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Originally Posted by Pilgrim
So, you can see that this matter of the Sabbath isn't something that the Church has ignored. Over the centuries this issue has arisen and such men as those above along with myriad more have considered the subject, studied the Scriptures and brought forth their findings. I would be more than remiss to not mention the fact that the Holy Spirit dwelt in these men no less than you would claim. The difference, however, is that all of these men were recognized for possessing particular gifts in the knowledge and wisdom of the inspired written Word. They are a formidable group, to say the least, which one needs to deal with and not simply dismiss as being "off the mark". I for one, and I will presume to say with some measure of confidence, that most others here, look forward to your arguments against the above references.

A formidable group of men and resources you have pointed me to Pilgrim! Indeed. Makes me wonder at my spiritual sanity in even contemplating the potential that the Sabbath is to be considered just as any other day by Christians today.

Incidentally I am not entirely certain that such is the truth Pilgrim. What I am against is the way that many seem to attach all kinds of things to the Sabbath that have litte or not Scriptural support.

Such as attaching to the Sabbath the supposed requirement that we all attend a gathering of believers inside a nice traditional Church building with a steeple on top. With elders and deacons and baptism and communion and everything else in between. All attached of course to the Sabbath.

This long list of stalwarks of the faith makes me wonder how it is that the Lord every brought me around to realizing that a 2000 year old "Church", I speak of the Roman Catholic Church, was wrong such that I turned away from her teachings and became a Christian.

Not to mention that many of these stalwarks of the faith did not quite grasp the Scriptures as they should have in any number of particulars notwithstanding their supposed correct interpretation of the Sabbath. In other words they were mortal just like any one of us. No better than any of us in understanding the ways of God apart from the Holy Spirit leading them into all truth.

A Spirit by the way that all true Christians have today. As much as any of these men did. And a Spirit that is just as willing today to lead any true seekers after God's truth into a great awareness and insight into the things of God as any of those men might have had.

Rather than building a lofty and seemingly unassailable consensus of what is true based on any number of stalwarks of the faith who might have believed the same thing in times past it would be well for us to take a look afresh at what the Bible actually says for ourselves.

For many stalwarks of the faith have been so very wrong in the past not to mention that one such "Church" which took stalwarkism (if I may put it as such) went so far as to elevate what said stalwarks believed to be equal to what the Scriptures say (referring to the RCC).

If I can do so I will start a new thread when I have done my proper study and come to any definite conclusions that can be adequately supported by Scriptures.

While that may seem quite presumptious of me in my saying that I might be able to draw different conclusions than learned Christian scholars in the past, such a belief is not so much an exalted view of my own biblical prowess as much a belief and trust in the Holy Spirit to lead me and to enable my mind to understand God's perspective on things as I seek the Lord.

A Spirit that all true Christians have.

Carlos


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Originally Posted by Johan
You should definitely not try the apostle Paul, Augustine, or Calvyn!

So now proper exegesis becomes a matter of which stalwark of the faith we can bring on our side of any argument?

May I suggest that we drop the stalwarks and just focus on the what the Bible says in the plain meaning of what is written (unless there is contextual support for taking something figuratively).

I am concerned that we will end up in a never ending soup of stalwarkism and reference to who said what if we start discussing things based not so much on what the Bible actually says but on how many stalwarks we can find to support our respective positions.

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carlos123,

In light of:
Quote
This long list of stalwarks of the faith...
Not to mention that many of these stalwarks of the faith...
what is true based on any number of stalwarks of the faith...
For many stalwarks of the faith...
one such "Church" which took stalwarkism...
what said stalwarks believed to be...
a matter of which stalwark of the faith...
May I suggest that we drop the stalwarks...
we will end up in a never ending soup of stalwarkism...
but on how many stalwarks we can find...

before going to Paul, Augustine and Calvin, you might want to visit Webster (N.).


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You have come here with your mind already made up. Additionally, you have come to a web site that specifically and explicitly identifies itself as advocating and promoting Reformed theology. So our minds are made up.

We are here to educate folks about why we embrace the Reformation and it's major doctrines, and to provide biblical exegesis in support of Reformed theology.

If you participate in the discussion boards of the web site that specifically identifies itself as a Refomed resource, having agreed to its Terms of Service you cannot in good conscience demand that we abandon our stated purpose and be "open" to ideas which - from the very start - we openly state our opposition to.

If you ask a question and are pointed to a link which answers the question and you disagree, fine. You wish to make a rebuttal, fine. But your rebuttal must follow the rules of sound scholarship, biblical exegesis, and thoughtful consideration of your opponent's point of view.

Judging by the repeated assertions in this thread with little to no exegesis in support of your arguments, Carlos, it has become apparent that:

1 - You have neither read nor understood the articles and references we have presented, and that

2 - You do not respect the constraints of this forum as a Reformed resource in support of Reformed scholarship.

Criticise us all you want for not being "open minded," but you knew that and agreed to abide by it when you created an account here.





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Time for me to chime in my 2 cents.

I'm sure individuals thought of Col. 2:16 and other verses concerning keeping laws and traditions, which include Sunday morning worship! However, aren't we all called to be disciples? Isn't the disciple's primary goal to become more like his teacher, who in this case is Jesus Christ?

Church under a steeple etc. is a blessing we enjoy in this country where we have the freedom of religion, if the N.T. church could have had the freedoms we have, don't you think they would have did the same instead of meeting in houses, secretly many times? In a church that was recognizable as a place of Christian worship (steeple etc)?

Now the next question, can we become disciples alone without the meeting together in fellowship as Christians? Now if we believe Matt. 18:20, we meet our teacher Jesus Christ in a special way when we gather together in worship.

Why do I say all this? we fight over should we meet Saturdays or Sundays or not at all, well, if we are true disciples of Jesus Christ, then we would meet as often as possible. One of the problems of most churches today is that they have cut back to one service, Sunday morning. That tells me that church is not interested in discipling people or making demands of the people, they might leave, we don't care what God thinks, doen't He desire total consecration? Read Luke 14:25-35 and then argue about which day to worship.

Why argue about the times, why not argue about why not MORE times of worship!! Do we come together as unto the Lord or to prove how spiritual we are or just for the purpose of doing our duty? For me, I worship whenever our church doors are open in order to become more like Him by learning of Him and seeing Him as He is, encouraged by others of the same mind.

Just my 2c, take it or leave it, but I think debating what day to worship or where is silly (no disrespect intended) in light of what we have been called to be. Disciples of Christ.



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Carlos,

Let this reply due for both this response and your previous one.

1. You seem to bifurcate what these stalwarts have written from Scripture as if they never consulted the Scripture but simply wrote down their opinions. nono

2. Focusing upon the Bible is fine. But the truth of Scripture is not relative but absolute. Thus, sitting in a corner with your Bible (I'm assuming you are referring to the original languages and not some translation of fallible men, right?) wink The truth is first and foremost given to the CHURCH. It isn't that individuals cannot study the Scriptures for themselves, for even the Bible enjoins ALL to do so. But NOT in isolation from the body of Christ in which the Spirit operates. I say again (passages previously provided), that Elders were given to the Church for the purpose of TEACHING and PREACHING the Word of God. They are GIFTED by the Spirit to do so. To ignore what the Spirit has established in the Church would be nothing short of sheer arrogance.

3. Re: "what the Bible actually says"... again as if neither John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, Robert Dabney, all the Reformed Confessions, Catechisms, etc., etc., ad infinitum totally ignored and/or missed the truth of Scripture. At least the Reformers stood toe-to-toe with Rome with the Scriptures and exposed their errors. Why don't you do the same. The onus is upon YOU and Robert to meet the challenge against what the vast majority of the Protestant Church and before has believed and set in writing to guard against heresy.

4. Yes, the Holy Spirit dwells in all believers alike, generally speaking. But He also gives good gifts to men, (cf. 1Cor 12:4f; Rom 4:6-8; Eph 4:11, 12). Now, your insistence that you have the same Spirit as did Edwards or Murray or et al is fine. However, this really puts you on the block, whether you know it or not. For God's truth is absolute, propositional, eternal and not relative or individualistic. Thus, either the Holy Spirit was not operational in all these hundreds of men and women throughout history when it was revealed to them that the Fourth Commandment is a creation ordinance and one which those delivered from bondage were to perpetually keep, or your view is not of God. The Spirit doesn't speak with a forked tongue! wow1

5. It is also true that no man is infallible in all things; that includes you. grin The litany of stalwarts who wrote concerning the Sabbath surely erred on some things. But what must be kept in mind and which certainly is worthy of consideration is that all these men came from different backgrounds, belonged to different denominations, differed on various articles of the faith with each other, yet they ALL agreed on many things. Could it be that they were ALL wrong on those things which they did not differ?

6. Lastly, bring your arguments if you will. But doubtless, they have all been addressed by these stalwarts with painstaking study of the Scriptures. And, some of the members here are no novices to the Bible either, although I unashamedly admit I cannot hold a candle to the stalwarts named yet I do disagree with them over minor doctrines.

PS: we would prefer you abstain from the silliness of "prooftexting" as is the manner of some, not that you would be guilty of such practice. We much prefer and insist on exegesis and biblical hermeneutical practices. Surely, "a text out of context is nothing more than pretext". BigThumbUp

BTW, yes please do start a new thread on the Sabbath.

Thanks!


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Originally Posted by hisalone
Time for me to chime in my 2 cents.

And much appreciated by me hisalone.

I agree with much if not all of what you said.

But I differ a tad I guess in thinking that there is benefit to be gained in looking at whether or not the Sabbath is to be considered as more important than any other day and even more specifically on whether we can rightly attach everything that is attached to Sabbath keeping as though respect for the Sabbath would justify anything else that we might care to justify in our Christian practice.

You do bring up some good points though and one's that I will have to prayerfully consider for when all is said and done we must each give ourselves liberty to pursue the dictates of our own conscience and do nothing more exegetical than not put a stumbling block in each others way.

To my thinking what I call Churchianity (no offense intended), that frame of belief that focuses on the Sunday Church service as the be all and end all culmination and best expression of the Christian life is a hindrance to the work of God.

And to the degree that any such discussion of a particular such as Sabbath keeping might be used by the Lord to bring some needed undermining of Churchianity...to that degree I look upon such a discussion as being...well...fruitful if not entirely productive perhaps.

I hope that makes sense. I do hope that you along with others here can help us stay on track not only in regard to proper exegesis but also by the spirit of our talk. Without intending to we can stray into not exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit while correctly interpreting the plain and legal meaning of what is said in the Scriptures.

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Originally Posted by Pilgrim
PS: we would prefer you abstain from the silliness of "prooftexting" as is the manner of some, ...

I must confess to a certain ignorance of the latest terms regarding biblical discussion as I have almost no notion of what "prooftexting" is. It certainly doesn't sound like something I would want to engage in given that it sounds so bad.

If I do fall into "prooftexting", whatever it is, by all means please do correct me so that I can engage in more...well...godly texting I guess smile.

I don't usually engage in much biblical discussions these days since such as on the whole been generally unfruitful in the past but I am inclined to believe it was no accident that a post here caught my curiosity such that I responded to it and ended up engaged here.

For if I may say so without offending anyone, I seem to have stumbled upon a bastion of Churchianity here. Where persons here are not push overs spiritually speaking. And that is precisely the kind of Christians I need to discuss these things with. The kind that won't so easily take what I say hook, line, and sinker. The kind that will call me out as not having a correct interpretation, if indeed I am incorrect.

I relish this discussion in that the Lord may point out in me attitudes or views that must be brought under His Lordship as being wrong in me. But I also relish the possibility, however seemingly remote, that the Lord might also use me to shed some light on this continuing discussion and perhaps even use me in helping some...well...Churchians see things in a different light themselves. All to His ultimate glory and honor.

Carlos

PS. Now I really have to get back to my computer programming so if I can restrain myself...I will be quiet for a while LOL.

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Originally Posted by Robin
If you participate in the discussion boards of the web site that specifically identifies itself as a Refomed resource, having agreed to its Terms of Service you cannot in good conscience demand that we abandon our stated purpose and be "open" to ideas which - from the very start - we openly state our opposition to.

Hi Robin,

I am demanding nothing Robin.

I read the Terms of Service and nothing in those terms of service was understood by me to mean that I must unconditionally respect a position, any position, that seems unbiblical. Whatever that position is.

I am not a Reformed anything...well...other than a reformed sinner by the grace of God.

If I misunderstood the Terms of Service and otherwise am entering into discussions here that undermine what God would not want undermined then by all means I will leave. For that matter I will leave if I am asked leave for whatever reason unless those in authority here tell me to stay.

I don't believe in coming into Christian assemblies of any kind, whether in real life or over the Internet and stirring up controversy or otherwise. Though what I say in pointing others to what I believe the Bible to say does end up generating controversy.

Not because my beliefs are neccessarily unbiblical but rather because I don't believe in holding any Church tradition as so sacred that it cannot be questioned or even ignored relative to what the Bible might say otherwise.

I meant no offense by anything I have posted and would ask for your forgiveness if I said anything dishonoring to God in anything I said or how I said it.

If it is not desirable that I continue here just say the word and I will gracefully bow out of further participation here.

Thanks.

Carlos

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Originally Posted by carlos123
For that matter I will leave if I am asked leave for whatever reason unless those in authority here tell me to stay.

Stay Carlos, it is nice to see someone else in opposition, I don't feel so alone smile

BTW I'm no authority, so we both might be asked to leave!!! but I don't think so as long as all is dicussed in love and respect. Sometimes it comes to a point we must just agree to disagree, keep that in mind.

Last edited by hisalone; Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:17 PM.

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Carlos,

Goodness! This thread has exploded. Well, I don't have the time to address everything that may have been said in this thread, but I 'm going to focus solely on our exchange for the moment.

Originally Posted by carlos123
Just curious CovenantInBlood...if you care to share, I am wondering what I said that might lead you to believe that I have an independent spirit? I am not asking from the standpoint of defending myself. Who knows. Maybe the Lord wants to point out something in me that needs attention but I am going to have a hard time seeing it as clearly as you seem to see it. Maybe the Lord can use you to help me in that regard.

Well, the first clue is that you describe hearing the word of God preached from the pulpit as watching "one man exercising his gifting in front of hundreds of the rest of us who must sit mute as spectators." The second is that you claim not to "fit into the square hole that organized Churches would have [you] fit into." These speak to a spirit that is unwilling to be humble in submission to his Christian brethren, i.e., an "independent spirit." Now, I do allow that there may be legitimate reasons for your inability to "fit in," as I have encountered a number of problematic churches in my short time. But the problem is not being "organized."

Quote
Quote
Now, perhaps all of the churches in your area are promoting a false gospel, in which case you would have reason not to be joined to them.

Well...now you are being a bit, how shall I put it, fascitious I think. Of course not all the churches are promoting a false Gospel CovenantInBlood. That would be quite ridiculous and altogether arrogant if I or anyone else thought such a thing.

Though in truth such a thing might be more common that we might realize in that many churches today teach that one can accept Jesus "into their heart" without submitting to Him as Lord (a most unblical Gospel if I ever heard one).

But that is not the reason I don't attend Sunday churches.

I wasn't being facetious, although I would doubt there are no gospel-preaching churches in your area. However, it is entirely possible, especially in these times.

Quote
Quote
We see in Scripture that these are done in the context of local assemblies (Greek ecclesia, translated "church," means "assembly"), in which godly men have been called as elders/overseers & deacons.

I believe I might differ with you just a tad CovenantInBlood in that it is my understanding that the Church or ecclesia is not so much an assembly (as in a building or something associated with a building) as it is a group of called out one's. Called out from the world to proclaim the excellencies of Him who calls us.

Nowhere in the entire New Testament is Church associated with a building. It is true that New Testament Christians met at first in a building, the Temple in Jerusalem but that was incidental and simply a convenience to their being Christians (not to mention that it was the most convenient and natural place to meet given their Jewish background).

It would be more in line with what they did in the New Testament to say that Church was a field or even a home than a specific Church building (if we were to superimpose our understanding of Church as a building today on the New Testament Christians such that we would start looking for a place to associate with Church as opposed to being the Church wherever we might be).

The Church ("capital C") is the assembly (ecclesia) of the elect ("called out ones"). But its visible manifestation is in local assemblies of believers (the ecclesia of God at Corinth, the ecclesia of the Thessalonians, etc.). I quite agree that this doesn't have to do with a church building per se - a building dedicated to the purpose of being a gathering place for the local assembly is an appropriate convenience, when it can be afforded, but it is not a necessity & has nothing to do with what the church is. Nevertheless, the local assembly is essential to the character of the church as it conducts its mission on earth.

Quote
I was just discussing this with a good friend of mine just a couple of days ago. He too does not attend a regular Sunday Church (there are a lot of us by the way and many more opting out of organized representations of Church these days...dare I say it might even be a move of God?). But both of us are absolutely committed to having Jesus be Lord of our lives and we are both surrendered to whatever He might want to do with our lives.

In 1 Cor 14:26 is an interesting description of what Church was supposed to be like in Corinth and what I believe it should be like, overall, today. My quote is from the New American Standard Bible...

Quote
What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation Let all things be done for edification.

Interesting set of verses those. Now why are we not allowing the Holy Spirit to lead our get togethers as a Church today. Do you know of any Church where God through His Spirit is given control of an assembled gathering like that? I sure don't. And I've either been involved or have attended a great many Church assemblies in my lifetime as a Christian.

I've only ever seen one such practice of Church. And that was not in an established and organized Church assembly. Rather it was among a group of Christians who the Lord knit together in an apartment building that we all lived in at the time. Some of us did not attend Sunday churches, some did, but we all met as equals in the eyes of our common Father and we allowed Him to lead us.

It was the most wonderful fellowship I ever experienced in my life and the most wonderful and true manifestations of God happened in that small Body that I think I have ever experienced.

I have been in Assemblies of God churches that take these verses largely as you do. There are a couple of important points to observe. First, this is still in the context of a local assembly ("When you assemble"). Second, Paul's instructions in this section conclude with the remark, "But all things must be done properly & in an orderly manner." Paul is not condoning spontaneous outbursts; indeed, such confusion as the Corinthians created in their local assemblies by their spontaneous outbursts was not authored by God (v. 33). Third, the apostolic age has long ago ended, & with it the extraordinary gifts & offices of that era which were necessary for laying the foundation of the church as it proceeded forward. There are no longer apostles or prophets, & revelation has ceased with the closing of the canon of Scripture. You can read more about that in our "Charismatic Movement Index."

The other grievances you mention are connected largely to these points that I have already pointed out, so I'm going to leave off here for now.


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And relax. No one is asking anyone to leave! I said EXEGETE, not EXIT.
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Originally Posted by CovenantInBlood
Originally Posted by carlos123
Just curious CovenantInBlood...if you care to share, I am wondering what I said that might lead you to believe that I have an independent spirit? I am not asking from the standpoint of defending myself. Who knows. Maybe the Lord wants to point out something in me that needs attention but I am going to have a hard time seeing it as clearly as you seem to see it. Maybe the Lord can use you to help me in that regard.

Well, the first clue is that you describe hearing the word of God preached from the pulpit as watching "one man exercising his gifting in front of hundreds of the rest of us who must sit mute as spectators." The second is that you claim not to "fit into the square hole that organized Churches would have [you] fit into." These speak to a spirit that is unwilling to be humble in submission to his Christian brethren, i.e., an "independent spirit." Now, I do allow that there may be legitimate reasons for your inability to "fit in," as I have encountered a number of problematic churches in my short time. But the problem is not being "organized."
As might be expected, I can heartily recommend a couple of articles which speak to the "organization" of churches within the Visible Church.

1. Ecclesiola in Ecclesia, by D.M. Lloyd-Jones. excellent

2. Sola Ecclesia: The Lost Reformation Doctrine, by Michael Glodo.

He begins with the following two relevant questions to this discussion:

Quote
With which of the following statements are you in greater agreement?

1. “Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.”

2. “Away from [the church] one cannot hope for any forgiveness of sins or any salvation.”
It's surprising to see the answers people give. But and the truth of what is biblical surprises even more. wink

In His grace,


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To any and all who have responded since my last post to this thread....I am loosing track of who said what when that I have yet to respond to.

I will submissively and humbly remain among your company unless as I said, I am asked to leave, in which case I will submissively and humble...make leave to go elsewhere. I truly had no idea what I was getting into when I joined the forum here. I am actually glad I did because I could use some hanging out with others of my brethren who are into Jesus...hmm...I mean exegesis...well...Jesus too LOL.

I do have one suggestion though. This thread is getting rather long and we have covered so very much ground that it might behoove us for purposes of clarifying and highlighting the issues more clearly to start a new thread. If you all are agreeable to that how about "The definition of Church" or "What does the word Church mean in the New Testament?" or some such.

How about it?

And then perhaps another one on whether we are to observe the Sabbath still though I won't participate in this one until after I have had a chance to do some studying over the weekend?

I think some new threads to break apart this long thread might bring some of these issues into sharper focus and allow us to more easily get somewhere in any further discussion. What think ye my beloved brethren? Shall we leave this humble thread and go beyond hither and dither to discuss these issues among new thread habitations?

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1. Try using "Threaded Mode" in the "Topic Options" menu to better keep track of who is replying to who.

2. By all means start new threads for any/all of the various topics mentioned in this thread.


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