Thursday, 7 August 2014
Highlights from Models of Accountability
Yesterday we gave a summary of Dan Juster's classic article, "Models of Accountability". Here are some highlights from the article:
1. Government, Authority and Justice in the Old Covenant Scriptures
The Torah given to Moses divides up the function of prophet, priest and king. These offices are not fully again united until Yeshua, the prophet like Moses. The Torah model produces three flows of mutually related, separated, and accountable authority.
The Tanakh makes it clear that all who function in authority are accountable to the Torah. No man is above the law ... God's law frees men from the tyranny of man if they are willing to be freed. Hence, in a study of Torah it is valid to conclude that no one in society is beyond the arm of justice.
2. Authority and Congregational Government in the New Testament
... the Messiah speaks in the strongest terms against those who would exercise overlordship and calls such styles "Gentile" leadership! This does not mean that the New Testament does not provide human leadership and authority in God, but it does mean that the leadership is different in character from the world. The cross is the path to authority. We are called to take up our cross of self denial and loving service; to follow Him. As part of this we are to eschew honorific titles such as father, rabbi, and teacher. There should not be a clergy-laity distinction among Gods people. The leaders of Gods people are humble servant leaders who are empowered by the manifest presence of the Spirit; they may have functions after their names but not titles before their names.
It is significant that no epistle addresses any individual as the head of the spiritual community. It is always addressed to the church, to the plurality of leaders, or to the elders among you (l Peter 5). Derek Prince had compiled the statistics on this and found over twenty references to a plurality of community leaders. This is an extraordinary fact.
3. Models of Leadership
It should be stated that governmental authority in the body extends to the setting of congregational direction, to discipline and correct according to the Word, and to counsel and exhort. It does not extend to hearing Gods will for another person. Everyone must himself confirm counsel and direction in his own heart. Within the boundaries of the Word of God, we need to recognize that each individual has the Holy Spirit and is shepherded by Him directly and is ultimately accountable to Yeshua through the Holy Spirit.
I believe apostolic authority works best by covenant relationship,
respect, and persuasion rather than by final legal authority.
4. Unity in a World of Differing Models
The call of Scripture for the unity of the whole body is a heart cry of the Word of God (John 17).
Financial integrity is very important to accountability. Every individual is a steward of his funds.
These are only snippets from the article, so do go over to the Tikkun America Resources page to read it through for yourself - and don't forget to come back and let us know what you thought of it!