as the Lord leads:
and this has been on my heart since I began to follow Jesus, as raised in the synagogue, EVERYTHING within the church....ecclesiology, was absolutely NEW to me, 12 years have passed and I have discerned this:
prior to 2002, I believed (not knowing) that Protestantism and Romanism were basically the same, much like the Episcopalian and Presbyterian "churches" were similar, I thought the same of romanism and Protestantism.
Now I know better...HOWEVER, I've noticed that protestant ecclesiology is a form of "rome-lite"....and that has transferred to north American charismatic/Pentecostal churches.
you have a "pastor", at least he doesn't call himself a "little Christ", like the "pope" does, with his "vicar of Christ" blasphemy as the Vicar of Christ is God the Holy Spirit, but that's a whole nother hellish ball of wax.
so you have a "pastor", gets on a platform, with his carefully prepared "3 point" sermon as taught in seminary, this "sermon" should run from 27 to 45 minutes,and the pastor knows if he's running short or long, because usually there is a clock at the back of the church.
OF COURSE there's a clock,because you get a handed a bulletin, giving you the hour and minute EVERYTHING that Sunday is going to happen. depending on the "church", some at 9 AM, some at 9:30 AM.....usually first comes "worship", though there's a 15 minute period, where people can say "hi"....a period to figure what out what various cliques are going to do after church, "Dennys or Applebees?"...or when the football game starts and "hope he doesn't run long".....then worship at precisely 9;45 until 10;15, which depending on the church, might be the assembly singing hymns with no instrumentation, OR you could have a full on band, drums, geetars, fully "rehearsed" and AMP'ed....LOUD, then at 10:15, say "hi" to one another again, then maybe another worship song,before at 10:20-25, the offering plate is passed....make sure the ushers hand out collection envelopes for those checks that get tallied up, so the congregants can take advantage of the tax write off.....then the pastor mounts the platform in front of rows and rows of congregants to deliver his "sermon".
i'm not trying to slam pastors, God forbid, but some get happy happy, and make attempts at stand up comedy, you know, tell a joke or two...others put on a "hair shirt" and audition for the role of John the Baptist....meaning many pastors, no matter how well meaning, no matter how much they love Jesus, feel they have to "perform", for FEAR of boring these passively sitting congregants.
Don't tell me about "performing"....I been doing it all my life, and being a REALLY GOOD performer, I can spot a REALLY BAD performer, in an instant. My performances were always in the realm of the secular, as a JOB.
then near the end, "with every eye closed", the evangelical call is made, for those who have made a "decision".
and then its over.
"so what the problem, neil?"
twofold....chapter and verse, please.....AND Where does God fit into all this? Man made the tradition of this current ecclesiology, which is the same dreary man driven show, week after week.
its all the traditions of man, as I don't find ANYTHING in the Word of God, that would lend itself to the current ecclesiology...which is man driven...or even worse, its rome lite, and begs the question: why do people GO to church....do they go, because they think they'll be a "better person"....or do we GO to meet with God TOGETHER?
I never understood why we don't, in an ekklesia, get down on our faces and beg Jesus to Pastor the meeting. The ONE TIME, I got to do This Heavenly Request....oh Praise God, Jesus pastored a meeting that was heavenly, where 25 of us got to "worship share".
whats "worship share"....Paul outlined it....off the top of my soul,i think in First Corinthians, its the closet any apostle came to outlining ecclesiology...here we go, 1st Corinthians 14
26 What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. 27 If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. 28 But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God. 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. 30 If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged, 32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. 33 For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.
1 Corinthians 14;26-33 (ESV)
"When you come together"......that's ekklesia.....church. It was from the Moravinians, I got the Leading to humbly implore Jesus to Pastor this meeting...this "coming together"....and it was from Paul, God gave me the "worship sharing"...ie verse 26:
"What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up."
we were in the home of Mother Mimi, who is now with Jesus, she was a widow, and precious both to God and to me....there were 25 of us, during one of the worst rainstorms in Southern California history, sitting in a circle.......God prevented the pastor, (a brother I love, but no doubt bearing his "sermon) from attending this meeting by dropping a 100 ton boulder on the single mountain road leading to Mother Mimi's. (if you doubt my words, go to google and punch in "Topanga boulder"...you'll see)
and the Holy Ghost just filled me, and God had me outline worship sharing as based on what Paul wrote in that 26th verse, I said, if you have a hymn or song, a passage of Scripture, a testimony, a praise report, a prayer request, voice it one at a time as the LORD leds...only a few guidelines, one person speaks, don't interrupt and leave some space between the brethren speaking, so we can ponder in Jesus, what has been shared....Then on my own, I lead a prayer asking Jesus to Pastor this meeting.....and He did!!
I cant convey to you, what a heavenly Meeting that was, saints giving praise and testimony from real heart experiences, one saint would start a worship song, which we all lifted up to God in unison....no hymn books, prayers of intercession lifted up in tears and shouts, people getting right with God, laying on their faces and dying to self and the flesh, soaking that carpet with tears....I spent a lot of that meeting face down, weeping at my own failings....
and you know what?....There was NO disorder, how could there be?, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself was Pastoring that meeting......and do know how it ended 4 hours later, we all washed each others feet. boys washed boys feet, and girls washed girls....that's when the tears really flowed....and I am NOT speaking of mere emotionalism........Jesus was RIGHT THERE, God the Holy Ghost was given Free Rein, no clocks, no bulletins, no playing "church"....WE were the Church, the Body of Christ that blessed Day.
Now some of you might point out that I stopped at verse 33 in that 14th Chapter of 1st Corinthians.
yes I did, I was about my Father's Business, and I know the Prophesy of Joel:
“And it shall come to pass afterward,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.
Even on the male and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit." Joel 2:28-29
I will not be found opposing God and quenching the Holy Spirit, by telling beloved sisters and mothers to silence themselves and if any of you feel like arguing that, save it, I wont answer it.
Now the 6 items in the article, THANK GOD, I've never heard of any of them, I just pray we would FINALLY get out of "rome" and the pro forma, by the numbers "church".
I searched three long years up here for an assembly, and the ONLY criteria I have, is that the church has a prayer meeting....that's what Len Ravenhill taught me, and I've gone to church to church to church.....NEVER with PRE-judgment, only seeking to meet with God....and I go home in tears.
Now, brothers, sisters....who desire to travel over sea, hill and dale in the mission field? search your heart, I got a mission field RIGHT HERE in the middle of the USA, the Driftless Region of Wisconsin, Viroqua Wisconsin, population 4362......if you want to "do church" like all the other 50-70 churches in this small area, be my guest....most of them are United Methodists and Lutherans....do I have to SAY MORE than that?
Houses rent inexpensively, some in the $350-500 area, or for purchase in the 35,000 to 50,000 area.
I have land, and though I am no Zinzendorff, I LONG to "see" a "Hernhutt" up here.....to just get on our faces and pray, "God, You did It before, please do It...BRING REVIVAL, the wood is dry....all it needs is a small company of prayer warriors"....amen.