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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : Revival or Reformation?

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AbideinHim
Member



Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3441
Louisiana

 Re:

Hi Aaron,

You bring up some very good points about church life, and you are absolutely right that many people leave the institutional church with a chip on their shoulder, and spend most of their time bashing the organized church.

I don't know about you all, but I am a little weary of the whole church scene. The church service has become so predictable that you know what is going to take place before it ever happens. This is because there is very little room for the Holy Spirit to move as He wills.

I know that Frank Viola places much emphasis on a mimimum amount of leadership, so that the Holy Spirit can have His way. There is a ditch on either side. Either you generally have a leader that wants to control the meeting, or you have one that just lets her rip, and this can cause many problems.

It is refreshing to be in a group where each member recognizes the headship of Jesus Christ, where there is no competiton, but all are open to the Holy Spirit, and give out of their supply to the building up of the Body.

I have good friends that I fellowship with both within and outside of the institutional church. There is really only one Church, and it consists of all those that are in Christ and members of His Body.

Mike


_________________
Mike

 2008/11/23 10:32Profile
narrowpath
Member



Joined: 2005/1/9
Posts: 1053
Germany NRW

 Re:

Quote:
Brother, you seem to have some insight on house churches. Have you ever prayed about starting one?



Yes, I did. We are still member of an institutional church and I do not want to leave until the time is right. I also enjoy fellowship with some dear saints there.

We are meeting as a family, my wife and 3 daughters and we really enjoy it.

Before I start a fellowship I want to make sure that I either have an apostolic calling or if not then connect with true apostles by biblical definition. I do not wnat to presume to appoint myself as someone over Gods very own house and the sheep of His pasture.

I have heard and read of too many home fellowship but they died down, split, apostasised or became instititutional again. Therefore I believe it must have apostolic - not denominational - foundations. It is very encouraging to hear Micah share that their church is doing well.

Coming back to revival. I am all for it, but I think that the institutional church will not be able to host a revival for long. Either if will burst the institution or the institution itself will snuff the life of the Spirit out of it as it has happened so many times before. We need new wine skins. I like the term wine skin. It is flexible and expandible, it allows the new wine to ferment but it makes sure it is contained and not spilled.

I will be off to the revival conference in Scotland on Tuesday.

narrowpath

 2008/11/23 13:33Profile
CJaKfOrEsT
Member



Joined: 2004/3/31
Posts: 901
Melbourne, Australia

 Re:

Quote:

AbideinHim wrote:

I don't know about you all, but I am a little weary of the whole church scene. The church service has become so predictable that you know what is going to take place before it ever happens. This is because there is very little room for the Holy Spirit to move as He wills.



Here's a quote from Firth to ponder on:
Quote:

[b]CHAPTER 4
ASSEMBLING OURSELVES TOGETHER, AND OTHER CHALLENGES[/b]

There are, of course, quite a few other references in the New Testament to "gatherings" or "get-togethers" of Christians. Because they don't mention Sunday or Corporate Worship doesn't mean that we can overlook them. There is, for instance, the famous verse most often brought up in discussions about the unstructured church lifestyle: [b]"Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is"[/b] (Hebrews 10:25 AV). The first thing I would point out, with regard to this verse, is the context - which shows what the writer was expecting to happen at these get-togethers. It wasn't worship! It was: "Consider how we may spur one another on to love and good works" (v24); and "Let us encourage one another" (v25). It wasn't even a teaching session; it was a time for conversation among people.

The second issue I would want to point out with regard to Hebrews 10:25 is that critics of unstructured church-life always seem to quote this verse from the Authorised Version, even though many of them don't actually use the AV much. Whereas most translations say "meeting together", the AV says "assembling together", which sounds a little grander, and perhaps gives the impression that we ought to be at something which is like a school assembly, or a Christian Brethren assembly.

The truth is, however, that the actual Greek verb (epi-sun-ag-ein), translated as "assemble together" in the AV simply means "to gather together" - of any numbers, including small numbers. Jesus used the selfsame word when talking about vultures gathering round a dead body (Luke 17:37). You don't get many vultures round one corpse - usually just a pair, or a couple of pairs! Jesus also uses that actual word to describe the hen gathering her chicks under her wings (Matthew 23:37). You don't get all that many chickens under one mother hen!

So, it really is a bit naughty to use this verse to suggest that we ought to be at regular occasions which have the characteristics of "assemblies", and that when we get there, we should be engaging in corporate worship. The verse itself doesn't carry either of these implications. In fact, with regard to numbers, there is absolutely no reason why it could not refer to an informal get-together of, say, two couples or half-a-dozen individuals. All the verse really means is: "It is essential to have get-togethers with other Christians for mutual encouragement and spurring-on to good works. The living stones of a spiritual house are not to remain isolated. They are to be linked with each other. They are constantly to develop relationships with one another.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

The other often-quoted passage is in 1 Corinthians chapter 14, especially perhaps verses 24 to 26: [b]"If an unbeliever.... comes in while [u]everybody[/u] is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner... and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and [u]worship[/u] God, exclaiming, 'God is really among you!'.... When you come together [u]everyone[/u] has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church."[/b] I have put some underlinings within the actual quotation because these verses clearly envisage quite a few people, including "outsiders", meeting together. There is mention of worship (at least by the new convert) and there is certainly singing.

But look at the verse immediately before all this - verse 23. Paul introduces the whole section by saying: [b]"[u]If[/u] the whole church comes[/b] together...". "IF" - not "When"! "IF" not "Each Sunday"! Absolutely all the translations, from the AV onwards, agree that the word is IF. In other words, Paul doesn't seem to envisage [b]all[/b] the Christians of the local House of Living Stones coming together with regularity - but if they do, we may expect the kind of thing he outlines.

THE SECOND HALF OF 1 CORINTHIANS Ch.14 IS ABOUT THE CHARACTERISTICS OF AN OCCASIONAL, NON-REGULAR GATHERING OF THE WHOLE LOCAL BODY, AND NOT AT ALL ABOUT SOMETHING REGULAR AND FREQUENT!

* * * * * * * * * * * *

A small digression here, for those who specially value the concept of "Body Ministry". If you have no particular interest, you can skip this bit until the next set of asterisks!

"Body Ministry Worship" is exactly what is going on in 1 Corinthians chapter 14. Now, "Body Ministry" - where everyone has their part to play - can be a genuinely lovely part of Christian experience in all sorts of ways. But Mavis and I have found that, so far as people worshipping together is concerned, it quickly loses its spontaneity and gets into ruts, if it becomes regular and frequent. The only way it keeps its freshness, at least according to our observation, is if it maintains the qualities of occasional-ness and non-regularity - which is exactly what Paul seems to have in mind when he says "If the whole church comes together..."



I like this...

Quote:
I have good friends that I fellowship with both within and outside of the institutional church. There is really only one Church, and it consists of all those that are in Christ and members of His Body.


_________________
Aaron Ireland

 2008/11/26 5:41Profile





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