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Old 01-30-2018, 11:22 PM   #104
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,978
Default Re: How many is "a church"?

Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
I have responded to this repeatedly (Posts #74, 76, 77, 86, 89, and 93)

The expression "tell it to the church" has the jurisdiction of the entire Earth. We know this because Jesus tells the "two or three" that what they bind on Earth will be what has been bound in Heaven and what they loose on Earth will be what is loosed in heaven.

Therefore this term "the church" refers to the universal group of Christians on this planet. It is not limited to a single city.

Second, Aron pointed out (Post #78) that "tell it to the church" does not mean "inquire of the church". You insinuated that 2 or 3 cannot make a decision, but that is obviously false. Paul was only 2 or 3 when (Paul plus the one or two brothers that relayed the information what was going on in Corinth) when he "told it to the church". He didn't "inquire", he told them to cast that brother out. The church did not make the decision, they carried out the decision that was made.

Now you might claim that Paul "told it to the church" referring to the local church in Corinth. However, this telling was public (in his letter published for all Christians to read) and we are to understand that had that brother tried going to another city the declaration of Paul would have still applied.

You said that some council in Acts over doctrinal issues among brothers from many different localities was "proof" that two or three cannot decide doctrinal issues. That also is a claim that has no Biblical support. When Paul took Apollos apart to declare the way more clearly to him that was a doctrinal issue being decided by two or three. So we have two or three deciding an issue in Acts, we have Peter coming back from baptizing gentiles in a meeting that can be assumed to be a little larger, and we have the meeting with Paul which was larger still. We have different situations and different sized meetings but in every case they are deciding doctrinal issues. You also have the meeting where Paul decides Mark cannot go with them, how many were in that meeting? You have the meeting where Paul rebukes Peter recorded in Galatians, how many in that meeting?

If there were ten people in one meeting it doesn't prove you can't have five. If there were twenty, it doesn't prove you can't have ten. The only proof is the Lord's word that "wherever two or three are gathered He is in the midst."
There is a difference between correcting someone's doctrine and defining what that doctrine should be. There is no case of two or three gathering together to determine what a doctrine or practice should be. The example I provided was in regards to defining what the doctrine or practice should be concerning the Gentiles and the law of Moses.

This practice of consulting the church in the early church period continued with the development of the canon and the doctrine of the Trinity. In fact, that these important matters were not decided by "two or three" is strong proof against your argument.

I find this "entire Earth" argument to be a weak one. Jesus's statement about binding and loosing was concerning the apostolic authority given to the disciples. Practically and logically, the place to seek such authority is in the local churches where the apostles resided, and not in a "global church" which was beyond many people's reach.

Also today, it is not practical or logical to seek higher authority in a church which is not local to us. But some may due to denominationalism. This may occur in denominations (for example, a Roman Catholic person travelling to Rome to consult the Pope).
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