New Testament Church Proliferation Digest

 

Spreading the Gospel via House Churches

 


New Testament Church Proliferation Digest Friday, March 22 2002 Vol 02 : 059
Re: [NTCP] Query
Re: [NTCP] Query
Re: RE: [NTCP] Query
[NTCP] A good website
Re: RE: [NTCP] Query
Re: [NTCP] Query

Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 07:31:37 -0500
From: jferris
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Query

Deborah wrote:

>Now I'd like to anchor my objection about anybody's use of 1 Joh. 2:27 as a
>proof-text for "free-form" meetings a little deeper since INA TIS DIDASKE UMAS
>("... that anyone teach you"-- 1 Joh. 2:27) can be better translated, "that
>anyone *keep* teaching you". DIDASKE is present tense (active voice,
>subjunctive mood) and that is the Greek present tense's most basic meaning--
>action in progress (Dana, H.E. and Julius R. Mantey. A MANUAL GRAMMAR OF THE
>GREEK NEW TESTAMENT. NY: Macmillan Co. 1955, pp. 181-82). John's statement
>implies that instruction on the topic had already occurred before he wrote his
>letter. By a human teacher(s). Most Bible believing commentators on 1 Joh.
>2:27 take this same position. The proper interpretation of the passage is
>then that John's audience had *already* been taught the things mentioned in
>context about the anti-christ(s)/deceivers (1 Joh. 2:22-26). It is stated
>explicitly a few verses before.

Dear Michael,

This past Monday, something sruck me about meeting style. It is an
understanding of content in the context of a gate.

There is a long standing meeting in a nearby city. Recently, it has become
clear that this particular meeting is a gate into the city. It is not a leaders
meeting per se, but there are leaders who attend. In some sense there has been
the same confusion there that often attends leaderless meetings of the saints.
This meeting is very well orchestrated, and what struck me was that a gate does
not need leaders, because a gate is not going anywhere. Gates don't move. they
are either narrow, wide or broken down. What they need is traffic lights,
overseers, elders. The overseer of this gate has done a magnificent job in that
capacity.

With a gate, it is very important to keep people from parking their agenda in
the gate, because that only narrows the gate or slows down traffic. Also
putting up bill boards hinders the smooth flow of traffic. There are those who
are constantly wanting to advertise who they are, working on bill board
erection or maintenance almost every week. The gate needs to be kept clear so
that as many as possible can get to see Jesus. He is in the city. The gate is
just a legal point of entry. Those who come some other way are robbers and
thieves.

It is apparent, however, that some robbers or thieves are very bold, rather
than going over the wall, they try to take control of a gate. This is what
makes identifiable overseers very important. Once people know that the gate is
not going anywhere, they may not be so anxious about leadership issues."

Recently the interaction in the gate has been the best I have seen at. The last
meeting we discussed "culture clash". About three quarters of the way through
the discussion, I noted that a recent prophetic word on the subject seemed to
have its focus on what I would call ecclesiastical culture clash. For me it
came down to the conflict between one man dominated church, and the church as
revealed in 1 Corinthians 14.

Perhaps more than anything else, the need to be center stage is born out of
insecurity.

That stirred the coals a little. The heat of the interaction brought a lot of
impurities to the surface. The place even began to smell a little better
spiritually. From what I could tell, everyone who was there, (about 30), was
very encouraged.

All of this to say, that your observation above is a good one. It's one thing
to bring people to Jesus, it's quite another for a leader to dominate their
time together, once they have gotten to know him well enough to see Him in each
other. Romans 15:14: "And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that
ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish
one another."

Yours in Christ,

Jay


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Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 09:07:32 -0500
From: AOM Canada
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Query

Jay, and all on the list:

Received very similar revelation concerning gates as entry points for people.

I recall that elders sat at the gate, including female judges, and there passed
judgments concerning issues facing the people. It began with Moses making
decisions for the people by the entry point to the tent. You get a good
picture of the gatekeeper (elder) and the watchmen when you read of Absolom's
rebellion against David. David sat at the gate, and the watchman told David
that a messenger was coming in the distance. To my own understanding of
typology, this is the eldership/apostleship (David) sitting in the place of
decision making in the place of traffic (gate) and relying on the prophetic
ministry (watchman or 'seers') to inform him of what he sees in order to make
the right decisions.

Blessings,

Sammy


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Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 18:22:41 +0100
From:
Subject: Re: RE: [NTCP] Query

Hi Michael,

I agree with you that there has to be some form to our meetings,
and in all probability the NT form was similar to synagog meetings. But i was
answering a particular point. If you came to our meetings you would quickly see
a form to them. It seems to be that's how God wants it for now, but if he wants
t change that's fine too. I still regularly teach here, but with my deliberate
hands off style I find that folk move into building up oneanother in love
sooner. When i see something off kilter, I'm sure to bring some apt teaching to
bring balance once again, but more often than not the Holy Spirit beats me to
it, and thats just fine by me.

Blessings and prayers,

Keith


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Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 19:55:36 -0500
From: forwarded
Subject: [NTCP] A good website

From: "David Cummings"

House church participants, hosts and -leaders, whatever that is: This is YOUR
website! Says editor Svend Lobner Madsen, house church coordinator in DAWN
Europe about a new website: www.shareonhousechurch.net

The site is meant to be "interactive" in a way where housechurch people, who20
have started one or more housechurches can share their story, their experiences
and their resources for the benefit of others like them and others who are
interested in launching a house church in their neighborhood.

In the beginning, I have contributed with 3 stories. This is not to put
attention to myself, but to inspire others to participate, says Madsen. Send
the material to me at svend(--AT--)ressourcen.dk and I will put it up, updating
on a weekly basis.

In both the story and the experience part honesty is valued: - It doesn't have
to be success stories! House church planting is tough, and sometimes boring.
But nevertheless it is imperative, that christian fellowship be demonstrated on
the grass root level.

The initiative is a part of the work of DAWN Europe (www.dawneurope.net), an
organization linked with DAWN International (www.dawnministries.org). Through
various church models, DAWN seeks to promote "saturation church planting" in
discipling a whole nation.


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Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 20:00:15 -0800 (PST)
From: Link H
Subject: Re: RE: [NTCP] Query

Michael Millier,

The implications of liturgy in early meetings might be slightly implied, if you
read between the lines, but the NT doesn't _teach_ us to be liturgical. THe
text doesn't emphasize it.

There was something to Christian church meetings that was different from the
meetings in the synagogues. Christian meetings involved regular believers
using spiritual gifts to edify one another. We see a lot of instructions in
the NT about believers using their gifts to edify one another. From reading I
Corinthians 14, we could see that Paul was pleased with a meeting where 'all
prophesied.' How could this have taken place in a meeting which was strictly
liturgical, following a Jewish synagogue liturgy?

The 'liturgy' of the early church allowed for Agabus to stand and prophecy. It
instructed the prophet speaking to yeild the floor to another who received a
revelation. Maybe the reading of scritpure was done in a liturgical pattern.
Maybe they read according to a schedule. But the Bible doesn't even go into
detail about this. We can only guess based on cultural context. But the Bible
does give us explicit instructions about incorporating those more 'spontaneous'
utterances of prophecy into our meetings. I Corinthians 14 doesn't say
anything about doing the liturgy right.

We also need to keep in mind that the synagogue meeting allowed for regular
members of the synagogue to preach, incorporated several people in the
congregation in the work of reading the scriptures (in Hebrew/Aramaic
synagogues, at least) and had a forum during which men could discuss the
scriptures and the sermon for today--not things many of us associate with
modern church 'liturgy.'


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Date: Fri, 22 Mar 2002 09:43:19 EST
From: TheologusCrucis

Subject: Re: [NTCP] Query

Link,

I thought I'd put in here a little injection, and this isn't about you
personally. As you know, I'm pretty new to the whole house church thing. You
wrote, and not in response to anything I've said ;)

>The implications of liturgy in early meetings might be slightly implied, if
>you read between the lines, but the NT doesn't _teach_ us to be liturgical.
>The text doesn't emphasize it.

One of the things I have notice since becoming interested in the house church
movement is many's approach to interpreting Scripture in said movement.

Many seem to take the Scripture and a Strongs with perhaps a couple of other
Scriptural gk aides and then interpret the passage(s). They then proclaim,
"This is what this passage means."

Yet this is only half of what has marked (evil word to house church people
coming up next) traditional ;o) Protestant interpretation. The other half
includes taking into account historical context, the taking into account of the
history/culture of those writing and receiving the writings of the NT. That is
just as important as knowing the gk.

Because we dump the historical of the historical/gramatical approach at
interpretation, we are free to have all kinds of fun playing Greek games with
the Word to reinforce a type of "Woodstock" church, the just everyone hang
loose to see what God will do perspective of Church culture and government. At
least, this seems to be the norm to the area around here that I have personally
observed. I went to one house church whose teaching was on the book of Romans
and the teaching was that the book wasn't addressed to the church in Rome, but
to the unbelieving Jews. Only someone who had not taken into account the
historical context could have come up with that one!

Ancient writers of the mid to late antiquity knew of no part of their lives
that did not include ritual and structure, including the family, friendship,
government, and religion. What did the writer of Acts intend when describing
the Church? I'm sure it was a break with Judaism, sure. But without liturgy?
Without structure?

I don't think Michael is doing anything wrong by "reading between the lines" by
taking into account 1st century historical, cultural, and religious practices.
He's just doing what anyone should do: interpreting the Word of God rightly.

Anyway, I hope that your move is going well, and I am remembering in prayer
those that you are leaving behind. Blessings, Link!

TC

Link,

I thought I'd put in here a little injection, and this isn't about you
personally. As you know, I'm pretty new to the whole house church thing. You
wrote, and not in response to anything I've said ;)

The implications of liturgy in early meetings might be slightly implied, if you
read between the lines, but the NT doesn't _teach_ us to be liturgical. The
text doesn't emphasize it.

One of the things I have notice since becoming interested in the house church
movement is many's approach to interpreting Scripture in said movement.

Many seem to take the Scripture and a Strongs with perhaps a couple of other
Scriptural gk aides and then interpret the passage(s). They then proclaim,
"This is what this passage means."

Yet this is only half of what has marked (evil word to house church people
coming up next) traditional ;o) Protestant interpretation. The other half
includes taking into account historical context, the taking into account of the
history/culture of those writing and receiving the writings of the NT. That is
just as important as knowing the gk.

Because we dump the historical of the historical/gramatical approach at
interpretation, we are free to have all kinds of fun playing Greek games with
the Word to reinforce a type of "Woodstock" church, the just everyone hang
loose to see what God will do perspective of Church culture and government. At
least, this seems to be the norm to the area around here that I have personally
observed. I went to one house church whose teaching was on the book of Romans
and the teaching was that the book wasn't addressed to the church in Rome, but
to the unbelieving Jews. Only someone who had not taken into account the
historical context could have come up with that one!

Ancient writers of the mid to late antiquity knew of no part of their lives
that did not include ritual and structure, including the family, friendship,
government, and religion. What did the writer of Acts intend when describing
the Church? I'm sure it was a break with Judaism, sure. But without liturgy?
Without structure?

I don't think Michael is doing anything wrong by "reading between the lines" by
taking into account 1st century historical, cultural, and religious practices.
He's just doing what anyone should do: interpreting the Word of God rightly.

Anyway, I hope that your move is going well, and I am remembering in prayer
those that you are leaving behind. Blessings, Link!

TC


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