Thursday, May 26, 2011

Laodicea - Canon 12

Bishops are to be appointed to the ecclesiastical government by the judgment of the metropolitans and neighboring bishops, after having been long proved both in the foundation of their faith and in the conversation of an honest life.

Canon 4 of Nicaea also addressed the participants ordaining an overseer.  Here the additional statements concerning character are an application of Paul's words to Timothy that such men must be above reproach (1 Tim 3:2) and to be well thought of by outsiders (1 Tim 3:7).

While the church is in but not of the world, they are, both individually and corporately, to maintain a reputation that befits the one they bear—that of Jesus Christ.  Christians are ambassadors for Christ with the message of the gospel.  How we conduct ourselves demonstrates the relative importance we place on the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross relative to our sin and the resurrection signifying the Father's acceptance.  We show what we think of commands and precepts found in Scripture and who gave them.  Our walk signifies whether or not we are serious about being a disciple in all that entails.

Nothing is to bring shame to God's name (Exod 20:7; cf. 1 Pet 1:14-16).  When so-called Christians bring notoriety to themselves by outlandish claims or actions, the Lord is not honored.  Those like Harold Camping and Fred Phelps gain media exposure for their causes but in the end hold up Christ to derision.  Godly leaders are humble servants and will manifest themselves early in their walk with Christ.  Such are those who should tend the flocks as those under the Chief Shepherd.

No comments: