Question:

Hello,

I'm a member of the church of Christ. I just read the article "Majority vs Elder Rule". Our congregation is currently going through something that. I, myself, personally have never experienced. We have elders who are not really being the leaders they should be, and in this case with the majority of the congregation they have hired a minister who has a reputation of splitting a congregation before and much more that I can't get into. Our elders will not meet with the congregation as a whole. They will only meet one on one. Our brethren have met with them, people have met with them one-on-one, and the congregation is not being heard. What do you do when an elder takes his title and misuses it, basically try to run over God with that title? Is there a way to have elders step down when they are splitting the congregation up?

Thank you.


Answer:

"Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear" (I Timothy 5:19-20).

You need to document exactly what the elder (or elders) have done wrong. It cannot be your opinion or preference, but things that are in violation of God's Word. If talking individually does not resolve the problem, then you need to go as a small group. "But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established'" (Matthew 18:16). The purpose is then two fold, to document in the presences of witnesses that the problem really does exist and to try to resolve the problem. If this also fails, then the group can call for a meeting of the whole church. "And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector" (Matthew 18:17).

The problem you may run into is that since most of the congregation disagrees with you (from what you said), it is likely that the congregation as a whole is not going insist that the elder or elders act differently. If that is the case, you may have to consider working with another congregation or starting a new one. Such is a serious step, and it is why I urge you to be sure that this is truly a doctrinal problem and not a personal problem of opinion or preference. There is no requirement that an eldership has to please everyone. Their duty is to see that the congregation stays faithful to God.