This is part four of a multi-part series I’m calling Rethinking Religion. If you haven’t read parts one – three, I encourage you to read them before reading this one because they build on one another. Here’s a glimpse of what I’ve written so far:
- Rethinking Religion, Part 1: What is a Pastor?
- Rethinking Religion, Part 2: Pastors, Titles, Authority, Calling
- Rethinking Religion, Part 3: The Clergy/Laity Distinction
- Rethinking Religion Part 4: Community and Accountability (This Post)
- Rethinking Religion, Part 5: Formal Church Membership
- Rethinking Religion, Part 6: Confessing Our Sins
I’ve previously noted that the directive by Ignatius (ca. 110 AD) was firmly in place in most local assemblies by the middle of the 3rd century (250 AD). By that time, Ignatius’ words, “Follow your bishop as Jesus Christ followed the Father… Let no one do anything in the church apart from the bishop… Holy communion is valid when celebrated by the bishop or someone the bishop authorizes” were considered the norm and assumed to be directives originating in scripture. But they are not. Tradition and tradition alone has given us this model. It is nowhere in the New Testament.Continue reading