Divine Right of Church Government

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Scott

Puritan Board Graduate
There are different schools of thought on whether the church government described in the NT is binding on us today in its details. Some (eg. presbyterians and some independents, although in very different ways) maintain that church government modeled in the NT is of divine right and the only acceptable form. Others (eg. Catholics, modern evangelicals, Anglicans, Orthodox, etc.) say that God granted the church the discretion to create new offices as needed. In other words, God delegated this authority to the church.

For those who affirm the divine right theory, how would you respond to an argument for discretionary power in church government based on the following precedent:

[1] Moses' creation of new offices in the polity of Israel on the advice of Jethro. Moses did not seek God's approval and his structure presupposed that God granted Moses the discretion to create new forms.

[2] The apostles' creation of the diaconate in Acts 6. Of course the apostles were unique, but they do not appeal to their supernatural authority. They appeal to the expedient nature of the office (frees up their time). This sounds like Moses and Jethro.

Scott
 
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