“If the anointed priest sins so as to bring guilt on the people, then he is to offer to the LORD a bull without defect as a sin offering for his sin which he has committed” (Leviticus 4:3).
Founded in 1850, Midway Presbyterian Church has a long history serving the families and citizens of Cobb County, of faithfully sharing and expounding the Gospel of Jesus Christ and building up her members to be strong in the Reformed faith. Its faithful service is evidenced by the blessing of longevity granted to it by our Lord. Over the years, the church has had many dedicated leaders, men who have been strong in the faith to guide the church according to sound Scriptural principles.
To safeguard the church for the next 150 years and encourage a continuing train of dedicated, faithful leaders, Midway members and her leaders should make use of all the modern tools available to them.
The purpose of this website is to inform the congregation of Midway Presbyterian Church of the actions and events happening in its church. Here, members can monitor the actions of their leaders. The intent is to foster mutual accountability between elected church officers and the members under their care.
In the Old Testament, if a priest sinned privately, even unintentionally, then he brought “guilt on the people” and had to atone with a sacrifice so that God would not bring judgment against the whole congregation. Even though the Levitical priesthood was abolished forever and replaced by the high priesthood of the Lord Jesus Christ, this principle of corporate responsibility has not changed. It is fundamental to God’s created order. Adam sinned, and his sin was imputed to every human born into this world. Likewise, the actions of one man, Jesus Christ, and therefore His righteousness are imputed to each person who confesses his sins and accepts Him as their lord and savior.
The office of elder is established by God, but the officers must be appointed by the congregation members they will serve. Because they are elected by the church members, church elders possess delegated authority of judicial representation. Therefore, God holds the entire congregation accountable through its elected rulers, the elders.
The elders are elected by the congregation to represent them in judicial matters before God. The elders preach the Gospel and administer the sacraments. Therefore, the elders are responsible for church discipline and must exercise the judicial authority given to them with great care. Their actions, good or bad, come back on the congregation more intensely than they do the individual elders. This principle is illustrated many times in the Bible.
“Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, ‘Who is on the LORD’s side? Come to me.’ And all the sons of Levi gathered around him. And he said to them, ‘Thus says the LORD God of Israel, Put your sword on your side each of you, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and each of you kill his brother and his companion and his neighbor.’ And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And that day about three thousand men of the people fell” (Exodus 32:26-29).
It is the responsibility of elders to ensure they do not bring their congregation under the threat of God’s negative sanctions by their actions, whether public or private. Therefore, they have great responsibility to exercise self-government and ensure they repent publicly and privately when needed.
But the church members also have a responsibility to ensure they are monitoring the actions of their officers. If officers stray, and yet the church members continue to re-elect them or allow them to remain in office, then they are providing their tacit or active approval of their officers’ actions. God will therefore hold them responsible, whether their leader’s actions are in accordance with God’s Word or not.
The congregation as a whole is held more responsible than their individual leaders because they are the ones who possess the original authority to elect their leaders.
He holds people responsible in accordance with their level of authority. Because church officers cannot appoint themselves, their authority is delegated by those who possess the authority to do so: the congregation. The office was established by God, and the power to fill it was given to the congregation.
Because of the nature of covenantal relationships and the principle of corporate responsibility, not only is it Biblical for a church’s leaders and her members to hold each other mutually accountable, but it is also uniquely Presbyterian.