New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches



NT Church Proliferation Digest Wednesday, September 4 2002 Volume 02 : Number 158
[NTCP] apostles
[NTCP] Components of proper church meetings.
Re: [NTCP] Components of proper church meetings.
Re: [NTCP] Concerning Women Elders/Apostles/and associated roles
[NTCP] One Brother's Opinion
[NTCP] Leadership
Re: [NTCP] Components of proper church meetings.

Date: Tue, 3 Sep 2002 12:35:34 -0400
From: David Anderson <david * housechurch>
Subject: [NTCP] apostles

Peace to thy house,

An interesting summary note on apostles, I bring. Good men differ, you
see.

Somebody suggested we change the subject. If they want to change the
subject, they should have said NOT to. He, he.

Here is a commentary on the verse from Jamieson, Fausset, Brown: "7.
Andronicus and Junia--or, as it might be, "Junias," a contracted form of
"Junianus"; in this case, it is a man's name. But if, as is more
probable, the word be, as in our version, "Junia," the person meant was
no doubt either the wife or the sister of Andronicus" and "which are of
note among the apostles --Those who think the word "apostle" is used in a
lax sense, in the Acts and Epistles, take this to mean "noted apostles"
[CHRYSOSTOM, LUTHER, CALVIN, BENGEL, OLSHAUSEN, THOLUCK, ALFORD, JOWETT];
others, who are not clear that the word "apostle" is applied to any
without the circle of the Twelve, save where the connection or some
qualifying words show that the literal meaning of "one sent" is the thing
intended, understand by the expression used here, "persons esteemed by
the apostles" [BEZA, GROTIUS, DE WETTE, MEYER, FRITZSCHE, STUART,
PHILIPPI, HODGE]. And of course, if "Junia" is to be taken for a woman,
this latter must be the meaning."

Speaking of summaries, thanks to Vanessa, who wrote:

>I say such heresies show that a person is not qualified to be on this
>list, if he expects us to learn from him. But, if that person is here to
>learn the TRUTH, then we must accept the weak, but not to discuss their
>heresies with them.
>
>Vanessa

David Anderson


------- <><><> -------


Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2002 00:45:24 -0400
From: "Link Hudson" <Linkh * mcdowell.main.nc.us>
Subject: [NTCP] Components of proper church meetings.

A couple of posters have expressed interest in reading more posts that
relate to practical issues, rather than doctrinal theory. I don't want to
put a damper on the discussion of apostles or women, but I think we could
benifit from another thread as well.

One way to see more posts of this type is to start threads on the issue.
Here is my attempt to start a thread.

I've recently moved to NC. Jay Ferris lives maybe 25 miles away. He and
his wife were meeting with another family. I ran across another house church on the
Internet. Last Sunday, we met together for an house church meeting.

Though the hosting couple has been hosting since early this year, the
make-up of the group has changed a lot. Last Sunday, we started talking
about having a meal together and incorporating the Lord's Supper into it.

I believe the Lord's Supper is an important practice for any church plant.
I'd like to propose discussing what type of things a church should do in
meetings in order to be well balanced.

Here are some things I consider to be proper practices for a church to do in
meetings:

Teaching the apostles doctrine, fellowship, breaking bread, and prayer.
(from Acts 2.)

Reading the scriptures in meetings.

Prophecy.

Singing.

Any suggestions for other activities, or how to properly do the ones listed
above?

Here is an idea to discuss: I spoke with Dan Beaty at the HC conference.
We talked about the issues of how some house churches have people each give very brief
words. Some teaching is presented in this context. But sometimes a teacher
will have a message that requires lengthy delivery and explanation. Has
anyone every been in an house church that emphasized spontenaity so much that the gift
of teaching was hindered? Has anyone ever been in an house church that, in an effort
to allow all to minister, forbad or discouraged lengthy discourses to the
extent that needed teaching was neglected? How can a body strike a balance
between spontenaity (e.g. spontaneous prophesying in the meeting) and
planned activities (e.g. a teacher bringing a planned teaching that lasts 30
minutes)?


------- <><><> -------


Date: Wed, 04 Sep 2002 01:19:06 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Components of proper church meetings.

Link Hudson wrote:

>Here is an idea to discuss: I spoke with Dan Beaty at the house church conference.
>We talked about the issues of how some house churches have people each give very brief
>words. Some teaching is presented in this context. But sometimes a teacher
>will have a message that requires lengthy delivery and explanation. Has
>anyone ever been in an house church that emphasized spontenaity so much that the gift
>of teaching was hindered?
>
Dear Link,

I've been there. but more often I've experienced it the other way around.

>Has anyone ever been in an house church that, in an effort
>to allow all to minister, forbad or discouraged lengthy discourses to the
>extent that needed teaching was neglected? How can a body strike a balance
>between spontenaity (e.g. spontaneous prophesying in the meeting) and
>planned activities (e.g. a teacher bringing a planned teaching that lasts 30
>minutes)?
>
I think we're about to find out!

Yours in Christ,

Jay


------- <><><> -------


Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2002 11:35:19 +0200
From: "Deborah" <deborah.millier * juccampus>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Concerning Women Elders/Apostles/and associated roles

Mike S. wrote:

> The word translated `man' and
> `men' in vs 1-7 is ANQRWPOS
> which essentially means `person'
> or `people', not `husband'.

Thanks for the correction! I was rushed that evening and didn't
consult the Greek text, just the NKJ. Shame on me. Okay, I see your point.
That much is undeniable, but ...

> Paul goes from the general of `
> person' to the specific of `husband'
> in vs 8 as he focuses on the family
> unit as the basic unit of society.

... your interpretive statements after that are harder to swallow. Why
would I assume he has now switched gears to focus in on the family unit.
From the flow of the text, wouldn't it be more valid to see him going from
general humanity to specific sub-divisions of humanity-- namely "men" and
"women," not necessarily "husband" and "wife"?
I did a NT search of ANER and GUNE appearing together within the space
of two verses so I could analyze whether they would lend themselves to your
husband/wife interpretation. Here's what I found:

1) Joh. 4:18, 19-- ANER was related to husband, GUNE was an unmarried woman
2) Rom. 7:2, 3-- ANER = husband, GUNE = wife
3) 1 Cor. 7:3, 4-- ANER = husband, GUNE = wife
4) 1 Cor. 7:14-- ANER = husband, GUNE = wife
5) 1 Cor. 7:39-- ANER = husband, Gune = wife
6) 1 Cor. 11:4, 5-- ANER is not limited to husband, GUNE is not limited to
wife
7) 1 Cor. 11:7, 8-- ANER is not limited to husband, GUNE is not limited to
wife
8) 1 Cor. 11:9-- ANER is not necessarily limited to husband, but the focus
is going there, diito for GUNE
9) 1 Cor. 11:11, 12-- ANER is not limited to husband, GUNE is not limited to
wife
10) 1 Cor. 11:14, 15-- ANER is not limited to husband, GUNE is not limited
to wife

So by my analysis, you have 4 out of 10 occurences of ANER and GUNE in
near proximity to each other with the unequivocal meaning of husband and
wife. The rest are ambiguous or definitely referring to ANER as man and
GUNE as woman, with no context of marriage.
This was just with ANER and GUNE as is, ... without inflections, so I
don't know what changes a more detailed analysis would bring to my
conclusions. I'm too lazy to go that far right now. But I did do a cursory
check of ANER and GUNE in the LXX (Greek translation of the Torah, extended
as a title to mean one ancient version of the entire Greek OT) and didn't
seem to find it to support the husband/wife theory. But I'll admit I was
flying through and that I have presuppositions to contend with. Maybe when
I get my "round-to-it," I'll do a more detailed study of ANER and GUNE
there.

> I *think* I know where you're at.
> I use to be there, too. And I DON'T
> say that to sound in any way
> condescending. Not at all.

No, I didn't think that at all. In fact I really appreciate your
input. It has helped me examine some of my presuppositions. And that's
always healthy, I think.

> It was that very thing which brought
> me to the place I am today in my
> understanding of this text. There
> are various ways of interpreting it
> and as I tried them, various things
> stuck out like sore thumbs and I had
> to explain them.

Well then, maybe that's where God will lead me too. But I'm not there
yet ... though I'm open. My problem is that I keep seeing the "thumbs"
sticking up from the "culturally relative," "historical backdrop," "no male
and female," and "not too literal" alternatives. What are my other choices?
I'm quite willing to just swallow a pill (i.e. a difficult truth) ... if
that's what God really wants. The fact that women may be somewhat limited
in their ministry functions does not suprise me given the rest of God's
revelation written in Hebrew and Aramaic.
Thanks for you working with me on this topic. And for keeping me
challenged to dig into the language Paul wrote 1 Timothy in. Blessings.

Michael
Jerusalem


------- <><><> -------


Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2002 11:36:08 +0200
From: "Deborah" <deborah.millier * juccampus>
Subject: [NTCP] One Brother's Opinion

Bruce G. wrote:

> I'd like to see more focus on
> isses directly related to the
> theory & practice of planting
> churches on a NT basis.
> This is the reason I'm here.

Despite my tendency to theologise, I think you are right here ...
provided you allow for a little detailed exploration of the biblical basis
for those issues related to church planting. Theory and practice. My
observation is that church planters are often more interested in the nuts 'n
bolts of things without always exploring whether every nut 'n bolt in their
repertoire is truly biblical. "What" and "how" are too often given more air
time then "why". But, aside from that, I think we all would do better to
refocus on the purpose of this discussion list. Thanks for your thoughts,
Bruce.

Michael
Jerusalem


------- <><><> -------


Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2002 09:00:26 EDT
From: JoelBRJr * aol
Subject: [NTCP] Leadership

Please forgive if I offended by the use of "leadership positions" when
discussing women in offices. I did not mean anything in the way of titles
(btw, the title pastor is found only once in many translations and only 9
times in the KJV, so those of us who do not know Greek and Hebrew should
still be able to see of how very little importance titles are to God).
However, Biblically leadership is a very real issue, and one that remains
today. Paul, under the guidance of the Spirit, recognized and addressed this
when telling Timothy not to allow a new believer to become bishop because
they were not ready and could more easily fall into the sin of pride.
Leadership is necessary and a part of every believers life and must be
incorporated to a greater or lesser degree in every church of any type,
whether home or massive cathedral. The quest is: To do it correctly!

To Link, You are doing a fine job. Keep up the good work keeping the list on
track.
Joel (former pastor)


------- <><><> -------


Date: Wed, 04 Sep 2002 14:28:00 -0400
From: "Samuel Buick" <aom_canada * hotmail>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Components of proper church meetings.

A good refreshing thread here. I like it. :-)

>From: "Link Hudson" <Linkh * mcdowell.main.nc.us>
>Subject: [NTCP] Components of proper church meetings.
>Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2002 00:45:24 -0400
>
>
>I believe the Lord's Supper is an important practice for any church plant.
>I'd like to propose discussing what type of things a church should do in
>meetings in order to be well balanced.

A lot has been said about the erratic nature and demeanor of Gene Edwards,
but I must be frank with you, he is one true spiritual father who has really
taught me through his teaching the importance of several KEY components to
whatever form and structure we place on our gatherings.

1. It is the LIFE of Jesus that adds definition and form to what "it looks
like" for everyone.

The Lords Supper is a physical representation of our partaking of Him. We
come and we eat together of a meal that sustains life in us physically. In
like manner we eat and partake of all His goodness when we eat together in
unity and agreement. The Lord's table should be the essence of our coming
together. Gene Edwards remarked that for the first year, do little else
other than coming together and eating together and then allow the Spirit to
direct your conversation and your prayer and communicating with one another,
and I heartily agree with this.
>
>Here are some things I consider to be proper practices for a church to do
>in
>meetings:
>
>Teaching the apostles doctrine, fellowship, breaking bread, and prayer.
>(from Acts 2.)

2. INTERACTIVE DISCUSSION AND TEACHING
We need to embrace what the apostles taught, as well as the reality that
fellowship in the NT church including on the spur of the moment, Holy Spirit
led encounters between believers, as well as gathering for the breaking of
bread which was the common meal. We discussed if pizza and coke would be
appropriate to remember the Lord's death, and we all agreed that yes it is.
Bread and wine were the COMMON aspects to a daily meal in NT times, and
culturally, one very common mean here in contemporary Ontario, is Pizza and
Coke and I believe there is nothing wrong with remembering the Lord using
these same symbols. One of the problems with demystifying the Lord's
Supper, is to take away the "religious spirit" attached to its remembrance.
We need to enjoy our meals together and see them are remembrances of Jesus
and as His knitting our hearts together with His and with one another.

We need ongoing encounters and dialogue with one another throughout the week
and not only on a specific day when everyone comes together, or else we are
reducing everything to "meetings" again and just transferring them from a
religious building to home.

Interactive prayer allows prayer needs to be expressed as people relate to
one another and their circumstances. We need to see and demonstrate the
interactive nature of our gathering together.

I view this whole thing like the gathering of a family reunion where there
is much life expressed with many seperate sub groups gathering and doing
their own things as well as the larger corporate things that go on in
reunions. People need to reconnect and requaint and get closer to one
another ant that takes time and substance to develop.

>
>Reading the scriptures in meetings.

3. THE PRIMACY OF INCARNATING THE WORD OF GOD
I really hesitate to use the term "meeting", but as we gather we emphasize
the Scriptures, and speak them out, quote them extensively, and have kids
act them out dramatically with the input and participation of adults. We
sing them and we read them. I have seen and heard more Scripture than when
it was actually planned for when we have allowed the Spirit to lead us
spontaneously!!!
>
>Prophecy.
4. THE BIPRODUCT OF PRAYER AND LISTENING TO GOD IS PROPHECY
We realize that the chief means the Lord has in communicating to us is
through the written word that is at most times expressed prophetically by
people speaking out the word of God as it it were seed in the lives of the
saints! We have seen people use imagery, pictures, painting, and stories,
and visual images to convey the prophetic reply of the Lord in our
gatherings.
>
>Singing.
5. WORSHIP SETS THE TONE FOR EVERYTHING
We attempt to cultivate a climate for worship by having worship music on
while we prepare our meals together and as we eat together, and we also are
spontaneous to include whatever a person is led to lead us into from an
inner stirring anything during our gatherings as well.

>
>Any suggestions for other activities, or how to properly do the ones listed
>above?
>
6. NEED TO CHERISH AND CULTIVATE SPONTANEITY AND INTIMACY
I believe the essence of our coming together should be to encounter Jesus
and see Him transform us. We encounter Him together, and express His life
together, and that demands from us intimacy and vulnerability, but are we
willing to go there?

Sam
 


End of New Testament Church Planting Digest V2 #158 < Previous Digest Next Digest >



house church eldership servanthood lord's day lord's supper world missions