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Discussion Forum : Revivals And Church History : Just who IS responsible for this state of affairs?

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RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
Ron's: "The reason I began this theme was to challenge the notion that anyone can presume to tell us what 'the problem with the church of today is...'.



It would seem from Revelation 2-4 that the 7X command to hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches is the key. Again, I have to say, I am stunned how little 'press' this 7 times spoken command gets or has ever gotten in my reading experience. I think there are few things more telling than how few this 7X command has been preached on.

I humbly and sincerely challenge anyone to do a search or whatever and find main stream sermons that are historic or contemporary that deal with this 7X command. I simply know of [u]NO[/u] sermon I have ever heard that stresses the fact that our Lord Jesus told us 7 times in a row to [u]hear[/u] what the Spirit is (ed. actively and presently) [u]saying[/u] in a local church setting.

.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2009/1/15 9:40Profile
Heydave
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Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1306
Hampshire, UK

 Re:

Quote:
My original thesis was this, that the unit of responsibility, biblically, is the local church and that to assume a responsibility wider than this is extra-biblical, false and counterproductive.




I THINK I understand what you are saying and I THINK I agree with the general point, if my understanding of what you are THINKING is correct (are you confused now?) :-).

If you are adressing the problem of us worrying about the state of some undefined entity that we call 'The church' then I agree with your point. However there is an organism call The church of Jesus Christ and as you have previously said this comprises all those saints in Heaven and those saints now on earth (the invisable church).

What I am trying to reconcile is, do we have NO responsibility for the part of that true church that is currently on earth wider than our local church? If we are all part of that ONE church we cannot only have concern and influence in our LOCAL church, but as God gives us access to one another we have resposibility for ALL our brothers and sisters in THE church. Otherwise what are we doing on this website and joining together at Revival conferences etc?

Maybe I am mis-understanding the point. If so please make this clearer to me. :-?


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Dave

 2009/1/15 10:41Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
What I am trying to reconcile is, do we have NO responsibility for the part of that true church that is currently on earth wider than our local church? If we are all part of that ONE church we cannot only have concern and influence in our LOCAL church, but as God gives us access to one another we have resposibility for ALL our brothers and sisters in THE church. Otherwise what are we doing on this website and joining together at Revival conferences etc?



As we have information we have a responsibility to pray and make ourselves available to God to see what he would have us pray about. What we don't have is a platform to address that part of The Church which is currently on earth. It is absolutely impossible to say 'what the church in America needs today is..' unless we have perfect knowledge of that part of the THE CHURCH which is currently living in America. It is foolish and arrogant to say 'what the church in America needs is'.

Do you ever have the problem of hearing someone say 'the church has given up the fight and we should repent', or something similar? When there was only one lampstand it was possible for a representative, such as Ezra, to confess on behalf of THE CHURCH OF ISRAEL but we are in a different covenant and there is not a single lampstand. Although we often hear it said it is not possible for one man to confess for the nation or 'the church in America'. Similarly it is not possible for one man to 'speak to the church in America' or to 'represent' it. It does not exist as an entity.

If I know of an individual or a local church which has 'given up the fight' I have a responsibility based on that knowledge to pray for them. I certainly don't have the right to 'speak into that local church' unless I am invited to do so. See my quotation from Polycarp.

Although there is an 'organism' called THE CHURCH there is no means of addressing it. It is certainly not the amalgam of all the evangelical churches on earth.

One of the dangers of this website and many others like it is that it creates a platform from which individuals think they can 'address' the church. Most of the saints on earth haven't got a dial tone yet, let alone broadband. We can't make a statement about 'THE CHURCH' unless it is applicable to the whole CHURCH; that will include half a dozen saints under a tree in Tanzania!

So what are we doing on the website? Sharing our hearts' desire to see God move in sovereign power. Talking to each other about how we can facilitate that, as far as it is in our hands. Trying to 'friendly help each other on' as Wesley wrote in one of his hymns. What should we not be trying to do? Diagnosing the condition of hundreds of saints and prescribing a remedy.


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Ron Bailey

 2009/1/15 11:59Profile
Heydave
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Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1306
Hampshire, UK

 Re:

Thanks for this Ron. I really do understand now (I know I'm a bit slow) :-) and I DO agree with what you are saying.

So I am happy to encourage, challange and help other saints in our walk with the Lord on an [u]individual[/u] basis as and when and where ever I have the opportunity and invitation to do so. Also to receive this in return!


_________________
Dave

 2009/1/15 12:36Profile









 Re:

As far as I know, and I will stand corrected, one of the major reasons for the conferences, including Greenock, was one of repentence"If my people who are called by my name ....ect"

If I understand Ron's objection correctly, it seems that your main objection is someone referring to a collection of saints as "the church." So, for instance, it is ok for saints from around the world to gather and listen to, , Paul Washer talk about indictments, as long as he does not direct his Indictments at "The Church?" So the question would be, just who was he talking too and what authority did he have to share what he did?.....Frank

 2009/1/15 12:37









 Re: Appolus: authority to address the church?


I agree with you Frank. You could therefore say, in following that logic, you don't have the authority to address this Forum, for we are not the church...but a global company of believers...and then, why are you bothering posting?

The entire counsel of the Word, gives any believer the authority to stand on it, and minister it....and yes it is Global...though I do agree that there are different "personalities", flavors, in local churches throughout. There, at the place of the local Church, I do not have authority or elder ship. Paul inferred this often even to his own church plants.

Perhaps what Ron is saying is that he believes in the autonomy of the local assembly. To this I would heartily agree, however there are times when even that can be trumped.


Paul rebuked Peter, a key elder at the Mother church of Jerusalem, and his correction perhaps altered the direction of the Church Universal as much as any other confrontation. Paul had no direct authority in Jerusalem, but his stand upon sound doctrine and truth did.


Of course, it was finally up to Peter to receive this rebuke and correction. The Word of God oversees all of the Church, and I have an obligation to stand on it, and minister it in a universal way.


There, also is such a thing as inherit authority, or manifest Apostolic authority. See Matthew 10. It can be the same today, and there are some folks out doing it now.







Quote:

appolus wrote:
As far as I know, and I will stand corrected, one of the major reasons for the conferences, including Greenock, was one of repentence"If my people who are called by my name ....ect"

If I understand Ron's objection correctly, it seems that your main objection is someone referring to a collection of saints as "the church." So, for instance, it is ok for saints from around the world to gather and listen to, , Paul Washer talk about indictments, as long as he does not direct his Indictments at "The Church?" So the question would be, just who was he talking too and what authority did he have to share what he did?.....Frank

 2009/1/15 13:08
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
Perhaps what Ron is saying is that he believes in the autonomy of the local assembly. To this I would heartily agree, however there are times when even that can be trumped.



I think the ongoing point is simply that the Holy Spirit is in authority and we need to be hearing from God on an recourse of action. It is very easy to try and diagnose problems we see here and there in the Body of Christ and then assume the problems are universal. But there are specific problems with individuals and churches and there is no blanket, cure-all answer.

By way of analogy my Grandmother used to have a concept that when some discipline was needed among the kids and no one would 'fess-up' she would spank all the children to, "Get the right one." Also it is [i]not[/i] equitable or healthy to treat the whole group for a problem that only a select group needed. The Lord Jesus clearly dealt with the 7 churches [i]individually[/i] and not as a group.

So I think the clear message is that the local churches need to be hearing from God. This is practical because folk simply don't need treatment for problems they don't have. There is no super message that will cure all the woes in the Body of Christ in America or in Kansas City, for example. Each local assembly has their own individual issues. What we need is the voice of God in that local congregation dealing with each and [u]every[/u]congregation. If we had that what more need would there be?


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Robert Wurtz II

 2009/1/15 13:58Profile
ADisciple
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Joined: 2007/2/3
Posts: 835
Alberta, Canada

 Re:

Quote:

Heydave wrote:
What I am trying to reconcile is, do we have NO responsibility for the part of that true church that is currently on earth wider than our local church?



We do read of Paul saying to the Corinthians, "What will ye? Shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love and the spirit of meekness?" (1 Cor. 4.21).

And John, concerning Diotrephes. "Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds..." (3 Jn. 10).

So these men were expressing authority regarding those assemblies, even though they were not at the time in their midst as part of the local church there. Were they then taking upon them a responsibility that was not theirs?

No. I think it helps us all to recognize that it is the Holy Spirit in the earth who is alone the vicar of Christ on the throne in Heaven, and each one of us has the liberty, and the responsibility, to be led by and obey the Spirit of God.

Jesus said (referring to His ascension), "All authority is given unto Me in heaven and in earth."

And His authority (and power) at the right hand of of God in Heaven is vested in One in the earth: the Holy Spirit.

And so, the seven stars, the messengers to the seven churches, are in the right hand of the One who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands. I don't know where they fellowshipped locally, we are not told. But they are commissioned from the right hand of God, not from headquarters in Jerusalem (for earthly Jerusalem was never headquarters of the church).

And so when Paul warned the Corinthians that if he came he would not spare (2 Cor. 13.2), or John, in the matter of Diotrephes... these are examples of authority coming from the right hand of the throne of God, and not from the church where John happened to be, or Paul happened to be at the time, say, in Phillipi, or Ephesus, or wherever.

No one church is to have any hierarchy or dominion over another. Neither any group of elders over another group.

For, Headquarters in the New Covenant is the right hand of God in Heaven. It might have been easy for the early church to look to Jerusalem as their headquarters, since the apostles were there. But the Lord quickly demolished that idea by speaking directly to those who were waiting upon Him, and ministering unto Him, at Antioch. And none of the twelve were there.

So, Paul, while he might for a time have settled in Philippi, ministering among the saints there, the local church there... he was moving out from the Throne in Heaven when he warned the Corinthians there was discipline in the books for them if they did not heed his words.

He was not taking upon himself to intrude into something that was beyond his business. He no doubt functioned in harmony with the elders wherever he happened to be, and would seek to be subject to them, as was the demeanor of all of them actually. "Be subject one to another..." But he had a liberty (and a responsibility) to walk under the direct leading of the Holy Spirit, in whatever the Lord bid him to do.

This is an important thing to recognize, lest a subtle transfer take place, and we begin to transfer to the elders of local assemblies a binding authority that would attempt to supercede the authority of the Holy Spirit to lead and direct His own, as He is bid from the Throne in Heaven. It's something that has happened in the past, and happens all too easily, depriving the saints of the liberty to be led by the Holy Spirit.

We certainly know it has happened regarding one man... and Papa becomes called the vicar of Christ. That brings tears to your eyes, but is it all that much different when something similar is set up in Protestant churches?

...Or even if a group of elders is given the same binding authority? And suddenly there is another "Sanhedrin" ruling and overuling the lives of the saints?

...I have a liberty, and will protect it-- and will seek to protect it for others-- to walk in the liberty of the Spirit of God, no man coming in between me and the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the very thing-- this liberty, this responsibility-- that should be found flourishing in a church functioning with true elders in their midst.

AD


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Allan Halton

 2009/1/15 13:58Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
He was not taking upon himself to intrude into something that was beyond his business.



I recall in the Q & A sessions 1 or 2 that the question was asked as to how we might see revival, etc. I recall Ron Bailey answering that, "I am not a strategist. I am a foot soldier. It is my job to do as I am told."


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Robert Wurtz II

 2009/1/15 14:16Profile
ADisciple
Member



Joined: 2007/2/3
Posts: 835
Alberta, Canada

 Re:

Quote:

RobertW wrote:
(quoting Ron) "I am not a strategist. I am a foot soldier. It is my job to do as I am told."



That's a good word.

AD


_________________
Allan Halton

 2009/1/15 14:37Profile





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