New Testament Church Proliferation Digest

 

Spreading the Gospel via House Churches

 


New Testament Church Proliferation Digest Tuesday, January 8 2002 Vol 02 : 007
Re: [NTCP] Upon what do we base our UNITY?
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?
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?
Re: [NTCP] Upon what do we base our UNITY?
Re: [NTCP] Upon what do we base our UNITY?
Re: RE: [NTCP] Mentoring - how biblical is it?
[NTCP] Re: Mentoring - how biblical is it?
Re: [NTCP] Upon what do we base our UNITY?
Re: [NTCP] Upon what do we base our UNITY?

Date: Tue, 8 Jan 2002 06:46:58 EST
From: Steffasong
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Upon what do we base our UNITY?

In a message dated 01/07/2002 9:56:33 PM Eastern Standard Time,
aom_canada(--AT--)hotmail.com writes:
>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

In the past I always believed that this is what people meant when they said,
"do you know the Lord?"

I learned (through trying to be unified and not letting language be a barrier
to that oneness) that language matters a great deal.

When we are helping establish a church, or pouring into a present gathering of
believers, it is important to keep bringing back the conversation to this
essence of life, that is, Christ our Lord. If we don't, we will have something
other than the oneness of John 17. Don't you think?

Is this not a primary issue for church planter'ers and all believers alike?

What say you all? In the Lamb, StephaneusEnCristos

:-)
Stephanie Bennett
Horizon Creative Services & Consulting Marketing Solutions for the 21st Century
http://members.aol.com/steffasong/index.html


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Date: Tue, 8 Jan 2002 14:05:29 +0200
From: "Deborah"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Mentoring - how biblical is it?

Sammy Buick wrote:

>I have a real problem with the term 'mentor', for in reality we cannot
>'imitate' another by following their example.

"We do not want you to become lazy, but to IMITATE those who through faith and
patience inherit what has been promised" (Heb. 6:12).

"Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome
of their way of life and IMITATE their faith" (Heb. 13:7).

"Dear friend, do not IMITATE what is evil but what is good. Anyone who DOES
WHAT IS GOOD is from God" (3 Joh. 1:11).

"For you, brothers, became IMITATORS of God's CHURCHES in Judea, which are in
Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own countrymen the same things those
churches suffered from the Jews ..." (1 Thes. 2:14).

"Don't let anyone look down on you [Timothy] because you are young, but SET AN
EXAMPLE for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity"
(1 Tim. 4:12).

"... not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being EXAMPLES to the
flock" (1 Pet. 5:3).

>We called to be 'partakers' in and of Christ, not imitators of him.

"I [Jesus] have set you an EXAMPLE that you should do as I have done for you"
(Joh. 13:15).

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an
EXAMPLE, that you should FOLLOW IN HIS STEPS (1 Pet. 2:21).

An over-emphasis on one truth ("We called to be 'partakers' in and of Christ")
at the expense of another ("not imitators of him") can lead us into error.
Both partaking of and imitating Christ (... and those who act like him!) are
biblical and therefore true. Have at it mentors! And fathers!!!

Michael
Jerusalem


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Date: Tue, 08 Jan 2002 07:32:43 -0500
From: "Samuel Buick"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Upon what do we base our UNITY?

Dear TC: (theo/crusis)

Thanks for your most passionate and earnest reply brother!

One questions though, you aren't on the AOG list, your on the NTCP list, so how
about at least having your first name, nothing more, nothing less? Would you do
that? May I at least call you "TC" a short form of your handle?

Thanks for all your rebuttals and your comments. I do see and understand where
you are coming from.

My one major concern, and I get this often when I am face to face with brothers
in the ministry, is the whole issue of honesty and transparency. You have
managed, as you put it, to hide behind your 'handle' and be honest in your
interaction and dialogue. You said you have done so to protect yourself and
your ministry. This actually saddens me. This is a huge issue in many
denominational surroundings.

Your comments brought back memories about this very issue of being honest and
real and transparent. I grew up Pentecostal (PAOC in Canada - My Dad and Mum
were Elim in the UK)and I understand very much what you say about the
theological bent of 'most' ministers with Pentecostal circles. In two
denominations I was very involved in I was in the process of being licenced,
but due to some of my views on certain issues (church government, and
non-resistance)I was never licenced or ordained in them. I was good enough to
do pulpit supply, and to run the small groups ministry and youth ministry, but
not good enough to be "officially" recognized by the denomination. The one
pastor of one of these churches actually helped me get ordained with another
association. His comments were similar to yours in fact. He said, "Sam, you
are too honest, too in 'your face', too real, and people can't handle that kind
of transparency, but I know you and I know the intent of your heart in these
things and you want nothing hidden. You need to understand that that kind of
honesty is very threatening to people and to institutions." Well, yes, my
brother pastor Dave was right, and so are you.

I am sorry if I came on really strong, and I do not perceive that I offended
you. Please forgive me if I have.

What has irked me most, is that the professional clergy that I have come to
know are divided into two camps. There are the broken and contrite brothers
who wear who they are on their sleaves. They are truthful when you ask them
how they feel. They are not shy to share their personal struggles, and by and
large this group is dying for relationship and intimacy, and they feel
vulnerable and lonely because the institutional church system has made fit
into a mold they know is not natural. They want to be brothers among brothers
and they want to be real with the people that they gather with.

Then there are those who work very hard on their image. They dress the part,
they have the right amount of aftershave. They know everyone by their first
name and all the names of the kids. They take memory courses to remember the
minutest details of people in their congregations. They even remember the new
watch they got on their anniversaries. They remember birthdays and they
remember all those things that make each one of us unique and distinct persons.
They even remember some of the youth and the sports teams they play for, and
they may even stop by and take in part of a game. But most of this is all image
and fluf hidden behind an agenda of getting a handle on their 'market share',
the people to whom they must give leadership to. I know about this group. I
was one of them, and many of my brothers in the ministerial are exactly cut
from that cloth. I did not fit that kind of professional ministry and that is
why I always got into 'trouble' when I was with them and with those who defend
that kind of ministry mentality.

I would say that with most of these brothers we all had the right message, and
the right theology, but there was little unity. I can only see relationship as
the foundation and basis of unity. I am not deminishing the message of the
Gospel or its content or the One who made it all possible. But these things
flow FROM the need for and the the reality of relationship which includes
transparency, intimacy, being real. How can the Bride of Christ be who she is
without transparency and honesty and realness? How can all the passages of
Scripture that deals with marriage, as in relatonship between the Bridegroom
and the Bride, really have any meaning apart from intimacy and transparency?
Yes, Jesus died to bring us into relationship, but the reason is simple, love
was the motivator, and the reason was to restore the broken love relationship.

All I am arguing for here is that one of these has a primacy over the other.
John 3:16 says, "For God so loved..." Here is the crux of the issue, we are
dealing with an intimate love relationship which God desired to restore with
fallen humanity. In Luke we read of the Prodigal Son. Here too, it is the
Father's love that is primary, his love for his son who has run away. The
reaction of the Father is that He sees His son from afar off, and He runs to
Him and greets Him and embraces Him and pours out His love upon Him. This is
intimacy and relationship.

I do not deminish the message of the gospel, but that message flows FROM the
love of God for us, and Jesus died because He has a passionate love for that
portion of humanity that is His Bride. He desires the deepest intimacy
possible, and He goes to the cross to make it so! The very reason for the
cross is the intimate love of the Father in the Son and His actions on our
behalf.

Jesus died for us because he loves us passionately. He died so that the first
Adam would die on the cross (and the rest of us would be represented in that
first Adam). And we who have come to a saving faith also died in Christ. And
yes that death bought us redemption and the remission of sin, and removed the
penalty of sin that we justly deserve. But it was motivated by love, redeeming
love. It was motivated by Christ, who became like us, and took our sin upon
Himself, that we might have a dynamic love relationship with the Father through
Him.

Jesus died that He would be the firstborn of the new creation. He became the
head of His Body through the cross. He inaugurated the church through the
resurrection. The new man had to come forth, and it is Jesus Christ, and while
He is the head, we are His Body. We are not divorced from Him, or separated
from Him, but are intimately connected in Him. We are all in all in Christ
Jesus. It is all about "Christ in you, the hope of Glory!" Our hope, the new
creation, the new man, is what brings about the dynamic relationship. It is
all about intimacy and relationship, and it is about the very essence of life,
abundant life, that can only be found in Jesus.

Have you not longed to sit at His feet and gaze at His beauty? All the
questions disappear when you sit in His presence. You are left speechless,
just the same kind of experience you had when you fell in love! All burdens,
all concerns and the issues of life melt away when you come at the feet of
Jesus. It just goes away and melts in His glory. This is whay He died for, to
have those of the company of Mary of Bethany, those whose only passion is
adoration of the Bridegroom.

Is this not the reason that we are church planters? Is this not the reason why
we live? To bring into the company of Jesus, those who will know and
experience love like it was meant to be lived. It is about a loving redemptive
relationship and filled with intimacy.

If doctrine is the scaffolding of our unity, we are in trouble, for what we are
then building is religion and its various apparatus and props to enhance the
lives of people. In the end what you are left with is empty and shallow and
tasteless. But if unity is founded upon the reality of intimate relationship
with the Father, and in the relationship He gives ongoing revelation as to who
He is and what He is about, then the building He is building will stand and it
will grow and be vibrant and strong, for just as my dad took me on his lap and
took a hook and taught me how to make a fly-hook, so my Heavenly Father
lovingly picks me up, takes me on His lap, and He shows me in a multitude of
ways (through the Bible, interaction and dialogue, etc) how to make the right
"hook" to catch men! It is all based on intimate love. Love is primary,
doctrine is secondary but no less important. But love is primary. Our unity
is in the union we have with the Father just as Jesus is one with the Father.

Blessings,

Sam


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Date: Tue, 08 Jan 2002 07:52:35 -0800
From: jferris
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Upon what do we base our UNITY?

Samuel Buick wrote:

>Is this not the reason that we are church planters? Is this not the reason
>why we live? To bring into the company of Jesus, those who will know and
>experience love like it was meant to be lived. It is about a loving
>redemptive relationship and filled with intimacy.
>
>If doctrine is the scaffolding of our unity, we are in trouble, for what we
>are then building is religion and its various apparatus and props to enhance
>the lives of people. In the end what you are left with is empty and shallow
>and tasteless. But if unity is founded upon the reality of intimate
>relationship with the Father, and in the relationship He gives ongoing
>revelation as to who He is and what He is about, then the building He is
>building will stand and it will grow and be vibrant and strong, for just as my
>dad took me on his lap and took a hook and taught me how to make a fly-hook,
>so my Heavenly Father lovingly picks me up, takes me on His lap, and He shows
>me in a multitude of ways (through the Bible, interaction and dialogue, etc)
>how to make the right "hook" to catch men! It is all based on intimate love.
>Love is primary, doctrine is secondary but no less important. But love is
>primary. Our unity is in the union we have with the Father just as Jesus is
>one with the Father.

Thanks Sam,

Kind of puts me in mind of 1 John 1:1-5: "That which was from the beginning,
which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked
upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was
manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that
eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That
which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have
fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his
Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be
full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto
you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."

Jay


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Date: Tue, 08 Jan 2002 07:59:21 -0800
From: jferris
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Upon what do we base our UNITY?

TheologusCrucis wrote:

>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!

One has to wonder if Paul couldn't have saved himself a lot of beatings if he
had only thought to use an alias.

The problem is that we are perfected by the wounds we receive in "the house of
our friends."

As for the rest, I very much appreciate your honest communication of the place
you are in. The discussion is very helpful. I especially appreciate your
reaction or lack of it, to Sam. It has the aroma of the Love of God on it.

Yours in Christ,

Jay


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Date: Tue, 08 Jan 2002 14:59:25
From: "David Jaggernauth"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Upon what do we base our UNITY?

Sam said:

His comments were similar to yours in fact. He said, "Sam, you are too honest,
too in 'your face', too real,and people can't handle that kind of transparency,
but I know you and I know the intent of your heart in these things and you want
nothing hidden. You need to understand that that kind of honesty is very
threatening to people and to institutions."

Sam;

Just wanted to drop a little note to say I really appreciate your personality
and honesty. One of the major problems in the Church is the lack of this. In my
old Church I was the only one who would dare confront the pastor on issues of
doctrine and philosophy. My friends would often open their eyes wide and say
"how could you say that to the pastor?" this is what got me in trouble with
him. I hate to see what a friend of mine calls "dumb sheep". It is this
complacent fearful attitiude that has allowed so many strange doctrines to
enter the Church and put so many of God's people into severe bondage, fearful
of man rather than God. The pastors have created doctrines to keep the sheep in
silent submission.

There should be a Sam in every Church, both institutional church and house
church.

David Jaggernauth (incidentally Michael, my last name is Hindi, it means
universal one)


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Date: Tue, 8 Jan 2002 11:17:43 EST
From: TheologusCrucis
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Upon what do we base our UNITY?

Jay,

Thanks for your post -- I always value your imput and your encouragement.

This year will probably be my last year as a licensed minister with the AG. It
isn't because I believe differently from their statement of faith -- if I did
not agree and kept signing my name for renewal every year I would have been
dishonest at best. One is to be licensed for two years, and then ordained in
the AG -- and I've been licensed for 12 years now.

It has been hard to break for several reasons. I'm third generation AG, and
many in my family, even if they haven't become ministers, were educated at an
AG college. One of my relation was president of North Central Bible College
many years ago. To break with the AG, and to begin to dialogue with my family
about why -- disagreement with AG corporate organization and their
revivalist/managerial emphasis in church planting -- is to bring hurt to
people I dearly love.

Plus, where would I go? As far as I can tell, there isn't a lot of alternatives
out there. Where is there a group with reformed theology and practice that
emphasizes the gifts and specialize in church planting? Believe me when I say
that there isn't much of "the Lone Ranger" syndrome in me! I believe in the
fellowship of the saints, and the accountability and support that it brings.

You had written:

>>One has to wonder if Paul couldn't have saved himself a lot of beatings
if he had only thought to use an alias.

The problem is that we are perfected by the wounds we receive in "the house of
our friends."Jay,

Thanks for your post -- I always value your imput and your encouragement.

This year will probably be my last year as a licensed minister with the AG. It
isn't because I believe differently from their statement of faith -- if I did
not agree and kept signing my name for renewal every year I would have been
dishonest at best. One is to be licensed for two years, and then ordained in
the AG -- and I've been licensed for 12 years now.

It has been hard to break for several reasons. I'm third generation AG, and
many in my family, even if they haven't become ministers, were educated at an
AG college. One of my relation was president of North Central Bible College
many years ago. To break with the AG, and to begin to dialogue with my family
about why -- disagreement with AG corporate organization and their
revivalist/managerial emphasis in church planting -- is to bring hurt to
people I dearly love.

Plus, where would I go? As far as I can tell, there isn't a lot of alternatives
out there. Where is there a group with reformed theology and practice that
emphasizes the gifts and specialize in church planting? Believe me when I say
that there isn't much of "the Lone Ranger" syndrome in me! I believe in the
fellowship of the saints, and the accountability and support that it brings.

You had written:

>>One has to wonder if Paul couldn't have saved himself a lot of beatings
if he had only thought to use an alias.

The problem is that we are perfected by the wounds we receive in "the house of
our friends."

Well, believe me when I say I do not use an alias here where I live to the
people I am trying to reach. I notice Paul wasn't real quick to identify
himself when he was in Jerusalem, and wasn't adverse to retreat in a basket
over a wall at night as the better part of valor!

I've been perfected over the last 12 years thru those type of wounds as much as
I want to be, thank you very much. If I can spare myself and my wife, who has
had deep wounds from "the house of our friends," then I will.

Again, thanks for your post. I also believe discussion such as this is helpful.
God's blessings to you, Jay!

TheologusCrucis


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Date: Tue, 08 Jan 2002 12:55:05 -0500
From: "Samuel Buick"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Upon what do we base our UNITY?

Hi Everyone!

I just thought I would pass on another helpful site on planting churches in our
culture. I get a subscription still from Cutting Edge, and they are a good
resource to keep up to date on what is happening around the world. You can
view it at:

Regards,

Sammy


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Date: Tue, 08 Jan 2002 13:26:16 -0500
From: "Samuel Buick"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Upon what do we base our UNITY?

Dear TC ( I told you I would call you by an affectionate name :-))

I just want you to know that I understand fully your situation.

I was licenced with PAOC in 1987. I lasted a year. You cannot disagree with
anything. I was doing a paper on the "end times" at Bible College, and I
wanted to do an expose of how the AOG developed their eschatological position,
and I was told outright by the General Secretary, "Sam, we have held this
position since 1919, and we will hold this position until Jesus comes!" I
couldn't believe it.

Another thing you mention. I know many within the Southern Ontario Disctrict
who do not believe in initial evidence, but each year they sign it just to keep
thier churches. They all know what happens if you deviate from it, you get
'blackballed'. I know some dear precious men of God who have gone through the
mill just for being honest. It breaks my heart.

Instead of disputing, I turned in my credentials, and now for the last seven
years I have been in a Reformed and Pentecostal fellowship. TC, how about I
send out feelers in my denomination to see if there is any fellowship with
similar beliefs in your area? I know that the Vineyard, is Reformed in its
doctrines of grace and salvation (the classic 5 points), and is Charismatic,
and I served with them for a season, before I launched out into house church.

Believe me I know your concern. I battled a year over my credentials. I sense
that for now anyway, I can build bridges by keeping the credentials, and for
that reason I am keeping them.

TC, how about checking out the Vineyard? They are radical enough and
theological enough in your areas of concern to be at least worth a look see.
They support all kinds of church planting methods, including house church. You
may be very surprised. Check out CUTTING EDGE web link I posted on my last
email.

Blessings Brother,

Sam


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Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2002 00:52:36 +0100
From: Norbert Bollow
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Upon what do we base our UNITY?

TheologusCrucis wrote:

>Well, believe me when I say I do not use an alias here where I live to the
>people I am trying to reach. I notice Paul wasn't real quick to identify
>himself when he was in Jerusalem, and wasn't adverse to retreat in a basket
>over a wall at night as the better part of valor!

Also, whoever wrote Hebrews also didn't sign with a name. So I don't think
that TheologusCrucis is doing anything wrong by posting under an alias.

>Plus, where would I go? As far as I can tell, there isn't a lot of
>alternatives out there. Where is there a group with reformed theology and
>practice that emphasizes the gifts and specialize in church planting?

This kind of group that you're looking for could be described as "houses and
and brothers and sisters and fathers and mothers and children and fields",
right? There is a principle in Mt 19:29, that first we have to leave behind us
those who are holding us back, and only then we can receive the "houses and and
brothers and sisters and fathers and mothers and children and fields" that God
really wants to give us.

Greetings from Switzerland... :-)

Shalom, Norbert.


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Date: Tue, 8 Jan 2002 19:19:25 -0500
From: "Dan Beaty"
Subject: Re: Re: [NTCP] Mentoring - how biblical is it?

Vanessa,

You wrote: <snip>

My heart was so encouraged to read this. May the Lord prosper you in your
desire to serve him and these young women in this way. My wife and I had to
finally accept that our gift/ministry was to the homeless. But we rejoice with
those who are used by the Lord in this area of great need!

Dan and Brenda Beaty Columbus, Ohio USA

http://www.livingtruth.com


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Date: Tue, 8 Jan 2002 20:00:28 -0500
From: David Anderson
Subject: [NTCP] Re: Mentoring - how biblical is it?

Hi all,

Thanks for this excellent summary, brother Michael. (I take it that Deborah is
your wife ... or is she writing under your name? :D ) Anyhow, it does not
dishonor Jesus Christ in any way when we imitate those who are imitating HIM.
It is as though God is telling us: Now don't give up - see, there are others in
human flesh who are following me in these difficult days.

As some of you so aptly pointed out, we must keep looking beyond them to the
Source and realize that all flesh is prone to great weaknesses now and them. I
can certainly understand that, having been previously burned by "good
examples," you may now be a little suspicious. Me, too. That being said, I am
thankful to God for the mentors, male and female, in my little world. I studied
them very closely and I know that they are/were genuine.

I would also add that this 1st century culture was a patriarchical one and
great emphasis was put upon one generation passing along good things - - values
and virtues - to the next. Thus mentoring. So prominent was the influence of
seniority (eldership) that Timothy had to be warned not to let others despise
his youth.

David Anderson

>"We do not want you to become lazy, but to IMITATE those who through faith and
>patience inherit what has been promised" (Heb. 6:12).
>
>"Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome
>of their way of life and IMITATE their faith" (Heb. 13:7).
>
>"Dear friend, do not IMITATE what is evil but what is good. Anyone who DOES
>WHAT IS GOOD is from God" (3 Joh. 1:11).
>
>"For you, brothers, became IMITATORS of God's CHURCHES in Judea, which are in
>Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own countrymen the same things those
>churches suffered from the Jews ..." (1 Thes. 2:14).
>
>"Don't let anyone look down on you [Timothy] because you are young, but SET AN
>EXAMPLE for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity"
>(1 Tim. 4:12).
>
>"... not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being EXAMPLES to the
>flock" (1 Pet. 5:3).
>
snip

>"I [Jesus] have set you an EXAMPLE that you should do as I have done for you"
>(Joh. 13:15).
>
>To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an
>EXAMPLE, that you should FOLLOW IN HIS STEPS (1 Pet. 2:21).
>
>An over-emphasis on one truth ("We called to be 'partakers' in and of
>Christ") at the expense of another ("not imitators of him") can lead us into
>error. Both partaking of and imitating Christ (... and those who act like
>him!) are biblical and therefore true. Have at it mentors! And fathers!!!
>
>--MICHAEL
Jerusalem


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


Date: Tue, 08 Jan 2002 21:58:12 -0800
From: jferris
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Upon what do we base our UNITY?

Norbert Bollow wrote:

>TheologusCrucis wrote:
>
>>Well, believe me when I say I do not use an alias here where I live to the
>>people I am trying to reach. I notice Paul wasn't real quick to identify
>>himself when he was in Jerusalem, and wasn't adverse to retreat in a basket
>>over a wall at night as the better part of valor!
>>
>
>Also, whoever wrote Hebrews also didn't sign with a name. So I don't think
>that TheologusCrucis is doing anything wrong by posting under an alias.
>
Dear Norbert,

Thanks for the observations. Personally, I believe theat Priscilla wrote
hebrews, and her name was left off because she is a woman, rather than fear of
a different kind of persecution.

>>Plus, where would I go? As far as I can tell, there isn't a lot of
>>alternatives out there. Where is there a group with reformed theology and
>>practice that emphasizes the gifts and specialize in church planting?

>This kind of group that you're looking for could be described as "houses and
>and brothers and sisters and fathers and mothers and children and fields",
>right? There is a principle in Mt 19:29, that first we have to leave behind
>us those who are holding us back, and only then we can receive the "houses and
>and brothers and sisters and fathers and mothers and children and fields" that
>God really wants to give us.

Yes. you are so right! there is a definite cost to receiving the 100 times
promise of Jesus, but this cost must be held in balence with, "6: And honour
not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the
commandment of God of none effect by your tradition." Matthew 15:6, and "But if
any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath
denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." I Timothy 5:8

Yours in Christ,

Jay


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


Date: Tue, 8 Jan 2002 22:32:59 EST
From: TheologusCrucis
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Upon what do we base our UNITY?

Sam,

Feel free to use TC! It'll be like a "Magnum P.I." episode! :)

You wrote,

>>There are the broken and contrite brothers
who wear who they are on their sleaves. They are truthful when you ask them
how they feel. They are not shy to share their personal struggles, and by and
large this group is dying for relationship and intimacy, and they feel
vulnerable and lonely because the institutional church system has made fit
into a mold they know is not natural. They want to be brothers among brothers
and they want to be real with the people that they gather with.>Then there are
those who work very hard on their image. They dress the part, they have the
right amount of aftershave. They know everyone by their first name and all the
names of the kids. They take memory courses to remember the minutest details
of people in their congregations. They even remember the new watch they got on
their anniversaries. They remember birthdays and they remember all those
things that make each one of us unique and distinct persons. They even
remember some of the youth and the sports teams they play for, and they may
even stop by and take in part of a game. But most of this is all image and fluf
hidden behind an agenda of getting a handle on their 'market share', the people
to whom they must give leadership to. I know about this group. I was one of
them, and many of my brothers in the ministerial are exactly cut from that
cloth. I did not fit that kind of professional ministry and that is why I
always got into 'trouble' when I was with them and with those who defend that
kind of ministry mentality.>I would say that with most of these brothers we all
had the right message, and the right theology, but there was little unity. I
can only see relationship as the foundation and basis of unity. I am not
deminishing the message of the Gospel or its content or the One who made it all
possible. But these things flow FROM the need for and the the reality of
relationship which includes transparency, intimacy, being real. How can the
Bride of Christ be who she is without transparency and honesty and realness?
How can all the passages of Scripture that deals with marriage, as in
relatonship between the Bridegroom and the Bride, really have any meaning apart
from intimacy and transparency? Yes, Jesus died to bring us into relationship,
but the reason is simple, love was the motivator, and the reason was to restore
the broken love relationship.>If doctrine is the scaffolding of our unity, we
are in trouble, for what we are then building is religion and its various
apparatus and props to enhance the lives of people. In the end what you are
left with is empty and shallow and tasteless. But if unity is founded upon the
reality of intimate relationship with the Father, and in the relationship He
gives ongoing revelation as to who He is and what He is about, then the
building He is building will stand and it will grow and be vibrant and strong,
for just as my dad took me on his lap and took a hook and taught me how to make
a fly-hook, so my Heavenly Father lovingly picks me up, takes me on His lap,
and He shows me in a multitude of ways (through the Bible, interaction and
dialogue, etc) how to make the right "hook" to catch men! It is all based on
intimate love. Love is primary, doctrine is secondary but no less important.
But love is primary. Our unity is in the union we have with the Father just as
Jesus is one with the Father.Sam,

Feel free to use TC! It'll be like a "Magnum P.I." episode! :)

You wrote,

>>There are the broken and contrite brothers
who wear who they are on their sleaves. They are truthful when you ask them
how they feel. They are not shy to share their personal struggles, and by and
large this group is dying for relationship and intimacy, and they feel
vulnerable and lonely because the institutional church system has made fit
into a mold they know is not natural. They want to be brothers among brothers
and they want to be real with the people that they gather with.

Amen to that, Sam! I have a few friends like this. A few years ago God arranged
for a very special two years, where every one of us were in the same District,
the same part of the same State. But we have moved on -- two are in IN, one is
in MO, and the other in NE with myself in MA. We keep in contact regularly by
phone, but that doesn't replace personally being among a band of brothers in
one accord! We are all as different as can be, but what unifies us and brings
us together is trust in the Message, common belief. I miss that...

You wrote about another group of people in ministry:

>>Then there are those who work very hard on their image. They dress the
part, they have the right amount of aftershave. They know everyone by their
first name and all the names of the kids. They take memory courses to remember
the minutest details of people in their congregations. They even remember the
new watch they got on their anniversaries. They remember birthdays and they
remember all those things that make each one of us unique and distinct persons.
They even remember some of the youth and the sports teams they play for, and
they may even stop by and take in part of a game. But most of this is all image
and fluf hidden behind an agenda of getting a handle on their 'market share',
the people to whom they must give leadership to. I know about this group. I
was one of them, and many of my brothers in the ministerial are exactly cut
from that cloth. I did not fit that kind of professional ministry and that is
why I always got into 'trouble' when I was with them and with those who defend
that kind of ministry mentality.

I like to call them "suits" although most of 'em were of boomer age and mostly
wore khakis to the office and only wore their suits on Sunday morning while
preaching with the power point. Of course the tragedy of these guys is the fact
that they are very sincere, they honestly believe they are serving God the best
they can -- which in almost every case they really are. They go to that kind of
trouble to be effective, yes, and to be successful. But they mostly believe
they are being faithful as well, and they truly care about their congregations,
at least as much as they can.

It has been guys like this that have with much compassion and zeal driven me
and my wife to absurd extremes of pain and stress... And it has been these guys
that wouldn't know the Gospel if it came up and bit 'em! I disagree with what
you wrote:

>>I would say that with most of these brothers we all had the right message,
and the right theology, but there was little unity. I can only see
relationship as the foundation and basis of unity. I am not deminishing the
message of the Gospel or its content or the One who made it all possible. But
these things flow FROM the need for and the the reality of relationship which
includes transparency, intimacy, being real. How can the Bride of Christ be
who she is without transparency and honesty and realness? How can all the
passages of Scripture that deals with marriage, as in relatonship between the
Bridegroom and the Bride, really have any meaning apart from intimacy and
transparency? Yes, Jesus died to bring us into relationship, but the reason is
simple, love was the motivator, and the reason was to restore the broken love
relationship.

Not one of the guys I was on staff with had a clue! They were actually
preaching a lot of the words you have used, Sam. They spoke of intimacy and
transparency -- "God loves you just as you are, but He refuses to leave you
just as you are!" To them God was the healer of inner pain and dysfunctional
behavior that would set them free emotionally to really feel and experience
God. Many of these pastors had come out of complete horror stories before they
were saved and called into the ministry.

But the one thing they all had in common was they couldn't give anyone a clear
presentation of the Gospel! They could quote John 3:16, but for the life of
them they couldn't tell you what it meant. Not one of them would be caught dead
in any of the teaching passages of Paul's epistles -- I have yet to here a
sermon from Romans 9-11 -- almost 100% of them has been in Romans 8 and 12 --
the "practical" chapters. And I've been in church since before I was born!

I understand what you are saying -- but it is not the Gospel. It is the result
of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I affirm everything you say about relationship
with God and others -- but it is the result of the Gospel. By themselves,
without the context of the two sacraments, they cannot maintain unity.

You wrote:

>>If doctrine is the scaffolding of our unity, we are in trouble, for what we
are then building is religion and its various apparatus and props to enhance
the lives of people. In the end what you are left with is empty and shallow
and tasteless. But if unity is founded upon the reality of intimate
relationship with the Father, and in the relationship He gives ongoing
revelation as to who He is and what He is about, then the building He is
building will stand and it will grow and be vibrant and strong, for just as my
dad took me on his lap and took a hook and taught me how to make a fly-hook, so
my Heavenly Father lovingly picks me up, takes me on His lap, and He shows me
in a multitude of ways (through the Bible, interaction and dialogue, etc) how
to make the right "hook" to catch men! It is all based on intimate love. Love
is primary, doctrine is secondary but no less important. But love is primary.
Our unity is in the union we have with the Father just as Jesus is one with the
Father.

To me, there is no division (at least ideally) between mind and emotion, "head
knowledge" and "heart knowledge." How foreign this division must have been to
any pre-modern person! Our unity is based on doctrine because we walk what we
believe! Love and doctrine go hand in hand, my brother, at least as I try to
understand things. It is not an "either/or" situation...

I suppose we will have to agree to disagree, and affirm one another in our
mutual faith? I am very eager to do that, Sam! I have added you, your family,
and your ministry to my prayer list. And I am not praying that you'll see
things my way! I am simply praying God's blessings to you.

TC


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