New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches


July 1, 2001 Vol 01 : 004
 
Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Re: First-century meeting places

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Re: First-century meeting places

[New Testament Church Proliferation] William Carey Movie

 

Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2001 20:20:19 +0700 From: "Link"

Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Re: First-century meeting places

Mike,

It's clear that the early Christians met in the temple. We also know that they met in the temple from time to time. But do you have any evidence that they ever 'had church' in the synagogue, or had a church meeting in the synagogue.

Paul and Barnabas met with unbelieving Jews in synagogues. But their church meetings were likely held outside of the synagogues, typically in homes.

The James 2:2 situation, and the situation of the Roman church which the author you right argues for may be situations where a believing Jew went into a synagogue meeting which was either full of unbelievers, or contained both believers and unbelievers.

In other words, we have scriptural evidence for Christians going to the synagogue, but do we have any good evidence for Christians meeting _as the church_ in a synagogue.

I'm not saying it's wrong to do so, or that it's wrong for Christians to form a synagogue. I'd just like to point out that I don't see a clear-cut case for it.

Link Hudson


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Date: Sun, 01 Jul 2001 06:41:03 -0700 From: jferris

Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Re: First-century meeting places

Link wrote:

Mike,

It's clear that the early Christians met in the temple. We also know that they met in the temple from time to time. But do you have any evidence that they ever 'had church' in the synagogue, or had a church meeting in the synagogue.

Paul and Barnabas met with unbelieving Jews in synagogues. But their church meetings were likely held outside of the synagogues, typically in homes.

The James 2:2 situation, and the situation of the Roman church which the author you right argues for may be situations where a believing Jew went into a synagogue meeting which was either full of unbelievers, or contained both believers and unbelievers.

In other words, we have scriptural evidence for Christians going to the synagogue, but do we have any good evidence for Christians meeting _as the church_ in a synagogue.

I'm not saying it's wrong to do so, or that it's wrong for Christians to form a synagogue. I'd just like to point out that I don't see a clear-cut case for it.

Link Hudson

Dear Link,

Bottom Line: the geography of the Kingdom is relationship, the relationship that Jesus prayed for, "... that they may be one... that the world might know." While this is a oneness that is impossible for the flesh, it is none the less sufficiently

obvious so that the world can see,and be impacted by it. In fact it is a oneness of

such a substantial nature that it is capable of making Jews jealous. Christians getting in synagogues per se is not likely to do that. This is a oneness where only the new man can go, the spiritual man. It is just not accessible in the flesh. In relationship to His disciples, there is no question of place where Jesus was concerned. They just went everywhere together. It's the together part that matters, and that is the part that matters in the end, "...get away from me you evil doers, I never knew you."

He wants us to be one where we live, not to build special places for being one.

How about we stop talking business, and start talking relationship. It's past time for the Canaanites to be replaced by Lovers. I know that this is your heart as well.

Jay

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Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2001 19:30:30 -0700 (PDT) From: Link H

Subject: [New Testament Church Proliferation] William Carey Movie

I just bought a video CD yesterday about William Carey. I think the Title was 'A Candle in the Dark.'

I was really impressed with the film. This is a great film for someone discouraged in ministry, or for anyone interested in missions.

Some of the Christian movies I've seen look like they were filmed with a cam-recorder, have bad acting, or are full of religious cliche's or have some bad piece of theology that irritates me.

This film was really good. William Carey went to school until the age of 14. He started working as a shoemaker. Eventually, he became the pastor of a small Baptist congregation in England where he lived.

Carey had a burden for the nations of the world. In the movie, he meets with some other preachers and makes a proposal to start a missions society. This was back before missions was so popular. Carey was a pioneer.

According to the film, during the meeting, a doctor who had been working in India stood up and told how white the fields were to harvest.

Carey told his wife of the opportunity in India. She was pregnant and was shocked at the idea of moving to India. She finally agreed when here sister agreed to come along, too. They left for India in the 1790's.

When they got to India, the wife and sister-in-law nagged poor William Carey, undermining his zeal, asking him why he brought them there, and getting on his case for their poverty and difficulties.

The doctor made some foolish financial decisions. I thought the characters in this movie were interesting. At first, this doctor seems like a great guy. But he had some character problems that got William Carey into financial and other types of problems. The doctor didn't inform Carey that missionary activity was illegal, and that they would be going to Calcutta as illegal immigrants.

The doctor used up Carey's their missions funds foolishly, and Carey's family was nearly starving. His wife kept nagging at him. Poor guy. He ends up getting a job on an Indigo plantation, trying to preach with his employees.

He keeps up working like this for 6 years with no converts. His son dies. His wife blames him, and goes crazy. Finally, some Baptist missionaries come to join him, and things start moving.

Carey questions his calling over and over again throughout the movie. He keeps on working and it seems like nothing is happening. But as he is faithful in his work, he picks up languages.

Eventually, Carey finds his calling. He feels that his preaching is inadequate, but he turns out to be a fine translator. Operating a press with a fellow-Baptist on Danish-protected soil, Carey prints various works of literature, including the New Testament, into Indian languages. His fellow missionaries use the printing press and a school to finance their ministry efforts.

The English governor is so impressed with Carey that he asks him to teach Sanskrit and Bengali at a college. Carey accepts, where he labors in translating various documents, and works together with an Indian scholar to outlaw the practice of killing widows when their husbands die.

This is a good film. I don't know how accurate the history is, but I suspect I learned something about this man of God's life from the movie. The film shows that though Carey suffered a great deal, and questioned his calling. But by the end of the film he discovered his gifts and did great things for God. He was successful in the end.

From what the film shows, Carey wasn't much of a church planter. He wanted to be more effective in evangelistic preaching. But people did repent and believe through his translation work. The film showed one man coming to faith as he read the Gospel of Matthew, and sharing with another man about the Gospel before he even repented himself.

This is a Christian movie that I can really recommend. Some of the Christian videos and movies I've seen have things in them that bother me. For example, one video was about an unsaved kid who was into pornography. There were demons all around him tempting him. His Christian friend got a hold of a - -get this- a magic pair of sunglasses, that allowed him to see demons. What bothered me about this was that the Christian kid was using magic in order to see demons, like that was okay. They sell this in Indonesia, where plenty of people use magic.

Another film I saw had some people die about the same time and go to heaven. An angel judged the people (where is that in scripture?) in some sort of heavenly limbo place with a white background. If I remember correctly, one character had just mouthed a prayer after someone else as a child and got to go to heaven. It seemed to teach a type of easy believism, as though repeating a prayer saved us, rather than real faith in Christ.

But the Carey film is good. I don't know if it is available at Christian bookstores in the US or not. The VCD I got had a picture of a bald man on the cover.

Link


End of New Testament Church Proliferation Digest V1 #24


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