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The Higher Liberty

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The Higher Liberty

by Gregory HHC, d
Minister of His Holy Church

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Deaconus of Ten

Is there an office of Deacon? What should he be doing? Churches have strayed so far from the Gospel of the Kingdom that their deacons actually argue that the belief that service is distinctive of deacons is the servant myth.221

The Deacon Gooley used the letters to the Trallians by Ignatius of Antioch222 to make his point. It stated, ‘deacons are not waiters (diakonoi) providing food and drink but executives (hyperetai) of the Church of God’.

Terms evolve, but what was their meaning and use in the time and context of the scripture? The term “Dean”, a faculty head, is derived from the Latin “deaconus”.223

Terms like decurions signified those who served ten deans.

The Latin word deaconus meant a leader of ten.

Originally tithing was based on ten families being served by one minister. Each minister in Israel served ten families. In support of that government they were tithed to in accordance to their service.224

They served the tents of the congregation ten families to keep them free.

Throughout the early Church you see congregations of ten, with ministers gathered also in groups of ten. This was a pattern repeated to join the people in a living network of faith, hope, and charity, under the perfect law of liberty. Families seeking to be ruled by God rather than by the unrighteous gods of the world gathered together.

They were served by their Christian ministers. They provided for their welfare and needs by charitable contributions so that they did not have to go to the civil altars of men who exercised authority and be entangled in bondage again in the elements of that world.

So, Ignatius and Gooley were correct. Deacons were not merely to wait on tables and serve food but they were the welfare officers of a republican form of government, the Kingdom of God, which composed from about 5 to 10% of the Roman Empire and beyond.

 

Footnotes:

221Anthony Gooley, Deacons and the Servant Myth, November 2006, Ministry Development Officer in the Archdiocese of Brisbane, Australia.

222A student of John the Apostle (ca. From 35 to 45-and 98 to 117)

223Dean is from M. Fr. doyen and O.Fr. Deien meaning the “commander of ten”. The Online Etymology Dictionary

224Numbers 7:5 “Take [it] of them, that they may be to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; and thou shalt give them unto the Levites, to every man according to his service.”

 

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Return to the Table of Contents, Alphabetical Index or purchase the book The Higher Liberty

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