Once you get past the odd rendering of Acts 6 in which the term “deacon” does not appear, you find that the case for deacons as officers or leaders falls apart.
The apostles said it was inappropriate to their assigned priorities to “wait tables. This term is certainly relating to the meaning of the word “deacon,” but to jump to the conclusion that these seven men deaked really puts us “out there.”
Once we get past that, ignoring all the formality that accompanies the three levels of ministry as design and defined by Roman Catholics, we would never jump to the conclusion deacons are leaders, teachers, or board members.
They are mentioned as people allowed to represent the leaders in doing tasks, and they should, therefore, represent them well. Allowing someone to do tasking which is not right with God and fails to live a kingdom culture lifestyle would create the appearance of evil. That is, it would say by approbation that the person is approved since they are the one serving people.
I believe in deacons and deaconesses because Paul mentions them by identifiable means and adds qualifications for them to represent kingdom leaders in serving. To expand that role and function to leadership, especially to ruling and making decisions, has no Bible foundation.
Acts 6 Ain’t About Dealing
I realize that the entire idea comes from Acts 6, and without Acts 6, we do not have a formal “office” for deacons. I do realize that the argument that “deacons take care of the physical aspects of the kingdom Ecclesia, so apostles don’t need to” makes good sense. Acts 6 doesn’t say or infer that.
The narrative of Acts 6 is about Stephen, not deacons. The story introduces how Stephen got into a position for martyrdom. It has nothing to do with creating an office for deacon boards to run churches. To project that idea back upon Acts 6 is silly. Deacons
At the very best, we might conjecture mildly that a shadow of a washed out deacon appeared across a table where a Greek widow ate lunch when someone else served them food. We have no mandate to tie this passage with Paul’s discussion of who should be positioned to do things in the kingdom culture. We have no indication that the seven men “waited tables.”
A mild walk in the park Bible study of the word translated “deacons” in 1 Timothy 3:12 reveals that the word is translated “servants” all day long. The call for this “deacons” translation is good because it identifies someone who serves with accompanying qualifications. We might see this more as “the people you employ should meet specific kingdom culture norms.” They should not have multiple wives, show good parenting, and serve well in their own oikos.”
Hire no bums, adulterers, and losers.
Serving has so many apparent applications and meaning that listing them is a waste of time. Work needs doing. We get somebody to work. We do not get someone to work who does not represent the kingdom well.
Deaking can be so many things, that we turn to Tychicus and Phoebe as Paul’s examples. Some translations so name Tychicus because the word for “faithful servant (deacon)” is used along with beloved brother. “Phoebe is a servant (deacon) of the Ecclesia.”
So, it is not difficult to see that we could translate Paul’s comments as “Servants should be the husband of one wife,” but the content of the verse points to something more formal when we assume Acts 6 creates a position or title. When we apply the idea to Phoebe and project back on that verse our concept of a deacon, it fits a deaconess.
If anyone deaks, he is working on something as a volunteer or employee. In so doing, he represents the entire regional Ecclesia and kingdom culture. We should not allow them to do shoddy work, live with someone to whom they are not married, and get high on dope while they are approved as a servant.
We should abandon all the Roman Catholic ideas about deacons and the mistaken notion that deacons should be in control of church assets and properties with authority over the fivefold leaders.