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Dorcas
04-05-07, 03:30 PM
I found this article to be 100 % accurate.

http://www.spindleworks.com/library/faber/010_thechurch.htm

Now it is remarkable that already in the confessions of Strasbourg and Basel (the Tetrapolitan Confession of 1530, the First Confession of Basel of 1534, and the First Helvetic Confession of 1536), we find a stress on the church as communion or community, or fellowship of believers. The concept of the gathering comes to the fore, and the church is described as being gathered by the triune God and as coming together in the unity of true faith. This element of gathering is of utmost importance in the doctrine of the church in Reformed confessions. The First Confession of Basel (1534) states in Article 5: "We believe one holy, Christian Church, the fellowship of the saints, the spiritual assembly of believers which is holy and the one bride of Christ . . . ." And we read in the First Helvetic Confession (1536) about the holy, universal church as "the fellowship and congregation of all saints which is Christ's bride and spouse" (Art. 14; the Latin text speaks of a "sancta sanctorum omnium collectio"). This First Helvetic Confession characterizes the church as not only seen and known by God but "also gathered and built up by visible signs, rites and ordinances, which Christ Himself has instituted and appointed by the Word of God as a universal, public and orderly discipline" ("non solum cernitur cognosciturque, sed . . . constituitur"). In the present tense constituitur we see the church as an earthly, empirical assembly that is not finished yet, but is in the process of being gathered and built. At the same time the church itself is God's instrument in this ongoing process; there is a constitutum and there is a constituendum. The church's ministers are in these German, Swiss Reformed confessions time and again called God's co-workers (cooperarii), [5] (http://www.spindleworks.com/library/faber/010_thechurch.htm#5) and this striking epithet underscores the dynamic nature of the ongoing work of the gathering of the church. In the period of Calvin and Bullinger, we find a similar stress on the church as a company of the faithful. The Geneva Confession of 1536 even stresses that this description is valid for each and every local congregation: "While there is one only Church of Jesus Christ, we always acknowledge that necessity requires companies of the faithful to be distributed in different places. Of these assemblies each one is called Church" (Art. 18).
The Second Helvetic Confession-that beautiful confession of Bullinger-puts the question, "What is the church?" and answers as follows: "The Church is an assembly of the faithful called or gathered out of the world; a communion, I say, of all saints . . ." (The Latin text says: "Ecclesiam, id est, a mundo evocatum vel collectum coetum fideli um."). The headings in Bullinger's confession are evidence of the Scriptural character of his doctrine of the church. The church is called the assembly of citizens of one commonwealth, the temple of the living God, and thereare special paragraphs about the church as bride and virgin, as a flock of sheep, and as the body of Christ.


Professor Murray alerts us to the danger of what I call a polarization of the so-called "invisible" and the so-called "visible" church. Some, who are disobedient to the obligation to foster unity and fellowship in the church of God, escape to the idea of the "church invisible." Also within this International Conference, there could be the danger that we meet one another in a faraway place, yet pass one another by in our own country, and in the meantime soothe our consciences with a distinction between visible and invisible church. In the contacts between the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and the Canadian Reformed Churches, the deputies of the latter have warned against a polarization of the visible and invisible church. It results in a low esteem for what is called the visible church, a weakening of church-consciousness, a lack of understanding of the seriousness of the calling to separate from the false church, and the rise of the theologoumenon of the pluriformity of the church, which is taught neither by the Scriptures nor by the Reformed confessions. This theologoumenon of the pluriformity of the church has proved to be an undermining factor in the fight against the sins of the church and for its reformation.

I am posting this response in a separate thread since the above quotation appears in a limited-response thread for which I do not qualify (although it appears that not one person has yet followed the requested rules)

I'm sure I've brought this up before, but I find it exceedingly relevant that all of the confessions and "churches" that these men defended were in fact agents of the state. By socio-political necessity, these German, Swiss, and Reformed (Dutch or otherwise) "reformers" that you so admire had to defend their own church-state as the true Church of God. So there you end up with one foot in Scripture and another in Switzerland. Because every citizen was required to be a "member" based on geography more than belief, of course these historic men will always defend the visible over the invisible. And those who have carried on the traditions of these "churches" have been defending it ever since. The Reformation may have reformed (some) doctrine, but it did not reform ecclesiology.

Sometime in the last couple of weeks, someone defending the invisible nature of the ekklesia was accused of American individualism. That is a badge that I would wear proudly, because God's people are defined by what they believe, individually, not what list they are on. And this was the first country in the history of the world where that was truly allowed.

Greg
04-06-07, 08:04 AM
I am posting this response in a separate thread since the above quotation appears in a limited-response thread for which I do not qualify (although it appears that not one person has yet followed the requested rules)

I'm sure I've brought this up before, but I find it exceedingly relevant that all of the confessions and "churches" that these men defended were in fact agents of the state. By socio-political necessity, these German, Swiss, and Reformed (Dutch or otherwise) "reformers" that you so admire had to defend their own church-state as the true Church of God. So there you end up with one foot in Scripture and another in Switzerland. Because every citizen was required to be a "member" based on geography more than belief, of course these historic men will always defend the visible over the invisible. And those who have carried on the traditions of these "churches" have been defending it ever since. The Reformation may have reformed (some) doctrine, but it did not reform ecclesiology.Dorcas, this is a great point and I would like to see Wildboar's and Lionovjudah's answers to your assertions, which I would agree with.
Bob: I do not know if you are trying to pigeon hole me or chuck into becoming an adherent of landmarkism or the rcc asserions of the one true church/denomination. This I cannot nor will not do. Nor will I make the mistake of defining ellesia so narrow, noone can walk on the road other than 5 people at a time.It looks to me that what you are an adherent to are the traditions and aspirations of institutions that set themselves up in such high ivory towers that it would be sacrilege for you or any other adherents to dare question them as to wether or not they deserve such an iconic existance. Just as Dorcas has stated above about the reformed church's little spiritual turf war, it seems that you and WB will fight to your last dying breath to defend something that you're not willing to be "pigeon holed" into, yet embrace with all your might. I'm curious why you're so afraid to be defined? If what you defend is true, step up to the plate.
Sometime in the last couple of weeks, someone defending the invisible nature of the ekklesia was accused of American individualism. That is a badge that I would wear proudly, because God's people are defined by what they believe, individually, not what list they are on. And this was the first country in the history of the world where that was truly allowed.Blessed are the one eyed's in the valley of the blind.

Dorcas
04-06-07, 12:09 PM
Based on the additional posts by LinofJudah and Robert, I just want to clarify that I am only using visible / invisible in the sense that the author uses it -- the traditional sense that there are two "churches" --one visible on earth (which by necessity must include some reprobates if equalled to an institution) and one "invisible" universal church.

I believe that the ekklesia of the Scriptures consists of only the Elect, and thus only the "invisible" / "universal" Church that is traditionally talked about is a valid assembly. However, this is only one nature of the ekklesia. The visible nature seen in the physical congregation of believers also exists through all time, but applies to the same group. There is only ONE Church, the fellowship of the Elect.

I know that the above has been discussed a lot -- but I hope that someone answers my main question. Most of the historic Reformers wanted to take the very true, Scriptural characteristics of the ekklesia and apply them to some visible institution (s). I have explained why I believe the two-fold thinking was necessary for them to defend their state-churches. However, people today still use the same arguments where they ought not apply.

lionovjudah
04-06-07, 02:11 PM
It looks to me that what you are an adherent to are the traditions and aspirations of institutions that set themselves up in such high ivory towers that it would be sacrilege for you or any other adherents to dare question them as to wether or not they deserve such an iconic existance. Just as Dorcas has stated above about the reformed church's little spiritual turf war, it seems that you and WB will fight to your last dying breath to defend something that you're not willing to be "pigeon holed" into, yet embrace with all your might. I'm curious why you're so afraid to be defined? If what you defend is true, step up to the plate.Blessed are the one eyed's in the valley of the blind.


Dorcass made an invalid point Gregg. This is noway about state churches. Anyway, it is not my fault you suffer from "tradition phobia"

In all you siad, the only thing you correctly asserted is I will not be pigein holed into making a dogmatic statement that there is one true church/denomination.

I have said over and over. Scripture speaks of a universla and local assembly. The onous is on you to figure out how that disappeared from existance.

lionovjudah
04-06-07, 02:17 PM
Sometime in the last couple of weeks, someone defending the invisible nature of the ekklesia was accused of American individualism. That is a badge that I would wear proudly, because God's people are defined by what they believe, individually, not what list they are on. And this was the first country in the history of the world where that was truly allowed.

This is only part of the truth Dorcas. Again you define ekklesia in too narrow of any meaning that was intended. The only possible way I could be wrong is if after the first century, local assemblies of believers were done away with and God changed. The only historical evidence we have is scripture. Which from the beginning had the people of God gather together.

Whammer
04-06-07, 03:56 PM
This is only part of the truth Dorcas. Again you define ekklesia in too narrow of any meaning that was intended. The only possible way I could be wrong is if after the first century, local assemblies of believers were done away with and God changed. The only historical evidence we have is scripture. Which from the beginning had the people of God gather together.

Joe, when you read John 4:1-26.....how does Jesus' replies and assertions here, sit with your "church" concept, which you claim is biblical?
How many different physical locations will you attempt to put "genuine sheep" in before you will say they are actually worshipping?
Have you ever just been reading scripture prayerfully and found yourself praising Jesus. Have you ever been involved in a phone conversation with another.....and found yourselves praising Jesus and His wisdom and power? Do you think, that like the samaritan woman in these verses, you have missed the whole point of "worshipping in spirit and truth"?
One last question with an assertion..........it doesnt seem like you are ever really edified here at this forum, why do you continue to post and read here?:p :rolleyes: :eek: :)

Dorcas
04-06-07, 07:39 PM
This is only part of the truth Dorcas. Again you define ekklesia in too narrow of any meaning that was intended. The only possible way I could be wrong is if after the first century, local assemblies of believers were done away with and God changed. The only historical evidence we have is scripture. Which from the beginning had the people of God gather together.

I'm sure my definition above is too narrow, because I define ekklesia on the basis of the Gospel. Where the Elect fellowship, there is the ekklesia. Of course they gather, as they have always gathered, in different times, places and ways. If the definition is too narrow, its because its too narrow to include reprobates.

Traditions are not born in a vacuum. How and when an institution was born very much informs the "why" of its traditions. My point, which you found invalid, is intended to explain why your historic protestant churches want to make it about a meeting of people who are on a certain list with a certain label, rather than about believing in and celebrating the Gospel -- Why they take the right doctrines, and apply them to the wrong people. If it is really invalid, then do you or do you not believe that your "church" contains some reprobate? Are you or are you not still baptizing in babies who may or may not ever believe?

I suspect that your (and others') hesitation to allow anything outside an official meeting under an official institutional label "count" may have more to do with sacramentalism (which is definitely a left-over of the state-churches) than anything else. Is the reason that y'all cannot accept that the fellowship of a few Elect in celebration of the Gospel "counts" as the ekklesia because they might not be performing your sacred rites to exact specification?

lionovjudah
04-07-07, 09:40 AM
I'm sure my definition above is too narrow, because I define ekklesia on the basis of the Gospel. Where the Elect fellowship, there is the ekklesia. Of course they gather, as they have always gathered, in different times, places and ways. If the definition is too narrow, its because its too narrow to include reprobates.

My issue is not where, but when. And once a year is not enough.




Traditions are not born in a vacuum. How and when an institution was born very much informs the "why" of its traditions. My point, which you found invalid, is intended to explain why your historic protestant churches want to make it about a meeting of people who are on a certain list with a certain label, rather than about believing in and celebrating the Gospel -- Why they take the right doctrines, and apply them to the wrong people. If it is really invalid, then do you or do you not believe that your "church" contains some reprobate? Are you or are you not still baptizing in babies who may or may not ever believe?

Believing and celebrating the Gospel includes the ordinances the Lord commanded. Together with a community of the faithful. I agree 100% that man made beliefs such as official church membership have been taken to the extreme, but there are many examples in the Book where there must have been a knowledge of the people who attended a local assmebly. Names and numbers are mentioned so someone must have been writing them down. This is also not about credo/padeo baptism, or the thought that there are elect or non elect in an assembly. IT always has been like this and always will until the Lord comes again in Glory. Again read Revelation.


I suspect that your (and others') hesitation to allow anything outside an official meeting under an official institutional label "count" may have more to do with sacramentalism (which is definitely a left-over of the state-churches) than anything else. Is the reason that y'all cannot accept that the fellowship of a few Elect in celebration of the Gospel "counts" as the ekklesia because they might not be performing your sacred rites to exact specification?

That terrible word sacramentalism is contstantly used as the ploy of instilling fear of "returning back to Rome". When in fact we are only returning back to the reformation and NT understanding. I honestly do not know what sacred rites you speak of.

lionovjudah
04-07-07, 09:51 AM
Joe, when you read John 4:1-26.....how does Jesus' replies and assertions here, sit with your "church" concept, which you claim is biblical?
How many different physical locations will you attempt to put "genuine sheep" in before you will say they are actually worshipping?
Have you ever just been reading scripture prayerfully and found yourself praising Jesus. Have you ever been involved in a phone conversation with another.....and found yourselves praising Jesus and His wisdom and power? Do you think, that like the samaritan woman in these verses, you have missed the whole point of "worshipping in spirit and truth"?
One last question with an assertion..........it doesnt seem like you are ever really edified here at this forum, why do you continue to post and read here?:p :rolleyes: :eek: :)


I would say you have a faulty understanding of biblical worship in the context of the covenant community then whammer. The people of God are located throughout the world. Millions of them. A number no man can number. So I have a very hard time thinking that the world is like that in 1 Kings where the believers appeared to be extinct

Greg
04-07-07, 09:52 AM
Dorcass made an invalid point Gregg. This is noway about state churches. Anyway, it is not my fault you suffer from "tradition phobia"Joe, I have no phobias, however I do have an aversion to tradition only for the sake of tradition. I also choose to embrace the gospel without the dross. It is modern day christendom that seeks to amalgam itself with what is impure, to mix itself with what is not the ekklesia.
I have said over and over. Scripture speaks of a universla and local assembly. The onous is on you to figure out how that disappeared from existance.I think it's apparent Joe, that both John and Paul speak of an apostate group that has become fused with the visible body.

I do not seek to be an isolationist, but I will not subject myself and my family to the Godless so-called bodies of believers out there just to be part of something - part of a group that doesn't prize the gospel above all things, but does it's own traditions and then calls that the gospel.

Bob Higby
04-07-07, 12:05 PM
The Belgic Confession actually got most of this right, at least in principle.

Article 27: The Holy Catholic Church

We believe and confess one single catholic or universal church-- a holy congregation and gathering of true Christian believers, awaiting their entire salvation in Jesus Christ being washed by his blood, and sanctified and sealed by the Holy Spirit.
This church has existed from the beginning of the world and will last until the end, as appears from the fact that Christ is eternal King who cannot be without subjects.
And this holy church is preserved by God against the rage of the whole world, even though for a time it may appear very small in the eyes of men-- as though it were snuffed out.
For example, during the very dangerous time of Ahab the Lord preserved for himself seven thousand men who did not bend their knees to Baal (1 Kings 19:18).
And so this holy church is not confined, bound, or limited to a certain place or certain persons. But it is spread and dispersed throughout the entire world, though still joined and united in heart and will, in one and the same Spirit, by the power of faith.
Article 28: The Obligations of Church Members

We believe that since this holy assembly and congregation is the gathering of those who are saved and there is no salvation apart from it, no one ought to withdraw from it, content to be by himself, regardless of his status or condition.
But all people are obliged to join and unite with it, keeping the unity of the church by submitting to its instruction and discipline, by bending their necks under the yoke of Jesus Christ, and by serving to build up one another, according to the gifts God has given them as members of each other in the same body.
And to preserve this unity more effectively, it is the duty of all believers, according to God's Word, to separate themselves from those who do not belong to the church, in order to join this assembly wherever God has established it, even if civil authorities and royal decrees forbid and death and physical punishment result.
And so, all who withdraw from the church or do not join it act contrary to God's ordinance.Article 29: The Marks of the True Church

We believe that we ought to discern diligently and very carefully, by the Word of God, what is the true church-- for all sects in the world today claim for themselves the name of "the church."
We are not speaking here of the company of hypocrites who are mixed among the good in the church and who nonetheless are not part of it, even though they are physically there. But we are speaking of distinguishing the body and fellowship of the true church from all sects that call themselves "the church."
The true church can be recognized if it has the following marks: The church engages in the pure preaching of the gospel; it makes use of the pure administration of the sacraments as Christ instituted them; it practices church discipline for correcting faults. In short, it governs itself according to the pure Word of God, rejecting all things contrary to it and holding Jesus Christ as the only Head. By these marks one can be assured of recognizing the true church-- and no one ought to be separated from it.
As for those who can belong to the church, we can recognize them by the distinguishing marks of Christians: namely by faith, and by their fleeing from sin and pursuing righteousness, once they have received the one and only Savior, Jesus Christ. They love the true God and their neighbors, without turning to the right or left, and they crucify the flesh and its works.
Though great weakness remains in them, they fight against it by the Spirit all the days of their lives, appealing constantly to the blood, suffering, death, and obedience of the Lord Jesus, in whom they have forgiveness of their sins, through faith in him.
As for the false church, it assigns more authority to itself and its ordinances than to the Word of God; it does not want to subject itself to the yoke of Christ; it does not administer the sacraments as Christ commanded in his Word; it rather adds to them or subtracts from them as it pleases; it bases itself on men, more than on Jesus Christ; it persecutes those who live holy lives according to the Word of God and who rebuke it for its faults, greed, and idolatry.
These two churches are easy to recognize and thus to distinguish from each other.
Rightly understood, I agree with all of what is stated in all 3 points above, except that I do not believe 'church' and 'sacraments' are translations of EKKLESIA and Lord's Supper that respect scripture. We have often talked about that.

For those of the current Federal Vision deviation (in my estimation 'apostasy') who now want to include the 'company of hypocrites' in the EKKLESIA, it is just and right to ask, if such persons claim to subscribe to the Belgic Confession, them to NAME the true church and distinguish it from the false (unless this part of the confession is now discarded also)--which the confession calls an easy task.

Bob Higby
04-07-07, 12:28 PM
Dorcas:I'm sure my definition above is too narrow, because I define ekklesia on the basis of the Gospel. Where the Elect fellowship, there is the ekklesia. Of course they gather, as they have always gathered, in different times, places and ways. If the definition is too narrow, its because its too narrow to include reprobates.

Amen!

For some of us, there are certain aspects of the true gospel that can't be ignored when evaluating where to fellowship. For example, those whom the Lord has made rich with knowledge of the plan of salvation cannot in conscience participate--in any significant measure--in a church group condemning Definite Atonement and boldly proclaiming the opposite. That is just one of many examples I could give.

God requires no one to fellowship with and submit to church authority that actively condemns one's own biblical convictions and constantly makes one sense exclusion. That is where we can all safely draw the line and KNOW that the Lord stands with us. Even if we believe that some of the EKKLESIA might be present in certain churches that we cannot in conscience fellowship with, we have no obligation to listening to the preaching of doctrines of devils week after week.

Whammer
04-07-07, 01:51 PM
I would say you have a faulty understanding of biblical worship in the context of the covenant community then whammer. The people of God are located throughout the world. Millions of them. A number no man can number. So I have a very hard time thinking that the world is like that in 1 Kings where the believers appeared to be extinct

I am wondering, once again, if you can actually just answer my questions????

MCoving
04-07-07, 01:55 PM
Dorcas:I'm sure my definition above is too narrow, because I define ekklesia on the basis of the Gospel. Where the Elect fellowship, there is the ekklesia. Of course they gather, as they have always gathered, in different times, places and ways. If the definition is too narrow, its because its too narrow to include reprobates.

Amen!

For some of us, there are certain aspects of the true gospel that can't be ignored when evaluating where to fellowship. For example, those whom the Lord has made rich with knowledge of the plan of salvation cannot in conscience participate--in any significant measure--in a church group condemning Definite Atonement and boldly proclaiming the opposite. That is just one of many examples I could give.

God requires no one to fellowship with and submit to church authority that actively condemns one's own biblical convictions and constantly makes one sense exclusion. That is where we can all safely draw the line and KNOW that the Lord stands with us. Even if we believe that some of the EKKLESIA might be present in certain churches that we cannot in conscience fellowship with, we have no obligation to listening to the preaching of doctrines of devils week after week.

I think that is very well said, and I think that is what it comes down to for people who decide not to fellowship in a church. There are essential gospel Truths that a church should be teaching, and if not then there are false preachers in that church.

I like how you said this: "God requires no one to fellowship with and submit to church authority that actively condemns one's own biblical convictions and constantly makes one sense exclusion. That is where we can all safely draw the line and KNOW that the Lord stands with us." It gives me reassurance that my choices to not fellowship with some churches is correct. But I pretty much knew that because I wasn't going to sit for an hour and listen to someone preach something false. It just irritated me. The essential ones for me that I'm convicted of is the complete Soveriegnty of God in all things, and that people who believe salvation is conditioned on the sinner are not converted at the moment, and not our brothers. Seems in most churches here doesn't matter what one believes as long as they believe Christ died for their sins, and they will follow. As I said... Oregon is a very liberal country, there's really no absolute Truths these days.

Anyways i just wanted to say that Bob you said that very well and it was most encouraging for me to read that. Thanks!!! :D

Mary

lionovjudah
04-07-07, 02:03 PM
Joe, when you read John 4:1-26.....how does Jesus' replies and assertions here, sit with your "church" concept, which you claim is biblical?
How many different physical locations will you attempt to put "genuine sheep" in before you will say they are actually worshipping?
Have you ever just been reading scripture prayerfully and found yourself praising Jesus. Have you ever been involved in a phone conversation with another.....and found yourselves praising Jesus and His wisdom and power? Do you think, that like the samaritan woman in these verses, you have missed the whole point of "worshipping in spirit and truth"?
One last question with an assertion..........it doesnt seem like you are ever really edified here at this forum, why do you continue to post and read here?:p :rolleyes: :eek: :)

Hey Wham:

In all seriousness I honestly have not have a dogmatic understanging of the "Spirit and truth" words spoken by Christ. Prematurely I will say it must have something to do with true Godly worship will be empowered by the Spirit of Truth and not have to take place in the Jewish temple nor for the Jews only.

Whammer
04-07-07, 02:27 PM
Hey Wham:

In all seriousness I honestly have not have a dogmatic understanging of the "Spirit and truth" words spoken by Christ. Prematurely I will say it must have something to do with true Godly worship will be empowered by the Spirit of Truth and not have to take place in the Jewish temple nor for the Jews only.

Okay, I may have guessed this, but what about the other questions? I think ..maybe...you know what I am driving at here....maybe
Maybe too you could tell me, in Bob's last posts, what you disagree with there?
I'm off to work, so I wont get back to respond till later......if the discussion progesses any further that is........:)

wildboar
04-07-07, 02:39 PM
Sometime in the last couple of weeks, someone defending the invisible nature of the ekklesia was accused of American individualism. That is a badge that I would wear proudly, because God's people are defined by what they believe, individually, not what list they are on. And this was the first country in the history of the world where that was truly allowed.

Biblically the ekklesia is built on the confession that Jesus is the Christ. It's not built upon individualistic notions but common confession. Unless you are willing to pursue the American spirit in the way that Thomas Jefferson did by removing much of the Scriptures from his Bible you still have to reckon with those passages in Scripture which speak of tradition in a very positive way--as something to hold fast to. I have not seen anyone do this here? Are these passages part of some older dispensation? If so how is this determined? If not, why ignore them?

There have been problems in the relationship between church and state. Each has at various times tried to usurp the authority of the other. However, utter separation is not the ideal. The fact that something can be corrupted does not automatically make it something that should be done away with completely.

The invisible and visible church are not two completely different bodies. They are closely related to one another. There is no ordinary means of salvation outside of the visible church. So generally (with some exceptions) a person who is not a member of the visible church is not a member of the invisible church. However every member of the visible church is not a member of the invisible church. But, they should be judged to be so until they show otherwise. From a 1 John 2:19 perspective you could say that those who apostacize were never really part of the church to begin with. However, other passages speak of it from a different perspective (Heb. 6).

So from a certain perspective we can say that only the elect are members of the church but from another perspective we can say that there is chaff in the church. Otherwise it would be unnecessary for judgment to begin at the house of God (1 Pet. 4:17) or the various parables that speak of the kingdom of God which contains hypocrites in it.

MCoving
04-07-07, 03:23 PM
Biblically the ekklesia is built on the confession that Jesus is the Christ. It's not built upon individualistic notions but common confession. Unless you are willing to pursue the American spirit in the way that Thomas Jefferson did by removing much of the Scriptures from his Bible you still have to reckon with those passages in Scripture which speak of tradition in a very positive way--as something to hold fast to. I have not seen anyone do this here? Are these passages part of some older dispensation? If so how is this determined? If not, why ignore them?


If its built on common confessions for you, would you confess to something that is not True??? People here on the forum are not individuals in wanting to isolate themselves from believers, or have no felllowship. They do.. and I bet most people have gone to churches in their area. But for me I Wouldn't want to confess something that is not true.. I woulnd't want to be a member of a church where I didn't believe in their doctrinal statement. I may visit a church, and in the church find likeminded brothers and sisters who we can confess to the same Truths.. but as a whole if the church and the pastor for sure is confessing unbiblical ideas why should I put myself under their false authority?? and false ideas? And confess to something I dont believe is true???

Do you really think Jesus would want us to just role over and play dead and confess to unbiblical ideas? Or stand up for His Word and Who He is?? Do you think that to Jesus sacraments and just getting by in a church is more important that WHO HE IS AND WHAT HE DID???

Mary

ps: Also just because someone confesses to Jesus being the Christ.. it doesn't mean they are believers in the Truth. There's alot of people these days who go to church and confess that.. but that doesn't mean a thing anymore.. its just words. Its the meaning behind those words.. who they believe Jesus is and what He fully did for them! That they had no say in it...and God is sovereign

Greg
04-07-07, 04:17 PM
Biblically the ekklesia is built on the confession that Jesus is the Christ.It's not built upon individualistic notions but common confession.Biblically, the ekklesia is built on God's election.
Unless you are willing to pursue the American spirit in the way that Thomas Jefferson did by removing much of the Scriptures from his Bible...I see no subtraction from scripture - though you seem to be adding a bit.
...you still have to reckon with those passages in Scripture which speak of tradition in a very positive way--as something to hold fast to. I have not seen anyone do this here? Are these passages part of some older dispensation? If so how is this determined? If not, why ignore them?We've talked about the sip and the dip here. It seems you want to add power to them and that you embrace these and other traditions as things that need to be added to Christ.
There have been problems in the relationship between church and state. Each has at various times tried to usurp the authority of the other. However, utter separation is not the ideal. The fact that something can be corrupted does not automatically make it something that should be done away with completely.It does when it already has been corrupted.
The invisible and visible church are not two completely different bodies.This is a completely false statement. If this were true, everyone would be elect.
They are closely related to one another. There is no ordinary means of salvation outside of the visible church.This is romanism. Are you catholic WB?
Joe, do you agree with this statement made by WB?
So generally (with some exceptions) a person who is not a member of the visible church is not a member of the invisible church. However every member of the visible church is not a member of the invisible church. But, they should be judged to be so until they show otherwise. From a 1 John 2:19 perspective you could say that those who apostacize were never really part of the church to begin with. However, other passages speak of it from a different perspective (Heb. 6).

So from a certain perspective we can say that only the elect are members of the church but from another perspective we can say that there is chaff in the church. Otherwise it would be unnecessary for judgment to begin at the house of God (1 Pet. 4:17) or the various parables that speak of the kingdom of God which contains hypocrites in it.This certainly ties it all up in a nice little parcel for you, the problem is that you're wrong.

lionovjudah
04-07-07, 05:07 PM
The Belgic Confession actually got most of this right, at least in principle.

Article 27: The Holy Catholic Church
We believe and confess one single catholic or universal church-- a holy congregation and gathering of true Christian believers, awaiting their entire salvation in Jesus Christ being washed by his blood, and sanctified and sealed by the Holy Spirit.
This church has existed from the beginning of the world and will last until the end, as appears from the fact that Christ is eternal King who cannot be without subjects.
And this holy church is preserved by God against the rage of the whole world, even though for a time it may appear very small in the eyes of men-- as though it were snuffed out.
For example, during the very dangerous time of Ahab the Lord preserved for himself seven thousand men who did not bend their knees to Baal (1 Kings 19:18).
And so this holy church is not confined, bound, or limited to a certain place or certain persons. But it is spread and dispersed throughout the entire world, though still joined and united in heart and will, in one and the same Spirit, by the power of faith.Article 28: The Obligations of Church Members
We believe that since this holy assembly and congregation is the gathering of those who are saved and there is no salvation apart from it, no one ought to withdraw from it, content to be by himself, regardless of his status or condition.
But all people are obliged to join and unite with it, keeping the unity of the church by submitting to its instruction and discipline, by bending their necks under the yoke of Jesus Christ, and by serving to build up one another, according to the gifts God has given them as members of each other in the same body.
And to preserve this unity more effectively, it is the duty of all believers, according to God's Word, to separate themselves from those who do not belong to the church, in order to join this assembly wherever God has established it, even if civil authorities and royal decrees forbid and death and physical punishment result.
And so, all who withdraw from the church or do not join it act contrary to God's ordinance.Article 29: The Marks of the True Church
We believe that we ought to discern diligently and very carefully, by the Word of God, what is the true church-- for all sects in the world today claim for themselves the name of "the church."
We are not speaking here of the company of hypocrites who are mixed among the good in the church and who nonetheless are not part of it, even though they are physically there. But we are speaking of distinguishing the body and fellowship of the true church from all sects that call themselves "the church."
The true church can be recognized if it has the following marks: The church engages in the pure preaching of the gospel; it makes use of the pure administration of the sacraments as Christ instituted them; it practices church discipline for correcting faults. In short, it governs itself according to the pure Word of God, rejecting all things contrary to it and holding Jesus Christ as the only Head. By these marks one can be assured of recognizing the true church-- and no one ought to be separated from it.
As for those who can belong to the church, we can recognize them by the distinguishing marks of Christians: namely by faith, and by their fleeing from sin and pursuing righteousness, once they have received the one and only Savior, Jesus Christ. They love the true God and their neighbors, without turning to the right or left, and they crucify the flesh and its works.
Though great weakness remains in them, they fight against it by the Spirit all the days of their lives, appealing constantly to the blood, suffering, death, and obedience of the Lord Jesus, in whom they have forgiveness of their sins, through faith in him.
As for the false church, it assigns more authority to itself and its ordinances than to the Word of God; it does not want to subject itself to the yoke of Christ; it does not administer the sacraments as Christ commanded in his Word; it rather adds to them or subtracts from them as it pleases; it bases itself on men, more than on Jesus Christ; it persecutes those who live holy lives according to the Word of God and who rebuke it for its faults, greed, and idolatry.
These two churches are easy to recognize and thus to distinguish from each other.Rightly understood, I agree with all of what is stated in all 3 points above, except that I do not believe 'church' and 'sacraments' are translations of EKKLESIA and Lord's Supper that respect scripture. We have often talked about that.

For those of the current Federal Vision deviation (in my estimation 'apostasy') who now want to include the 'company of hypocrites' in the EKKLESIA, it is just and right to ask, if such persons claim to subscribe to the Belgic Confession, them to NAME the true church and distinguish it from the false (unless this part of the confession is now discarded also)--which the confession calls an easy task.


I agree too Bob, except you cannot have an elect gathering without the sacraments/ordinaces observed rightly and correct discipline. A gathering of elect without them is not a true ekklesia either.

I agree the reprobate have no part in the church of Christ. But they are there none the less in the assembly.
1. The church was purchased by His blood... Acts 20:28
2. The church was sanctified by His death...Eph. 5:25-27
3. The church was redeemed when He gave Himself for us...Tit. 2:14

The reprobate have no redeeming lot in any of this. But the visible gathering contains both. Exactly as Revelation states.

lionovjudah
04-07-07, 05:08 PM
Dorcas:I'm sure my definition above is too narrow, because I define ekklesia on the basis of the Gospel. Where the Elect fellowship, there is the ekklesia. Of course they gather, as they have always gathered, in different times, places and ways. If the definition is too narrow, its because its too narrow to include reprobates.

Amen!

For some of us, there are certain aspects of the true gospel that can't be ignored when evaluating where to fellowship. For example, those whom the Lord has made rich with knowledge of the plan of salvation cannot in conscience participate--in any significant measure--in a church group condemning Definite Atonement and boldly proclaiming the opposite. That is just one of many examples I could give.

God requires no one to fellowship with and submit to church authority that actively condemns one's own biblical convictions and constantly makes one sense exclusion. That is where we can all safely draw the line and KNOW that the Lord stands with us. Even if we believe that some of the EKKLESIA might be present in certain churches that we cannot in conscience fellowship with, we have no obligation to listening to the preaching of doctrines of devils week after week.

Who is proposing this nonsense?

Greg
04-07-07, 08:27 PM
I found this excerpt from an article on Banner of Truth's website:

http://www.banneroftruth.org/pages/articles/article_detail.php?601
There are at least three major causes for concern with regard to the Federal Visionists’ presentations.

1] The first is methodological errors. As one of the critics has pointed out (p.10), there is a tendency towards faulty hermeneutics and exegesis, implying that all Scriptural terms are always used in the same way (e.g., "baptism" always meaning water baptism), thus abandoning the Reformation principle of the analogy of faith. This same tendency leads to the redefining or ambiguously stating the doctrine of election, regeneration, justification, and adoption, and to a general low regard for any attempt to "systematize" theology.

2] The second is a loss of Biblical balance in regard to covenant theology. Union with the (visible) church automatically implies union with Christ in the Federal Vision teaching, thus over-objectifying the covenant and failing to distinguish between covenantal union in the visible church from the saving union of the invisible church; and in emphasizing covenantal election, atonement, justification, and adoption at the expense of soteriological election, atonement, justification, and adoption (p. 12). There is an attempt to downplay the confessional distinction between the visible and invisible church and to propose another distinction in its place, the historical and eschatological church!

3] The third major cause for concern is the unquestionable incipient sacramentalism in the Federalist position. In reading paper after paper in this colloquium, the. reader is left with the conviction that the Federalists impute the efficacy of the thing signified to the sign itself, whether in regard to baptism or the Lord's Supper. The sacraments can communicate blessings apart from faith, and baptism appears to be a converting ordinance. The Federal Vision states that the unbelieving feed upon Christ when they partake of the Lord's Supper, and that a person is given new life by virtue of baptismal union with Christ.This sounds like what you have said here and alluded to in other posts Wildboar.
Biblically the ekklesia is built on the confession that Jesus is the Christ. It's not built upon individualistic notions but common confession. Unless you are willing to pursue the American spirit in the way that Thomas Jefferson did by removing much of the Scriptures from his Bible you still have to reckon with those passages in Scripture which speak of tradition in a very positive way--as something to hold fast to. I have not seen anyone do this here? Are these passages part of some older dispensation? If so how is this determined? If not, why ignore them?

There have been problems in the relationship between church and state. Each has at various times tried to usurp the authority of the other. However, utter separation is not the ideal. The fact that something can be corrupted does not automatically make it something that should be done away with completely.

The invisible and visible church are not two completely different bodies. They are closely related to one another. There is no ordinary means of salvation outside of the visible church. So generally (with some exceptions) a person who is not a member of the visible church is not a member of the invisible church. However every member of the visible church is not a member of the invisible church. But, they should be judged to be so until they show otherwise. From a 1 John 2:19 perspective you could say that those who apostacize were never really part of the church to begin with. However, other passages speak of it from a different perspective (Heb. 6).

So from a certain perspective we can say that only the elect are members of the church but from another perspective we can say that there is chaff in the church. Otherwise it would be unnecessary for judgment to begin at the house of God (1 Pet. 4:17) or the various parables that speak of the kingdom of God which contains hypocrites in it.

lionovjudah
04-08-07, 06:35 AM
Biblically, the ekklesia is built on God's election.

What Chuck means is the church is built upon the confession Peter gave in MAtt 16. I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it' (Matthew 16: 18)

election is not mentioned here Gregg. IT is also built on the apostles and prophets.


Yes I agree with what the Belgic conssion states as Bob showed.

We believe that since this holy assembly and congregation is the gathering of those who are saved and there is no salvation apart from it, no one ought to withdraw from it, content to be by himself, regardless of his status or condition.

Whammer
04-08-07, 07:20 AM
What Chuck means is the church is built upon the confession Peter gave in MAtt 16. I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it' (Matthew 16: 18)

election is not mentioned here Gregg. IT is also built on the apostles and prophets.


Yes I agree with what the Belgic conssion states as Bob showed.

We believe that since this holy assembly and congregation is the gathering of those who are saved and there is no salvation apart from it, no one ought to withdraw from it, content to be by himself, regardless of his status or condition.

Bob also said ..."rightly understood"...which would mean that the parts of the confessions he quoted could be "twisted" for a groups own personal use or misused in other ways........right?

lionovjudah
04-08-07, 12:45 PM
Bob also said ..."rightly understood"...which would mean that the parts of the confessions he quoted could be "twisted" for a groups own personal use or misused in other ways........right?

Of course. But I do not believe they made it hard to understand. There is no gnostic thought of secret imparted understanding when reading it at face value. Again just becasue man perverts what God implemeted is not an excuse to forget the truth. Those who penned it have no need to twist it. They wrote it and know and make their intentions clear. Bob continues to demand of us to NAME this true denomination. THis exercise in futility will bear absolutely no fruit and no mater what he alone thinks, the onous is not on me nor Chuck, but on you who somehwere believe the NT example can not be used for this reason no longer. The visible church does in fact have the company of hypocrites who enjoy the temperal covenant blessings. They are baptised and partake in the supper and the hearing of the word. This is not to say God does not know their hearts, but man does not. All of Israel is not Israel as paul states. The elect are the true Israel, the nation is still Israel none the less and the people of God but by outward signs only. Esau was circumcised just as Jacob was. Unless one can be given the gift of knowing who is elect, speaking the word to a crowd of people gathering for worship can not be changed becasue you dont know who are elect and who are not. Perhaos that is why you 4 gatehr here. It is an elect assembly!!! The first in history.

It has even happened here on this forum. Many facilitators have left, even as recently as Milt. Would you throw the 1 John scripture at them? "They were not of us..." Therefore not elect? I doubt it very much

Rlhuckle
04-08-07, 01:41 PM
What I find interesting is that those who support institutions do so at the expense of truth. Both LOJ and WB have indicated that the confessions of these institutions contain errors (and most are traveling away from the truth instead of toward it), yet they refuse to stand up for the truth, separate and call those in power to repentance. They accept "general focus" and "faithful enough" as standards--which is clearly un-Scriptural.

Until they and those in power over these institutions truly stand for the truth, I really don't think LOJ or WB have a leg to stand on.

Greg
04-08-07, 03:12 PM
What I find interesting is that those who support institutions do so at the expense of truth. Both LOJ and WB have indicated that the confessions of these institutions contain errors (and most are traveling away from the truth instead of toward it), yet they refuse to stand up for the truth, separate and call those in power to repentance. They accept "general focus" and "faithful enough" as standards--which is clearly un-Scriptural.

Until they and those in power over these institutions truly stand for the truth, I really don't think LOJ or WB have a leg to stand on.What I find interesting is that I posted the excerpt from the Federal Vision article and LOJ has not responded to it at all. Charles, as far as I know hasn't been on the forum since, or he has no problem with the federal visionists.

Joe, you've backed up Chuck over and over, but doesn't this bother you at all?

Or do you embrace that as well?

MCoving
04-08-07, 03:43 PM
So.. kind of a little side track from the main discussion but still under the thread history basis of the "church" I went to Glencullen Baptist this morning. its a church I've gone to off and on in my area. But what was amazing for the first time going to any of these reformed theology churches wether baptist of preysberterian is that they preached the True Gospel. That God is the cause of faith, that its about election, that God causes all things. And they talked about the book of Job which was amazing how we all still struggle with sins, sometimes ask why God causes things to happen, but yet are assured He has reasons because He is in control. Job was an upright man and yet He struggled.. His friends were against him, I mean.. read Job 19. Its good...

To be honest it was really really refreshing to actually hear a good Easter sunday message. I'll pry continue going to that church some.. though the people there are a little back and forth. And I think sometimes they miss some important biblical concepts. As I said before some people believe God doesnt cause sin.. but I think the pastor does. They do kinda like Spurgeon though. And of course there's your church traditions such as membership, being baptized to be a member, etc. Though whats nice compared to preysberterian is there was no offering and no communion. Wasn't your liturgical things and confessions.

I to be honest think the history of the Church comes back to the Catholic church and Luther. The Catholic church taught people NOT to think for themselves, to listen only to pastors, and pretty much not stand up for the Truth. Luther was more than willing to go against the mainstream church of his time. People should be welcomed to stand for Truth, to discuss theology and really dive into the Truth. To not be afraid to take a stance against traditions.. and ask why? Why do we do the things we do? is it merely out of tradition? is there a biblical basis for it? How has our culture influenced us? Because if we take an honest look at ourselves, or churches, or whatever... our culture has some sort of influence. And I would rather not be a part of a church that isn't continually learning, growing and changing their ways... then be a part of one stuck in tradition for the sake of tradition.



Mary

MCoving
04-08-07, 03:57 PM
I couldn't post in the other thread so maybe here or can move this discussion to a new thread. But I was curious as to why Charles that you said the Southern Baptist Convention is considered a Christian church to you??

Sure there's a lot of churches around... but they are not focused on Christ but a false Christ. Even in their doctrinal statements you can tell that... I went to a Baptist University that was Southern Baptist. There was no Truth there. I wouldn't consider them a biblical church by any means.. for me the closest church that comes close to the biblical church, (church as in the gathering of believers in a local area) in Oregon is Glencullen Baptist. But Ive heard in other areas that sometimes OPC I think come close.. I believe Bob attends a Prysberterian occasionally.

But these churches still have been influenced by culture and tradition. And to deny that is kinda stupid in a sense. Because throughout our lives we are taught how culture and others impact us.. who you're around, you're upbringing etc. I'd love for churches to ask why.. to question the things they do. But... they wont because its "tradition". And they use a couple of verses to back it up. Instead one should look at the Bible first.. not tradition first. So obviously there is no perfect church, and many of us get tired of dealing with traditions and people who are not willing to ask why. Or sit under a preacher who doesn't understand Gods Word. I've found maybe one man in the Glencullen church who isn't so much into traditions and membership and such.. actually very interesting to talk to and knows Gods Word. But I bet the elders or pastors aren't to keen of anyone who doesnt want to commit to membership.

Hahaha. I've been in a talkative mood lately, guess just 'cause my parents are gone I spend more time on the computer interacting. :)

Mary

wildboar
04-08-07, 04:46 PM
HF:

My concers are not the same as the concerns of the FV. In my own post I made a distinction between the visible and invisible church. My own thinking on this issue is similar to that found in Calvin. As for the three point critique. Its simply not honest and its not helpful. It does not provide sufficient documentation for its claims.

1. Isn't true. If you read any of the books they write they do show different uses of these words.

2. The union between all baptized and Christ as Barach teaches that Ephesians 1 refers to is a concern and as far as I can tell is the only real issue in the whole debate. It would be great if someone could come up to the plate and show where Barach went wrong exegetically. I'm not quite satisified with Barach's interpretation of this passage but the failure of the opposition to deal with it and just go on ranting is pathetic. There is a tendency within the FV to focus on the covenantal aspect but that is because of the neglect especially in recent years in reformed circles in regards to the covenantal aspect. The tendency has been to place all eyes on the decreetal aspect. The FV does not deny the decreetal aspect. Its only natural that you emphasize that which is neglected. As far as I know there's nothing confessionally binding that tells you we must emphasize a particular aspect. Scripture most often does speak of the covenantal aspect--perhaps not quite as much as some in the FV think--but that is the emphasis.

3. I would really like to see citations in context of this one. At least from Wilson I've seen all kinds of statements saying that faith is absolutely necessary. I've seen all kinds of denials from Lusk of ex opere operato view of the sacraments. There is also quite a bit of diversity within the FV camp on the sacraments and similarities with some of their critics. Lusk's view is very similar to Horton's view. Schlissel's view is very similar to Richard Phillip's view (I didn't care for either of these guys views in the colloqium book, Schlissel's obnoxiously ambiguous unlike most in the FV and Philipps should be honest and become a Baptist.) The Westminster confessions do explicitly speak of the sacraments as effectual means of salvation for the elect. In the anti-sacramental modern Presbyterian church this just makes most Presbyterians shudder so its no surprise when they start yelling heretic if someone starts teaching something that the confessions actually teach.

But like I said I'm not a all out promoter of the FV. The common thread in the FV is their adherence to Schilder's view of the covenant. I don't believe Schilder's view makes sense in light of certain Scripture passages but I don't think other views make that much sense in light of other Scripture passages. I think there may be a better paradigm than either or perhaps we are taking the concept of covenant in places it wasn't intended to go. But I spend most of my days not worrying about it. If neither Hoeksema or Schilder could provide a satisfactory answer who am I to think that I could?

Bob Higby
04-08-07, 04:50 PM
An interesting note: There is a Southern Baptist congregation here in St. Louis called "The Journey" that meets in a local brewery and drinks beer freely during their Bible studies! This in spite of the fact that the denomination teaches against all consumption of alcohol! I have to date seen no evidence whatsoever that they have any interest in genuine Bible study, only seeker sensitivity nonsense and existential interpretations of scripture.

Lion: I agree the reprobate have no part in the church of Christ. But they are there none the less in the assembly.

What? The assembly IS the EKKLESIA in the New Testament! It is a word meaning a SPECIAL assembly like that of a Congress or Senate of a republic.

The reprobate enter the assembly as impostors but they are not a true part of it, as the confession states.

On the issue of the Belgic Confession, the assembly we are to submit to today is those where the true gospel is taught and believed. It is that simple. If there is not one in a person's area then that individual should seek out fellowship with those few who believe the true gospel and be an assembly as best they can.

lionovjudah
04-09-07, 03:47 PM
The reprobate enter the assembly as impostors but they are not a true part of it, as the confession states.

On the issue of the Belgic Confession, the assembly we are to submit to today is those where the true gospel is taught and believed. It is that simple. If there is not one in a person's area then that individual should seek out fellowship with those few who believe the true gospel and be an assembly as best they can.



I agree Bob. But they enjoy the temperal outward signs as everyone else. I actually agree with your thought of finding an assembly. But when one has determined EVERYTHING that should be taught, they will always find themselves right and the others wrong.

wildboar
04-09-07, 09:26 PM
I don't think that Guido de Bres (author of the Belgic Confession) had our modern sectarianism in mind when he wrote his confession. I don't think he would have imagined a situation in which a person could easily pass by churches from 10 other denominations on the way to the church he's going to and certainly wasn't thinking that the same person might decide that none of the churches are good enough for him. Calvin made similar statements and spoke also of those who expect too much. My guess is that if de Bres knew of a person who lived in a location where there was only a Lutheran and a Roman Catholic Church that he would have encouraged them to join the Lutheran church. In the Belgic Confession the false church is characterized as driving out those who hold to the truth of Scriptures so unless you have been truly driven out I don't think you can say that the church is completely false.

Rlhuckle
04-10-07, 12:39 PM
I don't think that Guido de Bres (author of the Belgic Confession) had our modern sectarianism in mind when he wrote his confession. I don't think he would have imagined a situation in which a person could easily pass by churches from 10 other denominations on the way to the church he's going to and certainly wasn't thinking that the same person might decide that none of the churches are good enough for him. Calvin made similar statements and spoke also of those who expect too much. My guess is that if de Bres knew of a person who lived in a location where there was only a Lutheran and a Roman Catholic Church that he would have encouraged them to join the Lutheran church. In the Belgic Confession the false church is characterized as driving out those who hold to the truth of Scriptures so unless you have been truly driven out I don't think you can say that the church is completely false.

Sorry, but aren't you promoting the view that one should accept a "church" that doesn't care about doctrine then? In one of the churches I attended, the pastor continually stated he didn't care whether one believed in Calvinistic or Arminian views on the Scripture--he affirmed both (I can provide a link to a sermon on-line regarding this). Obviously, affirming contradictory doctrines is really denying the truth of both. Regardless, he would not "drive out" anybody--he also preached that Satan likes to tempt people not to go to church--one week at a time--as if God had no control over him.

So, according to your standard above; you would hold that pastor's church to be 'okay'?

BTW--I don't consider this an issue about finding a church "good enough;" it is about abiding by Scripture in regards to the promotion of false gospels and the rampant tacit acceptance of error in the "churches." Ignorance is one thing; but those who know and do nothing is another.

wildboar
04-10-07, 05:00 PM
Sorry, but aren't you promoting the view that one should accept a "church" that doesn't care about doctrine then? In one of the churches I attended, the pastor continually stated he didn't care whether one believed in Calvinistic or Arminian views on the Scripture--he affirmed both (I can provide a link to a sermon on-line regarding this). Obviously, affirming contradictory doctrines is really denying the truth of both. Regardless, he would not "drive out" anybody--he also preached that Satan likes to tempt people not to go to church--one week at a time--as if God had no control over him.


Not at all, there are various levels of doctrinal purity and purity of worship and a person should join himself to that which is purest in each and has a Biblical emphasis in its doctrines. But a person shouldn't forsake the assembling together with other believers even if there are no strictly Calvinistic churches in his area.

Rlhuckle
04-11-07, 12:01 PM
Not at all, there are various levels of doctrinal purity and purity of worship and a person should join himself to that which is purest in each and has a Biblical emphasis in its doctrines.

Exactly! This is the issue: doctrinal purity. Each of us has drawn a line on doctrinal purity and where that line is drawn is what is under discussion. How much error is to be tolerated before one speaks out and takes a stand [rhetorical]? Your standards of "general focus" and "faithful enough" are not good enough for me (I cannot justify them by Scripture)--especially given your acceptance of some of the denominations Bob mentioned in the Historic Churchmen thread.

I believe it is precisely this type of attitude that has enabled the promotion of error in the institutions that call themselves churches and these views and attitudes are part of the problem--not part of the solution. They actually enable and promote doctrinal division rather than encouraging ecclesiastical unity!

Dorcas
04-11-07, 01:29 PM
I agree Bob. But they enjoy the temperal outward signs as everyone else. I actually agree with your thought of finding an assembly. But when one has determined EVERYTHING that should be taught, they will always find themselves right and the others wrong.


I agree with the second portion of your statement. I think that an important part of believing the Gospel is extending the same grace that the Lord has extended to you to the others in the ekklesia. Christ has drawn his people to him, in different ways and for different reasons. Because of this, when dealing with a true Brother/Sister in Christ, we must respond in love towards them wherever they are in their convictions. Each person is where the Holy Spirit has led him at that point in time. There isn't one person ( I hope) who can say that they haven't matured and changed from the day that they first believe the Gospel. Also, because every person believes that what he believes is right (by necessity), we must acknowledge that we are almost certainly wrong on some points. The basis for fellowship is the Gospel -- both as the basis of our salvation and the basis of love towards one another.

That being said, belief in the Gospel is, at very least, where we must draw the line. It is very difficult in this day to find any kind of Gospel based fellowship. Very few groups (particularly denominational groups) will affirm AND DEFEND the simplest of doctrines -- such as that God is sovereign, that He has elected some unto salvation, that salvation is by grace through faith alone, that one cannot do any works to merit salvation, and that assurance is through the Holy Spirit. I consider these to be simple, plain and essential tenets of the Gospel.

It is clear from your posts that both LOJ and WB are promoting traditional / sacramental based fellowship rather than Gospel-based fellowship. While you accuse others of making the "church" too narrow, it is really you who have made it hopelessly narrow. Regardless of what people believe in their hearts, they cannot be a true assembly unless they follow a certain prescription of how an assembly is to look. Once a week, they must file into a church building, listen to an hour of preaching, take their sip and wafer, and file out. Oh, and make sure they "discipline" any extra-bad sinners in their midst by denying them their sip and wafer. I am not saying that there is anything inherently wrong with any of these activities, when done in the proper context -- the context of a proper understanding of the Gospel! However, to make them the very definition of ekklesia fellowship is weak and pathetic.

Because you have made entry into the so-called "visible church" so easy and external, it is no wonder that you have so much "chaff" in your midst. I do not understand your idea that they are just "partaking of your blessings" for the time being. (Is this like the "covenant child" who gets the "blessing" of being baptized as a baby but never believes the Gospel???) The Bible speaks of imposters who infiltrate the assembly of the Elect as a horrible affront to the Gospel. And those who commune with the assembly under false pretenses are not partaking of blessings, but curses. Why don't you listen to the verses they read while you are holding your sip and wafer next time?

lionovjudah
04-12-07, 07:29 AM
It is clear from your posts that both LOJ and WB are promoting traditional / sacramental based fellowship rather than Gospel-based fellowship. While you accuse others of making the "church" too narrow, it is really you who have made it hopelessly narrow. Regardless of what people believe in their hearts, they cannot be a true assembly unless they follow a certain prescription of how an assembly is to look. Once a week, they must file into a church building, listen to an hour of preaching, take their sip and wafer, and file out. Oh, and make sure they "discipline" any extra-bad sinners in their midst by denying them their sip and wafer. I am not saying that there is anything inherently wrong with any of these activities, when done in the proper context -- the context of a proper understanding of the Gospel! However, to make them the very definition of ekklesia fellowship is weak and pathetic.

Apostolic tradition is much different than extra scriptural tradition dorcas. I am sure you would agree. If this is prescribed in the book of acts, what is wrong with doing it now? They speak of meeting together weekly/daily, sharing the meal, being baptised, etc etc etc. These do not define the ekklesia, the prescribe what the gathering does.


Because you have made entry into the so-called "visible church" so easy and external, it is no wonder that you have so much "chaff" in your midst. I do not understand your idea that they are just "partaking of your blessings" for the time being. (Is this like the "covenant child" who gets the "blessing" of being baptized as a baby but never believes the Gospel???) The Bible speaks of imposters who infiltrate the assembly of the Elect as a horrible affront to the Gospel. And those who commune with the assembly under false pretenses are not partaking of blessings, but curses. Why don't you listen to the verses they read while you are holding your sip and wafer next time?

It si exactly what you said. All who were circumcised in the OT were made part of the covenant community. Esau was commanded to do the same as jacob. Unless you have the gift of discernment on who these imposters are, you cannot make this statement. You make it sound as if the reprobate have a visible mark on their head and verbally curse God while worshipping. Just like those in Matt 7 and Simon Magus, God knows but man does not

Greg
04-12-07, 08:46 AM
Apostolic tradition is much different than extra scriptural tradition dorcas. I am sure you would agree. If this is prescribed in the book of acts, what is wrong with doing it now? They speak of meeting together weekly/daily, sharing the meal, being baptised, etc etc etc. These do not define the ekklesia, the prescribe what the gathering does.Joe, I see nowhere in the book of Acts that the ekklesia met weekly. The views of many within the different churches today are based upon premises such as these. Let me state here, regardless of what the opinion of a few on this board seem to be, I am not an isolationist. The church in the book of Acts would meet all the time - it was informal. They hung out together and shared meals together. If this took place today they would probably meet at Starbucks, go to football or baseball games, meet in restaurants, etc. It seems to constantly be a thing that arises from within the midst of "the church" that form is always so important. It seems to be in man's nature to want to introduce religion into purity. Jesus said,
Mat 9:16 No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse.
Mat 9:17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved. The church keeps trying to put our liberty under the law, and force old ways of doing things into the new life of Christ. I do believe that there does need to be structure - pastors, elders, etc. and that everything should be done decently and in order. I believe that the form that we have today in most (not all) churches is based upon a religious model that man has devised. It is not pure and should be discarded.
It si exactly what you said. All who were circumcised in the OT were made part of the covenant community. Esau was commanded to do the same as jacob. Unless you have the gift of discernment on who these imposters are, you cannot make this statement. You make it sound as if the reprobate have a visible mark on their head and verbally curse God while worshipping. Just like those in Matt 7 and Simon Magus, God knows but man does notThis covenant was made with Israel. It was a covenant of works and law - you do this, and you will receive this - either blessing or cursing depending upon what you have done. The covenant of grace was given to the elect. Just because there are buildings where people meet together and they're called churches, does not grant any special blessing to those that aren't elect that meet at such places. If one embraces this you go back to holding common grace and we've discussed before the problems with that.

wildboar
04-12-07, 10:51 AM
Exactly! This is the issue: doctrinal purity. Each of us has drawn a line on doctrinal purity and where that line is drawn is what is under discussion. How much error is to be tolerated before one speaks out and takes a stand [rhetorical]? Your standards of "general focus" and "faithful enough" are not good enough for me (I cannot justify them by Scripture)--especially given your acceptance of some of the denominations Bob mentioned in the Historic Churchmen thread.


I have laid out general principles for determining the faithfulness of a church well beyond the little phrases you quoted from me. If you have a better method let's see it. What is the criteria? And Biblically show me why the particular criteria you use is Biblical cause for separation.


That being said, belief in the Gospel is, at very least, where we must draw the line. It is very difficult in this day to find any kind of Gospel based fellowship. Very few groups (particularly denominational groups) will affirm AND DEFEND the simplest of doctrines -- such as that God is sovereign, that He has elected some unto salvation, that salvation is by grace through faith alone, that one cannot do any works to merit salvation, and that assurance is through the Holy Spirit. I consider these to be simple, plain and essential tenets of the Gospel.


Perhaps you don't know where to look. Just off the top of my head I can think of several denominations that meet this criteria. URCNA, PRCA, LCMS, WELS, OPC, RPCNA, Reformed Baptists, and many others. So I give you an 'A' for providing a list of criteria, an 'F' for zeal in seeking out Christian fellowship.

MCoving
04-12-07, 11:03 AM
They hung out together and shared meals together. If this took place today they would probably meet at Starbucks, go to football or baseball games, meet in restaurants, etc.

:p Starbucks is my favorite church! LOL I actually have met quite a few people there and discussed the doctrines of grace. Craig (KK) and his wife are one, and some of my other friends.

Mary

MCoving
04-12-07, 11:23 AM
I have laid out general principles for determining the faithfulness of a church well beyond the little phrases you quoted from me. If you have a better method let's see it. What is the criteria? And Biblically show me why the particular criteria you use is Biblical cause for separation.

Perhaps you don't know where to look. Just off the top of my head I can think of several denominations that meet this criteria. URCNA, PRCA, LCMS, WELS, OPC, RPCNA, Reformed Baptists, and many others. So I give you an 'A' for providing a list of criteria, an 'F' for zeal in seeking out Christian fellowship.

How on earth can you give someone an F for seeking out Christian fellowship when you dont even know what they have done?? Are you around him, do you know Rlhuckle personally? Just because someone doesn't go to a church institution doesn't mean they are not seeking out Christian fellowship. You limit Christian fellowship to a church builiding.. come on WB where in the Bible is that??

Acts 2:46, (NASB) (http://bible.5solas.org/bible.php?view=1&version=nasb&book=44&chapter=2&verse1=46&verse2=&ascdesc=&abrv=1&strip=0&converge=0&footnotes=0&createchaps=1&compare=0&andor=0&restrict=&startbook=&endbook=&references=&highlight=1&chaplinks=&remove=&keywords=breaking+of+bread), Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,

From house to house.. fellowship meeting together and sincerity of heart was from house to house. No church building, the closest they had to a church building was the temple.

Acts 2:42, (NASB) (http://bible.5solas.org/bible.php?view=1&version=nasb&book=44&chapter=2&verse1=42&verse2=&ascdesc=&abrv=1&strip=0&converge=0&footnotes=0&createchaps=1&compare=0&andor=0&restrict=&startbook=&endbook=&references=&highlight=1&chaplinks=&remove=&keywords=breaking+of+bread), They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

This verse doesn't say when it just says continually devoting themselves. And from what I can tell the word weekly isn't even in the Bible. My devotion is to be continually devoting myself to the apostles teaching and to fellowship.. and so are other peoples in this forum who don't meet regularly in a church building, with most the people in the church building most likely teaching fase ideas anyways...
Also fellowship in the Bible didn't always mean people meeting together like in a church.. but being brothers.. being likeminded as it has been said before on this forum.

You condemn people who choose not to gather in a local church institution.. there is nothing in the Bible that says this is wrong. So why not let God be the judge instead of you? Why not accept that some of us do fellowship together, and we are seeking the Lord just as much as you? We dont condemn you for meeting in a church, we may speak of the traditions we dont like but you can choose to fellowship where you like just like we are free to choose. Who makes you fellowshipping in a local church better than others here?

Mary

Dorcas
04-12-07, 01:58 PM
Perhaps you don't know where to look. Just off the top of my head I can think of several denominations that meet this criteria. URCNA, PRCA, LCMS, WELS, OPC, RPCNA, Reformed Baptists, and many others. So I give you an 'A' for providing a list of criteria, an 'F' for zeal in seeking out Christian fellowship.

I think I'm actually the one who gets the "F" :)

Just to be clear, you don't know ANYTHING about my personal life and what I do or don't do for Christian fellowship. My husband and I do happen to attend a medium sized congregation (nondenominational Reformed) for weekly services, as well as biweekly bible studies and informal dinners with smaller groups of couples several times a month. We are blessed that there is a group of people in our area who not only whole-heartedly believe the Gospel, but also agree more or less with our view of the covenants (not covenant theology or dispensationalism) and agree more or less with our views on justification and grace. The fellowship that we have is unique enough that we can gladly overlook the typical organizational issues and minor disagreements that go on. I'm not saying this to boast or anything; I just want you all to stop thinking that I'm defending my position to somehow justify my own actions.

That being said, I'm aware of how unique our situation is, and I've personally struggled with finding fellowship. This may be a shock to those of you who live in White German / Dutch country, but a lot of the denominations you mention don't really exist on the West Coast. I disagree that Lutherans affirm even the simple criteria I gave (see other posts) but some Presbyterians and Reformed definitely still do. However, the problem is that even if you make the Gospel the standard for fellowship, that is never good enough for those with a denominational / traditional mindset. We have attended all three of those you mentioned that exist in our area. One let us know that next time I came back, I should have a doilie on my head. :D Guess they weren't interested in seeing past the doilie to the person underneath it. Another was severely judgmental about the fact that we like to lunch at restaurants after services. The other, we attended for 2 years and were highly involved, even hosting bible studies in our home. Ultimately the pastor got on his knees and BEGGED us to leave because we asked him to merely stick to the standard of the WCF and by-laws on his teaching on baptism and communion and assurance. (not even EVER mentioning our further disagreements with the WCF) There wasn't anything wrong with the people there -- we had wonderful fellowship, and still do fellowship regularly with some of the couples from that congregation. The problem, more often than not, is the ORGANIZATION, not the believers within it. They make up extra rules and burdens that you must follow or you will not be accepted into the fellowship. So regardless of what my criteria are (the Gospel), those who would extend the same criteria to you are few and far between.

lionovjudah
04-12-07, 02:59 PM
Joe, I see nowhere in the book of Acts that the ekklesia met weekly. The views of many within the different churches today are based upon premises such as these. Let me state here, regardless of what the opinion of a few on this board seem to be, I am not an isolationist. The church in the book of Acts would meet all the time - it was informal. They hung out together and shared meals together.

Gregg unless I have a different version of Acts in my 4 translations here, you are mistaken.
God has not left men the liberty to decide this. The Bible says in Hebrews 10:25, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching".

Acts 20:7 says, "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them.

17In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. 18In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it.

20When you come together, it is not the Lord's Supper you eat, 21for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk. 22Don't you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you for this? Certainly not!

23So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and some who do not understand[g (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=53&chapter=14&version=31#fen-NIV-28686g)] or some unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind?

26What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.

29Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. 30And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. 31For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. 32The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. 33For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.

As in all the congregations of the saints, 34women should remain silent in the churches.


1Now about the collection for God's people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 2On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.

The reality of the Apostolic church shows the Apostles never were independent from one another but all were united in communion, prayer and charity (Acts 2: 42-47).


When i speak of the reprobate receiving outward gifts, i in no way say they are efficacious, but they do receive them none the less.

Brandan
04-12-07, 03:29 PM
We've said it before, and I'll say it again. It doesn't matter what the saints did in the book of Acts. Even if we can discover a pattern of behavior, a pattern does not a LAW make! The very first believers gathered at Solomon's porch - does that mean we should as well? The notion is absurd!

MCoving
04-12-07, 04:58 PM
Gregg unless I have a different version of Acts in my 4 translations here, you are mistaken.
God has not left men the liberty to decide this. The Bible says in Hebrews 10:25, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching".

Acts 20:7 says, "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them.



Now if I am correct in reading all that, where does it say how often we should meet?? Acts 20:7 is just telling us when Paul preached to them, it was the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread. Doesn't say how often. Maybe its the first day of the week once a year?? Since the disciples were out witnessing and preaching to others, I dont think it was every week.

And as Brandan said just because Acts church did it one way doesn't make it a command from God for us to do it exactly like them. We don't even know the circumstances then compared to now.. maybe there were more believers localized.. maybe it was easier to meet... there's so many variations. And if I'm correct God never commands us to meet weekly in an institutional building, now does He??

So unless you can prove otherwise I still see no evidence in Scripture that points to how often one should meet. All I see is that one shouldn't break the fellowship of likeminded believers, like some have done. And no one here is breaking any fellowship.. :)

Mary

wildboar
04-12-07, 05:15 PM
How on earth can you give someone an F for seeking out Christian fellowship when you dont even know what they have done?? Are you around him, do you know Rlhuckle personally? Just because someone doesn't go to a church institution doesn't mean they are not seeking out Christian fellowship. You limit Christian fellowship to a church builiding.. come on WB where in the Bible is that??


The statement followed a quotation of dorcas and so was directed towards her. The fact that its relatively easy to locate churches which meet the criteria given are the reason for the failing grade not that a failing grade from me has any real weight anywhere.

I've never limited worship to a church building. I've worshipped a number of times in school gymnasiums and certainly in many countries it can only take place secretly in people's houses.


This verse doesn't say when it just says continually devoting themselves. And from what I can tell the word weekly isn't even in the Bible. My devotion is to be continually devoting myself to the apostles teaching and to fellowship.. and so are other peoples in this forum who don't meet regularly in a church building, with most the people in the church building most likely teaching fase ideas anyways...
Also fellowship in the Bible didn't always mean people meeting together like in a church.. but being brothers.. being likeminded as it has been said before on this forum.


The Biblical examples that you cited are following Pentecost when they all had a good deal of time off of work. I am certainly in favor of worship any day in which most of the people have the day off of work or even days when they don't. Daily worship does not seem to have continued past the Pentecost celebration and we find several examples of meeting on the first day of the week on a regular basis in commemoration of the resurrection.

lionovjudah
04-12-07, 06:19 PM
How on earth can you give someone an F for seeking out Christian fellowship when you dont even know what they have done??

Chuck is just enjoying the new ecclesiastical enlightenment that i speak abotu continuously!!!:cool:



(http://bible.5solas.org/bible.php?view=1&version=nasb&book=44&chapter=2&verse1=46&verse2=&ascdesc=&abrv=1&strip=0&converge=0&footnotes=0&createchaps=1&compare=0&andor=0&restrict=&startbook=&endbook=&references=&highlight=1&chaplinks=&remove=&keywords=breaking+of+bread)

Also fellowship in the Bible didn't always mean people meeting together like in a church.. but being brothers.. being likeminded as it has been said before on this forum. There is a big difference between a double predestination pep rally and God ordained biblical worship and what that contains.

Mary: The building is transparent. I could care less about the steeple and bricks. I attach no "Holy' Value to a building. It is the fact the historical basis of church did much more than speak how God causes evil and hates the reprobate!!! There is much more involved in biblical worship.

Bob Higby
04-12-07, 07:13 PM
I have been in the middle of a large project implementation at work and regret that I have missed the last couple of days (until now).

I fail to see anyone responding adequately to the points that Dorcas has so eloquently made!

LOJ: There is a big difference between a double predestination pep rally and God ordained biblical worship and what that contains.

Then why don't you leave this 'double predestination pep rally' that you so despise and go worship as God ordains somewhere else where they HAVE 'all that true worship contains'? I don't see why you perceive any purpose here if that is what you believe. Go where the true worshippers are and shake the dust off from your feet toward us 'false' worshippers (in your estimation)!

MCoving
04-12-07, 11:40 PM
I have been in the middle of a large project implementation at work and regret that I have missed the last couple of days (until now).

I fail to see anyone responding adequately to the points that Dorcas has so eloquently made!

LOJ: There is a big difference between a double predestination pep rally and God ordained biblical worship and what that contains.

Then why don't you leave this 'double predestination pep rally' that you so despise and go worship as God ordains somewhere else where they HAVE 'all that true worship contains'? I don't see why you perceive any purpose here if that is what you believe. Go where the true worshippers are and shake the dust off from your feet toward us 'false' worshippers (in your estimation)!

Hey Bob, or anyone else.. Dorcas was talking about church and state, and how the reformers didn't really reform ecclesiology right? So I was curious what is the history of the churches? I know there was the Catholic church and Luther who came along and rejected what they were teaching. But what was before that? I just wonder if maybe alot of tradition stems from one place.. but isn't really biblical, is that the roman church?

Just curious... thanks!

Mary

lionovjudah
04-13-07, 04:21 PM
We've said it before, and I'll say it again. It doesn't matter what the saints did in the book of Acts. Even if we can discover a pattern of behavior, a pattern does not a LAW make! The very first believers gathered at Solomon's porch - does that mean we should as well? The notion is absurd!

BK, with all due respect, this opinion has been proven false. We must follow examples given in scripture. You must search harder for something that deserves a further response.

lionovjudah
04-13-07, 04:29 PM
I have been in the middle of a large project implementation at work and regret that I have missed the last couple of days (until now).

I fail to see anyone responding adequately to the points that Dorcas has so eloquently made!

LOJ: There is a big difference between a double predestination pep rally and God ordained biblical worship and what that contains.

Then why don't you leave this 'double predestination pep rally' that you so despise and go worship as God ordains somewhere else where they HAVE 'all that true worship contains'? I don't see why you perceive any purpose here if that is what you believe. Go where the true worshippers are and shake the dust off from your feet toward us 'false' worshippers (in your estimation)!

I do Bob, every Sunday and wednesday. I do not despise it here. I was just saying this site is not worshipping our Lord as commanded in scripture.

See what it comes down to is you and brandan and gregg claim to be paulinists. Paul received this so called "Full corn gospel". Yet when he is very clear on worship and what it biblically contains you leave that out. When is the last time anyone here has participated in the communion of the blood and body of our Lord? When is the last time money has been set aside on a weekly basis for the body? When is the last time you sang the pslams and hymns? I honestly mean no disrespect, but dont make me out to be something I am not. I take the bible for what it says. And it says when we gather we are to do all that is contained here and more. And this was done weekly in the congregations.

And I really see nothing eloquent about dorcas' assumption therefore did not think it deserved to be taken any more than it had.

Brandan
04-14-07, 05:52 AM
BK, with all due respect, this opinion has been proven false. We must follow examples given in scripture. You must search harder for something that deserves a further response.LJ, with all due respect, this opinion has been been proven false. You must search harder for something that deserves a further response.

wildboar
04-14-07, 06:00 AM
RH:

If Acts doesn't provide any sort of model for us whatsoever, then where is the model to be found? Is everyone just supposed to do what he sees as right in his own eyes?

Brandan
04-14-07, 06:13 AM
RH:

If Acts doesn't provide any sort of model for us whatsoever, then where is the model to be found? Is everyone just supposed to do what he sees as right in his own eyes?Don't men already do what they see as right in their own eyes?

lionovjudah
04-14-07, 07:19 AM
I have given this topic some more earnest study and realize I have created a false dichotomy of private vs corporate worship. This is directly connected to the theme of "church." I repent of my polorization of these 2 important facts of the will of God.

The historic basis of the church was to gather those who privately worship God 24/7 into one place, once a week, to hear the word preached, expounded on, sing, give, build each other up, and share the meal of His body and blood praising His resurrection. I have realized I am no better than brandan, Bob, Gregg, or anyone on here who sin against the Lord by forsaking the assembling together. I sin against Him by not worshipping him 24/7 privately.

God is definately not commanding us to be isolationists, and invisible to the body of Christ. This is an afront to His mercy on which He saved us. He demands a response to His amazing grace. And this response is corporate worship as well as private worship. It is clear that the Scriptures provide a pattern for worshipping God. This has changed from the OT/temple worship to the NT worshipping in spirit and truth. But it is not a clean break with no continuity. We now worship becasue of what HE has done, not to earn anything like the OT pattern. But there is a pattern none the less clearly prescribed. We must become a living sacrafice as Paul states in Romans 12. We must do this privately and corporately.

Greg
04-14-07, 08:00 AM
I have realized I am no better than brandan, Bob, Gregg, or anyone on here who sin against the Lord by forsaking the assembling together.Hey Joe, it's nice to know that you consider Brandan, Bob and myself as bottom feeders of the dung pile of life, at least I'm in good company. And it's also nice that you have come to your senses and now you grace us with your prsence at the bottom of the heap. I do have a question for you though, where has Brandan, Bob or myself ever stated that we believe it's ok, or that any of us would forsake meeting together with other likeminded believers?

Rlhuckle
04-14-07, 08:47 AM
The LORD works out everything for his own ends – even the wicked for a day of disaster. (Proverbs 16:4)

In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)

A man's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way? (Proverbs 20:24)

The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases. (Proverbs 21:1)

Each of us has the mind of Christ and the Holy Spirit guides our steps as He sees fit as we continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord.

1Co 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Phi 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

The errors present and promoted within most institutional churches reveal the idols that are worshipped there.

2Th 3:2-6 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you. And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ. Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

Gal 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

Gal 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

2Ti 1:12-15 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us. This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.

1Jo 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

2Co 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

The money that is to be set aside was NOT for the "church" as in institutional; it was for the poor.

1Co 16:1-2 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

Gal 2:10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.

I have discovered that in the big city, there are poor on just about every street-corner with signs asking for money.

While Paul also taught that the worker deserved his wages, what model did he follow in regards to accepting financial support for himself as a preacher?

lionovjudah
04-14-07, 10:53 AM
Don't men already do what they see as right in their own eyes?

Yes, and this is the problem. Just as I have mentioned before in the book of judges. Judges 17:6 In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

There are severe consiequences to this approach. IT is the way of death!!! In this we have people redefining what the Bible clearly teaches, or simply ignoring it. Perverting the notion of no accountability but to Christ has allowed each and everyone to "think" they have the God ordained right to create their own rules and forget everything needed is in the 66 books.

MCoving
04-14-07, 12:01 PM
I have realized I am no better than brandan, Bob, Gregg, or anyone on here who sin against the Lord by forsaking the assembling together. I sin against Him by not worshipping him 24/7 privately.


Wow.. pretty strong accusation don't you think? And what.. you know their hearts and every action that they do to be judge and say they are sinning because they are forsaking the assembling together?

Also where does it define specifically what is meant by assembling together?
This is all that it says here:
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
Stimulate one another to love, good deeds, and encouraging. Being of one like mind in the Truth, and from what I see Greg, Bob and Brandan to a very good job of this.. especially in my own life. Youd be surpised how they spurred me on to good deeds and have helped me out.

Also you look back over other passages about assembling and theres nothing about how often. Actually alot of times in the OT they assembled once in awhile.

So from this passage you cant accuse anyone here of not assembling.
You may be taking the Sabbath literally and saying that this assembling is about the Sabbath where the people did meet weekly. But what was the Sabbath meant for then? Reading of the Word, people didn't have the Word readily available, commanded as an old testament ritual. It was a time of rest however.. when Jesus came He fulfilled the Sabbath ritual because He became the rest for people. So you cant accuse them or even I and say we are sinning because we are forsaking the assembling together. Because we do assemble and are of like mind. Now you wanna hold strictly to the Sabbath and that it met weekly, and say we are breaking the Sabbath. I guess that would be so except the Sabbath ritual is no longer applied to us today, for each day is a day of rest in the Lord. The lord Jesus gave us rest now... he fulffiled the Sabbath. I think if I have that correctly.

John 6:5
And He was saying to them, "The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."

Read this:
Heb 4:1-9, (NASB)
1 Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it.2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.3 For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, "As I swore in My wrath, They shall not enter My rest," although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.4 For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day "And God rested on the seventh day from all His works";5 and again in this passage "They shall not enter My rest."6 Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience,7 He again fixes a certain day, "Today," saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, "Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts."8 For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that.9 So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.

Seems like Jesus broke the Sabbath too... Hmm.. I dont think you want to accuse him of sinning.
Jn 9:16, (NASB) (http://bible.5solas.org/bible.php?view=1&version=nasb&book=43&chapter=9&verse1=16&verse2=&ascdesc=&abrv=1&strip=0&converge=0&footnotes=0&createchaps=1&compare=0&andor=0&restrict=&startbook=&endbook=&references=&highlight=1&chaplinks=&remove=&keywords=Sabbath), Therefore some of the Pharisees were saying, "This man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath." But others were saying, "How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?" And there was a division among them.

Bob Higby
04-14-07, 02:22 PM
LOJ: Perverting the notion of no accountability but to Christ has allowed each and everyone to "think" they have the God ordained right to create their own rules and forget everything needed is in the 66 books.

In case anyone has any doubt where I stand on this: what Joe has been posting here is pure garbage condemned by Christ. He talks with spiritual sounding language like all churchmen but damns with his accusatory emphasis that eclipses anything else he posts.

The underlying issue here is NOT whether some or most of us worship in a sickly 'church.' It is clear that most of us do; myself regularly. The issue for these churchian folk is whether we also submit to the doctrines of devils that these churches teach. Believe me, it is not enough to believe the Trinity and the Deity of Christ for historic churchmen. It is not enough to worship in their assemblies as 3rd class citizens (which is all that those of us with our persuasion could possibly do). We have to submit to and confess their garbage teaching. Otherwise they don't believe we are real Christians.

I, of course, have real differences with the ecclesiology of Joe and Charles. I don't believe that congregations with potentially no true believers (Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, ELCA, and others) can be called an EKKLESIA in any sense. God calls what few believers that might exist in such congregations out of them--lest they partake of His wrath. In addition, the matter posted by Rachael has been totally minimized as if it were insignificant. For many of us, if we are talking about corporate worship--the issue is being able to fellowship in a congregation where we know that the EKKLESIA is present. A place that loves the true gospel and doesn't treat believers devoted to election as a part of that gospel as potential 'intellectual arrogants' to be shunned as schismatics.

So we have to at least agree that we will never agree on ECCLESIOLOGY. I'm closing this thread. Although I'm sure the topic will come up in the future, ECCLESIOLOGY is one doctrine that I will not be interacting with in the future with those who are interested in nothing but historic churchianity.