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MattChenier
Member



Joined: 2006/11/13
Posts: 121
Longview,WA

 Re:

Quote:

Mattie wrote:
I will pose this as a question to those who believe the leaders are the authorities of the church....

Evidently, most believe (I used to myself) that leaders have authority over the church and we are called to submit to that authority because of passages like these:

Hebrews 13:17 'Obey your leaders and submit yourselves to them, for they watch out for your souls'

1 Peter 5:5 'Likewise, you younger ones, submit yourselves to your elders'

The word 'submit' itself gives us the idea that there is an authority that we are to place ourselves under.

Interestingly enough, the same word 'submit' is also used in 1 Peter 5:5 when it says 'yes, all of you, submit to one another'

as well as Ephesians 5:21 'submitting to one another out of the fear of Christ'

So my question then comes, what is it that we are submitting to? If submission is to leaders, why would the same word be used for everyone in the church? What is the submission? What is the authority?

Your thoughts.



I think this is an improper "dividing [of] the word of truth." Are you trying to say that there is no authority in the church? Why else would God require these authorities to give account for our well being if they were not responsible for our well-being.

The Bible says that man was not made for the sabbath, but the sabbath was made for the man. However, if the sabbath wasn't honored, then it wouldn't be a blessing to you.

Likewise, the church is not made for the leader, but the leader for the church. However, if you don't honor your leader, you won't be blessed. This is why the scripture you quoted out of Hebrews states that "this is unprofitable for you." We often rebel or disrespect our leadership in order to get back at them, but really, we are the ones who suffer because they are there to benefit us.

Last thing, if you don't submit to your leader, then leave the church. Either get behind him (support him) or get out of his way. Either God has called you to support that vision, or he has not. If he has, then do it as unto the Lord whether you like it or not. If God hasn't called you to support the vision, then why are you there. No excuses. God isn't confused about His will.

The original post and most the others showed a healthy balance. Thanks.


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Matt Chenier

 2009/12/17 17:09Profile
KingJimmy
Member



Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

Quote:

Either God has called you to support that vision, or he has not.



I'm sorry, but where has this idea come from? The vision of each local congregation is supposed to be fundamentally the same: establishing the saints firmly in the faith and raising them up to be more and more like Jesus. I don't see "vision caster" or "dreamer" as one of the qualifications or virtues of pastoral ministry in the Scriptures. Biblically, the "leaders" of the church are supposed to be men of God who demonstrate what it's like to live the Christian life, and others are supposed to follow them in how they live.

Men who raise their heads up above the congregation saying they have a unique vision for the local church that is to be followed should probably have their heads cut off and thrown over the wall.

Quote:

Either God has called you to support that vision, or he has not... If God hasn't called you to support the vision, then why are you there.



This is not Biblical, and wreaks of the carnal authoritarianism that exists in Christiandome today. It's a divisive and dangerous doctrine that has its origins in hell.


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Jimmy H

 2009/12/17 18:15Profile
KingJimmy
Member



Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

The ministry is supposed to be a service, whereby one demonstrates what it is to live the Christian life, and exists to help other saints in living that very life. These men have their authority in the example they leave for others to imitate me. They are spiritual fathers who look to equip their sons and daughters for a life pertaining to godliness. Thus, they exist to serve, not to be served.

The "follow my vision" statement that you hear pounded from pulpits across America today is totally contrary to the attitude of service, and the example left by Christ and the apostles. Those who would lead in the church must have nothing less than the attitude of a slave. They are not "servant-leaders" as pop-theology teaches. They are simply slaves.

Instead of you being at the beck and call of the elders, the elders are supposed to be at the beck and call of everybody else. Instead of the congregation existing to help fuel and fulfill the pastors vision for the local body, these men are supposed to exist to help the body discover their God ordained purposes and callings, and to equip them to fulfill their individual purposes and callings within the local church. Pastors exist to help equip them for this end.

But today we don't have this setup. Everything is backwards. Instead what we see is the "people conquering" spirit of the Nicolateans existing in the clergy caste system, where a single man is declared "the man of God" over the local body. He rules and reigns, and anybody who dares to question his authority or vision or purpose is dealth with accordingly. In fact, such people are usually pushed out the door and told to go somewhere else where they can a vision they agree with. It's not supposed to be this way.

We are supposed to be a people who are only of one vision and purpose. The definition of the church and what it is called to be is very clear from the Scriptures. Every local fellowship must have as it's main and central vision the same thing that is contained within the Scriptures. Romans 8:28-29 and Ephesians 4:11-15 makes it clear what that is: Being conformed to the image of Christ, and growing up into the fullness of His stature, obtaining the unity of the faith.... or in otherwords... producing true MEN of God.

Anything that even remotely competes with this vision is surely from hell. Oh no doubt, each local body might have certain activities it engages in for a time that distinguish it from other local churches. But this isn't supposed to be a top->down sort of vision, that the people must accept and center around. Indeed, just because a man may have a unique calling and vision from the Lord doesn't mean it should become the central focus of the local church. It should be supported by the local church. But in a healthy church, you may very well find several such things, and rightfully so.

We are one body with many members with many different gifts and specialized callings. Not everybody is going to be engaging in the exact same ministry as their brother or sister is. But whatever the case, we are called to discover what our particular niche is, and flow in that. But all of that is supposed to flow out the common vision of the local church as grounded within the Scripture.

There is no room whatsoever for one-man to dominate the local assembly with his "vision" from the Lord. It's nothing but arrogance to do such... and arrogance is not from the Lord. Therefore I say, if such a brother does not repent of such: Off with his head and throw it over the city wall. Such a man is a wolf in sheeps clothing, and must be dealt accordingly.


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Jimmy H

 2009/12/17 18:37Profile
twayneb
Member



Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 1989
Joplin, Missouri

 Re:

Mattie Wrote:

Quote:
So my question then comes, what is it that we are submitting to? If submission is to leaders, why would the same word be used for everyone in the church? What is the submission? What is the authority? Your thoughts.



The church is the worldwide universal body of Christ. But we obviously cannot all come over to the house on Friday night (My house is way too small and my wife would not appreciate me inviting that large a crowd), so there are local bodies of believers that we also label "churches". Originally these were all the believers in a city. I think many of us live in cities where this too would be very impractical. So, denominational splintering aside, there will be several local bodies even in one city. I believe it is pretty much irrelevent where we meet. We are simply not supposed to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, and are to increase our meeting together as we see the day of the Lord drawing near.

The church, however, is not without Biblical leadership and governmental structure. But the one man show and the "church board" structures are found nowhere Biblically.

The church was established on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Eph. 2:20-22. It was to these ministry gifts that the mystery of the church was first revealed and then spread. Eph. 3:1-5. God then established a way in which the body could be fed and brought up into maturity. It was in having five ministry gifts operating actively in the church. Eph. 4:8-16. These five equipping gifts are the apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher (Some may put pastor and teacher together. I won't be dogmatic although I have some good reasons to believe them separate.) God has a divine order for the ordination of leadership in each local body. The apostolic gift, due to the nature of that gift, recognizes and ordains eldership in a local body. Scripturally, that eldership was almost always a plurality. There was never a "one man show". You will NEVER find in the entirely of scripture that a "pastor" was placed over a local body, although someone in eldership may be a pastor in the sense of Eph. 4:11. Another interesting fact is that the term Bishop and Elder are synonymous and describe the same office. Titus 1:5-9 clearly shows this as it uses the terms interchangeably. This eldership then appointed deacons to serve as leaders over different aspects of practical ministry.

A few things should be observed about this structure. While it is governmental, it is ruling or leading from the bottom up. These are servant leaders. Look at the greek word for deacon. No lording over another here. We submit to one another in love, in service, preferring one another. We also submit to the leadership He has placed in the body. Submission is not blindly falling in lock step with another man's direction. It is recognizing the calling of God on a person's life to minister to the body in leadership and following that person's lead as they follow Christ.

I am of the opinion, and that quite strongly, that the local church will never walk in the power and anointing that God intends until we restore God's design for church structure. The body cannot be prepared and equipped properly for the work of the ministry without all five of the equipping gifts in operation.

Oh, one more thought. No man can choose to be an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher. These people are called of God from before the foundations of the world to operate in this capacity in the body. No amount of "wishing I was a pastor" and time spent in seminary will make any man a pastor. It is a calling of God, NOT an office. The same with the other four. Now, everyone can teach, and should, but that does not make them a teacher in the sense of Eph. 4. A man can desire to hold the OFFICE of an elder as well as a deacon. 1 Tim. 3:1.

Interestingly enough, I am seeing this structure manifesting itself more and more. There was a structure built on these basic principles in the past that got way off. They began to revel in titles, "Bishop so-and-so, Apostle so-and-so". No one in the Bible was ever called by such a title. Paul said, my name is Paul and I am called to be an apostle. He never said, "I am Apostle Paul". There is a big difference between the two.

Interestingly enough, it seems that with the right structure in place, the place of meeting takes on less and less significance. Our fellowship began in a home, and now we are remodeling 10,000 sq.ft. in an old shopping center as a place to meet and coordinate ministry. But the heart of the church is not effected by the place where we meet. It is simply a place out of the weather that we can use to accomplish the purposes God has given us to accomplish.

Travis.


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Travis

 2009/12/17 18:59Profile
MattChenier
Member



Joined: 2006/11/13
Posts: 121
Longview,WA

 Re:

I never said that every "vision" was God's. You are not understanding the "vision" that I mean. Each local church is a move of God. Yes it is in essence all one move of God. But God separates different church bodies in different areas. I believe God has a church that he desires every person to be a part of. Whether home or not. I believe that if God isn't calling you to support a church, then you need to leave it. You judge way harshly on what I mean. You need to chill a little. I made one comment that is not satanic and you blame me for carnal authoritarianism and say that my doctrine is from hell. God bless you too brother... umm..... Perhaps you should even have inquired a little more before passing such judgment.


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Matt Chenier

 2009/12/17 19:27Profile
KingJimmy
Member



Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

I deeply apologize. It looks as if I misread you. Something you said just sounded so much like some things that I've heard over the years that caused me to mispeak.


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Jimmy H

 2009/12/17 19:42Profile
jimp
Member



Joined: 2005/6/18
Posts: 1481


 Re:

hi, while being a part of a very large church a group of us decided to meet week to week in a different home for a covered dish bible study led by the host and hostess of the week. it gave everyone a chance to study and minister amongst those who truly got to love one another.we became a unit of joy in our church and neighborhoods. the church now has over 1000 cell groups but without the rotation of leadership... great...jimp

 2009/12/17 22:44Profile
Leo_Grace
Member



Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


 Re:

Dear Matt,

Quote:
We often rebel or disrespect our leadership in order to get back at them, but really, we are the ones who suffer because they are there to benefit us.

Last thing, if you don't submit to your leader, then leave the church. Either get behind him (support him) or get out of his way.


Unconditional submission to anyone other than Christ is not biblical. I would agree with your statement if the church leader is faithfully preaching the word, and the issue of one's staying or leaving is merely a matter of God's call.

However, it is difficult and even wrong to walk away if the matter involves false teaching or unbiblical exercise of church "leadership". There are times when believers must stand up and resist an unworthy leader, for it is the unfaithful man who must leave the fellowship of believers. To simply walk away without exposing falsehood would be sin against those left behind.

[i]Gal 2:4-6 "This matter arose because some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves. [b]We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you[/b]. As for those who seemed to be important —whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearance —those men added nothing to my message."[/i]

 2009/12/18 0:17Profile
MattChenier
Member



Joined: 2006/11/13
Posts: 121
Longview,WA

 Re:

Kingjimmy, Thanks for the apology. I usually can't stand to talk on this website because everybody is so itching to rip the throats of the church's false doctrines that I am judged very strictly by everybody on here. And what if I was saying what you thought I was? What are the odds you would have been able to bring correction to my life with that attitude? I am fairly secure in my beliefs and I have been bothered by that all night. Don't forget that we are not all ignorant unbiblical stereotypical American Christians. And even if I was, have mercy! Please. I barely got back on to even read your response again. God bless you and thanks again for your apology.


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Matt Chenier

 2009/12/18 3:37Profile
MattChenier
Member



Joined: 2006/11/13
Posts: 121
Longview,WA

 Re:

Leo_grace, I never said anything about unconditional submission. I agree that it is good to warn those who needed warned whether publicly or privately. But I wonder, how many false doctrines are worth destroying a church's faith in their pastor? Obviously some are, and obviously some aren't. If its a big deal, speak up. If not, let it go. If you don't, you will destroy those who are weak in the faith. Then they will feel insecure and back away from God. And don't forget, if you need to state your opinion on your way out the door, do it, but don't pull the walls down on those who stay. Does this come from God?

I wonder how many of us wish for our children to spread gossip, backbite, and accuse us in front of others when we are wrong in our parenting. I wonder, what would it speak to your children for your wife to tell your children that you are an idiot and not to respect you if they disagree with you. NO! If we are wrong, then we are wrong, and unless it is a matter of life and death, then our children need to be obedient. God will bless them for honoring us. But what about in the church? Is it ok for a leader to go behind the pastor's back and start "correcting" false doctrines. Let it be done in the light or not at all! If it cannot be done in the light, then find a church where it can. Leo_grace, I am not accusing you of all these things. I am just speaking on the topic in general. Please don't feel that I am directing this all towards you. I am not. I have done all these mistakes in the past, and I am zealous to see these tricks of the devil stopped in the church. I wouldn't leave my church because I new God called me there, but I didn't agree on everything the pastor taught, so I made my life and everybody else's hell until I realized I was going to have to change. I won't get into all the change right now, its too long ;)


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Matt Chenier

 2009/12/18 3:51Profile





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