New Testament Church Proliferation Digest

 

Spreading the Gospel via House Churches

 


New Testament Church Proliferation Digest Monday, June 3 2002 Vol 02 : 097
RE: [NTCP] Weekly Prayer Needs
Re: [NTCP] Structure vs. Life and the Heart of God
Re: [NTCP] Structure vs. Life and the Heart of God
Re: [NTCP] Structure vs. Life and the Heart of God
Re: [NTCP] Structure vs. Life and the Heart of God

Date: Sun, 2 Jun 2002 08:26:10 -0400
From: "c. stewart"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Weekly Prayer Needs

I read these posts as often as I can, and pray for God's work to be
accomplished in all of our neighborhoods. I just have so many other things I
must juggle and invest time into, that I have never sat down and posted (also
for fear that once I get involved in a discussion group I tend to get pretty
addicted to it). Anyway, I agree that things happen when we pray. We have
because we ask. Conversely, we have not because we ask not. I would ask that
you pray for the work I am involved with in Athens, Ohio. I moved here last
August and have recently launched three house churches. The enemy is constantly
attempting to destroy us and the work we are doing. We need not only God's
protection, but His grace and power to remain on the offensive in our
neighborhoods.

Thank you.

Chris Stewart

Date: Mon, 3 Jun 2002 05:27:13 EDT
From: Steffasong
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Structure vs. Life and the Heart of God

In a message dated 05/31/2002 8:26:11 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
abccom(--AT--)hotmail.com writes:
>
>You really cant say you are worshipping God if you do not take the time to
>look out for your brethren. If your system allows you to keep a safe distance
>from others so they dont "intrude into your space" then something is wrong
>with it i.e. Sunday morning "church". Christianity is relationship is family
>is community.

Hi David,

I agree! In fact, I agree so wholeheartedly that I have written a short essay
on the matter and will include it below through a link. The essay just
scratches the surface of the truth you have mentioned in your post, but it is a little something, and I offer it to you all by His grace.

True worship of Father is so vastly different from what is traditionally
understood in our churches that it is as if the entire subject of worship has
been morphed into something that is but a sliver of the reality.

When people ask "what place should we give to worship in our church?" I feel as though the question itself describes the state of things in the modern church, and it makes me sad.

We cannot plant churches or participate in the work of the ministry in building
up the church unless worship is all encompassing.

Here's that link.

Growing in Worship Through Life in the Body

Thoughts on Worship & Praise

In the Lamb, Stephanie

Creative Services & Consulting Marketing Solutions for
the 21st Century


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Date: Mon, 3 Jun 2002 05:33:11 EDT
From: Steffasong
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Structure vs. Life and the Heart of God

In a message dated 06/01/2002 12:58:23 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
TheologusCrucis writes:
>I stand by the saying that sin comes from the heart and minds of men and women
>and not the organizations and structures, or the environments, they produce.
>May we all, Stephanie, have keen minds and hearts on fire for the Gospel of
>Jesus the Messiah!

Amen, TC. May we each be truly captured by HIS heart, and overflow with the
love of our Lord toward each other.

This is just a short note to tell you I don't disagree with you. Sin springs
from our hearts and minds, not from organizations and structures. Yes.

It's just that organizations and structures do nothing to build up the Body or
the individual believer except keep us as dependent toddlers, always in diapers
and being spoon fed, never learning to walk in Christ, but always jotting down
the notes and behaviors of those 'in the know'. The structure causes us to try
and mimic Christ rather than walk IN HIM.

Let all things be done for the edification of the body, -- for the building up
of the saints!

Have a great day! Stephanie Stephanie Bennett

In a message dated 06/01/2002 12:58:23 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
TheologusCrucis writes:


I stand by the saying that sin comes from the heart and minds of men and women
and not the organizations and structures, or the environments, they produce.
May we all, Stephanie, have keen minds and hearts on fire for the Gospel of
Jesus the Messiah!


Amen, TC. May we each be truly captured by HIS heart, and overflow with
the love of our Lord toward each other.

This is just a short note to tell you I don't disagree with you.&nbsp; Sin
springs from our hearts and minds, not from organizations and structures.&nbsp;
Yes.&nbsp;

It's just that organizations and structures do nothing to build up the Body or
the individual believer except keep us as dependent toddlers, always in diapers
and being spoon fed, never learning to walk in Christ, but always jotting down
the notes and behaviors of those 'in the know'.&nbsp; The structure causes us
to try and mimic Christ rather than walk IN HIM.

Let all things be done for the edification of the body, -- for the building up
of the saints!

Have a great day! Stephanie


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Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2002 07:13:34 -0400
From: jferris
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Structure vs. Life and the Heart of God

Steffasong wrote

>It's just that organizations and structures do nothing to build up the Body or
>the individual believer except keep us as dependent toddlers, always in
>diapers and being spoon fed, never learning to walk in Christ, but always
>jotting down the notes and behaviors of those 'in the know'. The structure
>causes us to try and mimic Christ rather than walk IN HIM.
>
>Let all things be done for the edification of the body, -- for the building up
>of the saints!

Dear Stephanie,

The first of your links is the best thing I've seen on the subject., and while
it is impossible without the core truth of the second link, the second link
alone just leaves us lost in space.

No where on earth are there more theoreticians on love than in the "church".
Neither love nor Christ is of any value in theory. Both must be lived out in
Spirit and in truth. To understand the love of God, one must begin to live the
love of God, and that is where the fellowship of the saints is essential. God
loves us. Presumably that love shoud be reflected among us as well. When we
begin to love on the horizontal, we discover how totally bankrupt we are where
the Love of God is concerned. As your first link states so well, if we have
tasted the Love of God coming at us, we will very soon be driven to Him in
desperation that we might find the Love of God coming from us to each other and
to the lost. I believe that true worship is agreeing with God, first about His
Son, then about each other, finally about the lost.

Yours in Christ,

Jay


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Date: Mon, 3 Jun 2002 10:09:43 EDT
From: TheologusCrucis
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Structure vs. Life and the Heart of God

Stephanie,

Greetings once again!

Although I realize that we aren't really having a "disagreement," I'd like to
clarify a little on organization and structure.

You wrote:

>>It's just that organizations and structures do nothing to build up the Body
or the individual believer except keep us as dependent toddlers, always in
diapers and being spoon fed, never learning to walk in Christ, but always
jotting down the notes and behaviors of those 'in the know'.>The structure
causes us to try and mimic Christ rather than walk IN HIM.>Let all things be
done for the edification of the body, -- for the building up of the
saints!Stephanie,

Greetings once again!

Although I realize that we aren't really having a "disagreement," I'd like to
clarify a little on organization and structure.

You wrote:

It's just that organizations and structures do nothing to build up the Body or
the individual believer except keep us as dependent toddlers, always in diapers
and being spoon fed, never learning to walk in Christ, but always jotting down
the notes and behaviors of those 'in the know'.

Two points. On the one hand, what you have written could be, (and I am very
definitely saying this is not how you intended it to sound), if taken in a
different context, very arrogant. Basically this is saying that those in the
institutional church are "dependent toddlers" that will be always immature in
the faith because of the church structure and organization they attend and
won't ever be mature unless they toss the institutional church for the house
church. On the other hand again the blame goes onto the organization and
structures as the source of all these poor believers' immaturity -- "always in
diapers and being spoon fed, never learning to walk in Christ, but always
jotting down the notes and behaviors of those 'in the know.' " Again, IMHO this
behavior is a result of both the wrong intrepretation of Scriptures (theology)
and of willful disobedience.

Having been on staff at several large churches has given me a bit of a
different perspective. Many go to the churches for the programs, much as a
consumer would shop for the best bargain at a mall. They purposely choose
churches that do not preach the gospel, or are founded on the theology of the
cross. They are very comfortable socially, economically, and theologically in
these churches, and woe to the person, clergy or lay person, that challenges
the status quo! In these organizations and structures it is for the purpose of
catering to spiritual tourists (not "seekers") and the immature. Yet I have
also been in churches as well that have been based on the gospel and the
theology of the cross, where discipleship hasn't been a 9 or 12 week program,
where the people have been encouraged to be engaged in the life of the church,
and they had passed the elementary things, the milk, and have gone into
maturity and the meat of faith.

Funny thing is, I've noticed that the replacement structure and organization of
the house church Vs the institutional church has given rise to this as well.
It has led to the opportunity for maturity or has given the opportunity of the
rise of new idols, of the theology of glory, that is just as deadly. anything
good can be set up as an "idol" and be turned into something that keeps us from
trust in God. Friendship, relationship, and emotional experience are all good
things and are elements of walking in Christ, yet become idols when they are
given precedence over faith and Scripture. Believe me, I've been to many
places, both institutional church and house church, when it wasn't Christ that
was worshipped, it was the "worship experience," the singing little ditties
about how "I will worship You" and the emotions that went with it. &nbsp; The
structure causes us to try and mimic Christ rather than walk IN HIM.

Is it the structure, or the hearts of men and women?

Let all things be done for the edification of the body, -- for the building up
of the saints!

Amen and amen! Blessings to you, Stephanie, enjoy the day God has given!

TC


End of New Testament Church Planting Digest V2 #97

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