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 Re:

Gary writes.........

"So am i hearing this right" Well, by your response Gary, I am gonna go with " no." I am not sure why you are trying to personalize the subject, it never bodes well for any thread, this has nothing to do with my " little group."

Now, you can agree or disagree with the OP or the points that Broadbent was making about systems which is fine, but lets play the ball and not the man. So, let me repeat for clarification and you may agree or disagree with this which if fine and maybe you will tell us why you disagree with it without mentioning me or personalizing it .......

Denominationalism is a construction of men and not of God. It stands in opposition to the Word of God, whether in John 17 or countless other Scriptures that talk about the oneness of the Body. Walls of partition are demolished by God, not constructed. The end results, as Broadbent was arguing,was death, whether it takes a few decades or a few hundred years. Again, we must be led by Scriptures and not the vain traditions of men...........bro Frank

 2014/10/2 8:38
PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Brethren, we must understand that God does not inhabit denominations, groups, fellowships, sects or any organization, regardless of how godly the originating founders may have been. God was with John Wesley, because Wesley was a sanctified man, but this does not mean God was required to be with the Methodist church. God may have directed the ministerial work of its leaders, but the Methodist "denomination" in and of itself is immaterial. God can be with the CEO of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company, but that fact alone doesn't mean God inhabits or even endorses the company. If Coca-Cola warehouse employees want to have a prayer service and glorify the King of the Universe through His Son Jesus Christ, God will inhabit the service, regardless of whether it's under Coca-Cola auspices and hosted by a secular corporation.

Likewise, denominations are just a "host" vehicle in the religious world. Their founders may have been godly (and they were), but we need to see them for what they are: mere shells. Within the shells the pearls congregate. If the pearls are real, God is with the "pearl service". But if they are not real, God will not be not there, regardless of the shell's label.

The point to make is that the structure, the organization, the denomination, the shell (call it what you will) is not the issue. The individual man is the issue. When individual "men" come together and reverence God, the life of God is there. The host by which they organize the meeting of life is irrelevant.


_________________
Paul Frederick West

 2014/10/2 9:11Profile









 Re:

Hi Paul,

You make many good points to which I agree in regard to men whom God was with. Yet, sectarianism in all its many forms is no where to be found in the Scriptures. If, for instance, I call myself a Baptist and identify myself as such, then I have created a division between myself and those who are not Baptists. If I call myself a Calvinist and identify myself as such, then I have created division between myself and those who do not identify themselves as such. If I call myself a pentecostal and Identify myself as such, then I have created division with those who do not identify themselves as such. One does not need to know much about the history of denominationalism to know the horrors that have unfolded because men take up camp in man made structures.

None of this falls into line with Scripture. The simple reading of Scripture identifies the Body of Christ as one. One Body, one Spirit , one family. Those who are saved are simply members of one family. Now I fully understand that men have complicated this over the centuries, but it is Scripture that is a lamp unto our feet not the traditions of men...............bro Frank

 2014/10/2 9:59









 Re:

" Luther by his mighty strokes hewed a way through long consecrated privileges and abuses, so the reform became possible. He revealed Christ to countless sinners as the Saviour to whom each one was invited to come, without intervention of priest or saint or church or sacrament, not on account of any goodness in himself , but as a sinner in all his needs, to find in Christ, through faith in Him, perfect salvation, founded in the perfect work of the Son of God. Instead, however, of continuing in the way of the Word, Luther then built up a church in which some abuses were reformed, but in many aspects was a reproduction of the old system..................and the hopes awakened among the brethren gradually faded away as they saw themselves placed between two ecclesiastical systems, each of which was ready to enforce conformity in matters of conscience-by the sword" (The Pilgrim Church)

You see the point that Broadbent makes? He says that the great mistake of Luther was that he did not continue in the way of the Word but built an ecclesiastical system to rival Rome. And in this system, conformity in matters of conscience were enforced by the sword, and might I add, fire. Now in our modern times we, in the West in our denominations do not enforce conformity by the edge of the sword or by fire, but we do enforce conformity in the ecclesiastical systems by " strong leadership." And those, who refuse to conform to that which is not written but is merely the traditions and theologies of men, will soon find themselves outside of these camps, which I would argue is a good thing. Following the Word of God in all its simplicity and profoundness is the way and the truth and th life and it is a lamp unto our feet in an ever darkening world.........bro Frank


 2014/10/2 10:46
Oracio
Member



Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2093
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

Paul West writes:

Quote:
Likewise, denominations are just a "host" vehicle in the religious world. Their founders may have been godly (and they were), but we need to see them for what they are: mere shells. Within the shells the pearls congregate. If the pearls are real, God is with the "pearl service". But if they are not real, God will not be not there, regardless of the shell's label.

The point to make is that the structure, the organization, the denomination, the shell (call it what you will) is not the issue. The individual man is the issue. When individual "men" come together and reverence God, the life of God is there. The host by which they organize the meeting of life is irrelevant.



Amen, very well said. I would also add that this also applies to "shells" that don't consider themselves part of the so called "institutional" church system. In these groups there are also wheat and tares, and if the "leaders" are tares or the majority are tares it will be a corrupt group. I have been acquainted with such types of groups who rail against the "IC", yet they do not see the beam in their own eye, many such groups promoting a watered down gospel and allowing apostasy or heresy in various forms, all for the sake of "unity" or not creating "walls".

I've found that there is a certain type of safety within many denominations that support sound doctrine. That is a good thing considering that there are so many false teachers out there.

And not all of them divide over non-essential issues. There are some that have a very basic statement of faith which focuses on the basic essentials of the faith and allows room for disagreement in secondary issues.


_________________
Oracio

 2014/10/2 11:12Profile
PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Quote:
If, for instance, I call myself a Baptist and identify myself as such, then I have created a division between myself and those who are not Baptists. If I call myself a Calvinist and identify myself as such, then I have created division between myself and those who do not identify themselves as such.



This may be the case, if you think this causes division among true brethren in your mind. When I was part of the Pentecostal faith (AG), I fellowshipped and street preached with Baptists. God was with us mightily. There were no walls. I subscribed to the Holy Spirit baptism with tongues; my Baptist youth pastor colleague did not. No biggie. We were certainly not divided in our Christology. We loved each other dearly as members of the same body of Christ, regardless of our pneumatology. The power of the Holy Spirit rested on both of us in the streets, without regard to our denomination.
Quote:
If I call myself a pentecostal and Identify myself as such, then I have created division with those who do not identify themselves as such.


Again, this may be, if you have decided it will be such in your life. But I am more concerned with God's identification criteria. Am I and the brethren I fellowship with identified in Christ as "one" in the Lord's eyes, despite our non-essential denominational disagreements - or are we divided because of some inner-cup hypocritical matter that transcends denominational borders?

Remember, even during the time of Jesus Christ, some men followed Him independently even though they were not part of the original "twelve disciple" fellowship. What was Jesus' reaction to this? Did He seek to unify those who were not in the inner twelve and warn of schisms, factions, maverick sects? Not at all. In fact, He supported them by forbidding the hindering of their ministries. What was important was Who they believed Jesus was: they were driving out evil spirits in His Name, and the evil spirits obeyed these new rogue Christian brothers. God's validation was on their meetings, though they did not follow Jesus in the way the others followed Him.

An interesting point is that it was the original twelve who tried to stop them, who tried to bring disunity to the outsiders. Unfortunately, that is the pattern: those who feel they are the only true fellowship more often than not seek to ostracize others who are not exactly like them, becoming in themselves yet another denomination! If they cannot convert, they condemn. God is bigger than the narrow-mindedness of men, thank goodness! There is room in the fold for black sheep, speckled sheep, white sheep, gray sheep. If they all follow the shame Shepherd, they are His sheep, regardless of how they choose to graze.


_________________
Paul Frederick West

 2014/10/2 12:52Profile









 Re:

Hi Paul,

This division is not what I have decided in my mind brother, it the reality borne out over centuries. You write....

"An interesting point is that it was the original twelve who tried to stop them, who tried to bring disunity to the outsiders."

They tried to bring disunity to the outsiders Paul? That just really makes no sense and stretches a thin point beyond the conversation that we are having. We are talking about denominationalism and systems of men and whether that is biblical.

You say that your tongue speaking was no biggie to your Baptist brothers. Really Paul? You could go to their fellowship on a Sunday morning and if the Holy Spirit led, you could stand up and give a word in tongues or a word of knowledge and so on? I think an anecdotal story of how you were friendly with some Baptists on the street is nothing more than that, an anecdote and it does not change the history of animosity between the denominations and division or the fact that it is a construct of men and not of God.............bro Frank

 2014/10/2 14:19
Oracio
Member



Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2093
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

Quote:
This may be the case, if you think this causes division among true brethren in your mind. When I was part of the Pentecostal faith (AG), I fellowshipped and street preached with Baptists. God was with us mightily. There were no walls. I subscribed to the Holy Spirit baptism with tongues; my Baptist youth pastor colleague did not. No biggie. We were certainly not divided in our Christology. We loved each other dearly as members of the same body of Christ, regardless of our pneumatology. The power of the Holy Spirit rested on both of us in the streets, without regard to our denomination.


Wonderful testimony brother! I too can testify of fellowshipping with and teaming up on the streets with brethren from different churches and denominations. There are indeed ways and opportunities to find that type of fellowship and unity regardless of the church "structures" we may be part of. The key is not to be prejudiced against or look down on churches or denominations we differ from in non-essentials. For when we have that kind of mindset against churches or denominations it may just be us who are the ones creating unnecessary "walls".


_________________
Oracio

 2014/10/2 14:26Profile









 Re:

Scriptural basis for one Body and unity.............

1 Corinthians 1:10
I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.

Ephesians 4:11-13
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Colossians 3:13-14
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

John 17:23
I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

Matthew 23:8
"But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers.

Ephesians 2:14
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,

Romans 12:4-5
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

Galatians 3:26-28
You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

1 Corinthians 12:12-13
The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

Ephesians 4:1-6
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism,

Romans 6:5
If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.

1 Peter 3:8
Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.

Colossians 3:14
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony

Romans 15:6
That together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1:27
Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,

Acts 4:32
Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.
(Joh 17:20-26)

 2014/10/2 14:43
PaulWest
Member



Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas

 Re:

Quote:
They tried to bring disunity to the outsiders Paul? That just really makes no sense and stretches a thin point beyond the conversation that we are having.


I think it makes perfect sense, given the context of this discussion. What we see here is the chosen "twelve" (or the pre-church "remnant" if you will) happening upon another group also professing to follow the same Master, and being used in ministry. The elite are not happy. They say, "We are the only ones allowed to speak the Name of Jesus and work miracles. You are not of our group!"

The text, if you remember, states that they tried to "forbid" the others in their deliverance ministry. If that is not disunity, brother, I do not know what is. Well, nothing has changed in 2000 plus years, even though Jesus Himself told them not to forbid any "other" brother who claims to follow Him and who is not of their group. It was the spirit of denominationalism in its infant stage, and promptly rebuked by Jesus. But, notice, it was the elitists who were corrected by the Lord, the exclusivists...and not vice-versa.

Quote:
You say that your tongue speaking was no biggie to your Baptist brothers. Really Paul? You could go to their fellowship on a Sunday morning and if the Holy Spirit led, you could stand up and give a word in tongues or a word of knowledge and so on?


This is where you are mistaken, brother. The Holy Spirit does not stumble weaker brethren. He does not provoke one to speak in tongues in a fellowship where tongues are not accepted. He does not provoke one to drink wine or eat meat in a fellowship where such may stumble others who do not share these convictions. The elitist flesh, on the other hand, revels in sewing discord, disunity and factionism in those who are not a carbon copy of its own image.


_________________
Paul Frederick West

 2014/10/2 14:57Profile





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