by: David Hethorn
Today there is a prevalence among Baptist churches to institute a plurality of Elders or Elder Rule. This is the Presbyterian form of government and has never been the practice of Baptist churches. Why would a Baptist want to be Protestant or “Reformed” in the government of their churches? I thought, as Baptist we would hold to the Biblical principles of our Faith. We ought not to be fooled by the Protestant’s. Just because some member(s) thinks it would be a great idea doesn’t make it so. Here is how the 1st and 2nd century churches practiced church government. “A bishop, during the first and second centuries, was a person who had the care of one Christian assembly, which, at that time, was, generally speaking, small enough to be contained in a private house. In this assembly, he acted not so much with the authority of a master, as with the zeal and diligence of a faithful servant. The churches also, in those early times, were entirely independent; none of them subject to any foreign (another church or bishop, DRH) jurisdiction, but each one governed by its own rulers and its own laws. Nothing was more evident that the perfect equality that reigned among the primitive churches; nor does there ever appear, in the fist century, the smallest trace of that association or provincial churches, from which councils and metropolitans derived their origin.” [The History of the Christian Church, William Jones, pg.286-278.