem usually comes with a church body that is more in love with the world than the Lord.

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1 hour ago, BrotherTony said:

I don't believe that is so, @E Morales. You can't lump all preachers in together, just as you cannot lump all Baptist churches in together. If you don't believe these people are doing anything wrong, then why bring this "issue," or what seems to be an issue in your eyes, to the forefront? It seems sort of disingenuous to me. Usually the reason the membership/attendance goes down is because the people have no wish to listen to sound preaching, true doctrine, and pointed talk about sin. Granted, some pastors have become lax in their duty to preach these things. But, I still find the problem usually comes with a church body that is more in love with the world than the Lord.

I did not say all Baptist churches or all preacher have this problem.

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22 minutes ago, E Morales said:

I did not say all Baptist churches or all preacher have this problem.

The way you have your issue worded, it seems like they're all lumped in together. You DID use the word "Everyone," and then when you go to the next part of your statement you only use the word "they." Gives the impression that you mean exactly what you wrote. I was pretty sure you KNEW already that it wasn't all, but I had to make sure! 😉 No offense was meant, and I hope none was taken. By the defensive posturing in your statement, it seems you did, and I'm sorry for that.

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4 minutes ago, BrotherTony said:

The way you have your issue worded, it seems like they're all lumped in together. You DID use the word "Everyone," and then when you go to the next part of your statement you only use the word "they." Gives the impression that you mean exactly what you wrote. I was pretty sure you KNEW already that it wasn't all, but I had to make sure! 😉 No offense was meant, and I hope none was taken. By the defensive posturing in your statement, it seems you did, and I'm sorry for that.

Thanks, my grammar is not the best. But this problem I have presented can be easily fixed. Let the members of the church participate in all mayor decisions.

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5 minutes ago, E Morales said:

Thanks, my grammar is not the best. But this problem I have presented can be easily fixed. Let the members of the church participate in all mayor decisions.

In most of the churches, if not all of them that I've ever been in, this is what they do with two exceptions, I believe. When we were in the Missionary Baptist movement, there were decisions made by one pastor and the deacons without benefit of the congregations input. Sad day that was.

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This is very common in Baptist churches unfortunately. There is the idea that the Pastor is God's man and therefore makes all the decisions because sheep are so dumb that they can't remember to drink water if you don't take them everyday.

Unfortunately I have seen this far more often than I would like.

The correct way is for the Pastor to present his vision,  let the people pray about it and then move forward. Votes are needed for certain things due to legal requirements 

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50 minutes ago, Pastorj said:

This is very common in Baptist churches unfortunately. There is the idea that the Pastor is God's man and therefore makes all the decisions because sheep are so dumb that they can't remember to drink water if you don't take them everyday.

Unfortunately I have seen this far more often than I would like.

The correct way is for the Pastor to present his vision,  let the people pray about it and then move forward. Votes are needed for certain things due to legal requirements 

I believe sharing the vision first, be humble and share your view. Will do you well, not behind the curtains, favoritisms are not welcome, because you like this brown nose person.

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10 hours ago, Pastorj said:

This is very common in Baptist churches unfortunately. There is the idea that the Pastor is God's man and therefore makes all the decisions because sheep are so dumb that they can't remember to drink water if you don't take them everyday.

Unfortunately I have seen this far more often than I would like.

The correct way is for the Pastor to present his vision,  let the people pray about it and then move forward. Votes are needed for certain things due to legal requirements 

Would you say it is more prevalent down south than up north, or about the same?

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I've never experienced this. I know in one church I was a member of the pastor tried to use a little politics among the members during private conversations to get Mr. Money Bags elected as a new deacon but everything still was brought before the whole congregation for a vote. 

His politicking didn't work.

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18 minutes ago, SureWord said:

I've never experienced this. I know in one church I was a member of the pastor tried to use a little politics among the members during private conversations to get Mr. Money Bags elected as a new deacon but everything still was brought before the whole congregation for a vote. 

His politicking didn't work.

Nice 👍 I remember one time we were going to vote on raising the pastors salary, but during the vote he was sitting there. I ask why is he here listening to this? Then I found out that the decision was already made too.  This is my point, why are we voting.

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12 minutes ago, E Morales said:

Nice 👍 I remember one time we were going to vote on raising the pastors salary, but during the vote he was sitting there. I ask why is he here listening to this? Then I found out that the decision was already made too.  This is my point, why are we voting.

In the churches I've been a member of, it's ALWAYS been UNETHICAL for a pastor to stay when people are voting on something like this. And anytime the pastor was present at the beginning of the business meeting on such an item, he was asked politely to leave...in the many churches my wife and I have been in over the years, we have NEVER experienced a pastor sitting through such a vote. I'm not saying this DIDN'T happen where you were/are attending. It's possible, as all churches are different.

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43 minutes ago, BrotherTony said:

In the churches I've been a member of, it's ALWAYS been UNETHICAL for a pastor to stay when people are voting on something like this. And anytime the pastor was present at the beginning of the business meeting on such an item, he was asked politely to leave...in the many churches my wife and I have been in over the years, we have NEVER experienced a pastor sitting through such a vote. I'm not saying this DIDN'T happen where you were/are attending. It's possible, as all churches are different.

Yes sir, I guess for another topic, I can add all those pastors that knows what members are tithing, but this would be for another subject.

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In our church, we basically know what's going to be on the agenda of any given meeting. My husband meets with the men the week prior to our all-church meeting, to discuss the financial report and any other issues (like taking on missionaries). Then, when it is presented to the church, the men's recommendations are mentioned. Discussion is held, and we vote. Majority takes the vote (only one time do I remember not having a unanimous vote). That is the way our constitution states for us to hold meetings, so that's the way we do it.

The members of our church have given my husband a certain latitude in decision making (certain amount of $ he can spend without the church voting on it, for example). But he is very, very careful to be responsible and transparent about things and not be a bossy-pants.  My husband usually does leave the meeting during discussion of his salary (or gifts that the members have discussed wanting to give him). Three years ago, the members voted to raise his salary every January, but due to covid ravaging our membership (no, nobody has gotten it...but we've lost a good number of folks due to the fear of it), he told the church he would rather not receive a raise this year.  Members discussed it and agreed to not raising his salary - but it was the church's decision. Under his suggestion, yes, but we decided, not him.  Same with the car the church bought him - he went on record that he didn't want the church to do so, and he abstained from the vote. But the church bought it anyway (it's actually the church's car, bought for him to use, so if God moved him on the car would go back to the church)

He does make the decisions as to what happens in the pulpit, what kind of music we sing, etc. Because that is the pastor's job...but, again, his duties and responsibilities are clear in our constitution. 

 

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2 hours ago, HappyChristian said:

In our church, we basically know what's going to be on the agenda of any given meeting. My husband meets with the men the week prior to our all-church meeting, to discuss the financial report and any other issues (like taking on missionaries). Then, when it is presented to the church, the men's recommendations are mentioned. Discussion is held, and we vote. Majority takes the vote (only one time do I remember not having a unanimous vote). That is the way our constitution states for us to hold meetings, so that's the way we do it.

The members of our church have given my husband a certain latitude in decision making (certain amount of $ he can spend without the church voting on it, for example). But he is very, very careful to be responsible and transparent about things and not be a bossy-pants.  My husband usually does leave the meeting during discussion of his salary (or gifts that the members have discussed wanting to give him). Three years ago, the members voted to raise his salary every January, but due to covid ravaging our membership (no, nobody has gotten it...but we've lost a good number of folks due to the fear of it), he told the church he would rather not receive a raise this year.  Members discussed it and agreed to not raising his salary - but it was the church's decision. Under his suggestion, yes, but we decided, not him.  Same with the car the church bought him - he went on record that he didn't want the church to do so, and he abstained from the vote. But the church bought it anyway (it's actually the church's car, bought for him to use, so if God moved him on the car would go back to the church)

He does make the decisions as to what happens in the pulpit, what kind of music we sing, etc. Because that is the pastor's job...but, again, his duties and responsibilities are clear in our constitution. 

 

Thank you for replying and I am happy everything is working well in your church with your husband leading by example. But I personally do not believe that the churches should not be in the pastor or pastors, financially controlled. let me explain, a church should not be paying to the pastors rent, house or light bill, telephone bill, taxes, cell phone, anything that you and I as a normal person would pay as a citizen.  I believe that the church which is the members, should not pay for anything at all, for the Pastor but let me say this also, the pastor is worthy of his wages and should be paid very well for what he does. Not the church paying his personal bills. If the pastor is getting paid well, the church does not need to pay for all the other things and more that I mentioned above.

Gifts are welcome like a car, that you mentioned or a well deserved vacation trip with his family. 
 

I would love my job to pay me minimum wage, and that they would pay all and everything else for me. But this will be breaking the law by not paying Taxes.

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