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Old 03-20-2011, 10:49 AM   #1
Terry
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Default A Word of Love

I have recently read Witness Lee's short book on A Word of Love to Elder's, Co-workers, Lovers, and Seekers of Christ.
Having been impressed with this book, I considered when this word was released, how was it received? Was it a word to be taken superficially? Meaning a word to be spoken, but not to be applied. The word was mean to exhort, encourage, and not be just another message.
Witness Lee speaks of having a shepherding spirit in chapter 2:

"If we lose this spirit, whether we are elders, co-workers, or serving ones, we are finished. This is the main reason why we are so barren, bearing no fruit for so many years. Recently a brother went to care for a couple, but he did not have this spirit. He visited them no more than ten times and became disappointed. Since the couple had no heart for this brother, he reported that it was useless to visit them further. When Pastor Yu visited me, I did not care for him, but he continued to come for three or four months, week after week. We need to have this spirit. We all have to change our concept. Therefore, we need discipling. We have too much of the natural thought. We need to be discipled to have the divine concept, the concept of the Father’s heart and the heart of the Lord Jesus, who came to save sinners."

What is the natural concept? What is profitable and what is not. In our natural man we're too busy. A need to remain occupied. If you visit someone and there's no instantaneous positive reaction, it's a waste of time. In the next section brother Lee spoke of labeling and ranking people. This is precisely what happens when you decide who and who isn't a waste of time. In retrospect we were all a waste of time, but in the gospels we read what God did by sending His Son who in His perfection took all our sins upon the cross.

I appreciate Witness Lee's A Word of Love, but I sensed it was a word taken lightly. I have been noticing for some time when we're in the meetings, there's passivity; an expectation we're the church and if you want to meet with as the practical expression of the church in this city, here we are. No concept of going after people, but in our meetings sitting on our hands waiting for them to come to the local churches. That is why someone such as myself was dormant for 7 years before anyone bothered calling, much less visiting. Even 15 years later A Word of Love hasn't changed the culture about visiting people. To suggest such a concept the response might as well been, "brother you're asking too much". When we're talking about elders and co-workers, they shoulder a greater burden than the average saint. If they're willing to bear resposnsibility, why has it been asking too much to visit people? There has been a corresponding reaction to the lack of visiting people. That reaction becoming the community type churches being much more attractive with their discipling culture. In this present day community type churces are better equipped to meet the needs of the general brother and sister.
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Old 03-20-2011, 12:47 PM   #2
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Default Re: A WORD OF LOVE

43 "You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.' 44 "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
Matthew 5:43-44

"It all depends upon love, as the wise king Solomon said, “Love covers all transgressions” (Prov. 10:12). We love people. We love the opposers, and we love the top rebels. I really mean it. We love them and do not hate them."
p. 17

Within the last six months I had a conversation with a brother about dissenting brothers. A question was posed, "how can you love a brother who cannot be trusted?"
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:09 PM   #3
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Within the last six months I had a conversation with a brother about dissenting brothers. A question was posed, "how can you love a brother who cannot be trusted?"
Answer: By trusting in the Lord, not the Brother, to cover the situation. ALL the law hinges on these two things: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind... and love your neighbour as yourself.

"And who is our neighbour?" A lawyer once asked our Lord this very question, seeking to justify himself (for there were many he could not love). What did the Lord reply?

Luke 10:25-37...

Jesus replied and said, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead.

"And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
"Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
"But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him.
"On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.'
"Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers' hands?" And he said, "The one who showed mercy toward him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do the same."

If we cannot love, we cannot call ourselves transformed. If you have an issue with your brother - go - deal with him first BEFORE you come before the Lord, or the Lord will not hear you. He died on the cross for that brother's salvation, as much as your own. If you reject the brother, know that Christ did not - that brother is as much a member of the Body of Christ as you are. "Clothe the less comely", we are told - not to Quarantine and shun them.

...and hear them, Lord please just hear them; with an open heart, with much supplication before the Lord - praying that you may be given ears to hear and eyes to see that you might rightly come to the full knowledge of the truth; for the truth SHALL set you free. If the Lord convicts you that this brother is wrong, and if by reason with Scripture and if in honest and upright prayer you cannot gain them, then depart - but depart in peace. If the Lord convicts you that you are wrong, then without false pretense or pride but in good faith confess your lack and seek understanding and forgiveness even from the Lord.


**********************
I have been finding solace in the ministry of Back to the Bible this past week. I strongly urge the saints to consider, it's a very good week:


http://www.backtothebible.org/index....age-Right.html

The mission field isn't just across the ocean in a third world country, it's right here too... and it's not just outside the doors of the church building, it's more often than not right within it. Elijah stood up to God's government (Israel) and spoke the Truth in Love. He was fearful and he didn't understand why he was to do it, but he was faithful, and he obeyed. Will we be so faithful, trusting that while we are persecuted and hunted down, He will be faithful to provide for us? Though we may not be fed in a beautiful hall or at a rich table, the Ravens will come to bring us our meat, and the brook will trickle to us the living water... for outside the land is in a famine, anyway, because of the idolatry of God's government.

In Truth,

NeitherFirstnorLast
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Old 03-20-2011, 07:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: A WORD OF LOVE

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Originally Posted by NeitherFirstnorLast View Post
Answer: By trusting in the Lord, not the Brother, to cover the situation. ALL the law hinges on these two things: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind... and love your neighbour as yourself.

"And who is our neighbour?" A lawyer once asked our Lord this very question, seeking to justify himself (for there were many he could not love). What did the Lord reply?

Luke 10:25-37...

Jesus replied and said, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead.

"And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
"Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
"But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him.
"On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.'
"Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers' hands?" And he said, "The one who showed mercy toward him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do the same."
When any of us rely on trust, before being love, that is purely a concept of our flesh. As I read in the verses you included it was love your neighbour as yourself. That itself as an all encompassing statement. There's no "if's" and there is no "but's". In Matthew, Jesus took it a step further when He said, "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you".
I have been perplexed, what is it to be a dissenting one? In the local churches, there's a negative connotation. Definitions I have found are:

1. to differ in sentiment or opinion, especially from the majority; withhold assent; disagree (often followed by from ): Two of the justices dissented from the majority decision.
2. to disagree with the methods, goals, etc., of a political party or government; take an opposing view.
3. to disagree with or reject the doctrines or authority of an established church.

Dissent does not automatically qualify one as being a heretic. Nor does it mean one is trying to cause division. It's as the word is defined, "to disagree". So if we each differ in sentiment or opinion, we are all essentially dissenting ones. Going forward each instance the phrase dissenting one is used, I now see it strictly as a relative term.
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:36 AM   #5
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Default Re: A WORD OF LOVE

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Originally Posted by NeitherFirstnorLast View Post
Answer: By trusting in the Lord, not the Brother, to cover the situation. ALL the law hinges on these two things: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind... and love your neighbour as yourself.
Amen! The ministry of Jesus was one of love. How could Jesus trust man when he knows what is in man's heart?
Matthew 19:16-17a
Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good.

When anyone puts their trust in man, they are opening themselves for deception.
Jeremiah 17:9
"The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?

No matter how well-intended a person may be, our heart's are deceitful. One may have the itent of "covering" or strictly withholding information, the result is deceit.

Jeremiah 17:7
"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD."
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:45 AM   #6
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Jeremiah 17:7
"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD."
Amen, that's a very significant "is" - our trust isn't only IN Him, it IS Him.
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
I have recently read Witness Lee's short book on A Word of Love to Elder's, Co-workers, Lovers, and Seekers of Christ.
Having been impressed with this book, I considered when this word was released, how was it received? Was it a word to be taken superficially? Meaning a word to be spoken, but not to be applied. The word was mean to exhort, encourage, and not be just another message.
Witness Lee speaks of having a shepherding spirit in chapter 2:

"If we lose this spirit, whether we are elders, co-workers, or serving ones, we are finished. This is the main reason why we are so barren, bearing no fruit for so many years. Recently a brother went to care for a couple, but he did not have this spirit. He visited them no more than ten times and became disappointed. Since the couple had no heart for this brother, he reported that it was useless to visit them further. When Pastor Yu visited me, I did not care for him, but he continued to come for three or four months, week after week. We need to have this spirit. We all have to change our concept. Therefore, we need discipling. We have too much of the natural thought. We need to be discipled to have the divine concept, the concept of the Father’s heart and the heart of the Lord Jesus, who came to save sinners."

What is the natural concept? What is profitable and what is not. In our natural man we're too busy. A need to remain occupied. If you visit someone and there's no instantaneous positive reaction, it's a waste of time. In the next section brother Lee spoke of labeling and ranking people. This is precisely what happens when you decide who and who isn't a waste of time. In retrospect we were all a waste of time, but in the gospels we read what God did by sending His Son who in His perfection took all our sins upon the cross.
I appreciate Witness Lee's A Word of Love, but I sensed it was a word taken lightly. I have been noticing for some time when we're in the meetings, there's passivity; an expectation we're the church and if you want to meet with as the practical expression of the church in this city, here we are. No concept of going after people, but in our meetings sitting on our hands waiting for them to come to the local churches. That is why someone such as myself was dormant for 7 years before anyone bothered calling, much less visiting. Even 15 years later A Word of Love hasn't changed the culture about visiting people. To suggest such a concept the response might as well been, "brother you're asking too much". When we're talking about elders and co-workers, they shoulder a greater burden than the average saint. If they're willing to bear resposnsibility, why has it been asking too much to visit people? There has been a corresponding reaction to the lack of visiting people. That reaction becoming the community type churches being much more attractive with their discipling culture. In this present day community type churces are better equipped to meet the needs of the general brother and sister.
A brother came to preach the gospel to me when I was on campus for about a year before I entered the church. I was very happy with my life and didn't want to change anything and didn't care for this brother. However, I was saved and inwardly was afraid of rejecting the Lord. So I tried my best to discourage this brother while at the same time praying to the Lord that I would not reject Him. Later I asked the brother why he kept coming week after week when I never gave him any encouragement. He said that I was honest, if I said that I could go to a meeting then I would go.

As for the idea of "wasting time" on someone. I think God is very wise to have families. A father raises a family and the time spent on a child may go way beyond what others would have considered a waste. I recently watched the movie "the Fighter", based on the true story of Mickey Ward, the welterweight champ. His older brother was a crack head, and when everyone else wanted him to abandon his brother he wouldn't, and it was his brother who ultimately helped him to win the championship.

Of course everyone knows the story of David Tyree, the football player who was arrested for selling drugs, his coach could have cut him loose but didn't and he repayed the coach in the superbowl with one of the most incredible catches on the game winning drive (along with a touchdown catch earlier in the game).
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Old 03-23-2011, 05:52 AM   #8
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Of course everyone knows the story of David Tyree, the football player who was arrested for selling drugs, his coach could have cut him loose but didn't and he repaid the coach in the superbowl with one of the most incredible catches on the game winning drive (along with a touchdown catch earlier in the game).
Actually, I must admit that I do not know that story. While some sports stories are probably meaningful, there is often a shortcoming. For me, it is in the presumption that grown men accomplish "great" things while being paid immoral sums of money to play a game. So sticking with someone who is arrested selling drugs it not impressive. And even if they "pay it back" by winning the game, what is that?

The impressive thing would be telling of the player, or better yet, the poor kid growing up on the streets of Harlem, who is enticed by the financial benefits of dealing drugs but rejects it for a hard-earned but righteous living as a factory worker, or even a chance to go to college and make something better for himself and others.

Sports can be a way to learn lessons about life. But it is not life. Even for the professionals. That is why they are plagued with drug abuse, womanizing and other evils on a grand scale. Winning the game is not redemption. Facing your error and not getting a special pass because you are a big-time sports name and instead doing your time like the street criminal is more impressive.
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:09 PM   #9
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Actually, I must admit that I do not know that story. While some sports stories are probably meaningful, there is often a shortcoming. For me, it is in the presumption that grown men accomplish "great" things while being paid immoral sums of money to play a game. So sticking with someone who is arrested selling drugs it not impressive. And even if they "pay it back" by winning the game, what is that?

The impressive thing would be telling of the player, or better yet, the poor kid growing up on the streets of Harlem, who is enticed by the financial benefits of dealing drugs but rejects it for a hard-earned but righteous living as a factory worker, or even a chance to go to college and make something better for himself and others.

Sports can be a way to learn lessons about life. But it is not life. Even for the professionals. That is why they are plagued with drug abuse, womanizing and other evils on a grand scale. Winning the game is not redemption. Facing your error and not getting a special pass because you are a big-time sports name and instead doing your time like the street criminal is more impressive.
David Tyree is a Christian who made a mistake and has repented of it. He used his position in sports to evangelize and also talk to school kids about making choices. He was never "famous" or well known. In fact the first time I even heard his name was when he caught the first touchdown pass in the Superbowl (this was the game when the Giants beat the Patriots). The second catch he made was off his helmet from Eli Manning. That was when everyone in NY learned his story. The coach could have easily cut him, there was almost no reason to keep him, while keeping him was a big PR risk if he had a second offense.

The coach had given him a second chance. So one of the greatest upsets in NFL history was forever linked with the story of a coach giving a kid a second chance. I think it makes that catch so much more meaningful when you realize how desperate he was to not let that ball hit the ground, he had dropped it once, didn't want to do that again, especially for the coach that had gone out on a limb for him. Sports may not be life, but making mistakes, and taking a risk to give someone a second chance is.
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:23 PM   #10
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OBW, I wonder if you have really thought your position on sports through? Sports allow us to see what the human body is capable of. It is something that we can all have fellowship in, and yet also learn the limits of what is possible. Through sports we have had tremendous advances in medicine that help everyone. Just in my lifetime the improvement in knee surgery has been truly astounding. You seem upset that only a few athletes (a fraction of 1%) actually get paid to play the sport that they have literally given their whole life to (for free). If you look at all the athletes who play a sport in high school and college, a tiny fraction of them actually make it to the pros and get paid for it, and an even tinier fraction of that group actually makes a lot of money (the average career in the NFL is 3 years). However, a much larger percentage of them may go on to work as PE teachers, coaches, or in some other related field (sports medicine, etc).

Today, in the US we are witnessing an epidemic in obesity and all of the related diseases like diabetes. Without a doubt the single best remedy is physical activity. Sports, teams, PE, etc. are the cure. Demonizing sports is, in my mind, idiotic.

You might think that a large number of bad characters are sports athletes, but then you are only looking at those that are famous (a very, very tiny fraction of 1%). You are ignoring the 99.99% of those that you don't see and don't know.

But back to this thread, the book was on having a spirit to shepherd, and I think the story of David Tyree is an illustrative of that burden.
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Old 09-22-2011, 08:23 PM   #11
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Reading on another thread jarred my memory from an excerpt of a Word of Love. The brother who Witness Lee was referring to in this portion I believe is Bill Freeman.

"Beginning in 1984 I called three urgent conferences of the co-workers and elders. In my opening word I pointed out that among us there is the tendency of division. By this I meant that quite a few capable co-workers in the Lord’s recovery liked to keep their district as their empire, and they liked to attract people to be their particular co-workers. We are all co-workers generally, but some became particular co-workers with certain attracting ones. Therefore, I warned you all. After my speaking, one of the co-workers stood to confess that this was the case. However, at that time I realized that his confession was not strong enough. It was very weak, and today he has become a problem in the Lord’s recovery. He still claims that he is in the recovery, and he still takes the ground of locality. He protests that his meeting is a local church, and he declares that he is one with Brother Lee. He accepts my ministry, and he receives standing orders of the books of the Living Stream Ministry even until today. Recently, he spoke to me for close to one hour to explain his stand. I told him I felt that it was not the Lord’s timing to respond to him at that time. Later, after further consideration with the Lord, I felt that I had received a clear word and that it was the Lord’s timing to respond. I felt to tell him, "You are a division, and whatever you do in your place is a division because you cut your meeting off from all the churches in the recovery. Moreover, you like to visit the rebellious ones and stand with them. You should realize that all the churches are one Body. You cannot stand alone, separate from the other churches. If you do, you are a division." In Corinth some said, “I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ” (1 Cor. 1:12). Paul condemned them for this. Even if you say that you are of Christ, that is a division. It is as if Paul said to them, “Is Christ divided? Why do you say that you are of Paul? Do not be of me. I am of you, and we all are of Christ.” First Corinthians 1 shows us that there should not be any differences among us. No one is of Cephas, no one is of Apollos, no one is of Paul, the highest apostle, and no one is even of Christ separately from others. We all are of Christ, who is not divided."
A Word of Love page 20

Thoughts?
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:19 AM   #12
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Reaading on another thread jarred my memory from an excerpt of a Word of Love. The brother who Witness Lee was referring to in this portion I believe is Bill Freeman.

Later, after further consideration with the Lord, I felt that I had received a clear word and that it was the Lord’s timing to respond. I felt to tell him, "You are a division, and whatever you do in your place is a division because you cut your meeting off from all the churches in the recovery. Moreover, you like to visit the rebellious ones and stand with them. You should realize that all the churches are one Body. You cannot stand alone, separate from the other churches. If you do, you are a division." In Corinth some said, “I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ” (1 Cor. 1:12). Paul condemned them for this. Even if you say that you are of Christ, that is a division. It is as if Paul said to them, “Is Christ divided? Why do you say that you are of Paul? Do not be of me. I am of you, and we all are of Christ.” First Corinthians 1 shows us that there should not be any differences among us. No one is of Cephas, no one is of Apollos, no one is of Paul, the highest apostle, and no one is even of Christ separately from others. We all are of Christ, who is not divided.[/B]"
A Word of Love page 20

Thoughts?
UGH ! First off, I hate when people say "I feel I have a clear word from the Lord" or anything similar.. how can a person (especially from the LC) be sure that what they 'feel' is 'from the Lord' ? Why do they bring 'the Lord' into their decisions? Imo, that person probably thinks they have leverage to stand on OR feel more credible by implying "the Lord told me to say this to you".

2ndly...this piece proves if it wasn't Lee's way, it was the highway. I also hate when people use scriptures to intimidate people and overpower them. What if Freeman would have used those same scriptures to trump Lee before Lee used them against Freeman?

I really dislike being around self righteous people.
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:18 AM   #13
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"Beginning in 1984 I called three urgent conferences of the co-workers and elders. In my opening word I pointed out that among us there is the tendency of division. By this I meant that quite a few capable co-workers in the Lord’s recovery liked to keep their district as their empire, and they liked to attract people to be their particular co-workers.
I now find these words despicable.

This was a "word of love?"

We now have the advantage of history to evaluate every so-called "division" in the LC. Each and every time there was a "division," a.k.a. a "storm," or a "rebellion," it was WL and his minions intimidating other leaders into submission. Either these leaders were simply acting as "whistle-blowers" to alert others of LSM unrighteousnesses or were acting as elder-shepherds caring for the flock of God and resisting LSM abuses and controls.

WL intimidation always leveraged a distorted form of oneness to garner maximum advantage. He demanded every liberty for himself, yet permitted none of it for others. He demanded utter consecration to himself and to his ministry, while robbing the Lord of His own rightful place in the body. WL would rebuke others for "being of Christ," while coercing them to "be of Lee." His own mandates robbed others of the right to follow the leading of the Spirit, thus bringing the church of God into bondage. WL made enemies of brothers because he could not work with anyone.

Then when the "storm" was over, WL would give a conference about the freedom we have in Christ to follow the leading of the Spirit.
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:55 AM   #14
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" I told him I felt that it was not the Lord’s timing to respond to him at that time. Later, after further consideration with the Lord, I felt that I had received a clear word and that it was the Lord’s timing to respond."
Such a word is probably more soul than it is spirit. Would have been better if he said, "In my opinion.....".
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:37 AM   #15
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Quote:
"Beginning in 1984 I called three urgent conferences of the co-workers and elders. In my opening word I pointed out that among us there is the tendency of division. By this I meant that quite a few capable co-workers in the Lord’s recovery liked to keep their district as their empire, and they liked to attract people to be their particular co-workers.
I now find these words despicable.
This was a "word of love?"
Yeah, sounds a lot more like a word of control.
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:27 AM   #16
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""You are a division, and whatever you do in your place is a division because you cut your meeting off from all the churches in the recovery. Moreover, you like to visit the rebellious ones and stand with them. You should realize that all the churches are one Body. You cannot stand alone, separate from the other churches. If you do, you are a division." In Corinth some said, “I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ”."
Some may read this and see Witness Lee speaking to a brother. I read this and this is also a word to the local churches affiliated with LSM. When churches and it's leadership make the basis for fellowship through LSM publications, they cut themselves off from the Body of Christ. They separate themselves. It was very east for Witness Lee to speak what he did. Witness Lee had a ministry he was speaking. Saints at the local church level were received and cut off based if they were of Lee. For debate sake, suppose Witness Lee was speaking of Bill Freeman and Scottsdale. How did it come to be they ended in Scottsdale?
I say they did not feel comfortable re-speaking Lee's ministry and wanted to testifty according to their Experience of Christ in their daily life. This was a time of Us versus Them. Either you're for Lee's ministry or you're against it. There was no middle ground. Since they could not take the New Way, these ones left.
Maybe with these ones their feeling for their locality, to have fellowship with LSM localities, their receiving would need to be based on taking LSM publications. Only then could there be fellowship between LSM local churches and non-LSM local churches.
What is the sense today? Could the saints meeting in Scottsdale have fellowship with the Church in Phoenix? Could the saints meeting in Raleigh and Durham in North Carolina have fellowship with the Church in Charlotte? Could Westminster Church Assembly have fellowship with the Church in Anaheim and other Orange County localities? Could the Church in Moses Lake have fellowship with the Churches in Spokane, Richland, Ephrata, Bellevue, Seattle, etc? With the Lord, it is possible.
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:45 AM   #17
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Some may read this and see Witness Lee speaking to a brother. I read this and this is also a word to the local churches affiliated with LSM. When churches and it's leadership make the basis for fellowship through LSM publications, they cut themselves off from the Body of Christ. They separate themselves. It was very east for Witness Lee to speak what he did. Witness Lee had a ministry he was speaking. Saints at the local church level were received and cut off based if they were of Lee. For debate sake, suppose Witness Lee was speaking of Bill Freeman and Scottsdale. How did it come to be they ended in Scottsdale?
I say they did not feel comfortable re-speaking Lee's ministry and wanted to testifty according to their Experience of Christ in their daily life. This was a time of Us versus Them. Either you're for Lee's ministry or you're against it. There was no middle ground. Since they could not take the New Way, these ones left.
Maybe with these ones their feeling for their locality, to have fellowship with LSM localities, their receiving would need to be based on taking LSM publications. Only then could there be fellowship between LSM local churches and non-LSM local churches.
What is the sense today? Could the saints meeting in Scottsdale have fellowship with the Church in Phoenix? Could the saints meeting in Raleigh and Durham in North Carolina have fellowship with the Church in Charlotte? Could Westminster Church Assembly have fellowship with the Church in Anaheim and other Orange County localities? Could the Church in Moses Lake have fellowship with the Churches in Spokane, Richland, Ephrata, Bellevue, Seattle, etc? With the Lord, it is possible.
This is the crux of the other thread on Apostles. WL has to portray himself as "The Apostle", if he is merely a minister of the word this kind of speaking would be outrageous.

The biggest fear then to the LRC and LSM is that others would rise up to minister as well, because once that happens you can no longer go around with this "deputy authority" teaching. This actually supports Igzy's thesis that the authority of the apostles is no longer around. Again, I would use my analogy to pioneer species, the apostles come in and create an environment for the church to thrive in, but an environment that the apostles are no longer necessary.

This is also the crux of the argument that the LRC is a cult. The only way to say that the LRC is not a cult is if you accept this whole "The Apostle" teaching and all the baggage that comes with it. Likewise, if you agree that this teaching is cultic you can also see that it keeps all the members in bondage, they have to be in submission to the "MoTA". So the function of the members in the LRC is stunted.
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:32 AM   #18
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This actually supports Igzy's thesis that the authority of the apostles is no longer around.
Don't you mean the supposed authority of the NT apostles? Can you imagine hanging with those fumble-bums back then? I'm sure sitting around a campfire the apostles had no more authority than anyone else. Would Paul act like a dictator? Would John? How about Peter? There's a dozy of an apostle.

Sure these ones had a following. But there's no sign they thought their followers were IT, and all other followings were not IT. They seemed to accept differences -- Think of the differences between James/Peter and Paul.

But Lee sure did. That should tell you something about Lee, and his apostle doctrine.
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:24 AM   #19
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Sure these ones had a following. But there's no sign they thought their followers were IT, and all other followings were not IT. They seemed to accept differences -- Think of the differences between James/Peter and Paul.

But Lee sure did. That should tell you something about Lee, and his apostle doctrine.
What this tells me Awareness is you still have a lot of LC blood in you. Lee came up with the phrase 'these ones'. Outside the LC life, people don't use that phrase. People would/will say 'Sure THEY had a following or something like that...but not 'these ones'.

How long have you been out ?

If it sounds like I'm nitpicking...it probably is but while I am grateful for being in the LC for the short time I was in it, I really dislike the religious system that even their terminology dusgusts me ! Sorry..can't help it.

On a lighter note......it's taken me a long time not to say 'Amen' after every sentence when someone is praying.
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:31 AM   #20
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Churches are churches. Co-workers are co-workers. Elders are elders. None of them are anyone's. But Lee presumes that because he uses the terminology of Paul in 1 Corinthians that not being according to his desire is to be divisive. And he then calls that one "a division."

All who work in serving the Lord are co-workers. But not all have practical access or contact with all such co-workers. But Lee has now insisted that to not be a division, you must stand with him.

And note that there is the underlying question that is begging to be asked. What are the churches that Lee is speaking of? Are they one with all other churches? Or only with their own kind? When they say "churches" do they mean all churches, or only those in the "recovery."

He rightly says that "all the churches are one Body," yet he does not see that the very stance of the "recovery" is to "stand alone, separate from . . . other churches." By his own words, the "recovery" is a division.

And at some level there is division all over Christianity. The LRC is just one more. Yet somehow they think that there is divine fairy dust that falls on them and makes their division entirely correct in every way and all others incorrect. Otherwise, their entire premise falls apart.

So they close their eyes to the contradiction that comes when you make the kinds of statements that Lee has just made.
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:34 AM   #21
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But I will admit that Lee has been very careful to never say that anyone must be one with him, or with the LSM to remain in the recovery. He uses broad words that do not directly say such a thing. But note that it is not that the ones in some region are separated from the other churches in their region that makes them a division. It is separation from the organization of churches under the headship of Lee that makes you a division.
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:50 AM   #22
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Don't you mean the supposed authority of the NT apostles?
Harold....... there are a lot of people who abuse their authority both in the secular and religious realm.

While The apostles and disciples were HUMAN and struggled w/problems, fear, sickness, persecutions, betrayals, temptations, and simply made mistakes, they WERE Anointed by the Holy Spirit to preach the gospel and disciple people. Their authority came from being in the Presence of God.

The apostles including Paul may not have always operated under the Anointing of the Holy Spirit but I am more than sure they did more often than not. They were Anointed Harold.

The Anointing/Presence of God is available to all who Love and Abide in Christ. But religion has deceived people to think only a "chosen/called" group are 'anointed'.

P.S. Are you angry at the Lord ? Just wondering
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:59 AM   #23
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What this tells me Awareness is you still have a lot of LC blood in you. Lee came up with the phrase 'these ones'.
From the urban dictionary :

these ones:
A redundant way for uneducated people to say "these."

What can I say sis.?
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Old 09-23-2011, 03:22 PM   #24
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What this tells me Awareness is you still have a lot of LC blood in you. Lee came up with the phrase 'these ones'. Outside the LC life, people don't use that phrase.
OK. I'll be the first one to admit that I see remnants of LRC in everything. But saying "these ones"? If he was consistently saying those long overly adjectivized phrases like "I'm just enjoying the seven-fold intensified life-giving spirit in my spirit" then I would accuse him of still having LRC in his blood. But just because we use some nonspecific term that we actually picked up in the LRC doesn't equate to LRC blood.

Let's give the guy a little slack.

To me, the key is in whether it seems to give a different meaning to otherwise well-used and understood words.

Like "religion." If you simply use it like Lee and the LRC did, then there is still LRC blood in you. But if you say "these ones," or "youse," or "those guys," or "you-uns," or "them guys" it just means "you" or "they" or "them" and there is nothing LRC about it. Yes, it might have been picked up there, but someone who never heard of the LRC wouldn't bat an eye at it. It means what it means.
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:17 PM   #25
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.

Let's give the guy a little slack. .
WHAT ?? ME give Awareness a little slack ??!! Are you kidding me !! No way Jose !!

Ok... just so you know OBW...Awareness & I can dish it out to each other..w/o getting too bent out of shape. He's a thorn on my side but not the only thorn in my side.. I was mostly ribbing him even though hearing those words "these ones" rubs me the wrong way. I luv that ole' lughead, pain in the behind that he is and he knows it.

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If you simply use it like Lee and the LRC did, then there is still LRC blood in you.
Yeah...of course. Also..I am in daily communicato w/an LC sister. She is trying slowly...very s-l-o-w-l-y to break free from the LC. She always tells me about all 'these ones' as part of the LC lingo. It really plucks my last nerve OBW.

Anyway... I think you softened ole weird Harold's heart by your comments ! Good job !!
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:20 PM   #26
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From the urban dictionary :

these ones:
A redundant way for uneducated people to say "these."

What can I say sis.?
LOL !!!!
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Old 09-24-2011, 02:26 PM   #27
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She always tells me about all 'these ones' as part of the LC lingo. It really plucks my last nerve OBW.
I've always thought of the phrase "these ones" as a reviling phrase. It's a way of referring to a person or person's whose name you don't want to utter. In other words someone you want to consider as unmentionable, you refer to in singular "that one" or in plural "these ones".
Personally I consider the phrase demeaning and disrespectful.
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Old 09-24-2011, 02:47 PM   #28
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I've always thought of the phrase "these ones" as a reviling phrase. It's a way of referring to a person or person's whose name you don't want to utter. In other words someone you want to consider as unmentionable, you refer to in singular "that one" or in plural "these ones".
Personally I consider the phrase demeaning and disrespectful.
THANK YOU Terry !!! You wrote exactly what I was trying to convey.

Another LC word I detest when referring to the people being reeled into the LC is"contact". --" All these ones are new contacts." --

Uh... I have a feeling we might start a new thread on LC phrases we like but mostly DISLIKE !

Oh..here's a funny totally off topic but still referring to phrases Christians use in evangelizing. My girl friend and I were having lunch a couple of days ago. Our waiter was a newlywed. He was on fire but a fire that reminded me of the fire a brand new Christian is on when they first give their lives wholeheartedly to the Lord. He was telling us how he and his wife get up every morning and read the Word together before starting their day. Cute kid.

At one point he was telling us how he was a fisher of men. I don't know if there was a subliminal message in how I responded but I replied "So are we !"

And btw, if anyone here would like to wish me a happy 57th B-day, by all means feel free to do so ! >
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Old 09-24-2011, 02:51 PM   #29
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THANK YOU Terry !!! You wrote exactly what I was trying to and could not.

Another LC word I detest when referring to baby Christians is "contact". --" All these ones are new contacts." --

Uh... I have a feeling we might start a new thread on LC phrases we like but mostly DISLIKE !
Another "curse" was to say he is a "dear" brother.

When you hear that about a brother, then you know the brother is dead or blind or sinful or a mental case.
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Old 09-24-2011, 02:59 PM   #30
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Another "curse" was to say he is a "dear" brother.

When you hear that about a brother, then you know the brother is dead or blind or sinful or a mental case.
You're RIGHT OHIO !! We'd never say the 'dear' brother/sister backslid!

Then there was the phrase "so & so is a 'goooood' brother/sister ! DUH ! But we'd never say "so & so is a Baaaaaad brother or sister. Let's see, they were either 'negative' or 'poisoned'. LOL !! Such idiotic phrases !
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Old 09-24-2011, 07:05 PM   #31
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Another LC word I detest when referring to the people being reeled into the LC is"contact". --" All these ones are new contacts." --
CMW, happy birthday! "Contact" or "new contact" sounds like a sales lead. I heard in OCS terminology it would be a "candidate". Those familiar with university greek clubs (faternities/sororities) it would be prospect.
Another term you might hear among lc circles would be "new ones". WOuld that mean new believers? Or new to the local church congregation? Why not refer to new ones as visitors?
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Old 09-24-2011, 07:07 PM   #32
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Another "curse" was to say he is a "dear" brother.
What?
Aren't we all dear brothers and sisters?
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:15 AM   #33
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CMW, happy birthday! "Contact" or "new contact" sounds like a sales lead. I heard in OCS terminology it would be a "candidate". Those familiar with university greek clubs (faternities/sororities) it would be prospect.
Another term you might hear among lc circles would be "new ones". WOuld that mean new believers? Or new to the local church congregation? Why not refer to new ones as visitors?
What if they have never visited? If your first contact with someone was preaching the gospel and since then they have appeared to be seeking and you have continued to fellowship, and you want to convey that concept in a testimony, that would be how I would understand "gospel contact". But you could also use colleague, coworker, student at school, friend, neighbor, etc. The key difference to me, is that by saying "gospel contact" you surely must have shared the gospel previously and this person must appear to be seeking.
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:46 AM   #34
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What?
Aren't we all dear brothers and sisters?
The "good" ones are "precious" or "faithful" or "consecrated," but a brother is a problem to the LC, he becomes a "dear" brother -- not always, in every circumstance, but often enough.

Of course, many times this was in the context of TC' speaking. Another irony is his pattern of extolling outsiders, yet berating insiders.
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Old 09-25-2011, 02:23 PM   #35
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What if they have never visited? If your first contact with someone was preaching the gospel and since then they have appeared to be seeking and you have continued to fellowship, and you want to convey that concept in a testimony, that would be how I would understand "gospel contact".
Why can't you refer to the individual as a person instead of "a contact"? Question for you ZnPaaneah. What is the objective when preaching the gospel; to preach the gospel to bring the Lord to someone, or preaching the gospel with the intent of bringing them into a specifc church?
If the intent of preaching the gosepl is to bring someone into a specific church, I'd say there's ulterior motive.
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Old 09-25-2011, 03:05 PM   #36
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Why can't you refer to the individual as a person instead of "a contact"? Question for you ZnPaaneah. What is the objective when preaching the gospel; to preach the gospel to bring the Lord to someone, or preaching the gospel with the intent of bringing them into a specifc church?
If the intent of preaching the gosepl is to bring someone into a specific church, I'd say there's ulterior motive.
You are the one with an agenda. I didn't say you don't refer to the person, I didn't say you don't refer to them as a neighbor, or friend, or colleague. What I said is that the term "gospel contact", to my interpretation, refers to someone that you have previously preached the gospel to and who is interested in fellowship. Why do you want to pretend that it is some evil nefarious term?
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Old 09-25-2011, 10:50 PM   #37
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You are the one with an agenda. I didn't say you don't refer to the person, I didn't say you don't refer to them as a neighbor, or friend, or colleague. What I said is that the term "gospel contact", to my interpretation, refers to someone that you have previously preached the gospel to and who is interested in fellowship. Why do you want to pretend that it is some evil nefarious term?
Terry ain't the one with an agenda, he's just pulling the curtain back on the agenda.

Personally I don't see these terms as evil or nefarious, just smarmy and patronizing...
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Old 09-26-2011, 04:12 AM   #38
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Why can't you refer to the individual as a person instead of "a contact"? Question for you ZnPaaneah. What is the objective when preaching the gospel; to preach the gospel to bring the Lord to someone, or preaching the gospel with the intent of bringing them into a specifc church?
If the intent of preaching the gosepl is to bring someone into a specific church, I'd say there's ulterior motive.
I did the math. The most successful FTTT trainees at bringing gospel contacts brought less than 1% of those they preached the gospel to meetings. That % was also true of DC in Houston prior to the FTTT.

So, the group I was in had several thousand gospel contacts over the course of one year. If you enjoy what you are doing it is not about bringing people to meetings. Since we are all laboring in the gospel it makes perfect sense that we would fellowship with one another. If I met someone the night before named "Tom" I am not going to refer to him as "Tom" because that would confuse everyone, they would think this must be a Tom that I know. So I need a nice easy way to identify him so that everyone can follow the testimony. How is this "smarmy"?
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Old 09-26-2011, 05:47 AM   #39
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I did the math. The most successful FTTT trainees at bringing gospel contacts brought less than 1% of those they preached the gospel to meetings. That % was also true of DC in Houston prior to the FTTT.
I've never liked or used the word 'contact' when referring to someone I shared the gospel with.

I'm not a sales person but I know the the word 'contact' is often used to refer to someone who is a potential client in SALES. The LC used that word 'contact' to refer to people who they thought were good enough to bring into the LR. They wanted to 'capture' people for the 'church'. The church seems to be more important to Christ. (not only in the LC but through out the Christian institution. Everyone wants to build 'mega churches'.)

That's why I don't like using the word- contact-. I always refer to the person I shared the gospel with as "someone". "I talked to -someone- today about the Lord." "I met a person who was very hungry for the Truth and I got to share with him/her how Jesus IS the Way, the TRUTH and the Life."

I also don't like inviting people to go to 'church'. If I'm having or going to a fellowship / prayer meeting/gathering, I may invite the person I met to attend the gathering.
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Old 09-26-2011, 06:10 AM   #40
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They wanted to 'capture' people for the 'church'..
I remember in the C. in Fort Lauderdale the elders had us all form into groups of 6. The purpose of the groups was to work together on any new ones that showed in the church meetings, especially at the Love Feast meetings. We were to lurch on them like vultures.

And yes, the purpose of this method, as stated, of forming smaller groups was, to bring them into the local church. Of course ....

And we didn't think there was anything wrong with it ... tho deep down I thought there was something repugnant about it ... as it struck me as manhandling and not Spirithandling ....
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:43 AM   #41
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I've never liked or used the word 'contact' when referring to someone I shared the gospel with.

I'm not a sales person but I know the the word 'contact' is often used to refer to someone who is a potential client in SALES. The LC used that word 'contact' to refer to people who they thought were good enough to bring into the LR. They wanted to 'capture' people for the 'church'. The church seems to be more important to Christ. (not only in the LC but through out the Christian institution. Everyone wants to build 'mega churches'.)

That's why I don't like using the word- contact-. I always refer to the person I shared the gospel with as "someone". "I talked to -someone- today about the Lord." "I met a person who was very hungry for the Truth and I got to share with him/her how Jesus IS the Way, the TRUTH and the Life."

I also don't like inviting people to go to 'church'. If I'm having or going to a fellowship / prayer meeting/gathering, I may invite the person I met to attend the gathering.
I agree with all of this. I don't think I ever invited someone to a church meeting while in the FTTT. We had a bible study on campus and we invited people to that, and once it got started it was by word of mouth. This was a Bible study I started and was composed exclusively of people I and my team had preached the gospel to. It was not a LRC meeting. I coordinated with a sister, she would show up at the end of the Bible study and those who were hanging around and wanted more fellowship she would take to a home meeting, I had to go to work. From that home meeting some would then go to the meetings.

But at night I would sleep in a room with about 12 foreigners who were all involved in the gospel work during the day. If someone talked about "a gospel contact" I understood that they were referring to someone that I had never met, and someone that they had preached the gospel to and was interested in fellowship. That conveyed more information than saying "a student at school" or something else. Saying the persons name would just be confusing because I would assume I should know the person by name.

So if your gospel involves people at work, perhaps people you have already fellowshipped about and prayed corporately about, then sure, the term "gospel contact" is a turn off. But if your labor involves about 10 new gospel contacts a day, it is a useful term.
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:09 AM   #42
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I remember in the C. in Fort Lauderdale the elders had us all form into groups of 6. The purpose of the groups was to work together on any new ones that showed in the church meetings, especially at the Love Feast meetings. We were to lurch on them like vultures.

And yes, the purpose of this method, as stated, of forming smaller groups was, to bring them into the local church. Of course ....

And we didn't think there was anything wrong with it ... tho deep down I thought there was something repugnant about it ... as it struck me as manhandling and not Spirithandling ....
"Lurch on them" is a strange practice that I have never heard of.

As for your C in Ft. Lauderdale practice I will hazard a guess, based on my experience, that it was not very successful.

Let me share an experience that was very helpful to me. As a kid I was in the boy scouts. My first patrol leader lived a block from my house. Once a week I would go to his house, the patrol would play games in his backyard and he would work with us in small groups helping us to get Tenderfoot, and other badges. It was fun, I learned something, and his patrol was the "premier patrol" in the troop. The next patrol I was in, the patrol leader met everyone in his basement and schemed how his patrol would be "the number 1 patrol". He then broke into his little click with his two friends and the patrol was a joke.

So when I became a patrol leader I fashioned my patrol after the first leader. We never discussed the awards, just focused on having fun and helping the kids that needed help. The first two terms we won the premier patrol at the end of the year, but it was not an award that I took seriously. The next year my father was roped into being the Troop Leader. My best friend was made Senior Patrol leader of the troop. I decided to stay as a Patrol leader since I felt it would help my dad the most. Before our first troop meeting my dad called a meeting of the patrol leaders. (Unbeknownst to me parents had been complaining that the whole thing was rigged for me to win again). He sat us in a circle and asked the first patrol leader to list two kids in his patrol he didn't want, he did that with the next and the next, he skipped me and went back to the first and asked him to choose two kids from my patrol, and he did that with the next and the next. The 8 kids he had written down were my patrol.

What bothered me about this was that one of the patrol leaders, his younger brother was one of the rejects. (This was idiotic, this kid had been in my patrol and had won the premier scout award, now his younger brother is a reject? By the way, these were the two kids whose father had parkinson's disease.) So I knew that this kid would go home and tell his younger brother he was a reject. To top it off, my mom was burnt out with boyscouts and she told me her only request is that there were to be no patrol meetings at my house. These kids are going to show up, learn that they were rejects and then on top of that learn my mom doesn't want them at our house.

So, we break into patrols and sure enough this kid (whose older brother was in that meeting) looks around and says "it looks like they gave you all the losers". Everyone is silent and looking at me. I tell him "Who told you that you were a loser?" (Obviously his brother, who had won premier scout the year before. Also, the way I said it was saying "I am not a loser"). That was it, then they started arguing over "can we have a patrol meeting at my house". That was an answer to my prayers, I told them we would share equally, whoever wants the patrol meetings at their house, and to make it even better, I would wave meetings at my house.

We never spoke another word about any of this. However, the last week of the year I had a kid who was in second place on the point total. He was on the last hike with the kid who was in first place. I cut a deal with the scribe that if this kid built a shelter and slept in it then he would get enough extra points to move into first place.

So, once again, at the end of the year, our patrol had won and we also had the kid who won the top individual honors. For the first time, I saw the parents of some of my kids show up to the picnic.

Sure, you have elders like those in the c in Florida, etc. But it is an ineffective approach. If you like what you are doing and enjoy it, so will others.
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:14 AM   #43
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I did the math. The most successful FTTT trainees at bringing gospel contacts brought less than 1% of those they preached the gospel to meetings. That % was also true of DC in Houston prior to the FTTT.
The goal as I had heard was to bring an increase to the churches. The gospelizing on Taiwan was considered to be unsuccessful if there was not an increase. Same can be said for the door knocking in North America.
The real measurable should not be who was added to the church, but how many received the Lord and were baptized. Even with those that heard the gospel, but did not admit, believe, and confess; a seed was planted.
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:29 AM   #44
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The goal as I had heard was to bring an increase to the churches. The gospelizing on Taiwan was considered to be unsuccessful if there was not an increase. Same can be said for the door knocking in North America.
The real measurable should not be who was added to the church, but how many received the Lord and were baptized. Even with those that heard the gospel, but did not admit, believe, and confess; a seed was planted.
The people that judged it was unsuccessful were not people that I would trust their judgement. Also, those that set the goal to increase the church membership were not those that I felt should be setting the goals.

I think if they had done a better job in those two capacities you would see that we were very successful at evangelizing and also at building the church.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:19 AM   #45
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I wanted to add something to the previous post. What those running the FTTT and sponsoring the FTTT didn't realize (but should have) is that results grow exponentially. If you focus on evangelizing and growth of the evangelists, then you will see, over time the church being built as well.

In the first year they were very upset that they had great results evangelizing, but didn't see any benefit in the church in Taipei. So the focus in the second year turned to seeing results in the churches. To that goal we were given complete liberty. I have shared in detail (I think it was on this forum, but if it was on the other forum I'll go over what I shared again). Our group was very successful. In a matter of months (Technically from December to April, but in reality you should count it as 4 months) we had 18 brothers from a graduate school in engineering come into the meetings of the church in Taipei. This was the result of 3 Full time trainees and 1 sister affiliated with the church in Taipei laboring and coordinating together.

To be fair you would not expect all groups to have this kind of success, we had one of the trainers, the brother that had had the greatest success in door knocking, a chinese sister that also had very high numbers, and I was very experienced in the gospel before coming to Taiwan. The other sister we had was not experienced in door knocking nor in the gospel, but she was clearly gifted at shepherding and very savvy at getting other saints to make up any deficiency she had.

But here is what could have happened once they had a successful model. We could have easily identified 3 other groups that were ready and over the course of a month trained them. So we could have trained 9 others per month, or 100 trainees a year. Second, you need to group the trainees so that each group has at least one experienced brother. About 4-6 months would have been sufficient to train many if not most saints and then let them return to the churches. Finally, realistic numbers would be about 1/100 of those that receive the gospel will want further fellowship. If you run a Bible study or home meeting about half of those that come will then want to come to the church meeting. That is 1/2 of 1%. A team of full time workers should be able to preach the gospel 10 times a night (at a campus), of that about 5 of those times should result in someone receiving the gospel. Therefore, about once a month you will actually meet someone who wants to come for further fellowship. Of those about half will actually come into the meeting. If you are diligent at laboring at the end of the year a team of 3 may have added 6 to the church. If you labor in campuses it is very likely that a large number of these may wish to actually spend a year as a trainee. Therefore, although the numbers are much, much less than the ridiculous projections put forth back in 1987 by ignorant and foolish prognosticators, even so, exponential growth is not unrealistic. And if you understand that as well as Warren Buffet does, then you know it is possible to evangelize the whole world.

So these estimates are for your average group of three saints that are diligent, not necessarily gifted.
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:01 PM   #46
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Our group was very successful. In a matter of months (Technically from December to April, but in reality you should count it as 4 months) we had 18 brothers from a graduate school in engineering come into the meetings of the church in Taipei. This was the result of 3 Full time trainees and 1 sister affiliated with the church in Taipei laboring and coordinating together.
Not to take anything from this experience ZNP, to make a point about 'good material' for the church life, would this experience been equally successful if it had been 14 people come into the meetings of the church in Taipei ?...or just a group of people who work at grocery stores or department stores ? or from a homeless shelter?

(Trust me...I'm all for education and a sound mind is easier to work with than that of a drug burned out mind.)
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:28 PM   #47
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Not to take anything from this experience ZNP, to make a point about 'good material' for the church life, would this experience been equally successful if it had been 14 people come into the meetings of the church in Taipei ?...or just a group of people who work at grocery stores or department stores ? or from a homeless shelter?

(Trust me...I'm all for education and a sound mind is easier to work with than that of a drug burned out mind.)
We were assigned a campus that was a graduate school. Every gospel group was assigned a territory
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:17 PM   #48
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Not to take anything from this experience ZNP, to make a point about 'good material' for the church life, would this experience been equally successful if it had been 14 people come into the meetings of the church in Taipei ?...or just a group of people who work at grocery stores or department stores ? or from a homeless shelter?

(Trust me...I'm all for education and a sound mind is easier to work with than that of a drug burned out mind.)
Let me give a little more detailed response to this. Our gospel group was unlike all the others in that we did not go out as a group of three. All the other groups had at least one male and one female and a third member going out together. Because we were in an all male campus the one brother could go by himself through the dorms at night. Since he worked during the day training the other trainees this was ideal for him. He had done campus work at UT Austin and was extremely successful with the door knocking in Taiwan, so my attitude was let him loose. He doesn't need anyone with him. As it turned out, our converts would join him and lead him through the halls.

I don't know if you have done much door knocking, but spending 4 hours and struggling to get anyone to answer the door, much less listen to you is very tough sledding, whereas walking through a college campus dorm where everyone wants to test their english skills by talking to the American is as smooth sailing as you can get. I had primed the pump, but he kept a steady stream of new converts coming to my Bible study every day.

2nd, we were using a room on campus for our Bible study / English class and this was approved by the Campus. This makes it very easy for the new converts from the night before to show up. Within a few weeks we had standing room only in a room that can seat more than 30.

3rd, the campus is within walking distance of the hall and homes where the home meetings were.

This is just like fishing, you find a good spot and go to town.

I wanted to make my meetings as interesting, thought provoking and controversial as possible. Some people were there to debate, some were there to practice english, and some were there because they were seeking. As a result, when the meeting was over they wanted more, they wanted to fellowship, not debate, not even practice english. So going to a home meeting that was run by the Local chinese in Taipei was ideal. So, the sister would take these brothers to that meeting.
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Old 09-26-2011, 02:49 PM   #49
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Not to take anything from this experience ZNP, to make a point about 'good material' for the church life, would this experience been equally successful if it had been 14 people come into the meetings of the church in Taipei ?...or just a group of people who work at grocery stores or department stores ? or from a homeless shelter?

(Trust me...I'm all for education and a sound mind is easier to work with than that of a drug burned out mind.)
In the last two posts I was referring to your reference to "good material", but now let me address the issue of success.

As it turns out, what the LSM was looking for was a magic formula that involves something they could package and sell. The brother preaching the gospel didn't need anything. I also didn't need anything. The sister taking the brothers to the home meetings said she needed help with home meetings. So, LSM came out with a set of books on messages for home meetings.

So, this would have been a lot more successful if it resulted in selling more books for the LSM.

Instead, what it needed was labor and patience. We weren't interested in trying to sell books. Hence, not something the LSM was much interested in.
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Old 09-26-2011, 04:45 PM   #50
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I don't know if you have done much door knocking, but spending 4 hours and struggling to get anyone to answer the door, much less listen to you is very tough sledding, whereas walking through a college campus dorm where everyone wants to test their english skills by talking to the American is as smooth sailing as you can get. I had primed the pump, but he kept a steady stream of new converts coming to my Bible study every day.

2nd, we were using a room on campus for our Bible study / English class and this was approved by the Campus. This makes it very easy for the new converts from the night before to show up. Within a few weeks we had standing room only in a room that can seat more than 30.

3rd, the campus is within walking distance of the hall and homes where the home meetings were.

This is just like fishing, you find a good spot and go to town.
First off,
Thanks for the trip down memory lane ZNP. When I first got saved, through the LC, we would go door knocking on Thursday evenings and again on Saturday afternoons inviting people to the gospel/love feasts. We'd go in groups of 3. We'd go house to house door knocking, college dorm door knocking and because we had a naval base near by, we'd also go to the Navy base. This was in 1975. San Diego was also a 'young people's church'. The majority of the saints in 1975 were single and in their early 20s. We were energized and on fire for Christ " & the church". (It was a good place to be at the time.)

Fast forward to 1977/78, the focus shifted pretty much to campus work only and the meetings were focused in the homes. What I did not like about the home meetings is people were assigned homes in where to meet for practical reasons. But if you liked being around certain saints who were not in your neighborhood, I would not be seeing them hardly at all. We would meet 'corporately' once a month. By then the 'love feasts' were over too..which I loved. The only problem w/the love feasts was the testimonies of the saints on how they got saved became repititious and stale.

When I 'rebelled' and ventured out on my own, I maintained my relationship w/the Lord. So as I made friends, I'd tell them about the Lord. Some got saved. Some did not. Some remained my friends both saved and not. Others drifted away both saved & not.

Such is life.
Reminds me of Isaiah 40:8
The grass withers, the flower fades, But the Word of our God stands forever.”
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:35 AM   #51
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Not to take anything from this experience ZNP, to make a point about 'good material' for the church life, would this experience been equally successful if it had been 14 people come into the meetings of the church in Taipei ?...or just a group of people who work at grocery stores or department stores ? or from a homeless shelter?
CMW, you mentioned what had been on my mind last night and into the morning; "good material".
What is good material and who is good material? Is this a term relegated to men and women enrolled in universities? What about men and women who choose to enlist in the armed forces? What about men and women who choose to work in supermarkets? What men and women who choose labor trades as their career?
Since the churches have chosen to emphasize the campus work, how come in the campus work, the emphasis is on college freshmen?
As I have been saying along in posts and on other threads, the recovery has become specialized and gone away from being general. In order for local churches to be truly a local church, there has to be generality.
Question I had is since there's such an emphasis on campus work, why can't middle school and high school students start their own Christian clubs in their schools? Surely the ACLU would protest, but it's the students starting the clubs. This would be my answer to why focus on college campuses for good material? Why limit yourselves to the college campuses? When there's much more good material in the middle schools and in high schools.
When I drop my two eldest children at their Thursday night Youth Ministry which covers middle school and high school students, there is easily 20-30 students or more on a weekly basis. If this is just one congregation within my locality, how many more are out there?
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:50 AM   #52
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CMW, you mentioned what had been on my mind last night and into the morning; "good material".
What is good material and who is good material? Is this a term relegated to men and women enrolled in universities? What about men and women who choose to enlist in the armed forces? What about men and women who choose to work in supermarkets? What men and women who choose labor trades as their career?
Since the churches have chosen to emphasize the campus work, how come in the campus work, the emphasis is on college freshmen?
As I have been saying along in posts and on other threads, the recovery has become specialized and gone away from being general. In order for local churches to be truly a local church, there has to be generality.
Question I had is since there's such an emphasis on campus work, why can't middle school and high school students start their own Christian clubs in their schools? Surely the ACLU would protest, but it's the students starting the clubs. This would be my answer to why focus on college campuses for good material? Why limit yourselves to the college campuses? When there's much more good material in the middle schools and in high schools.
When I drop my two eldest children at their Thursday night Youth Ministry which covers middle school and high school students, there is easily 20-30 students or more on a weekly basis. If this is just one congregation within my locality, how many more are out there?
Some comments. Campus work in high school and middle school can be very prevailing, but almost always and exclusively if run by a student in school. It is a very thorny issue for a teacher to get involved. You could have a young peoples work at a church and then have the kids go out and evangelize their school. But it would almost always have to be student run and directed. Also, since these kids will graduate and move on this would make this a very ephemeral ministry.
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:20 PM   #53
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Campus work in high school and middle school can be very prevailing, but almost always and exclusively if run by a student in school. It is a very thorny issue for a teacher to get involved.
1. One of the brothers in my home meeting group received the Lord from campus work at his high school. As I understand a work combined by local youth pastors whose goal was not building up the church whom supports them, but to evangelize.
2. The youth pastor who ministers to my two eldest, he has a presence on amiddle school in a nearby school district. (Not the middle school my children go to.) He can't be at the middle school or high school for the sake of evangelizing, but to provide community work (middle school) or assisting with the high school football team. At any rate he's able to build a relationship with students.
3. Yes, it would be an issue for teachers in the public school system.
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:44 PM   #54
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Campus work in high school and middle school can be very prevailing, but almost always and exclusively if run by a student in school.
Terry wrote:
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Since the churches have chosen to emphasize the campus work, how come in the campus work, the emphasis is on college freshmen?
As I have been saying along in posts and on other threads, the recovery has become specialized and gone away from being general. In order for local churches to be truly a local church, there has to be generality.
Good points to both of you. Permit me to add a little salt to the mix. Campus work should begin w/parents helping their kids develop an intimate relationship with God (through His Son & His Holy Spirit).

From there, the kids ought to bring the gospel to their friends and classmates.

Yeah..yeah.. I know. I'm being idealistic.
HOWEVER......... this past summer, I spent every Sunday or Monday at my friend's house. We've been friends since our days in high school. Through the Anointing of the Lord, I led her to Christ around 2006/7. Her grandkids who live next door are 11, 12 & 13. They took a liking to me and so I began sharing the Word of God with them.

I never planned anything, I'd just share whatever the Lord put in my heart. Sometimes the Presence of the Lord was so strong, they would tell me they were getting 'chills' and 'goosebumps' hearing me explain the scriptures to them. At the end of August,, I bought each of them a bible w/big print.

I explained the 2 covenants (Old and New Testaments), I had them read the titles of each book from Genesis to Revelation. I had them speak a scripture to each other. I had them pray out loud. I had them write scriptures on index cards so they could read them throughout the week.

It was an amazing and FUNNNNN time ! We would sit around the table for HOURS ! They'd sometimes hold up their index fingers and say "Pause" when they wanted a bathroom break or a munchy break. Then they'd come back to the table and make a triangle w/their hands giving me permission to 'continue'. They would raise their hands and ask questions too.

One time, I was told that a classmate of theirs did not believe in God. So I told them to show the kid Psalm 14 & had them read verse 1. The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” You should have seen their eyes pop out !! Too, too funny !

I never planned a 'lesson', nor would make them have a 'bible study time'. I'd just show up to hang out and every time I did, they'd come over w/their bibles. IMHO, they are very special & unique kids because all 3 of them wanted to hear about the Lord. They are very close to each other.

Someone gave me the movie "the Secrets of Mr Sperry'. We all watched it together...If you haven't seen it, buy it !!

I guess my point to all this is we all ought to be able to share the gospel and fellowship so 'naturally'. Every person needs Jesus...whether they know it or not..whether they dig their heels in or not. In fact ALL creation longs for our Creator...even the rocks!

May the Lord bless us all and May the Holy Spirit guide us and teach us how to reach every man, woman and child...young and old, rich and poor, healthy and sick. . Come Lord Jesus. Come.
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:01 PM   #55
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You have done a nice job of conveying what I was trying to say about enjoying the gospel instead of some church elder trying to push the members for his ego.
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Old 09-28-2011, 05:30 AM   #56
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You have done a nice job of conveying what I was trying to say about enjoying the gospel instead of some church elder trying to push the members for his ego.
I'm sure that there are pastors that push people for their ego. But at the same time you have to wonder a little about a pastor that just sits back and hopes it happens.

Surely the level to which they equip their flock is a key. But sometimes it is reasonable to encourage, even admonish people to do what they should do. It seems that we slip into a sort of an "it's strictly up to me on my own" mentality at times. And treat the issue as a "we do it on our own or preachers push us" dichotomy. Yes, we have to do it. And sometimes we need a push to start to do what we should.

We do need to be taught to obey all that Jesus commanded. It says so in Matthew. It's not just a matter of ego, but of commission.
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:26 AM   #57
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I'm sure that there are pastors that push people for their ego. But at the same time you have to wonder a little about a pastor that just sits back and hopes it happens.

Surely the level to which they equip their flock is a key. But sometimes it is reasonable to encourage, even admonish people to do what they should do. It seems that we slip into a sort of an "it's strictly up to me on my own" mentality at times. And treat the issue as a "we do it on our own or preachers push us" dichotomy. Yes, we have to do it. And sometimes we need a push to start to do what we should.

We do need to be taught to obey all that Jesus commanded. It says so in Matthew. It's not just a matter of ego, but of commission.
Well I must of misunderstood a previous post of yours that said, what I thought was something to the effect of "not everyone is supposed to preach the gospel". You did not say that, but I thought you said you were "rethinking" the idea that everyone is commissioned to go and preach the gospel.?
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:58 AM   #58
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I'm sure that there are pastors that push people for their ego. But at the same time you have to wonder a little about a pastor that just sits back and hopes it happens.

Surely the level to which they equip their flock is a key. But sometimes it is reasonable to encourage, even admonish people to do what they should do. It seems that we slip into a sort of an "it's strictly up to me on my own" mentality at times. And treat the issue as a "we do it on our own or preachers push us" dichotomy. Yes, we have to do it. And sometimes we need a push to start to do what we should.

We do need to be taught to obey all that Jesus commanded. It says so in Matthew. It's not just a matter of ego, but of commission.
I heard a pastor encourage his congregation to get to know their neighbors...and invite them 'to church'. Why not get to know your neighbors and speak of the things of the Lord with them..be it sharing the gospel (however way the Holy Spirit leads) or engage them in fellowship.

My opinion: The more people come 'to church' the more they'll hear
ch-ching! ch-ching !!


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Old 09-28-2011, 02:37 PM   #59
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Well I must of misunderstood a previous post of yours that said, what I thought was something to the effect of "not everyone is supposed to preach the gospel". You did not say that, but I thought you said you were "rethinking" the idea that everyone is commissioned to go and preach the gospel.?
There is a difference between our general "commission" to live the gospel, and be ready to speak if asked, etc., and the commission in Matthew 28. That was my point there. I think you made some statement that Jesus had said those things to everybody, but it turns out that of all the possible followers at that time, only the 11 were taken aside and told this.

So the commission to go make it your primary task to spread the gospel was not given to everyone. In other words, Jesus didn't tell everyone to go out. Most of us are asked to live the gospel life (that we learn as the result of that commission) right where we are. And we sill get the opportunity to "preach" as it were.

But we were not put on earth to preach the gospel. We were put here to be the image bearers of Christ.

We were not saved to become the modern equivalent of the 11 in Matthew 28. We were saved as the outgrowth of those who took that commission and spread out over the earth. That does not mean we don't "preach/proclaim the gospel." But we do it more in our lives than in our words. More as part of living than as a "primary task" as was given to those guys.

That is what I was talking about.
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Old 09-28-2011, 02:54 PM   #60
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I heard a pastor encourage his congregation to get to know their neighbors...and invite them 'to church'. Why not get to know your neighbors and speak of the things of the Lord with them..be it sharing the gospel (however way the Holy Spirit leads) or engage them in fellowship.
We are encouraged to share however we share. And we no longer presume salvation as a line in the sand, "I can name the date and time" event. We accept that it might come from a lengthy observation period, complete with many questions, followed by more observation and more questions. And in the midst of this, "going to church" some, or maybe not. But eventually realizing that they really do believe in Christ. When did it start? Not always sure. It sort of happened gradually.

We may like to argue that either they do or don't believe. And it is partly true. But what do they need to believe to be considered "a believer"? The whole core of the faith? The guts of some creed (even if they never heard of a creed)?

And do we think we really believe it all? Probably not. Oh we would say that we believe everything in the Bible. But we aren't even sure what some of it is saying. And if we did, and thought about it, we might take a little while to come to where we actually believe in "that."

Yeah, we can say we believe it on faith. But isn't that sometimes a way of saying we don't get it but we are going to stand by it because it is in the Bible. You know. Important things like one church one city. (We used to think that was in there.) On the flip side, do you believe the things that are in there that you are convinced are not actually in there? I don't know what that would be. For you or for me. But at one time, it was for me that 1 Cor 3:10 or so and following was not talking about all believers. I was sure that it was. I now disagree with that position. Neither is really relevant to my daily walk. Nor to salvation. What if I don't believe that?

I didn't mention any of this to get responses. Rather to think some more. I believe a lot. And I'm convinced that part of what I believe is wrong (and I obviously don't know where that is or I would change my mind). But I am fairly certain that what is important is not wrong. And there is a lot less in that part than is so often argued about. It tends to distill down to "love God and love everyone you have any contact with or even think about."
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Old 09-28-2011, 03:52 PM   #61
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There is a difference between our general "commission" to live the gospel, and be ready to speak if asked, etc., and the commission in Matthew 28. That was my point there. I think you made some statement that Jesus had said those things to everybody, but it turns out that of all the possible followers at that time, only the 11 were taken aside and told this.

So the commission to go make it your primary task to spread the gospel was not given to everyone. In other words, Jesus didn't tell everyone to go out. Most of us are asked to live the gospel life (that we learn as the result of that commission) right where we are. And we sill get the opportunity to "preach" as it were.

But we were not put on earth to preach the gospel. We were put here to be the image bearers of Christ.

We were not saved to become the modern equivalent of the 11 in Matthew 28. We were saved as the outgrowth of those who took that commission and spread out over the earth. That does not mean we don't "preach/proclaim the gospel." But we do it more in our lives than in our words. More as part of living than as a "primary task" as was given to those guys.

That is what I was talking about.
Who was the book of Matthew written to? Surely the gospel wasn't written for the 12. What is the purpose of sharing something the Lord spoke to the 12, as a concluding word to the Gospel, if that word is not for all that are reading the book?

I am mystified by this interpretation. Could you elaborate a little on what this does to the reading of the book of Matthew? It seems it turns it into a novel, not really written to us, but we are allowed, like spectators, to learn about what makes the apostles tick.

I will say this, it is absolutely diametrically opposed to what WL taught, so if that is your goal, congratulations.

I read the Bible with the thought that this book is for me. That Jesus was the author and perfector of my faith. Or, if you take issue with that, that He was the author and perfector of "the" faith, which I now hope to appropriate and make my faith.

The fact that this word was spoken to a number of people and then recorded in the Gospel of Matthew is hardly supporting a case that it was not intended for anyone other than the ones who heard it. Because, you haven't explained the purpose of Matthew in writing it if it is not for us. Do you have other examples of NT scripture that are recorded for posterity, but not for us? This to me is a very extreme view of scripture which you haven't made much, if any, of a case for. Also, what about Paul? He wasn't at that meeting yet it seems this word was spoken as much to him as anyone recorded in the NT.
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:06 PM   #62
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We are encouraged to share however we share. And we no longer presume salvation as a line in the sand, "I can name the date and time" event. We accept that it might come from a lengthy observation period, complete with many questions, followed by more observation and more questions. And in the midst of this, "going to church" some, or maybe not. But eventually realizing that they really do believe in Christ. When did it start? Not always sure. It sort of happened gradually.

We may like to argue that either they do or don't believe. And it is partly true. But what do they need to believe to be considered "a believer"? The whole core of the faith? The guts of some creed (even if they never heard of a creed)?

And do we think we really believe it all? Probably not. Oh we would say that we believe everything in the Bible. But we aren't even sure what some of it is saying. And if we did, and thought about it, we might take a little while to come to where we actually believe in "that."

Yeah, we can say we believe it on faith. But isn't that sometimes a way of saying we don't get it but we are going to stand by it because it is in the Bible. You know. Important things like one church one city. (We used to think that was in there.) On the flip side, do you believe the things that are in there that you are convinced are not actually in there? I don't know what that would be. For you or for me. But at one time, it was for me that 1 Cor 3:10 or so and following was not talking about all believers. I was sure that it was. I now disagree with that position. Neither is really relevant to my daily walk. Nor to salvation. What if I don't believe that?

I didn't mention any of this to get responses. Rather to think some more. I believe a lot. And I'm convinced that part of what I believe is wrong (and I obviously don't know where that is or I would change my mind). But I am fairly certain that what is important is not wrong. And there is a lot less in that part than is so often argued about. It tends to distill down to "love God and love everyone you have any contact with or even think about."
Who does "we" refer to?

As to the teaching of "one church one city" by WN I can tell you that what I first came to believe is not that much different from what I now believe. I believe that there are numerous references to churches in the NT, the singular references are to churches in cities, the plural references are to churches in regions. I also believe that in one place Paul said to "appoint elders in every church" and in another he said to "appoint elders in every place". What does this mean? I believe that just like Jesus prayed that "we would all be one" so also, it is important for the Body of Christ to be one. I believe this is very important and the verses where Paul told us to "examine ourselves" when taking the Lord's table, that being divisive, or sectarian are some of the fleshly sins he told us to avoid.

The confusion comes when this "teaching" is used as a cornerstone for the most divisive teaching of all. But just because I reject the use of this teaching for building your own little division doesn't mean I reject what I first believed in the above paragraph. Just like "Jesus Christ Superstar" doesn't make me reject Jesus just because I don't like someone else's portrayal of Him.
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:00 PM   #63
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So...within a given city, who decides which is THE church in that city.

I think if Witness Lee really wanted to get back to the beginning, he would have told all the churches to sell their meeting halls. The churches didn't meet in designated "church" buildings (or "meeting halls") for at least the first two hundred years, maybe more. Think of how many millions that would have saved; how many hungry people could have been fed with that money.

If Witness Lee really wanted to get back to the beginning, he would have instructed all the churches to have someone stand in the meeting and just read the scripture. Paul told Timothy to not forsake the reading of scripture.

If Witness Lee really wanted to get back to the beginning, he would have called off all the "Trainings" and conferences. There is no record of these activities in the New Testament.

And on, and on, and on...

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Old 09-28-2011, 09:48 PM   #64
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So...within a given city, who decides which is THE church in that city.
Exactly ! Nice to see you Paul !

It is very frustrating for me, to know and understand the church are believers sharing the gospel, fellowshipping one on one or in small groups, in homes, at coffee shops, restaurants, even in the streets. There are many, many saints who were in the LC, left the LC and those who never even heard of the LC, WN or WL who truly understand and know WE believers are the church.

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If Witness Lee really wanted to get back to the beginning, he would have instructed all the churches to have someone stand in the meeting and just read the scripture. Paul told Timothy to not forsake the reading of scripture.
To the forum readers/posters:
While short lived and MAYBE unique to San Diego, there was a time when we did JUST that in the homes ! The 'corporate' meetings were usually on a particular topic, the S/spirit, the Blood of Jesus, Sanctification, Justification, Righteousness, the church. Scriptures on those topics were empasized and we read them in the meetings together. So it was in the LC style...we at least read them !

This was before the life study messages began.
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Old 09-28-2011, 10:05 PM   #65
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Who does "we" refer to?

As to the teaching of "one church one city" by WN I can tell you that what I first came to believe is not that much different from what I now believe. ... I believe that just like Jesus prayed that "we would all be one" so also, it is important for the Body of Christ to be one.

The confusion comes when this "teaching" is used as a cornerstone for the most divisive teaching of all. But just because I reject the use of this teaching for building your own little division doesn't mean I reject what I first believed in the above paragraph. Just like "Jesus Christ Superstar" doesn't make me reject Jesus just because I don't like someone else's portrayal of Him.
I agree. Good post! I sort of thought OBW was referring to the congregation he meets with when he kept referring to 'we' because in every church service I've attended and even in the small prayer group meeting I attend, the pastors encourage the congregants to invite people to 'church'...their church. In my prayer group, I hear people talk about inviting people to come to their church.

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I believe the verses where Paul told us to "examine ourselves" when taking the Lord's table, that being divisive, or sectarian are some of the fleshly sins he told us to avoid.
Now this is a subject matter, I honestly don't have a handle on (anymore). The Lord's Table was very unique to the LC. It was one of my favorite meetings. I think it was one of the meetings we all felt the strong Presence of the Lord.

But since leaving the LC, attending various congregations, the Lord's Table is not practiced in the same manner we did. Most congregations do not use the phrase the Lord's Table. They use the word Communion..which is fine. Most have communion once a month...except for the RCC which has communion all the time !

I have various teachings on communion and they're really good ! But I can't seem to keep staying in the habit of having daily communion at home. I start and stop.

This topic of the Lord's Table or Communion should probably be the start of a new thread.
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Old 09-29-2011, 04:02 AM   #66
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So...within a given city, who decides which is THE church in that city.

I think if Witness Lee really wanted to get back to the beginning, he would have told all the churches to sell their meeting halls. The churches didn't meet in designated "church" buildings (or "meeting halls") for at least the first two hundred years, maybe more. Think of how many millions that would have saved; how many hungry people could have been fed with that money.

If Witness Lee really wanted to get back to the beginning, he would have instructed all the churches to have someone stand in the meeting and just read the scripture. Paul told Timothy to not forsake the reading of scripture.

If Witness Lee really wanted to get back to the beginning, he would have called off all the "Trainings" and conferences. There is no record of these activities in the New Testament.

And on, and on, and on...

P.C.
Yes, I agree with this. Taking the observations about oneness and saying that you have packaged them and it is your group and not anyone else's is to me, quite ugly. However, that was not what I first believed in "one church one city" nor is that what I believe now. Having lived through the LRC attempt at "practical oneness" I can testify that they truly did not practice oneness with other christians.

It does not take a genius to figure out that when Christians meet, whether in a home or a hall that that room will not be sufficient for every believer in that city. Therefore, meeting in several homes or several halls is not a divisive factor. However, saying that you will get sick if you take the Lord's table at another meeting hall of Christians in the city is certainly a sectarian teaching. And that is pretty much what I was taught by RG and others while in the LRC. This was never taught in a way that you could examine the scriptures, only as a "this is what I saw happen" kind of testimony. I treated that the same way I would treat someone else's testimony. I filed it away waiting for my own observations to confirm or disprove it. Now that I have those observations I feel comfortable in condemning that teaching.

Once again, I learned the "one church one city" teaching from WN. I do not have much issue with it as taught by WN. I do take issue with the LRC version of this teaching, hence my analogy of "Jesus Christ Superstar".
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Old 09-29-2011, 04:07 AM   #67
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I agree. Good post! I sort of thought OBW was referring to the congregation he meets with when he kept referring to 'we' because in every church service I've attended and even in the small prayer group meeting I attend, the pastors encourage the congregants to invite people to 'church'...their church. In my prayer group, I hear people talk about inviting people to come to their church.



Now this is a subject matter, I honestly don't have a handle on (anymore). The Lord's Table was very unique to the LC. It was one of my favorite meetings. I think it was one of the meetings we all felt the strong Presence of the Lord.

But since leaving the LC, attending various congregations, the Lord's Table is not practiced in the same manner we did. Most congregations do not use the phrase the Lord's Table. They use the word Communion..which is fine. Most have communion once a month...except for the RCC which has communion all the time !

I have various teachings on communion and they're really good ! But I can't seem to keep staying in the habit of having daily communion at home. I start and stop.

This topic of the Lord's Table or Communion should probably be the start of a new thread.
Yes, I think this would make a great new thread because we could all share our present experiences and understandings as well as what we saw in the LRC. I also agree that the Lord's Table was my favorite meeting. This is where I feel we should give the LRC their due. It is very difficult as an elder to run a testimony meeting and I believe this is why the place I now meet shy away from this.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:18 AM   #68
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But since leaving the LC, attending various congregations, the Lord's Table is not practiced in the same manner we did. Most congregations do not use the phrase the Lord's Table. They use the word Communion..which is fine. Most have communion once a month...except for the RCC which has communion all the time !
I've heard the term communion, supper, etc. When we met with the Baptist congregation, they took the Lord's Supper quarterly. Where we've been meeting with a local community church it's nearly every week.
I agree the Lord's Table was the most enjoyable and in my opinion the most inclusive aspect of the local church experience.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:19 AM   #69
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Who does "we" refer to?
"We" are the ones hearing what I am hearing in the places that I attend and fellowship, both regularly and irregularly.

As for "one church per city," if you try to equate what Nee and then Lee taught to the "church universal" then there is only one church and it is no less one church when expressed in broad terms or in small terms of an assembly. There is not even a "church in a city." There is just the church which is us. If you are talking about assemblies, then whether they meet together as a large group requiring the purchase of rental of space, or small enough to fit in a house, either is "church" and none is defined as correct or incorrect by the legal boundaries of homeowners associations, communities, towns, cities, counties, states or even nations and continents. To use Lee's definition, or even Nee's more relaxed definition as a requirement is to force participation in a particular assembly by rule. If find no grounds for that anywhere.

And if you agree with this, then there is no cause for discussion of "one church per city" as it is actually happening no matter what it looks like in terms of the landscape of the assemblies visible to us in any area. And making something out of it turns out to be more divisive than ignoring it.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:31 AM   #70
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"We" are the ones hearing what I am hearing in the places that I attend and fellowship, both regularly and irregularly.

As for "one church per city," if you try to equate what Nee and then Lee taught to the "church universal" then there is only one church and it is no less one church when expressed in broad terms or in small terms of an assembly. There is not even a "church in a city." There is just the church which is us. If you are talking about assemblies, then whether they meet together as a large group requiring the purchase of rental of space, or small enough to fit in a house, either is "church" and none is defined as correct or incorrect by the legal boundaries of homeowners associations, communities, towns, cities, counties, states or even nations and continents. To use Lee's definition, or even Nee's more relaxed definition as a requirement is to force participation in a particular assembly by rule. If find no grounds for that anywhere.

And if you agree with this, then there is no cause for discussion of "one church per city" as it is actually happening no matter what it looks like in terms of the landscape of the assemblies visible to us in any area. And making something out of it turns out to be more divisive than ignoring it.
I pretty much agree with what you have said except for your conclusion. I feel WN saw the division among different Christian groups and sought for a "solution". I think that is pretty much his testimony on it. I feel that effort is worthwhile. He also came up with a couple of verses showing that there was essentially a practical expression of one "universal" body with one "church in one city". However, everything breaks down when you try to get a practical working out of that.

So I don't agree that there is no cause for discussion. Rather I feel it was a failed attempt at a solution. It may be that these verses do in fact hold the key to a solution, or it may turn out they don't. But discussing the Lord's burden that they would all be one is definitely worthwhile. Reading the Bible looking for solutions to issues that we have is worthwhile. But, it is time for many to realize that the LRC application is not the solution rather it is more of the problem.

Also, this view is somewhat narrow. If we look at the history of Christianity in the US since the 1940s we can see that we used to have many denominations that required you to be baptized by them before taking communion. Over the last 70 years that has been exposed to most Christians as being divisive and sectarian and more and more Christians realize that if someone has received the Lord they should be welcomed into the Lord's table, regardless of where they were baptized. I think you have to give credit to WN for raising an issue with the previously divisive practice and to his ministry for having some effect on what I consider an improved situation among Christian congregations.

So although WL and the LRC has taken this teaching to build their own little division, the ministry of this word has helped the Body of Christ as a whole to have a more practical oneness. If you do give WN some credit for this change, then that shows the value in his discussing it in his ministry.
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:26 AM   #71
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"We" are the ones hearing what I am hearing in the places that I attend and fellowship, both regularly and irregularly.

As for "one church per city," if you try to equate what Nee and then Lee taught to the "church universal" then there is only one church and it is no less one church when expressed in broad terms or in small terms of an assembly. There is not even a "church in a city." There is just the church which is us. If you are talking about assemblies, then whether they meet together as a large group requiring the purchase of rental of space, or small enough to fit in a house, either is "church" and none is defined as correct or incorrect by the legal boundaries of homeowners associations, communities, towns, cities, counties, states or even nations and continents. To use Lee's definition, or even Nee's more relaxed definition as a requirement is to force participation in a particular assembly by rule. If find no grounds for that anywhere.

And if you agree with this, then there is no cause for discussion of "one church per city" as it is actually happening no matter what it looks like in terms of the landscape of the assemblies visible to us in any area. And making something out of it turns out to be more divisive than ignoring it.
As I see it through my eyes and through the eyes of others I have fellowship with, when you say church that means We as the Body of Christ. So yes whichever rural or urban area you're at, there is the church.
Simplified in each city; one church many assemblies. The administration of the church does not lie in any particular assembly, but in God.
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Old 09-29-2011, 01:46 PM   #72
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But Z, this idea that all Christians in a city should meet together all in one room, wasn't this at the heart of Watchman Nee's original teaching? Didn't Nee attempt a "practical working out" of one church / one city in China, before Witness Lee then exported it?
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Old 09-29-2011, 01:57 PM   #73
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But Z, this idea that all Christians in a city should meet together all in one room, wasn't this at the heart of Watchman Nee's original teaching? Didn't Nee attempt a "practical working out" of one church / one city in China, before Witness Lee then exported it?
Not even the LRC does that. Go to Taipei. It is very, very rare for everyone to meet in the same room.
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:05 PM   #74
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But Z, this idea that all Christians in a city should meet together all in one room, wasn't this at the heart of Watchman Nee's original teaching? Didn't Nee attempt a "practical working out" of one church / one city in China, before Witness Lee then exported it?
I have already said that I felt that part of the teaching was both experimental and did not work. Not working should not be equated with failure. As Thomas Edison said, we have learned several ways that don't work
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:25 PM   #75
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Not even the LRC does that. Go to Taipei. It is very, very rare for everyone to meet in the same room.
Actually in most places they do. When they got some really big congregations in really large cities, they had to grant themselves exceptions to their own oh-so-fundamental teachings.

But all I was asking is, you seemed to be drawing a big distinction between Nee's attempt at "working it out practically", and Lee's attempt at "working it out practically". I don't think it was mostly just theoretical with Nee, if that's what you were getting at...but maybe I misunderstood...
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:54 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by rayliotta View Post
Actually in most places they do. When they got some really big congregations in really large cities, they had to grant themselves exceptions to their own oh-so-fundamental teachings.

But all I was asking is, you seemed to be drawing a big distinction between Nee's attempt at "working it out practically", and Lee's attempt at "working it out practically". I don't think it was mostly just theoretical with Nee, if that's what you were getting at...but maybe I misunderstood...
There is the teaching based on Bible verses and there is the practice. My original comment was about what I believed concerning the teaching from WN. I don't think the LRC practice is scriptural because it is sectarian. That doesn't mean the LRC experiment is a waste, rather they have shown us the pitfalls. As for WN I don't believe he would have tolerated his teaching to become the cornerstone of a sect.
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:09 PM   #77
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There is the teaching based on Bible verses and there is the practice. My original comment was about what I believed concerning the teaching from WN. I don't think the LRC practice is scriptural because it is sectarian. That doesn't mean the LRC experiment is a waste, rather they have shown us the pitfalls. As for WN I don't believe he would have tolerated his teaching to become the cornerstone of a sect.
Probably Nee's motives were a lot purer than Lee's. Probably Nee never would have put up with the MOTA/Apostle of the Age/"Oracle" (!!)/etc/etc teachings that are such a huge part of the sectarian attitude in today's LRC.

But to say that the churches-in-what-what in mainland China, in the 1930's and 40's, were not already their own little sect -- albeit a "milder", more reasonable sect -- I guess this is where I'm skeptical.
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Old 09-29-2011, 04:56 PM   #78
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Who was the book of Matthew written to? Surely the gospel wasn't written for the 12. What is the purpose of sharing something the Lord spoke to the 12, as a concluding word to the Gospel, if that word is not for all that are reading the book?

I am mystified by this interpretation. Could you elaborate a little on what this does to the reading of the book of Matthew?
Let's elaborate.

Do you think that everything is equally applicable to everyone because it was written down and included in the scriptures? Does a specific, particular promise made to someone become something that we can all bank on if we can dredge up enough "faith"?

The qualifications for elder are given by Paul, once in some detail, and then little bits and pieces in other places that enhance the understanding. Since it is known how an elder should be, do we declare that all should be the same? Is there a serious spiritual deficiency for those believers whose background is such that they cannot ever be an elder (for example, they are divorced and remarried)?

Why would it be recorded in Matthew for all to read if it was intended as a charge only to certain ones? I can imagine at least one better-then-plausible reason — to make it known to those who would follow that the people who are quite possibly living off the gifts of others (at least partly) are not just in it for a cushy life that requires no hard labor. That they are commissioned to serve the others. That no one should just assume they are "hirelings" because they might actually be paid (or sort of paid). Remember, while Paul did do work to earn his own way, he also received help from the churches he had planted. It wasn't demanded, but it was appreciated and was helpful — maybe even necessary in some cases.

I would not assert that there is no way that the "great commission" is written to the average Christian. But unless we start with a paradigm/lens that refuses the idea that some passages are not really intended for everyone — at least in terms of command, promise, etc. — then there has to be a question as to why it was not among a larger group of those who saw Jesus after his resurrection that he made this charge. In fact, the very wording of the passage seems to indicate that Jesus intentionally sent the 11, not everyone else, to a particular place to make this statement. To simply declare that because it is written means it is a commission to everyone seems presumptuous at best. It flies in the face of the account.

And who was Paul saying would build with wood, hay, and stubble, or with gold, silver, and precious stones in 1 Cor 3? He wrote it to all of us. Does that mean it is to us all? Yes, what it is talking about is for all of us to read and understand. But the comments about building were not about what the Corinthians were doing, but what those "names" were doing. You know, Paul, Cephas, Apollos, etc. Those were the builders.

Is it still mystifying? Can you find no reason to record a commission to the 11 (12) for everyone to read? Are there still those whose calling is to spread the gospel in the way of a livelihood? Might they need to be reminded of the core of that commission/calling? Make disciples. Baptize. Teach to obey.

It wouldn't be the only place that the words recorded in scripture were intended as commands for less than everyone that might eventually read it.
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Old 09-29-2011, 05:36 PM   #79
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I pretty much agree with what you have said except for your conclusion. I feel WN saw the division among different Christian groups and sought for a "solution". I think that is pretty much his testimony on it. I feel that effort is worthwhile. He also came up with a couple of verses showing that there was essentially a practical expression of one "universal" body with one "church in one city". However, everything breaks down when you try to get a practical working out of that.

So I don't agree that there is no cause for discussion. Rather I feel it was a failed attempt at a solution. It may be that these verses do in fact hold the key to a solution, or it may turn out they don't. But discussing the Lord's burden that they would all be one is definitely worthwhile. Reading the Bible looking for solutions to issues that we have is worthwhile. But, it is time for many to realize that the LRC application is not the solution rather it is more of the problem.
I won't comment on Lee's version because I think we all have problems with it.

But while Nee's is clearly not some kind of didactic "you must go my way" thing, as a solution, I think we have previously concluded (maybe before your time here) that it had nowhere to go other than to ultimately separate based on seeing and accepting his version of what is church (or somebody else's) and dropping everything else.

I am more and more convinced that the best solution is what is mostly happening today. And that is that we acknowledge that we don't agree on everything, we do have a level of comfort in practicing in certain ways that others do not necessarily feel as comfortable with, and outside of how we practice and play with our peculiar nonessentials, we really are one. We might argue until we are blue in the face over some points that are more extreme in difference, but except in a few cases, end the argument by praying together and going out to eat together, joining together in community outreach, etc.

And it is the very seeking for a solution to the "division" issue when we will always divide at some level, even if we have only smaller assemblies. There will always be some reason that I (or you, or whoever) will meet with someone who is not merely the physically closest assembly. It may simply be a matter of comfort. Of a need for particular "gifts" that might accrue in my direction. I note that in a blog I read periodically written by a guy who has had a church in his house for several years admits that without seeking outside help from other Christian groups (which includes larger more typical denominations, free groups, etc.) they do not always have the help internally that they need. We can argue that the Spirit can supply that need, but it is presumptive to demand that it would simply happen within that small group. The body is greater than an assembly, so just because he has given gifts as needed does not mean that a little church of 10 has everything within its little group. They are not the body, but a body, and part of the body.

And I'm sure that the next question will be how to differentiate between the body and a body. And my response is that this whole line of reasoning is too aimed at getting everything so neatly figured out. Fix all the problems. Come up with solutions that don't leave us with divisions and names. I'm not convinced that this is the most important thing we need to be focused upon. I believe that it is much more important that we each are engaged in living, obeying, praying, worshiping, etc., than getting everything arranged in the best way. Just like we are given the strength to withstand our personal problems that are not simply taken away by God, we should also withstand the need to fix all of our "practice" problems just because we think we can.

OK. I'll bite. How will we do communion? (And will someone have a cow because I called it "communion"?) What kind of music. How will we baptize? Will we baptize only believers, or the whole household? (I lean to believers only — pretty strongly — but what does that "and their whole household" thing mean?) Will we teach a kind of Calvinism? Or at least believe that? Or something more Arminian? Or something in between? And what do we do with those who a convinced that something different is the right way? Are they denied the right to speak out about their opinion on the subject unless it is in the context of an open discussion for the purpose of exploring alternatives?

How many of those kinds of issues will you actually be faced with and keep everyone in your small proximity assembly happy? Will you allow three to speak in tongues every meeting? Will you emphasize the tongues and miracles or deemphasize them?

Get used to homophily. Birds of a feather will flock together. It doesn't make other birds not birds. Or deny others the right to fly. And despite Lee's (and the LRC's) constant look at the landscape through the lens of the 1960s, things are not like they were then. Just like Corinth seems to have changed between the first and second letter. Were they all meeting in one place? Not obvious. Although I do believe there was a reference to "when the whole church gets together" (in more modern wording).

My problem with the whole church-city thing is that it is almost the creation of a problem, or at least the exacerbation of one, so that a solution can be supplied. Is Christianity as broken as we have learned to believe, or are we forcing problems onto it that don't exist in the way we think, and despite all the claims otherwise, is actually changing for the better.

And all of this discussion is coming at one of those times in the history of the church when there is significant upheaval related to many things that are not addressed by such a thing as one-church-one-city. In fact, it might be that within 100 years (assuming that we continue to rick on here) the kind of assembly that Nee, Lee, and the LRC have proposed (as similar or different as any of those may be) could be essentially obsolete in some sense. Not because the church is obsolete, but because so much of its existence, practice, emphasis, etc., changes very drastically.

You think I sometimes emphasize the "obey" side of the gospel more than we are used to. Just wait 100 years and it may be the predominant thing. All this talk about dirt may be irrelevant. Everyone may be regularly meeting in 3 or 4 different contexts over the course of a few weeks such that their "allegiance" is not obvious or even discernible. Have their practice spread between things that look Baptist, Charismatic, Presbyterian, and RCC/Anglican. Not all at once, but all accepted and practiced.
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Old 09-30-2011, 04:34 AM   #80
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Let's elaborate.

Do you think that everything is equally applicable to everyone because it was written down and included in the scriptures? Does a specific, particular promise made to someone become something that we can all bank on if we can dredge up enough "faith"?

The qualifications for elder are given by Paul, once in some detail, and then little bits and pieces in other places that enhance the understanding. Since it is known how an elder should be, do we declare that all should be the same? Is there a serious spiritual deficiency for those believers whose background is such that they cannot ever be an elder (for example, they are divorced and remarried)?
I asked one question, "Who was the book of Matthew written to?" and now I am reaping 4 questions. So let's go through these.

1. Do I think everything is equally applicable to everyone? Well, let's not talk about everything since I cannot even think about all that might entail, let's just focus on the commission in Matthew. As for "equally applicable", don't really understand what that means. The NT is clear that we have 5 talented members and 1 talented members, so I suppose you could say that the Lord does not expect the same out of both. Fair enough, but in saying this the Lord also points out that every member of the Body does have at least one talent and that by burying that talent they will be judged. The judgement that we all will get equally is "did you invest the talent the Lord gave you?" So my answer is that I think the commission in the book of Matthew is applicable to me, just as it was to Peter and Paul. They may be 5 talented members and I may not be, but either way I have been given like precious faith as they and I will be judged for what I do with that faith, as they also will be.

2. Does a specific, particular promise made to someone become something that we can all bank on if we can dredge up enough "faith"? Again, I am not comfortable turning this into a hypothetical that is applicable in any imaginable situation. Rather, I would like to keep this focused on the Commission in Matthew.
28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Two promises here, "all power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth." and "I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Yes, I believe we can all bank on these two promises if we receive them by faith.

3. Since it is known how an elder should be, do we declare that all should be the same? This word "same" I fear can be seriously twisted. For example an elder should be the husband of one wife. Does that mean that everyone who is a "husband" is "the same"? I think that every congregation should take these qualifications and treat them with the utmost respect when choosing elders. For example if you have two candidates, everyone loves one, he is charming, charismatic, considerate, gifted, and has never been married. The second is a solid brother, he has raised his family well, he is the husband of one wife, and no one has a bad word to say about him. However he is not even slightly charismatic and can even be described as dull. Many fear that if he is the elder membership will drop by 10% as a result. If this is the choice I feel the NT is very clear as to who should be the elder. Choosing the unqualified brother is, to my mind, choosing according to the flesh.

4. Is there a serious spiritual deficiency for those believers whose background is such that they cannot ever be an elder (for example, they are divorced and remarried)? I am divorced and remarried, so please keep that in mind as you read my response. I believe that the requirement for an elder to be the husband of one wife and to have raised his family well is an indication of how important those two characteristics are to the Body of Christ. If the family situation of the church is healthy, then it will thrive. We know the family situation in the world is a mess, so we know people will be saved from broken homes, broken families, and all kinds of messed up family relationships and marriage relationships. Therefore, in the midst of this chaos, it is extremely beneficial to the Body to have someone who has sailed through this storm successfully lifted up as an example to all, and set up as someone who can counsel all. Disqualifying someone, like myself, who has been divorced and remarried, is not, to my mind, judgmental. Rather, it is saying that what we need for this job is someone who can guide the other saints in this evil and adulterous age. So is there a serious "spiritual" deficiency? I don't know, perhaps not. But is there a serious "human" deficiency, I think so, and I am speaking from personal experience. In my own experience congregations will usually have a choice between two candidates, one has not been divorced, but everyone prefers the brother who has been divorced. Ignoring Paul's word is to my mind, choosing according to the flesh.
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Old 09-30-2011, 04:50 AM   #81
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Let's elaborate...
Why would it be recorded in Matthew for all to read if it was intended as a charge only to certain ones? I can imagine at least one better-then-plausible reason — to make it known to those who would follow that the people who are quite possibly living off the gifts of others (at least partly) are not just in it for a cushy life that requires no hard labor. That they are commissioned to serve the others. That no one should just assume they are "hirelings" because they might actually be paid (or sort of paid). Remember, while Paul did do work to earn his own way, he also received help from the churches he had planted. It wasn't demanded, but it was appreciated and was helpful — maybe even necessary in some cases.

I would not assert that there is no way that the "great commission" is written to the average Christian. But unless we start with a paradigm/lens that refuses the idea that some passages are not really intended for everyone — at least in terms of command, promise, etc. — then there has to be a question as to why it was not among a larger group of those who saw Jesus after his resurrection that he made this charge. In fact, the very wording of the passage seems to indicate that Jesus intentionally sent the 11, not everyone else, to a particular place to make this statement. To simply declare that because it is written means it is a commission to everyone seems presumptuous at best. It flies in the face of the account.
As to the point in the first paragraph, I feel that this reading reduces the Gospel of Matthew to a book that explains to pew sitters that their "leaders" have been commissioned, so putting money in the offering is nice, but not necessary. Why would you even call the book a gospel? Because we are not required to give tithes? You might think that is a better than plausible explanation, I don't.

As to the point in the second paragraph I think that is an interesting question you raise and I think it does hit on a very tough truth. Yes, the Lord commissions some to go to the four ends of the earth and others he commissions to spend their whole life in one town. Some will be martyred, others will not. Just as in the gospel of John where Peter wants to know "what about John?" and Jesus says that if he remains until the Lord returns what is that to Peter. The path that each of us is called to may appear quite different. It can be very difficult to walk by faith on that path, both to go out and also to stay while others are going out.

Finally, you begin this teaching on the assumption that "not every word in the Bible is for me" but this leads you to a place where "that word is for my pastor, not for me". That to me flies in the face of the Lord's word "judge not lest you be judged for with what judgement you judge you shall be judged". Ultimately you know that word was spoken and written for someone, just not you. That is a scary teaching.
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Old 09-30-2011, 04:52 AM   #82
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But Z, this idea that all Christians in a city should meet together all in one room, wasn't this at the heart of Watchman Nee's original teaching? Didn't Nee attempt a "practical working out" of one church / one city in China, before Witness Lee then exported it?
What's even more egregious than the demand for a single meeting place is the requirement for one presbytery per city.

Imagine one eldership in NYC. How useless they would be.
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:02 AM   #83
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Is it still mystifying? Can you find no reason to record a commission to the 11 (12) for everyone to read? Are there still those whose calling is to spread the gospel in the way of a livelihood? Might they need to be reminded of the core of that commission/calling? Make disciples. Baptize. Teach to obey.

It wouldn't be the only place that the words recorded in scripture were intended as commands for less than everyone that might eventually read it.
Yes it is still mystifying why you would take an awesome work like the gospel of Matthew that concludes with this incredible commission to all with such great promises, and then pull the rug out from everyone and say "oh that was just a FYI".

Of course there are still those whose calling is to spread the gospel in the way of livelihood. What about Billy Graham? However, I don't read the great commission to mean that everyone has to be a traveling evangelist. If a church has a gospel meeting and you bring someone, or you pray for that meeting, or you shepherd someone at that meeting, or you share a word, or you help serve in that meeting, etc. then I feel that is in line with the great commission. If you have a home meeting where you are teaching new believers the truth that is in line. If you have a Bible study at work, or if you are fellowshipping with a coworker. If you give money for the gospel work that is in line with the great commission. There are many, many ways that the saints in the Body of Christ can function, not all are Paul, not all are Peter, but all have been called.

The Lord said "Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God". Did the word Man here only refer to Peter and Paul or to me and you as well? You think that by saying the great commission at the end of Matthew is not written for all can not be limited to a couple of verses. It dramatically changes the way you would read the entire gospel. If you are saying that "not all are Paul" that is according to the truth. If you are saying that the promises in Matt 28 are not for all Christians, that is "a different gospel" warned of in Galatians.
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:08 AM   #84
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What's even more egregious than the demand for a single meeting place is the requirement for one presbytery per city.

Imagine one eldership in NYC. How useless they would be.
True, but imagine that the presbytery in NYC were one. That is according to the truth. In 2000 and 2001 we organized a memorial for Christians being killed in Sudan as a result of the spread of Sharia law into Sudan. We held it outside of the UN and we coordinated with as many other congregations as possible. Much of our fellowship was on how to organize so that this would be something that all could be one with. So although we donated over $20,000 for the event we went to pains to keep the name of our congregation from ever being mentioned (there were radio and tv interviews). We realized that if it had the appearance of promoting a single congregation that could affect the oneness.

It is completely unworkable and outrageous for the LRC or any other group to say "we are the legitimate eldership in this city, to be a genuine church you have to be one with our elders". That is an affront to the Lord Jesus.

However, it is quite workable to say that the Bible is the legitimate authority in this city. If you are one with the Bible and we are one with the Bible, why can't we both be one?
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:10 AM   #85
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My problem with the whole church-city thing is that it is almost the creation of a problem, or at least the exacerbation of one, so that a solution can be supplied. Is Christianity as broken as we have learned to believe, or are we forcing problems onto it that don't exist in the way we think, and despite all the claims otherwise, is actually changing for the better.
I now view with suspicion any ministry which begins with the notion of "the church has failed." Once the whole of the body of Christ is condemned by his self-imposed standard, then he alone becomes "qualified" to introduce "the solution." Who, except for the Head Himself, can ever say His body has failed, or His body is degraded, or "poor poor."

To do this is to play God, and to usurp His rightful place.
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:23 AM   #86
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My problem with the whole church-city thing is that it is almost the creation of a problem, or at least the exacerbation of one, so that a solution can be supplied. Is Christianity as broken as we have learned to believe, or are we forcing problems onto it that don't exist in the way we think, and despite all the claims otherwise, is actually changing for the better
That is true if you look at it from the angle that the LRC looks at it. Suppose we look at it from a different angle: in the city of NY the "church" is "one". We don't need to artificially impose a oneness on it, it is one because everyone reads the same NT, it is one because everyone received the same Lord and savior, it is one because everyone believes in the same God and Father.

Now suppose someone comes along and says they are not one because:....

Well either the reason is trivial and does not undermine the oneness, or the reason is significant and demonstrates that some group has truly left the faith.

Generally speaking we can move along in our little congregation without the need to work with other congregations. But occasionally, as in the case of our memorial at the UN, you do need to work together. I read stories from UN ambassadors that said it was our memorial service that convinced them Sudan was an issue that they needed to address.

One of our messages in our first memorial service was that if you don't respond to what is happening in Sudan while it is still in Sudan, then it will come to your home and who do you ask for help then? Our second memorial was scheduled for September 15th, 2001 but was cancelled when the city was locked down after 911. Prior to the second event I wrote an article encouraging the saints saying that their sacrifice and labor was like building an altar for the Lord and that we needed to have faith that He would answer with fire from heaven.
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:40 PM   #87
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ZNP,

I got timed out this morning (guess I just thought I x’d the little box at the top when signing in) and lost my post, so I need to take a different approach this afternoon.

And I will do it in reverse order.
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Finally, you begin this teaching on the assumption that "not every word in the Bible is for me" but this leads you to a place where "that word is for my pastor, not for me". That to me flies in the face of the Lord's word "judge not lest you be judged for with what judgement you judge you shall be judged". Ultimately you know that word was spoken and written for someone, just not you. That is a scary teaching.
First, I am not giving a “teaching.”

Second that is a novel use of the “judge not lest you be judged.” You are taking a pretty closed minded approach to simply say that because I see words clearly given to a subset as possibly indicating that we are not all told to do everything that is written that I am teaching something scary. Go wash in the Jordan 7 times. Now. Do it. God told that Syrian(??) prince to do it. So it is for you too.
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As to the point in the first paragraph, I feel that this reading reduces the Gospel of Matthew to a book that explains to pew sitters that their "leaders" have been commissioned, so putting money in the offering is nice, but not necessary. Why would you even call the book a gospel? Because we are not required to give tithes? You might think that is a better than plausible explanation, I don't.
Sorry you don’t. But you seem determined to treat the whole of Matthew as a vanilla book written to everyone in one plain vanilla way. If you truly understand the difference between a commission to go to the far reaches of the earth and the general charge to be ready with a defense, then you understand what I am talking about when I suggest that the “great commission” was given to those who were to go to the far reaches. I forget how many of Jesus’ remaining followers after the resurrection actually saw him, but I believe it was greater than the number in the “upper room” at Pentecost. Yet only 11 were sent separately to a place where Jesus made this commission. It takes some real blinders to not at least ask why. Wonder out loud whether this one thing has been handed down since some 18th or 19th century Evangelical sort of got this thing going as a command to all of us and we just take it like a tradition and don’t think about it.

I’m not saying we don’t preach the gospel. (And I’ve already said this.) But is this “commission” simply about that? The Baptists, Presbyterians, LRC, Brethren, and virtually all the Evangelicals simply say it is so. But when I read it I don’t see it that way.

But what is most irksome is not that you don’t agree with me. You don’t even have any room in your closed system to consider that it could be a reasonable reading of the passage, and instead are incredulous that I even bring it up. You do not seem to be seeking truth, but standing firm with a sledge hammer to stop any attempt to read something in a different way than has traditionally been done.

And we wonder why there are divisions.
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Does a specific, particular promise made to someone become something that we can all bank on if we can dredge up enough "faith"? . . . . Two promises here, "all power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth." and "I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." Yes, I believe we can all bank on these two promises if we receive them by faith.
”If you obey all that I command, you will prosper.” (very paraphrased). Is that a promise to us? Are we truly to read this as a command with a promise for all times for all people and in all places? Do you assert this to be true? Can I bank on this? How about my sister and her husband who have struggled for many years. They are very “obedient” yet she has to work as Starbucks to get the insurance and make ends meet.

The problem is that you throw out two promises that we can bank on and end the discussion. I did not say that none of the promises are to us. I said that not all of the promises are to us. Yet there is a whole cottage industry of little trinkets to carry and put around your house reminding you of all those “precious promises,” at least some of which are not much different from that promise to those who entered the good land back in the OT. Yes, we can argue about hypothetical “good land” equivalents that are spiritual rather than physical, but the prosperity mentioned back in the OT was physical.

As for your discussion of the qualification of elders, I start with the general premise that like the OT, where the Torah is God’s word and the rest is commentary (in the mind of the Jew), the gospels are God’s word and the rest is commentary. (Yes, it is all God’s word. And a lot of what is in the OT “commentary” is clearly quotes of God speaking.”) “Commentary” does not mean lower than the Word of God. Just that it is explanation. The core is in the Torah and the Gospels.

So when I read qualifications for elders written by Paul, I do not presume that it is God moving Paul’s hand (or his lips) to get some precise “this is it” list of qualifications. It is a sound representation of the core of what should be the qualified candidate. And so you trot out some pithy dichotomy as if how we would judge that one is proof of concept. There are many problems with it. First, if those are your choices, someone didn’t look very far for candidates. And they didn’t even bother to use the ultimate criteria to put them on the “list” in the first place. But assuming that we can get past that, the fact that 10 percent of the congregation would actually leave over a certain one becoming an elder says a lot. Some of it may be about the ones who would leave. But some of it is about the one chosen as elder. If there is that little respect, then maybe you (whoever) have not looked at the parts of the qualifications about their stature in the community. If 10 percent of Christians have a problem, then what about the unbelievers. What do they think?

But the worst part of it all is that I was not talking about trying to select an elder. I was making a point that we do not judge non elders by the criteria for eldership. There is a standard for some Christians that is not applied to all Christians. We do not reject from membership those who could not be elders. We do not declare that everyone who has divorced and now lives with a second spouse is simply continually living in sin. (There are some who take this kind of stance. And I was aware of your situation, although I did not think of it before I wrote what I did before.) So when you read the passage(s) where that seems to be indicated, it cannot be simply stated as true because we have reason to limit the applicability of that statement.

There is an army and there are citizens. Despite the mantra against it in this particular environment, there is a clergy and most of us are not it. That does not mean we are simply pew sitters throwing in our “tithes and offerings.” You really insist upon taking as extreme a position as possible. I simply state that it would appear that the “great commission” was actually a specific charge to some rather than all and you have acted as if I have said the entire gospel of Matthew is just an FYI and not really written to us. What balderdash!!
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:52 PM   #88
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Yes it is still mystifying why you would take an awesome work like the gospel of Matthew that concludes with this incredible commission to all . . . .
Where does it make this commission to all? You are presuming. Give me a reason for accepting that a word given in such an obviously and overtly specific manner to only 11, and not the 100 or more other followers, is "this incredible commission to all." You haven't even tried to do that. You just presume that it should be so. It surely isn't because of the context. So what is the reason? Make a point. Don't just restate mine into things I didn't say.

Or at least give me a reason to consider that it is reasonably plausible. I have done that for you. And you have never actually responded to my point, but made out as if I have diminished the whole of Matthew to instructions for clergy.

Where did I do that? You don't like it when I say "strawman." But either you really don't bother reading my posts and just give knee-jerk reactions to certain words, or you are not understanding me, or you are throwing out strawmen. I can accept that it is not willful, and simply that you don't understand. But every time you comment on the whole of Matthew, it is either a misunderstanding of what I have said or a willful attempt to change the subject. I am presuming the former.

But a strawman is a strawman. So if you didn't intend to do that, then you should reconsider whether you are understanding what I am saying because you sure aren't responding to it.
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:30 PM   #89
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If you truly understand the difference between a commission to go to the far reaches of the earth and the general charge to be ready with a defense, then you understand what I am talking about when I suggest that the “great commission” was given to those who were to go to the far reaches.
I am not clear what you have been trying to say, I will try to say what I understand you to have said, and perhaps that is where the problem will show up.

It seems to me that you are saying that Matt 28:16-20 was spoken directly to the 11 disciples. It was recorded by Matthew so that we could get some insight into the commission the Lord gave to the apostles and is not written by Matthew as a "great commission" to all that read the gospel of Matthew, though you do not reject that view outright. You also, based on this that I have just quoted above, seem to understand verse 19 "Go ye therefore and teach all nations" to indicate that this commission was a charge to the 11 to go to the far reaches of the Earth.

Here is where I differ.

Yes, it was spoken to the 11, and yes Matthew specifically noted that, so it is certainly relevant, and yes, that would therefore give us insight into the commission the Lord gave to the apostles.

However, I have a much broader understanding of the word "go ye therefore and teach all nations". No doubt, for some, and especially for the apostles that indicates evangelistic journeys. But I see this as a charge to all believers to become actively involved in the gospel. This is why I listed a variety of services someone could do that would, to my understanding, fulfill this commission. I have never read this, nor was I aware that anyone else had read this, to mean that every Christian is supposed to be another Billy Graham.

We have had a thorough discussion of the Apostles and I came to the conclusion that the apostolic gift was a gift to go into a land that was previously not evangelized and evangelize it. However, in doing so the church is established and so the land is no longer unevangelized and therefore this gift becomes dormant. But that merely means that the work of evangelizing that was commissioned by the Lord in these verses is carried out by the church. One individual's service in this gospel might be to make sure the meeting hall has the heat turned on an hour before the meeting starts, etc. So, if you look at an individual it might be difficult to see that this is a response to the commission, but if you look at the church it should be very clear. You should see on a weekly basis that the church as a corporate Body is doing the work of teaching the nations to observe all things commanded by the Lord. You should see evidence that all power has been given unto the Lord and that He is with you always.
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:35 PM   #90
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The problem is that you throw out two promises that we can bank on and end the discussion. I did not say that none of the promises are to us. I said that not all of the promises are to us.
But we were talking about the commission in Matthew 28. I quoted the verses that we were referring to, I identified two promises, and I answered your question.
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:56 PM   #91
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As for your discussion of the qualification of elders, I start with the general premise that like the OT, where the Torah is God’s word and the rest is commentary (in the mind of the Jew), the gospels are God’s word and the rest is commentary. (Yes, it is all God’s word. And a lot of what is in the OT “commentary” is clearly quotes of God speaking.”) “Commentary” does not mean lower than the Word of God. Just that it is explanation. The core is in the Torah and the Gospels.

So when I read qualifications for elders written by Paul, I do not presume that it is God moving Paul’s hand (or his lips) to get some precise “this is it” list of qualifications. It is a sound representation of the core of what should be the qualified candidate. And so you trot out some pithy dichotomy as if how we would judge that one is proof of concept. There are many problems with it. First, if those are your choices, someone didn’t look very far for candidates. And they didn’t even bother to use the ultimate criteria to put them on the “list” in the first place. But assuming that we can get past that, the fact that 10 percent of the congregation would actually leave over a certain one becoming an elder says a lot. Some of it may be about the ones who would leave. But some of it is about the one chosen as elder. If there is that little respect, then maybe you (whoever) have not looked at the parts of the qualifications about their stature in the community. If 10 percent of Christians have a problem, then what about the unbelievers. What do they think?

But the worst part of it all is that I was not talking about trying to select an elder. I was making a point that we do not judge non elders by the criteria for eldership. There is a standard for some Christians that is not applied to all Christians. We do not reject from membership those who could not be elders. We do not declare that everyone who has divorced and now lives with a second spouse is simply continually living in sin. (There are some who take this kind of stance. And I was aware of your situation, although I did not think of it before I wrote what I did before.) So when you read the passage(s) where that seems to be indicated, it cannot be simply stated as true because we have reason to limit the applicability of that statement.
Let me respond to the three points in red

1. "It is a sound representation of the core of what should be the qualified candidate." This is why I said that they should be treated with the utmost respect, not followed blindly. Second, the reason i used examples is because there are always exceptions to the rule, but in my experience, people make exceptions because they want to, not because they need to. I believe the reason for this is that too few among Christians appreciate why Paul would make these criteria. There is no criteria that says a man who had been imprisoned for a felony before receiving the Lord, could not become an elder. It says the man has to be of good repute, but lets be real, Malcolm X, had he been a Christian, would have been a man of good repute. This is not a holier than thou, or being judged by a higher standard. It is a job description. One of the key jobs of an elder is in counseling and shepherding the married saints in the congregation. It undermines your ability to counsel others to not get divorced if you have been divorced. There is nothing in the qualifications of an elder that talk about being charismatic, or an electrifying preacher, yet in many congregations that is their first choice. What happens? They get thousands of people, TV and radio, and then the man's sinfulness is exposed, and just like Gideon, all the children are slain on one rock. You end up with 0.

2. "the fact that 10 percent of the congregation would actually leave over a certain one becoming an elder says a lot." Which leads us to your second point. Yes, it does say a lot. We have many congregations that are concerned about filling pew seats, paying mortgages, etc. We have many superficial Christians who view meetings as entertainment. This sad story has repeated itself over and over again on the front pages of the newspaper to the shame of all Christians. If you choose the elder according to your flesh, then you will reap of the flesh destruction. The way of the Cross is a narrow way. If you choose the elder according to Paul's instructions you will have to crucify the flesh.

3. "I was making a point that we do not judge non elders by the criteria for eldership. There is a standard for some Christians that is not applied to all Christians." What do I have to do to get my point across? You are complaining that I won't even countenance your position and yet it is you who refuse to countenance my position. My point is that Paul's criteria are not a matter of judging elders by a higher standard. My point is that it is a job description. Firemen need to be strong enough to carry a person out of burning building, does that mean that they are being judged by a higher standard than say a jockey who has won the triple crown? The fireman could not do the job of the jockey and the jockey cannot do the job of the fireman. This is common sense, not being judged by a higher standard.
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Old 09-30-2011, 03:12 PM   #92
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Where does it make this commission to all? You are presuming. Give me a reason for accepting that a word given in such an obviously and overtly specific manner to only 11, and not the 100 or more other followers, is "this incredible commission to all." You haven't even tried to do that. You just presume that it should be so. It surely isn't because of the context. So what is the reason? Make a point. Don't just restate mine into things I didn't say.

Or at least give me a reason to consider that it is reasonably plausible. I have done that for you. And you have never actually responded to my point, but made out as if I have diminished the whole of Matthew to instructions for clergy.
Fair enough, this is taken from Romans 1.


Romans
1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
1:6 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:


Verse 5 is clearly referring to his commission as an apostle, and in this context Paul says “that we also are the called of Jesus Christ”. In verse 1 Paul said he was “called to be an apostle”. In literally the same sentence he says that we also are the called of Jesus Christ.

1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.

The glory to Jesus is not that the faith of 11 apostles (and Paul who was not there to receive that specific word) is spoken of, but that the faith of those that receive the gospel is spoken of throughout the whole world. This is the evidence of a resurrected and ascended Lord. You can not dismiss this as a few gullible followers of one extraordinary man.

1:11 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;
1:12 That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.


There is a mutual faith. If your interpretation is correct, then the Lord spoke to the 11 who had the faith to receive and act on that word. But according to Paul that faith is then transmitted to those that hear and it is now a “mutual faith”. How do you still distinguish between his faith and our faith?

1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek

All power is given unto the Lord for what? For salvation. Now according to Paul that promise of all power is unto every one that believeth.

Now I could go through many other places as well. Prior to this I quoted the verse in Peter that we have been given like precious faith. I also quoted the verse in Matthew that "man shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God". Hebrews is especially good at covering this topic, and I referred to that when I said that Jesus is the author and perfector of our faith. Galatians is another excellent book on this subject and I referred to that when I mentioned this being "a different gospel".
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Old 09-30-2011, 11:00 PM   #93
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I now view with suspicion any ministry which begins with the notion of "the church has failed." Once the whole of the body of Christ is condemned by his self-imposed standard, then he alone becomes "qualified" to introduce "the solution."
Basic sales pitch. Create a need, fill it.
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Old 10-01-2011, 07:14 AM   #94
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Fair enough, this is taken from Romans 1.


Romans
1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
1:6 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:

Verse 5 is clearly referring to his commission as an apostle, and in this context Paul says “that we also are the called of Jesus Christ”. In verse 1 Paul said he was “called to be an apostle”. In literally the same sentence he says that we also are the called of Jesus Christ.

1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.

The glory to Jesus is not that the faith of 11 apostles (and Paul who was not there to receive that specific word) is spoken of, but that the faith of those that receive the gospel is spoken of throughout the whole world. This is the evidence of a resurrected and ascended Lord. You can not dismiss this as a few gullible followers of one extraordinary man.

1:11 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;
1:12 That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.

There is a mutual faith. If your interpretation is correct, then the Lord spoke to the 11 who had the faith to receive and act on that word. But according to Paul that faith is then transmitted to those that hear and it is now a “mutual faith”. How do you still distinguish between his faith and our faith?

1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek

All power is given unto the Lord for what? For salvation. Now according to Paul that promise of all power is unto every one that believeth.

Now I could go through many other places as well. Prior to this I quoted the verse in Peter that we have been given like precious faith. I also quoted the verse in Matthew that "man shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God". Hebrews is especially good at covering this topic, and I referred to that when I said that Jesus is the author and perfector of our faith. Galatians is another excellent book on this subject and I referred to that when I mentioned this being "a different gospel".
I'm sorry, but none of these verses are significant concerning the meaning of the specific calling in Matthew 28. And I will admit that I am not saying that it cannot be a general statement to all, but there is evidence that it just might not be.

These verses indicate that others refer to the faith of those in Rome as they spread the gospel elsewhere. That does not give a charge to the Romans.

Being "the called of Jesus Christ" does not necessarily mean called to certain specific things. It is a general statement. This verse does not refer back to Matthew 28.

Actually, this whole passage in Romans does not say a single thing about the people Paul is speaking to preaching the gospel. Or being sent to other places. It does speak of them being established.

The same can be said about Peter. "Like precious faith" does not establish that "go into all the world" is to us — to you or me. You continually miss that I am never diminishing our calling. Just questioning whether this calling/commission is the one we received. Just like the charge to an elder is not the charge to the congregation. That does not mean that we do not have a charge. We are not the ones who equip, but the ones who are perfected for works of ministry. And what is not just "meeting" ministry and "preaching" ministry, but the whole task of living. It is much more than spiritual stuff.

Now if you actually are one of the ones called to be an elder, a teacher, an evangelist, etc., that is important and a serious charge. It bears a weight that most never have to consider. Weight such as being sure of what you are "building with" because the way you build will be the way those you build go out to do their ministry. It is what gets built into them.


In short, these passages are totally irrelevant to the discussion at hand. Do you not see that? What do you believe and why? You have not established that the specifics of Matthew 28 are ever stated as directed at everyone despite the very pointed command to the 11 (and quite possibly a few others who might have often never been left out). Your defenses are:
  • Incredulity that I would think otherwise.
  • Assertions about what this one statement might mean about what I think about the rest of Matthew (all speculative, and wrong).
  • Passages with no plausible link to the discussion at hand.
What do you believe? Why do you believe it? Do you really consider what you believe and why you believe it?

Do you think that my position somehow diminishes the place of the "average Christian" in the realm of the Christian faith and life? Is the truth changed by whether or not I understand it the way you do, or whether it is the right understanding?

You clearly have a much better command of scripture than I do, but seem all too often to bring the most irrelevant things to bear in discussions.

My goal is to read and consider. I have no desire to destroy my faith or yours. But I am tired of simply believing everything because someone else tells me it is true. Especially when I have to reject my brain as I read words that do not clearly support the popularly held position, especially when it supports something different.

Are you afraid that if we discover that the apostles and some few others received a specific command that was pointed at them, then our part in the ongoing life of the church is somehow diminished? How can it be diminished? By your own declaration, the "gift" of apostleship may be dormant because the spread to the world in general has occurred. Why does this particular passage have to be about our general living of the gospel? Isn't there plenty in scripture that sets out our part without being linked to this one?

Does the gospel fall apart if this passage actually was very intentionally spoken only to the 11? I'm not saying that it definitely was. But if that is what actually happened, what does it change?
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Old 10-01-2011, 11:36 AM   #95
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I'm sorry, but none of these verses are significant concerning the meaning of the specific calling in Matthew 28. And I will admit that I am not saying that it cannot be a general statement to all, but there is evidence that it just might not be.

These verses indicate that others refer to the faith of those in Rome as they spread the gospel elsewhere. That does not give a charge to the Romans.

Being "the called of Jesus Christ" does not necessarily mean called to certain specific things. It is a general statement. This verse does not refer back to Matthew 28.

Actually, this whole passage in Romans does not say a single thing about the people Paul is speaking to preaching the gospel. Or being sent to other places. It does speak of them being established.

The same can be said about Peter. "Like precious faith" does not establish that "go into all the world" is to us — to you or me. You continually miss that I am never diminishing our calling. Just questioning whether this calling/commission is the one we received. Just like the charge to an elder is not the charge to the congregation. That does not mean that we do not have a charge. We are not the ones who equip, but the ones who are perfected for works of ministry. And what is not just "meeting" ministry and "preaching" ministry, but the whole task of living. It is much more than spiritual stuff.

Now if you actually are one of the ones called to be an elder, a teacher, an evangelist, etc., that is important and a serious charge. It bears a weight that most never have to consider. Weight such as being sure of what you are "building with" because the way you build will be the way those you build go out to do their ministry. It is what gets built into them.


In short, these passages are totally irrelevant to the discussion at hand. Do you not see that? What do you believe and why? You have not established that the specifics of Matthew 28 are ever stated as directed at everyone despite the very pointed command to the 11 (and quite possibly a few others who might have often never been left out). Your defenses are:
  • Incredulity that I would think otherwise.
  • Assertions about what this one statement might mean about what I think about the rest of Matthew (all speculative, and wrong).
  • Passages with no plausible link to the discussion at hand.
What do you believe? Why do you believe it? Do you really consider what you believe and why you believe it?

Do you think that my position somehow diminishes the place of the "average Christian" in the realm of the Christian faith and life? Is the truth changed by whether or not I understand it the way you do, or whether it is the right understanding?

You clearly have a much better command of scripture than I do, but seem all too often to bring the most irrelevant things to bear in discussions.

My goal is to read and consider. I have no desire to destroy my faith or yours. But I am tired of simply believing everything because someone else tells me it is true. Especially when I have to reject my brain as I read words that do not clearly support the popularly held position, especially when it supports something different.

Are you afraid that if we discover that the apostles and some few others received a specific command that was pointed at them, then our part in the ongoing life of the church is somehow diminished? How can it be diminished? By your own declaration, the "gift" of apostleship may be dormant because the spread to the world in general has occurred. Why does this particular passage have to be about our general living of the gospel? Isn't there plenty in scripture that sets out our part without being linked to this one?

Does the gospel fall apart if this passage actually was very intentionally spoken only to the 11? I'm not saying that it definitely was. But if that is what actually happened, what does it change?
So the verses I quote do not prove an idea that I do not believe in nor have ever said. Wow, thanks for the info. In fact not only I, not even WL nor the LRC teach this idea. I don't know of anyone who has taught that the commission in Matt 28 is a charge for every Christian to go spread the gospel elsewhere. When you stop thinking out loud and are actually responding to what others are writing let me know. You say that what I write is completely irrelevant to the conversation at hand. Whose conversation? Not the one I have been having.

You say "you are tired of believing everything simply because someone tells you it is true". Who ever told you that all Christians were called to be Apostles? Who ever told you that all Christians were called to be traveling evangelists?

This is what is so confusing about your posts. You assume that you are rethinking what you were taught in the LRC, and yet no one ever taught what you allege they taught. I have repeatedly asked you to clarify what it is you are "rethinking". I have even provided a post where I have put together what I assume is what you are talking about and made it very clear that no one that I know of, not Paul, not WL, not WN, not me, ever said (to my limited knowledge) that the commission in Matt 28 is for all Christians to go preach the gospel as traveling missionaries.
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Old 10-01-2011, 03:22 PM   #96
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Does the gospel fall apart if this passage actually was very intentionally spoken only to the 11? I'm not saying that it definitely was. But if that is what actually happened, what does it change?
For the sake of clearing up confusion I didn't want to quote your post at all, rather focus on the passage in question. However, for the sake of the thread I felt this was a critical question. It seems central to the discussion, and helps with the continuity.

The passage in question is from Matt 28:16-20 (not Acts 1:8 which is the verse that charges the disciples to go into all the world).

28:16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
28:17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

This is the conclusion to the book of Matthew. In this passage the Lord says that "all power" or "all authority" has been given unto him in heaven and in earth. Matthew presents Jesus as a king, it concludes with his being given all authority in heaven and in earth. This is why anyone who confesses that Jesus is Lord shall be saved (Romans). This verse is spoken to every believer. This gospel records the fact that it was spoken to the 11 disciples, but it also records the fact that these disciples were commissioned to disciple the nations, teaching them all things, and that is what Matthew is doing in the gospel. So saying that the word was spoken to the 11 is fine, but then you also have to agree that the gospel was written for every believer. You say that this great commission in Matthew was only spoken to the 11 and was not for the average Christian, that includes this word that is the conclusion to the entire gospel. What was the point of being crucified? What was the point of the earthly ministry? Obviously the gospel of Matthew falls apart if you take away the fact that Jesus is now Lord!

Go Ye -- you have made this verse to mean that the Lord was charging the 11 to go on missionary journeys. I understand this word to mean that the disciples, and the believers, and the church that Jesus promised to build in Matthew, is charged to actively do a work. If your congregation is actively involved in discipling the nations and teaching them all things that Jesus commanded, then your congregation is actively responding to this commission. If you are serving within the congregation, then your services is also part of this work. Paul was called to be an apostle (Rom 1:1). Every single believer that received Christ has also been called. (Rom 1:6). No one is saying that they also have been called to be apostles, perhaps they have been called to be a sanitation worker that expresses Christ. But that calling is according to the Lord's burden to disciple all the nations. That is the commission that is given to the church:

Ephesians 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
1:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
1:23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Finally, there is a promise "Lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen" Yes, if you tell me that this promise is not for the average believer it diminishes the gospel of Matthew, yes it changes a lot.

Now you are the one who is asking what happens if this passage is not spoken to all believers. This is why I am astounded you would even ask such a thing. You seem to have confused Matt 28 with Acts 13:2
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Old 10-02-2011, 12:32 AM   #97
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So the verses I quote do not prove an idea that I do not believe in nor have ever said.
You are slowly establishing that you are not really what you make yourself out to be. I made specific comments about what I am seeing in the words recorded in Matthew 28 that at least provide some evidence that the so-called great commission was not actually given to everyone. And at the same time I was clear that I was not suggesting that we do not have a calling to the gospel, but that maybe that passage in Matthew 28 was something special relative to the commission of those specific apostles. I have been advised offline that there were probably some others that were always around when the 11/12 were there, so they probably heard it as well. But Jesus did not gather everyone together and speak it, but sent them ahead separately.

And since that time, you have at least given the appearance that you are responding to those statements that I made in that line of reasoning. So when you bring up the verses in Romans, I can find nothing in them that in any way relates to what I have been talking about. And since you gave them after quoting what I had said, and in a manner that indicated you were trying to take exception with what I had said, I'm not sure how i should understand them to be about anything else.

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I don't know of anyone who has taught that the commission in Matt 28 is a charge for every Christian to go spread the gospel elsewhere. When you stop thinking out loud and are actually responding to what others are writing let me know.
So you are retracting all those things that you said in opposition to what I said that was simply suggesting that the commission in Matthew 28 was not a charge to every Christian? Or is there a typo in your post? Either you unintentionally said that you now agree with me and know of no one who has every taught otherwise (and really do not because that reading is due to a typo) or you are actually saying that you were misreading me earlier and you now agree with what I suggested.

Either way, I am baffled by what appears to be a sudden change of position from what you seemed so strongly to refute just one or two posts ago. Were we just misreading each other that badly?


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You say that what I write is completely irrelevant to the conversation at hand. Whose conversation? Not the one I have been having.
Since you were responding to my posts, it would seem that the topic was whether Matthew 28 was or was not a commission to every Christian. And Romans 1 just does not connect with that topic. And the way to put my quote in red seems to indicate that you are reading me differently from what I actually said, or at least what I actually meant to say.

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You say "you are tired of believing everything simply because someone tells you it is true". Who ever told you that all Christians were called to be Apostles? Who ever told you that all Christians were called to be traveling evangelists?
I never said either of those things. I said that it starts to appear that the commission in Matthew 28 was more about those things, and therefore was not a commission to all of us. But having said that, I have repeatedly been clear to repeat that I am not suggesting that we do not have a calling relative to the gospel.

What I meant by "tired of believing . . . " was that when I see something that does not jive, I go with the question rather than just accept that a more studied person has said it. When it comes to issues of scriptural study, it is becoming clear that too many of the most studied still are so blinded by their colored lenses that they can only see answers that fit in their preconceived framework. And the truth is that while some of the frameworks out there may be very good, they are all limited and narrow, therefore do not deal with everything well.

And I do not suppose that just because I have taken this "ask a lot of questions and don't just take what someone else says" position that all of my reasoning will be right or my questions will be good. But I get suspicious that I am onto something when there is little on-point discussion that points back to the popularly-held position that I am questioning.

I honestly expect that when it is all said and done, there will be little substantial change in what is important in my beliefs. But I could be wrong.

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This is what is so confusing about your posts. You assume that you are rethinking what you were taught in the LRC, and yet no one ever taught what you allege they taught. I have repeatedly asked you to clarify what it is you are "rethinking". I have even provided a post where I have put together what I assume is what you are talking about and made it very clear that no one that I know of, not Paul, not WL, not WN, not me, ever said (to my limited knowledge) that the commission in Matt 28 is for all Christians to go preach the gospel as traveling missionaries.
This particular line of reasoning appears to be rather recent in the discussion.

But I am actually suggesting that because there are references in scripture to our part in the spread of the gospel, we do have a commission. But I see something more detailed in the Matthew 28 commission that may not legitimately be relevant to what most of us will ever be called to do. And it is not just that Jesus spoke it specifically to the disciples. It is also that it entails the task of equipping others to follow. And teaching them to obey. Even in the majority of Paul's writings it is fairly clear that there are the teachers/evangelists/apostles, etc., and those who are equipped by them. And I actually doubt that "works of ministry" that the now-equipped ones are to carry out are simply small versions of what the teachers/evangelists/apostles, etc. did.

The fullness of the gospel is to make us what we were intended to be. To restore us. And we were not created to be teachers and evangelists. We were created to bear God's image in our lives. And we are now saved for that purpose. The teachers/apostles help us to learn what that is. Why do we have to learn it? Maybe because we lost the natural knowledge in the fall. I don't know why for sure. It is clear that it doesn't just fall on us at salvation because Jesus would not have had to tell the disciples to teach the converts to obey.

The pattern I see is that Jesus had a following of 12/70/others who followed and learned and were ready to take on the commission at the end of Matthew. At the same time, Jesus set hundreds of people on the path to following and obeying. Most of those people did not follow from place to place to become teachers. They followed in their living right where they already were. They lived and exemplified the good news in their lives. And they were ready to tell why they lived the way they lived.
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Old 10-02-2011, 01:00 AM   #98
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This verse is spoken to every believer. This gospel records the fact that it was spoken to the 11 disciples, but it also records the fact that these disciples were commissioned to disciple the nations, teaching them all things, and that is what Matthew is doing in the gospel. So saying that the word was spoken to the 11 is fine, but then you also have to agree that the gospel was written for every believer.
I'm not sure how you arrive at that conclusion. Matthew wrote it down as part of his "teaching them all things" and therefore this must be a command to us.

That is extremely weak reasoning.

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If your congregation is actively involved in discipling the nations and teaching them all things that Jesus commanded, then your congregation is actively responding to this commission.
Maybe. Depending on how you read this commission. If you understand it as an all-encompassing commission to live the gospel life in whatever way you do it, they you are correct. If you read this as directed at those who will be the ones teaching the rest of us to follow and obey, then the congregation is actually responding to a different commission.

In short, we are called to the thing that you are referring to in this portion of your post. But I'm not sure that is what Matthew 28 is talking about.
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That is the commission that is given to the church:

Ephesians 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
1:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
1:23 Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.
Great passage. How does it relate to the discussion? What question or issue does it address or solve? Is it that the word "calling" is in it? If so, how does this use of the word relate to Matthew 28 in terms of the content of the commission there relative to the calling here? Are we presuming that our "calling" is so narrow, or the great commission so broad that everything is generically talking about everything?

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Finally, there is a promise "Lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen" Yes, if you tell me that this promise is not for the average believer it diminishes the gospel of Matthew, yes it changes a lot.
I would not say anything like that. And while the two statements are placed together in one paragraph ( in Bibles that are formatted in that way), the fact that I question the broad applicability of the "great commission" that immediately preceded it does not suggest that I question the broad applicability of this statement.

Jesus can say to them that he is with them to the end of the age without it being a limited or qualified statement even if it really was spoken as literally connected to something else that I believe was a limited statement. It is not a structural or grammatical difficulty to say, write, or read something in that manner.

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Now you are the one who is asking what happens if this passage is not spoken to all believers. This is why I am astounded you would even ask such a thing. You seem to have confused Matt 28 with Acts 13:2
Why are you astounded? I've been through this before. What is so incredulous about what I am saying? You seem stuck on the idea that what Matthew 28 is about simply has to be the general "commission" to everyone to preach the gospel. I have reason to think that might not be the case. And once again, I ask for a reason that suggesting that is so incredulous. The wording does seem to suggest it. And I do not find anything except the fact that we have generally thought of this a being generally applicable. I don't find how it is simply true. So back up. Read what I write again. Now respond to what I write, not what I do not write.
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Old 10-02-2011, 04:12 AM   #99
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Great passage [Ephesians 1:18-23]. How does it relate to the discussion? What question or issue does it address or solve? Is it that the word "calling" is in it? If so, how does this use of the word relate to Matthew 28 in terms of the content of the commission there relative to the calling here? Are we presuming that our "calling" is so narrow, or the great commission so broad that everything is generically talking about everything?
The passage makes it very clear that when Jesus said "all authority is given to me, go ye, therefore"

That this authority is given unto the church, not unto the apostles. These verses in Ephesians prove that the "ye" in Matthew refers to the corporate Body of Christ, the church.
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Old 10-02-2011, 04:17 AM   #100
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I would not say anything like that. And while the two statements are placed together in one paragraph ( in Bibles that are formatted in that way), the fact that I question the broad applicability of the "great commission" that immediately preceded it does not suggest that I question the broad applicability of this statement.

Jesus can say to them that he is with them to the end of the age without it being a limited or qualified statement even if it really was spoken as literally connected to something else that I believe was a limited statement. It is not a structural or grammatical difficulty to say, write, or read something in that manner.
Your major reasoning throughout this entire argument is that the word in Matt 28 is spoken to the 11, not to everyone. Yet at the same time you admit that the two promises spoken to the 11 in this section are applicable to everyone. This at the very least undermines the argument. Yes it is possible that the first sentence is to everyone, and the last sentence is to everyone, but the middle sentence is only to the eleven. Except that the middle sentence "Go Ye" is conditional on the first sentence -- "Go Ye, Therefore"

So all Christians are given the first promise, that all authority is given unto Jesus, this is proved in Ephesians 1:18-23, yet the statement that is conditioned on this promise is only to the eleven?

Once again I would ask why are you saying this, and now the reason cannot be that this word was only spoken to the eleven.
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Old 10-02-2011, 04:29 AM   #101
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Why are you astounded? I've been through this before. What is so incredulous about what I am saying? You seem stuck on the idea that what Matthew 28 is about simply has to be the general "commission" to everyone to preach the gospel. I have reason to think that might not be the case. And once again, I ask for a reason that suggesting that is so incredulous. The wording does seem to suggest it. And I do not find anything except the fact that we have generally thought of this a being generally applicable. I don't find how it is simply true. So back up. Read what I write again. Now respond to what I write, not what I do not write.
This is what we should be focused on first. Why do you have reason to believe that? Because of the word "go"? I have listed 3 points in order of importance:

The biggest issue I have with this theory is that Ephesians says that the authority that was wrought in Christ when God raised Him from the dead and made Him Lord of all and gave Him as head to the church is the condition on which "Go ye, therefore" is made. You cannot "go" without the head, and it is the church that has the head, not individual apostles.

The second biggest issue I have is that you can argue that these verses are the Lord's commission to the apostles. I think that is a reasonable, fair, and to my mind, accurate representation of these verses. Paul said he was called to be an apostle, so I would therefore argue that he should be included in that, even though he wasn't with the 11. However, Paul also says every believer has been called. To me, this is very similar to saying that every employee has been hired to do a job. Every member of the body has a function. Since the Body has been commissioned, every function of the Body that is under the guidance of the head, is working out that commission.

The third biggest issue is that I see no reason to take the first part and the third part of conversation Jesus had with the 11 and say this applies to everyone, but that the middle part only applies to the 11. I find once you agree that the majority of the conversation applies then the argument that this was not spoken to everyone falls apart. What makes this even more implausible is that the part that you think only applies to the 11 is conditional on the promises made to everyone.
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Old 10-02-2011, 02:28 PM   #102
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The passage makes it very clear that when Jesus said "all authority is given to me, go ye, therefore"

That this authority is given unto the church, not unto the apostles. These verses in Ephesians prove that the "ye" in Matthew refers to the corporate Body of Christ, the church.
Splicing rather freely it would seem.
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Old 10-02-2011, 02:36 PM   #103
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Your major reasoning throughout this entire argument is that the word in Matt 28 is spoken to the 11, not to everyone. Yet at the same time you admit that the two promises spoken to the 11 in this section are applicable to everyone.
I find it amazing that you cannot fathom that something said to only a few could be meant for only them and something else said to only a few could be a general statement with broad applicability. You are focused on the fact that it is said to only the 11/12 and since some things said to them is meant for everyone, then they must all be and therefore assume that since I think that one of them is potentially only meant for them that I must think that all such statements are only meant for them.

The is a thing called context and the contexts and the wording in the various places are not the same, therefore not necessarily identical.

If you want to discuss the contextual differences and show how I should read them the same, that is fine. But you are ignoring the whole of the context and forcing all to be identical simply because there is one factor the same. It doesn't rise to the level of reasonable evidence for me. You need to make a case on each specific situation for or against any particular reading. You can't make one factor dismiss all others.
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Old 10-02-2011, 03:49 PM   #104
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I find it amazing that you cannot fathom that something said to only a few could be meant for only them and something else said to only a few could be a general statement with broad applicability.
Of course I could fathom it, otherwise why even have this discussion? But what evidence have you provided? Context?

The context is

1. This is the conclusion of the book of Matthew, a book written for all believers. Therefore I find it strange that at such a crucial juncture there would be an aside meant only for 11 and recorded as an FYI. Not impossible, but unlikely.

2. In this conclusion all authority is given to the resurrected and ascended Lord who has been made head over all things to the church. It is based on this authority that he tells His disciples to go and disciple the nations. Based on the fact that this charge is a direct result of all authority given to the Lord I have to believe that this charge is to the church, since according to Ephesians the power that was wrought in raising Christ from the dead and making Him head over all was given to the church.

3. The context is that these disciples, upon hearing this charge, would go off and spread the gospel with signs and wonders following them, demonstrating that the Lord was with them and all Power was given to Him. The fact that this is so means that I can look at their lives and their work as an example of what it means to "go and disciple the nations". They have been given to me as a pattern, even as Paul said. Why would Paul tell me to "be imitators of me" if I wasn't meant to be an imitator of him? So my question to you is, can't you understand that some words in the Bible require examples and illustrations to be understood? Hence the book of Acts was not an aside, it was not a FYI, it illustrated what it means to go and disciple the nations.

4. The context is that the work of discipling the nations did not stop and cease 1900 years ago once these 11 died. It did not cease with the lands immediately adjacent to the Mediterranean, but history shows us it has gone to the furthest corners of the Earth. History also has shown us through many testimonies that this gospel did go in the power of the Holy Spirit, with signs and wonders, once again testifying that these promises made to the eleven are equally applicable to those as well. Therefore biographies of Hudson Taylor, or William Carey, or Martin Luther, or Billy Graham, or others can also illustrate what it means to go and disciple the nations.

5. Experience and history has shown that the bulk of the work of discipling the nations has been done by the Body of Christ as the church. By any reasonable measure there are more people being discipled today and taught to observe all things that Jesus taught today than there ever were by the original 11. How is it that you cannot comprehend that a brother or sister teaching sunday school today is walking according to this charge? A teenager preaching the gospel at their school is walking according to this charge? A bible study, home meeting, or sunday morning worship is walking according to this charge?

6. A key component to Paul's ministry was to teach that although he was called to be an apostle, even so, every member of the Body of Christ has a calling, has a function, and this function is according to the Lord's commission to the Body. Regardless of what this function is, the analogy is a human body with many different members all functioning. Now how can you not see that Christ is the head of that Body and that this body has gone to the four corners of the Earth, discipling the nations and teaching them to obey all the things the Lord has said? Did the apostle Paul ever come to NYC and disciple the nations here? Who is doing that? The church is, and every member of the body is therefore walking according to this charge.

7. The context of the book of Matthew is that Jesus "will build His church". According to Ephesians, the conclusion of Matthew, the conclusion of the crucifixion, death and burial of Jesus, is that He resurrected from the dead, ascended to the heavens, and all authority was given to Him to be head over the church. Building the church is a major theme of Matthew, it is built on the critical revelation of the entire book -- Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. We see this again when he resurrects and becomes the Head of the Body. Limiting that conclusion to a word meant only for the 11 limits the revelation of this book.

So I see lots of evidence, whether the writings of Paul, the Acts of the Apostles, or church history, or even my own experience to know that this word from the Lord is still very much in force to all of us: "Go and disciple the nations, teaching them to obey all things that the Lord has spoken"
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:02 PM   #105
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Of course I could fathom it, otherwise why even have this discussion? But what evidence have you provided? Context?

The context is

1. This is the conclusion of the book of Matthew, a book written for all believers. Therefore I find it strange that at such a crucial juncture there would be an aside meant only for 11 and recorded as an FYI. Not impossible, but unlikely.
I guess that sending out 70 was code for sending out everyone. I have not bothered to look into whether this is mentioned in Matthew. But I would presume that the same argument would be made for all of the gospels. And it is the use of a broad brush full of whitewash to make it all one way.

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2. In this conclusion all authority is given to the resurrected and ascended Lord who has been made head over all things to the church. It is based on this authority that he tells His disciples to go and disciple the nations. Based on the fact that this charge is a direct result of all authority given to the Lord I have to believe that this charge is to the church, since according to Ephesians the power that was wrought in raising Christ from the dead and making Him head over all was given to the church.
And so, since all power is given to the church, this word has to be a general commission.
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They have been given to me as a pattern, even as Paul said. Why would Paul tell me to "be imitators of me" if I wasn't meant to be an imitator of him?/
Paul's statement meant to mean that they should do all the things that he does and in the way he does time?

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4. The context is that the work of discipling the nations did not stop and cease 1900 years ago once these 11 died.
You have forgotten that from the very first, I did not say that it was only to the 11, but to those who have the charge to give their lives to it. And that does not mean that our lives are not given to Christ, but that we each have different parts in the whole "enterprise" of the church.
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Therefore biographies of Hudson Taylor, or William Carey, or Martin Luther, or Billy Graham, or others can also illustrate what it means to go and disciple the nations.
And I would agree. And it might be that even in my alternate reading that these people are clearly among those charged in Matthew 28.
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5. Experience and history has shown that the bulk of the work of discipling the nations has been done by the Body of Christ as the church. By any reasonable measure there are more people being discipled today and taught to observe all things that Jesus taught today than there ever were by the original 11.
Still missing th point. It never was intended to be simply to the 11 then dormant or completed. But what I am talking about is not simply what we all can "do."
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How is it that you cannot comprehend that a brother or sister teaching Sunday school today is walking according to this charge? A teenager preaching the gospel at their school is walking according to this charge? A bible study, home meeting, or Sunday morning worship is walking according to this charge?
Each of these are components of our charge. Of the living of the Christian life. Surely it is evident that the whole process requires us all. But the underpinning of coming to sufficient knowledge to do those things required that someone disciple us and teach us to obey. It required that someone that we accepted as speaking for God (not just in a "prophetic" way) directed us
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7. The context of the book of Matthew is that Jesus "will build His church".
That is a lens through which you choose to read Matthew. It is an important passage in Matthew that constitutes less than half of one chapter. But it is not simply "the context" of Matthew.
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According to Ephesians, the conclusion of Matthew, the conclusion of the crucifixion, death and burial of Jesus, is that He resurrected from the dead, ascended to the heavens, and all authority was given to Him to be head over the church.
?????
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Building the church is a major theme of Matthew, it is built on the critical revelation of the entire book -- Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
I do not want anyone to think that I consider the church a minor theme, but "the church" seems to be mentioned twice. They are not insignificant mentions, but to call it a major theme is to suggest seriously colored glasses.
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Limiting that conclusion to a word meant only for the 11 limits the revelation of this book.
Baloney. Only if you are insistent that without it being personally to you that your calling by God is knocked-down in importance. But importance to who? You calling is important as it is without that verse. It is not diminished. It is what it is.
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So I see lots of evidence, whether the writings of Paul, the Acts of the Apostles, or church history, or even my own experience to know that this word from the Lord is still very much in force to all of us: "Go and disciple the nations, teaching them to obey all things that the Lord has spoken"
Paul does not directly refer to this, even in Ephesians 1. Acts sort of does, but probably not the way you think. Church history bears out to me that there have always been those who have a charge to keep us focused and moving in our discipleship and keeping focused on our obedience and righteousness. And within this framework there is significant "work" for us. Part of it is in things like teaching Sunday school, talking to our friends and neighbors, etc.

And none of what I am suggesting is to diminish what we do, or its importance or significance. I just see what seems to me to be an indication that there is something in this particular charge that we have missed in the past. A charge that is important to the church but is not generally to all of us. It is actually happening the way I understand it anyway. The only thing is that I think this passage is talking about it the way I am seeing it.
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Old 10-03-2011, 04:57 AM   #106
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OBW: Can you give us an example of a Christian who is faithful to the calling to which they were called and that this word in Matthew does not apply to?
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Old 10-03-2011, 04:11 PM   #107
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OBW: Can you give us an example of a Christian who is faithful to the calling to which they were called and that this word in Matthew does not apply to?
I now realize that there is a dense fog hovering over this discussion. Everything I say comes back as part of a question that does not resemble the issues/questions/proposals I have raised.

Give you an example? Yours work just fine. How about a Sunday school teacher for children, or the teenage girl speaking to her classmates or neighborhood friends. Under my reading of this passage, these are part of the general calling we all receive but not as part of the commission in Matthew 28. It seems that the problem is that you don’t recognize that I am not changing the reality of the calling(s) that we each receive for various works of ministry. I am simply suggesting that this particular passage is not the basis for that calling. It seems that it just might be a more specific calling that is not so broadly applicable.

And finding examples will not determine whether I am right or wrong. It will just prove that there really are different callings for all of us.

In other words, even if I am right, nothing of substance changes because I am not saying that we don’t have the calling we have, but that the calling we have is found somewhere other than in this passage. And this passage gives a specific calling to certain ones.

If you think it is important to argue me out of this thinking without actually engaging in the issue(s) that I am bringing up, that is fine. But save your breath (actually, electrons) because my hope was to consider the passage without presuming anything. Take the words that are there. Leave off the overlay of writings that Paul would later pen/dictate. Start at the center of the actual words written and work out from there. Slowly, not with a rush to conclude that what we already think is correct. We may get there. But you are too eager to shortcut the process and conclude. You constantly beg the question. You bring the conclusions into a discussion that is seeking to find the way from evidence to conclusion. A discussion that has no preconceived outcome already on the table. Or at least hopefully so.

And why would I bother going through something that you think is so obviously already correctly decided? Because we are so quick to ignore the words and insert substitute ideas as if supported. We may ultimately be right most of the time. And even when we are not right, it may be that the conclusion is actually correct, but that the way we got there is not. Our conclusion may actually be supported by some other passage, not the one currently in front of us. And simply supposing that it is long settled is the way to miss what the passage is actually trying to tell us. It may be saying something relevant that we are missing.

Or it may not. It could be that in the end, even if I am right about the focus of the passage, nothing is any different in overall terms. But that is a dangerous position to take (IMO). I fear that for every so many places that we blunder through ignoring the actual words and substituting our own thoughts (and we are ultimately alright because there are other passages that actually support our position, and other passages that bring out the thing we are missing in the immediate passage) there will be one for which we simply miss something important because we refused to reconsider.

I would like a discussion that begins with this passage — naked with respect to overlays from the writings of Paul (which came long after Jesus spoke these particular words) or any other external presumption. Once we can work around this for a little while, then (and only then) can we start to consider whether there are other passages that might shed some light on this. And they will be given the same scrutiny as the present passage. For example, simply finding a common word or phrase is not presumed to have the exact same meaning. We might actually come to a conclusion that we all like.

If you want to take on that kind of discussion, then please join in. If not, just say so and this will end. Now. No more jumping to the conclusion. No more presumptive answers. No more begging the question.

And you can presume this about anything that I bring up that seems to be (in your opinion) misreading scripture. If you want to discuss it, then let's discuss. Otherwise, just say you disagree and move on.
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:02 AM   #108
ZNPaaneah
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Default Re: A Word of Love

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
I now realize that there is a dense fog hovering over this discussion.
Agreed. Perhaps there is someone who has been reading these posts and has the gift of translation. If so, could you explain OBW's position as you understand it as well as why giving an example to illustrate it is a "rush to judgement"? Thanks
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