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Old 04-19-2018, 12:06 PM   #110
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 244
Default Re: Deceptions on Campus

Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Strictly speaking the name "the local church in.." is for the Sunday meeting where the Lord's table is held. This is, strictly speaking, the assembly of the local church. Clearly, this is something which Christians on campus is not, so I think that using a different name such as Christians on campus is entirely appropriate. If you can show, that the Christians on Campus meetings are equivalent to the Lord's Table meeting on a Sunday then perhaps you have a point. Can you?

So, if the names do not mean anything, then why they don't get rid of them? Ask any denominational pastor that, and their answer will reveal the truth! And, I never did understand why there are different evangelical groups on the one campus, all trying to achieve the same ends, with very similar gospels. The situation is that we have different evangelical organizations all competing for the same students.

It's very easy to prove that Evangelicalism is indeed something that is "built up" - there was a time when Evangelicalism did not exist. It grew over time to the number of people it includes today. Clearly then, it was "built up", it must have been. Evangelical movements obviously build up themselves and the particular denominations they represent. Evangelicals also send missionaries to preach their gospel, and in many cases, re-evangelize countries for which there are already well established Catholic or Orthodox churches. Pentecostals will then do the same, sending their missionaries to preach their pentecostal gospel, in many cases, re-evangelizing areas where there are already well established evangelical/Protestant, Catholic or Orthodox churches. So, there is a build up of those particular denominations wherever they grow.

I am puzzled by your statement (in bold) that evangelicals don't represent anybody more than the rest.

If you look at this website:

There is a table "Religious Self-Identification of the U.S. Adult Population: 1990, 2001, 2008"

34% of American adults considered themselves "Born Again or Evangelical Christians" in 2008. Therefore, Evangelical groups and associations represent 34% of Americans, or whatever the figure is today, I don't know. I mean, these groups don't exist for the Catholic church do they? (they have their own statistics, a much larger group than the Evangelicals).

I understand the difference between Protestants and Catholics and the reasoning for the differences. What I don't understand is why Catholics are considered "part of the Body of Christ" sometimes, and other times not. Unless evangelical groups are building up the Catholic churches, I cannot see how they can claim to be building up the Body. Their reluctance to build up the attendance at Catholic churches proves they are about building up evangelicalism rather than the entire Body of Christ.

This is what Watchman Nee says:
"A church can only be named after its locality. It cannot have any other name." ~ The Normal Christian Faith,
by Watchman Nee. So, either you have misunderstood what they are saying when they say "we have no name", or they have misunderstood what it means and did not explain it properly. "We don't have a name" is really a shortening of "we don't have a special name other than the name of the locality".

As I mentioned before, the local church assembly and the on campus meeting are different. So, there is good reason for using different names. As an example, if I went shopping with 10 brothers and sisters, I would not tell the cashier "we are the church in...". We might however, say, "we are Christians". I do not think a denominational church would speak like this either. If 10 baptists went shopping they would not tell the cashier "we are the baptist church in...", but they might say "we are Christians".

I have the heard the same story for what, the past 20 years, about denominations "getting together". I just don't see much happening. I believe the increase in non-denoms is in general, due to dissatisfaction with mainstream denominations, rather than a genuine attempt at unity. I have met with some non-denom Christians before, and their reason for being non-denom is typically "this church is this, and this church is that", rather than "we saw the vision of the oneness of the Body and want to be one with all the believers".

These sorts of statements:
"More than half listed their associated Christian group on the list. For many of the other ones, I just had to click on the link to their webpage to find out their Christian groups affiliation." prove otherwise to what you claim about the situation of denominationalism.

Obviously, the more "affiliations" there are, the more division there must be. If a group was affiliated with 100,000 different groups, I would think, wow, that's a lot of different groups - for what?
Ok, I have more time and feel you need to see a different perspective (if possible).

In response to your first paragraph, you're ignoring the fact that the government recognizes the LC as having a name and that the LC employs the people for CoC and owns the building CoC uses. In addition to ignoring that, you're now stating that the LC does have a name, but strictly speaking- it's only for Sunday table meetings. So they do have a name, but only on Sundays- according to you? Also, how is comparing the meetings of CoC (that are run by LC employees) and the Lord's table meeting in the LC proving that their different names are justified? Why do you consider the style of their meetings being equivalent to each other as a factor in this discussion? Do you really think that just because the meetings have a different flavor that it justifies them being called a different name when they're on a campus? With that reasoning, what should we call the group (although the same people) that meets on Wednesday nights for the prayer meeting? According to your logic, it could be acceptable to call them a different name (even though they're the same group of people) because the prayer meeting is run differently than the Lord's Table and their functions are different. Do you understand how your logic isn't applicable to justify them calling themselves CoC now? Obviously, the LC and CoC have two different initiatives but they're all on the "same team" and working together. Just like a business has a sales team and customer service team- but is still one company. It's exactly like the LC having CoC for recruiting, so why are they using a different name with CoC- if not to be deceitful? Given the general populations knowledge about deceitful recruiting practices- you'd think the LC would want to avoid this well known deceitful practice of giving themselves another name when recruiting on campus! But, it seems to be a small price they're willing to pay and will use the tactic to avoid the loss of potential recruits!

You can't deny, one exists to recruit for the other and you're right that the CoC meetings will not be the same as the Lord's table meeting but that is not "proof" as you're stating, that they are justified in being called different things! Also, you're just willfully ignoring the fact the the government does recognize the local church as having a name. Not the mention, the local church wouldn't be able to employ people or own property- without a name. You can insist all day long that there is no name, yet- from a legal standpoint, there is a name. You can't have it both ways and just claim to be "Christians who meet together on the (in theory only) ground of one-ness" with no name, but then also employ people and own property. To do those things, you must have a name. You can't argue that they legally have one but I guess you could argue that it's only due to "man's law" that they have a legal identity and then turn around and refuse to acknowledge that lowly characteristic of having a name as a mere "legal technicality." Feel free to do so, as do many other LC-goers! But you have a name, therefore- call yourself that name when out in the world doing things in an organized effort.

I hesitated even responding bc I knew this would be so repetitive and it's proving to be the case! I'm taking the time to respond to all your points but you've ignored the ones you can't defend and then thrown out more points that are, as the others, not proving your argument like you think they are! This topic you've brought up now about how LC and CoC meetings being different and how that somehow justifies the different names is such a bad example for your argument that I almost feel bad pointing out such flawed logic.

Ok, 2nd paragraph. You said, "if names don't mean anything, why don't they drop them?" Ok, just because a congregation is required to have a name in order to operate in the way that most congregations do, that doesn't mean that they're a divisive denomination! A name could be a name for a denomination or a non-denominational group. How could they drop their name(denominational or not), as you're suggesting, and employ people and own property? I'm not sure what answer you believe the hypothetical pastors would give in your scenario but I'm going to take a wild guess and say their response would be something that someone in the local church told you it would be- ha! There are so many of those silly notions in the LC that make you think about the world in an alternate reality! Also, in regards to the evangelical campus ministries "competing with each other," that's also likely your perception due to being in the local church. They'll tell you that kind of stuff but in reality, unless individual evangelical leaders on campus have some sort of personal vendetta to "steal" other believers from other groups and be the exception to the rule-you're completely off base to say they're competing for students. There are needs that can be met, in different ways, and by different groups. A healthy Christian campus ministry will work with other groups that also preach the gospel but may serve in a different way. You really do have an LC indoctrinated view of how things work outside the LC- I'm not trying to be condescending. It's just very obvious and it makes me sad.

Your third paragraph...I'm not sure why we're discussing this- I agree with you that different Christian groups tend to grow the group they're associated with. That seemed to turn into an argument on the definitions of different movements and actually- I'm glad bc it made me read up on the topic and now I can see why you're separating Evangelicalism and Pentecostalism. I thought that Pentecostalism was just a movement under the umbrellas of the Evangelicalism movement. While Pentecostalism TECHNICALLY does have its roots in Evangelicalism, there are some differences. Again, I don't see how this topic applies to the conversation at hand (CoC) since it's common knowledge that Christian groups are trying to gain members for their associated congregations but I do think it's interesting that you claim the local church doesn't do that! Anyways, I'd share his article about the differences/similarities of the two movements.

4th paragraph... I didn't say that evangelicals "don't represent anybody more than the rest." They clearly can't "represent" Catholics bc Catholics wouldn't allow it! I already explained that evangelicalism is only within the Protestant churches because the Catholic Church, by definition, doesn't allow any movement to promote it or recognize it other than itself! I can't speak for Catholicism (need to look that up) but Evangelicalism recognizes the Catholic church as having members that are born again Christians and part of the body of Christ. But obviously, due to not being "welcomed" in the Catholic Church community, they don't have much affiliation with the Catholic Church as a result. Also, it's obvious that Evangelicals don't agree with the majority of Catholic doctrine so while they recognize that there are born again Christians there, it would be unreasonable for Evangelicals to promote attendance in a place they believe also teaches unscriptural doctrine- even if it's not doctrine related to the key issues of the faith. As far as the survey you brought up, I'm sorry-I don't see how that applies. I agree that Evangelicalism might be represented as a separate group than Catholicism (as shown in the survey). Again, for the most part- that's due to the Catholic Church not welcoming the evangelical movement into their services. What point does that survey make, in your opinion, by distinguishing the two groups of born-again Christians/Evangelical and Catholic Christians? Are you trying to imply this somehow means that Evangelicalism is to blame for this? After posting the survey, you're clearly stating that because Evangelicalism doesn't actively build up each denomination equally- according to you, this proves they are wrong to claim they are building up the Body of Christ? Wow! So it has to be one or the other in your mind? The ONLY thing you have to do to become a believer and member of the Body is to be born-again. Why does the issue of how Evangelicalism possibly creating more growth in certain denominations than others even matter? For someone so concerned about the one-ness of the body of Christ, do you really care that the movement has less affect on some groups than others? Even if they do cause some groups to grow more than others, do you think that result is 100% due to Evangelicalism deciding which groups they want to grow and which ones they don't? Please! They're growing the Body! That's all that matters! Evangelicalism isn't trying to "build up" evangelicalism. It's whole existence is to serve the Lord! If one denomination grows more than another because of Evangelicalism- that's just the Lord's mercy and has less to do with their efforts given that it's a movement that includes all Protestant churches!

5th paragraph.....forgive me if I don't take Watchmen Nee's words as a substitute for Scripture. Please! Show me where it says that in the Bible. The city boundaries as being the basis and boundary for meeting with other Christians is HIGHLY debatable and you should know that very few Christians agree with this doctrine due to it stretching Biblical teachings.

6th paragraph... see my first paragraph but your example of telling a cashier "we're Christians" instead of the fact that they're Baptists is clearly not the same as one group of people being employed by a Christian congregation, then recruiting for it under a different name. Who is the "cashier" in this example? The college students? In your example, you forgot to include that the Baptist church would actually be paying the "shoppers" to tell the cashier they are "just Christians" and then develop a relationship with the cashier, with the ultimate goal of bringing them to the Baptist church. If you're going to use that analogy-let's apply it fully!

7th paragraph... well, that is your experience and perspective. Mine is different. I've seen it happen to two churches personally and have sensed the change. I looked it up and sure enough, it's happening! The article says churches are, "reinventing how evangelicals and others cooperate and shape their ministries in many contexts and across denominational borders." This seems to contradict your claim that they're ditching their denomination status "due to dissatisfaction with mainstream denominations, rather than a genuine attempt at unity." Sure, the article doesn't use LC lingo like "seeing a vision of the one-ness of the Body." It's basically the same thought process though! Also, give them a break! Change takes time! Clearly this is an awesome thing to see how congregations are moving towards more fellowship and involvement with each other! Do you not recognize that is from the Lord? You still think congregations efforts to be one in the Body of Christ is still somehow below the LC due to your insistence that the LC doesn't have a name, therefore stands on the ground of one-ness" (even thought they don't back that statement up)? Here's the article- again, I'm sorry you haven't seen it but it's happening!

8th paragraph... yes, there are many affiliations or denominations. That's why it's been great to see so many dropping those denominational ties and focusing on the key issues of the faith and fellowship with the whole body of Christ. Granted, being non-denominational, as I stated before, doesn't mean you can't have a name. Denominations do divide - I agree. Names however- don't. I know you're not going to agree due to your intense LSM indoctrination but just know your opinion and the LC doctrine on this issue is discredited by the majority of Christian scholars, and believers in general. The doctrine of "having no name besides that of your locality" is questionable at best, not emphasized in the Bible, and practically impossible to execute in the real world. It could never work and the LC knows it! It's easy to "state this ideology" knowing that it would never actually happen due to them not being able to manage it and ultimately LSM would lose their control. Still, the doctrine is definitely OVER EMPHASIZED by the LC in an classic sectarian attempt to elevate themselves over other believers. By elevating an obscure doctrine to such an unhealthy level- they actually create MORE division with other Christians in that this requirement is almost at the same level as the fundamental issues of the faith! They use this elevated doctrine as the basis of their existence and judge and follow any other doctrine as a measure against it. It's called BEING OUT OF BALANCE- and unfortunately it's something many cults and sectarian groups do. They take one doctrine of minor importance, that may even be correct, but elevate it to a point that is unhealthy and base/measure everything against it. The LC isn't the first to do it and it won't be the last!
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