New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches



New Testament Church Proliferation Digest Tuesday, June 11 2002 Vol 02 : 102
[NTCP] Re: Spiritual Bankruptcy
[NTCP] Weekly Prayer Needs
Re: [NTCP] Structure vs. Life and the Heart of God
Re: [NTCP] Structure vs.(?!?!) Life
Re: [NTCP] Structure vs. Life and the Heart of God
Re: [NTCP] Weekly Prayer Needs
[NTCP] Seen Link?

Date: Sun, 9 Jun 2002 15:31:05 -0700
From: Dan Snyder
Subject: [NTCP] Re: Spiritual Bankruptcy

This thread reminded me of a verse:

Rom. 10:12 says that the Lord is "rich to all who call upon Him."

Seems like a lot of times we're like billionaires who are starving because we
forgot how to use our "atm" card!

The cure for spiritual bankruptcy may be as simple as helping people call upon
the name of the Lord. According to Rom. 10:12 that's the way to draw out the
"funds".

Calling doesn't have to be a complex mental exercise.... just a simple "Lord
Jesus" may be enough to contact this unsearchably rich One who now lives in our
spirit.

I hope all the churches will be filled richly by those who call upon the name
of the Lord.

"Lord Jesus!"

Dan Ps. From Acts 9:14 it seems this practice of calling was even a hallmark of
the early believers.


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Date: Sun, 9 Jun 2002 21:49:03 -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: 5/15/02: UPDATE

God is still on His throne & prayer does change things!!

We sent the following prayer request on 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!!

*Yesterday, this family called to thank us for our prayers. They said since we
began praying the boy's father has only taken the child to his parents and has
not made any visits to the porn group. They do ask that we pray that the judge
will take away his visitation rights at a hearing they are having in June.

God answers when we take the time to pray!!

Albert Bredemeyer

- ----

5/14/02: Please please but my brother BobJ and wife Ms Melly on the list... He
is suffering w/ ALS... and w/ these days of advanced stages... They need the
Lord, in all the little ways, desperately also... Bob, Ms Melly and I go back
29 years now... I could use prayer also, that I be encouraging to them, that I
remain sensitive to his needs, offering to do what he can no longer do for
himself... When you really really really love someone, love produces a
vulnerability to pain... I hurt for him...

Jim Pierceall

- ----

5/21/02: Please pray. Our 14 year-old, Amanda, didn't come home from school
today. Her friends all say they haven't seen her, and we haven't been able to
pick up any trace of her. She simply didn't get on the bus. The local law
enforcement folks are looking, but it's getting dark, and she's never been away
from home alone before. This is totally unlike her.

We've placed her in God's hands, and are trusting Him. Please stand with us in
prayer on this.

David Anderson

- ----

5/23/02: I just want to give you an update.

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at the end of April. My physician of 22
years did not even call me to tell me until I was in for a check up. I was a
bit ticked off, especially since he is a believer. However, I had my
suspicions, and thanks to another holistic doctor, also a believer, I began a
process of detoxifying my body and a change in diet with vitamins,supplements,
lifestyle changes and exercise. I found that my blood sugars normalized. So,
when my GP sent me to the endocrynologist, my count was normal which surprised
her. She then told me to simply continue what I was doing and that she would
see me in three months.

I have lost over 40 pounds, and I am jogging 2 miles every morning and I am
biking. I have not felt this good in years!

I want to thank all of you for your prayers and ask you to continue to lift me
up. Diabetes is a beatable disease and I am going to beat it! I have really
seen the Lord do mighty things and I am energized and invigorated like never
before. I haven't felt his good since my combat infantry days!

So, again thanks for prayer. Remember: P - Pray U - Until S - Something H -
Happens

Keep PUSHING as you pray, God will deliver!

Samuel Buick

- ----

5/25/02: My husband is considering going with me to Israel in the autumn and if
we do we will need to take important decisions shortly about 'should we go
alone or with a group and to which places should we go'. If we go we want to be
a blessing there. Maybe some of you would pray about it and then afterwards
maybe I will have some stories for the news group!

Gretta

- ----

05/31/02: This Sunday I will be going to the local jail, and will be speaking
to the women. I would like some suggestions on what we should read from the
Bible, how I can give them hope. I also ask you all to pray for this work...

Vanessa DiDomenico

- ----

06:19 6/2/02: I thank my heavenly father for the faithful prayers of the saints
on this list and the many others he has put in my life. May God bless you all.
Tom is doing much better now. His doctor has been changed ( and that is for the
good). There has been a big improvement since Mother's Day. Infact....just two
days ago he was transferred to a PMI facility that is very good. They know how
to help Tom. He has been there before. Please pray for continued healing of
Tom's mind, and for and healing for our souls and body of our whole family as
well. but most of all for revival of our spirits. I desire the Lord's direction
in all areas of our life, that he be truly Lord of our life and that we trust
him with everything. There is still no change in either one of Tom's parents.
Please lift them up in prayer. Gene for blood count that could turn to
leukemia, and Jean for her badly needed kidney transplant and spots on her
transplanted lung. A special thank you to my sister in Christ from Northeast,
Tennessee for another encouraging letter. I love your spirit. May God bless
you.

Debbie Kline

- ---- 10:30 6/2/02: 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.

c. stewart

- ---- 06:28 6/6/02: I'm in the throes of my comprehensive exams-- just
completed one, got three more to go. For those who feel inclined, please pray
for me. That last one (biblical Aramaic) took me nine hours to complete-- *not*
counting some breaks. Talk about writer's cramp! Two of the remaining three
tests will likely take just as long. Or longer. I could use some "body support"
at this time if you don't mind. The next exam is slated to be in a week and a
half.

MICHAEL

- ---- 10:36 6/7/02: I write to ask that you pray for my 11 yr old boy, that he
not suffer any emotional repercussions because of what he saw yesterday. A
truck crashed against a car, throwing it against the building in front of our
house, and smashing a man who was passing by... the man's leg and pelvis were
cut off. I wasn't here, and Jimmy asked the maid to take him to see the
accident, and she did. He said he almost fainted when he saw it. There is a
gigantic hole in the side of the building (a 20-floor building), which is
cement and bricks, imagine how hard the hit was. I didn't see anything, and
know nothing about whether the man died or survived.

Yes, the enemy is trying to attack me, in several ways. But God is providing...
we might get financing to film a documentary about the children who work at the
landfill, the ones I want to build a school for, from the Sundance Documentary
Fund. That is Robert Redford's foundation, and they are in California, too!
They are very interested: please pray for that provision too!
Vanessa DiDomenico

- ---- Thanks for your faithful support.
Dick Phil. 3:12-14


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Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 01:06:50 EDT
From: TheologusCrucis

Subject: Re: [NTCP] Structure vs. Life and the Heart of God

Stephanie,

So good to receive your post! It is always nice to hear from you.

I truly do understand where you are coming from. I believe that the church
taking on the organizational structure of a nonprofit corporation is more often
than not harmful to any group of believers. Sometimes the message IS the
medium, a la Television, etc., and the Gospel cannot be heard let alone trusted
upon because of the CEO (pastor), or the board (the "Deacons"), or the dept.
heads (staff), or because of the stockholders (laity).

But I truly do believe the life of the church, the life of God in Christ thru
the Spirit happens to be centered in the message of the Good News. Paul writes
that he is "not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God
at work, saving everyone who believes..." It is the message that contains the
very power of God to salvation.

At the end of your very gracious post you wrote:

>>But faith (a la the 'faith theology') and scripture (lives centered on the
Book) are also things that are not our center. Friendship, relationship, and
informality cannot be the ground on which we meet either. There is only one
cornerstone of the church, and it is Jesus Christ, Himself. This, I know you
agree with. The question still remains, however, HOW do we promote and foster
the central focus of the Church (JC) to be the center and remain the
center?>Structure and hierarchy definitely inhibit, even (in many cases)
destroy that goal. Do you have any ideas about how structure and organization
can be maintained without fostering focus on something other than
Christ.Stephanie,

So good to receive your post! It is always nice to hear from you.

I truly do understand where you are coming from. I believe that the church
taking on the organizational structure of a nonprofit corporation is more often
than not harmful to any group of believers. Sometimes the message IS the
medium, a la Television, etc., and the Gospel cannot be heard let alone trusted
upon because of the CEO (pastor), or the board (the "Deacons"), or the dept.
heads (staff), or because of the stockholders (laity).

But I truly do believe the life of the church, the life of God in Christ thru
the Spirit happens to be centered in the message of the Good News. Paul writes
that he is "not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God
at work, saving everyone who believes..." It is the message that contains the
very power of God to salvation.

At the end of your very gracious post you wrote:

But faith (a la the 'faith theology') and scripture (lives centered on the
Book) are also things that are not our center. &nbsp;Friendship, relationship,
and informality cannot be the ground on which we meet either. &nbsp;There is
only one cornerstone of the church, and it is Jesus Christ, Himself.
&nbsp;This, I know you agree with. &nbsp;The question still remains, however,
HOW do we promote and foster the central focus of the Church (JC) to be the
center and remain the center?

Actually, I do agree with you, just a little differently than you might
imagine! ;)

Faith is trust that the story is true -- that "God in his gracious kindness
declares us not guilty. He has done this thru Christ Jesus, who has freed us by
taking away our sins. For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins
and to satisfy God's anger against us. We are made right when we believe that
Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us." Rom. 3:24-25 NLT

Faith is trust. If I heard the story and did not trust enough to reenact it
daily, then it is mere intellectual assent, and not saving faith. Faith is
believing in what the story says Jesus did for me -- that I have been declared
righteous because Jesus has served the sentence in my place and has turned away
God's wrath by His blood. And faith is believing this to such an extent that
this story is reenacted by faith every day: every day I die to self and rise
again with Christ. And it was the Spirit thru the story that empowered this
change!

Scripture is alive with the Presence of God! The writer of Hebrews says:

"For the Word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest
knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for
what we really are. Nothing in all creation can hide from him. Everything is
naked and exposed before his eyes. This is the God to whom we must explain all
that we have done." Hebr. 4:12-13

So I would agree: the church is not centered on modern gnosticism (Word of
Faith belief) or faith in faith, and definitely we are not a literary society
centered upon the Bible as a "Great Book."

But we are centered upon living faith, a faith that leads us to become players
in the drama of redemption by taking our place with Christ in His death and
life! And the living Scripture is the vehicle of the power of God, as is the
proclaimed message. Friendships and community results because of these things,
but in themselves cannot unite us together in unity. How to foster Christ
Himself as the Cornerstone? Make faith, the Word, and the Sacraments to the
very core and center of our gathering together -- this will glue us together!

Structure and hierarchy definitely inhibit, even (in many cases) destroy that
goal. &nbsp;Do you have any ideas about how structure and organization can be
maintained without fostering focus on something other than Christ.

I have not been able to act on this, I am waiting for the opportunity. However,
Put at the center of the meeting, wherever that may be, what I have set above.
As for leadership and structure, find the gifts that God has given to lead and
equip, i.e., the elders, deacons, pastors, evangelists teacher/preachers and
apostles, and let them in humility begin to do what God has gifted them to do.
The sure sign that this is happening will be that each one will find the gift
given by the Spirit to serve and edify others and begin to walk in them.

What do you think? I'd love to hear from you -- in many counselors is wisdom
found!

TC


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Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 11:35:10 +0200
From: "Deborah"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Structure vs.(?!?!) Life

Jay F. wrote:

>I think there is another way to sort out the Biblical evidence, and I do agree
>that the Biblical evidence is of first importance when examining what perports
>to be sitting, walking or standing in the Spirit.

There are likely multitudes of ways to arrange the evidence Jay, like there are
myriads of ways to arrange the pieces of a puzzle. But only one way in which
each piece locks *unforced* with the others. I don't claim that there are no
problems with the scholarly consensus that the early Church *sometimes* (but
not usually) met in religious buildings, (so therefore) sometimes used pulpits,
and was *most certainly* liturgical in all worship settings. The biggest
problem I know of is the palsity of hard data, forcing careful students of the
Bible (and it's times) to make inferences ... connect the dots, so to speak.
But hey, the pieces fit, the converging lines of evidence remain convincing,
and at least a huge chunk of the puzzle is not being ignored. More than I can
say for the mostly spontaneous, unstructured model(s) I've read about on this
list.

David A. wrote:

>... Michael, from a war-torn location ...

Hey brother. Good to hear from you. Thanks for your encouraging re-welcome.
Perhaps all is not lost. ANI LO RAQ QOL BA-MIDBAR (I'm not just a "voice in
the wilderness"). I guess you can get the impression, from watching, or
listening to, or reading the news, that right now Israel is "war-torn". But it
doesn't seem that way to me. At least not presently. Things have quieted down
considerably since Israel sent in troops to Ramallah, Jenin, Bethlehem/Beit
Jala, etc. The first time. They arrested or killed hundreds of known and
wanted terrorists, plus discovered and dismantled several bomb factories. There
was one short stretch of time (about a month), just prior to those military
incursions, in which we had three suicide bombers and on shooting attack on our
own street. Each a matter of a few blocks or less from our home. BOOM as my
daughter and I are just coming in from grocery shopping. BOOM as I'm brushing
my teeth. BOOM as my wife is in the open market. Then there was this Arab
gunman who went on a rampage, killing a few, wounding several, before he was
shot down in the street by an off-duty cop. We just heard the sirens for that
one-- not the shots-- since it was three blocks away. Either way not fun. But
now it is quite serene. I know the peace is temporary, but hey, thank God for
the temporary! ... It's more enjoyable than what was (BOOM!), and it serves to
keep us appreciative of the eternal SHALOM to come.

>these elements are perfectly compatible and complementary in God's economy. If
>the NT contained nothing but the one order to "Do this in remembrance of Me"
>that alone would constitute structure and yes - even liturgy - according to
>its true meaning.

Only too true! Btw, blessings as you take that much needed time out with those
kids of yours. I'm looking forward to (God willing) graduating this Summer so
my kids will see even more of their "Abba". I'm the primary care-giver right
now so they see plenty of me, but since I'm also a student and cross-cultural
worker, sometimes it's only the back of my head. But I'm with you; when it's
time to, for instance, go to the park with the "chillens," it's TIME to go to
the park!

Brittian wrote:

>Michael, I am not entirely in agreement with you, but does that matter, as it
>was your heart that came out, that being... you desire to know the Lord in
>Spirit and truth (I am assuming that truth here is more than knowledge or
>intellectual stimulant, but instead a real experiencing, as Weiss says
>"experiencial knowledge"), and that came through lound and clear which is
>awesome!

Hi brother. How'd that Hebrew translation gig go? Things come out on your end
looking like the language Jesus most frequently taught in? I of course wouldn't
expect you to be in *total* agreement with me about everything I have recently
written. But essential agreement, yes. Because of what the
biblical/historical/cultural/linguistic evidence says. Not because of me! I
would encourage you (and others) to make sure your understanding of how the
early church was structured-- thus providing some sort of model for your
present church expressions-- is based on firm data. Not on some fancy as to how
you *think* the Church was, or how you *feel* God is leading you to model it.
Or ... in reaction to some "institutional church " abuses you have witnessed.
If it is not biblical and reflective of what actually historically was during
the time of the Apostles, then what is it? Something contrived from our own
whimsies, I would say. And not from the life of Christ in us, working out his
will through us-- the one who said, "I am the ... Truth" (Joh. 14:6).

Michael
Jerusalem


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Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 10:18:26 -0400
From: "Samuel Buick"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Structure vs. Life and the Heart of God

Great post Jay.

Just last week, I had to be away speaking at a house church seminar, and I had
told everyone at the house church that I would be away and that one of the men,
who hosts us Friday nights would be happy to answer any and all questions or
issues that arise. I took 5 other people with me from the house church to go
to Barrie.

When I got back I asked one person how Friday night had been. They were really
grieved and disappointed. The person who is an 'elder' got very mechanical and
put in a video and they were enthralled with the video and that his son was
'sitting under' this dynamic worship leader. A deep groaning occured amongst
the people.

We have gathered together for three years now, and still, some from the very
beginning are stuck on some things, like when the Spirit is quiet and gentle,
they have to stir things up. They get uncomfortable when stuff is not visibly
happening. They reinforce the old wineskin and the structures of ministry of
the few, reduces people to an audience. Do not allow for participation. Chokes
out life. I erred that day. I presumed too much of both the 'leader' and those
who gathered.

The church has reinforced not just 'toddlerism' but slavery. The Message
speaks of Jesus putting on slavery (the flesh). When we are saved, we must put
off slavery (the flesh) and walk in fredom (Spirit). Christians have allowed
the institutional church structures and belief systems to subjugate them again!
We would be enslaved once more if we did not know whose child we are and the
freedom we have. It is time to destroy the slavery that has shackled the
church for centuries! When will we learn?

I find it the most frustrating thing, that those who experience the most and
greatest fellowship and community as we gather, are often the most ignorant of
what body life is supposed to be and how it is to function. I have come to
realize that the next three months are pivotal as we move to a new shift in our
network. It is sobering, but it is refreshing, because the Lord is doing a new
thing in each of us awakening us to what he wants to see as we gather in His
Name.

Blessings,

Sam


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Date: Mon, 10 Jun 2002 18:30:54 +0000
From: "David Jaggernauth"
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Weekly Prayer Needs

Dear List,

I need prayer for my mother.

Her health has deteriorated drastically in the last month.

Physically she appears to be normal but she is suffering with some kind of
dementia. She has all the symptoms of Alzheimers disease.

It has reached the stage where she needs constsnt supervision and cannot be
trusted to do anything on her own. Her care is very time consuming for us. My
wife and i take care of her.

The doctors are not sure if it is Alzheimers. She is diabetic as well and
suffers from arteriosclerosis.

It is very hard for me to see her like this right now, this came on quite
suddenly, about two months now. She is suffering extreme memory loss and
disorientation. My dad died two years ago and she cannot even remember this,
she would sometimes ask me where he is,nor does she remember that i got
married.

It is breaking my heart to see her like this, she was always a very active
person. Sometimes all I can do is hug her and weep.

I am believing God for a miracle. I believe she is supposed to be serving God
side by side with me. I will not let satan have his way with her. Our ministry
is also sometimes hindered because of the need to care for her.

Please pray for her.

David Jaggernauth Trinidad
>
From: Richard Wright Reply-To: ntcp(--AT--)homechurch.org To: ,
Subject: >[NTCP] Weekly Prayer Needs Date: Sun, 9 Jun 2002 21:49:03 -0400


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Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002 12:39:41 -0400
From: David Anderson
Subject: [NTCP] Seen
Link?

Where you be, Link? You must be flying under the radar? You conference bound?

Did your wife give birth yet? Thought I saw a stork flying by the other day but
couldn't make out the color of the blanket.

Hollar at us when you can, bro.

David Anderson
 


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