New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches



NT Church Proliferation Digest Tuesday, July 23 2002 Volume 02 : Number 126
[NTCP] Welcome Kenny Ballard
Re[2]: [NTCP] Supporting elders financially
Re: [NTCP] Kierkegaard
[NTCP] What are apostles?
Re: [NTCP] Welcome Kenny Ballard
Re: [NTCP] Kierkegaard
Re: [NTCP] circumcising Gentiles
RE: [NTCP] What are apostles?

Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 14:37:27 -0400
From: forwarded <forwarded * homechurch>
Subject: [NTCP] Welcome Kenny Ballard

My name is Kenny Ballard and I am planting a church in Houston, Texas .


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Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 14:02:00 +0000
From: ScogginsTravel * ccmail.lfa
Subject: Re[2]: [NTCP] Supporting elders financially

PREVIOUSLY WRITTEN

That was an excellent article! It seems like most house church articles these days
support the idea of paying apostles who are laboring in the work. My
concern though is that, in regard to paying elders, so many are dead-set
against the idea, for fear of a clergy-laity separation.

Another tendancy I've seen in the writings coming out of a certain
influential house church circle is the downplaying of the role and authority of the
elder, and a lot of emphasis on the role of the apostle. Usually, it seems
like 'apostles' are the ones who teach this.

DS: I am an apostle and have no problem with support for Apostles or
elders. But I do think it needs to be shown that by being supported
the person is more effective at expanding the kingdom. I our network
or CP teams most of our Apostles are fully self-supporting
(tentmakers).

DS: Recenly I have determined that it may be better for Eph. 4
ministers to be supported (of which Apostles are one type). Of course
elders could also be Eph. 4 ministers. Our network of house churches
in RI has just started supporting an Eph. 4 teacher--which means he
would itinerate.


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Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 20:23:32 EDT
From: TheologusCrucis * cs
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Kierkegaard

Vanessa,

In reading the account of Paul on Mars Hill in Athens in Acts 17, Paul quotes
a pagan poet about Zeus -- "In him we live and move and have our being," --
in his presentation of the Gospel.

That is why it is important to know what the culture is saying. Should they
take precedent over Scripture? Of course not. But should they be totally
ignored? In my individual and largely isolated opinion, no.

I pray God's blessings in Christ to you, Vanessa,

TC


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Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2002 00:27:50 -0400
From: "Linkh * bigfoot" <Linkh * worldnet.att>
Subject: [NTCP] What are apostles?

> elder, and a lot of emphasis on the role of the apostle. Usually, it
seems
> like 'apostles' are the ones who teach this.

> DS: I am an apostle and have no problem with support for Apostles or
> elders. But I do think it needs to be shown that by being supported
> the person is more effective at expanding the kingdom. I our network
> or CP teams most of our Apostles are fully self-supporting
> (tentmakers).

Hi brother,

Thanks for the response. I hope you don't mind if I start a new thread.
Though many in house church circles believe in apostles, and this is a CP forum full
of house church people, I know of only one other person on this forum that
acknowledges himself as an apostle.

I am working on a book--which I hope to actually finish-- on the role of
house churches in evangelizing unreached areas in Indonesia. I have
publishing contacts there, involved in HC, that I hope will help me out
with this project. I hope to be able to edit it for global missions. My
idea is to examine scriptural examples of how churches planted and
fucntioned in order to give a Biblical framework for those doing house church in
Indonesia.

I plan to write a chapter or two on apostles in my book. I have some
theological issues I'd like to deal with in the book that I need to learn
more about first. One of the issues is signs and wonders as a sign of an
apostle.

I know a man who helped win an entire nation to Christ. He and a few other
missionaries did it over a period of years. I mean 'nation' in the 'ethnos'
sense of the word. The Dani people group has about 200 or 300 thousand.
The man I know probably won tens of thousands of these to Christ, and
discipled them. The Dani evangelized their own people and other tribes as
well.

I asked Dave, the missionary involved in this work if God had ever done any
signs and wonders there. He told me of a story of going to a village where
the villagers said their gods were doing fine for them, and pointed to a
wonderful vegetable garden across a creek. He left, and later it rained and
mudslide washed the garden into the creek. They wanted the missionary to
return and tell them about his God. Dave was there when the people movement
for Christ swept through and tens of thousand gathered to 'burn their
fetishes.' But the only example of a miracle was the garden story, and it
doesn't sound like signs that were done through him like the signs we see in
Acts. Of course, from what I know of Dave, if he had raised people from the
dead, he would likely refrain from telling anyone. To hear him tell of his
work with the Dani, it sounds like he wasn't even there.

I would probably consider Dave to be an apostle if it weren't for one verse:

II Corinthians 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you
in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.

The Strong's definition of 'sign' in verse 12 sure makes it sound like a
miraculous type thing. Of course, Strong's dictionary isn't that accurate.

I could see how some might see John Wesley as an apostle. He went around
preaching salvation and organizing people into home meetings for spiritual
growth. Some might think of George Fox as an apostle, travelling around
starting Quaker meetings. There are some stories of Fox's miracles. But
the 'signs' I have heard of for Wesley seem to be of the variety of people
getting emotional and weeping over their sins. This is great, but it
doesn't sound like a Biblical style sign of an apostle.

I believe in signs and wonders, and I've seen some pretty awesome stuff.
Non-apostles do miracles sometimes. But it seems like some people do
apostolic work, and don't do signs and wonders.

So my question is, in order to be an apostle, must one do signs and wonders?
I have another question I've wondered about. I can understand an apostles
'measure' of authority in an unreached area. If an apostle takes the gospel
to an unreached Mslim village, for example, I can understand that he would
have a measure of rule there, and a type of spiritual fatherly authority
there.

But how does the 'metron' work out in already evangelized areas? Here is
the verse I have in mind:

II Corinthians 10:13-16
13 But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to
the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach
even unto you.
14 For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached
not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel
of Christ:
15 Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's
labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be
enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly,
16 To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in
another man's line of things made ready to our hand.

Here we see that Paul's team had a 'measure of rule' that extended to them
because they had brought the Gospel to them initially. In verse 15, Paul
contrasts himself with the 'super-apostles' who were foolishly boasting
about the church in Corinth-- boasting in Paul's labors and not in their
own.

So many 'apostles' today in the IC claim to be apostles due to the fact that
they 'planted churches.' But they didn't plant a new church. They just
started new organizations that mainly drew in existing believers from other
denominations.

Among certain HC's, some seem to think that an apostle needs to come in and
legitimize an HC, laying it on the foundation of Christ. These existing
believers gather with this apostles, who legitimizes their church with his
foundational teachings.

I don't see how an apostle could have a 'measure of rule' of the sort
mentioned in I Corinthians 10 unless he is breaking new ground and starting
a church through evangelism.

Paul wrote,

I Corinthians 4:15 For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ,
yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you
through the gospel.

Some who believe in modern apostles (IC usually) use this verse to say that
apostles have a fatherly disposition. But I think Paul is calling himself a
father to the Corinthians because he evangelized them when they didn't even
know about the Gospel. He had 'begotten' the church, not just rearranged it
from existing believers.

With this in mind, let us consider the 'seal' of Paul's apostleship:

Corinthians 9:2 If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to
you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.

Paul's seal of apostleship came from starting a new church from scratch,
becoming a father by introducing the people to the Gospel, and laying the
foundation of Christ.

So here is my question-- how does the 'measure of rule' work out in areas
that are already evangelized. Most unbelievers in the US havce had some
contact with religion. They have heard of Jesus or God. Many have gone to
church.

The US cannot be considered 'new territory.' On the city level, there is a
church in nearly every city. Maybe there are some exceptions in Alaska or
on Indian reservations.

If a territory or region already has a church, can an apostle come to that
area, expand the growth of the church, and share in the 'measure of rule?'

One thing I notice about Paul in the church in Jerusalem is that he didn't
act like he was a spiritual father to that church. I don't see how apostles
can claim a measure of rule if they start a house church by gathering
together existing believers, or come into an existing house church and
legitimze it by teaching a series of foundational doctrines.

So my questions are:

1. If an apostle does not do signs and wonders, is he an apostle?
2. How can an apostle get a 'measure of rule' in a city that already has a
church?
3. How does the apostle relate to churches in areas where the foundation of
Christ has been laid for generations?

Comments from any posters would be welcome.

Link Hudson


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Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2002 10:45:00 +0000
From: ScogginsTravel * ccmail.lfa
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Welcome Kenny Ballard

I posted before introducing myself. Sorry about that. I am Dick
Scoggins. I am an American who is living in the UK (England) and
planting house churches in networks there with a church planting team.

I planted house churches in networks in Rhode Island (USA) in a team
from 1985-1995 before moving to England, but I still go back to RI to
work regularly with the team there.

my email is scogginstravel * ccmail.lfa


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Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2002 08:18:15 EDT
From: Steffasong * aol
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Kierkegaard
> Why even worry about Kierkegaard (whom I enjoy reading as lot) when we
> already have a Bible to read? Why even CARe what anyone else writes? NO
> ONE is perfect but God, so the writings of ANY human about God will have
> mistakes, unless they were personally inspired by God and we all know that
> doesn't happen since the first century.
>
> Vanessa

Hi Vanessa,

Are you saying that Christians should only read the Bible?
I don't want to answer your 'why' question if you didn't really mean that.
:-)

Just curious.
In the Lamb,
Stephanie Bennett


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Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 21:56:41 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] circumcising Gentiles

>
>
>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
>
Dear Link,

I'm back, and just getting caught up. I couldn't pass by your post
without responding::

"For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor
uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love." Galatians 5:6

"For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor
uncircumcision, but a new creature." Galatians 6:15

Yours in Christ,

Jay


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Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2002 20:43:39 +0200
From: "Keith Smith" <castillofuerte * airtel>
Subject: RE: [NTCP] What are apostles?

Link I think that you have raised some very important points in your new
thread. I'm sure that I'm going to have a lot to say, but don't know if I
will have time to post it all. So I'll start with a definition and a
response to you main points.

Those who have followed my posts in the past know that I make no secret of
my apostolic call. BUT, I do not see the word apostle as signifying someone
akin to Superman (You know the sort of thing: Faster than a House church
rumour, More powerful than one of Michaels posts, able to leap Jay's
arguments at a single bound). No, an apostle is nothing more nor less than a
servant, who has laid down his life to serve the church, and whom our dear
saviour has called to go as his messenger. Mat 20: 25Jesus called them
together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over
them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26Not so with
you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,
27and whoever wants to be first must be your slave-28just as the Son of Man
did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom
for many."" I guess that few today would really be willing to give their
lives for their sheep. I have known some.

LINK WROTE:
One of the issues is signs and wonders as a sign of an
apostle.

............ the only example of a miracle was the garden story, and it
doesn't sound like signs that were done through him like the signs we see in
Acts. Of course, from what I know of Dave, if he had raised people from the
dead, he would likely refrain from telling anyone. To hear him tell of his
work with the Dani, it sounds like he wasn't even there.

I would probably consider Dave to be an apostle if it weren't for one verse:

II Corinthians 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you
in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.

The Strong's definition of 'sign' in verse 12 sure makes it sound like a
miraculous type thing. Of course, Strong's dictionary isn't that accurate.

I could see how some might see John Wesley as an apostle. ...........
the 'signs' I have heard of for Wesley seem to be of the variety of people
getting emotional and weeping over their sins. This is great, but it
doesn't sound like a Biblical style sign of an apostle.

I believe in signs and wonders, and I've seen some pretty awesome stuff.
Non-apostles do miracles sometimes. But it seems like some people do
apostolic work, and don't do signs and wonders.

So my question is, in order to be an apostle, must one do signs and wonders?
MY REPLY:
Your friend Dave sure sounds like an apostle to me especially when you
describe his own self depreciation. Real apostles really need a big
organization, blowing trumpets and hailing their "apostle", they're far too
busy doing the work. Sharing the message is the N&Mac186; 1 call EVERYTHING ELSE
comes a long way behind.

Must an apostle do signs and wonders? Well that's a bit like asking a
pentecostal if you must speak in tongues as a sign of being filled with the
Holy Spirit. AOG types will say yes (it seems to be the only doctrine that
they're agreed on here), others will say not necessarily. Not wanting to
fence sit I will boldly affirm. You don't have to speak in tongues as a sign
of being filled with the Holy Spirit, but you will show gifts and fruit of
the Holy Spirit and I'm sure that You can speak in tongues if you really
desire to. (I do as much as I can. I need it!). Now lets apply this argument
to apostles. When God calls an apostle, He equips his with everything that
he will need to deliver his message to the folk to whom he is sent. This
includes miraculous power. BUT, some apostles don't move into sign's and
wonders for lack of faith, some through humility, and others because they
try to use signs and wonders outside their measure of authority. Let us be
really careful not to dismiss someone because there isn't sufficient "snap,
crack and pop" in his ministry. We often forget that the miracles recorded
in the book of acts took place over several years. During those years, there
were times of great blessings and many signs and wonders, but I'm sure that
there were also times of hard apostolic slog. Teaching and training up the
folk. This I'm sure will be the experience of the majority. In my life there
has been times of miracles and seasons of plain hard work, both confirm the
apostolic call.

LINK WROTE:
I have another question I've wondered about. I can understand an apostles
'measure' of authority in an unreached area. If an apostle takes the gospel
to an unreached Muslim village, for example, I can understand that he would
have a measure of rule there, and a type of spiritual fatherly authority
there.

But how does the 'metron' work out in already evangelized areas

Here we see that Paul's team had a 'measure of rule' that extended to them
because they had brought the Gospel to them initially. In verse 15, Paul
contrasts himself with the 'super-apostles' who were foolishly boasting
about the church in Corinth-- boasting in Paul's labors and not in their
own.

So many 'apostles' today in the IC claim to be apostles due to the fact that
they 'planted churches.' But they didn't plant a new church. They just
started new organizations that mainly drew in existing believers from other
denominations.

MY REPLY:
I see my own apostolic calling and being to clear groups. Here in Spain it
is largely geographic, to Eastern Cantabria, and part of the Basque country.
Interestingly, just last week I saw a map of this area from 100AD and the
area I have just described was marked as the "Castro's of the Cantabros",
with the next area labelled the "Castro's of the Asturs", so perhaps my
authority here is within an ancient kingdom (Spain is full of them). It is
interesting that my authority here, seems to include churches that I have
not planted. On several occasions the Lord has asked me to go and speak into
situations in other churches here. When I have done so the Lord has always
bought blessing, except on two occasions when I was rejected. One of these
churches no longer exists, and the other is in sharp decline (200 > 60
members in 4 years). Fortunately many of these displaced folk are beginning
to meet together, and we are encouraging them to think house church (or OC).
I do minister elsewhere, but this is normally as a result of an invitation
or of a specific word from the Lord. When this is the case I find that I
minister under the same apostolic authority as when I am here. At other
times folk invite me to preach because they have heard that I preach a
"mean" sermon, there is little relationship between us, and they want a
performance instead of a real "word" from the Lord. They are normally
disappointed.
LINK WROTE:
Among certain HC's, some seem to think that an apostle needs to come in and
legitimize an HC, laying it on the foundation of Christ. These existing
believers gather with this apostles, who legitimizes their church with his
MY REPLY:
I have about seven churches that relate to me this way. I did not go out and
seek any of them. Most approached me to ask for counsel over specific areas.
I started relating to one or two leaders in the group, and later to the
group. I do not regard these churches as being part of the "seal" of my
apostleship. I don't need one. And if I did they are the churches that I
planted. These adopted churches, are simply folk who have recognised that
God might be able to use me to bless them. They are not rungs for me to
climb to show how great I am, or how big my ministry is (I'm not, it's not).

LINK WROTE
So my questions are:

1. If an apostle does not do signs and wonders, is he an apostle? MY
ANSWER -Probably
2. How can an apostle get a 'measure of rule' in a city that already has a
church? MY ANSWER - The same way that he gets all authority, from the Lord.
We have on authority of office!
3. How does the apostle relate to churches in areas where the foundation of
Christ has been laid for generations? MY ANSWER - Humbly, seeking to serve,
not lord it over the church.

Folk might also want to look at the document "AUTHORITY" on the page:
communities.msn.co.uk/CastilloFuerteCastleChristianMinistries

Blessings,
Keith in Spain

 


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