New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches



NT Church Proliferation Digest Friday, October 18 2002 Volume 02 : Number 183

[NTCP] Thought you might like to know
Re: [NTCP] synagogue
Re: [NTCP] sam is that you?
Re: [NTCP] sam is that you?
Re: [NTCP] synagogue
[NTCP] Re: NT Church Proliferation Digest V2 #182
Re: [NTCP] Thought you might like to know
Re: [NTCP] Re: NT Church Proliferation Digest V2 #182
Re: [NTCP] synagogue

Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2002 10:39:47 +0200
From: "Deborah" <deborah.millier * juccampus>
Subject: [NTCP] Thought you might like to know

Dear NTCP listserve members,
Dawn (my 10-year-old daughter) and I are back from the Philippines
full of joy for what the Lord did there! Through us. And for us.
The trip began with some cause for distress: neither the Hebrew tapes
(necessary in the instruction process) we had ordered 8 weeks prior, nor the
"Restoring the Jewish-ness of the Gospel" books which had been
quick-delivered to us, made it to Manila. The tapes *still* haven't arrived
to their appointed destination; we ended up having to make copies of my
personal tapes. And the books, which had to be ordered from the States,
arrived in Jerusalem in time for me to take them along with me, but they
also arrived during the weeklong Jewish holiday of Succot (i.e. Feast of
Tabernacles). So the postal clerk wouldn't release then till after the week
was up ... when I was already in the Philippines. :-(

Oh well. So Dawn and I flew out with no further hitches ... until we
arrived in Manila some five hours before I had informed our Filipino hosts
we were to arrive. A quick check of our itinerary showed me where I had
made a big "boo-boo," mistaking the time for a connecting flight in Paris
for our arrival time in Manila. Oops! So much for first impressions. With
tail tucked firmly between my legs, I called our hosts-- a non-Christian
family I had never met before who had been arranged for us through a
Christian friend of my sister's-- and explained my error. And apologized.
No problem! They were there in a flash (well, actually an hour
later-- traffic is heavy in Manila) and thus began our introduction to
hospitality Chinese-Filipino style. The Wu family (I've changed all names
except ours in this post to protect people's privacy) is part of the
minority Chinese population in the Philippines who in general are more
prosperous than the native Filipinos. The father and mother are not
Christians. Mom is a devout Taoist/Buddhist. Dad says he believes in God,
but subscribes to no one path. Little Karen (8 years old) goes to a
Christian school, but does not have a personal relationship with her
Creator. Yet. There is one Christian living with the Wu family, their
daughter-in-law Ruth. And, of course, there is also the Wu's Christian son
who now lives in the U.S., Mark-- along with his believing wife, Sharon.
Anyway, we were taken to their home and shown our room, with fully
stocked refrigerator, new toothbrushes, paste, soap, shampoo, and slippers!
They lent me a cell phone for the week, made available their driver, took us
out to restaurants frequently, or had elaborate meals prepared for us by
their house help. I tasted things like shark fin, squid, lapoo-lapoo fish,
and-- the one I really LOVED!-- longalisa sausage. Dawn was in "sea food
heaven". If any of you know me and my ... ahem ... "love" (NOT!) for fishy
things ... well, I ate a lot of chicken, beef, and pork. In fact MUCH MORE
meat than I am used to. But the Wus would spare no expense. Every day Dawn
received another present, from a new purse to a new jacket. And more! I
couldn't talk them out of their lavishness toward us. So I just learned to
appreciate it. And them.

The pastor and his family who actually arranged for our seminar at
their church facilities in Makati (suburb of Manila) where he is ministers
with other pastors and elders. Through our many talks and meals together--
plus he attended both my morning and evening classes-- pastor Ferdie
introduced me to Filipino culture, while allowing Dawn and I to become close
to his family, play with his kids. Just hang out together. A privilege.
They kept giving us things too. We had no needs go unmet while we were
there, that's for sure!

So we started classes Monday morning at nine. And we had a good
showing. Due to scheduling issues, people oftentimes needed to attend in
the morning some days then in the evenings on other days. But it worked
out. Altogether, there were twenty-six regular attendees. We studied
modern Hebrew together each day for an hour and a half, Messianic prophecy
for another hour, then Israel cultural/worldview issues, usually for the
remaining half hour. Then Dawn (who really helped out during the modern
Hebrew portion!) and I had off until six that evening, when we'd repeat the
same classes for a (usually) different set of students. All week.
By Friday, both groups were speaking Hebrew in compound sentences ...
and knowing what each other was saying! They performed skits in groups for
their final exams, using the modern Hebrew they had learned-- and BOY were
some of them funny! And good!!! Each group also learned how to witness to
Jewish people using *only* the Old Testament, and they grew to understand
certain aspects of Israeli culture, and how it is for a Filipino in-house
caregiver to live and serve the Lord in the Holy Land. How's that for a
week?!?!

Out of twenty-six students, five of them have committed to going to
Israel long-term in various capacities as witnesses for their Messiah!
Praise God!!!

Throughout the week I witnessed to our hosts, the Wu family. Dad was
more open than Mom, but there were times when I felt that I (or rather the
Lord) had her attention too. Dawn and I went with both of them to their
Taoist temple where they burn incense, offer food, and bow down before idols
representing their "saints". They even had an idol of Jesus! That visit
generated a lot of good healthy discussion.

And throughout the week I fellowshipped with pastor Ferdie and his
family. He has developed a burden for the Wu family too and has committed
to keeping that relationship open. The Wu's kindness did not stop with Dawn
and I, but extended to Ferdie and his family as well. And so it is
appropriate for them to show kindness to people in return for the favors
they have bestowed upon them ... by sharing with them the way to know God
personally. And to have eternal life. That is Ferdie's desire for the
Wu's. And that is likewise the desire of at least five Filipino Christians
who have committed to come and live in Israel ... and share the gospel.

PLEASE PRAY FOR:

1) Lasting peace in the land of Israel. The border with Lebanon looks to be
heating up soon over water issues. Also, if the U.S. proceeds with it's
attack plans on Iraq, this will undoubtedly draw in Israel simply as a
matter of course. The peace of Jerusalem affects the peace of the whole
world. Even so, come Lord Jesus (Rev. 22:20)!

2) The future of Jerusalem University College. Things remain precarious for
the school due to the unstable situation in Israel. Deborah (my wife) still
works there, but along with her regular duties as librarian,
secretary/receptionist, maid, cook, store clerk, she is also helping to sort
through and pack items for the coming move. To where exactly? We do not
know. But each afternoon she comes home tired. Please pray.

3) Whether the Millier family should move to the Philippines or not. The
Sep. 30-Oct. 6 seminar was a huge success, with five people expressing their
concrete desire to mobilize to Israel. Making plans to move. And seeds
were planted in the hearts of others. Plus relationships established.
Also, when I asked veteran missionary and seminary president Chuck Quinley
if he had any insight on whether or not he thought we might need to move to
the Philippines, after a long and thoughtful pause he answered: "The United
States has a lot of good quality Christians. I'd just hate to see another
good quality Christian go back to the United States." Right before that
comment, he said to me, "You have a unique perspective (Jewish) that I think
we all need to hear. Maybe you could do some teaching here." So perhaps
this is another door of opportunity opening up. Please pray!

4) Pray for Sarita, a Filipina believer who has been trying for over six
months to get her visa to minister with a church in the Ukraine. It has
been a long battle and wait for her. She just wants to faithfully serve her
King in foreign service. Please stand with her as it is close to the time
when she'll hear back whether her visa has been accepted or denied.

5) Pray for Miriam, an orthodox Jewish lady to whom I have been witnessing
for years. She is still wrestling with her God. And the idea of Jesus
being her Messiah. A good sign. Also for Danny Levine, a Messianic Jew who
meets every other week in our apartment for food and Bible study. There is
also another Jewish believer named Yehudit who is praying about joining our
small home group. Likewise pray for Haim who is interested to come
periodically. And Ron, who won't come out and publicly profess his faith in
Jesus (he gives hints, then backs away), but who otherwise displays the
fruits of being born again.

Blessings,
Michael
Jerusalem


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Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2002 10:41:46 +0200
From: "Deborah" <deborah.millier * juccampus>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] synagogue

The following post has responses to David A., Link H., Jim R., Dick W.,
Stephanie B., and Joel BR.

David A. wrote:

> Binder's thesis that synagogues
> were "little temples" sounds credible.
> Many of them look certainly templesque

Good to read the things you've posted! Though I disagree with so much
of what I've seen (it would take reems of rebuttal for which I don't have
the time nor our list members the patience), it is healthy for the
"nugget-loving readership" (including myself!) to be exposed to various
perspectives in order to evaluate them ourselves, and hence choose a
position which best fits the now more easily accessed-for-us biblical and
historical evidence.

Just a quick stab at some areas of disagreement. So now an
unqualified SUNAGOGE in James 2:2 has the third meaning of "court," huh? I
remain skeptical, bro. This is not a mainstream position, no "functional
equivalence Bible translations" (e.g. NIV, TEV, GNB, etc.) I know of render
it "court," no other commentators I know of refer to SUNAGOGE as meaning
"court" in this verse. This, of course, does not mean it is not true, just
that the position has to be proven. An uphill battle for *you*. Citing one
off-beat commentator does not do it. The same can be said for citing
Heather McKay's now discredited statements that there exists no
archaeological or *epigraphic* evidence for synagogue buildings in 1st cent.
Israel/Palestine. She was wrong, as I feel confident this latest
"straw-grasp" about SUNAGOGE meaning "court" in Jam. 2:2 is wrong. SUNAGOGE
in Jam. 2:2 means "synagogue," in its immediate context, its book context,
and its NT context.

Of course my thesis has NEVER been that churches in, say, Bristol, TN
or Uttar Pradesh, India should ape synagogue services, or anything like
that. Just that the earliest believers (who were Jews) saw no problem
meeting in the Temple or in synagogue buildings. And this practice of
meeting in buildings (besides houses) continued until *AT LEAST* a century
after Pentecost-- way before Constantine (the "whipping boy") was emperor.
Consequently a scriptural/historical case *against* special buildings per se
is thereby nullified. That is my position. The examples in Scriptire and
early church history do not match the assertions of the "absolutist" faction
of the HC-ers.

D. Binder is good reading. His thesis is, as you've noted, that
synagogues were "little temples," ... but also that they nevertheless did
*not* replace the Jerusalem temple in the minds of 1st cent. Jews. I think
that is instructive to our current discussion, don't you? Particularly
related to your proposed "massive NT paradigm shift".

> Those who believed in Jesus would
> not have been welcome for long by
> the unconverted Jews who did not
> believe in the Son of God. These
> two groups do not mix today -
> neither did they in the Apostolic
> times, for very long.

Brother, I won't prolong this aspect of our debate since it is an
aside to the real issue related to church planting-- what this list, as you
well know, is really about. I will return posts on the relevant topic of
whether or not buildings are *unbiblical* as long as there is interest. But
I did feel the need to at least qualify your sweeping statements above.
I have already written about a phenomenon in Messianic Judaism today,
that *many*-- in Israel and outside of the Land-- still pray in the
synagogues with their "unconverted" (bad choice of words, bro) covenant
brethren, then meet with groups of both Jews and gentiles who follow Jesus,
either later on that same Sabbath, or on other days. Usually Sunday. Then,
of course, there is the very Jewish practice of meeting house to house with
new covenant believers for less structured, but NEVER nonliturgical times of
worship, study, prayer, sharing, confessing, ... you know, fellowship.
Therefore, it is *not* accurate for you to say that those who believe
in Jesus as the Son of God and those who don't have faith in Christ "do not
mix today". They often do. Not all non-Messianic Jews are hostile to the
person of Jesus. And nothing in the synagogue liturgy/service is inherently
hostile to Messianic (Christian) faith. We have orthodox rabbis that do not
believe in Jesus who come and teach certain topics at our congregation's
Messianic Midrasha (Bible College) just because they love the subject
matter. And even love their Messianic Jewish students-- though they
disagree on who Jesus is.

The same is true at the college I attend. There are some classes
which are taught by rabbis who do not (YET!) believe that Jesus is the Son
of God, yet they are professors at JUC. What are some of the classes they
teach? "Rabbinics" for instance. And "Jewish Thought and Practice". Part
of the "Modern Middile East" course (the other section is taught by a Greek
Orthodox Arab). "Scripture and Art," "Archaeology of Jerusalem," even a
class on "Parables" are all taught by Jews who do not (yet) believe in
Jesus. At a school attended exclusively by Evangelical Christians. We are
not hostile to these Jews; we show them the love and respect they deserve as
educated human beings made in God's image-- still in need of salvation. And
they in turn see teaching Christians as a worthwhile endeavor; that what
they have learned in their fields is valuable to us as well. And it often
is!

David, the same was true in ancient times. Yes, today in Jerusalem
there are Jews who follow me around with video cameras and threaten my
family and me. Yes, in certain parts of Jerusalem there are those who would
beat me up the moment I publicly mentioned the name of Jesus (Yeshua), those
who do slash the tires of our congregants while we are praying together,
those who fire-bomb our congregation's building and even our houses (this
last item has never happened to the Millier family, yet ... and we don't own
a car), ... those who would kick Jews who believe in Jesus out of the
synagogue without a fair trial. Discredit their good name in the community,
deny them equal opportunity employment. But there are many who would not do
thses sorts of things-- who simply live with the tension of accepting
various beliefs (including Messianic Judaism) within their circle of Jewish
associates.

The ancient historians record that many Jews who believed in Jesus
remained within the synagogues for centuries after Pentecost. Eusebius
mentions it, Jerome mentions it. Others too, whom I can't recall off the
bat. There were periodic times of tension (such as recorded in John's
Gospel, when the man was threatened with synagogue expulsion) and times of
relative peace (such as when the gospel expanded in Jerusalem following
Pentecost). After A.D. 70, there was a time of tension between
non-Messiainc Jews and the Jerusalem believers who returned from Pella,
because the latter left the city during a period of severe trial. Due to a
prophecy. The Pharisee, Shimon ha-Qatan later composed (or revised) a
synagogue blessing around A.D. 90 to call a curse down upon all MINIM
(sectarians, schizmatics), which we know from other sources included (but
did not *always* specifically target ...) NOTZRIM (Nazarenes, i.e. Jewish
Christians). During the Bar Kokhba rebellion (A.D. 132-134), the Jewish
Christians in Israel fought side by side with non-Messianic Jews against the
Romans. However, when the most popular rabbi of the day, Akiva, declared
Bar Kokhba to be the Messiah, the NOTZRIM (Jewish Christians) backed out of
the war entirely. Bar Kokhba was defeated and killed in battle, Akiva was
flayed alive by his captures, and many of the Jews who did not believe in
Jesus blamed the NOTZRIM. And never got over it. The real "parting of the
ways" started at this time (134 A.D.) in Israel, but in other places in the
Roman empire the break was not so sure. Rome is one example. The
Christians mingled with the Jews and Jews with the Christians (not without
debates, mind you) until the 3rd century. Sharing catacomb burial areas,
song books, etc.

What I'm trying to say is that it wasn't uniform, this absolute
hostility between Jews with faith in Jesus and those without the same faith.
It wasn't then, it isn't now.

Link H. wrote:

> I seem to recall your saying the
> synagogue there was constructed
> of the same type of rock as the
> wailing wall. If the rock in the
> Upper Room site synagogue were
> actually taken from the rubble of
> the temple wall that would date
> it later than the destruction of
> the temple-- after 70 AD, and
> after most New Testament epistles
> were written. The temple was
> still around when Acts was written.

You recall correctly. The stone of the synagogue discovered under the
traditional "Upper Room" on Mt. Zion is Herodian, an identifiable cut with a
distinctive carved rim around the outer edge-- like a routed line on each of
the four sides. The limestone blocks of the Mt. Zion synagogue are in what
archaeologists call "secondary use," meaning that the cut stones were not
originally quarried and dressed for this particular building. They are
similar in look and size to ones found near the ancient temple site, hence
the conjecture is that the synagogue was built post-A.D. 70 using stones
from the demolished temple. A possibility, impossible to prove absolutely.
What is almost certain is what you (and I!) have noted: it was built AFTER
the temple was destroyed. And noted by Hadrian in A.D. 130.
Again, I wasn't using this particular synagogue as an example of a
pre-A.D. 70 structure, only as one close in time. Now revisit my Oct. 14
post on this thread, rebutting David A's proposed paradigm shift, to note
that this was my point.

> The references to synagogues in the
> gospels and the book of Acts seem to
> indicate that 'synagogue' is used at
> times to refer to the buildings and
> not only the congregations. 'Church'
> on the other hand, seems to always
> refer to a congregation/assembly, the
> people that meet in such assemblies,
> or the 'heavenly assembly' of all saints.

That is my observation too. With both SUNAGOGE and EKKLESIA. In
James 2:2 though, we have a "synagogue" which is identified in some way as a
"church" (Jam. 5:14).

> I believe this is an issue where we
> need to observe the instructions in
> Romans 14

You might be right here, Link. I'd never thought of it in that light
before. To be quite frank, I just get so tired of reading absolute
positions against buildings on this list! Over and over again AD NAUSEUM.
But thinking about it through the lenses of Rom. 14 may influence me to hold
my horses more. Maybe ...

David A., Link H., Jim R., Dick W., Stephanie B., Joel BR. each framed
their responses to this debate in the terms we all need to see--
appropriate-ness: i.e. whether buildings are the proper thing in such and
such a location at such and such a time. But not calling buildings wrong
per se or unscriptural. I think this is a GOOD development! This is where
our discussion needs to head, imo. Blessings on all.

Michael
Jerusalem


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Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2002 08:25:24 -0400
From: "Samuel Buick" <aom_canada * hotmail>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] sam is that you?

Hi Peter!
Yes, it's me.

How are you doing?

We gather on Monday nights, and Friday nights. Wednesdays I am at school
(insurance night course at Conestoga College - part of underwriting
program).

We also gather on Sunday afternoons at healing room.

Would love to connect. We can start with email, if we cannot connect face
to face, but it would be nice to connect face to face.

Hoping to have all the house church people gather at Tom's again soon. I have Robert
Fitts slated to come with Jim Rutz (THE OPEN CHURCH) in June.

Regards,
Sam
>From: "Peter Burritt" <pburritt * sympatico.ca>
>Reply-To: ntcp * homechurch
>To: <ntcp * homechurch>
>Subject: [NTCP] sam is that you?
>Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2002 14:20:17 -0400
>
>I have just got hooked up to Sympatico, at least a working copy
>anyhow...been on the service for three months now, just going through 93
>messages that have been stored for a few weeks
>
>Almost like a guy in a traditional church meeting, then he comes to a place
>where he sits before the Lord with the WORD open, and BANG he busts through
>the wall into sunshine of the Spirit and understands, Gods' presence and
>provision for all his needs
>
>Just returned home from a conference for the deaf and there was
>interpretation for the hearing people, like me...that put me in my place.
>
>Much to share if you wish, be glad to come over to your place some
>Wednesday night,,,just name time and place and I'd be glad to share and
>receive from your group
>
>Peter Burritt


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Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2002 10:01:37 -0400
From: "Peter Burritt" <pburritt * sympatico.ca>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] sam is that you?

Sam: Hi, yeah, right now I'm only off Tues/Wed nights, work Thurs through
MOnday night

Not connected with Jason, presently, back to my regular church ; but am
praying that the Lord will send the deaf to our church. perhaps out of that
will come a deaf house church, since the physical space in the church is
gone for a Sunday morning and crowded the rest of the week Plus, their
immediate responses about a deaf ministry, scare me.

Am looking for shift change at work, which would give me evenings and
weekends free...evenings start work at 10.

BLESSINGS,
Peter

~ ~ ~ ntcp info page: http://world-missions/planting ~ ~ ~
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2002 10:53:35 -0400
From: linkh * mcdowell.main.nc.us
Subject: Re: [NTCP] synagogue

Quoting Michael <deborah.millier * juccampus>:
> Just a quick stab at some areas of disagreement. So now an
> unqualified SUNAGOGE in James 2:2 has the third meaning of "court," huh? I
> remain skeptical, bro. This is not a mainstream position, no "functional
> equivalence Bible translations" (e.g. NIV, TEV, GNB, etc.) I know of render
> it "court," no other commentators I know of refer to SUNAGOGE as meaning
> "court" in this verse. ," in its immediate context, its book context,
> and its NT context.

Michael,
Doesn't Edersheim write that synagogue buildings were used as courthouses and
that elders of synagogues judged cases in Jesus' day?

I think it unlikely that James had in mind Christians going to the synagogue on
court days and missing the liturgy. I would imagine a Christian Jew would be
under the legal jurisdction, in the Roman era, of the synagogue he attended.

James does mention the rich oppressing Christians and drawing them before
judgement seats right after mentioning the synagogue. Since these were Jews,
and the Jewish synagogue court system was vested with power under the Roman
empire, I would imagine the 'judgement seats' would either be convened in the
synagogue, or else be presided over by judges that were either elders or
connected to the synagogue and temple system in some other way.


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Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2002 14:03:51 EDT
From: JoelBRJr * aol
Subject: [NTCP] Re: NT Church Proliferation Digest V2 #182

David,
I apologize for my offense. My only defense is that I am constantly bombarded
by others who are still blaming the modern Jew for the offense of their
ancestors. Especially in the Baptist background I come from and have recently
left. I am not Jewish, but serve a savior who was born Jewish. To continue to
blame the modern Jew is equivalent to blaming modern America for the slavery
issue of earlier America.
And while I know the passage in Acts well, I also see that Peter was
addressing Men of Israel, not Judeans, Galileans or any specific group. He
was addressing those who were there in Jerusalem from all over the known
world that had come for Pentecost. That included gentile proselytes as well
as born Jews. Maybe splitting hairs ... but I am willing to learn if you are
willing to enlighten me!
Again, my most profound apologies, and I will try to lead, if the Spirit
allows.

Joel Rogers


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Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2002 18:57:01 -0400
From: David Anderson <david * housechurch>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Thought you might like to know

> Out of twenty-six students, five of them have committed to going to
>Israel long-term in various capacities as witnesses for their Messiah!
>Praise God!!!

I am delighted to receive this WONDERFUL news and of your safe return
from that increasingly dangerous locality, brother.

Your labor is not in vain, obviously. And, your relationship with your
family is solidifying even more as you engage as one in the King's
business.

rejoicing in Jehovah with you, Michael, as we continue to pray,

David Anderson
Bristol, TN


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Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2002 19:29:13 -0400
From: David Anderson <david * housechurch>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Re: NT Church Proliferation Digest V2 #182

But Joel,

I reserve the right to remain ignorant and what I say can and should be
used against me ... (Laughter on line...)

Hiya brother, may God increase OUR knowledge and love for one another.
I'll overlook you dis time if you keep on overlooking me. :-) My zeal
sometimes exceeds my knowledge...and my love. Sighhhh.

I love those words of Peter where he ties in man's responsibility with
God's eternal plan without attempting to reconcile them to "human logic."
Praise the name of the Lord - greater things were going on in the
heavenlies when Jesus hung between heaven and earth!

Enjoy this, y'all, from John Flavel:

Did Christ stand arraigned and condemned at Pilate's bar? Then the
believer shall never be arraigned and condemned at God's bar. This
sentence that Pilate pronounced on Christ gives evidence that God will
never pronounce sentence against such: for had he intended to have
arraigned the saints, he would never have suffered Christ, their surety,
to be arraigned and condemned for them.

Christ stood at this time before a higher judge than Pilate; he stood at
God's bar as well as his. Pilate did but that which God's own hand and
counsel had before determined to be done, and what God himself, at the
same time, did; though God did it justly and holier, dealing with Christ
as a creditor with a surety; Pilate most wickedly and basely, dealing
with Christ as a corrupt judge, that shed the blood of a known innocent
to pacify the people. But certain it is, that out of his condemnation
flows our justification: and had not sentence been given against him, it
must have been given against us.

Oh what a melting consideration is this! That out of his agony comes our
victory; out of his condemnation, our justification; out of his pain, our
ease; out of his stripes, our healing: out of his gall and vinegar, our
honey; out of his curse, our blessing; out of his crown of thorns, our
crown of glory; out of his death, our life: if he could not be released,
it was that you might. If Pilate gave sentence against him, it was that
the great God might never give sentence against you. If he yielded that
it should be with Christ as they required, it was that it might be with
our souls as well as we can desire.

And therefore, THANKS BE TO GOD FOR HIS UNSPEAKABLE GIFT

forwarded by D Anderson in Tennessee


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Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2002 05:24:37 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] synagogue

Deborah wrote:

>Just as there may develop a "counter greed, an over-reaction to
>material wealth " by "have-nots" in the face of opulence, so I am witnessing
>a "counter fixation" on buildings by many in the HC movement. Also in
>reaction. Buildings have become THE issue with many of these misguided
>saints. Better, imo, to fix our eyes upon Jesus, no? And upon expanding
>his kingdom. That way those for whom it would be inappropriate to build can
>refrain from building (and hopefully from pontificating about it!) and those
>who feel the freedom to build special buildings (there is, after all, no
>biblical commandment pro or con), can get on with the work of the Lord.
>Without this vitriolic censure.

Perhaps we could look at this bricks and morter issue from a little
different perspective:

What does a "church" have to do or be, in order to build, buy or own a
building? There may have been some left over buildings in the beginning,
and some that were modified, but as things have developed right down to
our own day, what must our relationship to the world, even our identity
to the world be, in order to legally own a building?

What name do we put on the sign out front? It's one thing to own
buildings in the flesh, it is quite another to own buildings in the
Spirit. And then there are the endowments which maintain these monuments
to our inability to get along. Then there is the show business, random
or liturgical, that comes in to replace the Spirit of God. They are
safer, however, it's so much easier to get along with a building that
men have built then it is to get along with the building that Jesus went
away to prepare.

Flesh can relate to the buildings of men. It takes the cross to relate
to the building of God.

Yours in Christ,

Jay

James 4:4


End of New Testament Church Planting Digest V2 #183< Previous Digest Next Digest >



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