The confusion regarding deacons, in my opinion, arises when a person assumes an extension of a Bible teaching that is not actually present, that is that it is not confirmed in further writings. While the Gospel's generous offer had been extended to the non-Jewish world, the fact remains, that it was continued to be supported by many other passages of the New Testament's early history, as in Acts. It is a continuing storyline.

There are specific requirements delineated for those who aspire to be an official leader. For the list. please read 1 Timothy 3:1-13. In addition, there are numerous passages revealing that certain lifestyles are unacceptable to God, like 1 Corinthians 6:9-11: "Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."

If such are unacceptable to God, why should it be acceptable to the Christian churches? So, it seems reasonable to conclude that people continuing living in such ways are hardly suitable for positions of leadership-unless they turn from such wrong behaviors, become born again, and unless they grow up from newborns to maturity in Christ. It's called "grace." An illustration is when Jesus showed Himself friendly to an "unclean" Samaritan woman, but it was requisite that she eventual turn from her unclean ways and realize that He was exactly who He says He is.

Finally, it seems there is a very loosely constructed idea of what hearing from the Spirit of God actually is… "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1. "...And the Spirit, who is truth, confirms it with His testimony. So we have these three witnesses—the Spirit, the water, and the blood—and all three agree." 1 John 5:6-8. So, most of all, "Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:1. Read again the list of requirements, 1 Timothy 3:1-13.

Wandering from the Bible passages ais not advisable and a very perilous habit.

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D L Henderson

Born 1950; HS 1968; Born again 1972; Cornell ILR; Steward, Local President/Business Agent; Husband, father, grandfather; winner/loser/everything in between