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Featured The Ekklesia; called out ones; the Church

Discussion in 'Christian Spirituality Forum' started by Episkopos, Feb 20, 2020.

  1. marks

    marks Well-Known Member

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    None, of course, but that's not really what you are trying to say here, is it? You speak of honesty, be open and honest.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
  2. Episkopos

    Episkopos Well-Known Member

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    Would you agree that it is more important to do what is written in the bible than to hold it in a high regard (or even a veneration) yet not follow it's instructions?
     
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  3. marks

    marks Well-Known Member

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    14 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

    This is of course the first things. We want to grow in serving love, we are to desire God's power to move through us, and especially that God would speak through us.

    2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
    3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
    4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

    Many things are good to do, but we need to keep the good of others first. Some want it all to be about themselves. But our gifts, our service, should always be towards others.

    5 I would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.
    6 Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?
    7 And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?
    8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

    Getting yourself mixed up into things, by failing to keep the focus on serving others, dilutes the doctrine, the teaching, the benefit. And people get mixed up.

    9 So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.
    10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.
    11 Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.

    There are many ways you can say something. We need to be clear in our speech, not cagey, not underhanded, not making display of ourselves without any real meaning understood by those whom we are supposed to be serving. They end up not being served.

    12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.

    Of all the things you can focus on, this is it, building up the church. Like at the end of ch. 12, you earnestly covet the best gifts, but I'll show you a more excellent way, love, by love serve one another.

    13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.
    14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.
    15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
    16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?
    17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.
    18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:
    19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.

    We can do all the things that are from God, but not everything is right for every time and place. Again, the emphasis is on clarity, and our focus on benefitting the other.

    20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.
    21 In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.
    22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.
    23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
    24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:
    25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

    There's a way we're to be like children, and a way we are to be mature. God gave all these things, and in our hearts, in our intentions, we are to be as children, but to be mature in understanding how what we do impacts others, especially those who don't know what we know, or don't believe.

    26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

    This moderation is needed, as everyone has something they want to put in. It all needs to be towards edifying and not something else.

    27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.
    28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.

    Limits, and order are needed, within open participation.

    29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.
    30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.
    31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.
    32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.

    Again, limits, order, serving, yielding, within participation.

    33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

    It it's out of order, chaos, it's not from God.

    34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.
    35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
    36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?
    37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
    38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.
    39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.
    40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

    Teachers are men, and if you are spiritual, and have the word of God in you, you'll know this. Desire to speak the word of God to others, and don't prohibit tongues, just do it all in order.

    Is this what I follow? Yes. Of course there is much much more that that. But it's all summed up in one word, love.

    Much love!
     
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  4. marks

    marks Well-Known Member

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    Interesting question.

    Hm.

    Veneration? What would it mean to "venerate" the Bible? And how does that differ from regard. Oh, or in your case, bible.

    Is it respect? Veneration (used here I think as a pejorative)?

    I think we need to hold the Bible in a proper esteem, and not try to accuse our brethren of some sort of false worship, is that where you are going with this?

    Now . . . this idea that we hold the Bible in regard without doing what it says, I don't think we are using our words the same.

    Because to me, to regard the Bible is to hear and do what it says.

    Are you saying you can think poorly of Scripture as long as you think you are doing what it says? That doesn't make sense to me. Your question doesn't make sense to me.
     
  5. Episkopos

    Episkopos Well-Known Member

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    The early church met after havdalah ( the end of the Sabbath and beginning of the new week) on saturday night....which is the beginning of the first day of the week. (the Jewish day begins in the evening). The brethren gathered for a meal and a meeting...sometimes going all night...as recorded in the Acts (we have also known those kind of meetings) The next day the church would gather for an agape meal and prayers.

    Now as the church progressed in history the saturday evening part of the church gathering was dropped ..although THAT was the mature part for adults and serious discipleship...in favour of the sunday morning part...which was more celebratory.
    We only gather for a sunday agape when we have guests.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
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  6. prism

    prism Blood-Soaked

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    I've also experienced a lot of egos where each thought themself a prophet with mucho pseudo spirituality. There is a balance.
     
  7. DNB

    DNB Well-Known Member

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    Hi Episkopos, due to the various nature of the congregation, that is, some being leaders and other followers, and within those two groups, all are at different levels of their faith, understanding and acumen in God's Word, I would think that different models of Church structure may be acceptable. Thus, some are better suited to be taught by the more competent and experienced leaders, while others engage well within a more dynamic and open environment. I've often preferred Bible study classes within a small group, as opposed to sitting in on a sermon or Church service.
    Either way, structure and discipline is still required in either configuration. Even on this forum, we all gravitate towards people's threads that we are familiar with, and trust their choice of topic and manner in discussion. That is, if actually required, we may elect them over others for a particular position (hypothetically speaking). Therefore, hierarchy and delegation appear to be inextricable in any sort of communal environment.

    And hear are some selective, and didactic verses that, to me, define the hierarchy, demograph and subject matter (in random order) of a Christian Church, as prescribed by Paul.

    1 Timothy 2:1-2
    1. First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men,
    2. for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.

    1 Timothy 2:8,11,12
    8. Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.
    11. A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness.
    12. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.

    1 Timothy 3:1
    1. It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.

    1 Timothy 3:8,10
    8. Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain,
    10. These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach.

    1 Timothy 4:11-14
    11. Prescribe and teach these things.
    12. Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.
    13. Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching.
    14. Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery.

    1 Timothy 5:1-3
    1. Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers,
    2. the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity.
    3. Honor widows who are widows indeed;

    1 Timothy 5:9
    9. A widow is to be put on the list only if she is not less than sixty years old, having been the wife of one man,

    1 Timothy 5:14
    14. Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach;

    1 Timothy 6:17
    17. Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.

    2 Timothy 2:2
    2. The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

    2 Timothy 4:1-2
    1. I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:
    2. preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.

    Titus 2:2,3,6,9
    2. Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.
    3. Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good,
    6. Likewise urge the young men to be sensible;
    9. Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative,

    Titus 3:10
    10. Reject a factious man after a first and second warning,
     
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  8. marksman

    marksman My eldest granddaughter showing the result of her

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    AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! and yes I am shouting because it needs to be said from the housetops.
     
  9. marksman

    marksman My eldest granddaughter showing the result of her

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    AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! and yes I am shouting because it needs to be heard.
     
  10. marksman

    marksman My eldest granddaughter showing the result of her

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    AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! Tell it from the housetops.
     
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  11. marksman

    marksman My eldest granddaughter showing the result of her

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    Whenever I see the comment or statement "This is a bible believing church" I cringe because it means that they are not bible believing.
     
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  12. marksman

    marksman My eldest granddaughter showing the result of her

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    Most leaders do not want the congregation to think or ask. All they want is pew warmers.
     
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  13. marksman

    marksman My eldest granddaughter showing the result of her

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    If I understand what the scriptures say, the idea of leadership is to produce leaders or as I prefer to say produce other ministries. Ephesians 4:11 says that the five gifts of Christ, the apostle, prophet, evangelist, shepherd, teacher are there to produce apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers.

    Ephesians 4:11 And indeed He gave some to be apostles, and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; with a view to the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ,

    If I was dealing with dog training it would be go fetch, not sit.

    Of course, we have to realise that the church this was written to was nothing like the church today. Today, you can have 20 churches in one town and they never talk to each other. Then, there was only one church in each town and as they grew they constantly needed the five ministries to feed, teach them, build them up grow them and send them out.

    In the seventies, I was in a church for 10 years where there was no platform, no pulpit, no pastor, no programme and no preaching. When we came together we came together on the basis that everyone has.

    In the early 80s, I was in a church that gave a job to new converts a few weeks after they were converted.

    Sad to say most churches operate on the basis of we have done things this way for ever and a day so why change it.
     
  14. DNB

    DNB Well-Known Member

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    Very good point.
    In my opinion, i would add these to the duties or objectives of leadership. That is, I still believe that there is a necessity for hierarchy and structure in all types of ministries, i.e. local or home Church, episcopacy, and evangelism.
     
  15. Stumpmaster

    Stumpmaster Active Member

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    Hi DNB, Just a quick comment regarding your selection of verses. Give me a professing Christian who doesn't assert rank, title, authoritarianism, elitism, or impose coercion and officiousness on me, or claim a divine right to hold me in subjection, and I will hear them and respect them...otherwise forget it. They are impostors who ignore the words of Jesus and Scripture:

    Mat 20:25-28
    (25) But Jesus called them unto him, and said, You know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
    (26) But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
    (27) And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
    (28) Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.


    1Pe 5:1-3
    (1) The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
    (2) Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
    (3) Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
     
  16. Anthony D'Arienzo

    Anthony D'Arienzo Well-Known Member

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    1 cor 14 and the ideas on this thread are not by any means the pattern for church's in the NT.
     
  17. Episkopos

    Episkopos Well-Known Member

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    Why would you say that? Paul said....when you meet! We are to follow the biblical instructions. Or...did the church start with us?

    To be apostolic in doctrine we need to follow the apostolic instructions...as in the teachings of the apostles. And that is one of the 4 things the early church did as per Acts.
     
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  18. Episkopos

    Episkopos Well-Known Member

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    Amen. Leadership is a function and a responsibility. It takes humble men to lead the church...broken men...examples of the dead man in Christ. And one who is seen to have the fruit of Christ even among unbelievers...having a good reputation with the non-religious. If the non-religious can see through a person...then there is no witness there for Christ.
     
  19. Episkopos

    Episkopos Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. The organic churches often take a lack of authority too far. Many just despise authority. But it is the character of the authority I believe that is important. God has to be behind it. Otherwise it's just an autocracy.

    The reputation of pastors has been so soiled because of the artificial way in which pastors are selected. They are not spiritual selections. And given the platform with microphone and sermonizing...there is no room for the gifts of God to function.

    So then the leader must look for actual growth in people...not just preach at them.
    Where the Spirit is....there is freedom. :) And the balance is that where the Spirit is...there is ALSO authority.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2020
  20. Mike Waters

    Mike Waters Well-Known Member

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    This thread mirrors the Church
    A thing of sheer truth and beauty to begin with until ...... The 'wheat' is gradually stifled by the introduction of more and more 'tares', whereby we are constrained to "let both grow together until the true harvester, who is the only one able to exercise perfect discretion, roots out the tares without harming the tender shoots of wheat".
    "Even so come Lord Jesus"
     
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