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#42534 - Thu May 28, 2009 3:07 PM Re: The importance of going to church [Re: hisalone]  
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Pilgrim Offline
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Originally Posted by hisalone
If I had my way, there would only be hymns sung in the church, but that is my preference, but does that make someone else's style wrong? not if it is Christ honoring.

Yes, it certainly does make a difference! There are biblically mandated "styles" and there are man-fabricated "styles". And those fabricated by men are vain worship, aka: offerings of Cain. And what exactly is "Christ honoring"? Is it someone's personal feeling or motive, i.e., existential at its source? Or, is "Christ honoring" that which is in CONFORMITY to the Word of God, i.e., "regulated" by God's revealed will? scratch1

Originally Posted by hisalone
Worshipping in Spirit and truth does not mean only those who are in what you call the "regulative principle of worship" are actually worshipping does it?

yep that's exactly what it means. Truth is propositional; not relative. And God and His Word are the only source of truth. Those who deviate from it or reject it are not worshiping the one true God but an idol of their own making. We don't take the "Emergent Church" lightly or any such group, church or denomination which promotes unbiblical worship.

In His grace,


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
#42535 - Thu May 28, 2009 3:32 PM Re: The importance of going to church [Re: hisalone]  
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Howdy hisalone (I like your name!)...

Thanks for sharing. A couple of things you said that I would like to comment on.

Originally Posted by hisalone
Carlos,
I understand what you are saying but it must be considered from the view of others also. I think we are in agreement that the teaching of Christ is of the most importance correct? The things you are mentioning have nothing to do with our salvation in Jesus Christ, tongues, head coverings and other things you mentioned.


Agreed so far...

Quote

It would be wrong for you to become a part of a body in whom you are in disagreement with.


Hmm...not sure about that. I mean who of us is in complete agreement with every other of us? I daresay that not a single one of us is ever in complete agreement with any other of us.

If it is perfectly acceptable for me to fellowship with you or others with whom I am not in perfect agreement why must I exclude myself or otherwise be excluded from fellowship with a body of believers (as opposed to individual believers) just because I or they are also not in perfect agreement?

Is there any biblical basis for believing that such a thing is...well...biblical?

I mean is there any scriptural support for the idea that a Christian cannot or should not fellowship with a local representation of the Body unless that Christian is in agreement with that body regarding the particulars of what that group might believe?

I don't think there is such support. I could be wrong but I think the whole notion that believers who disagree cannot be in the same body and actively so is itself unscriptural and promotes ungodly division.

If you and I disagree on some particular point of doctrine and we both have a third individual who is a common friend are we not both able and free in the Presence of God to expound to our common friend our respective views? In love and a spirit of humility and respect for each other? Without endangering our friendship in Christ?

If we can do that in person among ourselves why does it now become taboo to do so simply because we now find ourselves among a much greater group of believers as represented by a local body (otherwise called a Church)?

Quote

Why, because you cause a brother to stumble.


The context of causing a brother to stumble biblically has to do with wounding someone's conscience and embolding them through the exercise of our freedom to do what for them is wrong (i.e. with the example given being that of eating meat sacrificed to idols).

How would I cause anybody in your Church for example, assuming your Church differed with me on the matter of spiritual gifts, to so stumble?

At what point do we draw the line between walking in love and walking in fear of offending the sensibilities of any of our brothers and sisters who simply have an incorrect understanding of truth?

Can we not walk in love and allow each other freedom to express variying points of view regarding what the Bible says on a given subject? Without neccessarily having such a difference force a division?

Quote

Without getting into where I stand on those issues, you must realize we are all at different places in our biblical understandings as to the issues you mentioned. As you said, who has the corner on the truth? With that in mind, it is best to join a body that has the same view as you and grow together with them.


Admittedly that would be ideal but I know of no group anywhere that is as homogenous in their agreement as the ideal that you describe.

I have found no group, other than non-aligned Christians that is, who allow each other freedom to follow the Bible in the totality of what it plainly says to do and believe. So the choice for me and countless others is to either shut our mouths and restrain ourselves and abide by group policy or open our mouths, speak the truth as we see it in love, do what the bible says, and let God work.

Between the two I think it is safe to say that I have no choice before God but to do the latter. Of course that also means that I tend to not fit into existing Church structures which is regretable but more an indication of how stiffling and suppresive Church strucutures presently are than in my having a wrong heart or unwillingness to work with my brothers and sisters in Christ to do all that God might want to do through us all.

Quote

For some of us, if you were to bring those things up during the service other than just as questions in a teaching setting, it would be considered an attack on the unity of the church.


Mind you I am not so unaware of God's ways that I would just barge into Churches and start mouthing off some "thus saith the Lord" to one and all but I am curious, if I did do that, why would you and others consider it an attack on the unity of the church?

Would not the example set in Corinth where each one has this or that and is free to express it before a gathering of the Church (where the rest judge what is said) point rather to the fact that such an expression is the healthiest expression of the Holy Spirit having free reign to operate as He might want to rather than as an attack on unity?

Quote

Where would it stop? People would want to expound all kinds of wild doctrines causing confusion and disunity in the church.


Paul would not have encouraged the Corinthians to so do if your concern is what would result. The fact is that under such freedom of expression the Holy Spirit Himself would lead through the Body to judge and otherwise highlight wrong expressions. That Body would be a most healthy Body that would allow freedom in Christ for all to freely exercise their gifts while also judging wrong thought and action.

The fact is that we are encouraged to operate in such freedom right in the passages I quoted if not by explicit command then certainly by example. It's there in black and white.

Why are we not doing that?

Quote

Certain individuals have been gifted for pastoring and teaching, it is a gift of God that the church must recognize.


Absolutely! That does not negate what Corinthians says by way of example about how we should operate in more freedom within assemblies of the Body.

Quote

Much like the sons of Korah, everyone thinks they are a teacher or pastor, and that isn't biiblical.


What is not biblical are present day Church structures that hinder the Holy Spirit freely expressing Himself through whomever He wills to do so. Again it's in black and white in the example set out in 1 Cor.

So what if everyone thinks they are a teacher? Is it a sin to think that oneself is a teacher? I am sure every Pastor thinks they are a teacher.

The wrongness is not in thinking we are teachers. The wrongness is in so restricting everyone from freely expressing what they feel is God within them wanting them to do that none of those who think they are teachers ever got much chance to say anything at all. Such that they might be able under the correction of the Spirit through others to come to a place of brokeness to realize that perhaps they are not the great teachers they have thought themselves to be.

Again, setting all opposing logic aside, what do you make of Paul's instructions for the Corinthian Church? Are we to follow the example he set for them? If not...why not?

Quote

Jumping up to give a prophecy is better done in a church that allows that, in our church it would probably freak someone out, causing them to stumble.


So now the criteria for whether we allow something, a biblical something at that, to happen in our modern assemblies is whether we will cause someone to "freak out"???

Quote

I'm not saying it is wrong if you feel led to do that, but don't do it in a church you know is more reserved in their worship.


Hmm...I wonder what Jesus would have done in such a Church? Would he have given way to the more reserved way of that Church or would He not rather have strongly rebuked that Church to stop their stubborness?

What gives any of us as Christians the right to tell other Christians to not fully express themselves to God in our company???

That strikes me as incredibly arrogant.

Am I to believe that biblically, assuming that I was a tongue speaking prophet (which I am not), that I cannot express myself to God in a wholesome and biblical manner when around some Christians because they are sensitive such that their religious sensitivities might be offended by my expression???!!!

Is that biblical?

Is the only choice here for one such Christian to further seperate and divide from other Christians so that they might freely express themselves to God in an assembly of His called out one's??

Does no one else see anything wrong with that???

Quote

We are all different, we all have our styles, join the one you best fit with.


Yes that is what is natural. I mean that we join with those who we best fit with. Fortunately for us all that is not God's way for if He had done the same not a one of us would have been deemed fit to join with Him!

Quote

If you take notice, even Jesus obeyed the form of worship in the synagogue by going to the front to read the Scriptures, why didn't he just give the exposition of the reading from where He stood in the congregation?


A valid point but if I may also point out what Jesus did among those in the synagogues is more akin to what we do among unbelievers who are religious than among those of us who are truly called by His name.

If I attend a Catholic Church for example (and no I am not saying all Catholics are unbelievers) I am most certainly not going to stand up and start running up and down the halls yelling "Praise God!" (not that I do that anywhere mind you but just by way of illustration).

It would not be winsome to do so.

But that gathering is not my family gathering. It is best I think to look at what Jesus did when with His disciples to gain a better understanding of how what He did might be an indication of what we should do in the Church. Not to what He did inside a synagogue that listened to Him one minute and the next tried to throw Him off a cliff!

While Jesus did follow the order of how things were done with respect to reading please note how he handled the subsequent dialog. He most certainly did not kowtow to existing tradition by what He subsequently said. Indeed they tried to kill Him!

Quote

We must recognize the order in the churches we attend, God is a God of order.


The context of that oft misused and misquoted verse is a context of the Holy Spirit instituting an order into a gathering by the free expression of His gifts within the Body. Where prophets are allowed to speak one at time, where woman must keep silent, where tongues speakers cannot speak unless their is an interpreter and so forth.

It is not at all related to the proper order that we have today where saints sit, and stand, and kneel, and say Amen when they are told to do so and at not other time in an hour long service.

Isn't it incredibly ironic that today any such expressions of tongues, prophecy, and so forth are considered out of order when those very things were PART OF THE ORDER being spoken of then???!!!

Quote

I am not saying this to discourage you, just trying to point you to what I believe is best for you and the church.


I appreciate your heart in doing so if not your views with respect to why we shouldn't or can't follow the order of assembly as laid out for us by example in 1st Cor.

Carlos

#42536 - Thu May 28, 2009 3:45 PM Re: The importance of going to church [Re: carlos123]  
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Just so everyone knows...I am not an emerging church person (whatever the emerging church means..I have some notion of it but don't know much about it). I am simply a Christian. A disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I do not trust in my own ability to save myself. I trust in God through the blood of Christ alone for my salvation. Apart from Him I am a miserable and I mean miserable wretch of a sinner. Unworthy to so much as look to God much less have any kind of relationship with Him.

But in Him I am washed clean from all my sins, made alive with Christ. I can access the Father freely and confidently as His child, credited as righteous by Him who has accepted Jesus as my substitute.

I am neither Pentecostal (though I have had some Pentecostal type experiences in my life), Baptist (though I believe wholeheartedly in sticking to the Word, the neccessity of being Baptized, and preaching the Gospel in it's fullness), or any other denomination. I am first and foremost and only ever just a Christian. And I wholeheartedly welcome all who call themselves by that same name (as long as they don't try to force me to conform to their sensitivities and traditions that are extra-biblical and as long as they don't try and force me to shut my mouth or otherwise keep me from doing and saying all that my Father might want me to say).

Carlos




#42537 - Thu May 28, 2009 3:51 PM Re: The importance of going to church [Re: Pilgrim]  
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hisalone Offline
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I believe the regulative principle directs us toward the proper act of worship, but true biblical worship is a matter of the heart. A person can follow all the guidelines of the regulative principle and still be a "Cain" in the heart. How often did God reprimand the Israelites because they followed the rules of worship but their hearts were far from Him?

Isa. 29:13-14 NASB Then the Lord said,“Because this people draw near with their words
And honor Me with their lip service,
But they remove their hearts far from Me,
And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,14 Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous;
And the wisdom of their wise men shall perish,
And the discernment of their discerning men shall be concealed.”

Proper worship consists of knowing who we worship and having a proper view of ourselves. I don't disagree that the regulative principle is important, but I disagree that only those who follow a person's interpretation of the regulative principle are really worshipping. God is with all those of a broken and contrite heart or His word is not true. True worship is a matter of the heart, it is not dictated by what we do outwardly. My confidence is based on Jesus Christ, not on my form of worship.


What is Christ honoring? again, it is acknowledging who He is and recognizing who we are, the emergent church has failed to do that and because of that have entered into error and have become apostate.


Hisalone
Matt. 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. KJV
#42538 - Thu May 28, 2009 4:06 PM Re: The importance of going to church [Re: hisalone]  
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Quote

Proper worship consists of knowing who we worship and having a proper view of ourselves. ... God is with all those of a broken and contrite heart or His word is not true. True worship is a matter of the heart, it is not dictated by what we do outwardly. My confidence is based on Jesus Christ, not on my form of worship.


Can I jump up and down in the hallowed aisles of this forum and say "Praise God!" to that?

Raise my hands to God and say "Amen!"?

Here...for a moment I am even going to go all Pentecostal on you and start the flag waving surrender

Carlos

PS. I just looked through my very long, long post above. I didn't realize, in the passion of my feelings for the subject while standing on the commons of this forum preaching my heart out, that I had written a book laugh

Last edited by carlos123; Thu May 28, 2009 4:10 PM.
#42539 - Thu May 28, 2009 4:19 PM Re: The importance of going to church [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Originally Posted by Pilgrim

....One of the prominent elements of Protestant biblical worship is the centrality of the preaching of the Word by those called to that responsibility. (Scripture references can be provided if needed) grin This preaching of the Word is to be done by those who "labor in the Word and doctrine" (1Thess 5:12, 13; 1Tim 5:17). This cannot be done as suggested by some, i.e., a extemporaneous speaking by anyone who happens to be in the assembly.


Agreed that there need to be times when one's yes, sit in their respective pews (or on the grass or wherever) and just listen.

What I find incredibly ironic is the fact the the Church of today, which claims to be acting out what Jesus would want, has taken what Jesus did when He preached in the open before a mass of people and made a form out of it. A form that has become the primary form of Church practice today.

A form that outright denies the validity of any other form of Church assembly (such as the one I have quoted from 1 Cor).

Why do we highlight and make a tradition of the style Jesus used in open air teaching, bring it into a building, decorate that tradition with certain trappings (i.e. a pulpit, an order of things, a style of dress on the part of the teacher...suit and tie usually) and then go around decrying any attempt to do what is otherwise allowed in the New Testament that does not conform to our now established form of Church tradition?

Carlos

#42540 - Thu May 28, 2009 4:22 PM Re: The importance of going to church [Re: carlos123]  
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hisalone Offline
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Carlos,

I read through your post and where we split ways is our interpretation of 1 Corinthians. It appears your belief is that all the gifts are in operation today, where my stance is that certain sign gifts have ceased. An example is the issue of tongues, those were known languages and inmportant in the start of the early church. Also in the early church they did not yet have all of scripture, the finished revelation of God as we have now and the Spirit did work in a marvelous way, gving people utterances, but that isn't necessary today, we have the full revelation of Jesus Christ in the canon of scripture. Healings is another one, not that God can't heal through prayer, but people aren't gifted such as Paul or Peter were to be able to lay hands on people and make them well. Again that was for the purpose of establishing the church.

When I said you would "freak" out someone, it would be considered strange and unbiblical in our church body. It would be disruptive and might even in some cases cause others to follow suit, causing disunity. Look at what happened at the Toronto Blessing. You would always be welcome to attend our fellowship, but it would be expected that the form of worship would be respected.

You spoke of causing a brother to stumble as pertaining to meats, yes, but it pertains to all aspects of our lives as christians. Any action can cause a brother to stumble. Not everyone is called to teach, that is where arrogance begins. That is the probem with many churches today, people in the teacher's seat who do not understand spritual truth. God speaks through individuals today, in the pulpit and in teaching, it is His gifting. Many times people think it is God speaking to them or through them who are sadly mistaken. How many entered into error because of listening to deceptive spirits? Our hearts are desparately wicked who can know them?


Hisalone
Matt. 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. KJV
#42541 - Thu May 28, 2009 4:43 PM Re: The importance of going to church [Re: carlos123]  
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hisalone Offline
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Originally Posted by carlos123
[quote]

Can I jump up and down in the hallowed aisles of this forum and say "Praise God!" to that?

Raise my hands to God and say "Amen!"?

Here...for a moment I am even going to go all Pentecostal on you and start the flag waving surrender


Carlos, you may like what I said previously, but you might be the only one, I find very few that agree with what I write on this discussion board. What I do like, is that it causes me to work through things, and although I don't usually go along with the status quo, I find help to issues I might be struggling through. The board has been a blessing and profitable in my study.


Hisalone
Matt. 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. KJV
#42542 - Thu May 28, 2009 4:48 PM Re: The importance of going to church [Re: carlos123]  
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Robin Offline
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here is a whole long list of very useful articles that directly address most of the issues you have raised about church, church order, and worship.

And here is a section dedicated to Ecclesiology - The Doctrine of the Church.

One in particular that describes church offices and their functions in the local body as defined in the Scriptures might be helpful. Your first post in this thread reflects a very common sentiment that most of us, at one time or another, shared before coming to grips with the scriptures.

Rather than run the whole gambit of subjects addressed in this thread (worship, the sacraments, church membership, gifts of the Spirit, and so on), in a single post or thread, let's try to keep to the original subject and use separate threads to talk about the regulative principle, gifts, etc.

Peruse those articles first and then let's discuss them from the scriptures.

-Robin

Last edited by Pilgrim; Thu May 28, 2009 6:40 PM. Reason: Added link to Ecclesiology
#42543 - Thu May 28, 2009 7:12 PM Re: The importance of going to church [Re: hisalone]  
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Originally Posted by hisalone
Carlos,

I read through your post and where we split ways is our interpretation of 1 Corinthians. It appears your belief is that all the gifts are in operation today, where my stance is that certain sign gifts have ceased.


You have discerned correctly smile.

I do not believe the perfect spoken about in 1 Cor is the Bible but rather the perfect One whom we will know as perfectly as we are known only after His return.

But be that as it may does it not strike you as rather odd that the exercise of spiritual gifts should go from one of free exercise subject to the judgement of the Body after such an exercise to a paradigm of allowing few if any gifts to operate from the Body such that only a relative few gifted individuals are allowed free exercise thereof up front?

Does it not seem odd that such a change in paradigm falls or stands on the meaning of one word in 1 Cor 13. Namely the word "perfect"? If that one word does indeed mean the Bible then perhaps it's justified. But if it does not do you realize what a restriction the Church of today is putting on the operation of the Holy Spirit?

Does that one word so clearly mean "Bible" or does it possibly mean something else? Are we to limit God in the Church on the possibility that it might actually mean "bible" wnen in fact the text says "perfect" not "bible"?

I am not trying to open up a discussion of spiritual gifts only pointing to how much we may be limiting God if we do not get back to allowing the free operation of spiritual gifts (whatever they may be today). The free operation is my emphasis not whether spiritual gifts (normally referrred to as sign gifts) are for today or not.

Quote

An example is the issue of tongues, those were known languages and inmportant in the start of the early church. Also in the early church they did not yet have all of scripture, the finished revelation of God as we have now and the Spirit did work in a marvelous way, gving people utterances, but that isn't necessary today, we have the full revelation of Jesus Christ in the canon of scripture. Healings is another one, not that God can't heal through prayer, but people aren't gifted such as Paul or Peter were to be able to lay hands on people and make them well. Again that was for the purpose of establishing the church.


I wonder what saints in places where they do not put much stock on that which lies between our ears would say about the ways in which God is working a modern day Acts in today's times?

Have you ever read the book Anointed for Burial detailing the Church in Cambodia just before the fall of Vietnam? That book opened my eyes to a lot of things. Not the least of which was that what I understand in my head might not have been correct with respect to what God was willing to still do in His Body.

Quote

When I said you would "freak" out someone, it would be considered strange and unbiblical in our church body. It would be disruptive and might even in some cases cause others to follow suit, causing disunity.


Disunity is a state of heart. Not of what one does or does not do with respect to the free exercise of any spiritual gifts.

It is a state of heart that causes disunity in the Body.

If you as a friend come before me and start mouthing tongues (assuming you were willing to not abide by the prohibition in exercise mentioned in 1 Cor with no interpreter present) and I did not believe tongues existed today I might look upon your babbling as funny but I do not believe you and I would become enemies or disunited by your exuberent babbling.

Likewise it should be in the Church. No disunity needs to happen.

Quote

Look at what happened at the Toronto Blessing. You would always be welcome to attend our fellowship, but it would be expected that the form of worship would be respected.


Ah..yes the Toronto Blessing had it's own problems. I am very familiar with what happened there.

But we shouldn't throw the baby of freedom in Christ within the Body out with the proverbial water of confusion either smile.

And yes...if I came to your church I would most definitely respect your order of worship even if I might see it as incredibly restricting.

Just a little while ago had the most incredible and powerful move of the Holy Spirit within me while listening to worship music. Where I burst forth with praise of God while weeping almost uncontrollably at God's graciousness to me.

No I do not speak in tongues. But the power of God came upon me so strongly that I could not help but stand up and raise my hands and start moving them in rhythm to my heart expressing thanks and worship to God.

Should such a thing be restrained because someone's religious sensitivities might be offended or otherwise be made uncomfortable? The Lord is returning shortly and we as Christians need to break before Him and start being all that He has called us to be.

We need to give each other freedom to operate under His power and His authority within the Body. Church leaders need to humble themselves instead of constantly trying to protect their turf and the status quo.

Carlos

#42544 - Thu May 28, 2009 7:14 PM Re: The importance of going to church [Re: Robin]  
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Some excellent stuff at the links you shared Robin. THANK YOU! You have given me lots to chew on. Much appreciated.

Carlos

#42545 - Thu May 28, 2009 9:42 PM Re: The importance of going to church [Re: carlos123]  
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Carlos

From what you have revealed about yourself, though I could be mistaken, it appears that you would be comfortable with The Brethern. Most of them that I know, meet in houses.

Tom

#42546 - Fri May 29, 2009 2:14 AM Re: The importance of going to church [Re: Tom]  
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Thanks for the input Tom but if you don't mind giving me additional input I have a question.

Why do I have to join up with any particular group of Christians (i.e. The Brethren)? Why can't I just be a Christian? A non-denominational, non-aligned Christian?

I had a most wonderful time of great worship with a good friend of mine. We got together and talked, listened to worship music together, sang, raised our hands and otherwise worshipped God together. It was a most wonderful time. Two men worshipping God together.

He and I are both not aligned with any one particular group of Christians. We both fellowship with a variety of Christians who go to different "Churches" (my fellowship is mostly over the internet since at present I have no car and no bus fare to speak of while his fellowship is more in real life as opposed to over the Internet).

But we are not aligned with any particular denomination or "Church". Is that wrong?

Carlos

#42547 - Fri May 29, 2009 2:27 PM Re: The importance of going to church [Re: carlos123]  
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Welcome Carlos,
While trying not to be redundant as to the sites Robin pointed out,we are commanded as far as the assembling of ourselves (Heb.10:25).The purpose being that union in numbers begets strength and love while helping to overcome the power of Satan.


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#42549 - Fri May 29, 2009 10:50 PM Re: The importance of going to church [Re: carlos123]  
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Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 3,303
Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
Originally Posted by carlos123
Thanks for the input Tom but if you don't mind giving me additional input I have a question.

Why do I have to join up with any particular group of Christians (i.e. The Brethren)? Why can't I just be a Christian? A non-denominational, non-aligned Christian?

I had a most wonderful time of great worship with a good friend of mine. We got together and talked, listened to worship music together, sang, raised our hands and otherwise worshipped God together. It was a most wonderful time. Two men worshipping God together.

He and I are both not aligned with any one particular group of Christians. We both fellowship with a variety of Christians who go to different "Churches" (my fellowship is mostly over the internet since at present I have no car and no bus fare to speak of while his fellowship is more in real life as opposed to over the Internet).

But we are not aligned with any particular denomination or "Church". Is that wrong?

Carlos


How does one participate in the sacraments such as baptism and communion if they don't attend a fellowship of believers?
I believe the sacraments must be taken with in the confines of an organized body of believers, with elders leading.
That all I have time to say at the moment.

Tom

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