| And what about the early church????|
I have to chuckle when I see a title thread that starts out with 'early church' and a posting by one of those we call the 'church fathers'. I am puzzled as why the posters only go to the second century. I mean if you are going to the early church then take it back to Christ and the Apostles. And for the record I am not a Cambelite Church of Christ.
When one reads Mat.18 one sees Christ is building his church and he is still building it today. The church was was birthed in Acts 2 through the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. At first the early believers met in the temple but later separated and formed its own identy in Jesus. In the first 30 or so years the church was a living breathing, ORGANISM. Not the organization that evolved in the second century. That is not a typo. Organization began creeping into the church at the close of the first century and evolved into the montrosity we have today.
Reason being the church was turning away from the Holy Spirit by the end of the first century. One could observe that the church at the end of the first century was not the sane dynamic church that one saw in the first 30 years being birthed and spreading out of Jerusalem. Thie early church was full of life and joy of Jesus. It had signs and wonders. The pagans were drawn to the church in Acts because it offered something their religions could not offer. It offered life. The life of Jesus.
Has anyone ever wondered how did the early church survive and even thrive? I mean the Acts church had no Bible, no church fathers, no Sermon Index, Yet they grew and preached the gospel. How did they do it? They had the Holy Spirit. In all honesty the early Acts church had more of a dependence on the Holy Spirit then the American church does today. Actually the theology of the American church does not allow for the working of the Holy Spirit.
For the first 3 decades or so the church in Acts was in dependence on the Holy Spirit and remarkably the church flourished. Even in its first doctrinal crisis there was no appealing to the church fathers. None to appeal to. But during the circumcism controversy James said it seemed good to the Holy Spirot and us. There was an appeal to the Holy Spirit and his wisdom.
If we believe that Revelations was written around 90 AD or so there is a powerful plea of Jesus to the churches of Asia Minor. To all of the seven churches Jesus says he that has an ear let him hear what the SPIRIT SAYS to the churches. This is almost like a prophetic cry as the churches were starting to listen to men and not the Spirit.
The amazing thing is that same Spirit is still speaking today. Where you ask? China, Iran, Africa. But not in America or Europe. You look back and long for the revivals of times past. You want to see another Jonathan Edwards or Owen Roberts.
Saints look around the world and revival is happening. Look at China. China is called the modern day book of Acts. Look at Iran. Does anyone know what is happening in Iran? Are you aware that in 1979 there were only 500 believers in Iran under the Shaw. Now 30 years, later there are over 100,000 believers in Iran controlled by Islam. Voice of the Martyrs estimate between 500 to 600 people a day are coming to Christ in Iran and that number is expected to grow. That is the Spirit moving. That is revival.
There were some Cbineese house church leaders who were touring some American mega churches. When asked what they thought of the American churches. They respectfully answered, 'It is amazing what the American church can do.......without the Holy Spirit.'
| 2011/10/8 12:21|
| Re: And what about the early church????|
'It is amazing what the American church can do.......without the Holy Spirit.'
Fact check: Who said this?
Not that I dont agree with that statement because I do... I just hear a lot of "quotes" like that from pulpits, etc and I wonder if they are were actual quotes, or just made up by some preacher somewhere to make a point.
| 2011/10/8 13:27|
| Re: Krispy|
I remember seeing that quote in a magazine but don't remember which one. It might have been something out of VOM. Maybe someone ekse in the forum might know.
| 2011/10/8 13:45|
| Re: |
Hi Krispy :O)
Paris Reidhead quotes a "Chinese Christian" saying this in his sermon "Ten Shekels and a Shirt."
| 2011/10/8 15:53||Profile|
| Re: And what about the early church????|
"I have to chuckle when I see a title thread that starts out with 'early church' and a posting by one of those we call the 'church fathers'. I am puzzled as why the posters only go to the second century. I mean if you are going to the early church then take it back to Christ and the Apostles."
Answer: There are controversial scriptures that various camps within modern Christianity disagree on. They each claim some plausible grammatical reason for their differing interpretations, and they each claim to be led by the same Holy Spirit in coming to their differing interpretations. They all have the Bible, and the same Spirit, and yet they somehow all still disagree.
Their was however, unanimity among the early Church Fathers on many of these same controversial Scriptures. (With others, like Church polity, there was not.)
However, where their interpretation of Scripture was universally agreed upon, there is very strong proof that that interpretation is the correct one.
martyr, you wrote:
"The amazing thing is that same Spirit is still speaking today. Where you ask? China, Iran, Africa. But not in America or Europe. You look back and long for the revivals of times past. You want to see another Jonathan Edwards or Owen Roberts."
The Spirit is speaking in America and in Europe. The test of the Spirit "speaking", or rather as I would say, the Spirit "truly working", is not some outward, great, movement or revival, but rather it is the inward awakening, regeneration, and sanctification of at least one, and only one, miserable soul. You know, dear martyr, that the angels rejoice in the Third Heaven over the "revival" of only one.
Recall too, that Jesus wasn't interested in great movements. He didn't consider it a failure that the multitudes never came around to His inspired way of thinking and doing. Instead, He was content to work with only a few. With only twelve men primarily, our Lord was content to teach, train, and model before the way, the truth, and the life!
We are grateful that God seems to be working mighty revivals in many other parts of the world, but that does not necessarily mean they do things the way Jesus wants them to. I am sure you would ultimately agree, the Truth of God in the hearts of men is far more important than great, outward movements.
When even one soul trembles at God's Word; to get it right, to learn it, obey it, live it and become it, the Spirit is speaking and working MIGHTILY!
"...but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word." Isaiah 66:2
| 2011/10/8 16:57||Profile|
| Re: And what about the early church????|
" They had the Holy Spirit. In all honesty the early Acts church had more of a dependence on the Holy Spirit then the American church does today."
This why I think the verse is not just preaching, etc. but of the Word becoming flesh, divine partaking of His holiness. There are millions of Bibles in the world, it is the obedience to it that we lack.
Amo_8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
| 2011/10/8 22:15||Profile|
| Re: Dietolive|
Brother I appreciate your post and the spirit in which it was written. While your observation may be valid I must respectfully take a different view. Or rather offer a different angle. The fact that their may be different interpretations of scripture should not stop us at the second century. We can go to Acts and see how the early church operated and did so with consensus. They operated in an accord with the Holy Spirit.
When you look at Acts 15 the young church was facing its first doctrinal crisis. The crisis was how to view these new Gentile believers coming. into the church. One party in the church was saying that in addition to believing in Jesus the Gentiles had to be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses. Paul and Barnabas were saying that salvation was solely by faith in Jesus Christ.
The upshot of all of this was a conference convened in Jerusalem. The apostles and elders were in uncharted waters. There was no Sermon Index, no church, fathers, no creeds to reference. There was the Torah and other Old Testament scriptures. But God was doing a new thing in the early days if the Acts church. The new thing was the Holy Spirit.
There was much discussion and debate and no doubt much prayer for the Spirit's wisdom. What emerged was the letter to the Gentiles. There is an interesting phrase in that letter that says 'it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and us'.
I share Acts 15 because this is one example of the Acts church listening to the Spirit and not to men. And this is where the concern lies. We have this collection of men called the church fathers. We elevate them as the final authority in certain matters. But they are only men. Whether it be the church fathers or the Puritains they are only men. We do better to listen to the Spirit through his word.
The scriptures tell us that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and foreever. Jesus spoke the same thing to the churches in Revelation when he said that he that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. That same Spirit is still speaking today.
At the risk of being heretical, we do better to set aside the church fathers and listen to Jesus.
| 2011/10/9 11:15|
| Re: |
Brother Blaine you expressed in a remarquable way what I have in my heart for a time now... it's sad but I believe God can work this out...
| 2011/10/9 12:42||Profile|
| Re: |
Bonjour my brother. And amen. I am so sorry my French is limited. But may we truly listen to his blessed Spirit.
| 2011/10/9 14:47|
| Re: Star of God|
Sister do agree. There is a profound mystery when we partake of that holy nature that becomes the incarnated word in our lives.
| 2011/10/9 14:52|