New Testament Church Proliferation Digest

 

Spreading the Gospel via House Churches

 


New Testament Church Proliferation Digest Thursday, February 7 2002 Vol 02 : 033
Re: [NTCP] RE: house church: Trinidad
Re: [NTCP] Re: house church: Trinidad
Re: [NTCP] RE: church planter Trinidad
[NTCP] RE: Confronting the evidence
Re: [NTCP] Allegorical interpretation (was: Confronting the evidence)
Re: [NTCP] RE: Confronting the evidence
Re: [NTCP] RE: Confronting the evidence
[NTCP] time out
[NTCP] NTCP: RE church planter Trinidad

Date: Wed, 06 Feb 2002 16:18:02
From: "David Jaggernauth"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] RE: house church: Trinidad

Yes. That would be good.

From: Vanessa
Subject: [NTCP]
>RE: house church: Trinidad Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2002 00:00:58 -0500
>
From: Link Hudson
>
>My brother and sister-in-law may be going to Venezuela soon. I don't know what
>part. If they go near you, would you like to meet them?


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Date: Wed, 06 Feb 2002 16:28:53
From: "David Jaggernauth"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Re: house church: Trinidad

Michael said:

>I have been praying for Christ's resurrection power to break
>through the demonic strongholds in your sphere of influence in Trinidad.

Thank you very much, we need it. I will be seeing the woman this afternoon.
Our country is filled with demonic activity and demonic prctices in the guise
of religion. We have been told that there is even human sacrifice that takes
place but very secretly.

The type of practices that are prevalent are, Hinduism,Islam, Obeah(a form of
African black magic like voodoo), witchcraft and various aberrations of
Christianity mixed with African shango, also Orisha.

Your prayer support is much appreciated and needed, we do not have a Church
praying for us, we are just five of us.

David Jagg.


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Date: Wed, 06 Feb 2002 16:51:37
From: "David Jaggernauth"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] RE: church planter Trinidad

Link said,

>I know you are expecting persecution from the religious establishment, and
>some of it may come. But one house church writer says that a lot of house
>church people don't really experience persecution. They just get ignored. Some
>people pull out of big churches after years of attending, and no one calls
>them to see what happened.
>
>If your work is mostly evangelistic, it might be largely ignored by a lot of
>the bigger churches.

I am hoping that this would the case, we are concerned a bit about what happens
when people that we teach the truth about some common full gospel practices go
into their churches. Not everyone that comes to our meetings are non Church
goers.

We are hoping to tap into the resources (human) that are lying dormant in the
Church right now. These are the ones we want to mobilise to really reach the
lost.

The pastors are very territorial here, if they hear someone is holding meetings
in their area they will investigate and then call one another. Much of what
house church people believe will be like heresy here. The Church here is very
heavy into the covering doctrine as well as the tithing thing. Most of the
pastors here read books from America and look at TBN, so they are fed by
proponents of these teachings and think that anything else would be heresy.

I told the group that we have to be very careful. I dont want to stir up a
hornets nest too soon. Fortunately there are some pastors who will embrace this
kind of work and I intend to reach out to these. We could get these
congregations involved.

We have a very closely knitted society here.

David Jagg.


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Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2002 10:29:20 -0800
From: Dan Snyder
Subject: [NTCP] RE: Confronting the evidence

Amen Mike,

I was thinking that since the Lord is mainly working to build up His Body in
this age it's best if we can labor with Him according to the principles of the
Body.

One big principle is not to do things alone. I appreciate how the Lord sent the
brothers out two by two in Luke 10. One could argue that just applies to
preaching the gospel, but I think there's a real principle there.

Just like we all can enjoy the Lord's presence alone. But when "two or three"
gather - we get the Lord's presence in a particularly promised way. It seems
the Lord gives us an incentive to do things corporately.

It's also for protection. We're all at least a little off balance. If there's
no one to balance us there's a real danger that our personal peculiarities can
damage whatever we touch. By being yoked with at least one other brother (more
if possible) we give the Lord an opportunity to check and balance us through
(and for) the Body.

And that's just for us "regular brothers". How much more the principle applies
to the elders in a local church!!!

Any elder who knows the Body, and who cares for the church in his place will
surely seek the Lord for a companion - just to help protect the church from his
own peculiarities :)

Dan

Ps. Just for consideration... the terms "overseer" ("bishop" makes me a little
uneasy for some reason) and "elder" should really apply to the same brothers in
a local church. "Elder" describes what they are (a matter of life). "Overseer"
describes what they do (a matter of function).

A good illustration of this is in Acts 20 where Paul is talking to the brothers
from Ephesus. In v. 17 they are called "elders", and in verse 28 Paul calls
them "overseers" when talking about their function.


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Date: Wed, 06 Feb 2002 19:43:01 +0100
From:
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Allegorical interpretation (was: Confronting the evidence)

I kinds think Freud missed it to .

Please everyone I am not Freudian!!!!!

Love to all Keith


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Date: 06 Feb 2002 14:46:26 -0500
From: Mike Sangrey
Subject: Re: [NTCP] RE: Confronting the evidence

A couple of thoughts.

One. There was nonepiscopacy, monoepiscopacy, and multiepiscopacy. Titus was
told to appoint elders in every city (Titus 1:5; we presume there was none
there to begin with), and Paul and Barnabus did the same on their return trip
(Acts 14:23). The point is that these churches were honest to goodness
churches BEFORE the elders were present.

And, frankly, there is no text where a NT author explicitly teaches that there
MUST be a plurality of elders in a church. If plurality were essential, then
the teaching would be there. So, I have to agree that a single elder is
possible. However, I also have to recognize that a plurality was looked at
favorably. The Acts 14:23 text rather clearly indicates that EACH church ended
up with more than one elder.

Two. God isn't interested in perfecting a system. He doesn't want us to
think, "Boy, if we just get this last little gear in place we'll be there and
the thing will just work beautifully all by itself." That's not where His
heart is, it shouldn't be where our heart is either.

What He wants is for us to grow and be growing. Us as individuals and us as a
group are to grow. However, growth is not measured by cogs in the machinery or
how well the machine is running. It is measured by how well we love each
other. Ironically, the clearest way of determining how well we measure up is
for the machinery to not work.

So, I say that to say the issue is NOT the number of elders. Should there be
elders? Yes, there should be. But maybe a particular group is not ready for
it yet. They're not mature enough for one or more elders. Should there be a
plurality of elders? Yep! But maybe they aren't ready for that either.

ISTM, first, you need to get a good definition of what elders actually do. The
commonly held viewpoint is that elders lead. And by `lead', what is meant is
usually direct people and/or administer the machine. This is deeply
unfortunate. I find the fact that the qualifications and examples of elders
("leaders") in the NT hover around maturity. I also find the fact that Titus
was to appoint elders in each CITY quite intriguing. There very well be an
assumption that elders were seen as having responsibility for the CITY
(believer and unbeliever alike!) This would tie together evangelism,
sacrificial love to outsiders, and the church herself. It would even tie
together multiple expressions of the church which happen to exist in one city.

I might add that the commonly held viewpoint that a plurality of elders
prevents abuse of authority is misguided. I've seen cases where the plurality
of elders actually concentrated the power into that group. Once that was
established it was impossible to fix (a threefold cord is not easily broken).
What prevents abuse of power is the recognition that the power an elder has is
vested solely in their character. To the extent they are examplars of Christ,
they exhibit authority. A failure in character is to be met with public
exposure of the sin. And the sphere of their authority lies in the realm of
maturity and not in anything that can be programmed, mechanized, or published
in a rule book. These people know how to love.

So, how many elders do you need? Well, if everyone is loving, none. If your
adding a lot of baby Christians, your going to need a number of them to help
everyone help everyone. There's a bunch of issues here. Is there persecution
going on? People mature more quickly in that environment and more elders are
needed and needed sooner.

Now, I realize these quickly typed ideas do not form a nice, neat, little
package. With these ideas, you can't dump the whole elder question and other
questions in the hopper and turn the crank and out pops the magical answer. I
hope I wouldn't suggest such a thing. But, a magic music box is not what God
wants. He wants people to work together to bring each other into a fuller
knowledge of Himself and what it means to love each other. (Don't limit
`knowledge' to one particular type.) Does that REQUIRE elders, all other
variables purposely forced to the side? Well, no, life isn't single variable.
Is a plurality of elders a good thing and should we figure out what that means
so we can pray for it and seek it and find out what we need to do in order to
bring it about in the respective cities and churches? Yes. Absolutely.

Well, I probably should apologize since I've probably raised more questions
then I've answered. Maybe this will trigger some thoughts from someone else
more mature that me. Or even less mature. I think we're all in this together.

Mike Sangrey
Landisburg, Pa.

"The first one last wins." "A net of highly cohesive details reveals the
truth."


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Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2002 15:43:37 -0500
From: David Anderson
Subject: Re: [NTCP] RE: Confronting the evidence

>David, under the conditions described above, could you then see "the
>real need for such a position"-- at least a temporary MONOEPISCOPACY? What do
>you (or anybody) think?

Hey buddy, hey buddies,

I described the historical bishop - not the Scriptural one - in my previous
message. A Scriptural bishop is simply an overseer as the word denotes. Of
course he is needed!

Now, it is the ELDERS of the church who are charged with this oversight task.
Thus the term bishop and elder are used interchangeably in Scripture. Oversight
is the plain (?) function of these elders. It's what they are ordained to do.

Just as the elders are occasionally referred to as bishops on account of their
"bishoping" task, so they are also called shepherds as they fulfill their
"shepherding" role. These alternate titles concern function however - - not the
hierarchy and the special religious privileges that historical bishops have
assumed.

Could it be any simpler??? It isn't simple, though, because instead of going
from point A to B we went astray, going from A to Q, and now must retrace our
steps through layers and centuries of false traditions.

And furthermore, the fact that a category of persons is commissioned to a task
certainly does not exclude others. Example: "Calling the elders of the church
to pray" would not exclude non-elders, whose prayers are also important.

Maybe we ought to be asking about the identity of the elders, then. But whether
they are simply older ones or appointed officers makes little difference at
this point in the discussion. Regardless of that, to them belong the job
description of overseer, i.e. bishop.

David Anderson


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Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2002 14:07:40 -0800
From: Randall M Richards
Subject: [NTCP] time out

Hi All, I am one of those quiet ones who has had little time to write. As of
the beginning of this year my job has forced me to work midnight till about ten
A.M. I am just surviving and my time is thin. So for now, I will have to opt
out. Either this has to go or my family or my position helping to oversee 18
M's in various nations.

I do hope to opt back in the future. I actually hope to get out of my job at
UPS and move into something else. If you think about it, you could pray about
it for me. I'm going to miss you guys, especially the wild church planter guru
George of the jungle (oops, I mean of Western Sem.) At least I live near you,
George.

Randy Richards

"For a full 180 days he displayed the vast wealth of his kingdom and the
splendor and glory of his majesty."


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Date: Thu, 07 Feb 2002 16:18:54
From: "David Jaggernauth"
Subject: [NTCP] NTCP: RE church planter Trinidad

Dear Friends, I have a good report to bring you, our meeting with the hindu
woman brought three new souls into the kingdom, actually four, her sister (also
a hindu) was very excited when she heard we were coming and wanted to be there
but her son got sick (not surprised) and she couldnt, however she will be
coming to our next house meeting.

The lady we saw was literally transformed her face was very full of joy, and
she is really excited about all this. She is a little worried about the
repercussions from her family but we are there with her and will see her
established in the faith. It is quite normal here that when hindus get saved
they are ostracised and victimised by their family.

I have a friend who, when he got saved, was put out of the house by his father.
He slept in a cane field, he was still a young boy at the time. Some are
verbally abused and assaulted. It is very difficult for hindu converts. My wife
had a difficult time when she got saved but her sister who was first saved had
it even worse. Her father locked her out of the house one night after she had
gone to Church and called her names like slut and whore.

Even my own self, even though I wasnt a hindu (Presbyterian), when i got saved
I had a hard time with my father (who had very strong hindu roots), he told me
I was crazy and should go see a psychiatrist. We had quite a few words and I
told him he was going to be born again whether he liked it or not (I was very
cocky back then). About two years later he was telling everyone that he was
born again. He went to be with the Lord about a year ago, a saved man.

Fortunately for our friend last night she is married and lives with her husband
and children. Its usually the parents who give the most trouble.

We thank God for the grace that He is extending towards us and are looking
forward to many great things. The only problem I have though is that I seem to
have trouble falling asleep at night, my soul is very stirred at the moment, I
am so filled with joy. That is a good problem though.

One of my prayers is that God will raise up amongst us, fivefold ministry and
giftings. I see the fivefold gifts present in each of our team members but it
is somewhat dormant, it has to come to the surface and manifest itself more.

Thanks for your prayers.
David Jaggernauth
Trinidad

New Testament Church Proliferation Digest V2 #33

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