Wednesday, May 23, 2012

C.C. Smith: Deacons, Elders, and Bishops

On Sunday, I posted a letter from Charles Calvin Smith, written in 1910. The letter posted below was written in 1932 in response to a question about the callings and roles of Deacons, Elders, and Bishops.

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Gerber, California

January 28, 1932

My dear brother and sister in Christ Jesus Our Lord. I was truly glad to get a letter from you this morning. And inquiry concerning a Deacon and his duties. I have always looked out for Deacons and ordained them where I deamed them of use to the body. Simply ordaining a man does not make a Deacon, neither does ordaining a man make an Elder.

Paul told Titus to ordain Elders. He did not say ordain men and make Elders out of them. If a man was not an Elder before he was ordained he would not be afterward. Ordain simply means to set apart. That is the reason Paul said to ordain Elders. He told him just how he would know an elder. The same way he told just what qualifications a deacon should have and in Luke’s writing the Acts of the Apostles, he tells you in Acts 6 just what a deacon’s work is.

A bishop is not ordained as a Bishop but when an Elder is called into the ministry after being an Elder it makes him a bishop. Prove all things. Hold fast to that which is good.

Brother Earnest Paul was called after he was an Elder, and the Spirit said, “Thou are a Bishop chosen of God. Preach the word while you live in the world and you shall wear a crown of everlasting life.”

I was never satisfied what a bishop was until I heard Brother Earnest’s calling. Now I trust that by reading the scripture you will be able to understand just what these three offices are and just what their work is.

We have a wonderful little body here of 22 with but little discord. All seem to try to live the faith. As it is easy to see, the fullness of Christ and the prophets words fulfilled. Jer 46-40. Hab 1-8. Fly as an eagle that hasteth to eat. Then we see the Automobile in Nahum 2-3.

I exhort you never give up the race for we shall reap if we faint not. Amen.

Pray for us.

C.C. Smith

I charge you that this epistle be read among all the holy brethren.

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