Pastoral Epistles - Lesson 9

Other Passages on Elders

We conclude our discussion of elders by looking at two other passages on the role, Titus 1:5–9 and 1 Timothy 5:17–25.

Bill Mounce
Pastoral Epistles
Lesson 9
Watching Now
Other Passages on Elders

Titus 1:5-9

Historical context ( v 5)

Children (v 6)

Above reproach (v 7)

Teaching Competencies (v 9)

1 Timothy 5:17-25

1. “Double honor” — 5:17–18)


“Payment, stipend”

Two reasons why

1. Deut 25:4

2. Citation of Jesus (Luke 10:7)

2. How to handle charges brought against elders (5:19-21)

5:19 — (Eye)witnesses play two roles


What to do if the elder refuses to repent and continues to sin (5:20)

3. Appointing elders (5:22-25)

(5:23 is parenthetical)

Themes — 5:22a

Personal warning — 5:22b

Two scenarios

  • Dr. Mounce introduces himself and covers the traditional issues in introductions, including his historical reconstruction of the writing and history behind the Pastorals, basic misconceptions people have of the Pastorals, and the survey of the critical issues often raised.

  • Paul begins by reminding Timothy of an earlier visit, and encourages Timothy to stay on at Ephesus, dealing with the issues in the church. Paul's goal is love, which stands in stark contrast to the work of the false teachers. Throughout 1 Timothy 1, Dr. Mounce is enumerating the ways in which Timothy (and we) should deal with false teaching.

  • Paul gives the theological argument up front as to why the false teachers were wrong and Timothy needs to silence them. They are legalists, applying the Mosaic Law to all Chrsitians. Rather, salvation is by God's mercy and grace as seen in Paul's conversion. But things have gotten bad in Ephesus, and Paul had to take a firm stance on dealing with two of the leaders of the opposition.

  • Having looked at the core teaching on why the false teachers were wrong, the class now looks at the other main pasages in the Pastorals that deal theologically with the false teaching.

  • Paul begins a two chapter discussion on issues of leadership in the Ephesian church. He begins by critiquing their habit of praying only for some people, which shows their legalistic way of looking at salvation. Then he deals with issues of public worship, first men then women. These are issues that the leaderhip should have been dealing with but most likely were being caused by poor leadership.

  • While this paragraph is not a matter of orthodoxy, it is nevertheless important since there are so many women in the church. Paul lays out the basic principle that women should learn with a submissive attitude, and then restates that principle with an eye to application; they cannot teach certain people in certain situations. Paul looks to the pre-Fall creation and the relationship that Adam and Eve were created to fulfill, and then spells out a consequence of what happens when that relationship is not honored. Because Paul references Genesis 2 and not Genesis 3, this is not a cultural teaching but transcultural.

  • After dealing with some questions, the class resumes by finishing the last two verses in chapter 2.

  • Paul gives four basic requirements for the leaders of a church. He beghins by emphasizing that leadership is a good thing and insists that leaders must be a certain kind of person, a person's who character is above repreoach. To appoint unqualified people to leadership is a sin, and those appointing them share in the responsibiiltiy when they fail and damage the church. But elders must also have a proven managerial ability of people, be spiritually mature, and have a good reputation in the eyes of people outside the church.

  • We conclude our discussion of elders by looking at two other passages on the role, Titus 1:5–9 and 1 Timothy 5:17–25.

  • We now move into the discussion of deacons in 1 Tim 3:8–13. There is much overlap between elders and deacons, and yet deacons are more involved in the day-to-day service of the church and are not required to be able to teach. The major interpretive decision is in v 11 as to whether it refers to women (i.e., deaconnesses) or wives (of the deacons).

  • This paragraph is the heart of the letter, putting everything that Paul has been discussing into perspective and giving it context. The church is precious, and we should protect the gospel because of the truths it teaches.

  • Paul goes back to addressing the needs of the Ephesian church. He deals in summary fashion with people of different ages, with a special note of concern for Timothy in how he deals with young women, which leads him into a discussion of young widows. His concern is that the church care for those who are "truly widows," i.e., who are old, truly alone, and have lived godly lives. Younger widows, however, should remarry and not burden the church. The church has limited resources, and it should initially care for those who are the most vulnerable.

  • Paul concludes his letter with a series of different and not always related topics. He deals with slaves, and begins to lay the groundwork for abolition, gives Timothy two tests for correct theology and spells out the download spiral and eventual destruction of the false teacher especially related to their love of money, and then encourages Timothy three ways. And in proper biblical fashion, he concludes with a doxology. The final paragraph (skipped by Dr. Mounce, is a final word to the rich in the church and a final plea to Timothy to be careful.

  • Most of the content of Titus has been covered in the lectures over 1 Timothy. However, the letter does have something to add to the discussion of leadership, and its two salvific hymns raise the issue of the reationship between justification and sanctification.

  • Paul begins his letter to his best friend by encouraging him to continue in ministry. If ever there were a model for how you encourage someone, especially someone who looks up to you, this is the chapter. The best thing you can do is find how many ways Paul encourages Timothy, and then see how to apply those points in your own life and ministry.

  • Paul concludes his encouragement to Timothy, and points out examples of faithless friends, and of one faithful friend.

  • Paul continues to encourage the discouraged Timothy, reminding him of the glorious gospel that he proclaims. Even if Paul himself is bound, the gospel is not.

  • The false teachers come back into view with a strong emphasis on Timothy's need to remain faithful. But the encouragement is that God's foundation in Timothy's life, and others, is sealed with a promise, and yet Timothy must also pursue righteousness and flee evil. Paul uses his own life as an example of faithfulness, and concludes with a strong admonition to preach the gospel because it comes from the very mouth of God.

  • Paul concludes his discussion of the role of Scripture in Timothy's life, reminding Timothy of Paul's own life of faithfulness. Paul makes some personal remarks about a few people, and references his final trial. He knows he will die, but death is merely a loosening.

The Pastoral Epistles contain some of the most practical advice in the New Testament. Learn how to handle heresy, appoint qualified leaders, take care of those who may not be able to care for themselves, and especially how to encourage one another in ministry. Titus alone contains two of the most powerful salvific statements in all of Scripture. These 13 chapters are worth studying.

Pastoral Epistles

Dr. Bill Mounce


Other Passages on Elders

Lesson Transcript


Okay, well, we got about 45 minutes, so we're going to hit some of the highlights. But we've this again, we've done the bulk of what we need to do. You know what I should do? Flip over to Titus one 5 to 9. That's the parallel discussion for Elders. And maybe I'll just mention this in passing. Before we get in, before we move into Deacon's. Titus one sorry, Verse five. Paul says, This is why I left you in Crete, so that you may put what remained into order. And specifically, I mean, talking about appointing elders in every town. And so at the very beginning of the church in Crete, we have a an authority structure. Paul is just he was I think he's just raised in a synagogue. He understands that, uh, this is elders are a good thing. Leadership is a good thing. And so he instituted leadership in the church from day one. And he goes through the requirements of what an elder is, uh, six. Um, and I thought I had him. But three fourths of these are requirements that he's already listed in first Timothy three husband and one wife. But let, let me show just. Two things that are important in this list. The first one is the last statement in verse six. His children are. Pissed us and pissed us either means that they are believers or that they're faithful. The problem with the faithful interpretation is faithful in what? There's no object stated in the Greek. And so it's that was what kind of swayed me. I didn't really want to say that an elder had to have children who are believers because ultimately, while you can create a nurturing environment and train your children and lead them, ultimately is their decision.


And for the Calvinists among us, it's God's election decision. And it's it's kind of hard. But what really bothered me was to be faithful in what I guess you could say, that they're a faithful kind of person, that their basic personality is to be faithful, to be trustworthy, that kind of stuff. I went with faithful in the sense of believing that they have to be Christians. And then you run into all the kinds of problems, as you will in your position paper of, okay, what if he has an elder, has five kids and four believers, and one's too young to believe or one's falling away or or one left the home before the dad became a Christian and, you know, all these human life situations. And so those are the two interpretations. And you just have to decide which one you want. We got involved in an I.V. discussion on this, and I won the discussion that it needed to stay believers. But what Craig Blomberg doesn't know is that in the process he convinced me that he's right and it should be faithful. And so I, I didn't want to disrupt the interview at that time. But I think probably I'm going to go back to being faithful just because there's simply too many logistical issues and just difficult, however. However, I always thought that an elder should be the kind of person that when I'm talking to my son and say, Now that's what a godly man looks like. I like being able to do that. And if I'm pointing at someone who has four kids, none of whom are walking with the Lord. That's not an example to my son. And at some point I got to scratch my head and say, Why are none of his kids following the Lord? It's an it's an interpretation.


I mean, the argument is right. It's a young church. How how can you find new elders whose children are also believers? It is awkward Greek to leave it. They are faithful. Before. What? That's that's, that's a that's a hard problem. But anyway, that's one of the the things that this list brings in verse seven is above reproach. And the list after the list is, is this pretty much the same as in first Timothy, a lover of good, upright, holy are new things. And then of course, we have verse nine that defines what it means to be a skilled in teacher. But this is the other major list of requirements for elders. Okay, let's flip over. I'm changing this on the fly. Let's go to first Timothy five. This is the the other discussion of elders. And before we get into the deacons, think maybe it'd be helpful to talk about this first Timothy five versus 17 to 25. Paul had just finished talking about the whole issue of widows and caring for widows. And now he's going to raise the issue of of elders again. And there's three or four issues that they have to deal with research in 517 that the elders who rule will be considered of double honor, especially those and that's a hard word to translate, but especially those who labor in preaching and in teaching. Double honor means respect and money. The Greek carries that double nuance that they are worthy of respect and they are worthy of a stipend. I think in that day and age, they they probably thought more in terms of stipend. There was probably a lot more tent making ministries going on than there are today. Very rarely can a house church actually support a pastor.


And so the assumption is that most of these elders, the people who over their house churches had regular jobs, but they needed to be freed up from their regular job, some to to care for the people and whatnot. And so they were worthy of double honor, of respect and stipends, some remuneration. And this is especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. And it sounds like you can be an elder and not preach. Right. So we have this respect for elders, especially if they're preaching elders. Well, wait a minute. I thought all elders had to be skilled in teaching. And I think that this is probably just the directing, the recognition of the nature of real life, that there are times that people who are elders have to step down from their teaching and their preaching ministries in their house, church, for whatever reason. Maybe their job requires more time. Maybe the recession swept through emphasis. You know, maybe their kids are being problematic. I don't I don't know. But I my guess is what this verse is saying is respect and cover that help cover the costs of people who are your leaders and really pay close attention to you, to leaders that are actively involved in currently leading. I just there is no elder without the ability to teach. First, Timothy three, I think has made that clear. So I think that's what's going on in 17. He goes on and he quotes Jesus and he quotes the Old Testament as proof that the labor is worthy of his wage. And then he goes, So he's taking care of the issue of payment. Pay your workers. You didn't respond very much. When I do this up at Faith Seminary, it's I always get a lot of response on this.


That's right. I want to raise $2 an hour anyway. All right. He's dealt with the issue of paying elders, and now he gets into what's the bigger issue, and that is discipline. How are we going to discipline elders? So he starts and he says, Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. Okay. This is a he's his drawing from Deuteronomy 19. It's a it's a policy that is meant to protect elders from unsubstantiated claims. And he's saying do not even listen to someone who is complaining about an elder unless there's two or three of them together. And part part of the decision you're going to have to make is there are these two or three people who saw the same offense that the pastor committed and are confronting him with it? The actual that in Deuteronomy it doesn't have to be the same event. You just have to have two or more people who saw a person and potentially multiple times do the same thing. That's wrong. And that's really hard. I mean, there's all kinds of logistical problems with that. But basically, if somebody comes to used an elder and say, I'm the pastor and so-and-so, you know, hurt me, the first thing you have to say is, well, the first thing you say is, what? Have you talked to them? You have no business. Matthew 18. You have no business talking to me until you've gone one on one. And and my encouragement is just I don't care what you say. If you have not gone to this person and talk to them and I could see situations like of molestation and things like that where maybe they don't feel safe going to the person and so maybe someone needs to go with them.


I could see that as a possibility. But if there's only one answer initially to this and that is one on one talking face to face. Right. The assumption is that part of Matthew 18 has been tried and is failed, and therefore they are now wanting to bring a charge against an elder. And Paul says, Man, if you don't have multiple witnesses of this charge, you may not even listen to them. Yeah, there are certain kinds of offenses. By definition, there are no witnesses. And although it's not in Matthew 18, I think and I think it's fair to assume that if somebody really doesn't feel safe in going to someone that one of your functions as a pastor or an elder is to make it safe. And, you know, maybe you go and you sit in the outside room or you go and you be absolutely quiet or, you know, whatever, be the case. But there has to be that that face to face message that way has to be that face to face meeting. As I put first Timothy five and Matthew 18 together, that part of Matthew 18 happens first. If that fails, then if you have two or three witnesses, then you can bring the charge against an elder. If they're not 2 to 3 witnesses or you don't even listen to them. No discussion. The assumption between verses 19 and 20 then is if two people or three people bring a charge against an elder and he refuses to repent. What happens next? Well, that's what verse 20 is saying. As for those who persistence and those who do not respond to the confrontation, then you must rebuke them in the presence of all. Well, I hate skipping notes. I just hate it.


Rebuke them. That's the sitting elder in the presence of all. Who's the all? It's the whole congregation or it's the whole elder or all the elders. Again, this is a decision you you have to make. Um. My guess is that this is parallel with the public hearing in Matthew 1817 and so would be before the whole church. Now, again, one of the things I encourage you to do is to have when someone is an elder, when someone agrees to be an elder somewhere in your church bylaws, you have written in that they are allowing church discipline to happen to them. Because the minute you take an elder and you put him before the church and you accuse him of wrongdoing, you're opening yourself up to libel. Right? And so you you need to take reasonable steps. That's why a lot of church membership covenants include we are we will allow ourselves to undergo church discipline. And a lot of agreements for elders have that provision as well. And then they sign it. And once you have that, then you can still be sued, but you're really protected a lot better. Again, I have no legal training and I have no response. But it's. Anyway. But that's what's going on. You that you rebuke them in the presence of all so that the rest may stand in fear. The rest of whom? Probably the rest of elders. Yes. So if you have a confirmed sitting elder and he refuses to repent and you've gone to him, you've had your face to face meeting. And I think as you work through Matthew, it almost needs to be a couple of meetings, perhaps even before the elder board. I mean, I don't think I would want to go with two witnesses to an elder to confront him.


And if he didn't repent, put them up in front of a church of 1000 people. I think the next step would be to bring him before the elder board. Deal with the issues there. Doesn't say that, but it makes sense to me. And if that fails, then you have to deal with it in a you have to do the social ostracism in a very public way and then pray that God protects you from all the legal ramifications in our litigious society. But the idea is that as you rebuked that elder in front, the rest stand in fear in an interesting situation once where I just was trying to reinstate prayer in the worship service, prayer had just gotten out of our worship service and there was a missionary child that was had gotten deathly sick. And, you know, there was someone in the church that was closely connected with them and they and they can't even on Sunday morning say, can we please just stop the service and pray? And so we talked about it and we just dismissed, in a sense, the whole first part of the service. We got into groups and we prayed and the girl was healed at that moment. Well, that kind of emboldened us and we were pretty excited about that. And we had another situation where a man who didn't happen to be an elder, but he was he was had had an affair, refused to repent. We had done everything we could. And we said, you know, hey, if that prayer worked for that little girl, maybe we'll work for this. And so we decided to pray and we explained it. And he was a friend of mine. There was no maliciousness in the presentation, but we said, we have a situation.


This particular person is is getting divorced. His wife is not committed adultery. She doesn't want it. Um. We've talked to them. This isn't right. I warned his parents who were still in the church that this was coming, but they wanted to attend still. And so we prayed. And unfortunately, it didn't. It didn't work for whatever reason, the divorce went through. But I've often wondered how many people in that church service watch us pray in a loving, kind, gracious way for our friend to not to go down a path that would destroy them. And what that did to them and in their thinking about their marriages, I'll never know. Well, maybe someday in heaven I will. But it is interesting that when you do things in public, if you do them right, if you do them well, it can have real strong impact. We had another man. He was mattered on the TV screens as a as a rapist. He was a good friend of mine. He was he was the the news agencies convicted and they said things like, we believe this man has raped other women. Please come forward. You know, I mean, just grotesquely illegal like things that they did, not a shock. And, um, and so I had to stand in front of the church the next day, and I took counsel. And the counsel was, don't declare an innocent, but pray for them. And, you know, so we we had these corporate times of prayer in our church. And and I think they were really, really powerful. And I've got to think that there were people who may have been contemplating things that were wrong and they're going, oh, my goodness, this church is taking these things seriously. And, um, I better rethink what I'm planning on doing.


I don't know if that happened. I'd like to believe it did, but that's what's going on here. Yes. He was absolutely innocent. Yeah. I'm sorry. Yeah. No, he was. Absolutely, he was. Life was destroyed and he had to move. His family had to move out of the town. He was a very, very skilled chiropractor. He'd had fixed many, many people. And his life was absolutely destroyed by the news media. And and all but one of the women confessed to lying about it. Anyway. As for those who persistence and rebuke them, the presence of also the rest may stand in fear. And then to emphasize how important this is in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels. I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging. And when I say don't make up your mind beforehand, I want to make sure you understand. Don't be. Don't be partial. As you look at the elders and as you go through this elder, what's the word? It's late in the day. As Gordon ft told me, That's the nouns of the first to go. Discipline. As we're dealing with this church Discipline. He said, Boy, be really, really careful to not prejudge anything, but listen to the facts. So we got payment of elders, the discipline of elders, and then finally we have the appointment of elders. And the basic message of 22 to 25 is go slowly. And if you take the alcohol verse out of verse, verse out of out of 23 out, you can see the flow really easily. And that's why more and more translations are putting verse 23 in parentheses. It really is. Paul is talking about something that reminds him of something and he addressed it and then he comes back to the main topic.


So 23 is really parent circle. So he searches the do not be hasty in the laying on of hands. So now don't be quick to appoint elders. Nor take part in the sins of others. Rather, keep yourself pure. If that doesn't scare you, nothing will. Think what he's saying. Be very slow to appoint elders, because the implication is that if you appoint the wrong person and they sin in their position of leadership, you are partially responsible. Yeah. This is scary verse, guys. And it's one thing to have an elder go off half cocked and you're and you're blaming him and blaming him and then going, oh, wait a minute. I asked him to be in there holding her. Um, my, my, my friend who was great on ten and not great on on a thousand. I got frustrated with some stuff and I said, Wait a minute. I begged him to be an elder. I begged him to be an elder. He knew he shouldn't have been an elder, but in deference to me, he agreed. And I put him in a position where he simply wasn't gifted to serve. And it hurt him and it hurt me. I know there was no sin in this one case, but I bought some of the responsibility that because I was the guy that asked him on the elder board, I was the one that encouraged the other elders to vote for him. I spoke for him at the congregational meeting. I mean, his difficulties, his challenges, again, none of it was sin, but it just it was outside his skill set. It was partially my fault. And that's what this verse is saying. Don't be too quick to ordain people into the elder role because you will be participating in their sins if they fall into sin.


Instead, keep yourself pure. Do what you can to keep yourself pure. Keep your get the right people in your elder ship. Does that makes sense? It's a real wake up. It's a real important thing. And then he says, Oh, no longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and for the sake of your frequent ailments. Here's what I think is going on. He says, Timothy, keep yourself pure. And he remembers something that Timothy is doing. And again, this is all a reconstruction. But I'm I'm pretty confident of this. We know that there was a lot of alcoholism in the efficient church. All right. We know that the false teachers were were, well, drunkards and that the elders could not be could not have problems with liquor. So we know that this whole issue of liquor is a is a real issue in the Ephesians Church. And I think what Timothy did was he limited his freedom. He he had a weak stomach, you know, drinking water that doesn't have alcohol in that day is very dangerous because of all the bacteria. That's why the normal water had just enough liquor and enough alcohol in it to kill the bugs. It wasn't enough to get drunk. If you wanted to get drunk, you had to drink other stuff. But the regular drinking water had liquor in it to kill the bacteria. And I think what Timothy was doing was he was totally abstaining voluntarily because of all the problems in the church. If that's true, it's a wonderful picture, Timothy, isn't it? So wonderful, Timothy. Picture of Timothy of not insisting on his rights, of not eating meat, offered to idols kind of stuff where he says, You know what? I'm going to so distance myself from the false teachers that even though it's dangerous for me to do because of my stupid stomach, I'm not even going to drink any wine at all.


I think that's what's going on. And what what Paul is saying is that I want you to keep yourself pure. Oh, Timothy, I've been meaning to tell you. You don't need to do what you're doing. Don't take this call for purity too far. You are pure. Whether you drink the wine or not, you're. Your stomach is weak. You get sick all the time. Doesn't mean he's a timid person. Just means you get sick a lot. And he said, I'm not saying I think that's the right decision. So it's just parenthetical comment about Timothy's voluntary abstinence. In order to be able to do his ministry more effectively. So it's a great example of meat offered to idols kinds of things. Then he after he makes that parenthetical comment, he goes back and he wants to talk about why it's so important to not be hasty in the laying on of hands. And he says the sins of some men excuse, answer, pass the sins of some men. Some people are conspicuous. In fact, their sins are so conspicuous that they they march before them into judgment. In other words, yeah, some people there's not a question. They can't be an elder. Their sins are so obvious we wouldn't even consider them. But he said the reason you shouldn't be hasty in the laying on of hands is that the sins of others appear later. You know, there will be people that at first glance strike you as I think this person is qualified to be an elder. And if you if you rush to judgment and you lay hands on and then his sin comes out, you bear some of the responsibility. But some people some people, they're sinners, but you just can't see it right away.


So take your time. And then what he does is that he flips it and says the same thing backwards, he says. So also good works are conspicuous. In other words, there are some people, as you're considering them for elders, and you're looking at their lives, their good works, and you're going, obviously this person should be an elder. And that that makes the choice easy, right? It makes the choice easy. But the reason you go slowly is that there are those and even those that are not in the words, even those whose good works are not conspicuous, eventually, that those good works can't remain hidden. That if you're committed to taking your time and doing this thing slowly, methodically for those people that that are qualified to be elders. But the good works that they do are not immediately apparent. You'll still find them as well. We had a man in our church named Jim, and Jim was very, very quiet and I didn't know him very well and. And so I didn't really have much of an opinion of him until I realized that not only did he show up to a prayer meeting every Saturday night, he showed up an hour and a half early, walked around the outside of the church and picked up every piece of trash. And she he his good deeds were not conspicuous. I mean, it took me like a year before I found out what Jim was doing. Another man actually was a relatively new Christian. I kept wondering why the Lord didn't grow. Well, he showed up every Saturday morning when no one else was there any mow the lawn. So there are good deeds that people do that are not immediately conspicuous. And so you should be committed to going slowly through this appointment process so that the gems of this world are also considered for leadership positions.


So those are the three things he has to say about elders. My basic assumption from first Timothy three is that there is no such thing as an elder who's not skilled in teaching. That's that's my that, that's I'm going to hang on to that. So when I look at this, he said, you want to respect the elders, especially those who preach and teach. It sounds to me like there's elders that don't preach and teach. And so that's the conflict. And there's I go a little further into it. There's two ways to handle it. The word translated especially can also be translated. That is. So it could be saying let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of honor. I'm talking about those who labor in preaching and teaching. I like that interpretation. It makes it real consistent with first Timothy three. Um. Translating this as especially, I think the way I still don't have non teaching elders. I just I can't do that. But I can see that you could have someone who is an elder over a house church who's been teaching and preaching and, and they are worthy of respect. But there are times in which they simply have to step back from church responsibilities. And, and Paul is trying to say, when I talk about double honor, the kind that comes with money, I'm especially talking about those elders that are actively involved in preaching and teaching. An elder must be a skilled teacher. I mean, that is that is for me. That is that is the foundational statement. And so, yeah. Yeah. And so I just. And part of it is I just seen church after church after church ruined by presiding elders. I mean, I just church after church destroyed when I presented a book proposal to Donovan, once I set out to be an editor of a book.


And the book is entitled Why Should I? Why save the Loss when you can fight with the saved? Good title, huh? Why save the loss when you can spend all your time fighting with other Christians? And the sad thing is, Donovan said, you're right, it will print it. Is it the stories of churches that are destroyed by improper leadership? It's just it's everywhere. And from you guys to some of you have an experience that that's really great. Just hold on. And some of you have experienced that further back in your ministries and you learned and you grew and you learn how to deal with it. But I so so part of this, I probably should say it in a in a in a disclosure statement. I I've seen so many churches destroyed by presiding elders that aren't skilled in teaching. And they sit and they rule and they don't do anything else. So I just have this natural reaction against the concept, but. A presiding elder drank never apprized of presiding elders, an elder that rules but doesn't teach.