I certainly agree with Frank regarding the reformation. Critique, in the service of discernment, is very much needed in our wishy-washy era of new-age one size fits all spirituality. My point was that most denominations are not created intentionally as divisions, but born out of honest, even loving critique. And this honest loving critique causes the host to eject the reformers...at least historically speaking.And I also empathize with Neil in his original premise. I guess I was more or less sounding off in the hopes someone would resolve for me for the tension between the very real need to make judgements, and the all important need to be unified. My flip ending, "good luck with that' undermines the real grief I feel for the state of affairs right now. I hold very defined views on things. I think they are reasonable, orthodox and sound doctrines. I teach them to my children with a mixture of matter-of-fact certainty and tenderness. Yet I've learned is not to share those views with people outside my family, because definition invariably causes division...even with the very people who are against divisions in the church. And through it all, I don't especially like my particular policy of silence...but the alternative is to risk misunderstanding and strife over aspects of both orthodoxy and orthopraxy. The bottom line is that I'm just tired of disappointing people. (edit for further clarification: I'm just unable to find agreement with enough people these days to make any discussion fruitful. It seems these days one is always ready to disagree. Every viewpoint invites contradiction. And it takes too much energy to talk to everyone who wants to 'correct' you, that I follow a non-rockaboatus policy these days.)If there is going to be unity, it will need to be achieved on something other then uniformity and consensus. We are simply too democratized and consumerized to achieve a shared single monolithic point of view. It will have to be on some other basis that we unite.I am still convinced about many of my viewpoints...but preferrably invisible. I spend time with Spurgeon and Thomas A Kempis, and am thankful to God for leading a quiet life. I try to tune out most theological and political discussions I overhear. I can't control all the different people in the world. I can't control all these different churches. I can't really even control the health of my own body. Not really. I am just a individual soul trying to be quiet enough in the clamorous din of an over busy, over stimulated world, to remember there is an individual judgement day coming. ...and a personal savior. Blessings,Mike
I like your reply brother Mike. Its honest and real. There is certainly a tension, especially today, of right belief and right practice. If you believe all the right things but have never had a change of life, then where are you? Perhaps your theology is not perfect but you have been born-again, love Jesus and strive to please Him through your faith. Mike writes..........'The bottom line is that I'm just tired of disappointing people. I'm always missing it on some point with some person. And it takes so much energy to talk to everyone who wants to 'correct' you, that I follow a non-rockaboatus policy these days."I hear you man. What is truly important to me is if someone has been born-again and radically changed by God and on the journey. I can always have fellowship with such a man or woman, despite their backgrounds because love will win out between brothers and sisters. "I spend time with Spurgeon and Thomas A Kempis, and am thankful to God for leading a quiet life."Brother, the demon police may be after you for the latter choice above :) God bless you brother. May we both be found near to the heart of God........brother Frank
If you go back to the quote Neil mentioned in the first post...
"Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment"
Neil, I just wanted to say that I'm praying for you after reading your posts. There is victory in Jesus! I believe that the Holy Spirit is speaking the same thing to everyone who will hear it. There is one God and Father of us all. God is building and gathering HIS church.I've often wondered lately how all of us "christians" are going to get along in heaven for eternity if we can't get along now? Are we going to have our own little "sections" in heaven? I don't think so.Brother, I just want to encourage you and say with God all things are possible!God bless,Andrew
Well Neil?Jolly good!Though others are not against denominations, i for one definitely am.Demoninationism is based on the pre-established Roman Catholic way of governing churches, yet, we see in the NT that it was the Elders that pastured the sheeple. Whether these elders were teacher/preacher, prophet, apostle, whatever, it was each local assembly answerable to Jesus Christ and not demoninational headquarters.From as early as i can remember, my parents always saw to it that we kids saw a far bigger picture than just one demoninsinuation. Growing over the years, every time our family moved, -(some Scandahoovians just can never get that out of their blood)- we ended up in a different home church:Mossionary Alliance, Swedish Missionary Alliance (aka: Covenant Church--attending the very same church as Steven Saint), Evangelical Free, A.G., 1st -3rd and Southern Baptist, attending a Christian Reformed (Calvinist) Church private school for 2 years, after Jesus recieved me, i spent alot of time with some charismatics on the back side of town and many Bible Studies at the Salvation Army... and many others. (Often after Jesus Chose me, i just couldn't get enough, and still can't, of gathering with Jesus disciples, no matter where they may be found. My weeks since 1976 have many times been filled with different gatherings on different nights.)It's not the people i hate, but the demoninations that constrict, opress, and possess them.Is that really what Jesus is all about?There's alot of people in many churches, yet true followers of Jesus are few and far between. Many are following--as stated in another post, "Dontcha' know?")-some favored theology or rushing to their own little corner of the Temple to worship thier pet doctrine.___________________________________________________________________________________Sometimes, after a session of prayer, the Spirit tells me to go to a certain place, and so i go. It's weird to some perhaps, yet this being obeyed, i will more often than not find myself meeting with an unannounced gathering of believers, and there is no talk about denominations. These gatherings are not following some 501c3 scheduled regimen. Everything is spontaneous, and nearly all the time is spend worshipping and praising Jesus."Jesus said to Kefa, "You are (a) pebble:(yet) upon (this) bedrock i build my assembly"When Emanuel is served, there is no need for additional theological division nor doctrine. With God in our midsts, we have all the theology and doctrine we will ever need.Acts 2:42 They continued faithfully in the teaching of the emissaries, in fellowship, in breaking bread and in the prayers.43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many miracles and signs took place through the emisaries.44 All those trusting in Yeshua stayed together and had everything in common;45 In fact, they sold their property and possessions and distributed the proceeds to all who were in need.46 Continuing faithfully with singleness of purpose to meet in the Temple courts daily, and breaking bread in their several homes, they shared their food in joy and simplicity of heart,47 Praising God and having the respect of all the people. And day after day, the Lord kept adding to them those who were being saved.~CJBIt's seriously thought there is alot more that must change than what is currently thought. It took persecution to get the first church to move out from Jerusalem, to Judea, and the uttermost ends of the earth.This post-mordern ?Church? ?????It will take alot more broken people and/or calamnity/ persecution to bring those who think they are autonomous christians or denominations back together again.How many sheeple argue doctrine when death is knocking at their door? Maybe that is what it will take for one accord: Heb. 12:2.CIAO!gActs 20:32
I am truly against denominationalism. The problem is we can't do without them.There are too many different ideas out there that must put people in their "proper" place. For example, the many different branches of the Pentecostal's who believe in the manifestations of the holy Spirit whilest the many different Baptist branches do not, though there are branches within that that do, and there are branches within the Pentecostals that don't. ugh!!There are over 40,000 different types of spiders. From one family of Spiders we have 40,000 different varieties.With all our good intentions of having no walls, in this case, we must have them in order to function properly. We may never meet together under the same roof to worship, but we do meet each other on the street or in a house fellowship and we receive one another there. The Baptist doesn't hate the Pentecostal, nor vice versa, but it's just the way things are.Only the Spirit of God can tear down the barriers, but even then, not all will be torn down as much as we would like to have it. Not everyone is receptive to the Holy Spirits leading, so we are going to have many walls remain.Denominationalism is such an intricate web of intertwined ideas and thoughts. What once started out as the "Faith that was once delivered unto the saints" has so many facets and faces that if we were to look at it at once I think we'd look like Daniel when he said, "my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength."I wish that there were no barriers, but my God, it's a mountain that even in my own strength I cannot move.Daniel 10:8
hi, God likes denominations...He invented each of them...being different is like being a medical specialist...we have gps,internist,pathologist.onthologist and thank God psyches(for me).all things to all people so that we can win or heal or treat some.jimp
Someone could just as easily say that they are against non denominations or independent churches as well because they have been hurt by them and because there is no accountability or structure.Brethren we all should know that there is only one true church that Jesus is returning to receive unto Himself. I do not agree with denominationalism and neither do I agree with the spirit of this world. I can not leave this world until the Lord would have me too. He tells me to be in the world but not to be of the world. I was, after reading a few years back from others, beginning to be totally against all denominations to the point that I almost left the one I am involved in. Just because a person is going to a church that is part of a denomination does not mean they are denominational. I never promote the denomination that I am a part of but only exalt the Lord Jesus Christ and fellowship with true believers everywhere. I am not my own for I have been bought with a price and if the Lord told me to leave the denomination that I am a part of then I would do it. I am learning to follow the leading of the Lord in everything and not to do something just to be doing it. I believe in being accountable to other brethren of like precious faith. I would never tell someone to leave a church just because it was a part of a denomination but I would tell a person to make sure that they are under an anointed ministry that is under the subjection of the Lord Jesus Christ that is preaching and teaching the doctrines of the Lord Jesus Christ with all sincerity. We need to be very careful that we dont offend or lead astray one of Gods children by making blanket statements like we have a divine authority to tell everybody else where they are so wrong. I had rather edify someone and build them up in the Lord than to tear them down.Neil, if you would allow me to give you any advice it would be the same as you already know, that you can overcome all things by the blood of the Lamb and your faith in Him is the victory. I have learned that if I am going to trust Christ completely concerning anything that I need him to do in me, then I must also deny myself by being filled with the Holy Spirit and through the Spirit kill those evil deeds that the body wants to do. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. (Rom. 8:13; Gal. 5:16)Blessings to all!
before i write the other post i had in my heart, in this thread that is literally shaking me from stem to stern, i just wanted to say how much i love you and miss you. Normally this would be a PM, but sometimes you just got to publically proclaim love for a brother or sister you know, meaning i miss talking on the phone with you.please dont take it as anything you 'did' or said...oh no, not the case at all.Mike and i used to speak frequently and always had profitable wonderful discussions, and i miss that. Mike you are a dear precious soul, and i am richer for getting to know you and forgive me for not stopping by when me and my son were ripping from Cedar Point in Ohio down to Ripley, to investigate the routes and roots of the underground railroad in Ripley Ohio, and to plum Ripleys library to copy obscure documents on the ministry of Rev John Rankin, and to see his house on the hill so many escaped slaves made their way to.truth be told, that summer i only had three weeks with him coz i was doing my play in Chicago, and i had only three weeks with the boy, and i love him so passionately, selfishly i wanted to grab every moment with him alone and not "share" him with anybody. i know that sounds stupid, i wanted to just take him down to Ripley so we could delve into Rev Rankins ministry together, he loved it, we found a wonderful riverfront house that rented for a low sum, ate together, studied together, went to the house 500 feet above the river, and i know it made quite an impression on him in Christ...believe me, he was not dragged on some boring turgid intellectual exercise, he wanted to go too, but i beg your forgiveness that we just blew by your house in Ohio. no excuse, just a father who wanted to relish every second, teaching my son. (as well as some fun at Cedar Point for him, i read while he rode) I had an inkling how God must of felt when His Son came down to earth, i can't imagine the grief God felt seeing His Son tortured on the Cross, what love. (i'll pm you my new phone)thats my "public pm" to you...now you said something that just pricked my heart, and i think thru the Grace of God i might have some semblance of answer for us ALL....just my take, you wrote this:" I'm just unable to find agreement with enough people these days to make any discussion fruitful. It seems these days one is always ready to disagree. Every viewpoint invites contradiction. And it takes too much energy to talk to everyone who wants to 'correct' you, that I follow a non-rockaboatus policy these days.)"yes! yes! then you continued "If there is going to be unity, it will need to be achieved on something other then uniformity and consensus. We are simply too democratized and consumerized to achieve a shared single monolithic point of view. It will have to be on some other basis that we unite."You know how we unite?...and this is just my leading in the Lord, coz It's the Only Thing we have left in Christ.we quit talking, and we gather together, get on our faces, or some on their knees, some in chairs, and we PRAY TOGETHER until God gives us the Answers, gives us the Holy Spirit, brings down Revival.we just wait in prayer..TOGETHER.and we have NO IDEA how long that takes, waiting until God salts us with fire, gives us revelations, prophecy....and i have no idea how that PHYSICALLY happens because you're in Ohio, i'm in Chicago, Scottish Frank is in ????, this saint is here, that saint is there.Thats why that lil church bldg in Boaz Wisconsin, lit me up in the Holy Ghost, all i want to do is to turn the lights off, light candles (not as a weird "mystical" thing), but cause the light is softer and older iffin you need to reference scripture while engaging in sold out intercessory prayer....just keep the candles away from drapes.I just get this intense message, leading from God, get that church building, ask the Lord for at the very least one other brother (two by two) and just lay out on the floor every night, and beg God to have His Way with us, use us.....please bring the "helpless and harrassed sheep"in my humble opinion, and i've been guiltier than most, the time for talking and fussing about this and that should be over, we better start praying hard, rains a coming.i love you brother Mikey, i got to write another post coz i just been staring at the SI logo for 4 hours, just talking to God and playing old compilations He and i cut together.neil xo
Hey brother Neil, Scottish Frank is in Kansas :) But we can all be in in Barnsdall Oklahoma come October :) God bless you bro...............Frank