New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches



NT Church Proliferation Digest Saturday, September 7 2002 Volume 02 : Number 160
Re: [NTCP] elder designates their age - pastoring, their role
[NTCP] Jesus not God but as a god and as the Word of Salvation
Re: [NTCP] Jesus not God but as a god
Re: [NTCP] elder designates their age - pastoring, their role
Re: [NTCP] Components of proper church meetings
Re: [NTCP] Components of proper church meetings

Date: Thu, 5 Sep 2002 22:40:06 -0400
From: "Link Hudson" <Linkh * mcdowell.main.nc.us>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] elder designates their age - pastoring, their role

> As I see things, It is the elders themselves who are to perform the
> pastoring, shepherding role. Ergo, they are the same.

Was Paul an elder?

One could debate the issue, but his traveling apostolic ministry differed
from that of the local church elders he appointed.

Paul, an apostle, pastored as well. He asked the Corinthians who 'pastors'
a flock and does not eat of the milk of the flock. Jesus also told Peter to
'pastor' his sheep. (Why did they translate the word for tending sheep as
'feed' in the KJV?)

My point is that 'pastoring' may be a ministry done by more than local
church elders. Ephesians 4:11 lets us know that 'pastors' are among the
gifts given to men. Being an overseer in the church came with a long list
of requirements. But being a 'pastor' seems to be a matter of being gifted.

I think there may be some pastors who are not elders. They are gifted to
sheep-tend, but are not older men. Some novices seem to be gifted as
pastors, though overseers are not to be novices.

If I were to draw a Venn diagram of 'pastor' I might draw a circle with
'elder' in the pastor circle. I might also draw a circle with 'apostle' on
it within that circle. Another circle 'teacher' would be partly in and
partly out of the 'pastor' circle. I'm not sure my diagram would be right.
Maybe 'elder' should be partly out of the circle. Some elders of the church
don't seem to pastor (disobedient ones perhaps?)

I'm not sure my view is the correct one here, but it seems feasible in light
of scripture.

Link Hudson


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Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2002 12:28:22 +0200
From: "Ampe Pronk" <marcusampe * tiscalinet.be>
Subject: [NTCP] Jesus not God but as a god and as the Word of Salvation

Jay uttered a nice remark:Perhaps even more importantly for the substance of
our faith is the fact
> that, ONLY A NEW BIRTH WHICH RESULTS FROM THE IMPLANTATION OF A DIVINE
> SEED HAS THE POWER TO MAKE US PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE. "A SLAVE
> HAS NO PERMANENT PLACE IN THE FAMILY, BUT A SON IS PART OF IT FOREVER."
> John 8:35
> JESUS IS THAT SON; JESUS IS THAT SEED.
>
It says all.
And it is that seed we have to let grow in us. For a church planting the
openness to people of different "doctrines" is very important. The sharing
of thoughts, when based on the Bible, shall make the Church grow. Nobody
cutting out shall make that we shall be able to give and to receive from all
who want to share their thoughts. It shall not restrict people to a small
group who just like to hear what they are saying.
Trying to commute with each other, we have to preach the Word. By opening
the Home to everybody, the Church shall be protected against leaders who
want to put their doctrines on the Home Church. By a closed group the danger
looks around the corner that after a while they will not endure sound
doctrine, but according to their own lusts, they will heap up to themselves
teachers tickling the ear;
and they will turn away the ear from the truth and will be turned aside to
myths.
Sticking to one group or person shall give division in the long end, because
for these they will follow, and hate those preachers and that doctrine by
which they are opposed. Any Light given by the Lord shall be lost, because
not receiving everything on the same time, others not having seen it, shall
want to exclude the other thinking person. Therefore we should be
clear-minded in all, suffer hardship, do the work of an
evangelist, fully carry out our ministry. Working in the Name of Christ, for
the Word of God, we shall be able to grow in the group of churchgoers, by
going deeper in their minds. Not by refusing but by reaching the hand, we
shall be able to bring others, to whom we have been hospitable, closer to
God. (2Ti 4:2 -44)
We have to abound in the
Love of Christ. In Jesus Christ we do not only have to recognize our Savior,
but we do have to invite Him and His Father to come into our lives. We can
show to the world that we go for Jesus by our baptism. But this baptism can
only have its value when we become a new person in Christ. It is what we
would consider : to be born again.
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, Verily, verily, I say to thee,
Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

It is that gracious moment when we can receive Jesus Christ not only as an
example, but as the one in whose footsteps we want to continue our blessed
live. For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived,
serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and
hating one another, but whit this re-berthing we open ourselves up to our
neighbor and those who think differently.
Having committed sin we are of the devil and for this purpose the Son of
God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
By accepting Jesus Christ as the Messiah we have to let our seed remain in
Him. Hand in hand with the Son of God we can be reconciled with God and born
again of God.In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of
the devil: whoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that
loved not his brother.(1 John 3:8-10)
Act 13:26 Men, brothers, sons of the race of Abraham, and the ones among
you fearing God, to you the Word of this salvation was sent.
Rom 1:16-17: 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the
power of God to salvation to everyone believing, both to Jew first, and to
Greek; 17 for in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to
faith; even as it has been written, "But the just shall live by faith."
(Hab. 2:4 )

If it are Philadelphians, Friends of the Nazarene, Church of God or
Restoration members, non-Trinitarians or Trinitarians, we all have sins and
we all have to hope that God shall give us the Light on the Right Time.
(Titus 3:3; Prov 4: 14-19;Ps 119: 105; Rom 2: 15-23; John 3: 19-21 )
The beauty lies in the fact that as followers in Christ we all can be called
Christians, when we keep to the Word as told in the Holy Scriptures. That we
may be blameless and harmless, children of God, without fault in the midst
of a crooked generation, even having been perverted, among whom we shine as
luminaries in the world, holding up the Word of Life, for a boast to us in
the day of Christ, that we ran not in vain, nor labored in vain. (Phi
2:15-16; Rom 6: 6, 12, 16, 19; 7: 14) Those reborn Christians should take
care that the image of Jesus would be reflected in their daily actions.
Lights are intended for guidance. We are to help those around us who are in
the dark. We are to hold forth to them the Word of life. We are to bring
sinners to the Savior, and the weary to a divine resting-place, by giving
them open doors at our Home Church. God's lovingkindness fully satisfies hungry hearts that seek the Lord's fullness.
And those who act wisely shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and
those turning many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever. we know
that when the time comes many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be
increased.(Dan 12:3-4) Out of darkness we are now able to go to Christ, who
has succeeded to blend our broken relationship whit His Father. We can trust
in God and the promises He has made. We all can stand up again, and come in
front of the Father, thanks the Son. We are the blessed nations who can see
the marvels Christ has brought to us. Today we do not have to continue in
the dark, because we can look forward to the time that all the "sons" of
Christ shall come from far away. It is Jehovah who shall rise on us, and
His glory shall be seen on us, by accepting the expiatory sacrifice.
Recognizing this peace-offering we may not only being convinced that the
possibility to being saved lies at hand, but it is our guarantee that we
shall have the honor to meet the Heavenly Father, to come closer to Him and
to know Him better. (Isa 60:3-4) Having an open mind to the way people
understand the Bible shall help the church grow.
By following the Blessed Only Begotten Son we may be shure to find the
Light, which is Christ our Leader. (Jo 8: 12) This heavenly Man having the
Word of God, bearing it, is the gate of Jehovah. Christ who came with the
answer of His Father, to bring us salvation. The Word brought the
Corner-Stone. We may not reject this Head of the Corner given to us by YHWH.
Having Jesus as our guide and not just earthly individuals can safeguard us,
carrying the other stones to make one strong House in the Name of God.
The Word from Jehovah, is marvelous in our eyes and has us to rejoice and be
glad in it. (Psa 118:20-24) Let us all go together on the highway which is
evened for us, and shall be called, The Way of Holiness. (Isa 35:8)
Let us therefore spread the Word about the One having saved us and having
called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to
His own purpose and grace given to us in Christ Jesus before eternal times,
but now revealed through the appearance of our Savior, Jesus Christ, indeed
making death of no effect, bringing life and incorruptibility to light
through the gospel. (2Ti 1:9-11)

Romans 7:25 I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then, with the
mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Bless you.
Yours sincerely,
Marcus Ampe

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Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2002 12:54:54 +0200
From: "Ampe Pronk" <marcusampe * tiscalinet.be>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Jesus not God but as a god

Dear David,
In case I do sound like some-one who wants to convert an other person to his
believes, then apologize myself to you and other Christians in the group.
I do not represent an organization and I only can speak out of my heart
about what I read in the Bible. I must say, that being reborn I try to do
understand that what I read in the Bible. Taking it as the Word of God, I
use this to quote and not my words, therefore I put the places in so that
others could react if I am going somewhere wrong. I use the Bible to bear
out what I do understand out of those books written to us and given to us
by God for our understanding. I also understand we have to go out in the
world to preach the Good News. In this way, here in the Dutch speaking part
of Belgium, several believers put their hands together and are working to
have meeting places and gatherings, as the first Christians did. So if you
would take my meetings with the VrijÎ Kristenen (Free Christians) and the
Huisgemeenten (Home Church) and the Bible studies we hold in small
communities (Bible Students), yes then I would be part of an organization.
But, like all those people, from different "Churches" I sincerely do hope
that I belong to the most important Organization on this world, namely the
Church of God, and by this I do not mean the worldly organization with the
same name, but the Church of God with Jesus as cornerstone.
Bless you.
Yours sincerely,
Marcus Ampe

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info page: http://world-missions.org/planting <><><>


Date: Fri, 06 Sep 2002 07:30:16 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] elder designates their age - pastoring, their role

Link Hudson wrote:

>If I were to draw a Venn diagram of 'pastor' I might draw a circle with
>'elder' in the pastor circle. I might also draw a circle with 'apostle' on
>it within that circle. Another circle 'teacher' would be partly in and
>partly out of the 'pastor' circle. I'm not sure my diagram would be right.
>Maybe 'elder' should be partly out of the circle. Some elders of the church
>don't seem to pastor (disobedient ones perhaps?)
>
>I'm not sure my view is the correct one here, but it seems feasible in light
>of scripture.
>
Dear Link,

Your venn diagram works just great with fathers and grandfathers, and so
does your analysis.

David Anderson wrote:

>As I see things, It is the elders themselves who are to perform the
>pastoring, shepherding role. Ergo, they are the same.

Dear David,

I think Link's observations are very helpful here. One of the problem's that IC pastors have is that they don't appreciate the warfare that is leveled at household heads in the HC. The true pastors are or ought to be household heads. That's where the old creation tells me the nurturing of life goes on; "from house to house".

>1Pet. 5:2 (elders) Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the
>oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy
>lucre, but of a ready mind;

Again, with Link, as I understand it, "tend" or look after (over)" is a better translation than "Feed". It is my experience that the most important aspect of "willingly" is the willingness to stop being overdoers in order to give themselves to overseeing.

>Acts 20:28 (elders)
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the
>flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the
>church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

The word here translated, "feed" is the same as that in 1 Pet 5:2. Notice "to all the flock of God. Pastors typically only look after "their own" flocks, and more often than not don't have time for each other, for "taking heed unto themselves".

TheologusCrucis * cs <mailto:TheologusCrucis * cs> wrote:

>I said all that to say this: I think the Lord's Supper in an house church must be in the context of the New Covenant.

Dear TC,

Thanks for your thoughts and article. It is as good a summary as I have seen in print, even if I do take exception to a couple of things said, which reflect the IC mentality you mentioned.

Yours in Christ,

Jay


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Date: Fri, 6 Sep 2002 14:42:35 +0200
From: "Deborah" <deborah.millier * juccampus>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Components of proper church meetings

Sam B. wrote:

> 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.

I know brother, call me a "gadfly". But here I am again asking, not
whether or not Gene Edwards' ideas are practical, fun, or popular for NT
fellowships-- but whether or not what he suggests (as well as what you
suggest) is *biblical*. Roll your eyes (... should you do that sort of
thing) if you want, or ignore me (you often DO do that)-- but know that I
will *not* go away. Nor will the truth! We can't just do church the way we
might want to. We have to consult the "manual". There is a lot of good in
what you wrote, don't get me wrong. But there is a lot of stuff there that
is contrived and finds no basis in the Bible. And ... I've got to ask: were
you emphasizing the word/concept "spontaneous" so many times (I counted--
including the phrase "spur of the moment-- 4 times ) just to get my goat?
You know that we've already covered that ground and that the *evidence*
suggests that NT churches had structure to contain their "spontaneity".
They were liturgical (see "Confronting the Evidence" thread, Feb. 18 02ff)!
And Spirit-led does not equal spontaneous (see "doing Music in an open
church" thread [May 23 02], leading into the "Structure vs. Life" thread
[May 30ff] for arguments pro and con).

Michael
Jerusalem


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Date: Sat, 07 Sep 2002 08:33:13 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Components of proper church meetings

Ampe Pronk wrote:

>Dear David,
>In case I do sound like some-one who wants to convert an other person to his
>believes, then apologize myself to you and other Christians in the group.
>I do not represent an organization and I only can speak out of my heart
>about what I read in the Bible.
>
Dear Ampe,

Responding once more, I think perhaps that somewhere you have picked up
some kind of a filter. It seems to have filterd out the passages which
make it very clear that Jesus is GOD. I happen to believe that it is
possible to be born from above, and still be in a great deal of
confusion, and that speaking the truth in love we can grow up and out of
that confusion, but the foundation of that kind of growth is the truth
that Jesus is GOD. If he is not, we are all dead. There can be no birth
from above. There can be no partaking of The Divine nature.

>I must say, that being reborn I try to do
>understand that what I read in the Bible. Taking it as the Word of God, I
>use this to quote and not my words, therefore I put the places in so that
>others could react if I am going somewhere wrong. I use the Bible to bear
>out what I do understand out of those books written to us and given to us
>by God for our understanding.
>
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government
shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful,
Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of
Peace." Isaiah 9:6

Jay

Deborah wrote:

>We can't just do church the way we might want to. We have to consult the "manual".
>
Dear Michael,

My manual says: "And there are also many other things which Jesus did,
the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the
world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen."
John 21:25 It also says: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that
believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works
than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." John 14:12

>There is a lot of good in what you wrote, don't get me wrong. But there is a lot of stuff there that is contrived and finds no basis in the Bible. And ... I've got to ask: were you emphasizing the word/concept "spontaneous" so many times (I counted-- including the phrase "spur of the moment-- 4 times ) just to get my goat? You know that we've already covered that ground and that the *evidence* suggests that NT churches had structure to contain their "spontaneity". They were liturgical (see "Confronting the Evidence" thread, Feb. 18 02ff)! And Spirit-led does not equal spontaneous (see "doing Music in an open
>church" thread [May 23 02], leading into the "Structure vs. Life" thread
>[May 30ff] for arguments pro and con).
>
Thanks for the library work. I think that there may have been a number
of us, however, for whom you did not succeed in turning the New
Testament Church into an annex on a synogogue.

Yours in Christ,

Jay


End of New Testament Church Planting Digest V2 #160 < Previous Digest Next Digest >



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