Martin Down does a great job of looking into the history of theology and how things developed within the Christian Church.
Take ordination of pastors for example. This practice started in the fourth and firth century when church leaders began to own land and hold political office. Wanting to control who was appointed to what position, they adopted the practice of the elite Roman civilians who would ‘ordain’ new members into various club and/or secret societies. This is why you don’t find the practice or mention of ordination within the Bible or within the first three-hundred years of the church.
Another example along the same lines would be the role of a pastor. During the beginning of the church a pastor had three main duties:
- Safeguard the sound teaching of the Apostles and watch out for false teachers (1 Timothy, Titus, Acts, etc)
- Make sure everyone was treated equally within the Church (Acts, James, 1 Corinthians)
- Make sure no abused the Lord’s Supper by getting drunk or hogging all the food (1 Corinthians)
That was about it… now days though; a pastor has a lot more on his/her plate – sometimes they act more like a business manager running a multi-million dollar organization than someone called to guide and teach followers of Jesus…. Tis interesting how things changed over the years.
“The New Jerusalem: Israel, the Church and the Nation” by Martin Down is definitely a very interesting and thought provoking book.