New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches



New Testament Church Proliferation Digest Tuesday, January 22 2002 Vol 02 : 017
Re: [NTCP] cell groups
[NTCP] Armageddon?
Re: [NTCP] cell groups - response to Jay
Re: [NTCP] Armageddon? - response
Re: [NTCP] Armageddon? - response
[NTCP] Re: A "Just War"
[NTCP] RE:armageddon
Re: [NTCP] Re: A "Just War" - response

Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 04:23:04 -0800
From: jferris
Subject: Re: [NTCP] cell groups

A word of caution; the result today will be the same as it was then. Most of
those who relate to God by appointment are very touchy about anything which
disturbs the status quo, (see Galatians 4:21-29). There is a better than even
chance that you will be thrown out, stoned, or both. The Gospel of Jesus
Christ is bad for business.

Viewed from one perspective, Jesus was crucified over the issue of job
security:

"Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not
only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.
So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him
many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in him. The
next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on
his way to Jerusalem."1.

"Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and
raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. Many people, because
they had heard that he had given this miraculous sign, went out to meet him. So
the Pharisees said to one another, "See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how
the whole world has gone after him!"2.

"Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because
of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put
out of the synagogue;"3.

So it is today. "Church" is big business, and from it, many make their living.
Even those for whom "church" is not financially rewarding have a substantial
ego-stake in plant, program, belief system, association, control, and false
doctrine.

The "promised land", the land of Canaan, was in the first instance the land of
merchants. Canaanite means merchant, (Perhaps we should add that, viewed from
one perspective, a merchant is an economic legalist.). This is to say that,
the land had originally been occupied by those who buy and sell. God's people
were instructed by The Lord to go into possess the land, driving out the
merchants as they entered. Jesus is bad for business, and so is the glorious
liberty of the rest of God's sons. The question is, "Will we go in?", will we
be instruments of God's redemption for those who are living in captivity to
this very day? Our mission is to set the captives free, not return again to a
yoke of bondage.

"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and
earth and does not live in temples built by hands, as if he needed anything for
he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else."4.

Nothing we can do can improve on God's work. On the contrary, our efforts in
this connection only defile the work of God, grieve the Spirit, and bring us
back into bondage. Galatians 4:1-11, 5:1. No amount of paper work can improve
on the work of the Holy Spirit. Zechariah 4:6. 1. JOH 12:9-12, 2.JOH 12:17-19,
3. JOH 12:42, 4. Acts 7:48,49 - -5-

In Psalms 135:15, the Bible tells us that, "The idols of the nations are silver
and gold, made by the hands of men." For present purposes, we would like to
focus on "...made by the hands of men." It is one thing for men, used and led
by The Spirit of God, to accomplish His purposes, but something else altogether
when men act in ways which are contrary to The Spirit as evidenced by his
revealed Word.

Too often the people of God want to be like the world. In Ezekiel we read, "You
say, `We want to be like the nations, like the peoples of the world, who serve
wood and stone'..."1. In this instance, the work of man's hands is described as
"...wood and stone." That this continues to be the case today is not so
difficult to appreciate, as the people of God are preoccupied with buildings,
while unable to get along with each other.

But Gentile style is not limited to physical plant, to buildings. Paul writing
to the Ephesians says, "So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that
you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their
thinking."2. It seems that it is not just what the Gentiles do that is a
problem, but the way they think. It is easy to see that we have erred where our
preoccupation with buildings is concerned. It is not so easy to see the error
of our ways where organization, structure and authority are concerned.

This having been said, our greatest challenge is to see and identify sin and
bondage for what it is without being offended and alienated. Remembering how
Jesus dealt with us in our error, weakness, bondage and sin, He identified with
us, He loved us, He redeemed us. As he was with us, so, in us, He will be
toward others. To be truly christian is to be redemptive, not only toward the
world, but toward others who we perceive as being "weak in the faith".

If we are persecuted or cast out, well and good, if we are redemptive, even
better. In either case our calling is to be faithful, not spiritually superior,
elitist, alienated or estranged.

Yours in Christ,

Jay


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Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 04:09:01 -0700
From: "David Cummings"
Subject: [NTCP] Armageddon?

The USA is getting ready to make Iraq the second target after Afghanistan
during the process of the global anti-terrorist operation. Experts say, the
Americans will attack Iraq not earlier, than around the middle or the end of
February. Debka, the news services, informed that the American pursuit planes
and the bombing planes will be dispatched in Kuwait, in Sinai and in the
Israeli Negeva. The command of the Third US Army, with Paul Mikolashek at the
head, has moved from Fort McPherson to Kuwait. Israel is becoming one of the
main supporting points during the attack on Iraq, the ammunition depots have
been arranged in the central and southern parts of the country. The American
ships have been delivering a lot of protection devices from gas, chemical,
biological attacks since the beginning of December of the past year.

The Third US Army consists of nine divisions; 75 thousand soldiers are going to
be dispatched to the Iraqi front by the beginning of February. The campaign in
Iraq will apparently differ from what the world was watching in Afghanistan.
There will be at least seven countries involved in the war against Saddam
Hussein's regime: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrein, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, and
Turkey. Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon are supposed to directly participate in the
army actions, like the Pentagon officials say.

The first goal of the American strike is the Iraqi political and army centers.
May of them are hidden deep under the ground, that is why the Americans will
try to get them out of there with the help of their bombs. The Turkish troops
will start the land operation in the north of Iraq during the second stage of
the operation. Debka did not inform on the way, how the Iraqi Kurds and the
Turkish military men are going to get along with each other, but the
negotiations on the subject have been reportedly started.

The third strike stipulates for the participation of the elite infantry troops
and the commandos of the USA, Israel, and Jordan. They will destroy the large
concentration of the Iraqi troops, the planes on the vast territory in the
central and northern parts of Iraq.

The special units of the allied countries are supposed to attack and then leave
the hotspot, without the lingering battles. As Debka reported, that tactics was
caused by the latest information of the American intelligence, which said that
Saddam Hussein carefully analyzed the war in the Persian Gulf of 1991 and the
current war in Afghanistan. He ordered to divide the most effective military
groups into the small ones, dispersing them all over Iraq. The numerous food
depots have already been prepared for those groups. The Americans have the
information, which says that the units of the Iraqi republican army have the
new light laser weapon, which is meant for blinding and burning the human skin.
The Iraqi soldiers are going to use that weapon against the American pilots of
the low-flying aircraft, since Saddam perfectly realizes that the airspace will
belong to the Americans from the first minute of the new war. The Iraqi troops
have already used such weapon before - in the war with Iran. The Iraqi army
also has the chemical weapon, the Americans do not know the exact nature and
scope of it. Iraq is ready for that war, and this makes the Americans delay its
beginning. The Pentagon decided to begin the operation in the north of Iraq,
because there was a large underground complex located there - almost like a
town for the Iraqi administration. The underground town was originally meant
for storing the bombs and explosives, but then Saddam ordered to build tunnels,
roads, living quarters, army headquarters there. The entire complex is meant
for the government of Iraq in case of the attack against the country.

The Americans are going to use bombs and missiles against that underground town
- the same, which were dropped on al-Qaeda's caves in Afghanistan. As the USA
believes, the destruction of the underground town will be enough for the
central headquarters to lose the command of the army.

Sergey Borisov PRAVDA.Ru http://english.pravda.ru/main/2002/01/21/25887.html
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov


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Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 07:46:26 -0500
From: "Samuel Buick"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] cell groups - response to Jay

Dear Jay:

You have summed up in better words than I what has been beating in my own heart
for the last couple of years.

The passage concerning the woman at the well is very significant as you clearly
point out. One of the denominational leaders that I am in very good
relationship with said to me recently, "There has never been a greater need to
evangelized the churched people than in our day. Much of what we have known
and understood by previous generations about liberty in Christ and a vital
energized relationship with Him has been lost. The current churched
generation, especially the sons and daughters of those who have come before
them, have become religious, and "Sunday Christians". We have failed the
current generation! With our focus on gathering those who have never heard, we
have forgot those who have been within our walls, and within our own homes! God
forgive us!"

The other funny/strange thing was, over the last year I have dilligently sought
the Lord about my ministerial credentials. I have spoken with former
credentialled pastors who either did not have the option to renew within their
denominational wineskins, or who were in essence 'defrocked' for their
ecclesiastical views, or who out of conviction gave them up, and some actually
tore them up and burned them.

I on the other hand sought the Lord for myself and I found myself in a unique
position.

1. I am in a fellowship of ministers who recognize that God will create a
particular wineskin and ministry for each person to work within, and as a
fellowship (denomination) they only want to bless what God is doing within that
wineskin.

When I went to them and spoke to them concerning church in the house and a
return to NT simplicity, they not only listened to me, they encouraged me. They
asked me to speak at denominational gatherings about the house church movement,
and many within the fellowship had been involved in it before the 'movement'
was even named a movement! Some missionaries in Africa, Asia, and in Spain and
in Eastern Europe had and still are keeping the gospel and church life as
simple as possible and are gathering in homes. This truly blessed me. They
even encouraged me to submit papers for consideration on the value of planting
house churches. In other words, this denomination, of which I am a part, has
embraced the house church movement, and has blessed my participation in it, and
have prayed with me and supported me publicly. As such, the fellowship is
based on relationships, relationship with God through Christ, and relationship
with one another and with the greater Body of Christ. I cannot reject them,
and nor do I want to. Keeping my credentials with them gives be a bridge to
those who are skeptical or suspicious about house churches.

2. The Lord gave me a revelation that as Paul remained a Hebrew of Hebrews and
sought to win them by being all things to all men, likewise for me, I can be
all things, especially to those who as you say, 'have appointed places for
God', and seek to reveal the intimate life that Christ has promised us.

3. I have embraced the whole body of Christ in our city and region, and as such
I seek to build bridges with those who seek deeper intimacy with Jesus and
those who see the Kingdom coming in fulness in their own hearts and in the
lives of those they are in communion within the ekklesia. As such, our house
church network has worked at building relationship with others who do have
'appointed places' and have sought to pour out of their own lives the life that
God has poured into them. In fact last Friday night, we had another house
church represented, and four other institutional church bodies represented as
we gathered together around Christ. The unity was in the Father as the Son is
in union with Him. We knew we were at the feet of Jesus, and the structures,
did not matter. All the people marvelled at the simplicity and the realness of
being One in Him, and in resting in His love, and the love that flowed to one
another. Keeping my credentials has made it easier for me to build relationship
with those within the institutional church .

In late Dec. last year, I asked the Lord to clearly indicate to me what I ought
to do and this was the sense I had. 1. The Fellowship (denomination) supports
the vision of house church and support me in this vision. 2. The form of the
wineskin (house church)is not the issue, the vitality of intimacy with Jesus
and intimacy with one another and body life expression is the issue. The
pattern is in the intimacy and life expressed, not the gathering or meeting
place. But the meeting place can either support or hinder intimacy,
expression, life and ministry. The 'house/home' is more condusive to that
pattern of life and ministry than the 'church building'. 3. Keeping the
credentials eliminates the threat to many within the local ministerial and
builds bridges. Until that is no longer needed, I should keep the credentials.
4. The choice was up to me, but there were consequences to my choices. And
just last Saturday I heard some brothers from other house churches say, they
wished that they could have retained relationship with those they left from the
institutional church . I find that I can keep relationship by keeping my
credentials. If I can be all things that I may win some. Then so be it. BTW,
the ministerial knows that I will not call them by their 'title' and that
irritates some, and they know that if they come to a gathering, they will
simply be recognized "... a brother from the fellowship that gathers at..." So
as odd as that is for some. They know who I am and where I am coming from.

Thanks Jay for this. Can't wait for part two!

Blessings, Sam


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Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 08:04:55 -0500
From: "Samuel Buick"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Armageddon? - response

Can somebody, please, anybody, explain to me, and justify to me, this
'terrorist' war against Iraq!

I will be opposed to this war not just in my prayer closet, but on the streets!
I was opposed to my governments participation in Afghanistan! I am even more
opposed to this one! How arrogant is this US administration?! I am baffled.
Where are the Christians in all this? Are they blindly waving their Stars and
Stripes and cheering the troops? My God, have mercy on us! What are we doing?

There is nothing righteous in this war. In fact, it looks to me like the US is
becoming the 'beast' and the 'terrorist' in its demand for revenge and blood! I
am aching in my spirit and inner man. I cannot describe to you the anguish I
feel.

My fear is that there will be a huge backlash against the US for this. Where
are the Brits, the French, the Germans, the Canadians. They are all strangely
silent. Do they know something we don't?

God have mercy on us.

Aching in Canada,

Sam


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Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 08:30:15 -0800
From: jferris
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Armageddon? - response

Samuel Buick wrote:

>
>Can somebody, please, anybody, explain to me, and justify to me, this
>'terrorist' war against Iraq!

Dear Sam,

Thanks for the last! As for this one, I think it's called, "We have met the
enemy, and they are us."


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Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 09:53:37 EST
From: TheologusCrucis

Subject: [NTCP] Re: A "Just War"

Sam and Jay,

Greetings, dear brothers! I just had to respond to this one as I have recently
emerged bloody and wounded from another list from protesting that at best war
is a necessary evil. All the nice conservatives on that list questioned if I
should even have citizenship!

However -- I do believe the US can with some justification wage this war. The
nations of this world are not the kingdom of God or the body of Christ. They
are distinct, and to mix them is deadly. As Paul wrote, governments are given
their authority to rule from God, and that authority includes wielding the
sword:

"Obey the government, for God is the one who put it there. All governments have
been placed in power by God...." ff. Romans 13:1-7

The government role should be one of protection for it's citizens, both
domestically and internationally. Governments are to restrain the impulses of
our depraved natures thru enforcing laws. Paul says, "For the authorities do
not frighten people who are doing right, but they frighten those who do
wrong.... But if you are doing something wrong, of course you should be afraid,
for you will be punished. The authorities are established by God for that very
purpose, to punish those who do wrong."

And Paul also says to pay taxes, as taxes keeps the government workers fed and
clothed while doing their job. Taxes pay for the military -- especially in Rome
and the Empire that Paul lived in. The military has the same role as the police
and the courts: protection of the citizen and justice.

I believe that the US can justify these incursions because of the danger to US
citizens abroad and at home. Afghanistan gave refuge to a group that attacked
the US, and Iraq has a history of trying to develop weapons of mass
destruction.

Yet Christians must be very acutely aware that their first allegiance has
changed -- baptism signified a radical realignment of loyalties. The nations of
men work opposite of the Kingdom of God. Jesus said not to resist the evil man,
and to pray for those who persecute you. That vengeance (justice), an eye for
an eye, a tooth for a tooth, isn't for us in this new Nation of God, it is
God's business. Forgiveness is at the center of our national/family life. The
Christian reaction to 9/11 is to forgive and actively pray for those who did
this.

The church cannot be co-opted into the State, each reinforcing the other. I
believe the church must be a separate nation, a different people, a culture all
their own. In our gatherings, whether institutional church or house church, we
must be about our Father's business -- His Kingdom and not American foreign
policy. But I believe we must let the US do what God has shared His authority
with them to do: protect their citizens and their interests. It is when
countries abuse that authority -- as in Viet Nam -- that the Church finds God's
Kingdom engaging the that nation and is justified, indeed is compelled, to
protest in defense of the little, the least, the last, and the lost.

It's my personal belief that any authority figure in the US or Canada that has
any responsibility for sending troops into danger be required to watch "Saving
Private Ryan" and "Black Hawk Down." They may not be so fast on the trigger and
reserve military strength for when it is the only option left.

TC


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Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 18:17:48
From: "David Jaggernauth"
Subject: [NTCP]
RE:armageddon

Theo said:

I will be opposed to this war not just in my prayer closet, but on the streets!
I was opposed to my governments participation in Afghanistan! I am even more
opposed to this one! How arrogant is this US administration?! I am baffled.
Where are the Christians in all this? Are they blindly waving their Stars and
Stripes and cheering the troops? My God, have mercy on us! What are we doing?
I would like to make a comment here. I was also opposed to the war on
Afghanistan and feel that it could have been done diffrently. The Christian's
response is obviously, feed your enemy or give him water.

It would have been a wonderful chance to win over the hearts of the Afghan
people if they were given food and shelter instead of bombs and bullets.
nevertheless, we cannot escape the fact that there will be wars.

For many years I have been looking at the world situation and cannot help but
see a pattern emerging that tells me war against Israel is very near and thus
fullfilment of endtime prophecy. I ususally look at news from the China news
service and there are things happening that I find suspicious. For a long time
I have believed that there are people and countries that are meeting secretly
and planning to do things that are unknown to the United States. I believe that
there are people ( countries) that have set them selves up as friends to the
USA and are really plotting behind their backs.

A couple years ago I was discussing endtime prophecy with a small group and
said that I sense that we may be coming to a close soon. i went on to say that
I sense that if China declares war on Taiwan it would signal that the last
battle is near. Two days later the Chinese govt. made a public statement that
they do not rule out the use of force against Taiwan.

More recently I have noticed that China has been developing friendly ties with
many countries in the world, my own included, no doubt to peddle influence.
They are in the process of signing some kind of joint defense agreement with
Russia and Russia has publicly stated its support for china's claim over
Taiwan.

You may ask what is the significance of all this? Russia and China have been
developing close links and we as know many believe these are the two countries
spoken of in the bible that will lead the assault against Israel. They will
obviously have to be allies.

Recently when the Russian airliner with many jews was shot down the Israeli
prime minister made it clear that Israel was prepared to stand alone and will
not become another Czechoslovakia, meaning that it will not be sacrificed for
the sake of peace with the arab world.

Even though the war on the Taleban has ended i do not believe that the war on
America has. I believe there might be another attack on AMerica, worse than the
first and America will want to retaliate in a way that will cause escalation.
The only solution to the Arab problem which the UN together with the Allies
will find would be to remove Israel. Obviously the Israeli people will not want
to be moved and will have to be moved by use of force. I believe America
because it has been close allies with Israel will not take part in this, also
they may not want to risk another terrorist strike on them by trying to stop
the attack on Israel this would explain why America isnt named amongst the
nations that would invade Israel in the bible. This scenario could set up the
entire closing stages.

There seems to be allegiances being developed in the east and north amongst
lesser developed countries that I believe want to create a situation so that
the balance of power in the world will shift away from the west. To promote
this I can see China and Russia wanting to develop allegiances with the Arab
world. Russia recently signed an arms deal with Iran worth 2Billion$.

Of course all this is just a scenario which I believe could happen and then
again it may not. However, I came acros a prohecy recently that seemed to
confirm much of this, I would like to post it but I know we are supposed to be
discussing church planter not Eschatology. If anyone is interested in seeing it
let me know, i'll post it.

David Jaggernauth
Trinidad


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Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 14:40:34 -0500
From: "Samuel Buick"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Re: A "Just War" - response

Hi TC:

I understand your arguments, as I defended Augustine's premise of just war in
seminary, but it won't wash.

Just as you said, we as believers are a different nation, and we need to wage
war in the heavenlies, and not in the wanton killing and murder in the natural.

We wage war on our knees and not with napalm! We wage war through the words in
our Bibles, and not bullets! We wage war through healing and binding up wounds,
and not in being the cause of them! We wage war by turning the other cheek, and
loving our enemy, and in feeding and clothing and caring for him. Doesn't look
like the war in Afghanistan to me!!!! And it won't be that way in Iraq either!

No sir, we need to awaken from our slumber and we need to repent and seek the
mercy and forgiveness of God, and not justify our wars by differientiating
between secular and sacred! God is the ruler of the universe and satan is the
usurper! We have had the Kingdom come, and it is a Kingdom of hearts, and it
is extended one person at time! Just how many Afghans have been won to Christ
through this war? How many Afghans love the west or the US more now because of
this war? Just how many tears has Jesus wept interceding for us as we battle a
spiritual war with the weapons of flesh?! How many rivers of tears has He shed
for the dead that we are responsible for?

I ache just thinking this through.

Sam


End of New Testament Church Planting Digest V2 #17

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