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 What is the obligation of the Church?..It's all about me.



"THE POPULAR NOTION THAT THE FIRST OBLIGATION OF THE CHURCH IS TO SPREAD THE GOSPEL TO THE UTTERMOST PARTS OF THE EARTH IS FALSE.

HER FIRST OBLIGATION IS TO BE SPIRITUALLY WORTHY TO SPREAD IT.".......A.W.TOZER
...........................................................

Humanism and secular ecumenicism have encroached upon the holy church like the Flood of Noah. The gospel has become a formula for our best lives now, or a selfish purpose driven theology to enhance our friendship with God, just in order to be blessed more.

There was a time that the Baptist denomination [ by far the largest Protestant Church] was a stallworth of orthodox doctrine. This is an observation in general, but from what I see, it too has been leavened by a gospel centered on the blessedness of the believer, rather than the blessedness of the cross.

[ I'm not picking on the Baptists, for this thinking is pervasive, but presenting a case where a solid, super conservative bible preaching organization has been compromised,even the largest and most powerful in America.]

The self enhancement of the church....basketball courts, financial conferences, marriage seminars, and family "education", and of course the training of "leaders" to fill these many and varied "ministry" positions. It all makes one wonder if I must increase, so that HE [ Jesus ] must decrease.
Matthew 10:37-40

37. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

38. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

39. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

40. He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.


I have seen first hand what a selfish and corrupt gospel message does,in the 3rd world. It corrupts and eventually demoralizes, as it cannot deliver life. In the end, it serves as a slaughterhouse for the expectant seeker, and sullies the truth as a hopeless ME-FEST, where the souls with the most are the blessed, and the strong are the anointed.

This is often the effect of importing the current American gospel. Your thoughts?




 2010/5/10 12:29
sojourner7
Member



Joined: 2007/6/27
Posts: 1573
Omaha, NE

 Re: What is the obligation of the Church?..It's all about me.

The call of the gospel is still compelling.
His grace is iresistable; His love is
undeniable, His promises are timeless and
true. If the Church has lost its relevance
today; it is because it has forgotten its
place and purpose---its serves as the Body
of Christ!!


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Martin G. Smith

 2010/5/10 13:04Profile
osandoval
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Joined: 2010/2/19
Posts: 89


 Re: What is the obligation of the Church?..It's all about me.

Quote:
"THE POPULAR NOTION THAT THE FIRST OBLIGATION OF THE CHURCH IS TO SPREAD THE GOSPEL TO THE UTTERMOST PARTS OF THE EARTH IS FALSE.


Quote:
HER FIRST OBLIGATION IS TO BE SPIRITUALLY WORTHY TO SPREAD IT.".......A.W.TOZER



This rings so true to me as I too have seen this first hand, first within my own thinking and also among many churches/Christians. As someone who has a big heart for evangelizing I have been through differing mindsets regarding evangelism. I have been deceived into thinking that I can be into worldly amusements(idolotry)and be prayerless(making excuses) and still be worthy to spread the gospel. Many who I know and some who I work with in employment still have this same mindset and I see the tragedy clearly now.

The motto that says, "The Church is placed on this earth to spread the gospel first and foremost" produces lukewarm Christianity, because it does not emphasize the death of the cross in the Christian life. Instead it emphasizes activities, and these activities are performed in the strength of the flesh, not in the power of the Spirit.

Thank you for this timely reminder brother.

 2010/5/10 13:15Profile
Areadymind
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Joined: 2009/5/15
Posts: 1042
Pacific Ocean

 Re: What is the obligation of the Church?..It's all about me.

Here is a verse that has sure shaken my understanding of the purpose of the church. 1 Timothy 3:15 "But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."

When I read this about a year ago and noticed it for the first time, my first reaction was honestly..."No Paul you are wrong, Jesus is the pillar and ground of Truth." Then as I thought about it I realized that my reaction was based not on the reality of the truth of the matter but was rather a result of seeing the scriptures through the deceptive lens of experience.

As the Body of Christ, our behavior ought to be so grounded in truth that we are a pillar. This is deep deep stuff here.


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Jeremiah Dusenberry

 2010/5/10 14:14Profile
Goldminer
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Joined: 2006/11/7
Posts: 1178
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 Re: What is the obligation of the Church?..It's all about me.

The first obligation of the church is to be worshippers.

Mar 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this [is] the first commandment.

The outflow from that commandment makes the rest possible.


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KLC

 2010/5/10 17:02Profile
twayneb
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Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2000
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: What is the obligation of the Church?..It's all about me.

Tom: I think I recall reading something very close to what you said in all Caps at the top of your post somewhere else. The case was made that much evangelism is often motivated by self-centeredness rather than selflessness. I have also heard it said that many pray for God to use them, and that is the wrong prayer. God desires to use me more than I desire to be used. So if I am not being used, the only possibility left is that I am simply not usable yet. If I get before the Lord and pray, Lord, make me usable and submit to His dealings in my life to change me, I will be used. The more of me that remains, the less He can do anything with me. I am not so sure I am against b-ball courts and marriage seminars per se. We recently had a marriage conference in which God did a powerful work in many lives. But I do agree that so often these things are substitutes for what we are missing, the workings of God in and among us due to seeking Him with our whole hearts as we should. And often these things are self-serving, meant to enhance our own lives.


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Travis

 2010/5/10 18:07Profile









 Re: Whole hearted worshippers in spirit and truth gain the fullness of the gospel

"The first obligation of the church is to be worshippers."
and.....Mark 12:30

"And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this [is] the first commandment."
...................................
The outflow from that commandment makes the rest possible."
Goldminer.....

I think that this is at the heart of this discussion. The old timers would call it consecration, a full and complete living sacrifice unto the Lord required to gain a full and complete Gospel. This in turn brings a New testament fulfillment of power and righteousness, as the Lord endorses His own.


We could say that we have worshippers, alright, but the issue is that we have COMPROMISED worshippers, that often have displaced the Lord Jesus's Throne for their own rights and privileges. They have left out the "Spirit and Truth" part, replacing it with a form of it, that denies true power.[ Your best life now kind of worship....]

John 4:23-25 (New American Standard Bible)

23. "But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.

24. "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

I personally believe that this is why there is a massive exodus flowing from organized churches and their meetings. The church is also firstly a body, which each joint supplies, and the meeting always should follow the community. When the Pastor, in a clergy laity model, becomes the primary Master of Ceremonies speaking and dominating meetings, the life ebb and flow of the other 99.99% of the church is choked out...[ Women and the needy too...], and there is no worship in Spirit and in Truth, but a religious parody; a form of it.

To be honest, in my observation, a choir, a religious speech, an offering and a hand shake, isn't quite what the Lord had in mind concerning the body of Christ serving as a worshipping temple. But wasn't the presence of the Lord so wonderful?...

 2010/5/10 18:22
twayneb
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Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2000
Joplin, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
I personally believe that this is why there is a massive exodus flowing from organized churches and their meetings. The church is also firstly a body, which each joint supplies, and the meeting always should follow the community. When the Pastor, in a clergy laity model, becomes the primary Master of Ceremonies speaking and dominating meetings, the life ebb and flow of the other 99.99% of the church is choked out...[ Women and the needy too...], and there is no worship in Spirit and in Truth, but a religious parody; a form of it. To be honest, in my observation, a choir, a religious speech, an offering and a hand shake, isn't quite what the Lord had in mind concerning the body of Christ serving as a worshipping temple. But wasn't the presence of the Lord so wonderful?...



This is not to say that there are not some very sincere, very Godly, very Spirit-led pastors who are locked into a paradigm simply because they are not aware of any other way to do it. And God honors these men and their lives. Their hearts are completely His, and they are following His voice. But in looking around I have to say that by and large I think you are right. You touch my heart with this post brother. God has been revealing His body to me in such a powerful way over the last few months. Oh to see every joint supplying and the body walking in the fullness that God intended.


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Travis

 2010/5/10 18:33Profile
hoohoou
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Joined: 2009/12/11
Posts: 212
Texas

 Re:

Quote:
When the Pastor, in a clergy laity model, becomes the primary Master of Ceremonies speaking and dominating meetings, the life ebb and flow of the other 99.99% of the church is choked out...[ Women and the needy too...], and there is no worship in Spirit and in Truth, but a religious parody; a form of it.



BrotherTom, while I'd agree in your overall take on the state of church and it's "worship" services. Do you really think that it is a matter of form?

Quote:
To be honest, in my observation, a choir, a religious speech, an offering and a hand shake, isn't quite what the Lord had in mind concerning the body of Christ serving as a worshiping temple. But wasn't the presence of the Lord so wonderful?...



I understand what you are saying but I'm just not sold that the issue lies in the form of worship. Isn't the real issue a lack of Spirit-led men of God? I read today your post from the "Should Women Teach" thread, the post concerning Isaiah 61 I believe. In that post you mentioned the role of pastors and elders. This is something I've wrestled with lately. I know that God has called me to be a pastor, and I thought I knew what that meant. I realize now that it's definitely not what I thought it was. Part of me is really just glad that I don't have to be a show-man and can just let God have His way, the other part is a little resistant because now I don't know what exactly is expected of me. It's even been implied on an SI forum that I should question my calling since I don't know what it means exactly. I know I've been called because I have questioned it many times, wanting to be sure I'm in the will of God.

The leading I feel from the Holy Spirit is that I am a shepherd. I am responsible for whichever fellowship of believers God leads me to or to me. I am responsible that whatever word they are given is from the Lord. I am responsible to keep out wolves. I am not responsible to be the only person hearing from the Lord and delivering that message. I believe God intends for us to experience what is described in 1 Corinthians 14:26-31. I'm just not sure what "form" that should take, or if it matters. God can intervene at any moment, the key is to have ears to hear. Any thoughts you, or anyone, may have, or any expositions or other writings that are out there on the subject, would be greatly appreciated.


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Matt Smith

 2010/5/10 20:22Profile
jimp
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Joined: 2005/6/18
Posts: 1481


 Re:


hi,how many people have you evangelized this week so that you can bring them to the church fellowship to begin the process of discipleship. a few weeks ago we had 80 in one service come forward to be saved and found out that 20 of them brought the 60 they won to the Lord.sheep beget sheep... pastors feed and care for sheep...you all sheer sheep...the church is not an organization its an organism that is alive and growing and healthy and pure.i repeat i have seen thousands saved and filled with the Holy Spirit.. many miracles...millions given to start and support 1000s of churches around the world.get envolved in being positive influences in your church.jimp

 2010/5/10 21:14Profile





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