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

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philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
It seems also that the believers met in smaller groups in houses (from house to house) and it is probable (to my thinking) that these smaller groups would have some degree of autonomy with elders caring for these sheep, but also recognising they were part of the larger 'church' in that particular city or region'. This is just my theory and I know it is hard to prove absolutely.


It's my theory too. When faced with the evidence that we have in the scripture we need to create a scenario and then check it against the facts. I think your scenario is consistent with the biblical evidence.


Quote:
I think that maybe (as many think probable) that when persecution comes because of the gospel, to the church in the West, then this will sort out the true saints from professing 'Christians' and then maybe this gathering of all the true believers in one location will become the norm and happen naturally by the holy Spirit).


I have visited many of the 'old iron curtain countries' for over 20 years now. The authorities often forced smaller groups into larger conglomerates. In some countries a church had to decide whether they were Orthodox, Brethren or Pentecostal. You can tie a cat and a dog together by their tails but it doesn't produce unity. :-D


Quote:
Without doubt this is the original plan Jesus has for His church 'that they may be one' (John 17).


one, as we are one... Is that a physical union? is it a visible union? I know that the world is supposed to 'see' something but just what can they see if only the regenerate can see the kingdom of heaven? John 3

There is a 'unity of the Spirit' which just happens; I think you and I experienced that 'happening' at Greenock? If we dig into the small print we will certainly find differences in emphasis but such things are no hindrance to genuine 'unity in the Spirit'. Gee... I don't even agree with myself ALL the time! ;-)

We are admonished to 'preserve' the unity of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace. We cannot create it but we must be diligent to maintain it.


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2009/1/19 14:35Profile
ADisciple
Member



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

 Re:

Quote:

Heydave wrote:
Without doubt this is the original plan Jesus has for His church 'that they may be one' (John 17). If you consider Paul's letters to Corinth and Ephesus, he urges them to be 'of one mind', 'to be in unity', 'operate in harmony as various members making up one body' etc. If we take it that these letters are to ALL the believers in that locality then there should not be 'seperate' churches. Different, but NOT seperate.

It seems also that the believers met in smaller groups in houses (from house to house) and it is probable (to my thinking) that these smaller groups would have some degree of autonomy with elders caring for these sheep, but also recognising they were part of the larger 'church' in that particular city or region'.



Hi Dave,

I agree pretty much with your whole post, but just highlighted a bit of it.

Different, but not separate. That says it.

In perfect harmony, yet unique expressions of the manifold (variegated) wisdom of God.

And I believe this is the very reason why the Lord places such emphasis on the importance of the local churches being autononmous (am still searching for a better word than autonomous) ...and subject directly to Himself.

I have often noticed (when travelling) how terrain can vary so greatly. Mountainous terrain has a unique kind of beauty. But then after a few miles you are in the foothills, and then the prairies... Very different expressions of one law of life in the natural creation.

And so shouldn't the New Creation reveal unique expressions of the glory of the Lord too?

AD


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Allan Halton

 2009/1/19 15:19Profile
Heydave
Member



Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1306
Hampshire, UK

 Re:

Quote:
one, as we are one... Is that a physical union? is it a visible union? I know that the world is supposed to 'see' something but just what can they see if only the regenerate can see the kingdom of heaven? John 3




I knew when I wrote that I was going setting myself up :-) It's a subject easy to be mis-interpreted. I do agree with the fact that we are already one in Spirit. As I said in an earlier post, we are to keep the unity of the Spirit while we grow in the unity of the faith (doctrine). Ref. Ephesians 4. This latter part is the hard bit!


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Dave

 2009/1/19 15:35Profile
Heydave
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Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1306
Hampshire, UK

 Re:

Quote:
I have often noticed (when travelling) how terrain can vary so greatly. Mountainous terrain has a unique kind of beauty. But then after a few miles you are in the foothills, and then the prairies... Very different expressions of one law of life in the natural creation.


Quote:
And so shouldn't the New Creation reveal unique expressions of the glory of the Lord too?



Hey I really like this :-D

Thanks for this, it warms my heart!


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Dave

 2009/1/19 15:40Profile
ADisciple
Member



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

 Re:

Quote:

philologos wrote:
I believe strongly in eldership but a church can be a powerful testimony to Christ and a real light bearer without elders or deacons.



Yes.

We are so used weak Christianity, it's all most of us have ever seen... with the people never growing to stature, perpetually in need of "caregivers" to take care of them.

But isn't it the "job" of elders to work themselves out of a job?

This scripture comes to mind:

"...That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth, that our daughters may be cornerstones..." (Ps. 144.12)

Grown up in their youth!

AD


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Allan Halton

 2009/1/19 15:47Profile
ADisciple
Member



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

 Re:

Quote:

Heydave wrote:
Hey I really like this :-D

Thanks for this, it warms my heart!



It warms my heart, too, Dave.

It makes me greatly desire to give the Lord His lordship in my life, so that He can bring forth that particular expression of Himself that He has in mind for me.

I do believe this to be the answer to the unity problem. I think, if you understand what I am saying, we should forget about trying to be one, and rather... if I just walk in the Spirit, and give Him His lordship in my life, I cannot help but be one with others who are doing the same. It's a spiritual reality.

My life might be (no doubt would be) a very different expression from theirs, but it will be in perfect harmony.

AD


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Allan Halton

 2009/1/19 16:05Profile
RobertW
Member



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

 Re:

Quote:
And so shouldn't the New Creation reveal unique expressions of the glory of the Lord too?



I heard a speaker say once that if you give men trees they will plant orchards in perfectly straight grid pattern with sorted rows by category. But when God plants trees we get the majestic country sides like we see in New England during the fall. I thought it was a good point.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2009/1/19 16:53Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
ADisciple on 2009/1/19 17:47:33
But isn't it the "job" of elders to work themselves out of a job?


Not really because the elders' (plural) job is the oversight of the whole local assembly. The elders may well, as individuals, be called upon to 'separate' from the local assembly as in Acts 13 for some other work that God has for them.

There is a provocative statement in the OT, the poor you have with you always. In every assembly there will always be those who need the personal care of the elders (and of other saints). Our objective with these saints is certainly to 'work ourselves out of a job'.


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Ron Bailey

 2009/1/21 7:39Profile
ADisciple
Member



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

 Re:

Quote:

philologos wrote:
In every assembly there will always be those who need the personal care of the elders (and of other saints). Our objective with these saints is certainly to 'work ourselves out of a job'.



Yes, this is what I had in mind. I think of Paul's teaching, that the ascended Christ gives the gifts of apostles, prophets, etc. for the equipping of the saints TILL...

"Till we all come (unto) the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God unto a (full-grown) man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ..." (Eph. 4.11).

TILL. That is, they have worked themselves out of a job. The body, equipped and provisioned by the ministries, is now enabled to "edifies ITSELF..." by means of a working that the apostle calls "love."

AD


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Allan Halton

 2009/1/21 11:18Profile
ADisciple
Member



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

 Re:

I have been wondering about the ordaining of elders.

This is an area (among many) that I don't have much understanding about. I've wondered if maybe you (Ron) had in mind to discuss this eventually. (And maybe it's something you have already touched on earlier, and I somehow missed. There are a lot of pages back there now.)

I'm thinking of this verse in Titus.

"For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldst set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee" (Titus 1.5).

(Interesting to see that: "elders in every city...")

But what is this all about, ordaining elders? Surely this is something beyond a ceremony, a procedure, of some kind.

And if the elders were ordained by the apostles, what does this say of apostolic authority relative to eldership authority?

Because I don't think the apostles were set over the elders in a hierarchical kind of way. They numbered themselves among the elders (1 Pt. 5.1).

I am wondering if it isn't right here that things began to go awry in the early church. Not because this was not of God, but because it was taken in a wrong direction, and men began ordaining one man to be the bishop over certain areas.

In my Bagster's Englishman's Greek/English Interlinear (which is the complete source of my obvious indepth knowledge of Greek :-)) the letter to Titus concludes with this: "To Titus, of the Cretans assembly first overseer chosen..." It's called the subscription, but a note at the bottom of the page says that it's not considered part of the original manuscript by certain scholars (who are listed).

But there it is. "Titus, chosen the first bishop of the church of Crete..."

2 Timothy has a similar subscription. "To Timotheus second, of the of the Ephesians assembly the first overseer chosen, written from Rome..."

And so this tries to tell us Timothy was THE first bishop of the church of Ephesus.

But again a note at the bottom of the page, stating that certain scholars reject this as being part of Paul's original manuscript.

I am inclined to agree that these subscriptions were added later. For the setting up of one man as bishop of a church is contrary to the scriptural pattern.

But it shows us how early this hierarchical structure came on the scene, to our sorrow.

EDIT: I have no idea how much later these subscriptions were added to the original manuscripts. I mean, I don't know just when it was that this thing of "one bishop" over churches entered in. Probably very early, but just when, I don't know.

AD


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Allan Halton

 2009/1/21 11:51Profile





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