In another article (179) we wrote, "local elder rule is God's method of church government." The Bible does not recognize any other form of government for God's Church. It is God's Word. That God's method of rule in the church is multiple, local, elder, rule is indisputable from the Bible. Many dispute today, but they have no basis in Scripture for argument.
But someone will say, so what? What is the big deal about how the church is structured? Structure determines rule. Rule determines doctrine. Doctrine determines faith. Faith determines eternal destinies. So, in a very real sense, the way a church is structured will determine whether the people in it will have a clear understanding of the Gospel.
Why is this?
First, structure either comes out of faith in the Word of God, or it is a foreign imposition upon the Word of God. If the structure of a church is foreign to the Word of God, what do you expect that church to teach? The Word of God? Not by a long shot; how can leaders in rebellion against the Word teach the Word? Therefore, if a group of people who call their organization a church, but their organization refuses the clarion call of the Bible to structure itself according to God's desire, the teachings of that organization will introduce destructive, and deceptive, teachings which will keep people from understanding the Gospel and, thus, they will not be saved from the wrath of the God Who gave His Word so people, by taking heed to it, could come to the personal possession of the unsearchably rich gift of eternal life.
So, my reader, ask yourself: Is the local group of which I am a part, which calls itself a church, led by mature and godly local men of God? If it is not, you are in significant danger of having been seriously misled and, like it or not, there is a serious question as to whether you possess God's free gift of eternal life. If you are willing to go along with the teachings of an organization that thinks so little of the Bible as to structure itself in contradiction to the Bible, how do you think you shall be saved?
It is not enough to be led by local men. They must also be godly and mature in the faith so that they are able to teach and admonish from the Bible. If you want to see this in the Bible for yourself, all you have to do is open the New Testament to 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-9. Also, it is not enough for the church to claim godly leadership that exists in some distant city or, worse, some distant country. How are you going to know whether a non-local man is really godly or not if you don't even know him, can't sit down over a cup of coffee and get to know what makes him tick, and never have the opportunity to see the reality of his faith? God demands the local church be led by local leadership. And just remember this, just because a non-local man has been selected by some group of other non-locals does not mean he is qualified to lead in the church because he was not elected by those who know him best, he was elected by others within the political structure of the organization.