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Old 01-31-2018, 06:51 AM   #109
ZNPaaneah
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 6,186
Default Re: What is the boundary of the Local Church?

There is a reason I have focused on the Lord's words in Matthew. This section is the "vision" of the church, even the "blue print" of the church as given to us by Jesus.

Acts is not the blue print, it is not the vision, it is the "case law". For example many feel that the decision for Paul to go and make sacrifices to appease the Jews, a decision pushed on him by James was an error. Acts shows us the issues they faced and how they addressed them. But it is derivative of the vision in Matthew and in many cases we see the bias and religious influence on those in the early church.

The Epistles give much greater detail than you see in Matthew. So if you want to examine the details of some question it is hard to find it in Matthew, but if you want a bird's eye view, the Lord's word in Matthew is clearly the best starting point.

Finally, we should appreciate that the letters to the churches in Revelation are a direct continuation of this portion in Matthew. These are the only two places in scripture that are directly attributed to the Lord Jesus in discussing the church.

This is why I feel that using a meeting in Acts 15 to pronounce overarching doctrinal rules concerning the church that contradict Matthew 18 is a very poor approach that is either ignorant or deceptive.

Matthew 16 the Lord says "I will build my assembly". In Matthew 18 He says "wherever two or three are gathered". I think it is perfectly acceptable to interpret a meeting of two or three as the "building block" that He will use to build His assembly. By doing this He eliminates the person who wants to claim that they, praying their closet, are a building block of the church. This is also in line with Paul's word about "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together".

This is simple and straightforward.

The kink in the chain comes when you accept concepts like "seeking the authority in the church" as though it were different from the Lord Jesus. Accepting the doctrine of "Apostle's having an authority that is separate from the Lord Jesus or separate from other Christians".

Evangelical represents the LC dogma that Matthew 18 presents the authority of the church and how dealing with sin goes up the chain of command in a local church. But if you look at the chapter carefully you don't see the same thing. Two or three are sufficient to bind or loose, in context this refers to judging a brother and even excommunicating him from the fellowship as Paul did. "Telling it to the church" is informative, there is no indication that the church then rules on the case. There is no indication that these two or three need the authority of an elder or Apostle, rather they need to gather "in the name of Jesus".
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