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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Thoughts on the Importance of "Community"...

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Mattie
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Joined: 2004/7/23
Posts: 210


 Thoughts on the Importance of "Community"...

Acts 2:42-47 shows us the lifestyle of the early church. They had a fear of God, a gladness and joy as they broke bread from house to house together, entering into the temple with one accord. It also says that they had "all things common" as they sold possessions and property to see that those who lacked had their needs met.

There's usually differing opinions concerning what took place in the early church. 1. Some say that it is not our law on how we are to have church, but was simply the way it began and as years would continue God's working in a church would be different.
2. Others say it should be our model. Community life must be our aim unto His glory. Living day to day with one another rather than 2 days a week for services. Also having all things "common" (another word for community)

What are your thoughts on community? Is it necessary, particularly in our Western culture where the times have changed and the culture isn't like that of Jerusalem in the early days? Considering all the cults that have arisen under the guise of a community, is it too risky to be apart of such a thing?

Or do you think it is a necessity if we are to be a last days church?

Thoughts...

 2007/12/30 11:32Profile
tjservant
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Joined: 2006/8/25
Posts: 1658
Indiana USA

 Re: Thoughts on the Importance of "Community"...

Quote:
What are your thoughts on community? Is it necessary...



Absolutely.

I believe the Bible clearly shows us that “community”(Sharing, participation, and fellowship) is a necessity. There may be times or “seasons” that one may not be as involved…or maybe even alone for a period, but clearly “community” is how it should be.

This differs greatly from the thoughts of forming a commune.


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TJ

 2007/12/30 13:00Profile
InTheLight
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Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2769
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re: Thoughts on the Importance of "Community"...

I can tell you that I have seen a shadow of the benefits of community recently just in a simple 15 minute daily prayer walk that I started with some co-workers. Just that measely time together every day has been of much encouragement and edification to me. We also meet together at lunchtime one day a week to fast and pray for the lost. It has been a blessing to spend even a little time with the saints for more than just a couple of days a week.

Of course the sense of community that the Bible suggests was much greater than just 15 minutes a day and much time together would lend itself to a situation where you would get to sometimes see the, shall we say, ugly side of others, and much testing would occur and Christ-like character of forgiveness, patience, and humility is developed.

I would also think it would be of much benefit during times of persecution such as those early days of the church. The daily physical unity and the spiritual unity in prayer, crying out to God together, encouraging one another, would be very beneficial.

I don't know if anyone here has been a part of Ben Israel or not but it would be beneficial to hear a first hand account of what true community life is like.

In Christ,

Ron


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Ron Halverson

 2007/12/30 16:14Profile









 Re:

is it too risky to be apart of such a thing?
very

Or do you think it is a necessity if we are to be a last days church?
yep

 2007/12/30 16:24
Tears_of_joy
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Joined: 2003/10/30
Posts: 1554


 Re:

Quote:
InTheLight wrote:
I don't know if anyone here has been a part of Ben Israel or not but it would be beneficial to hear a first hand account of what true community life is like.



Brother Ron, a good brother and friend of mine, has been to Ben Israel 4 or 5 times. The last time he was there after Art's death. What he has shared with me is that this time of few days or weeks there and the time spent with Art, spoke to him much more than any other book or sermon. It gave him direction and aroma of what the life of the church should be, and the impact is pretty much obvious in his life now.

I would ask him if he could share more with us from first hand.

I am just reading [b][url=http://www.benisrael.org/writings/online_books/true_fellowship/tf_contents.html]True Fellowship[/url][/b] which is on this subject. I highly recommend it.

 2007/12/30 16:36Profile
Tears_of_joy
Member



Joined: 2003/10/30
Posts: 1554


 Re: Thoughts on the Importance of "Community"...

Quote:
Or do you think it is a necessity if we are to be a last days church?



I believe it is.

Heb 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: [b]and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.[/b]

Heb 3:13 [b]But exhort one another [u]daily[/u],[/b] while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

We have forgot (or never have been) a family. A true body and organism.

I am part of a small fellowship in a small town. We are not community, but we see each other almost every day. And I know that it's not what it should be, we have to grow much in the fellowship. But I can say that it is one thing you gather for special meeting, it's other thing when you can live and do every day things together. To eat, work, cry, laugh etc.

Art is describing this in this way:

Humiliation is a suffering, and when God called us to establish a community, I knew that I knew that I knew, "You have had it, Katz. This is going to be for you humiliation and suffering. You are going to be found out. You are not going to be a charismatic speaker who flits from one meeting to another. You are going to be living intimately and intensively with other people [b]on a daily basis in which your defects, your shortcomings, your sins and your failures will and must be revealed.[/b]" And out of that, the possibility of a reality is able to come forth that can best be described as "true fellowship."

I think this suffering and friction in the fellowship can build our characters as christians. If we are just two hours or four hours together, we don't have surrounding to taste that kind of fellowship.

I believe there are many, many sincere and true christians in the christendom, but they are scattered. And they suffer in other way, trying to find some real brethren with real passion and same longings for the Kingdom of God. One reason is the big cities (which I believe are not according to God's will, although a lot of people in one place, but people are separated and lonely as never before) and distances and jobs are not allowing this, other thing is the church system. Instead being church, we go to 'church'.

In this kind of environment and life, in most cases we are just powerless. We just cannot work as a body that is described in the NT. We need each other, and we need to be together to may allow the Head to work through His Body. I like how W.Nee is putting this:

The vessel through which the Lord Jesus can reveal Himself in this generation is not the individual but the Body. " God hath dealt to each man a measure of faith " ( 12. 3), but alone in isolation man can never fulfil God's purpose. It requires a complete Body to attain to the stature of Christ and to display His glory. Oh that we might really see this!

I think everyone who has tasted just a little bit of this, knows what that means. Knows what Psalm 133 means.

Quote:
Oh that we might really see this!



P.S. This kind of fellowship doesn't mean a sect or a total separation from the world (which someones are using this as excuse). This is something else. We are into this world and need to be light and salt of this world! And also speaking on this subject in the light of the coming persecution, we should consider "exhorting one another: [b]and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.[/b] And if we scattered all around how can we do this? You cannot have real fellowship with the apostate church in these last days.

 2007/12/30 17:12Profile
IRONMAN
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Joined: 2004/6/15
Posts: 1924
IN HEAVENLY PLACES WITH JESUS

 Re:

Greetings in Jesus' Name by Whose Blood we are Saved.AMEN.

i do believe that God has set a precedent as far as the Church is concerned in terms of community. if this was the case at the first, how much more critical is it at the end of the age?

Grace and Peace are ours in Jesus.AMEN.


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Farai Bamu

 2007/12/30 20:24Profile
pastorfrin
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Joined: 2006/1/19
Posts: 1406


 Re: Thoughts on the Importance of "Community"...

Hi Mattie,

The culture we live in today is in no way conducive to community and I believe the rulers of this world want it to be that way.
I do believe a time is coming and is at the door, when true believers will be drawn to community by the Spirit of God where strength and a oneness in Him, our Lord Jesus Christ will occur.
It will be from these communities that the last days witness will occur.

Rev. 12:11
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

In His Love
pastorfrin

 2007/12/30 21:17Profile
PreachParsly
Member



Joined: 2005/1/14
Posts: 2164
Arkansas

 Re:

I've got a question that may spark some conversation.

Does being in a "community" effect the structure of the church? Or what some may call the "government" of the church? If so, can the average church be a "community" with it's present structure or would the whole structure of the church have to change to accommodate it?

:-D


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Josh Parsley

 2007/12/30 22:26Profile





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