May Christians Challenge Their Elders?

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The idea that a pastor or elder is unchallengeable flies in the face of the Lordship of Christ alone. Of course we may be challenged.

I think Pastor Reuther handles the question very well. If we are to be leading by example, shouldn't we be the first to be open to 'challenge'. It's of course very helpful when the challenge comes with the requisite tact and humility. And I do think 'dialogue' is a better term. I welcome nothing more than serious engaging conversations about my teaching and my actions -- I need to be sharpened, too, and I'm encouraged to know that my ministry is significant to their thought and life. Like everyone else, I can get my hackles up -- but it's usually a problem on my end when that happens (e.g., I realize deep down that I'm wrong but am slow to admit it). And if I don't happen to be in the wrong, I would much prefer the opportunity to persuade a dissenter than to have dissent just fermenting in the background.

Now if by challenge, something more is meant, such as accusation, then it should be brought by two or more, per 1 Tim. 5:19.

Thanks for the post.
Colossians 4:17, "And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it."

One of the things I appreciate about Presbyterianism is that there is an effort to not vest complete decision authority in one man, it is spread out among a session.

Not only is power somewhat decentralized, but there are many mechanisms for appeal. And good faith appealing, both formal and informal, is very Presbyterian.
May Christians challenge their pastors? In the article below, Pastor John Reuther attempts to offer an answer to this question. The article is not intended to be exhaustive but suggestive.

May Christians Challenge Their Elders?

It is your duty as a member of the church to challenge your elders if they are not in accordance with scripture. The Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth. The truth is recorded in scripture and is there to keep us on the right track and we as the church are to protect it and uphold it. If a pastor is moving away we must make him accountable to the word of God. That's one reason for the fall of the RCC. Their leaders are untouchable by the laity. For awhile bibles were untouchable by the laity because the leaders of the RCC thought they couldn't be understood. So, they have fallen into error after error. We as christians are Christ's sheep and his sheep hear his voice, we are blessed to have the scritptures and we must demand that any would be pastor follow the word of God or find a new line of work.
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The writer is a Reformed Baptist.

:) That's not my fault! :lol:

It is much more difficult outside of presbyterian polity, but it is duty for all to be subject to one another in love. That Eph 5:21 starts much of what is submission within the body is telling ... even those in authority are told to be subject in the fear of Christ. So if someone under authority comes to the one in authority and corrects them, the correction should be accepted with the grace of one who has been forgiven much.
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