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 Re:

Outlandish comment? Thats a bit dramatic, dont you think?

If you really think He had them sit in rows, then suit yourself. Thats not the issue. Seating them in 100's and 50's merely means they sat in groups of 100's and 50's... and keep in mind, most of the time they were outside, probably in a field. More than likely they say in "clusters" of 100's and 50's. Unless the fire marshall showed up and explained the fire codes to Jesus... making sure the disciples kept the ailes clear and what not.

And as you pointed out yourself, He had them sit in ranks of 100's and 50's for the purpose of distributing the food... not for the preaching. You're making an assumption here that can not be made. Obviously having them sit in this way made it easier for the disciples to move amongst the crowd and to be sure everyone got food.

Now, one thing I did not do was condemn people who sit in rows. I merely stated that that type of seating... where the people sit in rows and watch "the show" comes from the Greek and Roman cultures. It was adopted by the Roman Catholic Church. And thats a fact... all you have to do is look at the Roman Colesium and places like that and you can figure it out for yourself.

It doesnt make it wrong. I didnt condemn anyone who does that. Thats your own imagination working overtime if you think I did.

What is wrong is when we get into a mindset that this is the ONLY way it can be done. It surely isnt. Some people meet in caves to avoid being arrested... I dont think they are too concerned with neat orderly rows like we have the fat luxery of being concerned about here in the US.

I prefer teaching in a living room situation, or a back yard where we're sitting in a circle... and the exercise of the gifts within the group can used as shown in scripture. Thats one thing that "neat orderly rows facing forwards" tends to squelch. It becomes all about the people up on stage.

There is a story in Acts about a kid who falls out of a window and dies, and Paul throws himself onto him and prays... and the kid is revived. In this story you can get the impression that Paul was "preaching" like we assume in our cushy American Christianity that preaching is "supposed" to happen... all eyes on the front while Paul sweats under the heat of the spotlights.

Actually, the word used to describe Paul's activities that evening is the greek word for "Dialogue". He was discussing scripture with these people... and the word indicates a two-conversation. If you look, many times thats how Jesus preached... it was very interactive. Jesus was interrupted several times. Or was he really interrupted? He wasnt if it was interactive teaching He was doing. And He was.

But in todays "traditional" setting... you dare not interrupt the preacher with a question while he is preaching! Oh my! But evidence in scripture shows this was the common way of teaching in the NT church.

In the NT church the gifts were given to the congregation so that each member could minister to the others in whatever capacity the Holy Spirit enabled them. Not today! Not in our American churches, where we have it all figured out. Oh no! Instead, we have a stage with people on it who are the ones who are to exercise the gifts... and many times it's done as a "show".

And in the meantime... the Holy Spirit is squelched among the "laity". We're not qualified to operate as the Holy Spirit enables because we've never been to Bible School, or the board hasnt decided we should... or whatever else.

There is no "one another'ing" like we see and are taught about in the NT epistles.

That, my friend, is the way it is in MOST churches in America. And it stinks of Romanism to me.

Krispy

 2008/7/14 13:34
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 Re: the beginning of exciting adventure

“Wow, Mike, this could be liberating for you! You may have some exciting adventure with the Lord ahead of you.”

As I think back to the way God “nudged” me out of the institutionalized church, I realize that we humans tend not to launch out into new uncharted territory as long as things are going nicely where we are. We seem to require a certain degree of dissatisfaction before we will realize that maybe, just maybe God has something else planned.

While we are out in the desert, so to speak, away from the lights and mics, we find ourselves being ministered to by God himself – alone with him. We gradually unhitch the mental/spiritual ties – those “voices” that have become implanted in our minds through years of church life. We must become unhitched from all that. And then we are free to hear from God in new and unexpected ways.


By the way, God has re-planted me in the institutionalized church – not because it is an ideal church, but in order to offer a few drops of water in the dry desert, and learn to rely on him even more deeply. My real Church is not bound by walls. It is being built by God who has been blessing me through his servants scattered here and there.

“Where two or three are gathered…”



I include a wonderful resource for those who have escaped the institutionalized church – either figuratively or for real. It is loaded with helpful and rich biblical teaching (material you rarely hear in church).

The teaching on this site (by Chip Brodgen), in my opinion qualifies as true discipleship. You will no doubt be blessed by this cyberspace pastor whom God raised up for this present season in the history of his Church:

[url=http://www.theschoolofchrist.org/index.html]The School of Christ [/url]

Diane


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Diane

 2008/7/14 16:50Profile
KingJimmy
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 Re:

I recommend much of Brogden's teachings as well. Take some of what he says with a grain of salt though. He has a "maverick" spirit about him sometimes.


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Jimmy H

 2008/7/14 20:45Profile
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 Re:

"God has not abandoned the traditional church fellowship; people instead get their feelings hurt and impetuously remove themselves from under authority, often bringing to nought the work of grace God would bring into their lives through such frictions and feather-ruffling."

This is a truth we must consider carefully when contemplating leaving a fellowship. We humans love our freedom and can catch a case of wanderlust without recognizing it for what it is. Most of us here, I imagine, understand that the way to life is through death and the path of the cross is terrible to the old man. The thought of leaving the church and the circumstances the Lord has prepared amidst that fellowship would smell like a spring breeze after the rain coming through the window if we are in that dark, painful place in the path. If you leave you could be sabatoging the Lord's work in you.

It is also dangerous to leave the fellowship without His obvious leading. Remember the fellows that are cast out of the fellowship for the purpose of discipline...they become prey for the enemy.

I understand the heart that wants change and is fed up with the status quo, but I am not in my church for me. I am there because He put me there to feed His lambs. Be very careful when making your decision that the Lord is leading you.


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Randy Lambert

 2008/7/14 20:48Profile
KingJimmy
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 Re:

It should be noted that to leave the church and rail against the church because it has become very instutional, and then to leave the church because of that, is keeping in spirit with the biblical definition of a heretic. Schismatics are of the flesh, and to cause division in the body (be it actively or passively) is of the devil.

A "come out of her" mentality is proper towards the world, but not your brothers and sisters in Christ... even if they are not the most spiritual bunch.


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Jimmy H

 2008/7/14 21:01Profile
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 Re:

A further note, I cannot find one place in Scripture where we are ever encouraged to "leave" the church. Even within the problematic churches of Revelation 2-3, Christ never once told anybody in any of those churches to abandon the fellowship of the church. The only one's we are not to have any fellowship with, according to Scripture, are those so-called "brothers" who live in open unrepentant sin.


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Jimmy H

 2008/7/14 21:03Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
I cannot find one place in Scripture where we are ever encouraged to "leave" the church.



This is a good observation, KingJimmy. But, then, it's not so black and white. After all, it’s not about what you or I think we should do about our situation, but what God calls us to do. As I have said many times, a bad church is not a reason to leave and a good church is not a reason to stay. One could leave a “bad church” for wrong reasons, or stay in a good church for wrong reasons.

Here's another point: Running away from troubles in a church may be merely out of self-interest - while God is wishing to use church troubles to refine our faith and whittle away some rough edges.

We are not lords of our own lives, even regarding these matters.


Quote:
I recommend much of Brogden's teachings as well. Take some of what he says with a grain of salt though. He has a "maverick" spirit about him sometimes.



?

Diane


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Diane

 2008/7/14 21:43Profile
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 Re:

This may not directly address this topic. But I think it fits with the thought. It is never good to leave church. We have a tendency to shop around like we're buying a car, deciding whether to purchase it basis on the options and packages the dealer offers. This is the state of modern Church culture. Perhaps we have too many options. Perhaps if there were some general concensus throughout the body that would investigate when someone it migriating their membership there would be less "transfer growth". That's when one church grows at the expense of the diminishing of another. Yes, we are lead by the Spirit. But the Spirit also leads us to take practical steps to insure that people are where they should be. Don't know if this will ever happen though. Some churches welcome the new faces because of there own desire to see "church growth". Some allow it because that potential member is coming from a "rival" local church in the area. I can go on and on.

On the other hand, as is with my case, I have two children, one 18mos the other 3mos. My wife works every weekend, which makes getting to church a real challenge. So, as many of you would most likely do, I worship at home. It certainly is not the same. Corporate worship is glorious. But, I would like to believe that the omniscient God knew the season I would be in. It's not easy. I have been ordained and have traveled to a few places around the world as a missionary. I long terribly to go again. I've seen some amazing things happen while on foreign soil. Without His grace I know I could not bear it. This is not to shed a negative light on the blessing of my marriage and family. I love them. Yet, as some of you may understand, nothing compares to actively serving Him. Now, I have come to understand, and am still learning, that my family is also like a mission field, albeit a very different kind. And there is much work and fulfillment in it too. Like one preacher said while I was listening to AM radio, "God has your life in a holding pattern". That ministered to me a lot. I needed to hear that. So, perhaps this message was mostly for me. Though I suppose there may be others that are in similar circumstances. I praise God for this website and for Greg, who obeyed Him. It's been a while since I last chimed in. It's good to be back.

 2008/7/14 22:34Profile
KingJimmy
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 Re:


This is a good observation, KingJimmy. But, then, it's not so black and white. After all, it’s not about what you or I think we should do about our situation, but what God calls us to do. As I have said many times, a bad church is not a reason to leave and a good church is not a reason to stay. One could leave a “bad church” for wrong reasons, or stay in a good church for wrong reasons.


I'm not going to say the Holy Spirit wouldn't tell somebody to withdrawal from fellowship for a brief season, but, I believe the Scripture doesn't encourage such behavior either. What is very clear is that we should draw together all the more as the day of the Lord draws near. There may be exceptions to this, but, for sure, it is not the normative thing the Lord would have us to do.


As I have said many times, a bad church is not a reason to leave and a good church is not a reason to stay. One could leave a “bad church” for wrong reasons, or stay in a good church for wrong reasons.


Indeed.


Here's another point: Running away from troubles in a church may be merely out of self-interest - while God is wishing to use church troubles to refine our faith and whittle away some rough edges.


Indeed. What right do we have to run away from problems if we are at a place that God called us to? Unless God tells us to go somewhere, the place we are at is the place God wants us to grow. And sometimes a plant needs some stinky fertilizer added to its soil to cause it to grow.

Like brother Art Katz frequently would say, the church is a place of suffering before it is a glory. The pains, tensions, and heartaches that we feel in our churches are meant to be crosses that God is calling us to embrace. Death always precedes life. The cross always precedes resurrection. Passover always precedes Pentecost. And unless we embrace these sufferings, any "glory" we encounter is suspect and likely superficial. Ministers and "lay" people alike should not flee a church because of bad things that are happening.


?


What I meant about Brogden is that his teachings, while generally good, sometimes have a "maverick" mindset behind them that fosters a "come out of her" mentality. So far as I have followed his ministry, such is why he has pretty much left the church to begin with, and generally attracts people who have the same mentality.


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Jimmy H

 2008/7/14 22:36Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
What I meant about Brogden is that his teachings, while generally good, sometimes have a "maverick" mindset behind them that fosters a "come out of her" mentality.



I’m not sure if I would call this a “maverick” mindset or a word from the Lord. I am inclined to see it as the later, as I have yet found no cause to suspect anything else. Quite the contrary. Brodgen differentiates between the “church” that is man-made/run from the Church that is being formed by God. Of course, we all know that the eternal church is not the same as the church that we define by labels, constitutions, rituals, walls (including home churches) and so forth. And yet, there seems to be a perpetual tendency in any church to apply all Biblical references about church to that category – including the one “forsake not the fellowship”. Frankly, I do not feel obligated, based on that verse, to “fellowship” with unbelievers or those disinterested in edifying the saints.

I am convinced that in any church on Sunday, a vast majority are not saved, even though they believe they are. For me, the “church”, as we use the term is not “church” as the Bible uses it, but really it is the mission field. Surely true church can indeed happen outside of the institutional walls or functions – without being an organized function. It certainly does for me – and that is exciting. God is building his Church and refining his children – and through any means! Example:

Quote:
Like one preacher said while I was listening to AM radio, "God has your life in a holding pattern". That ministered to me a lot. I needed to hear that.



Why is it that for years we Protestants have felt quite justified in nudging people out of the Catholic Church, but are reluctant to do so when our Protestant churches become equally overrun with heresy?

Diane


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Diane

 2008/7/14 23:22Profile





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