New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches


Dec 26, 2001 Vol 01 : 122


NT Church Proliferation Digest Wednesday, December 26 2001 Vol 01 : 122


Re: [ntcp] Dietrich Bonhoeffer - Life Together
Re: [ntcp] Dietrich Bonhoeffer - Life Together
Re: [ntcp] Dietrich Bonhoeffer - Response to Nahmen's comments

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Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2001 16:38:06
From: "David Jaggernauth"
Subject: Re: [ntcp] Dietrich Bonhoeffer - Life Together

Michael said:

"Sam, do you realize that you are here employing the terminology of the
IC creeds, particularly Athanasus'? It might do you good to admit that you
too-- like those you are calling to task-- ultimately cannot escape the IC.
It is like the air you use to lambaste it. "
I would like to raise an issue here for discussion that I have been dealing
with for a while. What way or how should House Churches relate to or
interact with the IC(I am assuming this means institutional Church)??

In my personal experience, my wife and myself were lied about and attempts
were made to totally discredit us in front of the Church we came from. My
wife's own sister (who is her twin and was very close to her) beagan to say
hurtful things about her that were lies, about myself as well. The pastor
has gone out of his way to turn the hearts of the poeple against us like we
were devils.

We do not feel any hurt or bitterness toward them, we know they just cannot
see nor understand. I am going to another Church, however I am not involved
in any of the activities in this Church. The pastor here is a very open guy
and has a heart for people. He uses the money in the Church to build houses
for people (even when he didnt have one), help people pay their mortgages
when they cant, give food and clothes to the poor etc. he is a very good man
and he told me that i am free to do whatever i want in this Church.

I havent been able to completely share our HC vision with him yet because i
dont want rock the boat too much. I know we are in for a lot of persecution
from the IC here, though not necesarily from this Church. many of them will
be offended by what we teach and practice
(because it takes away their power over the people).

I have set about starting house meetings some with believers from ICs. We
teach and disciple them so that they can run the HC meeting themselves and
go into the community to win souls. God has been sending many IC "refugees"
to us that i know it is God doing something great. We now have two meetings
established and are in the process of starting four more. I met a couple
yesterday who have been burnt by the Church and are disillusioned with what
the full Gospel churches here are portraying as Christianity. They are both
well trained and experienced and I am going to see them on Friday. We will
soon have a meeting at their house I hope.

The institutional Church has many believers who are disillusioned. They are
a ready resource to tap into. If we are planting HCs we need people to run
them.

With regards to my old Church, I would like to make peace with the pastor
there but dont know how. He is a proud man. One of the problems I am having
is that I am connected to an independent ministry that he is also connected
to and he doesnt want my wife or myself ministering in this ministry. The
people who run the ministry want us though.

I have submitted myself to the counsel of a elderly Leader here who
functions very much like a true apostle. My old pastor calls him his own
pastor but he does not always listen or agree with him. This elder ( call
him Pastor Baird ) was trying to counsel me concerning my relationship with
the old Church. At first he said we should go back and continue our work
without any intereference from the Church but we explained that our
philosophical differences makes that almost impossible. he said he wanted
time to think about it. I had a meeting with him last week ( incidentally he
left his own Church which he started to plant house Churches ). He told me
that he has been through every move in the Church within the last 40 years
and he is convinced the the HC move is the direction the Church has to go in
for the Church to move forward ( he even recommended House to House to me ).
Regarding our relationship with the IC, he said that sometimes in God's
economy , the existence of a state of tension between two entities is
necessary and not necessarily out of sync with God's purposes. Tension is a
natural force of nature and there are things in Gods creation that must
exist in a state of tension.

This counsel laid to rest for me my concerns about relational stresses with
the IC. If God is in the HC move, he is building and he is pulling down, not
me.

I would like to hear some comments from others about this issue of how we
should relate to the IC.

David Jaggernauth


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Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2001 12:47:42 -0500
From: "Nahmen Nielsen"
Subject: Re: [ntcp] Dietrich Bonhoeffer - Life Together

There is one problem and only one problem in church life and the dealings we
have with one another that hinders the church from being and becoming what
the Lord planed for it and that is my flesh and our flesh. It has kept us
from becoming one and getting along with each other. Laying down our life
for one another and putting others first.

There is no amount of education, titles or positions that can sanctify our
flesh. The only answer to our dilemma is to put the flesh to death. AND THAT
IS NOT EASY.

Martin Luther is supposed to have said: I drown my flesh daily but that
Luder (?) can swim.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer had come to the end of HIS life while still being alive.
This comes through especially in the original German.

Thanks for posting the site www.joyma.com


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Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2001 01:10:09 -0500
From: AOM Canada
Subject: Re: [ntcp] Dietrich Bonhoeffer - Response to Nahmen's comments

Hi Nahmen:

Just a few comments:

It is very difficult for evangelicals to understand Luther, never mind
Bonhoeffer as the theological language and the terms used and the
definitions we use are not the same.

This has always been my reticense in dialoguing with many of my evangelical
friends about theologians and various periods of church history. There is
always the problem of the original language, and finding the meaning of the
author in what is said, as well as the actual context of the theological
paper in question. It is a most exhausting task and it cannot be belittled
or circumvented, or we will never truly get as close as possible an
understanding of what a given author has attempted to communicate.

> From: "Nahmen Nielsen"
> Subject: Re: [ntcp] Dietrich Bonhoeffer - Life Together
>
> There is one problem and only one problem in church life and the dealings we
> have with one another that hinders the church from being and becoming what
> the Lord planed for it and that is my flesh and our flesh. It has kept us
> from becoming one and getting along with each other. Laying down our life
> for one another and putting others first.

Now you and I will in all likelihood understand what you mean by the flesh,
but Bonhoeffer would never use it as you do. His Lutheran theology would
not see it as such. His filter is quite different than ours.

> There is no amount of education, titles or positions that can sanctify our
> flesh. The only answer to our dilemma is to put the flesh to death. AND THAT
> IS NOT EASY.

If you study the life of Bonhoeffer, you would see that he started the
BRUDERATH, a communal gathering of men, who spent their lives together for
about a year, and spent it in communal living, eating, contemplative prayer,
praying the Psalms, spending time in silence in the morning and evening, the
study of the Bible, theological discussion, and confessing their sins to one
another. Within this context, Bonhoeffer, in the genuine sense of your
terminology, "died to self" on a constant basis. Being real and genuine in
loving relationships with these men dramatically affected not only his life,
but the life of the Confessing Church in Germany during the Nazi Regime.
Many of these same men cultivated similar relationships with others after
Bonhoeffer was imprisoned. And those who were imprisoned before and after
him, all testify that this time in the BRUDERATH prepared them for the
difficulties they faced in prison, in interrogation and in torture. These
men died to self on a daily basis, and it was NEVER EASY!

> Martin Luther is supposed to have said: I drown my flesh daily but that
> Luder (?) can swim.

You cannot equate the flesh with your identity as a person. While the flesh
dies and is crucified in Christ, your personality never diminishes. In fact
it flourishes in Christ and who you are can truly be expressed in everything
that Christ destined you to become. So when Luther would say, "I drown my
flesh daily" I do not doubt him, for it is the real Luther, the Luther who
is in Christ, it is he who can swim! It makes complete sense!

> Dietrich Bonhoeffer had come to the end of HIS life while still being alive.
> This comes through especially in the original German.

Bonhoeffer was dead to the flesh more than you or anyone else could ever
know. It was not the same terminology you and I would use, but in
Bonhoeffer we read of his dying to the self, we read of his desire that
Christ would increase in him and that his own would decrease. Read the
massive volume on the Letters and Papers from prison, and read about the
BRUDERATH in the mid 1930's and there is no way your assertion makes sense.

Blessings,

Sam


End of New Testament Church Proliferation Digest V1 #122
 


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