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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Church not a church

As much as I would love to see such a 'Camp Meeting' I think Neil's friend probably had something else in mind when he spoke of the need of meeting face to face. I love SI and I know that some regard it as their 'church'; it cannot fulfil that role. The face to face -ness and the personal accountability will never be possible on the Net; neither will the sense of waiting on God in company with other saints.

Thanks Ron for bringing some levelheadedness and reality here. As one of those that oft times would make that leap to using such verbiage as to call this a church .... and without prying the lid back on that whole can again... This did give pause to think more soberly about using such phraseology. You are right, it can never replace that nor fill that role nor should it, would hope nobody would misconstrue this as being more than it is. For one thing it practically deifies definition as it has become something heretofore been unattainable. A place where brethren all over the world can come and share their hearts and experience, exhorting one another, praying for each other, learning from and helping drive us all onwards to that incredible high calling. It's an awe and a wonder but what to characterize it as... a market place of discussion, but more so. A fellowship, but lacking. Difficult to worship with voices that can't be heard in unison, or to break bread in remembrance from a far. Far too many of the obvious missing elements. Maybe it is 'church like' in spirit, in that ultimate sense of being His Church and members thereof at it's core and the sense of community and even the struggle to keep the bounds of peace in true unity of spirit are like in kind, but it still differs, it just cannot fulfill that as you well stated.
The face to face -ness and the personal accountability will never be possible on the Net; neither will the sense of waiting on God in company with other saints.

Very well sums it up.
SI is a wonderful 'thing' but don't let it hinder your search for a people who the terms of the Acts might be called 'their own company'. 'home' is not always comfortable but God's declared plan is to set the solitary in families.

Agree, it cannot be something other than what it is, not a replacement for or an alternative to real flesh and blood communion. At the same time I am glad the Lord raised this up for any multitude of reasons not the least of that incredible spiritual education that is ever ongoing.

Another thing to bear in mind is that SI is much wider than North America and the folk farthest from North America are likely to be the ones with the least financial ability to get there.

Which I am ever so thankful you brought up again. That this is much wider than the confines of this corner of Gods planet and think that is where Greg's words about it being something led of the Lord and pulled together by His doing the only way it would be possible. We have mused on this many a time and would just be besides myself to see it somehow come to pass, have met so many incredible saints here and to be able to gather together... O my soul, I don't know if I could even handle the joy!

But I still like the idea.. maybe it would please the Lord to have us pray about it... this hunch of this many true hearts after the Lord gathered together in one setting... the possibilities, frightening, wonderfully frightening.

Mike Balog

 2005/7/15 10:43Profile

Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri


I would also love to meet with many of the folks here on SI. I have had the priveledge to meet Greg and John (openarms) in CA last year. We had a wonderful time together. I also agree with Ron. It is impossible to come together and wait on God on this context. As close as we came to that was during the live serminars. That was pretty neat. If God opens the door i would travel anywhere in the nation to be at an event. Maybe we could car pool. :-P

Robert Wurtz II

 2005/7/15 10:55Profile

Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 2732


I appreciate Greg's caution and respect his restraint. As this ministry grows it could become many annual conference, an independant publishing label, and even the basis for local fellowships. However, just because it can become these things, doesn't mean it should.

Part of Sermon Index's strength is in the international access made possible by the internet. Adding a localized event, such as in North America, might unintentionally create a secondary community within SI.

The understandable desire to form a closer knit community is probably the driving reason to organize a physical event. I think it's also a very important reason not to have such an event. If an "insider" circle was formed here at SI through the bond of a "kairos" camp meeting, the larger community might be diminished.

As it is SI is a unique and remarkable cyber-oasis for many Christians. I've not seen anything quite like it. By feeding and challenging us, it is strengthening the churches we go to, and the communities we are already a part of. SI is ubiquitous and widespread...that is the strength of this very special ministry.

Meanwhile we can always make personal connections with inidividuals we meet here in the forum. I personally hope to one day be able to meet several people I have met through this ministry...many outside of North America.

Praise God for this special place!

Just my thoughts.

Mike Compton

 2005/7/15 14:27Profile

Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC


Possibly consider making such a "campmeeting" an open-air venue? Thus, all you have to find is a really good street corner or park e.g. New York Central Park.

Jimmy H

 2005/7/15 15:59Profile

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