It is imperative to remember that what S.E. Anderson put forth here is (by his own words) supposed to be PROOF. Hence, the above claim is supposed to PROVE something. Sadly, the claim falls far short of proof of anything other than they prayed together.
To claim this is proof of the existence of the New Testament church, is to wrest Scripture and yank a passage out of context, and does nothing substantive towards proving the existence of the church.
The reason this is pointed out is that it is such an obvious error that is easily disprovable by the Scripture. If such a plain error was made simply because the individual strains to prove a point, without concern for the express statements of Scripture, then we are right to question all other points that he would raise in support of his contention.
All a pastor is, is an under-shepherd that is supposed to feed and care for the flock that belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, whether in Israel, or the New Testament church, even though the qualifications varied, if you meet (or met, as the case may be) the appropriate qualifications, you were/are a qualified pastor.
Isn’t Christ the Head, and the Holy Ghost the Administrator of the New Testament church? Isn’t the church supposed to acknowledge the will of the Lord and act upon it? Doesn’t that make the church a Theocracy instead of a democracy? After all, our vote is not equal to Christ’s is it? Doesn’t the new Testament church act in the executive instead of the legislative and simply carry out the will of God?
Now, correct me if I am wrong, but weren’t the Israelites also supposed to preach of the gospel as well? Certainly Romans, chapter 10 tells us they did:
15. They had divine authority (Matt. 18:18; 28:18-20).
Of a surety, so did Israel:
However, if one is in the process of creating an entirely new institution, then instruction like that presented in Matthew 18 is essential prior to the institution becoming a reality. In short, without instruction prior to the fact, the people involved are certainly not going to know what to do when the simplest of issues arises after the church is in existence and functioning.
An answer to the claim of S.E. Anderson that the New Testament church existed in temporary form prior to Christ’s death on the cross.
I’m sorry, this one is very hard to take. I leave it with the above statement.