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The Boy Wonder
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You keep asking the same questions and getting the same answers. I really seems you have simply not bothered to read and consider the several very detailed articles we have pointed you to which describe God's government of His people according to Scripture.

If you disagree, fine. But your disagreement is not going to change anyone's mind, particularly since you are not arguing from the Scriptures, but from your own apparently negative experiences with churches.

Let me offer further warning, that outside of the Church, there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.


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Originally Posted by Robin
Let me offer further warning, that outside of the Church, there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.

Now there is a loaded statement without defining terms. I thought there was no possiblity of salvation "outside" of Christ? Now if you mean Church as in Christ's body, fine, but if you mean church as the Catholics or many others define it, well, we have problems. Knowing your theological stance by your previous posts, I know you mean in Christ, but certainly that phrasing is dangerous and misleading.


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
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Originally Posted by hisalone
Originally Posted by Robin
Let me offer further warning, that outside of the Church, there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.

Now there is a loaded statement without defining terms. I thought there was no possiblity of salvation "outside" of Christ? Now if you mean Church as in Christ's body, fine, but if you mean church as the Catholics or many others define it, well, we have problems. Knowing your theological stance by your previous posts, I know you mean in Christ, but certainly that phrasing is dangerous and misleading.

Actually, that's a quote from a Reformed source, and should be quite familiar to anyone who has actually taken the time to read the articles we keep citing in this thread.

I knew I'd "catch" someone by referring to it.... but I didn't expect it to be you.


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giggle you didn't catch me, I actually knew it was quoted for the very reason you stated, but why? What was your intention? A doctrinal sting operation, hmmmmmmm?


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
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Hi to yourself Johan,

Originally Posted by Johan
Hi Carlos,

It seems to me as if you base your views on some aspects of the early NT church. But what about the fact that the apostle Paul addressed his letters to what we can call congregations, ie. groups of believers that already point to some degree of organization. And Jesus himself instructed the apostle John to write letters to the seven churches in Asia Minor.

Yes my views are indeed based in part on some aspects of the early New Testament Church but not entirely so. I would like to think they are based on the totality of the New Testament if not the entire Bible. Until and if someone can show me otherwise which is certainly always possible.

Paul certainly did address his letters to congregations...well...with one or two exceptions but those exceptions are not germane to this discussion.

Quote
This tells me that even in the NT church there already was already level of organization. After all, we are brothers and sisters in Christ and part of God's household; we therefore belong together; also visibly.


Johan

And yes...you are also correct in saying that there was indeed some level of organization in the NT Church and that yes, there is some measure of visibility to our togetherness (or else we would be...well...invisible and of no use to anyone LOL).

But the problem as I see it is that many of us here are so focused on the organizational aspects of Churchianity that we might be in danger of becoming almost Pharasitical about it. To the point that we might forget that with God the more important thing is the heart.

The organization of the Church is or should be a reflection of Christ living in believers through His Spirit and operating through them to do His will. It should not become something that gets codefied into some sort of legal set of rules by which we are to worship God.

The Old Testament was like that under the Law. Jesus came bringing something new.

The Pharasees constantly tried to get Jesus to fit into their outward form of religion. Jesus constantly went outside those norms and by so doing revealed their hearts to be wrong.

It is our hearts that God is after. If those are right then of course there is some level of organization or structure involved in being the Church (i.e. elders, deacons, church discipline, communion, and so forth) but the structure that is indicated, at least biblically, is a very simple structure.

It is a very flexible and beautiful structure that reflects a new understanding (under the New Covenant) that we are no longer what is seen on the outside but what is seen in the heart.

God has come to live inside of us. What was previously a holy, house of the Lord if you will in the Temple, has now shifted to become us in that the Holy of Holies has now been associated with the Presence of God in us.

There is no longer a Holy House of the Lord at all under the New Covenant with regard to it being a place.

What was previously a very regulated and very involved sacrificial system has now been taken care of by Christ in what He did on the cross so that we no longer have to go through this long or involved ritual to approach God but can have confident and free access to Him by faith more like children running to sit in their Father's lap.

Man has a tendency to take pride in outward appearance. God looks at the heart.

Religion is not God's doing. It is man trying to be what can only be when God lives inside. And if we have the living God inside of us the outward acts of our religiosity become less meaningful and even uneccessary by virtue of the fact that God, GOD, has come to live inside of us Himself.

Making us holy. Making us the new temple. Making us the new place of worship in that there is no longer a designated place of worship but rather a person. Christ in us as a Body wherever we happen to be.

I know that for some of you...my statements might seem more just another recitation of opinion in that I have not given many verses but the underlying problem in our discussion, as I see it, is the overall problem of a difference in our overall perspective on Church. An overall perspective that might cause us to be technically correct in some interpretations of what is literally said in the Bible but wrong in spirit.

I have been trying to address that overall perspective that lies behind our statements.

Yes...I have been hurt and badly so by many so-called brethren in organized Churches. Well do I remember the various times that I fell into real need and had the organized Church leave me out in the cold with not so much as a willingness to extend the most meager bread crumb to me in my need. God provided to me still as He always does.

His provision came to me through those who would not be considered very spiritual at all. Persons who have been somewhat unstable mentally. Persons who have not been attending Sunday Churches. Persons who are unbelievers. Christians outside the traditional mainstream. It's like God has used the despised to shame those who are supposedly the most outwardly spiritual to help me realize in part the incredible hypocrisy that there is in organized North American Churches.

I have forgiven all such hurts and if I have not done so entirely in any particular that I perhaps have not, I do here and now forgive anyone who treated me thus. I forgive them from the heart in the Presence of a Holy God from whom I have needed so much forgiveness for myself.

But having done that I must still try and point my brethren to what I see as a real need that we stop our focus on religious assemblies and start worshipping God in spirit and truth wherever we happen to be. Whether that place is in a Sunday Church building, a park, a bus, in our homes or anywhere else. As a Body we do not need a set place of worship anymore as if not having such makes us no Body at all.

WE are the Church. WE are the Body. And Christ in us is not bound to only be touched and seen within a building. He is with us and in us. And wants to do through us what He did in New Testament times wherever the people are. Outside the confines of the Temple and it's religious observances.

Like Jesus in New Testament times who exposed hearts by going against the grain of Sabbath observance as it had become enshrined in Jewish religious tradition so to I think we need to get away from the concept of Church as being something that happens on a Sunday morning and break free into the fullness of what the Lord intended the Church to be. With or entirely without a Sunday morning time of gathering.

Now look what I have gone and done again...I've written another book of a post smile.

Carlos

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Originally Posted by carlos123
Originally Posted by Robert
I don't understand that attitude that we all just rest in how we see things. How could the Lord change us if we have such an attitude?

I agree Robert but there comes a time to gracefully just allow my fellow brethren with whom I disagree to go on their way to follow the dictates of their own conscience. However unable to see what I so clearly see in the Scriptures they may appear to be.

Yes there would be some profit in continued discussion but it seems to me that some here are very set in their ways and have what I can only describe as religious blinders on. I don't say that lightly but I believe that is the truth. I also mean no offense but Jesus Himself would not have hesitated to say the truth if such was the case. I must do no less.

It would take a lot of work and a whole lot of discussion to work through the issues verse by verse and the final outcome of such a discussion is uncertain with respect to all of us coming to agree with the more perfect way of God.

Whether that more perfect way would line up more with my interpretation of things, theirs, or none of ours.

Carlos

Hi Carlos,
What about me? I am open to your point of view. I would like to hash it out. You are a person with a good deal of insight, I believe. I don't accept all that you say, for if I did such without testing, I would be bowing to a mere human. Stick around, let me enjoy dialogue with you, either here or elsewhere.
Peace,
R

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Carlos said: "It would take a lot of work and a whole lot of discussion to work through the issues verse by verse and the final outcome of such a discussion is uncertain with respect to all of us coming to agree with the more perfect way of God."

I say: what is wrong with a lot of work and discussion? Maybe God (I think He does) wants us to work hard!!!

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Originally Posted by Tom
Carlos

It appears to me that you are justifying not going to "Sunday Church", just because you think option number 2 is better than the first option.
Although in the case of number 1, the person is hypocritical. It does not mean that option number 2 is biblically justified either.
The Bible is clear that on the Lord's Day, we are to assemble as believers.
There may be times when this is not possible, but we should endeavor to do this.

You also told me that Pilgrim didn’t quite deal with my questions. Although I think he dealt with them fairly extensively, I do believe Pilgrim’s latest post that can be seen here deals with your questions with even more detail.
If for some reason, you still don’t think he has dealt with your questions. Please let me/us know what in particular he has not dealt with.

By the way, I hope the time hasn’t come where we need to stop this discussion because it has become fruitless. As it stands I think this discussion is still at the point of iron sharpening iron.

Tom

Tom,
Where is it clear in Scripture that we are to assemble on the Lord's Day?
R

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Originally Posted by Johan
Hi Carlos,

It seems to me as if you base your views on some aspects of the early NT church. But what about the fact that the apostle Paul addressed his letters to what we can call congregations, ie. groups of believers that already point to some degree of organization. And Jesus himself instructed the apostle John to write letters to the seven churches in Asia Minor. This tells me that even in the NT church there already was already level of organization. After all, we are brothers and sisters in Christ and part of God's household; we therefore belong together; also visibly.


Johan

Well, it seems to me, Johan, that the church of our day comes nowhere close to this level of organization. Imagine Paul writing to the church in Birmingham, for instance. We don't have the unity to even assemble to hear Paul's letter!
R

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Originally Posted by Robert
Hi Carlos,
What about me? I am open to your point of view. I would like to hash it out. You are a person with a good deal of insight, I believe. I don't accept all that you say, for if I did such without testing, I would be bowing to a mere human. Stick around, let me enjoy dialogue with you, either here or elsewhere.
Peace,
R

I ain't going anywhere Robert. I remain as ever your humble servant in discussing things further smile.

Well...as long as there is some degree of openess in evidence I guess...which I believe there is.

Mind you I am not saying that I have a corner on all this. I for sure don't.

In my reading this morning I was particularly struck by how flubby and stumbling and just naive the disciples of the Lord were. How slow of heart to believe all that was of Christ.

That is so true of me and of all of us I think. We tend to think of ourselves as something when in fact we continue to stumble around and flub things up and otherwise be slow of heart to believe as we should.

Hopefully we can move forward into a more spacious plain where we will continue to stumble around into an even more spacious plain of understanding as the Lord continues to patiently lead us on. We are so in need of His continued grace in all this. I don't say that just because it's a nice or right thing to say. I truly see my continued need for His grace to help me see things I am hard of seeing still.

Carlos

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Originally Posted by Robert
Carlos said: "It would take a lot of work and a whole lot of discussion to work through the issues verse by verse and the final outcome of such a discussion is uncertain with respect to all of us coming to agree with the more perfect way of God."

I say: what is wrong with a lot of work and discussion? Maybe God (I think He does) wants us to work hard!!!

Agreed Robert. I was just saying what I did from the standpoint that if one can discuss things with others where it does not take as much work that it might be best to so do rather than taking all the more time to discuss things with those who...well...might be more set in their ways.

That's all I meant. Certainly I did not mean to say that understanding the things of God does not require some work from us. Even some underlying understanding of Greek meanings and other such things from time to time.

So for sure Robert...let's continue. I am real busy today with computer work so I don't know how much time I can devote to this today but for sure my heart is here and not in my computer work. I love discussing the things of God and only wish I could get paid to discuss things with others LOL.

Carlos

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Carlos,
You asked how I read Hebrews 10:25.I read it as a clear exhoration for us to meet as a group on a regular basis.
You asked ,"What is an elder?". See Titus 1:5-9.
1 Cor.12:7 speaks of how we should use our spiritual gift.It plainly tells us that our gift was given to profit withal (to benefit the body).How can we be obedient to this command if we don't meet as a group?
Also, I agree with Tom in respect to Baptism and Communion.


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Carlos,
Thanks for your reply. I can only hope that such a forum is open to new light and reform. Some forums come down with an iron hand on questioning the old interpretations. I will believe in the best until I see otherwise....
Peace to all,
Robert
Carlos, in what vocational area are you skilled? Computers?

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Originally Posted by sojourner
Carlos,
You asked how I read Hebrews 10:25.I read it as a clear exhoration for us to meet as a group on a regular basis.
You asked ,"What is an elder?". See Titus 1:5-9.
1 Cor.12:7 speaks of how we should use our spiritual gift.It plainly tells us that our gift was given to profit withal (to benefit the body).How can we be obedient to this command if we don't meet as a group?
Also, I agree with Tom in respect to Baptism and Communion.

The New Testament believers met daily, it seems, for we read that they are to "encourage one another daily". It is hard to do that if you only see someone on Sundays! It is hard to find folks to meet with daily, though. I am not there. This is a very hard verse to obey for me! Perhaps we sholdn't be so concerned about Sunday as we should be concerned about daily meeting? Sunday would be included as one of the days included in the definition of "daily". That would please everyone here!

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Originally Posted by Robert
Carlos,
Thanks for your reply. I can only hope that such a forum is open to new light and reform. Some forums come down with an iron hand on questioning the old interpretations. I will believe in the best until I see otherwise....
Peace to all,
Robert

I am indeed appreciative of how I, a relative and really practical nobody, has been accepted to come in here and start speaking my piece. Accepted as an equal if not altogether agreed with (not a bad thing).

That is a most wondrous thing to experience for you are indeed correct in saying that at many so-called Christian forums I would not be able to so freely discuss things.

Quote
Carlos, in what vocational area are you skilled? Computers?

My skills are about as far ranging as my comments (i.e. professional telemarking, window cleaner, painter, etc..) but at present the skills that seem to be paying me the most have to do with web site development and maintenance. I went to school and got a degree in computer programming (an Associates only) but in all frankness whatever I learned then is almost entirely outdated. My skills however are not and I am most definitely up on the use of the latest technologies.

If you want to know more just PM me...I think this forum has that capability if I am not mistaken.

Carlos

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