New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches



NT Church Proliferation Digest Thursday, July 11 2002 Volume 02 : Number 117
Re: [NTCP] Every man a theologian.
Re: [NTCP] Every man a theologian.
[NTCP] Do we need doctrine?
[NTCP] Re: Do we need doctrine?
Re: [NTCP] Do we need doctrine?

Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 10:45:52 -0700
From: "Brittian's Mail" <louderthantheradio * attbi>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Every man a theologian.

I was reading in an incredible translation of the new testament recently and
I came across a passage which really had been obscured from me before.
Jesus was speaking to a large crowd, and oddly enough on the religous
doctrine of their day, he says, and this is amazing..."if the light a man
has is truly darkness then how deep that darkness will be..." not to far
after that he scolded the religous elite of his age for vainly studying the
scriptures thinking that within their doctrine and methodology they would
somehow find truth and eternal life, pointing out that he was what all of
scripture pointed to. He is truth, and therefore eternal life, as if to say
search your theology no further.

David, I think you are right when you say (paraphrase) theology points to
Christ, or even that it is the study of Christ. However do you not think
there comes a point in the deeper walk with our Lord that we cease to crave
His things, and simply crave Him? Simply put, we don't wish to know a shred
more ABOUT Him, we just want to know Him. The two may seem
indistinguishable, but believe me as someone who has plowed that field of
knowing about Him, it is no exchange for knowing him.

If the light we have, and it may seem like a very great light indeed, is
truly darkness... I found it such a startling thing, as have many others in
the past, to wake up one morning and realize that the Christ I was serving
conviently fit all of my pre-conceptions and notions of Him. Thats just it,
they fit into all my theology. Then I met Him.

Theology or thoughts about him or methodology becomes sort of pointless when
you are standing face to face with Him. In fact you become a dead man when
you see Him, and dead men do not speak. Its rather like the child who's
done a great deal of research on Bill Gates, goes to present the report to
his fifth grade class, discovers that a strange man is teaching the class
and becomes very irrate, throws a temper tantram. After all, this was the
day he was supposed to report, he knows an awful lot about Bill Gates and
deserves to relay that on to everyone else. The stranger conceids, not
wanting the child to cry about it, and so the boy shares his report. It is
a very good report, filled with lots of information. The stranger then gets
up and says, "Well thank you for having me here today, I would have liked to
have shared more with all of you, but young Johnny here did a very fine job,
maybe another day we can get together and just have fun."

As he's leaving Johnny asked his classmate who that was, he responds, "the
real bill gates."
Can you imagine, after all the research, afte all that exuberants Johnny had
failed to even recognize his idol. Moreover he had traded an experience of
the man, for just information.

This brother is many of us (self included), we must have a, as T. Austin
Sparks calls it, apprehension of the living Lord.
Then we will truly see our cookie cutter methodology, endless and
meaningless debates, thoughts on him and oh yes expectations of Him, be
shattered!
In Him
Brittian


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Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 17:54:07 -0400
From: AOM Canada <aom_canada * hotmail>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Every man a theologian.

Hi David:

Bit apprehensive about replying, as you seem to have gotten wound up over
some postings, mine included. However here goes.

> From: David Anderson <david * housechurch>
>
> So why, my brother Sam, are the topics which you brought up yesterday in
> your 5 emails any more relevant and delete-resistant than things like
> baptism, evangelism, communion, etc?

I will be frank with you. These issues and topics you have had on the list,
I have worked through already, and quite honestly, am not in the least
interested in exploring any further...for the time being anyway. I have
come to a peace about them and how they "fit" our existential reality as a
Christian community.

>Those are - every one - issues which
> concern "church planters" and gathered saints. All those issues, when
> conceived of in apostolic terms, point directly to Jesus Christ. Why, I
> am wondering, are your topics so significant and others' topics so boring?

If you perceive your topics as important, "Rah! Rah!" for you. Simply put,
those particular topics have exhausted me, and when I see the "theological
rhetoric and barbs" going back and forth, I back off, no longer interested
in the exchange. Are mine any more important than yours? Actually they are,
for me that is, much more important than yours. It is my existential
context, and within this list, we all speak from such a context. I find
some topics absolutely totally boring and exhausting. Don't get me wrong,
but hey, I am not where some of you are. On some things I have been there.
On others I haven't and may never be! But if I do, I will deal with it then.
As an interactive list dealing with church planting, I would expect the list
to be more interactive and more interchange take place, and there have been
some great exchanges and some not so great. I have found when I am not where
others are at, I simply download the email, and hit delete. I have no real
frame of reference so then I don't contribute. But there have been some
issues raised and I know if I did contribute it would cause other things to
happen, and there again, I don't bother, because it isn't worth the while.
I will generally stick with what I can handle and deal with the small stuff
and not sweat the big stuff. Interestingly enough, I guess I would save
most of the big stuff for those I see face to face and have a deeper
relationship with. It is rather hard to have deeper relationship on the
Internet.
>
> Your anti-theology message, which is nothing more than a statement of
> your own belief system, a.k.a. YOUR OWN MYSTICAL THEOLOGY, reminds us how
> absolutely inescapable theology really is, even when so uncleverly
> disguised.

Now you are making me out to be 'anti-theology' and I am not. As I said, we
need BOTH, but we always retreat to theological diatribes instead of dealing
with the 'stuff' about our mystical union with Jesus. It is much safer to
speak about Him than deal with Him face to face and deal with others stuff
face to face.

I don't disguise the fact that I am theological, and in fact I count many
contemporary evangelical scholars as friends and aquaintances, such are RC
Sproul and JI Packer and Michael Horton to name a few. I worked in
curriculum development for a Reformed ministry. I have never hidden that
part of me and nor do I intend to. My statement of belief is a simple one.
I want to KNOW Jesus existentially and experientially AND the other
knowledge of Him will increase and develop in me. I do not need more
information, but I need ongoing transformation. Most theological people I
know have a difficult time being real with others and do not have good
relationships. There are many theologians I admire, including the late John
Gerstner, whom I got to know, who said, "Everyone is a theologian, but there
are only two kinds. Good ones and bad ones. Which one are you? Are you
being transformed by the indwelling Christ? If your theology doesn't lead
to transformation, then it is bad theology!" I agree with him. BUT, there
are many times we find it easier to reduce God and and all that concerns Him
to precepts and presuppositions rather than inner transformation through
intimate relationship. I know I was very much that way.

> Every man, every woman is a theologian. Why? Because, though fallen, they
> are made in God's holy image. Consider the Athenians with their unknown
> god, the mariners in Jonah's ship, the Malta islanders. The Amorites, and
> the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and
> the Jebusites, the unconverted Jews, etc.

No question, but Paul said, "I KNOW the invisible god of which you speak!"
It is all about RELATIONAL KNOWLEDGE and INTIMACY, not the actual belief
system or categories of thought.
>
> The Spirit purifies our inmost thoughts/beliefs/doctrines/theology, not
> by the removal of our minds but by the renewing of them. Taking the
> things of Jesus and showing them to us. Luke 24:27 And beginning at Moses
> and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the
> things concerning himself.

Who is talking about the removal of our minds? Not me. But our minds and
systems of thought especially in the Western culture get in the way of
relationship and understanding of God at a deeper level. Our ways of
thinking, especially the influence of Greco-Roman rhetoric have done more
harm to Christianity than any one thing. We have effectively removed the
"Jewishness of the gospel". We leave very little room for those things we
do not understand or do not fit our categories of thinking. One
contemporary example within our society is the reaction of America to 911.
The rest of the world said, "What's your problem, we've been dealing with
terrorism for over 40 years!" Same for me, when 911 happened I battled two
conflicting emotions. On one hand I was saddened at all the deaths, but on
the other hand I said, "Finally the USA will understand how we people from
Northern Ireland have suffered at the hands of the IRA, and maybe, just
maybe, they will stop supporting the IRA with political clout and finances."
Most Americans still have no clue still to this day. America doesn't
understand why many in other nations do not like them. I must here count
myself as one who loves American people, but one who despises the American
government and the current president. The arrogance of the US administration
is unbelievable. As a Canadian I did not want our boys in Afghanistan, and
still don't. It was the manipulation of "Cowboy Bush" that manipulated all
the other governments. And when that US pilot killed four Canadians, what
happened? Nothing. If a Canadian had done that, he would have been court
martialled and gone to prison. In America, he goes free. Americans do not
generally understand the world outside their borders and this is why there
are so many blunders on the international front. Look at the US policy with
Israel. Unbelievable. Who defends the Palestinians? No one other than the
enemies of the US, and then the conflicts continue. Why am I saying all
this? Simple. We make little room to learn new things and gain new
understanding. The same is true in going deeper in our relationship with
Jesus. We settle for what Brittain said, simple knowledge about Him rather
than knowing Him ourselves intimately.

>
> Even without the scriptures and without Christ, ALL eyes CONTINUALLY
> behold his handiwork on every hand according to Romans 1 and 2. In their
> minds they thus excuse their IMMORAL behavior and accuse others.
> Believers, on the other hand, are to integrate Jesus into every activity
> and thought. Which is why the worn out, cop out slogan "spending time
> with Him" actually shrinks intimacy with God to another of life's
> compartments rather than life's totality.

I agree with you. Intimacy for me is simply Jesus invading all of my life
all day long affecting all things and effecting interaction and change to
the ongoing relationship I have with Him and the world around me. I want Him
to invade my space and I run to Him for that very thing. I personally do
not find that in my theology. My theology provides me with an intellectual
escape and the means to run away from intimacy.
>
> We live and move in Him every second, who demands that every thought and
> every act be referenced to his glory and performed in his name alone. In
> short, we spend all time with Him - not just "time."
Yes, as Paul quoted the Greeks, in Athens, "In Him we exist, move and have
our being." I agree with your very, very mystical comment, "all time with
Him - not just 'time'".
>
> Sooooo, with our ever-present Lord with us and in us, nature, and
> scripture before us, we who do know Him have a continual feast by day
> and, at night, muse about his ways, works, and his love upon our beds.
I go to bed thinking about Him and talking with Him. I wake up singing to
Him and I sense His singing over me! Yes, absolutely He is all in all,
everything there is is in Him and flows from Him.
>
> If your previous studies did not immediately lead you to the Truth
> Incarnate, you either pursued them for selfish ends or you were dealing
> in falsehoods.
No, actually we only pursue what we gain through revelation and
understanding. There was no selfishness at all. I wanted to serve only Him
and I was very sincere, and I served Him the way others modelled for me and
taught me...through obsession with knowledge and an obsession with works. I
became passionate about Him and His work, and not passion for Him and to be
in His presence. Two very different things. In fact when I was being told by
the Lord to let some of the "things" go at the church and resign, the senior
pastor said to me, "No Sam, you need to do even more and I have just what
you need!" Meanwhile my family life was going down the toilet and I was on
the breaking point on some personal and relational issues and all he knew
was that I needed to do more and the Lord would help me through. What a load
of crap that is! I see it all the time. Work work work. Do more for God and
the church. Work work. There is a world going to hell. Work work. A pile of
hooey! The Lord wants sons, not workers. We labour and work from
relationship and our work should never be a measure of our spirituality or
commitment, for it is Christ in us who is working to do His good pleasure.
It has nothing to do with us. It is all Him. I served Him sincerely and I
was duped by people I trusted. No thanks. I was sincere then and I am
sincere now, and I will never lead another person through the hell I went
through and call it "the Christian life". It was bondage in the shackles of
religion, and nothing more.
>
> Rather than skirt theology or doctrines, Jesus REPEATEDLY identified
> himself with it: John 7:16-17 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine
> is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall
> know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
> Conclusion: One can have doctrines without Christ but one cannot have
> Christ without doctrines, i.e. theology. Granted, our theology is
> incomplete and insufficient without the Object of it.

Now Dan you have hit the MARK, it is all bout the OBJECT of our faith, Jesus
Himself. Doctrine means squat if it does not draw us into deeper intimate
relationship with Him.
>
> Now, let me attempt to tie this innate God-knowledge factor to the work
> of personal evangelism. When we tell others about Jesus, there is a
> certain AMEN in their innermost being! Now that should lead us to more
> boldness, right?

Not all are called to evangelize Dan. But ALL are called to bear witness. So
you may evangelize, but it is not a gift I operate in well, but I do bear
witness to others. When I bear witness of Christ to others, they see my
transparency and want what I have, not what I know. They want the
experiential side of our faith, the very object of our faith, Jesus.
>
> BTW, what further details would you provide of the inter-denomininational
> Canadian Conference? And who was the mysterious "German historian" who

23 attended, including Mike Steel from DAWN. Representatives from many
denominations, including 4 Square Gospel who are using HC networks now in
church planting, as well as Western Baptist Union of Canada also using house church as
a form of planting. Also the Mennonite Brethren are using HC, as well as
Navigators are developing a National strategy to plant HC's from coast to
coast. The focus was on developing strategies for the multiplication of HC
networks, and how to cooperate in outreach efforts. It was great to be
there. Three days on BC's Sunshine Coast at Robert's Creek, 2 miles from the
Pacific Ocean.

> attributed the 11:00 meeting to Luther's hangovers, affecting all those
> hundreds of millions of duped protestants to this very day?

I still haven't unpacked all my books since moving in February. When I will
I will let you know.
>
> Above all, when you see the ntcp list going in the wrong direction, work
> and pray to improve conditions rather than sit there in quietness and
> boredom with a spastic delete button. I'll be the first to admit that
> things can become too cerebral.

Dan, I am a busy man. Even writing this is taking me away from things I need
to do right now. I do pray, and I do consider ways of communicating, and
then I back off. I do get bored. I find a lot of what pumped me up in the
past, especially in theology bores me now. Theology was an idol in my life
and it had to die, and maybe that is part of it too. I see the idol I once
had and want nothing to do with it and when I see others jumping all over
that stuff, I cringe and wonder, "What are they into that for?!"

Cerebral...yep...too cerebral and you are sure to lose me. I used to debate
in theological debates. I can't do that anymore. I walk away.
>
> Blessings to thy house and cheers to the Lamb!
>
> David Anderson

Blessings to you too Dan.

In the eternal GRIP of Jesus (G - growing, R - Resting, I - Intimate, P -
Persevering),

Sam


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Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 11:20:01 -0400
From: "Linkh * bigfoot" <Linkh * worldnet.att>
Subject: [NTCP] Do we need doctrine?

Could we please remember to keep posts down to two per poster per day.
[Moderator]
For some time, I've been concerned about this tendancy many american
Christians have to say that doctrien is not important and that all that is
important is a 'personal relationship with Jesus Christ.'

I agree that a 'personal relationship with Jesus Christ' is very important.
But there are some ways in which people interpret that phrase in a wrong
way. Here are some examples:

1. The 'just me and Jesus' attitude-

This is the idea that all that matters in someone's Christian walk is his
own personal relationship with Jesus, and not his relationship to other
brethren, or the corporate relationship of the local body with Christ. This
is contrary to the expression of body life. This isn't Biblical. The
American outlook is individualistic, and sometimes we read individualism
into the Gospel.

2. A flippant attitude toward Christ.

If one of my buddies I went to school with wanted me to go out for a pizza,
and something came up, because he is my pal, I would feel free to call up
and cancel. He woudl understand. We are friends. If I popped my friend in
the stomach jokingly, or got him in a headlock and gave him a noogy, that
might even be okay. (I'm not really the noogy-giving, stomach punching
type, btw.)

But what does the Bible say about friendship with Christ:

John 15
14. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
15. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what
his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have
heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

Jesus elevates disciples who obey Him to the status of friends--but they
still have to obey Him.

3. A belief that 'doctrine' is unnecessary.

'Doctrine' is just a fancy word for teaching. I realize that there are some
people, who like the Pharisees, study doctrine, but lack life. They may
have an elbaorate system of doctrine worked out, but not truly be obeying
God. I also understand that a lot of what passes for theology is human
philosophy mixed with parts of the Gospel.

But there is definitely a place for pure Christian doctrine (teaching) in
the life of a Christian. Let us look at what the Bible says about doctrine:

Mark 4:2-3
2 And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his
doctrine,
3 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:

Jesus teaching, even His parables are doctrine. Believers should learn the
teachings of Christ. How can we know His commandments if we do not learn
His teachings? How can we be His friends (with a _personal relationship_)
if we do not obey Him?

KJV Mark 12:38 And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the
scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the
marketplaces,

This was part of Christ's 'doctrine' as well.

John 7:16-17
16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that
sent me.
17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it
be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

If we obey God, we know that Christ's doctrine is of God.

2 John 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of
Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath
both the Father and the Son.

The unsaved don't abide in the DOCTRINE of Christ. If we do abide in
Christ's DOCTRINE then we have a 'personal relationship' with the Father and
the Son.

We see that the idea that "I don't need any more doctrine. Just give me
more of Jesus." is wrong. If we abide in Christ's doctrine (teaching) then
we have both the Father and the Son.

So it is not a question of doctrine versus more of Christ. If we do not
abide in the doctrine of Christ, we do not have Christ. If we do abide in
the doctrine of Christ, we do have Christ.

Realistically, what do you do if you try to give someone Jesus with no
doctrine? I just don't understand what you are talking about in real life.

When I meet with brethren, and they share from the word of god, and the
Spirit of God and the grace of God empowers what they say, I'm being
ministered to by parts of the body of Christ. I'm getting more of Jesus in
my life right then and there. When someone gives a genuine word of
exhortation through the Spirit, Jesus is ministering to me. If I meditate
on the teachings of the Gospels and obey them, this is a good thing for my
relationship with Christ. Jesus said His disciples were His friends if they
kept His commandments.

I had a conversation with a man around a month ago who seemed to think he
had a 'personal relationship with God' who didn't seem to care too much for
doctrine. I went to a party/church meeting at a brother's house. We
normally met downtown, but that night we were meeting around a bon fire in
his yard.

This man I met lived nearby. He had brought a girl with him. As we talked
with the man, he told about his motorcycle gang past, how he had kids out of
wedlock, then got married and divorced. The girl he brought with him was
the wife of another man. That man had her involved in 'kink' ('swinging,' I
guess) and sleeping with other men. He was abusive in other ways. She left
him, and went to live with this other guy.

He told a story about her having her leg on him when they were asleep, and
it was already clear that htey had a 'relationship.'

The verse of scripture, 'Rebuke your neighbor frankly, so that you do not
share in his sin' was on my heart. So I talked with the man alone right
before the meeting started. If we had had communion that night, I would not
have felt free to eat with him. My conversation with him about his
girlfriend had taken place after I'd eaten (I Cor. 5.)

I pointed this man to 'thou shalt not commit adultery.' He had this theory
about them being married 'in their hearts' and her husbands marriage to her
not being valid because he wasn't sincere when he made his wedding vows, and
all kinds of stuff. I shared with him from the scriptures.

He told me that if he were in sin, he would always get convicted. Now he
didn't feel convicted. His relationship with this other man's wife felt
great. I told him some of the teachings of Christ and other teachings of
the Bible, and I warned him that relationships can feel good. If youd on't
feel convicted, that doesn't mean you aren't sinning. God gave him enough
already for him to know he was doing wrong. He didn't have to feel
convicted, too. He seemed open to what I said.

This man was a result of the modern teaching that doctrine and Bible aren't
so important, and that all that is important is yoru 'personal relationship
with Jesus.' But a personal relationship with Christ without the doctrine
is not possible!
If you plant a house church, what should you do? Jesus told the eleven in
Matthew 28:18-20:

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me
in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of
the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:
and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

He wanted the disciples to TEACH the nations to observe His commands. The
apostles taught the DOCTRINE of Christ.

Look at some of the good things the early church did"

Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and
fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

Notice that. They continued in the apostles doctrine!

Sam, maybe you mean something different by 'doctrine' than the meaning found
in the Bible. If so, please clarify. In the Bible, the doctrine of Christ
is absolutely essential to a relationship with Christ and His Father.
Without doctrine, there is no relationship. We would be lost in our sins if
we never heard any doctrine about Jesus Christ.

If you aren't interested in a thread here, you are free to skip it.
Honestly, I'd like to see more practical discussion of issues related to
church planting. But all these doctrinal issues are important for church
planting. I'm learning from some of these posts, and I believe that some of
them have the grace of God at work in them.

Earlier this week, I had an unusual experience. For the second time in my
life that I can recall, it actually seemed like the Lord was directing me to
watch TV. My parents have satellite TV, and I felt like I was supposed to
watch something on the Angel network.

McArthur was hosting an episode of a show called 'Word Pictures.' My first
impression of McArthur was rather poor. I read bits and pieces of
_Charismatic Chaos_, a lame work against the operation of the gifts of the
Spirit filled with strawman arguments. One technique he'd use was dismiss
an experience he quoted as 'mysticism' as if labelling it as mystical would
make it bad. I wonder what he would think if I told him of my 'mystical'
experience that caused me to watch his show. :)

I hear, though, that McArthur has written a lot of other really good works,
and that his ministry has brought repentence to Baptists and turned a lot of
people away from 'cheap grace.'

McArthur's show this time focused on the issue of the dangers of pragmatism
in the church. He focused on how churches were turning to entertaining
drama presentations, pop psychology, prosperity teaching that appealed to
carnal people, and were turning away from really teaching the Bible.
Pragmatists want Christian unity, see doctrine as something that divides,
and only tend to give doctrine in small doses.

He then compared pragmatism, so common in evangelical churches today, with
the philosophy of the early Modernists in the 1800's. The Modernists saw
doctrine as something that divided, and held to many of the same
philosophies that are common with today's prggmatic Christians. At first,
Modernism seemed rather harmless, but as it evolved, it developed into
liberal theology and rank unbelief. Modernism, he said, destroyed entire
denominations.

We need more of Jesus. But we don't need more nice-sounding, but deceptive
evangelical cliche's. We don't need to mix our North American
individualistic philosophies with the Gospel. We don't need to forsake
teaching the true doctrine of Christ, which actually brings unity.

We do need doctrine. We need to seek after wisdom, knowledge, and
understanding. There are many Proverbs I could cite about this. Here are a
few verses.

Proverbs 2:2-6
2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to
understanding;
3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for
understanding;
4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid
treasures;
5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge
of God.
6 For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and
understanding.

How can we say, "We don't need doctrine, we just need Jesus." when Jesus
Himself taught doctrine and taught others to teach doctrine?

We don't need doctrines of men, vain philosophies, and many other things
that get labelled as 'doctrine.' But we do need the doctrine of Christ.
And often giving people 'more of Jesus' translates into teaching them the
doctrine of Christ, and encouraging them to abide in it.

I suspect, brother Sam, that you do teaach doctrine, and that you don't
think the 'doctrine of Christ' is bad. Maybe you are burned out from
hearing a lot of traditions of men. Please, be careful though, not to
promote this philosphy that says that doctrine is not important. It leads
to serious error.

Link Hudson


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Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 15:58:39 -0700
From: Dan Snyder <Dan * lsm>
Subject: [NTCP] Re: Do we need doctrine?

Dear Link,

Your question is a good one. I wonder if the problem is that for some of us
the word "doctrine" has a connotation of being just "dead letters".

We surely need the truth, but not in a dry "doctrinal" way. We need the
truth in a living, life-giving way that brings us more and more into the
experience of Christ.

If we agree on doctrine that's nice, but what builds the Lord's Body is His
people contacting and experiencing Him both individually and corporately.

Our individual, daily contact with the Lord is what supplies us. When we
come together with others that supply flows out so that we can mutually
shepherd one another... that way the Body builds itself up in love.

Anyway, the link below is to an old tract that I enjoyed years ago. It's
about two brothers named Hunky and Dory, and it has to do with eating....

http://www.gnte/ecopub/hunkyand.htm

I think some of our brothers and sisters might enjoy it too (do we have any
sisters out there?).

Dan


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Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 16:09:22 -0700
From: "Brittian's Mail" <louderthantheradio * attbi>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Do we need doctrine?

My last post on this particular issue I think, and here it goes.
First, let me go on record of what I am not saying.
1) I am not saying that we don't need to learn of our Lord, although I think
most of us in our experience of Christianity have probably received more
than enough of exactly that, and very little of knowing Him. Nonetheless the
more we know Him the more we will conversely know of Him.

2.)I am definatly not promoting Jesus and me theology.
ever since sola scriptura of the reformation that has been such a deceptive
and particularly foul doctrine. Especially here in the West when we already
have such strong individualistic tendencies anyhow, its easy to think in
terms of the individual. But frankly I feel that the only individual that
the Father has on his mind is His son. There is no question that we must
stop thinking in terms of the individual and begin to take part in the
divine nature which is corporate in reality. This whole journey, which is
Christ, is corporate and certainly not that of an individual Christian.
Truthfully I feel that the only way a Christian life can be really lived is
in the intimacy of real church life.

3) And this connects to every point I have ever brought up or attempted to
speak on, this world is filled with shadows of Jesus Christ.
Since the beginning of creation, there have been a trillion shadows of the
Son worked into every element around us. They are hints, clues, and
directionals that point us to the mystery. For ages people who rightly
identified those clues could only really hope that someday they might
glimpse the full extent of what the reality truly was.
These shadows are basic, some are found in nature itself, and some are found
in man. The whole of the OT was filled with these fleeting and divine
glimpses, "just visiting" signs if you will, and for moments, very few of
them, man saw his Lord. Religions and systems, laws, and legalisms and mans
creations crafted ways to hold onto those moments because man was not made
to live on shadows, such as bread and water, or methods and half-realities,
man was made to live by the very Word of God. But the more man tried to
hold onto those glimpses of the most high, the more he seemed to drag
himself down. Finally in the fullness of time God sent His son. And the
mystery was revealed to these men and women who so desperatly had been
longing for real belonging.
No longer servants, but friends, no longer friends but brothers and sisters.
No more shadows! Christ was revealed as reality in them the day they were
filled with His spirit! That was the mystery, Christ in them. The just
visiting sign was removed from their spirits and a permanent residence was
made.

Mans systems, mans attempts to hold onto those shadows was grossly no longer
needed.

The mystery, whom Paul was steward of, whom he encouraged Timothy and the
other workers he was raising up to know, the one that Peter referenced, and
John acknowledged they beheld, was in them!!!!

So what then did these first century church workers preach if not doctrine
and theology and all the other shadows that merely pointed to an indwelling
Lord?

John the beloved told us, "That which was from the beginning (here he is
refering to the only thing that is from the beginning, even before, and that
is the fellowship of the Father and the Son by means of the Holy Spirit [I
Cor 1:9]), that which we have heard (from Christ) with the present result
that it is ringing in our ears, that which we have discerningly seen with
our eyes (the life of the Father within the Son), that which we gazed upon
as a spectacle, and our hands handled, that which is concerning the Word of
life (Christ), and this aformentioned life was made visible--I saw it with
my own eyes, and am bearing witness and bringing back to you a message
concerning the life, the eternal life, which is of the nature as to have
been in the fellowship with the Father and was made visible to us. That
which we have seen with discernment and at present is in our minds eye, and
that which we have heard and at present is ringing in our ears, we are
reporting to you in order that as for you also you may join with us in
participating in fellowship. And our fellowship is with the Father and the
SOn Jesus Christ."

John spoke of what he knew, the fellowship of the Father and the Son living
and breathing and working out in his life through the Holy Spirit. THE
MYSTERY!!!!
It was not theory that the apostles taught, it was the Lord Jesus, the life
of the Father in Him, their fellowship, it was a man, not a thing, not a
doctrine, not an institution, it was a man, a Lord, a Christ, THE man, THE
Lord, THE Christ!!!

"Is the Lord Jesus Christ so superficial that we can be justified in
neglecting Him in favor of other things? Have we so quickly exhausted the
unsearchable riches of Christ that we must move on to lesser topics Or
perhaps there are loftier subjects than just the Lord Jesus?"

Do we need doctine? Well brother, I'm not sure. If you mean, do we need
the risen and sovereign Lord, Him who is all truth, He who is the only way
and method, our Saviour who is the deeper, highest, and only Life, in a real
and corporate manner within the Body which is the fullness of Him who fills
all things up to overflowing, then yes we need THAT doctrine. But in so
much as doctrine means taught theories handed down from one generation to
the next, stories of past encounters with Him, and man's desperate
struggling to make since of a very un-tame Lion, who's mysteries are His
own, who's thoughts are not, nor ever were ours, and who's ways are high
above, then no I don't suppose I do need that.

What did Paul say in relation to that which he came to preach, "When I came
to you brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of doctrine,
proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing
among you (and I would insert here that this is not just at Corinth, that he
makes this purpose but every city he visits) except Jesus Christ, and Him
crucified!"

ANd that Link, in answer to your thirst on the particular issue, is what
real and practical church workers do, they give Christ.

I apologize for the length. But there was alot to say.
Blessings
brittian
 


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