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Old 04-19-2017, 07:44 AM   #69
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Join Date: Jul 2008
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Default Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Of course the bible allows house churches. We, meet in houses, to an outsider, we are sometimes considered a "house church".
Paul wasn't an outsider, and yet he still recognized the house church. He did not make it clear that the house church and the local church were the same thing. You are stretching the limits of plausibility, so it's clear your definition is what it is because you have a predisposition to believe in locality, which is circular reasoning. The fact is another interpretation is reasonable. And that interpretation is that house churches are valid boundaries of churches.

If the church in the house were the same as the church in the city Paul would never have worded his references the way he did. If you wrote a letter to the church in the whole city, and the church in the house were the same thing, you would not have written along with other greetings, "greet the church in Joe's house." You would have said something like "greet the rest of the church, including those which meet at Joe's house." If you believed that the only valid church was the local church you would not have referred to houses churches in the manner Paul did--on four different occasions. That is, not if you wanted the matter of locality to be clear, and manifestly Paul didn't seem to care about that.

Some say local churches, some say houses churches too. Neither interpretation is completely verifiable. Both are reasonable in their own way, but neither is a clear winner. If the Lord wanted us to be sure that only local churches are valid he never would have allowed houses churches to be mentioned in the way they were, and he also would have made it more clear that local churches are the only option. But he left the door open to believe that house churches were valid. He must have had a reason. And it seems to me one reason must be to tell us "Don't be contentious about how others meet because you cannot be sure that you are completely right." In other words, he leaves doors open precisely because he doesn't want us to act like you and the LCM do about these matters.

If there are two or more reasonable interpretations of something in the Bible then his command to "let each be fully persuaded in his own mind" should prevail. You have no right to push locality the way to do given the uncertainty of the issue. You proclaim you have certainty when reasonable minds realize you can't have it. The net result is your contentious attitude about the situation, and your unreasonable insistence on things you cannot be certain of. That's the reason the attitude of the LCM is such an issue. (And this is an example of how the pressure in the LCM to conform to an idea pushes them to be unreasonable.)

Yes, you can make a case for local churches. But that case does not win hands down. There are other reasonable interpretations. Given that you should respect them. But you don't. That's the problem.

I'm not saying your interpretation is wrong (I think it is, but that's not my point). I'm saying given the uncertainty of the matter you have no right to expect others to embrace it, and in doing so you violate tenets of oneness which are deeper and more important that just being "practically one."

Last edited by Cal; 04-19-2017 at 10:56 AM.
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