"Once a man's children grow up, he is no longer qualified to be an elder."


I should have known before I started reading "The Elder and His Children" that in the end, you, as most other preachers and teachers do, say that an elder does not have to have children at home and rule them well.  I believe this to be false teaching, for how will anyone know children are being ruled well if within communications, observances, and other ways members may see the children “exposed” before the world are not visible?  When a child is grown and moves away (or even lives with the parent) they are no longer in the parent’s household.

Having been a Christian for a lifetime (I’m a senior) and having studied my Bible almost on a daily basis, I know I have the truth.  It seems that churches look at a man and his wife for how many times they do good works, and forget the Scriptures.  Please study this again, and I will be happy to defend my position.


I've always been amazed at the attacks made on the eldership. There are forces in play which watered-down the requirements so that weak men end up trying to shepherd the church and there are others who try to make the qualifications of elders impossible to obtain. Either way, Satan destroys the church. I suspect that people get so used to churches operating without elders that they assume that elders are optional.

"A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil" (I Timothy 3:3-7).

Your argument is based on typical English definitions of the words being used. But even in English, your argument is clearly artificial. My parents have five children. The fact that I am in my fifties does not change the fact that I am a child of my parents. In Greek, the word teknon works in a similar fashion. It means a child, descendant, or posterity. As an example, "But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God" (I Timothy 5:4), does not mean that only teenagers are to support their widowed mother which then ends once they reach adulthood. Paul is quite clear that a child is always responsible for his parents well-being. "If any believing man or woman has widows, let them relieve them, and do not let the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows" (I Timothy 5:16). It is the same context, but its wording makes it clear that we are talking about adult descendants. By your definition, the verse: "They answered and said to Him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham" (John 8:39), would be nonsensical. How could Jesus call these adults Abraham's children when Abraham had been dead for thousands of years?

Similar "house" in English can refer to a residence, but it can be used in a broader sense, such as "the house of Israel." The Greek word oikos means a house, a dwelling, a home, a habitation, a household, or a family. It can be used to refer to:

  • a building (Luke 1:40)
  • one's home (Luke 1:23)
  • a large building, or palace (Matthew 11:8)
  • the temple (Luke 19:46)
  • a city (Matthew 13:35)
  • An extended family's property (Acts 7:10)
  • An extended family (Acts 16:31)
  • A tribe or nation (Acts 7:42)
  • A community (I Timothy 3:15)

For example, it was Noah's house that was saved (Hebrews 11:7), yet Noah's sons were grown men, married and their wives were saved along with Noah and his wife.