I am no opponent of the grand Presbyterian doctrine of the Church’s spirituality. I have a question that in unresolved in my mind.
In 1 Cor. 6:1-11, Paul warns believers not to go to the courts of the world for justice against other believers. Rather, he declares that jurisdiction belongs to the church courts, “are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angel? How much more, them, matters pertaining to this life!“
It appears that Paul’s sees the Ruling Elders “ruling” function pertaining to more than the “spiritual” but rather including the temporal and secular. Do you have a property boundry dispute with your believing neighbor? Take it to the Elders and not to the magistrate. Do not look for justice among those who mock Christ.
Further, does such an interpretation of the temporal work of the Elders make sense in light of classic three office distinctions? Ministers are primarily charged with matters spiritual but engage in judging some temporal matters as members of the Session. Ruling Elders are primarily engaged in ruling on temporal matters as the God’s ordained leaders of the eschatological community but also deal in spiritual matters as part of the Session?
Of course, the RPCNA is officially 1.5 office. Not sure what this means for the spirituality of the church. Any ideas?