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AbideinHim
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Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3589
Louisiana

 Unity Among Pastors in Buenos Aires

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/june/25.38.html


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Mike

 2010/7/4 8:29Profile
Lysa
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Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 3421
This world is not my home anymore.

 Re: Unity Among Pastors in Buenos Aires


(edit) This is worth reading(/edit) Thank you for posting this, I would have never known the unity among the churches in Buenos Aires otherwise. I would like to know more! I think I'll dig around and see, thank you again.

Excerpts from the article:

[i]Churches do not have to abandon their distinctives in order to participate. Pastors agree on core theological elements—"the Trinity, Jesus' death on the cross, his second coming—basically the gospel of Billy Graham and the Lausanne Convention," says Bongarrá—and agree to disagree on the rest. They continue to diverge on divorce, eternal salvation security, second baptism of the Holy Spirit, and worship, for example.

"These debates may be important in my congregation, but they are not important to work together and preach the gospel to the city," says Bongarrá.

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Argentina's unity movement is based on a simple biblical concept.

"Each time the New Testament speaks of the church in a city such as Ephesus, it is always singular, never plural," says Carlos Mraida, pastor of Del Centro First Baptist Church. "Yet when the New Testament speaks of leadership in a city, it is always plural. The church is singular, but leadership is plural."

"When we go to the U.S., we cannot understand the division of the church," says Saracco, pastor of Good News Church. "You can have one pastor on one [street] corner and another on another corner, and they don't know each other. Here we are friends."

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"We changed the mindset and said, 'Let's not work like an institution; let's work like a church and focus on spiritual gifts,' " says Bongarrá. "Which pastors are evangelists? Teachers? Prophets? Apostles?"

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The unity movement soon shifted from fellowship between pastors to churches helping churches.

Pastors incarnated the priesthood of all believers by seeking people to assume "spiritual responsibility" for each of the 12,000 blocks in the city center of 3 million residents. Volunteers pray for their block and pass out Bibles and fliers. Today the council has 7,000 blocks covered by volunteers from 100 local churches. Pastors are confident they will find volunteers for the remaining 5,000 blocks by year's end.[/i]


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Lisa

 2010/7/4 9:22Profile
AbideinHim
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Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3589
Louisiana

 Re:

Thank you Lysa for posting these excerpts.

God does not see many different churches in a city as man does. God only sees one church in every city, and it consists of every born again believer.

Denominationalism has divided the Body of Christ. It is encouraging to see these pastors seeking the kingdom of God in their city, and coming together in unity for God's purposes and His glory.

Mike


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Mike

 2010/7/4 9:42Profile









 Re:

"God does not see many different churches in a city as man does. God only sees one church in every city, and it consists of every born again believer.

Denominationalism has divided the Body of Christ. It is encouraging to see these pastors seeking the kingdom of God in their city, and coming together in unity for God's purposes and His glory."

Preach it brother. I challenge anyone to study the NT and you will not find a single example of the word church in plural in regard to town or city, only region.......brother Frank

 2010/7/4 9:56
AbideinHim
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Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3589
Louisiana

 Re:

Brother Frank,

Watchman Nee saw this truth about one church in every city and wrote about it extensively.




"The city is the smallest geographical unit upon which a local church can be formed; anything smaller is not scriptural. Watchman Nee uses the apostle Paul’s rebuke of the believers in Corinth in 1 Corinthians chapter 1 to show that the biblical standard does not permit believers to divide themselves into smaller groups. Such groups are not real local churches, but sects:



We read in 1 Corinthians 1:2 of “the church of God which is in Corinth.” Corinth was a unit-locality, and the church in Corinth, a unit-church. When discord crept in and its members were on the point of splitting the church into four different factions, Paul wrote, rebuking them: “Each of you says, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ…Are you not men of flesh?” (1 Cor. 1:12; 3:4). Had these people formed four different groups, they would have been sects, not churches, for Corinth was a city, and that is the smallest unit which warrants the forming of a church. The church of God in Corinth could not cover a lesser area than the whole city, nor could it comprise a lesser number of Christians than all the Christians who lived there. This is Paul’s definition of the church in Corinth—“to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, the called saints” (1:2). To form a church in an area smaller than a unit-locality is to form it on a smaller basis than a scriptural unit, and it follows that it cannot be a scriptural church. Any group of believers less than all the believers in a place is not qualified to be a separate church. The unit of the church must correspond with the unit of the locality. A church must cover the same area as the locality in which it is found. If a church is smaller than a locality, then it is not a scriptural church; it is a sect.


To take any name other than Christ’s and use that designation as a basis for division among the believers is condemned by the apostle Paul as carnal, fleshly, and sectarian. However, even to confess, “I am of Christ,” if done with a divisive attitude, is equally condemned. This is because, as Watchman Nee reminds us, the only scriptural ground for a local church is locality, not sectarianism or even non-sectarianism:



To say, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Cephas,” is obviously sectarian; but to say, “I am of Christ,” is sectarian too, though less obviously so. The confession, “I am of Christ,” is good as a confession, but it is not an adequate basis for forming a separate church, since it excludes some of the children of God in a given locality by including only a certain section who say, “I am of Christ.” That every believer belongs to Christ is a fact, whether that fact be declared or not; and to differentiate between those who proclaim it and those who do not, is condemned by God as carnal. It is the fact that matters, not the declaration of it. The sphere of a church in any place does not merely include those in that place who say, “I am of Christ,” but all in that place who are of Christ. It extends over the entire area of the locality, and includes the entire number of the Christians in the locality.


To take one’s stand as belonging to Christ alone is perfectly right, but to divide between Christians who take that stand and Christians who do not, is altogether wrong. To brand as sectarian those who say, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Cephas,” and feel spiritually superior as we separate ourselves from them and have fellowship only with those who say, “I am of Christ,” makes us guilty of the very sin we condemn in others. If we make non-sectarianism the basis of our fellowship, then we are dividing the church on a ground other than the one ordained of God, and thereby we form another sect. The scriptural ground for a church is a locality and not non-sectarianism. Any fellowship that is not as wide as the locality is sectarian. All Christians who live in the same place as I do, are in the same church as I am, and I dare exclude none. I acknowledge as my brother, and as a fellow member of my church, every child of God who lives in my locality.


Emphatically reiterating that there can be only one local church in one city, Watchman Nee demonstrates from Scripture that regardless of the size of the city or the number of believers in that city, if the locality is indivisible, so the local church in that locality is indivisible:



There were a great number of believers in Jerusalem. We read of a multitude who turned to the Lord; yet they are all referred to as the church in Jerusalem, not the churches in Jerusalem. Jerusalem was a single place; therefore, it could only be counted as a single unit for the founding of a single church. You cannot divide the church unless you can divide the place. If there is only one locality, there can only be one church. In Corinth there was only the church in Corinth; in Hankow there is only the church in Hankow. We do not read of the churches in Jerusalem, or the churches in Ephesus, or the churches in Corinth. Each of these was counted as only one place; therefore, it was permissible to have only one church in each. As long as Jerusalem, Ephesus, and Corinth remain unit-localities, just so long do they remain unit-churches. If a locality is indivisible, then the church formed in that locality is indivisible."


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Mike

 2010/7/4 10:25Profile





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