New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches


August 14, 2001 Vol 01 : 051
 
Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Re: Ancient House Churches

[New Testament Church Proliferation] wineskins

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] wineskins (again)

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] wineskins (again)

 

Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2001 10:50:02 -0400 From: "Samuel M. Buick" Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Re: Ancient House Churches

Michael and List:

The issue is not rejecting the Old Wineskin. The issue is that the Old Wineskins do not understand that the cannot contain the "new wine" that has burst forth. They want to have their "old wine and wineskin" and still want the "new wine". Well, it won't work and it never will. Neither is willing to accommodate the other, and neither should they, for they would lose their uniqueness and change the taste of what they were intended to be.

I am not critiquing the Old Wineskin or Old Wine. I am just saying I want the New Wine which demands a New Wineskin. I will not even attempt to mix them together. Everywhere I have gone where that has taken place, has brought destruction to both. I prefer to move on to the "new" and "embrace it in the new skin". You can have the old if you want, but don't attempt to mix them together.

Sam

From: "Deborah" Reply-To: New Testament Church Proliferation Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2001 17:09:00 +0200 To: Subject: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Re: Ancient House Churches

Sam Buick wrote:

There is indeed a new wine coming that demands a new

wineskin. The old ways were very much a reflection of man's thinking

clouded with the older wineskin found in the Old Testament. God is shaking

up whatever can be shaken, and it is really doing something to the

traditional church leadership structures and congregational forms we have

come to accept as being "normative".

Let's take a close look at those "wineskin" verses we often unthinkingly banter about. Pay special attention to the sections I have highlighted in ALL CAPS:

"Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, AND THE WINESKINS ARE RUINED. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and BOTH ARE PRESERVED" (Mat. 9:17 NKJ).

"And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, AND THE WINESKINS ARE RUINED. But new wine must be put into new wineskins" (Mar. 2:22 NKJ).

"And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, AND THE WINESKINS WILL BE RUINED. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and BOTH ARE PRESERVED" (Luk. 5:37, 38 NKJ).

We can see now that the aim of putting new wine into new wineskins was to preserve both the wine and the wineskins. A sub-goal was to preserve the old wineskins from ruin.

Different Greek words are used to describe the new wine and the new wineskins. The wine is "neon," which denotes something which is new in respect of time, implying immaturity or lack of development. However, the wineskins are described as "kainos," which means new or renewed in respect to quality. The meaning of the figure is that the new (immature) wine of the kingdom of God cannot be poured into old (Gk. "palaious," old or former) wineskins _if_ they remain rigid. However the quality of a wineskin then and now can be improved. Renewed (kainos). Through oil. This point does not come out in most English translations because our language lacks these subtle distinctions.

I hear/read the wineskin metaphor presented (on this list and other places) as if Jesus' intention were to discard the old wineskins altogether, but that is not what is written. Both the new and old skins may contain wine worthy of preserving. It is a shame and a waste to ruin either the wine or the skins. Look back over the verses with this in mind. Can you now see that this was Christ's point? It is akin to his words in Mat. 13:52:

"Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things NEW and OLD."

Both the old and the new have their place in the "treasure" of God's kingdom. Without the old there would be no continuity, something we all need. Without the new there would be no vitality, likewise an indispensable ingredient to spiritual life. Returning to the wine metaphor, if we had to assign a grade to which beverage is best, OT or NT, it would clearly be the wine which arrived later-- the new. At least that's how it works with Jesus' acted parable in Canna, and the recorded commentary:

"Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!" (Joh. 2:1-10).

Jesus did not bring in the newer and superior wine at the beginning of the wedding. He waited, even a bit reluctant to act lest he betray the divine schedule. Timing is everything.

The object then and now was to put old and new in their proper places. No forced mixtures; no wasting of useful resources. Unless, of course, the container(s) is properly "renewed" (kainos). The lesson remains that all the wineskins and wine, old and new, may be stored together in the cellar provided there is no premature crossing of contents from one container to another.

The ancient church (in houses and in specially made buildings) is the root of the modern church. And the root of the ancient church is Israel. And the root of Israel is Abraham. And ... the root of all God's dealings with humanity is the LOGOS who was "in the beginning" (Joh. 1:1). And when the timing was right, he became a human being (Joh. 1:15; Gal. 4:4) ... to shortly thereafter start the ancient church. Which is the root of the modern church .... So let's not reject any of our roots. Please. Even if we came out of the so-called "institutional church," we still have roots there to some degree. It's not Babylon. If our hearts are open, each of our roots can draw us to Christ, the one who created the new and better wine out of water used for Jewish ritual purification.

Michael

Jerusalem


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Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2001 09:37:36 +0700 From: "Link"

Subject: [New Testament Church Proliferation] wineskins

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the comments on wineskins. I don't quite see how the house church and third wave usages of the term really fits the parable of Jesus, except in a very loose way. (At least it's not as bad as calling a pastor a 'covering' and trying to argue for the idea from I Cor. 11, which speaks against men covering their heads.)

If the new wine is better, how should we interpret the following verses?

37. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. 38. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. 39. No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, the old is better.

Is the man in verse 39 just plain wrong? Is he wrong to say that the old is better? This verse makes it difficult for me to understand the parable, and doesn't seem to fit with the idea that the Old Covenant is old wine and the new covenant is new wine.

Maybe the new covenant wasn't to be 'drunk' until the time, and the wine had fermented to the proper point, but that sounds like quite a stretch (not of the wineskin, but of the parable.)

Btw, keep us informed about the school.

I think I met you in 1990. You were a graduate student working toward your Masters then. I thought about that when I got your newsletter about the school. How are you taking this emotionally, the idea of possibly having to find another grad school and starting over? Do you think God wants to use you as proof that a man can be a scholar without an advanced degree? Does this feel like a personal test or are you taking it fairly well?

I guess the important thing is that you find a way to remain within he country. Is there some nitch in the business world where expats can find work visas? In some countries, they like to have exporters in the country, but Jews have been exporting goods for centuries, and Israel might not need non-Israeli exporters. Is there another school you could study at?

Maybe you could open a 'Jews for Jesus' Bible college. They might give you a visa to work there.

- - just kidding.:)

Link


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Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2001 00:58:25 EDT From: JAMESRUTZ*cs.com

Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] wineskins (again)

Dear Link,

Let me straighten this out:

The fact that Michael missed is that the miracle at Cana wasn't just changing water into wine, but changing water into prize-winning VINTAGE wine that tasted like old. (All things being equal, old always tastes better than new.) It was newly-made, but old.

When God makes something, it's premium quality.

Cordially,

Jim Rutz


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Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2001 22:03:21 +0700 From: "Link"

Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] wineskins (again)

I'm sorry for sending that last message out to the group. I thought I sent it directly to Mike through a 'compose' window I had opened up. But I must have just changed the address on a 'reply' window, or maybe I just sent it to the wrong address. A nasty programming glitch in both email programs I use causes the message to go to the original address in the 'to' window as well. The last message was intended for Michael Millier.

That little programming glitch can get people into embarrassing situations.

In reply to James Rutz Let me straighten this out:

The fact that Michael missed is that the miracle at Cana wasn't just changing water into wine, but changing water into prize-winning VINTAGE wine that tasted like old. (All things being equal, old always tastes better than new.) It was newly-made, but old.

When God makes something, it's premium quality.

Thanks brother, but that still doesn't help me quite understand the parable of the wineskins. I don't see that strong of a connection between Jesus' first miracle and the parable of the wineskin. (though there is some connection to a wedding feast in the passage about the parable) I don't see anything about old wine instantly being created in new wineskins in the parable.

No man who has tasted old wine immediately wants new wine. The context of the parable in Matthew seems to have some connection to the issue of John's disciples fasting, but Jesus' disciples not fasting during that time.

Perhaps what John represented (the law and the prophets prophesied until John) was old wine in old wineskins. Perhaps what Jesus was doing represented the new wine in new wineskins.

My concern is that comment about those tasting the old not wanting the new, but saying the old is better. Are these people wrong or undiscerning. Do they need time to desire new wine? (They don't want new wine 'straightway.')

Those who use the parable to speak of the IC as 'old wine' seem to be using the parable loosely. Jesus wasn't talking about 'the IC.' The parable seems to be about the difference between his ministry and John the Baptist's.

Link Hudson

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