New Testament Church Proliferation Digest

Spreading the Gospel via House Churches

NT Church Planting Digest Saturday, July 13 2002 Volume 02 : Number 118
Re: [NTCP] Re: Do we need doctrine?
Re: [NTCP] Do we need doctrine?
Re: [NTCP] Do we need doctrine?- Thanks Brittain
RE: [NTCP] Do we need doctrine?
[NTCP] re: hoaxes
[NTCP] circumcising Gentiles

Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 06:16:44 EDT
From: Steffasong * aol
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Re: Do we need doctrine?

In a message dated 07/11/2002 6:58:12 PM Eastern Daylight Time, Dan * lsm
> I think some of our brothers and sisters might enjoy it too (do we have any
> sisters out there?).
> Dan



Stephanie Bennett

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Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 10:34:05 -0400
From: "Samuel Buick" <aom_canada * hotmail>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Do we need doctrine?

Hi Link:
I have no problem with anything you said in your post. In fact it was
stimulating, and gentle, and I appreciate that and thank you for it.

>From: "Linkh * bigfoot" <Linkh * worldnet.att>
>I suspect, brother Sam, that you do teaach doctrine, and that you don't
>think the 'doctrine of Christ' is bad.

I teach it in a very very different manner than I used to. I teach it in a
relational way, similar to the dialogue format you had with that man who was
with another man's wife. The interactive dialogue is what has been missing
in most church expressions, room for small groups of people (2 or three) as
well as larger (4 to 14)that are interactive in nature, rather than
dialectical diatribes that pass as "sermons" that I have experienced my
whole life. There is a place for teaching/preaching to a larger audience,
but I think we have missed it, when as you said John MacArthur used 'word
pictures' or others use metaphor and parables to teach, literally paint
pictures for us, and this is good, we need more relevant imagery and such
methods of communication, and we need interaction.

I teach on a regular basis, in fact I am teaching on six sessions on
HOUSE CHURCH FOUNDATIONS. I will be doing monthly interactive seminars for
small groups of people for equipping and releasing them into their calling
and ministry. I am teaching on RESTING AND WALKING IN THE ANOINTING in
September, and in October it will be THAT ALL MAY PROPHESY, and in November,
INTERCESSION. Each of these will involve either a Saturday all day, or four
sessions during the week. People will sign up (minimum of 3) as to show
commitment. Location will be at my home. I desire to see people established
and equipped, and each and every time, their intimate relationship with
Jesus is at the forefront. It has to be.

>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.

You may be right on the issue of the 'traditions of men' but how much of
what we have been taught in the church as the "true doctrine" the teachings
of men? I would hazard that the vast majority of what we have been taught
has been exactly that, the "traditions of men", and we need look no further
than our ecclessiology. How much of it has changed? I have literally thrown
out some "master works of theology" that are literally "dung" now! Their
ecclessiology is wrong and it is laying a false foundation about the church,
and the ministry and the like. This is simply 1 doctrine! How many more
have simply been the "traditions" of men? I venture to say much more. And
this is the whole point. Theology is a human study of what God has said, and
it is from a human understanding and categorizing, not God's. We have built
our boxes and we have put God "in his place" in systems of thought! You
don't find that offensive? I do, and I recognize them as such. Do I love
doctrine? I love the word, and I love meditating on it. I read history and
cultural anthropoly, and study geography and sociology to better understand
context, and I study language and syntax to study words and their nuances.
But, I do this at one level, and when I have done so, I wait on the Lord and
ask Him to "proof" it for me! My mind is limited and easily influenced. I
need to go to the Author of the Book to get His "read" on what He is
desiring to say to us today. Why do we need to always run to theologians?

Thanks Link.

In the eternal GRIP of Jesus,

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Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 10:37:52 -0400
From: "Samuel Buick" <aom_canada * hotmail>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Do we need doctrine?- Thanks Brittain

Thanks so much for showing more of the MYSTERY to us! And being a blessing
to me.


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Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 12:14:40 -0400
From: "Fred Jeavons" <fjeavons *>
Subject: RE: [NTCP] Do we need doctrine?

From Sam:

"Theology is a human study of what God has said, and it is from a human
understanding and categorizing, not God's. We have built our boxes and we
have put God "in his place" in systems of thought!"

That is my understanding of the word also and I think that most who have
spoken against theology since Jay started us "The Magical Mystical Tour"
probably understand likewise. It seems to me that some of the disputing
about words like theology, doctrine, religion and so on only serve to cloud
the spirit of the things said. For example, we are believers and those who
have not Christ are unbelievers. But that doesn't mean that the unbelievers
don't believe...they just don't believe the truth. So technically
unbelievers are believers too!

So you can say that Jesus had a theology too but you wouldn't apply Sam's
definition of theology to Him (though you could apply it to the religious
mind set at the time). That seems to be the point that is being made. When I
read a lot of Sam's posts I hear him saying "I need His Life!" I hear the
same in Brittian's story about Bill Gates and Dan's about Hunky &
Dory...even in Jay's post "In His sexual image".

My neighbours on two sides are Jehovah's Witnesses and as you know they
don't accept the doctrine of the trinity or the deity of Christ. Do you
think that they will be saved by altering their theology to include the
trinity and deity of Christ? Yet that is what I am tempted to try and do.
But that is not it. It is only the Life of Christ that will save them,
nothing else. So I pray that they might have Life. Of course, in the process
of being saved they will come to know the truth.

This morning a received the "The Love Story" written by a dear friend of
ours some years ago. Perhaps it will encourage some of you as your stories
have me.

Fred Jeavons
Kitchener, ON


I met a man who looked at me. No, he looked into me He knew, and I knew He
knew that I had looked all my life for my real self, for fulfillment, and I
was lost because I was out of looking places. His eyes were full of the kind
of thing that melted my long since frozen soul. I even tentatively ventured
to believe that this was actually the kind of thing people looked for when
they said they were looking for love. When he finally spoke, I was eager for
his words.

"I know who you were meant to be. Only give your permission and I will make
it so."

His eyes continued to hold mine like a vice. He had such drawing power and
his proposal such promise, that every part of me wanted to shout, "Yes!"
Every part, that is, except the part of me that said, "Don't kid yourself.
It might work for someone else, this magic trick he has up his sleeve. But
you know you well enough to know that you're a jinx!"

What was he doing to me with his eyes? He must know my thoughts, for as his
gaze penetrated ever deeper into my relaxing soul. I felt the self-hatred
trickling away. And I knew he didn't consider me a jinx. I said with a
freedom surprising to me, "Yes, yes, as soon as possible, but how can we
manage this and how long will it take?" Nagged by memories of old and
not-so-old failures, I was totally unprepared for his answer.

"It is done. The moment your heart assented, before you spoke a word, it was
done. The emptiness of self has been replaced by my Life. I am the Source of
Life. This is what you were always meant to be, a container for my Life."

I was, of course, glad to know this, but I had expected a feeling of
elation, or strength, or fulfillment. That's what I had expected - a feeling
of fulfillment. Oh, there would be no escaping this Life, for he was reading
my thoughts again.

"You are disappointed? You want a feeling as a sign that I'm here? My love,
believe what I tell you. I have died and carried your empty self with me to
that death so I could live my Life in you."

I believed and thought about what my Beloved had said was truth. When I
found that I couldn't believe, I cried, "I do believe, but help thou mine
unbelief!" And that loved Life within gave peace. Then one day the words He
had told me to believe exploded into meaning. Things often happen that way
these days, unplanned things. And I shouted, "He did save me from myself and
He did put his own Life in its place." And I felt! I felt all the good
emotions that I ever dreamed of feeling, and they were so strong that they
demanded to be shared with friends who had tried to help me find who I was.

As the intimacy of this Good that had come began to grasp my consciousness.
I said to my Beloved, "I must try to make myself look and act better because
you are living in me. I will try to find ways." He was silent, and I was
busy striving to improve the image I projected; for, after all, I was a Life
carrier. My bearing must demonstrate my importance. I looked, I inquired, I
tried, and I tired. I experimented and I failed and wondered why He was so
silent. He should be helping me. After all, this was to show him how much I
appreciated what He had done for me.

I remember those as joyless days. I was so busy outside trying to create
ways to make him proud that He had chosen to live in me and let others see
my high estate that I had had no time for enjoying him, as I had in the
beginning. Life was becoming almost as it was before. One day I came rushing
home with great and high expectations. I went flying to him, waving a paper
with ten rules beautifully lettered. These, I had been told by a
religious-looking man, if kept, would please any good man.

He saw them and said quietly. "Will you keep them?"

"Yes!" said I, exhilarated at the thought of a good solid task to tackle. I
memorized the rules first. They were simple. All that striving and here was
the answer. Why hadn't I run into that man before, and what did my Beloved
mean, 'Would I keep them?' - just ten simple rules!! I had to skip the first
one since it wasn't as solid as I had thought. I simply didn't know whether
I had any other gods before him. Sometimes I couldn't be sure I wasn't my
own god. I had similar problems with the others. Why was life becoming so
complicated and unfulfilled again?

I went to him. '"I'm a failure. I promised I'd keep those ten rules; I can't
keep even one."

His answer, "No one ever has, except me. My Life being lived in you fulfils
them all."

Hurt and pouting, I said, "Is there nothing I can do to please you?"

"Are you through trying, beloved?" he asked.

I sank down before him with a weary nod of assent.

"Then I'm pleased," he said.

As if he had kept me off balance long enough, he hastened to answer my
quizzical look with, "When my love for you prompted me to die for you, I
took everything of you with me into death. When we resumed life again, the
burden was gone. I have made you pleasing to me. You had to do nothing but
want me - for me to live in you. Now I have waited for you to want me to
live through you. Do you want me to?"

A trapped feeling began to grip me - almost a fear. Fear! Fear? In the face
of such great love? What could I fear? Losing control? Maybe. Violation of
my personhood? That's a laugh. I was no person before He came, and I knew He
was no violator. Was my fear that this couldn't be for real? I blurted out,
"You mean to tell me there is no price-tag attached to anything you do for
me? Life's not like that!!"

"Death," came his cryptic answer.

My reeling thoughts scurried after the meaning. There it was! His was a life
I couldn't understand, because the life I had thought was life, was death..
Staggering! Out of this world!! Could I stand it, this Life? No more
striving to be something, because Another was already everything in me, for
me, through me? My competitive soul already suffered at this prospect.

I thought he must soon become impatient. He had asked that question so long
ago and I had not answered. I looked and he seemed to have eternity to wait.
But I didn't. "One more question. If I chose, could I now or ever escape
your fearful love?"

"You are sealed," he said with finality.

"But if I can't do anything!"

"Ah, my love, you are my Life in the world. You may come begging for less
action; and do? Have you forgotten the time you first knew I loved you? I
did tell you one thing, but you found you needed me even to do that."

Ruefully I thought, "How could I forget that struggle? It was a hard thing
to believe when you wanted a feeling." Believe - yeah! It figures!
A love that has done everything for me so he can be everything through me
leaves nothing but to believe this preposterous presumptuous truth..

And then as if to mockingly tease a little, he said, "And the most
presumptuous thing of all you may not believe for a little while. I'm
preparing you to rule the universe with me through all eternity. Are you
ready? Can you take the preparation?"

And then I remembered the night I asked Him who He was. He had said, "I
Am.". I fell asleep waiting for Him to finish the sentence; but He had
finished the sentence, hadn't He?!!

He is the only Person there is!

"Ready? Oh, my God, you have made me ready. Take the preparation? You will
take it in me. Who or what is there beside thee?"

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Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 12:15:05 -0400
From: David Anderson <david * housechurch>
Subject: [NTCP] re: hoaxes

in a private letter from yesterday's mailbag:

>Hi, brother,
>I noticed you mentioned some women in Nigeria and Congo that want to
>transfer a lot of money out of the country. Beware. I've gotten a lot of
>spam from Africa like this, and it has 'scam' written all over it. Make
>sure that these are people that you can really look up and get someone you
>know to vouch for.

(portion removed)

>If my wife and i had greedy motivations to actually get a portion of this
>guys money in exchange for helping him out, we probably would have been
>taken in by this guy. Just keeping our hearts in check and the mercy of God
>kept us from being taken in.
> (name withheld)

Well, I guess I won't be getting that new guitar which I desperately
needed "for the Lord's work." ;-)

Many of the scam artists are targeting Christian and ministries, too, I
notice. Keep your antenna raised, brothers and sisters. Thanks for all
the warnings. Yep, there are plenty of unsuspecting Christians.

John, thanks for caring for Robert M, one of senior list members. Greg,
hang on another day or two as several projects are hanging over me as a
sword on a string.

Mike Sangrey, good to see you after a long time. Occasionally I spot you
on New Testament Greek and you assist in a translation list, too, I

Please, please drop us a note and give us an update on your various
roles, starting with husband and father. And what is the web address of
the translation list?

I wish that you would briefly comment on the extent to which each
believer serves as an evangelist. Please cross-post it to the ntcp church
planting list. Just "reply all" to this message when you are able. I
realize you are already quite extended.

Speaking of scams, look at today's financial markets. Look at 9-11, the
Catholic crisis. Brothers and sisters, the foundations are being shaken.
But, the darker the hour - the brighter the Light, Jesus Christ. Truth,
like a torch - the more it is shaken the brighter it shines!!!!

Now for a little fun. (drum-roll) Fun, that is, until you realize that
thousands of small investors just got fleeced...

Have a wonderful Jesus weekend with your loved ones,

David Anderson


Band of Roving Chief Executives Spotted Miles from Mexican Border

San Antonio, Texas (Reuters) -- Unwilling to wait for their eventual
indictments, about 10,000 remaining CEOs of public U.S. companies made a
break for it yesterday, heading for the Mexican border and plundering
towns and villages along the way -- and writing the entire rampage off as
a marketing expense.

"They came into my home, made me pay for my own TV, then double-booked
the revenues," said Rachel Sanchez of Las Cruces, New Mexico, just north
of El Paso. "Right in front of my daughters, too."

Calling themselves the CEOnistas, the chief executives were first spotted
last night along the Rio Grande River near Quemado, where they bought
each of the town's 320 residents by borrowing against pension fund gains.
By late this morning, the CEOnistas had arbitrarily inflated Quemado's
population to 960 and declared a 200 percent profit for the fiscal second

This morning, the outlaws bought the city of Waco, transferred its
underperforming areas to a private partnership, and sent a bill to
California for $4.5 billion.

Law enforcement officials and disgruntled shareholders riding posse were
noticeably frustrated.

"First of all, they're very hard to find because they always stand behind
their numbers, and the numbers keep shifting," said posse spokesman Dean
Lewitt. "And every time we yell 'Stop in the name of the shareholders!'
they refer us to investor relations. I've been on the phone all morning."

"You'll never audit me alive!" they scream. The pursuers said they have
had some success, however, by preying on a common executive weakness.
"Last night we caught about 24 of them by disguising one of our female
officers as a CNBC anchor," said U.S. Border Patrol spokeswoman Janet
Lewis. "It was like moths to a flame."

Also, teams of agents have been using high-powered listening devices to
scan the plains for telltale sounds of the CEOnistas. "Most of the time
we just hear leaves rustling or cattle flicking their tails," said Lewis,
"but occasionally we'll pick up someone saying, 'I was totally out of the
loop on that."

Among former and current CEOs apprehended with this method were Computer
Associates' Sanjay Kumar, Adelphia's John Rigas, Enron's Ken Lay, Joseph
Nacchio of Qwest, Joseph Berardino of Arthur Andersen, and every Global
Crossing CEO since 1997. ImClone Systems' Sam Waksal and Dennis Kozlowski
of Tyco were not allowed to join the CEOnistas as they have already been

So far, about 50 chief executives have been captured, including Martha
Stewart, who was detained south of El Paso where she had cut through a
barbed-wire fence at the Zaragosa border crossing off Highway 375. "She
would have gotten away, but she was stopping motorists to ask for
marzipan and food coloring so she could make edible snowman place
settings, using the cut pieces of wire for the arms," said Border Patrol
officer Jenette Cushing. "We put her in cell No. 7, because the morning
sun really adds texture to the stucco walls."

While some stragglers are believed to have successfully crossed into
Mexico, Cushing said the bulk of the CEOnistas have holed themselves up
at the Alamo. "No, not the fort, the car rental place at the airport,"
she said. "They're rotating all the tires on the minivans and accounting
for each change as a sale."

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Date: Sat, 13 Jul 2002 15:33:41 -0400
From: "Linkh * bigfoot" <Linkh * worldnet.att>
Subject: [NTCP] circumcising Gentiles

"Behold I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit
you nothing." Galatians 5:2

I once heard a preacher come on campus, and, in the midst of his day-long
preaching about how God hated the people ("God hates all workers of
iniqutity.") he was preaching to because they were sinners, etc., he or his
wife quoted this verse on circumcision without explanation.

Paul, is, of course, talking to Gentiles who were being tempted to be
circumcised and thereby convert to Judaism. This was an issue of putting
their trust in the Law rather than in Christ.

Taken out of context, the verse above could be a bit disconcerting,
especially for men like me who were 'trimmed' a bit as infants in the

One of my friends in Indonesia was a missionary reaching out to a mostly
unreached Muslim people group. There were maybe a few hundred Christians
out of tens of millions of people in that people group. This people-group,
the 'S' had a 5 stage life cycle, with certain cultural rituals at each
stage. One stage was circumcision. Circumcision is at age 5 for these
people, which is early compared to other Muslim people-groups (12 or 13.)
Boys could get involved in the mosque at a younger age.

My missionary friend said that the S Christians still circumcised their
children at age 5. I asked if they learned circumcision from Islam. He
said it was a cultural ritual that dated back to their Hindu days,a nd
though it was no big deal that the boys were circumcised.

What do you think about this? Should Gentile Christians definitely not be
circumcised, no matter what the surrounding culture says?

Comments anyone? My guess is that Mike will have a comment. :)

Link Hudson


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