by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 3 Paragraph # 2 Study # 3 Lincolnton, NC February 06, 2005
10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
1901 ASV Translation:
10 And let these also first be proved; then let them serve as deacons, if they be blameless.
Textual Notes:There are no textual variations between the Textus Receptus and the Nestle/Aland 26 in verse 10.
I. The requirement upon the servants of the church that they be "proved".
A. The word means to be subjected to an evaluation against a set standard.
B. The question of "how?" this subjection is to be executed is left open by Paul.
1. One issue involved is the question of just how does one go about making sure a person "is" what is required? What kind of experiences do they need to be observed in? What does the church need to do to "observe" this?
2. Another issue is how does the "church" as a whole get involved in observing these experiences?
II. The translation "let them use the office of a deacon" is flawed in the direction of "office"; the translation "let them serve as deacons" is flawed in the direction of "deacons"; the translations ought to simply read "let them serve".
A. The whole issue of "office" and "deacon" brings up an entire construct of an ungodly heirarchy with the "officious deacon" as no longer the servant.
B. The servant-kingdom reality is so inimical to human thought that it will be twisted at every possible point into something that it is not. The bottom line of that reality is that people are committed to "serving", not "setting the agenda". The bottom line of every twisted perversion of that reality ends up with deacons "calling the shots" with others doing the work.
1. There are two major distortions in our culture...
a. First, there is the "paid" servant mindset that almost invariably puts the entire issue into a "making a living" mode and takes it out of "living a life" mode...and begins to compromise the "service" mentality of doing what needs to be done because it needs to be done and replacing it with "I do what I am paid to do".
b. Second, there is the idea that non-servants ought to be included into the church's function to attempt to get them to be "involved". If the service of the church was the privilege it is supposed to be, it would be sought after. Instead we have to "beg" people to "use their spiritual gifts" to serve God and His people and make them feel like martyrs for "having" to do it. How many times does someone complain "I took the job as a volunteer 50 years ago, and no one came along to give me a break"? But, if a person "gets paid for it", suddenly they are exempt from feeling like they "ought to get a break". We will do for money what we will not do for the love of God and His people.
III. The translations "being found blameless/if they be blameless" are, again, not as good as Paul's words..."being blameless".
A. Paul had already required that they be "proved".
B. Being "proven", they "are" blameless...so let them serve.