New Testament Church Proliferation Digest

 

Spreading the Gospel via House Churches

 


New Testament Church Proliferation Digest Tuesday, May 14 2002 Vol 02 : 086
Re: [NTCP] Immediate baptism
Re: [NTCP] Immediate baptism
Re: [NTCP] Immediate baptism
[NTCP] For those in Colorado
Re: [NTCP] Immediate baptism?
[NTCP] Weekly Prayer Needs

Date: Mon, 13 May 2002 07:37:19 -0400
From: jferris
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Immediate baptism

JAMESRUTZ wrote:

>I hope to meet some of youse guys at the Southern House Church Conference in
>June.
>
>Dr John Drane:
>
>"Instead of the community of the Spirit that it had originally been, the
>Church came to be seen as a vast organisation. Instead of relying on the
>Spirit's direct guidance it was controlled by an hierarchy of ordained men,
>following strict rules and regulations which covered every conceivable aspect
>of belief and behaviour. By the middle of the 2nd Century the change was
>complete. At the beginning the only qualification for membership of the Church
>had been a life changed by the Holy Spirit. Indeed, at the start there had
>been no concept of church 'membership' at all...But by the end of the 1st
>Century things were rather different. Now the key to membership of the Church
>not found in inspiration by the Spirit, but in acceptance of ecclesiastical
>dogma and discipline. And to make sure that all new members had a good grasp
>of what that meant, baptism itself was no longer the spontaneous expression
>faith in Jesus as it had originally been. Now it was the culmination of a more
>or less extended period of formal instruction and teaching about the Christian
>faith. And in all this we can see how the life of the Spirit was gradually
>squeezed out of the Body of Christ, to be replaced as the church's driving
>force by the more predictable if less exciting movement of organised
>ecclesiastical machinery." (That is to say that baptism became your entry
>ticket to the church on condition of submitting to that particular church's
>hierarchy and leadership.)

Dear Jim,

My wife and I will both be attending, Lord willing, and I also look forward to
seeing you there.

I appreciate this quote that you included to Michael and onlookers.

Jesus said, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw
him: and I will raise him up at the last day." John 6:44

I have been thinking a lot about this over the past two or three months, and
would welcome the input of others. A clear implication of what Jesus said is
that, before the new birth, there is a "drawing". This drawing process can take
time, short in some, and long in others. Our reliance on confessional or,
"repeat after me regeneration", can and I believe does, cause a presumption of
new birth where the new birth has not yet taken place. The person may well be
being "drawn", but they are not yet there as a matter of saving faith. Adding
premature baptism to this deception, only compounds the problem. As a result we
have a "Christian culture" born out of a subnormal or, in a sense, aborted
response to the gospel. I say aborted, because before the new life has truly
been formed, the birthing process is terminated, and the would be child of God
is born dead.

Please don't misunderstand me, I would be very reluctant to make that judgement
in any particular case, but the track record or witness of "nominal
christianity" is not looking too good. Let me also quickly add, that while the
Kingdom of God may not come by appearances, there is a substance to the
relational integrity of the genuine which ought to have taken place in time for
the "... world to know".

Two or three witneses are neccessary to establish everything: The spirit of
prophecy is the testimony of Jesus." Well, the "spirit of prophecy" lept in the
womb of Elizabeth in the presence of Jesus in Mary, and only at that point
did Mary's magnificat come out. This comes to mind as some kind of precedent
for a relational witness of the presence of Christ in another.

To have such a witness there must first be substantial relationship. The
carnality of institutionalism is just not it, and so institutional baptism is
ill timed and ill conceived by its very nature. Being baptised into a division
of the Body of Christ is not the same as being baptised into Christ.

Part of the problem is that, what we used to call, "living in sin", could be
fixed with a marriage ceremony, but "living in righteousness" is a little more
difficult to handle, because, by the faith we confess, it just can't happen
until the marriage is consumated. Certainly when there is clear evidence for
The indwelling Christ, it is time for, "the pledge of a good conscience toward
God."

Returning to the experience of the early Church as we see it revealed in the
New Testament, we have examples of baptism both before and after the clear
evidence of regeneration. The disciples were baptised before the experience of
Pentacost, and the household of Cornelius, afterward. "Can any man forbid
water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as
well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then
prayed they him to tarry certain days." Acts 10:47,48

Thinking out loud,

Jay

<><><> info page: http://world-missions.org/planting <><><>


Date: Mon, 13 May 2002 08:19:58 EDT
From: Steffasong
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Immediate baptism

In a message dated 05/13/2002 2:39:15 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
JAMESRUTZ writes:
>IMPORTANT NOTE TO ALL: We are not interacting here just in order to beat each
>other into shape or establish a new Ecclesiastical Correctness.

I really appreciated this statement. As far as I am concerned, it typifies the
way in which we need to communicate with each other.

Thank you brother!

Stephanie Bennett
Creative Services & Consulting Marketing Solutions for the
21st Century

<><><> info page: http://world-missions.org/planting <><><>


Date: Mon, 13 May 2002 08:52:34 -0400
From: "Dan Beaty"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Immediate baptism

Jim Rutz wrote:

I agree. Much food for thought has been presented here that I think we all can
benefit by. Personally, I haven't come to a conclusion pertaining to my
original question of what has been going on in our house church.

I have been considering the various degrees of faith that develop in hearts.
For one to make the leap from atheism to belief in the existence of a Creator
God is huge. But that does not constitute saving faith. Even the devils believe
and tremble. 90% of Americans confess such.

What I am wondering if people are thinking they have been born again simply
because they have made this first big step. The saving faith that Paul spoke of
was born of the Gospel, which is centered around the person, work of Jesus
Christ and His message of the Kingdom of God, --- as presented in the
Scriptures.

It has been misunderstood that I have been suggesting that a person must "clean
up" before baptism. Not at all. What I am saying that we can mislead people by
baptizing them before true saving faith has worked in their hearts. Here in our
circles, we have assumed this just because they were sorry for their sins.

The entire Gospel of John was written that the reader "might believe and find
life in His Name." John did not expect this belief to come without some
instruction, even on deep truths concerning Jesus divinity. Paul spoke of
"patiently instructing those who oppose themselves, peradventure they might
come to the knowledge of the truth."

Jesus said to disciple the nations.

For the time being, I am going to begin looking for teachable hearts. If a
person is truly repentant, they should be willing to be instructed on the
basics of what Christ has done for them and intends to do in them. They at
least need to know the part about denying ourselves, taking up our crosses and
following Him.

A rebellious attitude just does not seem consistent with a repentant heart in
my understanding. It has been said that we are not to judge, but even John the
Baptist demanded fruit in keeping with repentance.

Would we be acting in obedience to Christ's commands if we only baptised
people, but failed to teach them "whatsoever things I have commanded you?"

Until next time....

Dan Beaty
Columbus, Ohio USA

http://www.livingtruth.com

<><><> info page: http://world-missions.org/planting <><><>


Date: Mon, 13 May 2002 07:49:05 -0600
From: "Jeanne Elder"
Subject: [NTCP] For those in Colorado

Hi, I just wanted to let you guys know that I have started a discussion list
for those in Colorado. It's my desire to link people together in our region
(state). Feel free to check it out. If you are in a house church in Colorado,
please post your meeting information on the calendar.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cohcdl/

J.C.

<><><> info page: http://world-missions.org/planting <><><>


Date: Mon, 13 May 2002 09:29:47 -0700 (PDT)
From: Vanessa DiDomenico
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Immediate baptism?

>You remember a while back when I sent in a post, in response to one of
>yours, which demonstrated from the NT that Jesus followed lots of
rabbinic
>tradition, ... so long as it did not contradict God's word ("Tradition
and
>Weirdness" thread, Nov. 12 post)?

Well, I practice charity full time, and find few other things worth doing, and
would I judge others for NOT doing what I must do? Most of what I hear people
doing and happy about I find a waste of time AND a lack of respect for God. BUT
I cannot force them to do as i do, for it is too difficult for others. When I
was a child and an atheist, i laughed at those who couldn't handle calculus by
age 14 as I did. Today, i see being able to 'behave' as God wants us to like
those kids who could do little math. It's often not their fault, and they have
not the ability to be perfect because God hasn't given it to them yet. And with
leaders being as strict as the pharisees whom Jesus criticized for finding the
faults of others, few would be saved. They'd run from Christ as fast as
possible!

Jesus did NOT condemn the prostitute: he condemned those who were trying to
condemn HER!!! He sat with sinners, and prostitutes, and others whom most who
claim to follow Jesus today would immediately reject!

HE followed rabbinic law, because HE WAS A REAL RABBI! But He did NOT condemn
those who didn't follow it, UNLESS they were also claiming to be rabbis. Those
he criticized for judging others, but not following it perfectly themselves.
Are we perfect enough to judge the perfection of others? Not me.

Vanessa


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


Date: Tue, 14 May 2002 08:57:10 -0400
From: Richard Wright
Subject: [NTCP] Weekly Prayer Needs

Hello all,

Please keep these needs before the Lord on a daily basis. As someone once
observed, "Things happen when we pray, that don't happen when we don't pray".

When the Lord answers your need, please be sure to let us know so that we can
all rejoice together!

Pray for:

19/03/02: I am working one on one this week in a bad area of town just 20
minutes or so from where I am staying in Denver. It is known for
prostitution,drug dealers,and other dangerous characters. Specifically I am
going to be prayer walking the motels on Colfax. I think a lot of them are
looking for something to find relief from their problems and many of them have
turned to church but the system chases them off instead of loving them. Keep me
in prayer as I do this. If God wills allow him to open doors. Pray that God
sends a strong partner in the faith to help encourage me. In what the Lord is
leading me to do. My health hasn't been the best the last few weeks and I could
use some prayer on that as well. a son in the faith,

David

- ----

25/03/02: (Please read the whole post on this, to get the full picture of the
need Dick) I ask you to pray for my heart that it would not become hardened.
I am weary and don't have a desire to fighting to get him help when he keeps
rejecting my efforts to help. I would love for Tom to be healed. I struggle
with questions of why we ask for healing but don't get what we are believing
for. God's timing is not easy to understand. I feel the Lord telling me not to
give in to Tom's threats or manipulation, but to really wait on the Lord and
let him have his way with Tom. Please pray for: Josiah 17 years old and not
walking with the Lord rightly and not desiring to see Dad, hasn't been up to
see Dad. Jacob 16 (walking with the Lord and open to seeing Dad.) Saw Dad March 23rd Hannah 14 years old (walking with the Lord but not willing to see Dad. I made her go see him March 9th.) Gabe 12 years old. (walking with the Lord and willing to see Dad) Saw dad March 9th and March 23rd. Mike 21years old not walking with the Lord Jesus and not very involved with us. Haven't seen him for several months Tom (my beloved husband of 18 years) walking in sorrow in need of prayers of the saints of the most high. Debb (Tom's wife of 18 years) walking with the Lord Jesus (and being carried by the arms of my heavenly Father) Please pray that God will give me wisdom, discernment, grace, and that His hand would be upon me, that he will keep me from evil, and that I would not harm anyone. Ysi Christ,

4/14/02: Dear Brothers & Sisters, Please continue to pray for us all as I had
requested. it has been eight weeks since we checked Tom in the the hospital,
but as of today we are back to square one.

Debbie~

25/03/02: From a victim of abuse Please pray for strength and endurance. Pray
for energy and the Holy Spirit's guidance and healing. Pray that if God will's
that this would all go away. Many say I must continue to rest and God will give
me new energy. But God is telling me to give my life away every day and I will
have a new one someday. I long for that. I wish I could love better. I wish I
had more to give. Thanks for the prayers and encouragement.

A son in the faith, David

Please help! My mother is old and not well. Her husband is older and had to be
put in a "home" for a couple of weeks. He has dementia and now wants to come
home and my mother cannot take care of him but will literally kill herself
trying. He gets up all through the night and takes things apart and takes money
out of her purse. They are broke. I am a single mother of two and have devoted
my life to the children I prayed for. We could move with her but she is not a
pleasant person to live with and I don't think I could live with her daily
criticism...she means well and loves her husband and I just don't know what to
do.

I am eagerly awaiting some reply. Any reply.

Darlene J. Dowling

- ----

3/30/02: pray for our landfill school project, which will rescue 2000 children
from surviving off a landfill..

Vanessa

- ----

4/01/02: I am looking for someone in Tulsa, OK to minister to a wife and
daughter. They are unchurched, have no friends, little finances, and the
husband walked out on them this weekend for another woman.

Mike S

- ----

4/05/02: We are danger. It's a good time to pray for our land, and to
continually pray for the peace, health and safety of Israel and Jerusalem. We
know that bitter days are marked out by God for that city, but let us not be
found standing on the wrong side of this battle. Better to die a horrible death
on the Lord's side, than to become rich as a traitor.

In Jesus, Jim

- ----

4/12/02: PLEASE PRAY FOR: 1) Lasting peace in this land. The boundary has been
crossed. Israel is at war with the Palestinian Authority, while also the
Lebanese border has become the staging ground for daily attacks by the Iranian
backed Hezbollah. And violence looks to be heating up more and more each day.
It behooves us all to pray (Psa. 122:6). The peace of Jerusalem affects the
peace of the whole world. Even so, come Lord Jesus (Rev. 22:20)! 2) The future
of Jerusalem University College and the Millier family's related plans for
ministry here in Israel ... or possibly the Philippines. To Israel. My
nine-year-old daughter (Dawn) and I have tickets to fly out Apr. 26th to Manila
to meet with the elders of a central Filipino congregation who are interested
in our plans to train Christian Filipino in-house care-givers (to the elderly
and infirm in Israel) in modern and biblical Hebrew, and Jewish evangelism
skills. Pray that only God's will would be confirmed. 3) Serena (Jewish lady
involved with a New Age cult) to come to faith in her Messiah. We meet weekly
in her home for "peace talks" with a group of about fifteen Jews, Muslim Arabs,
"Christian" Arabs, and a few real born again believers-- Jew, Arab, other. She
is still regularly reading her Bible and she has some good Messianic teaching
materials on her shelves, I've noticed. Serena is so close to saving faith in
Yeshua (Jesus), but she hasn't quite put it all together to take that step. 4)
Shlomo (orthodox Jewish man I speak with weekly at the "peace talks") to come
to faith in Yeshua. As he studies the Messianic prophecies to prove me wrong,
pray that the Holy Spirit would catch hold of his heart. Remember Saul of
Tarsus started out as a man intent on disproving the case for Jesus ... and
became one of Jesus' strongest advocates. I can see evidence of spiritual
hunger and conviction in Shlomo. 5) Pray also for Miriam (orthodox Jewish
woman) as she does her own investigation in the book of Daniel. Remember Rob
(orthodox Jewish man) as he has expressed interest in the gospel. In fact, from
a recent conversation we had, I suspect he may be a closet believer. He has all
but come out and openly confessed faith in Jesus to me, ... though I have
prodded. Either way, pray for him. Also don't forget to mention Amy (Mainland
Chinese Buddhist) in your prayers. She is working as an in-house care-provider
in Jerusalem. She too is a seeker. 6) God's anointing on various teaching
opportunies including my Shabbat School class at NETIVYAH (our Jerusalem
congregation) in which I instruct Jewish and gentile children in Matthew's
Gospel. Also, I teach periodically, on a semi-scholarly level, at the Narkis
St. Congregation's "Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research" Bible study.
Likewise I am exploring the possibility of teaching at a local Bible Institute
(affiliated with a house church) which trains struggling Jewish, Arab, and
foreign (African, Filipino) pastors in biblical/theological topics-- for next
to nothing. Thanks,

Michael
Jerusalem

- ----

4/14/02: This is a neat story, and I encourage you to read it on:
alt.religion.christian.home-church

She is a new convert with quite a background.

Her name's Melissa, and she needs a lot of strength... old ways are hard to
change. Right now she's full of zeal, but soon she'll come down off cloud 9 and
be stuck with the mundane stuff: 5 kids, no husband, no education, and no work
experience (she's been a prostitute since she dropped out of high school 10
years ago). Terry

- ----

4/13/02: Please pray for us, a coup d'etat has just taken place here, and
oligarchs are trying to pass it off as 'civic action' while keeeping our
president isolated and not allowing him to speak... this is the first president
ever in this country who cares for the people. Please talk to your reps, since
this coup is strongly supported by the US, since Venezuela is the US's only
safe provider of oil outside the middle east... love, Vanessa

- ----

4/16/02: Please pray for Japan.

I have become more and more concerned for the people of Japan. There is an
incredible emptiness of heart there.

Jim

- ----

4/21/02: I have a request. I have a 72 year old neighbor that I have been
helping lately due to heart problems. She is having heart by-pass surgery on
Tuesday. Please pray for that this surgery will be without complications and
that she will recover very quickly. Also pray for her husband, he is disabled
and housebound, so he is not able to be with her. Thanks J.C.

- ----

04/21/02: Please pray that I can stay off medication. I only need Jesus. I'm
almost 30, and feel that I must begin my REAl work for God now... suddenly, a
lot of christians who don't want to go to these 'churches' are asking me to
study with me, and much has come my way to do the work of charity, but the
enemy wants to impede my working... I'm having lots of little dizzy spells and
problems with my family... that come up right when we're about to start. Please
pray for us!

Vanessa

- ----

04/21/02: Dear Saints,

We have received a desperate plea for prayer from a Christian family on the
east coast.

Their daughter is divorced and has a 3 year old boy. A judge has given the
father unsupervised stays with the child . The father has taken the child on at
least three occasions to a child pornography group.

They are desperate!! - Please pray!!

- ----

04/29/02: Remember these are dear Christians who love Jesus deeply, and NOT
horrible criminals like the Chinese government claims.

1. Pray God would be glorified and His Kingdom continue to grow in China as a
result of these attacks. 2. Ask God to intervene with His mighty power. Pray
only His will would be done in the lives of those arrested. 3. Pray against the
Satanic forces behind these brutal attacks. Not able to damage God, the devil
does all he can to smash God's children. Ask God to bind the demonic forces in
Jesus' Name. 4. Ask the Lord to strengthen our brothers and sisters in prison,
to sustain them, and to help them overcome whatever trials they face. 5.
Fervently pray for the hundreds of families of those arrested, who often face
great hardship with no food or money. They usually lose their jobs, and their
children are expelled from school. 6. Pray for mercy for the persecutors, that
they may be convicted of sin, righteousness and judgement and come to a saving
knowledge of Jesus Christ. Pray the believers in prison may show them a
Christ-like example of patient endurance in the face of suffering. - ----

4/30/02: My heavenly Father has been merciful and has renewed my strength, and
he is the wind beneath my wings. He is guarding my heart and mind, and of my
children also. I can see the Holy Spirit working things out now, and I know He
has been all along. He has not finished the work that he has started in us, but
He will. "For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the
glory of God by us." Please continue to remember us to he Father. I have asked
the Lord to Bless you and multiply the gifts you have shared with me. ysiJC,

Debbie Kline

- ----

5/4/02: I am praying for more opportunities to interject Jesus into my
conversations and activities. I need more boldness. More concern, too, which
translates into love for the lost and the saved.

David Anderson

- ----

4/4/02: Tonight, I go to a meeting with a brother named Aaron and some others
who are interested in starting a new church/outreach in downtown Athens,
Georgia.

Anyway, I'd appreciate prayer about this situation.

Link H

- ----

5/6/02 : Please pray for us and the Church, that God's truth and his will shall
prevail over all religious tradtions and customs. and that the pastors and the
people will get a revelation of the house Church and embrace it fully to
express the life of God in this nation.

David Jaggernauth

- ----

Anyway, I'd appreciate prayer for grace in this matter, that the brother may
repent. He's having marriage problems over these and other issues. (See
original post)

Link H

- ---- Thanks for your faithful support.

- -- Richard Wright, 05/14/2002

When there is a lack of honor in government, the morals of the whole people are poisoned. - ---Herbert Hoover, 31st US President
 


End of New Testament Church Planting Digest V2 #86

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