New Testament Church Proliferation Digest

 

Spreading the Gospel via House Churches

 


New Testament Church Proliferation Digest Monday, January 7 2002 Vol 02 : 006
Re: [NTCP] Mentoring
Re: [NTCP] Mentoring - how biblical is it?
RE: RE: [NTCP] Mentoring - how biblical is it?
Re: [NTCP] Upon what do we base our UNITY?
Re: [NTCP] Upon what do we base our UNITY?
Re: [NTCP] Upon what do we base our UNITY?

Date: Mon, 07 Jan 2002 13:28:26 -0800
From: jferris
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Mentoring

David Jaggernauth wrote:

>Insularity is a dangerous thing and one of the reasons why networking and
>interfacing with others is so important.

Dear David,

Absolutely!!

I have known a few times the same kind of thing you mention. Generally, my
experience of it has been less cultish, and more subtle, if being slandered as
a false prophet is ever subtle.

Pastors are notoriously insecure. John Wimber was was very outspoken about
this. People who need to be stage center are generally that way, because of
insecurity.

Recently a number of superstars have spoken about this problen in their own
lives. Julie Andrews, and Jerry Lewis to name a couple. This insecurity is in
sharp contrast with the truth revealed about the mindset of Jesus: "Jesus
knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was
come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his
garments; and took a towel, and girded himself." John 13:3,4

Yours in Christ,

Jay


------- <><><> -------


Date: Mon, 07 Jan 2002 13:44:16 -0800
From: jferris
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Mentoring - how biblical is it?

AWillia486 wrote:

>In a message dated 1/3/02 4:44:22 PM Eastern Standard Time,
>jferris154(--AT--)mac.com writes:
>
>
>>The trouble is, Spiritual fathering is much more costly than spiritual
>>mentoring. "... death in us that life might be in them..."
>
>
>
>I have a question for you Jay. What do you see as the difference between
>mentoring and fathering? I am pastoring a new church that is all home groups
>and working on this idea of "spiritual fathering and mothering". Appreciate
>your thoughts. Fred

Dear Fred.

Fathering is a much stronger bond, and not based on the common agreement of the
participants. It is a relationship which has it's source in life, the life that
Jesus came to bring to us. It is not something that we do, it is something that
He does, and we need to see. It is a matter of revelation, a matter of seeing,
not doing. The same can be said for overseers, they are overseers, not
overdoers.

But the most important source of understanding is what God has revealed about
this in the things created. What does life teach us about this? Designed in the
purposes of God, what is the old creation groaning to teach us? How does God do
life? Mentors may be useful for teaching us specific tasks, or substituting for
parents who were never there or taken away prematurely, but certainly, God's
first choice for teaching us how to live is parents.

Jesus did no say: "Anyone who leaves mother, father, brother, sister for my
sake and the gospel will receive 100 times mentors." That is not what He said,
so why should we be embarrased be what He actually did say? The only reason I
can think of or discover is the cost. The cost of the real thing is so high,
most of us, if we know it or not, are practicing spiritual birth control.

Yours in Christ,

Jay


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Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2002 16:41:22 -0400
From: "vanessadd"
Subject: RE: Re: [NTCP] Mentoring - how biblical is it?

I'm 29 and I work with street children. I like to walk the street and talk to
the kids. I would not mother an adult male, because I only work with children
and teens. I also want to help prostitutes become ex-prostitutes. I will soon
be opening my halfway home for these people. And I want to be the mom there.

My husband doesn't let me talk to just any adult male anyways, so I wouldn't
ever be found in that situation. He's NOT an American man: he's a traditional
latinamerican male chauvinist and that is one of the main reasons I love him so
much! I don't even tutor boys older than 13-14 alone.

Vanessa


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Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2002 20:49:12 EST
From: TheologusCrucis
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Upon what do we base our UNITY?

Sam,

You asked,

>On what do we base our UNITY?

You asked a very simple question, which has a very simple answer: Unity for all
Christians everywhere and in every age has been and is based on The Good News
about Jesus the Anointed One.

If you try to base unity on emotional and therapeutic language like "intimacy"
and "vulnerability" and "emotional transparency" and "fathering," then unity
will be somewhat hard to attain. What about those of us who do not feel
comfortable with the 'touchy feely' stuff? And not everyone has the emotional
needs that these words signify. And if you try to build unity based on a
certain cultural understanding of a group, or on organization, then there will
be no unity as each culture has it's own lens thru which it defines the
Biblical concept of the "Body of Christ."

But if you base it on the Message, and what the Truth of that Message means -
-- then unity can be achieved regardless of feelings, emotional needs, and
organizational structures. Salvation by grace alone thru faith alone in Christ
alone to the glory of God alone will unify regardless of emotions, needs, and
organization.

TheologusCrucis


------- <><><> -------


Date: Mon, 07 Jan 2002 22:02:15 -0500
From: AOM Canada
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Upon what do we base our UNITY?

Dear TheologusCrucis:

I will add comments to your response below.


From: TheologusCrucis?cs.com
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Upon what do we base our
UNITY?

>Sam,
>
>You asked,
>
>>On what do we base our UNITY?
>
>You asked a very simple question, which has a very simple answer: Unity for
>all Christians everywhere and in every age has been and is based on The Good
>News about Jesus the Anointed One.

Nice thoughts, but where do you find that in John 17? I have had unity defined
many ways with similar thoughts, but the unity in John 17 really does not deal
with the "Good News" directly, and it deals with the bearer and initiator,
Jesus Christ indirectly, for He Himself points to the unity being a relational
one, "Father that they may be one just as You and I are one". Where do you find
a unity where "all Christians everywhere and in every age has been and is
based on The Good News about Jesus the Anointed One" based on that? It is isn't
there, and it isn't even really implied either. Unity in the context of John
17 is about relationship, not the Good News itself or the One who accomplished
the re-establishment of relationship between the Father and His redeemed
children.

>If you try to base unity on emotional and therapeutic language like "intimacy"
>and "vulnerability" and "emotional transparency" and "fathering," then unity
>will be somewhat hard to attain. What about those of us who do not feel
>comfortable with the 'touchy feely' stuff?

Why do you belittle intimacy by viewing through the human lens of emotional or
therapeutic language that infests not just the church but the culture as a
whole. You are responding to intimacy based upon what you have seen through
the self help and counseling lens.

Brother, your comments about vulnerability, emotional transparency and
fathering are revealing deep seated issues here for you, aren't they? You even
say "What about those of us who do not feel comfortable with the 'touchy feely'
stuff?" If you have difficulty or you are not comfortable with touchy feely
stuff. My guess, and no, I am not being therapeutic here, is that as a person,
you have some serious issues not just about your inner man/person, but a
serious misunderstanding oh how important it is to deal with issues of
vulnerability and emotional transparency biblically. What is at stake here is
"getting real" about yourself. The greatest indicator to me, is that while all
of us on this list are using our own first name, which is by the way a means of
being real and intimate, or at least the most intimate we can be using
Information Technology to communicate like this. Why is it you never sign your
real name TheologusCrucis? Afraid people will know who you are? Just asking,
because I am actually concerned that you would belittle a part of your God
given humanity, that of your personality and emotional makeup as a person by
hiding behind an innocuous name like "TheologusCrucis". Come on brother, it is
time to get a little more real here! A little transparency please, show the
face of humanity here, and don't hide behind a relic of Medieval Latin
monasticism.

>And not everyone has the emotional
>needs that these words signify.

Brother, you couldn't be more wrong! We ALL have emotional needs, both
recognized and unrecognized that we must continually deal with. How can you be
so clinical and cold? I don't understand it. Correction, I do understand it.
In fact I see a lot of similarity between you and I brother. I used to hide
behind the structures of church, the structures of my position in the church,
and all of my functions within the leadership. I hid behind my theological
tomes and journals, and I buried my face in my Koine Greek NT, and my many
lexica and dictionaries. I never dealt with the real me. I hid behind what I
believed and what I taught as a teacher. Oh, don't get me wrong, I was real
passionate. My wife will vouch for that! I got married and took John Calvin's
Institutes on the honeymoon! That's the kind of guy I was! And perhaps that
is why I feel an ache inside me when I read your post. I see what I did to
myself for the better part of two decades.

Brother we need to be both intimate and real and we need to also learn the
truth as you put it. But the truth and wisdom you find in books and in study
will ALWAYS be secondary to the truth you will find in intimate relationship
with the Lord and with other brothers and sisters. Take the time to talk to
the saints who have had either just a few verses of a Bible or a page or two to
sustain them as believers in either Muslim lands or in areas of communist
oppression. See the vibrancy and the passion they have for Jesus! Talk with
them and they cannot stop talking about the riches they have in Christ! Is it
all from a few scraps of paper or a page torn from a Bible? No, it's not. It
is from a supernatural relationship, "flesh of His flesh, and bone of His bone"
(Eph. 5) where they are very emotionally real with the Lord, where they are
transparent and open about their inner man. That is the "crux" brother! Pure
and simple, that is the "crux"! Would they want Bibles? You bet they would!
But they would not exchange the vibrancy of intimacy and passion for a book!
They would prefer both, and the book would always be secondary and flow from
the first thing, which is intimacy with Christ.

>And if you try to build unity based on a certain cultural understanding of a
>group, or on organization, then there will be no unity as each culture has
>it's own lens thru which it defines the Biblical concept of the "Body of
>Christ."

Nothing wrong with that Brother! I would never expect you to experience
EKKLESIA like I do. I am not American (forgive me if I call you one and you
are not). I am a Canadian, and I am a transplanted foreigner who has a lot of
French culture (my parents were missionaries and church planters to France and
Quebec) and a lot of Anglo-Irish culture, plus a dash of Canadian. So, I would
mix well with similar people and I would relate well over good food, some wine
and beer, some fish and chips, some tasty deserts, lots of conversation and
interaction where everyone is rather loud and boistrous, and very engaging.
There would be a lot of humour and jokes and carrying on. And when things got
around to issues and hurts, there would be a lot of weeping and supporting of
one another. This is the Body of Christ expressing itself through a cultural
setting. This is actually the make up of our house church network. We are all
very similar, and there is nothing wrong with it brother.

In fact Paul would argue, according to Gene Edwards, that each body/EKKLESIA is
responsible to develop its own culture of church based on the personalities and
customs of the location and nation. God has always moved through nations and
their cultures. In fact we have had some really good discussions on this list
about culture and how we should be the EKKLESIA, just ask Link about his
experiences in Indonesia.

Regardless of the cultural expression of body life and EKKLESIA, whatever it
looks like, it is still the Body of Christ. You and I may have a hard time
connecting or understanding customs and language, but we would bear witness to
the authentic witness of the Spirit in such gatherings. If we spent time in
differing cultural mixes we would recognize the "smell of God" in the cultural
setting and we would see the unity that is in the Father and displayed in love
for one another amongst the brethren.

>But if you base it on the Message, and what the Truth of that Message means --
>then unity can be achieved regardless of feelings, emotional needs, and
>organizational structures. Salvation by grace alone thru faith alone in Christ
>alone to the glory of God alone will unify regardless of emotions, needs, and
>organization.

Brother, unity is not based on a message, it is based on a person. A person
equals relationship and intimacy. It is not the message, but the person of
Christ. We do not win converts to a message. We win converts to the LIVING
CHRIST, a person who died for them. The message did not die for the remission
of their sins. A person died for them.

You will never have unity that is devoid of emotions and needs. We are people,
and Jesus is a person who has made a way for us to truly be the people the
Father called us to be. Real, emotional, transparent, dependent upon Him.
This is what it means to be in unity with the Father, just as Jesus is.

Brother you can quote the good Calvinist creed to me, and I used to recite it
in Latin, but it will never do! It is about being one with the Father just as
Jesus was RELATIONALLY one with the Father, very real, very intimate and very
transparent, and every time He had a need, to separated Himself to be in sweet
communion with the Father. Now, that is a Jesus I want to cling to! He is
real! He isn't a message or a creedal formula. He is the very essence of
passion and life!

Blessings,

Sam

Date: Tue, 8 Jan 2002 00:35:01 EST
From: TheologusCrucis
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Upon what do we base our UNITY?

Sam,

Well, that was a very interesting response to my very short post! As I don't
have the time this evening to respond back with a mini-book, although I will
try to respond to several issues you have brought up.

First of all, why I write using "TheologusCrucis' instead of my real name. You
wrote:

>>The greatest indicator to me, is that while all of us on this list are
using our own first name, which is by the way a means of being real and
intimate, or at least the most intimate we can be using Information Technology
to communicate like this. Why is it you never sign your real name
TheologusCrucis? Afraid people will know who you are? Just asking, because I
am actually concerned that you would belittle a part of your God given
humanity, that of your personality and emotional makeup as a person by hiding
behind an innocuous name like "TheologusCrucis". Come on brother, it is time
to get a little more real here! A little transparency please, show the face of
humanity here, and don't hide behind a relic of Medieval Latin monasticism.
>Nice thoughts, but where do you find that in John 17? I have had unity
defined many ways with similar thoughts, but the unity in John 17 really does
not deal with the "Good News" directly, and it deals with the bearer and
initiator, Jesus Christ indirectly, for He Himself points to the unity being a
relational one, "Father that they may be one just as You and I are one". Where
do you find a unity where "all Christians everywhere and in every age has been
and is based on The Good News about Jesus the Anointed One" based on that? It
is isn't there, and it isn't even really implied either. Unity in the context
of John 17 is about relationship, not the Good News itself or the One who
accomplished the re-establishment of relationship between the Father and His
redeemed children.>Brother, your comments about vulnerability, emotional
transparency and fathering are revealing deep seated issues here for you,
aren't they? You even say "What about those of us who do not feel comfortable
with the 'touchy feely' stuff?" If you have difficulty or you are not
comfortable with touchy feely stuff. My guess, and no, I am not being
therapeutic here, is that as a person, you have some serious issues not just
about your inner man/person, but a serious misunderstanding oh how important it
is to deal with issues of vulnerability and emotional transparency biblically.
What is at stake here is "getting real" about yourself.>How can you be so
clinical and cold? I don't understand it. Correction, I do understand it. In
fact I see a lot of similarity between you and I brother. I used to hide
behind the structures of church, the structures of my position in the church,
and all of my functions within the leadership. I hid behind my theological
tomes and journals, and I buried my face in my Koine Greek NT, and my many
lexica and dictionaries. I never dealt with the real me. I hid behind what I
believed and what I taught as a teacher. Oh, don't get me wrong, I was real
passionate. My wife will vouch for that! I got married and took John Calvin's
Institutes on the honeymoon! That's the kind of guy I was! And perhaps that
is why I feel an ache inside me when I read your post. I see what I did to
myself for the better part of two decades.Sam,

Well, that was a very interesting response to my very short post! As I don't
have the time this evening to respond back with a mini-book, although I will
try to respond to several issues you have brought up.

First of all, why I write using "TheologusCrucis' instead of my real name. You
wrote:

>>The greatest indicator to me, is that while all of us on this list are using
>>our own first name, which is by the way a means of being real and intimate,
>>or at least the most intimate we can be using Information Technology to
>>communicate like this. Why is it you never sign your real name
>>TheologusCrucis? Afraid people will know who you are? Just asking, because
>>I am actually concerned that you would belittle a part of your God given
>>humanity, that of your personality and emotional makeup as a person by hiding
>>behind an innocuous name like "TheologusCrucis". Come on brother, it is time
>>to get a little more real here! A little transparency please, show the face
>>of humanity here, and don't hide behind a relic of Medieval Latin monasticism.

I was invited by Link to this list because we both post on a Pentecostal issues
discussion group. I'm an Assembly of God minister, and there are many fellow
ministers that also log onto the list, some in towns not far from where I live.
Using "TheologusCrucis" is a way of protecting myself and my ministry, as many
AG ministers are fiercely Arminian. I wanted the freedom to actually do what
you are suggesting -- to freely and transparently discuss and debate matters of
doctrine and practice, to be entirely open in revealing what I believe and why,
and how I live. I continue to use my theologuscrucis handle because Link's
invitation was an open invitation to the entire list. Believe me when I say
that if you would write too me off list, Sam, that I would be more than happy
to give you my name and my phone number and address -- I think it would be a
blast to talk to you!

You were and are much more the academic scholar than I will ever be, Sam. I'm
lousy with languages, and have a hard time with Latin and Greek. I took the
name of theologuscrucis from the writings of Martin Luther (Not Calvin!). He
believed that the revelation of Christ on the cross was a paradox -- God
suffering and dying. And that to make any sense of the Gospel one would have to
go there and join in -- dying to self so that God would live instead. He
thought that no one was a true theologian, regardless of their education,
unless one was a "theologian of the cross." Which, by the way, was meant to
destroy Medieval monasticism!

And really, don't you think you can get a handle on my personality by just
reading what I put into writing? I'm beginning to learn a lot about you -- what
your priorities are, how you handle yourself in confrontation, your views of
ministry, etc. Surely you have been doing the same with me? And I'm not
learning these things because your signing your first name to your posts.

Secondly, you wrote:

>>Nice thoughts, but where do you find that in John 17? I have had unity
>>defined many ways with similar thoughts, but the unity in John 17 really does
>>not deal with the "Good News" directly, and it deals with the bearer and
>>initiator, Jesus Christ indirectly, for He Himself points to the unity being
>>a relational one, "Father that they may be one just as You and I are one".
>>Where do you find a unity where "all Christians everywhere and in every age
>>has been and is based on The Good News about Jesus the Anointed One" based on
>>that? It is isn't there, and it isn't even really implied either. Unity in
>>the context of John 17 is about relationship, not the Good News itself or the
>>One who accomplished the re-establishment of relationship between the Father
>>and His redeemed children.

Well, Scripture interprets Scripture, right? Paul says that God was in Christ,
reconciling the world to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:19 'For God was in Christ,
reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people's sins against
them. This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others. NLT). The
Father and the Son were one. How? Thru the cross: 'We are made right in God's
sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins... For God has sent
Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God's anger against
us. We are made right with God when we believe Jesus shed his blood,
sacrificing his life for us (Romans 3:22, 25 NLT).'

When we believe and are baptized, we identify with Jesus -- especially in His
death and resurrection: 'Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so
that sin might lose its power in our life. (Romans 6:6 NLT).' And this new life
is achieved by the Spirit being planted in us like a seed: 'What this means is
that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same ant
more, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun (2 Corinthians 5: NLT)!
...You are controlled by the Spirit of God living in you.... Since Christ lives
within you, even though your body will die because of sin, your spirit is alive
because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus
from the dead, lives in you. And just as he raised Christ from the dead, he
will give life to your mortal body by this same Spirit living in you. (Romans
8:9-11)

Which leads to God as our Father: 'For all who are led by the Spirit of God are
children of God. So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should
behave instead like God's very own children, adopted into his family -- calling
him, 'Father, dear Father.' For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts
and tells us we are God's children (Romans 8:15-16 NLT).' Thus we begin in John
17 just as He was about to die and end at the cross, the very center of the
Message! It is Christ's death and resurrection that give John 17 it's context.
There is no relationship without the cross.

The Gospel is still, as far as I'm concerned, the basis for any unity or
relationship.

Lastly, you wrote:

>>Brother, your comments about vulnerability, emotional transparency and
>>fathering are revealing deep seated issues here for you, aren't they? You
>>even say "What about those of us who do not feel comfortable with the 'touchy
>>feely' stuff?" If you have difficulty or you are not comfortable with touchy
>>feely stuff. My guess, and no, I am not being therapeutic here, is that as a
>>person, you have some serious issues not just about your inner man/person,
>>but a serious misunderstanding oh how important it is to deal with issues of
>>vulnerability and emotional transparency biblically. What is at stake here is
>>"getting real" about yourself.

Well, no, I really don't have any of these "issues." Sorry. I come from a
family that loves one another, and we let each other know in many ways. Group
hugs just wasn't one of those ways! I love my mom and dad, my brothers and
sisters (The youngest, by the way, named Samuel) and my wife. Yet I cry so
often at the movies that my wife, for crying out loud, is sometimes embarrassed
to sit with me! ;) So go figure, huh?

Biblically, all we are asked to do is to be honest. In my role as husband and
in my role as minister, I think I do a fairly good job at that. I identified a
tendency in myself to be very passive/agreessive, and because I know this I
willingly fight it every day. Believe me when I say it is the Gospel that helps
me to "get real with myself." That my sin and darkness took the death and blood
of Christ to atone for and propitiate tells me very plainly what and who the
"real me" was and still can be. My earnest prayer is that I walk like "I died
to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ. I
myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this
earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself (the
Gospel again) for me (Galatians 2:19b-20 NLT)."

You also wrote:

>>How can you be so clinical and cold? I don't understand it. Correction, I
>>do understand it. In fact I see a lot of similarity between you and I
>>brother. I used to hide behind the structures of church, the structures of
>>my position in the church, and all of my functions within the leadership. I
>>hid behind my theological tomes and journals, and I buried my face in my
>>Koine Greek NT, and my many lexica and dictionaries. I never dealt with the
>>real me. I hid behind what I believed and what I taught as a teacher. Oh,
>>don't get me wrong, I was real passionate. My wife will vouch for that! I
>>got married and took John Calvin's Institutes on the honeymoon! That's the
>>kind of guy I was! And perhaps that is why I feel an ache inside me when I
>>read your post. I see what I did to myself for the better part of two
>>decades.

It's kind of funny, because I don't see myself in you. I've dealt with the real
me -- How could I have not and say I understood the Gospel? Christ didn't die
to make one feel good, He died so that I might be honest with myself. The only
good in me -- love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness,
patience, and self-control -- doesn't even originate with me. It is the product
of the life of God in me. I know the real me, the me that I can justify no
matter what for no matter what, who would permanently live in denial if he
could, who would be full of rage and hold a grudge until hell froze over! Who
used to try escape his falling short in the God's glorious standard department
by reading fiction -- which only led to me taking on, and reveling in, the sins
of fictitious characters! Alas, the heart is indeed an idol factory. (And I
must admit, the only reading I brought on my honeymoon was "The Joy of Sex!" :)

The Gospel of grace set me free, and this isn't clinical or cold. It is grace
alone thru faith alone in Christ alone to the glory of God alone that is the
foundation of both my theology and my spirituality. I believe Jesus said it was
the abundant life? A life based on the Good News about Jesus?

I promised not to write a book, and I won't. You have assumed much, my brother,
and have been wrong in these assumptions, at least in my opinion. Perhaps you
might want to try to get to know someone before you analyze them on such a
personal level? But it's all the same! I enjoy your style, your enthusiasm and
your vitality! I love the fact that you believe passionately, and that you are
willing to engage with those who would challenge you! May God bless you, Sam,

TheologusCrucis


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