New Testament Church Proliferation Digest

 

Spreading the Gospel via House Churches

 


New Testament Church Proliferation Digest Thursday, February 21 2002 Vol 02 : 046
Re: [NTCP] RE: Confronting the evidence
Re: [NTCP] RE: Confronting the evidence
[NTCP] Re: Confronting the evidence
Re: [NTCP] Re: Confronting the evidence
Re: [NTCP] Bishop does not automatically equal autocrat.
[NTCP] A Question on "bishops"
Re: [NTCP] Re: Confronting the evidence
[NTCP] RE: repeated post
Re: [NTCP] A Question on "bishops"
Re: [NTCP] Re: Confronting the evidence
RE: [NTCP] Re: Confronting the evidence
[NTCP] Re: confronting the evidence
Re: [NTCP] Re: confronting the evidence

Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 09:31:22 -0800

From: jferris

Subject: Re: [NTCP] RE: Confronting the evidence

Deborah wrote:

>If we are doing it God's way (i.e. according to the BOOK through His Spirit), >why would we have to sacrifice the corporate vision for a one man show? I >don't get it. Is this the way it *has* to be? Black or white?
>Bishop does not automatically equal autocrat.


Dear Michael,

It does not have to be "Black or white", nor does a bishop have to be
an outocrat. The problem is that the preoccupation with office creates
an environment that is ripe for the generation of bogus offices. A
preoccupation with office, fed by the hasty laying on of hands plays
into the snare of the devil. This is what happens when we try to make
youngers into elders.

The wine of control is so heady that it can turn the head of even
legitimate elders set in place by authentic apostles: "Also of your own
selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away
disciples after them." Acts 20:30. In and of itself, this is not
justification of rejecting the office, ministry or calling of any one,
but it does suggest, that we be very careful to test them that say that
they are apostles or elders or pastors or teachers or, or , or.

Two thoushand years of the institutional retardation of the saints at
the hands of "leadership" should be enough to give any reasonable human
being pause.

Yours in Christ,

Jay

~ ~ ~ ntcp info page: http://world-missions.org/planting ~ ~ ~

Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 10:42:59 -0500

From: "Michael Gastin"

Subject: Re: [NTCP] RE: Confronting the evidence

- ----- Original Message -----

From: "Deborah"
Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2002 3:23 AM

Subject: [NTCP] RE: Confronting the evidence

> If "bishops" are allowed by Scripture, why quibble about it,

(snip)

I understand that they are recorded in scripture as in early church
history - but I have to ask about Saul as king over Israel. He was allowed
by God to rule, but that rule was not blessed. It was permitted by God, but
Saul was clearly not God's best for Israel.

Maybe we need to talk about what is permissible and what is best? If we here
thought that the current western embodiment of Christianity was the optimal
we would not be even wasting our time on the list. But, I think it safe to
say that most here see a dire lack in what is put forth in popular culture
as "church".

So, rather than wrestle (quibble) over the existence of a mono - I think MM
has done a sufficient job showing that they existed in the early years -
let's figure out if a mono is the ideal.

Why settle for less than ideal? Why lower our standards just because some
other guy did? Why lay down and go with the flow, just because it is the
done thing?

Again, what is the ideal? Mono, stereo? (Sorry, could not help it!)

Mike

~ ~ ~ ntcp info page: http://world-missions.org/planting ~ ~ ~

Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 09:16:32 -0800

From: Dan Snyder

Subject: [NTCP] Re: Confronting the evidence

Dear David,

I hope you wouldn't be bothered with me, brother. The words above struck a
chord in me. (Probably because of some of the mistakes I've made in trying
to serve the Lord).

We have to be careful not to make ourselves the standard. If we do, we may
begin to "measure" the other saints - to see if they're up to our standard.
Even if we don't say anything, the saints can sense it.

I appreciate Paul's pattern. To the weak he became weak. He was willing to
meet others where they were at.

Zeal is wonderful - if it's Christ living in us. But if it's just our
natural zeal... that can do a lot of damage. Like the strange fire that
Aaron's two sons offered. Yes, it's burning. But the source is wrong. I'm
not saying your zeal is natural... I just know a lot of mine can be.

Anyway, a good way to lay down our soul life for the brothers is to drop our
standard. If a brother isn't up to my standard. That's okay. I'll come down
to his. Then maybe someday when I'm in need somebody will come down to mine.

This will help bring in the one accord.

Your brother (who's still learning the lessons),

Dan

~ ~ ~ ntcp info page: http://world-missions.org/planting ~ ~ ~

Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 17:45:59

From: "David Jaggernauth"

Subject: Re: [NTCP] Re: Confronting the evidence

Thanks Dan, I appreciate your experienced advice.

I will try to guard myself from making that kind of mistake. I do make it a
point to allow others to grow on their own, but sometimes i think they may
need encouragement. My main way of doing this is through prayer, not
necessarily verbally, because I realise it has to be something God initiates
and not a motivation of the flesh because of group pressure.

And I understand what you mean by coming down to our brother's standard.

I try not to measure others by myself, the truth is because I cannot. there
are others who are way past me in some areas, I would look very foolish if I
did.

I am still undergoing a process of de-programming. Some of the resources you
all have recommended to me have been extremely helpful
( esp. Fitts and Viola ).

I do love my brethren and want to see us all mature and come into the
fullness of God's purposes.

I was wondering something, does anyone have a video tape of one of their
housemeetings that they could share with me????

David Jaggernauth


~ ~ ~ ntcp info page: http://world-missions.org/planting ~ ~ ~

Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 19:26:54 +0100

From:

Subject: Re: [NTCP] Bishop does not automatically equal autocrat.

Stephanie wrote:
> Bishop does not automatically equal autocrat, Michael. You are
> correct, sir.
> :-)
>
> A true overseer manifests the character of Christ, and walks in a
> level of
> maturity that displays meekness, gentleness and the true authority
> of Christ.
> I have known such ones.
>
> However, just because something is permissible or allowable does
> not mean
> that it is ideal or edifying. The NT allows divorce for the
> reason of
> unfaithfulness, but is divorce good or godly?

Just a thought............
The Bible, allows for kings, When the people of Israel cried out for a
king so that they could be like other nations, God gave them one. Some
were good, most made a mess of it.

What they missed was that God wanted to be their King. He wanted to
lead them. And the same is true today, he wants all of us to hear His
voice and follow Him. But as in the old testament God had his prophets,
and appointed leaders to help Him guide His people (Most were good
although one or two messed up), so today under the new covenant He has
His servant leaders (Eph 4:11vv), and appointed leaders
(elders/bishops). We don't want Kings (Authorities) but we do want God
appointed leaders, and as He appoints them we need to recognise them
for what they are.

Blessings.
Keith

~ ~ ~ ntcp info page: http://world-missions.org/planting ~ ~ ~

Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 11:12:06 -0800

From: Dan Snyder

Subject: [NTCP] A Question on "bishops"

I need some help here :)

Are we all agreed that the role of the elder/overseers (I still have a hard
time with "bishop") is for and WITHIN a local church.

I'm not sure we're talking apples to apples.

Is anybody out there saying there are "extra local" elder/overseers who
administrate over multiple local churches.

As I read the New Testament I can see where there are apostles and workers
(like Paul and Timothy) who may help raise up and care for many local
churches, but I don't see the words "elders" or "overseers" being applied
above a local level.

Can ya'll help me get clear.

Thanks,

Dan

~ ~ ~ ntcp info page: http://world-missions.org/planting ~ ~ ~

Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 15:16:19 -0400

From: "David Jaggernauth"

Subject: Re: [NTCP] Re: Confronting the evidence

Thanks Dan, I appreciate your experienced advice.

I will try to guard myself from making that kind of mistake. I do make
it a point to allow others to grow on their own, but sometimes i think
they may need encouragement. My main way of doing this is through
prayer, not necessarily verbally, because I realise it has to be
something God initiates and not a motivation of the flesh because of
group pressure.

And I understand what you mean by coming down to our brother's standard.

I try not to measure others by myself, the truth is because I cannot.
there are others who are way past me in some areas, I would look very
foolish if I did.

I am still undergoing a process of de-programming. Some of the resources
you all have recommended to me have been extremely helpful
( esp. Fitts and Viola ).

I do love my brethren and want to see us all mature and come into the
fullness of God's purposes.

I was wondering something, does anyone have a video tape of one of their
housemeetings that they could share with me???? Mind you, its not that I
want to imitate what you do, but I am interested in seeing how you
express your meetings.

David Jaggernauth


~ ~ ~ ntcp info page: http://world-missions.org/planting ~ ~ ~

Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 19:35:25

From: "David Jaggernauth"

Subject: [NTCP] RE: repeated post

Dear list,

Please forgive me for repeating my last post, I had some trouble with my
email program.

Thanks

David Jaggernauth


~ ~ ~ ntcp info page: http://world-missions.org/planting ~ ~ ~

Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 20:49:56 +0100

From:

Subject: Re: [NTCP] A Question on "bishops"

Your right again ELDERS ARE LOCAL 2C no text in the Bible teaches other

than that 2E

keith

~ ~ ~ ntcp info page: http://world-missions.org/planting ~ ~ ~

Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 17:02:37 -0500

From: David Anderson

Subject: Re: [NTCP] Re: Confronting the evidence

Grace and peace,

I see that the Jim Rutz request to conclude this thread has not yet been
honored. LOL.

The question of the bishop vs elders serving as bishops (overseers) was
debated last century by men not of inferior learning. It was the
Anglicans vs the Presbyterians, not to mention some heavy-hitting,
Olympic-class Lutheran scholars. They left quite a paper trail - even
came to some conclusions that both sides eventually accepted. One
historian made the claim that the issue had been "removed from the list
of disputed matters." Whoa!

Bishop J.B. LIghtfoot was a main player for the Anglicans. If anybody
could have pulled it out in the ninth, twould have been he. He conceded
in his "Ministry" essay, which I'll post on the web in a day or two, that
the modern episcopate came into its own by the THIRD century A.D. It is
critical to notice that he did not base this upon biblical
considerations. He candidly admits, "As late therefore as the year 70 no
distinct signs of episcopal government have hitherto appeared in Gentile
Christendom" (p. 201). Lightfoot also affirmed that Clement ".. still
uses the word 'bishop' in the older sense, as a synonym for presbyter
(elder)" (p. 218).

Philip Schaff, the father of American church history, authored the eight
volume set entitled, History of the Christian Church. In the middle of
the first volume, he has a chapter devoted to the topic of "Organization
of the Apostolic Church". In those pages (491-504) he treats the
Scriptural and precedential portions of the first century church
including the equality of the Presbyter/Bishop.

These are good places to start, imo. I'll unearth, too, that famous
quotation about how theologians at the end of the nineteenth century of
"all shades and varieties" admitting to the equality of bishops and
elders in apostolic times.

In other words, MIchael, this very same battle has already been fought in
modern times on a massive scale. Your side lost. No disrespect, brother,
that's just the outcome.

Again, the Scriptures are completely silent concerning a one-bishop
church - local or regional. Yes, I concede that such is possible today
though unknown then - just as a church with 100 children and no adults is
also possible.

David Anderson

~ ~ ~ ntcp info page: http://world-missions.org/planting ~ ~ ~

Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 16:14:29 -0600

From: "Tony Dale"

Subject: RE: [NTCP] Re: Confronting the evidence

David and the list,

Loved your responce below, and especially the note that a church with
100 children and no adults is also possible. We could point you to
some, both abroad and here in Austin. Kids lack many of the hang ups of
adults and are great a leading without leaders!

Thanks,

Tony
www.thekarisgroup.com

~ ~ ~ ntcp info page: http://world-missions.org/planting ~ ~ ~

Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 10:45:26 +0200
From: "Deborah"
Subject: [NTCP] Re: confronting the evidence

TC wrote:

>... although I believe that during Jesus' day an ongoing debate was whether
>the Jewish husband could give his wife a certificate of divorce over anything
>he wanted to or not?

OOPS ... forgot about that one. Well, you are right-- there were some
injustices prepetrated against women in the name of good (G-D). One of the
reasons our Lord had some problems with those guys. Sometimes. Thanks for the
reminder. I appreciate your informed comments and justified critique of some
of the more extreme house church views. But I've received indicators that the
next generation of house churchers is finding its own identity and not
defining itself *against* the "institutional church " so much. A welcome
development.

Mike S. wrote:

>Do you know Dr. Randy Buth. If not, you might want to contact him. He has
>developed both a Greek and Hebrew language immersion style curriculum. The
>Hebrew one has students conversing in Biblical Hebrew in less than 2 months.
>The curriculum is consistent with the language models taught by Wycliffe Bible
>Translators (that's why it works so well since they have experience in over
>2500 languages!) I'd love to take it.

Randy Buth is my (... dare I say it on this list?) mentor. And friend. I am
one of his worst students, but no one else can boast of being more supportive
for his "language immersion" theory. He is one of the reasons I say so many
weird things on this list. All blame to him, please. If you want to do ULPAN
(language school) with him Mike, just DO IT! On the human level, he could use
the money since people are not exactly jumping on the planes to come to Israel
these days. He doesn't live high on the hog, and could use a few bucks in his
pocket. Plus, you would *certainly* benefit for life from "immersion" into
biblical Hebrew as a living language. You will learn to *think* in classical
Hebrew. Which will influence how you relate to the Greek text. Randy is also
fluent in spoken (obviously also written ...) KOINE Greek-- although he
wouldn't call it by *that* name. He recently went on a trip throughout Greece
speaking nothing but "NT" Greek. He said he did fine; most people knew exactly
what he was saying. Just some dialectical and vocabulary differences.

>Also, David Bivin's (and other's) stuff at www.jerusalemperspective.com. It
>wouldn't be hard for you to visit either of these places in person. Both
>emphasize (I think properly) the Jewish nature of the NT.

I have also been infected by the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Studies
"perspective"-- although I'm not convinced of Lukan priority, and a few other
core issues they emphasize. Nevertheless, David, Randy, two other students,
and I have spent many a night together reading Jewish Palestinian Aramaic texts
together in the Buth's modest house. On occasion I teach at their JSSS Bible
study at the Narkis St. Congregation. As does David. And Randy.

>My point is that if Luke is telling a story that transitions from Jew-centric
>to the-whole-world centric, we would expect to see Jewish oriented things in
>the beginning and we should see that focus fade away as we approach the end of
>the book.

Although I have heard this (what I consider "theologicaly-driven") reading of
Acts before, and can agree up to a point ("Jerusalem, all Judea, Samaria, ...
uttermost part of the earth"-- Act 1:8, doesn't imply givng up the ground
gained from the beginning, ie. Jerusalem, Judea, etc), that the focus of Lukes
narrative certainly takes the participants into the center of the gentile world
... and leaves them there, I am not arguing that all churches should have a
"synagogue flavor". My point from the beginning of this thread has been that
buildings, liturgy, and even single pastor congregations, are modeled or
allowed in the Scriptures. Therefore these three items cannot be the evils
many house churchers seem to think they are. My goal has been to show that
the Bible allows for more freedom to express "body life" than may exclusively
be had by *demanding* that all *real* NT meetings be "free-form" and held
within houses. That's it. My view (and I know this is yours too) is *not*
fixated on certain places (see Joh. 4!!!), but sees God as truly omnipresent,
able to meet us magnificently in the woods, under an overhanging rock, in a
cathedral, or in a living room. Again, I am coming against an absolute
position held by some on this list. And I'm armed with the Bible, history, and
archaeology-- the evidence I want some to confront.

Michael
Jerusalem


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


Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 09:44:37 -0800
From: jferris
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Re: confronting the evidence

Deborah wrote:

>Again, I am coming against an absolute position held by some on this list.
>And I'm armed with the Bible, history, and archaeology-- the evidence I want
>some to confront.

Dear Michael,

I wonder if James might help us out a little here: "Ye adulterers and
adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?
whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye
think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth
to envy?" James 4:4,5

I have yet to figure out how to go "institutional" without being friendly with
the world system. Let's call it, "world friendly", you know, kind of like "user
friendly". To make the Church "world friendly", requires that we convince the
world that they can see the kingdom of God, and define it well enough to make
it.... tax exempt, for instance. As I read the Scripture, it is difficult not
to conclude that that is a fraud.

It was a little different, the difference between this world and the next, for
Judaism to express itself through special buildings, although even then, it
seems to me, there were a few more "high places" than The Lord wanted, but for
"New Testament" people to express themselves that way, has thrown the world
"one hell of a curve ball". KJV

Yours in Christ,

Jay - alias: "black and white"

 


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