New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches


NT Church Proliferation Digest Sunday, June 23 2002 Volume 02 : Number 108
Re: [NTCP] How does a NT "sacrament" function?
Re: [NTCP] my people love to have it so
Re: [NTCP] my people love to have it so
Re: [NTCP] my people love to have it so
Re: [NTCP] Infant Baptism

Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2002 01:05:35 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] How does a NT "sacrament" function?

Deborah wrote:

>In light of these findings we can now sum up: baptism is in fact an
>active saving agent, being an individual's legally binding response in
>answer to a formal question which is done in conscious awareness of God due
>to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In other words, the new covenant entry
>ritual. If this be the case, then an infant cannot be baptised as the
>sacrament of baptism is the means by which an indivual says "I do" to God to
>effect eternal life. It has to involve consciousness of Christ's
>resurrection on the part of the "baptizee" (is that a word?). :-)
>
Dear Michael,

Thank you so much for this more in depth exploration of the real meaning
of 1 Peter 3:21.

I would like to note once again that, in baptism we make an "I am"
statement rather than an "I do" statement. There was nothing we could
do. The only thing left for us to do was to respond to what was done for
us in Christ, and in baptism, we make that identification.

As for its "saving efficacy", I think that Nee makes a very good
distinction between eternal life, and being saved, to be saved is to be
"saved from", not "saved to". In baptism we make a statement to where we
have been that we are through with it. Our old man is a witness to the
baptism.

We have an expression, "learn it by heart". I think this is helpful
where understanding the "pledge of a good conscience toward God" part
is concerned. In learning something by heart, we generally repeat, and
repeat it, until we have "learned it by heart." This is what baptism
does for us, it helps us to "learn it by heart. Having done so, it is
more difficult to et when we are tested on the truth of it: If any
man be in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new hase.

When everyone knows, including our old man, that we are no longer what
we once were, they are not as inclined to take us along with them back
into the deeds of darkness. In that sense we are saved from that
pressure. At least, it is significantly reduced. There is more to "so
great salvation" than this, but this is part of it.

Yours in Christ,

Jay


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Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2002 13:52:29 -0400
From: David Anderson <david * housechurch>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] my people love to have it so

Dick, the prayer listpiler, gave us a quote, then wrote:

>DA> Jer. 5:29-31 Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: shall
>DA> not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? A wonderful and
>horrible
>DA> thing ismitted in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the
>DA> priests bear rule by their means; AND MY PEOPLE LOVE TO HAVE IT SO: and
>DA> what will ye do in the end thereof?
>
>DA> Let me tie it to another subject at hand. We tend to blame a usurping
>DA> clergy for most of the problems in the churches today. Yet, just as in
>DA> the prophet's day, "lazy laymen" are perfectly content to abdicate their
>DA> own functions.

>Very true. The 'pastor' could not exist without the desire of the
>'layman'.

>--
>Dick
>Phil.3:12-14

Hey nuggeteers,

"Some on this list have said that it's all about ego with IC pastor(s),
but that has not been my whole experience -- and, incidentally, I have
never been a pastor. Furthermore, the pastorate is not the sole
repository of inflated egos. There are actually a lot of these "loose
cannon prophets" out there, "chomping at the bit" to be heard ... by
someone. Anyone. And their views don't necessarily stand up under
scrutiny from the Scriptures. History. Clear thinking. Yet they would be
heard! Pure ego."

Michael M wrote the above back in January before Dick joined us. I just
found it while working on the ntcp archives. It can certainly be linked
to the idea of blaming most everything on the clergy. Truly, the IC
pastors have no monopoly on egomania.

All honest persons must reign ego in. There is no "I" in teamwork. Jesus
must increase - we must decrease.

David Anderson


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Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2002 19:36:52 +0000
From: "David Jaggernauth" <ab * hotmail>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] my people love to have it so

Dear D. Anderson,

My experience as well is that not all pastors in the ICs are really to
blame. There are some who genuinely do not operate out of their egos, I
know a few of them who are good men. The sad thing thing is that we are
handing down an inherently flawed system and passing it on to each
succeeding Church generation. they are simply falling into the system and
doing what they are taught.

The following quote from Charles Finney I think speaks volumes:

"The other remark I wish to make is, that if any of you are deceived, and
have a false hope, you are in the utmost danger of reviving your old hope,
whenever you are awakened to consider your condition. It is a verymon
thing for such professors, after a season of anxiety and self-examination,
to settle down again on the old foundation. The reason is, their habits of
mind have be fixed in that channel, and therefore, by the laws of mind
it is difficult to break into a new course. It is indispensable, therefore,
if you ever mean to get right, that you should see clearly that you have
hitherto been wholly wrong, so that you need not multiply any more the kind
of efforts that have deceived you heretofore.

Who does not know that there is a great deal of this kind of deception? How
often will a great part of the church lie cold and dead, till a revival
mences? Then you will see them bustling about, and they get engaged, as
they call it, in religion, and renew their efforts and multiply their
prayers for a season; and this is what they call getting revived. But it is
only the same kind of religion that they had before. Such religion lasts no
longer than the public excitement. As soon as the body of the church begin
to diminish their efforts for the conversion of sinners, these individuals
relapse into their former worldliness, and get as near to what they were
before their supposed conversion, as their pride and their fear of the
censures of the church will let them. When a revivals again, they renew
the same round; and so they live along by spasms, over and over again,
revived and backslidden, revived and backslidden, alternately, as long as
they live. The truth is, they were deluded at first, by a spurious
conversion, in which selfishness never was broken down; and the more they
multiply such kind of efforts, the more sure they are to be lost."
Charles Finney Lecture II 1837- TRUE SUBMISSION

This is why I am convinced that the system must be changed. I have a lot to
say concerning this but wont go into it right now.
When I look back at my Christianity, my best walk with God was before I got
plugged into the Church system and began to be taught all the modern Church
doctrines.

I had a very spontaneous ( yes Michael, spontaneous ) dynamic walk that had
absolutely nothing to do with "Church". It was full of power, worship
(without Church songs), miracles and excitement. I can pinpoint when it
changed.

I used to visit an old woman on Wednesdays whose son was a drug addict and
afflicted by many demons, he lived on the streets and would stone her house
and physically assault her at times. I came to meet this woman after her son
had tried to break into my Car. I had parked the car where I worked and left
the window down accidentally. Someone called to tell me that there was a man
trying to break into my car. When I investigated, the person who raised the
alarm said that the guy was trying to break into the back door but when I
looked at the front door the glass was down. It seems as though the Lord
blinded his eyes to the fact that the glass was down (the glass was darkly
tinted so it would have been very noticeable), anyway, the woman came to me
on her own to apologize and told me about her son.

Every week i would go to her and minister and pray for her. She had seven
dogs, and every time I visited and prayed one of her dogs would fall dead
during the week for absolutely no reason at all, this continued until all
were dead. Her son soon became very quiet and stopped harassing her, but he
still lived on the streets. I continued seeing her and ministering to her.
She came from a hindu background but had accepted Jesus and was going to a
Nazarene Church nearby.

I had just started going to my old Church and was told that I must attend
the Wednesday evening prayer meeting. When I told them about my Wednesday
meeting with this woman, it was stressed to me that the attendance at the
Wednesday evening prayer meeting was an important requirement. I stopped
visiting the woman and began to get plugged into the system, this was the
exact moment when everything in my Christianity changed. I was introduced to
themittees and various in-house ministries, fund raising etc. After
about two years of this my Christianity began to dry up. The IC is inward
looking, and always drawing to itself to build itself up.

True Christianity to me is something lived amongst the lost, the sick, the
poor, the dying. The real world, not some fantasy conjured up through
spurious doctrines designed to draw loyalty to a few men intent on building
earthly kingdoms to satisfy their egotistical need for recognition and
acclaim (phew that was a mouthful).

The pastors that I know here who I consider to be good men are relatively
unknown here, they are simple humble men. The local "superstars" with the
big flashy ministries (media etc.) are somewhat suspect to me. A good man I
know left his Church in 1973 which he had pastored. he has never pastored a
Church since. He has won many souls all over the world, in places like
Russia, India, Europe North America etc where God sent him to preach. His
ministry today consists of feeding 500 homeless people every week. A
ministry which he built without a single fundraising project. This is real
church for him. He has never gone back into the system. Incidentally, he was
also a homeless vagrant before he got saved and became a preacher.

I have note to this conclusion on the IC because I was hurt in it, Far
from it, everything that has happened to me in the last 9 years or so was
directly the result of God leading me, including my experience in my old
Church. If your life's experience is a result of God's direction and
dealings it is rebellion to feel hurt or bitterness in response to it, God
will give you the grace to go through it. Much of what I know now and see
now has been confirmed to me in the scripture, it is not from my own nature
that some might think has a desire to get back at the ICs, far from it. I
have gone back into an IC to help the pastor there, not to criticize them
but to bring a new word to them, a fresh revelation.

I agree fully with the statement that the people are to blame for the
current situation in the ICs. The people place these men on pedestals and
exalt them. Satan himself couldn't do a better job to cause the downfall of
many of God's people. It brings to mind the three temptations of Jesus. This
however is again largely a result of the system that they are plugged into.

My frustration here has been with the fact that the people sit in Church and
close their eyes and their minds, and anything that is said from the pulpit
is received with a big amen, regardless of what is said.
The sheep have gone to sleep and satan is on the rampage. The prophets
prophecy exactly what the people want to hear (most of them) and when the
true prophets speak, they are ignored and are not invited toe back
again.

There is a scripture in the new testament (I cannot recall where I saw it
now) that says that we are responsible for what we believe and will be
judged accordingly. God has made it possible for every man to have a bible
in his possession that he can read on his own, many choose instead to not do
so. There is a price to pay for truth, are we willing to pay it???

David Jaggernauth

Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2002 05:21:15 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] my people love to have it so

David Jaggernauth wrote:

Dear David,

Thank you so much for what you shared, the quote as well as the
testimony, and anointed conclusion of the matter:

About 15 years ago, writing to area clergy, I said in part: "The current
situation is one in which the pastors alone have the vested interest
associated with the present power structures. In the absence of clearly
identifiable prophetic and apostolic ministry, and in the continuing
presence of great confusion where eldership is concerned, the pastors
determine structure. And in their minds, no one has the authority to
ask, "What doest thou?" Prophets, to the degree they are recognized, are
"their prophets". Elders, to the degree that there are any, are "their
elders".

Prophets, as such, must remain external to the vested interests of
structures. Prophets who are subject to the structure, are promised
in their ability to see and speak to its defects.

The Bible tells us that "we can do nothing against the truth". If we
don't like the truth, the best thing to do is to prevent its being
spoken. This is why stoning prophets is the number one sport in
Jerusalem. Religious people, and especially religious leaders have not
always loved the truth, and prophetic ministry has been God's corrective
for this problem. Prophets are the cannon fodder of the Lord.

Paul was able to deal with this problem, as long as he was present. What
was going to happen after he left, however was the object of three and
one half years of tears. Paul understood, what we need to understand,
and that is that in Ephesus there was only one Church. Because he
understood this, and this was his confession and aim, He was able to
deal with the motives of those who would divide the flock. If we would
allow the Lord to deal with our own perceptions, fears and ambitions, we
also would be able to deal with those who would divide the Body. Until
we repent of those principles resident in our own hearts which allow us
to preside without shame over the broken Body of Christ, we will
continue to be part of the problem, rather than part of the solution."

As you have said, "... and the people love it that way."

Keep on keeping on! Keep on beating your arrows on the ground. One day
The Lord will give us all the victory. Thank you for your faithfulness.

Yours in Christ,

Jay


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Date: Sun, 23 Jun 2002 21:54:48 -0400
From: David Anderson <david * housechurch>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Infant Baptism

Hi TC,

Though I don't see infant baptism as I used to, by no means is it a silly
assumption.

Seems like about half of the baptisms in acts were "household." And, we
must recall that in the eyes of the Jews, the children - even the infants
- - were regarded as part of the family of God AND WERE EVEN GIVEN A
SPECIAL SIGN (males only, that is).

Furthermore, the principal of federal headship is frequently found in the
Old Testament and in the New Testament, too. The very plan of salvation
is based upon God treating others on behalf of a representative:

Rom. 5:16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the
judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many
offences unto justification.

Rom. 5:17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more
they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness
shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so
by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Not very democratic, huh?

Well, I abandoned infant baptism when I realized that many of the great
reformed theologians admitted that "sprinkling" was not the scriptural or
apostolic method. If they were mistaken as to the mode, perhaps also the
subjects of baptism, as well, I reasoned and began to rethink my steps.

Christ's teaching that he could "make children of Abraham out of the
stones" and his warning to "say not that we're Abraham's children,"
settled this question with me.

Baptism is about new birth - not merely birth. Regeneration - not
genes.

I have been working on the archives of ntcp, converting them to html and
cleaning them up a little, this week. I have re-read your messages to my
profit, TC. My thanks go out to you.

By the way, Dan Beaty of Columbus, OH, re-baptized me several years ago in
the Holston River, not far from our house.

One other factor... I was studying the biographies of the Haldane
Brothers at that time, who God was really using all over Europe despite
their departure from "covenant theology." They were also instrumental in
kicking off the modern missionary movement.

fraternally and eternally yours in Him,

David Anderson


End of New Testament Church Planting Digest V2 #108

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