"I personally am not proud of the tranditional church history. It seems to me that it is the story of failure. the New Testament church thrived during the apostolic age; Paul was able to report to the Colossians that the truth of the gospel had gone into all the world and was bearing fruit (Colossians 1:6). with the guidance and empowering of the Spirit they were able to take the gospel to all the world in the first century. Thsi is a feat which the traditional church has not been able to duplicate in all the subsequent ages. It is tragic that many people seek to relegate the special power of the Holy Spirit to the apostolic period only, and have now subsituted the genius and programs of man to accomplish Christ's Great Commission. The result has been the dismal failure of the church. One must seriously question if it was God's plan or man's pride to set aside the dependancy upon the guidance and the power of the Holy Spirit to reach the lost world for Jesus Christ.Paul said to the Galatians, 'Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?' (Galatians 3:3). This is precisely what is being declared by those who would relelgatge the operations of the gifts of the Spirit to the apostolic age only. The church, they say, was begun in the Spirit to help them overcome all the obstacles of the pagan, hostile world. But once semenaries and organizational structires were established, they no longer needed that power of the Spirit. The church could now be perfected by the trained men. An honest look at church history should dispel that fallacy once and for all."-Chuck Smith
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
"...for this surely is the Church as it was meant to be. It is vigorous and flexible, for these are the days before it ever became fat and short of breath through prosperity, or muscle-bound by over-organisation. These men did not make 'acts of faith', they believed; they did not 'say their prayers', they really prayed."-.J.B. Phillips (Speaking of the early church shortly after the apostles).
I am no bible scholar, just a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. I hope I haven't misread your thread, I just want to throw in some thoughts, thank you for being patient if I am not understanding the discussion.I hear reports that the Gospel is spreading all over, even in restricted areas under persecution like Russia, India, Vietnam, Africa, etc. I also evangelize and witness personally every day as God leads, so do many I know. Hasn't Christianity always, including in Paul's day, been seen as a cult? From my studies, the Truth versus atheism and false idol worship has always been at odds, even when Christianity was popular or accepted by many, still others called Jesus' way a cult and other insulting things. Even today with CHristianity being culturally acceptable in America, others report from Europe and Russia that it is seen as stupidity by others. I think having America be a superpower that proclaims God as ruler (if in words more than deeds at least) is a powerful testimony. And I hear reports that even in Muslim countries, work for Jesus Christ is being done. As we do our part to support, and not neglect, the work of those who are where we cannot be, the great commission for the world to hear is being fulfilled by the body of Christ. Even helping with radio broadcasts to poor countries is something great, which Gospel for Asia and Voice of the Martyrs (missionary resources for the most unreached parts of the world) are supplying as the body helps. Our poor brothers and sisters still need our help, and with our blessings to share, we can help fulfill the Gospel being shared around the world even in China and Russia and very hard places and etc.My point is, I see work being done for the Lord Jesus CHrist. Are you doing your part? (Just a thought). Peace to you in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Hello everyoneI too hope I have not misunderstood you brothers but along lines that are similar to those of Brother Greg, I would like to add one or two points. I suppose one important question to ask is what is, what is the gospel of Jesus Christ?. As my understanding of what the full message of the gospel was changed, I was compelled to come to a similar conclusion to that of Brother Greg. In my opinion (and that is by no means absolute) the message being preached today is not the gospel as it is described in the bible. There are many people who profess to be Christians, and live any kind of way and have no real relationship with God but is this truly all that God requires from us? I guess the sum of what I am attempting to say is, how do you define the gospel of Jesus Christ. Your opinion of whether the church is doing well is certainly linked to your definition
just a thought.In Christ James
_________________James Gabriel Gondai Dziya