New Testament Church Proliferation Digest

Spreading the Gospel via House Churches

New Testament Church Proliferation Digest Monday, January 14 2002 Vol 02 : 010
RE: [NTCP] Mentoring - how biblical is it?
Re: [NTCP] Upon what do we base our UNITY?

Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2002 12:42:00 -0500
From: forwarded
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Mentoring - how biblical is it?

From: "Primitive Christian Network" (a non-s*bscription address)


Peace to you brother in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. God has
always put a passion in my heart for the homeless and helpless. I would
encourage anyone to read the book "The Greatest Secret in the World" BY OG
MANDINO This is a great tool and resource to use to accomplish a lot with the
homeless people. It is also a good motivational tool.

Michael, It is my goal to someday camp with you in the parks of Jerusalem and
help reach these people. God is good. Keep up the work and be encouraged. The
Harvest is Great and the workers are few.

May God bless you, David

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Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2002 08:30:30 +0200
From: "Deborah"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Upon
what do we base our UNITY?

David Jaggernauth wrote:

>incidentally Michael, my last name is Hindi, it means universal one

What a fitting name as you seem to be in several cultures at once and a
bridge-builder between those of us who feel freedom to build specialized
buildings and those who have taken their churches (Christ's really) to their
houses. There is a legend or two about the "jaggernauth," is there not?

>Just wanted to drop a little note to say I really appreciate your [Sam's]
>personality and honesty. One of the major problems in the Church is the lack
>of this ... 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

There certainly is a need for those with a prophetic ministry to keep other
corners of the church in line with God's revelation. There should be those who
"stir the pot". However, my experience is that there are a lot of these
people-- too many of them who are out of control. We need the "pot stirrers,"
don't get me wrong. But such people also need to know when to back down.

Some on this list have said that it's all about ego with institutional church
pastor(s), but that has not been my whole experience-- and, incidentally, I
have never been a pastor. Furthermore, the pastorate is not the sole
repository of inflated egos. There are actually a lot of these "loose cannon
prophets" out there, "chomping at the bit" to be heard ... by someone. Anyone.
And their views don't necessarily stand up under scrutiny from the Scriptures.
History. Clear thinking. Yet they would be heard! Pure ego.

A pastor (shepherd) is by definition one who must-- among other duties-- guard
his "dumb [and smart] sheep" from danger. From predators. When a fellow sheep
with a "loaded doctrinal gun" comes barrelling into the meeting, somebody needs
to teach the would-be prophet/reformer a sense of propriety. Even if the
confrontation takes place as a quiet encounter at a cafe/home/office, and the
idea which the person has is legitimate, there still exists that commandment:
"Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as
men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a
burden, for that would be of no advantage to you" (Heb. 13:17). And: "Show
proper respect to everyone" (1 Pet. 2:17). When the church leadership simply
cannot embrace the views of the other party-- or they can sympathize, but
remain unconvinced it is worth taking immediate action on the issue-- then the
"sheep" with the "revelation" needs to "pull back the reins" on the matter.
Allow God in His timing to do His work. And He will ... if the issue is from
Him. If the leadership remains blind and blocks God's will, well ... there is
a judgment coming ("who must give an account"). After all, it is not theirs
... or *our* church, right?

I speak from a lot of experience as I am a "pot stirrer" myself. But I have
learned that it is most profitable to make only enough waves to draw attention
to a given matter; to bring it up to the leadership's consciousness. Too many
waves, or too big of waves, can cause unnecessary destruction. And (harmful)
division. A pastor who loves his flock should see that a persistent
trouble-maker-- one who continues to "stir the pot" despite warnings from the
congregational leaders-- is removed from the fellowship.

"Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have
nothing to do with him. You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful;
he is self-condemned" (Tit. 3:10, 11).

No doubt such a disgruntled prophet/reformer would find another place to
congregate. And propogate his/her views. And no doubt the responsible
leadership of a caring shepherd(s) would be construed to have been cold. Harsh.
Unloving. But those who "speak through their wounds" can rarely be objective
enough to be trusted with their negative evaluations. Their testimony most
often will be tainted. Colored by bitterness. So my friends, what do *you*
say we should do in these kinds of cases? Can this be part of the reason there
remains no great love lost between some segments of the house church and the
institutional church ?


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