New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches



NT Church Proliferation Digest Wednesday, September 18 2002 Volume 02 : Number 167
[NTCP] re: elder designates their age - pastoring, their role
Re: [NTCP] Components of proper church meetings
Re: [NTCP] Components of proper church meetings
[NTCP] Re: Campbell
RE: [NTCP] Re: Campbell
[NTCP] showing love by learning the native language
[NTCP] Re: Campbell

Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2002 11:16:46 +0200
From: "Deborah" <deborah.millier * juccampus>
Subject: [NTCP] re: elder designates their age - pastoring, their role

Jay F. wrote:

> Ruling in the Kingdom of God, is not
> about imposition, it is about submission.
> It works by submission. It is "age"
> related. Everything alse being equal, the
> youngers are to be in submission to
> those who are older. most of the time
> even spiritual maturity is more likely to
> be found in those you are older than in
> those who are younger.

Just a quicky from the "elder" testament:

"I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts" (Psa.
119:100).

I think *experience* in righteousness (i.e. practiced and disciplined
obedience to God's word, which translates into solid insight for life) comes
into play here. Not so much age per se-- although you (Jay) are right that
this most often is acquired through more years on the planet ... and in the
Lord. But not always. This might be the essence of what that considerable
list of qualifications about elders in Paul's letter to Titus is meant to
convey.

> It's not the one who does most of the
> talking who rules in the Kingdom. On
> the contrary, it is more likely to be the
> one who talks the least. One mark of
> maturity among the mature is that they
> have learned to be quick to hear but
> slow to speak. The less mature can be
> easily discerned as those who are slow
> to hear , and quick to speak.

Lest I be thought younger than my 43 years (plus TWO MONTHS!!! ... so
there!), I'm outta here. Until the next time I feel the need to blab, that
is. ;-)

Michael
Jerusalem


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Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2002 11:14:56 +0200
From: "Deborah" <deborah.millier * juccampus>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Components of proper church meetings

T.C. wrote:

> I admit that I am in a double bind. I'd
> like to start from scratch with converts,
> but it's hard without an already
> functioning community of like-minded
> believers to integrate them into.

I'm still praying with you about your mom, your wife, and your money
situation. Others of us on this list are too. He's a God of the impossible
... as you know also. Hang in there, bro.

Now to the topic at hand: sounds like a "bind" of your own making,
T.C. I'm not saying it's easy to win converts "from scratch" but that's the
essence of church *planting*, isn't it? "To boldly go ..." (fade in, then
crescendo of cheesy synthesized music, high on vibrato!)"... where no man
has gone before!!!"-- or woman, for that matter. And the bright side is
that you spend less time having to un-do what others have taught them. But
then again, others may have to un-do what you have taught them later on down
the pike. ;-)

RELATED SIDE NOTE: Not to join a chorus *against* you, but I would
personally give liturgical worship a back seat to the preaching of the
bodily resurrection of Christ. Any day! That coming from a vocal advocate
of liturgy, mind you. If you can't find a community with both biblical
doctrine AND biblical worship, then choose one of the biblical doctrine
groups. Correct worship is easier to milk out of correct doctrine than the
reverse. Or better yet, plant a church which incorporates both from the
beginning.

> On the other hand, to form a community
> of believers is to struggle to find
> some Christians who 1) actually know
> the Gospel message, 2) have any
> conception of what worship is biblically,
> and 3) actually want to live a life of
> sanctification in discipleship and friendship.

... unless you start from scratch. And teach 'em.

> I think almost any place in the world
> would have some type of fermentation
> process with fruit, and some type of
> staple resembling bread. I put the ????
> behind Sam's deal about Pepsi and Pizza
> simply because bread and wine is pretty
> plentiful in Canada.

I once studied under a woman (... yes a *woman*, Jay F. Pick yer jaw
up off the floor, please. ;-) ) who served with her husband on a team of
church planters in Irian Jaya. She said that the tribe they worked with ate
the communion meal around the wing of an old wrecked airplane (that had once
belonged to the "planters" who'd first brought that tribe the gospel, hence
it's significance to the locals) and that they used yams (the
"bread-like[?]" staple) and water. The villagers had no concept of
fermented drink.

What do you think of that set-up?
Bread and wine is plentiful in Canada, but I think what Sam B. was
trying to communicate was that the "symbolism" of bread and wine, what it
meant in 1st century Jewish culture, may be effectively transferred into
most other cultures using native staples of food and drink in place of the
original "forms" consisting (back then and there) of bread and wine.
Substituting the forms while striving to retain their original meanings.
That is what I think Sam was seeking to relay to us. Am I right, Sam?
I think Sam is right in one sense. Meaning is *more* key than forms.
It's universal. Meaning, I mean. But my feeling of discomfort with his
example of Pizza and Pepsi comes from not knowing how far is *too far* with
this sort of thing. And suspecting that his practice probably was. Too
far, that is.

These are the kinds of issues at the heart of "contextualizing" into
church-planting *practice* our supra-cultural faith to make it relevant to
other peoples in other settings. Eh?

> The kingdom of God is it's own culture

I think you would be more accurate in saying that the kingdom of God
embraces all that is good from every culture-- past, present, and future.
Some original Christian forms must be retained. Others may (should?) be
replaced with different forms ... so long as the original meaning is kept.
I think.

> So Muslims are not allowed to drink
> alcohol -- but communion is the wine
> and the bread.

No, the *meaning* of communion is Christ. Not wine and bread. His
death/resurrection and his coming again. And our proclamation of the
redemption story. It is about covenant renewal. And maintaining our
spiritual fellowship with others within the universal covenant community.
That's the meaning.

The *form* is the wine and the bread. While there are some cases in
which the form must be retained at all costs, I'm not sure fermented wine is
one of them. I'd be more adamant about *unleavened* bread than I would
about insisting that the communion wine contain perceptable amounts of
alcohol. Wouldn't you agree?

Michael
Jerusalem


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Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2002 07:30:45 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Components of proper church meetings

Deborah wrote:

>Correct worship is easier to milk out of correct doctrine than the
>reverse.
>
Dear Michael,

Haven't spent too much time fellowshipping "Fundamental Baptists", have you?

>I think you would be more accurate in saying that the kingdom of God
>embraces all that is good from every culture-- past, present, and future.
>Some original Christian forms must be retained. Others may (should?) be
>replaced with different forms ... so long as the original meaning is kept.
>I think.
>
If only we could discover the meaning, and having discovered it, agree
on it.

>>So Muslims are not allowed to drink
>>alcohol -- but communion is the wine
>>and the bread.
>>
>
> No, the *meaning* of communion is Christ. Not wine and bread. His
>death/resurrection and his coming again. And our proclamation of the
>redemption story. It is about covenant renewal. And maintaining our
>spiritual fellowship with others within the universal covenant community.
>That's the meaning.
>
It may be the wine or drink of the New Covenant, "the cup of His
espousals", but I would not want to limit it's digested meaning to that
brief core of truth. The truth is usually bigger then our capacity to
ingest in any one sitting or even a life time of sittings.

>The *form* is the wine and the bread. While there are some cases in
>which the form must be retained at all costs, I'm not sure fermented wine is
>one of them.
>
"One Loaf", and even one cup, are important parts of the "form" that
Jesus left with us. If it's going to be one cup, I would prefer that it
be wine rather than Pepsi or even grape juice. If we are going to get
rid of the wine, so as not to stumble any one, the we might want to get
rid of the women first. In my experience, they are a much bigger
stumbling block to the weak of faith, then the alcohol in the wine.

Yours in Christ,

Jay

P.S. As for your other contribution of this morning, Let me be perfectly
candid, not to say brief, with you. I have watched for years now as
young spiritual fast guns come in to areas and carve up the flock of God
faster than the authentic elders can discover who they are, and get in
touch with each other. When we come into a place by any other means than
the gate, we are robbers and thieves. The apostolic and prophetic
canneries are turning out Fisher Price apostles and prophets, faster
than they can be tested or approved. This is the wholesale, or
multilevel marketing equivalent of "laying hands in haste". It is a set
up for the devil. "Know then that are over us in the faith"???? What can
this possible mean? Hello??


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Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2002 08:27:25 EDT
From: JoelBRJr * aol
Subject: [NTCP] Re: Campbell

While the quote by Campbell is right on and timely, let us not forget that
many of the Campbellite churches were/became extremely legalistic and
exclusivistic, placing an emphasis on leadership.
Joel


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Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2002 08:57:48 -0400
From: "George Howell" <elgeo * attbi>
Subject: RE: [NTCP] Re: Campbell
Most people of The Restoration Movement have become that which it's
founders spoke against. I know because we came out from that after 27
years of blindness and control under it. While they say the right things
they do not practice that which they say. They say they are "not the
only Christians, but Christians only." THEY USE GREAT CATCH PHRASES BUT
DO NOT PRACTICE THEM. Beware of those of The Restoration Movement.
George

- -----Original Message-----
From: owner-ntcp * homechurch [mailto:owner-ntcp * homechurch] On
Behalf Of JoelBRJr * aol
Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 8:27 AM
To: ntcp * homechurch
Subject: [NTCP] Re: Campbell

While the quote by Campbell is right on and timely, let us not forget
that many of the Campbellite churches were/became extremely legalistic
and exclusivistic, placing an emphasis on leadership.
Joel


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Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2002 13:11:17 -0400
From: David Anderson <david * housechurch>
Subject: [NTCP] showing love by learning the native language

Hi all,

Sid, age 58, just returned from the Czech Republic after a 5 year term.
He's eager to get back and start another term and "plant churches." The
Czech language was/is very difficult and he is just now able to preach
and freely converse.

He was in Nigeria for the previous 25 years among the Tiv tribe. Millions
- - literally - of them have received the Saviour. That initial work was
begun years ago by a .... woman. Lol.

Sid's a physics major and a Princeton grad, yet feared at first that he
could not learn the language which is comprised mostly of the letters
that you don't want to be stuck with when playing Scrabble. Some entire
sentences have not single vowel sound.

Morale is very low in the C.R. and many desire a return to Communism.
Atheism is the predominate belief. Needless to say, the missionary
burn-out rate is high. He described his first tour of duty as "clawing
through granite with your fingernails." He nevertheless believes in the
latter day glory of the church which keeps his morale high! "Jesus will
win," Sid says with a grin.

House churches are making more and more sense to him - Prague is 1000
years old and there is little property for sale in the city. Also
needless to say, the "Squid" and I have some very lively conversations!

"Why do you want to learn our language?" those people inquire of Sid.
They are eager to learn English, themselves, which opens a lot of doors.

Any similar experiences? Any operators in the former Soviet Union?

Please pray for Prague and for the Sidney Anderson family. Thank you.

David Anderson


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Date: Wed, 18 Sep 2002 17:06:55 +0200
From: "Deborah" <deborah.millier * juccampus>
Subject: [NTCP] Re: Campbell

George H. wrote:

> Beware of those of The Restoration Movement.

Heed his warning, folks. For in truth George warns you ... of me.
:-)

To David A.:

I sent an email to Cor and Greta. Hopefully they'll join our family under
the SUCCAH (flimsy temporary structure built as part of a yearly festival
often called "The Feast of Tabernacles") with our Jerusalem congregation
this Sabbath. We'll see what they say. Thanks for the contact.

Michael
Jerusalem

 


End of New Testament Church Planting Digest V2 #167 < Previous Digest Next Digest >



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