It was Jesus Christ who said to the Pharisees of his day, “In vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt. 15:9). If the law we follow doesn’t come from Jesus or his apostles, it is wrong. Absolutely wrong! Any perversion from the gospel and doctrine of Christ are for the accursed (Gal. 1:6-9).
It was the apostles who called for elders in every church, qualified by the word, spoken by the Holy Spirit (1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9). We should gladly live under the oversight of such chosen men (Heb. 13:1’7). But even elders can go astray, and some did go astray “to draw away disciples after them.” For three years Paul warned the elders at Ephesus against this very thing (Acts 20:28-31). This warning went unheeded.
Such elders feel their importance, and become as “LORDS OVER GOD’S HERITAGE;” 1 Peter 5:3 This is no reflection on faithful elders. But let elders everywhere realize the following:
1) Elders are not the Lord’s legislators. They can’t make laws nor alter laws. Elders err when they try to enforce their opinions, or the opinions of others, upon the brethren.
2) Elders are just men (good men, if they are faithful elders) but mortal men, nevertheless. No power to bind, no power to loose. They are not more pure than their MAKER. (Job 4:17) They can’t go beyond that which was written. (1 Cor 4:6)
Instrumental music in church worship; church supported colleges, societies, orphanages, Herald of Truth (human institutions) in church work came in through weak elders being pressured by strong preachers and teachers into opening up the church treasury for their life blood. No matter how many elders order the above things, every one of them is absolutely wrong. Preachers and elders should not preach their opinions either publicly or privately, for, says the Holy Spirit: “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God” (1 Pet. 4:11). Not if any man speaks, let him speak his opinions. If opinions were not preached, opinions would not have to be debated. Therefore divisions could be avoided. Holding an opinion as faith does not make it faith. “Faith comes by hearing the Word of God.” (Rom. 10: 17) Opinion is what one believes, where the word of God failed to speak.
True elders go by the book, and that book is the bible. “Anyone who abides not in the doctrine of Christ, has not God. (2 Jn 9) If we have not God, we have not Christ. If we have not Christ, we are of all men most miserable. (1 Cor 15:19)