John UK wrote: 1. Sure, that is what concerns me. Eldership ought to be spiritual oversight of the group, seeing and acknowledging the gifts of all, and giving them room to use those gifts for edification of all, in a corporate setting.
2. We've lost what the word "ministry" means. Eph 4:11-13 (KJV) 11) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
1. Long to see the blessing such balance might revert to the witness.
2. Yes, ministry is the edification of the body, by the channels of the gifting of the Spirit as he wills. This, and the proper upbringing of the young in godly households, would bring such a difference to the rather barren and defeated churchianity of our day
John, it becomes somehow easy for me to follow what you are trying to bring to our consideration. Nevertheless, we should allow for two points in this rather 'idealistic' setting you describe.
1. As it happens often, like it or not, truth seems to glide with two wings. In this case one is order and palpable leadership, against the universal priesthood of the believer. Say, congregations need a strong ministry of leadership, but not to the point of suffocating /restricting functionality by the monopoly of that ministry heaped in a sole role of a super-gifted one-man-ministry for each setting, which sadly often happens if not checked against.
2. Due to our rather sinful nature, pernicious 'bones', as strife, vainglory, self-centerness, self-will, murmurings, disputes, .. warned against e.g in Ph. 2, have the potential of spoiling the fish pie of fellowship See, "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but ... on the things of others" "Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless .. "
Like it or not, rules and checks are due to curve all this misbehaviour our sinful nature is capable of, and prone to
No problem, US Perhaps we may understand better each other's point by agreeing to the universal priesthood of each believer, which runs parallel with the individual gifts granted to each one, See, "there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit .. there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord .. there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these works .. the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will"
Say Epaphras preached, and pastored but was not a replica of Paul, neither of Aquila or Appolos, or Peter All had a role of leadership and ministry, perhaps overlapping sometimes, but particular in itself Not everyone has to preach or prophesy if not gifted of God, but many that could exercise such gift might not excercise due to a flawed order
US You are mixing the roles of leadership and ministry. Though sometimes they converge in one role they can be separate also. Two clear examples of this is Moses when informed that there were others prophesying in the camp, or a similar situation with Jesus. Both Moses' and Christ's answers differentiate between leadership and ministry.
See both cases,
"there remained two of the men in the camp, .. Eldad, and ... Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp. (This is ministry, while Moses was the leader) And there ran a young man, and told Moses .. Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. And Joshua .. the servant of Moses .. answered .. My lord Moses, forbid them. And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the LORD'S people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!"
See Christ's similar reaction "John answered .. Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he follows not us: and we forbad him, because he follows not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me"
Rodney, Not answering here for John, but any worship gathering by definition of its character is formal, and it should always be so as we gather in the presence of God, and under his authority and order; subject to elders, gifts, biblical patterns, and the leading of His Spirit evidencing in the conscience of leadership and body. Definitively, verse by verse expository teaching is a must, but it should not circumspect itself around the rigidity of a one-man ministry as in the 98% of present Christian gatherings today, at the expence of neglecting the gift of God in the so called 'laity' which is somehow a relic of institutionalised religious settings of the past. See Bro. John below as he has it well explained. Regards
John UK wrote: 1. .. these will all come from within the fellowship, the Holy Ghost granting gifts in accordance with what he wishes ... rather than players and spectators, which is what many churches end up as 2. When church members are thus encouraged to utilise their particular gift in this way, it tends to make them more sensitive to maintaining a good and holy life. 3. ..the CPRC in North Ireland .. in Limerick .. no communion service, because there is no appointed elder there yet
1. Of course, the small print for church functioning is detailed in the Word, yet there is so much in man of depraved nature that such design cannot function aright unless sanctification is in place, as we all are prone to rather follow what it is right in our own eyes out of convenience, pride or stubborness.
2. Yes, much growth develops from that: gifts flourish, idleness vanishes, entertainment is not 'missed', sought, or needed due to people being taken with the things that matter; besides a healthy identity roots in, godly role-models spring up, and if modern individualism is kept on check, the new generation is nurtured in the 'nursery' of the fellowship by the godly imput of the older members.
3. Some reckon that this kind of rule guarantees safety
Remarkably, we do not hear much of private charities, state agencies or religious activists tackling the problem from the root, say promoting chastity, self-control, parent discipline of teens, or the curving of obscene industry.
John UK wrote: 1. ... it sure requires every member to be walking very closely to the Lord, to pick up on what ... I think this is one reason why the mode is shunned in favour of the prepared sermon, which is often a "series" on a particular book of the Bible, not necessarily relevant to a current situation. Besides, the Bible can be taught by teachers, even when they are far away from God. This takes it into the realm of knowledge without any spiritual input from the Almighty. 2. The big question is, "Who is running the meetings?"
1. True. Not everything and anything is ministry. Preaching can easily become the mechanical passing of an hour in the weekly routine of a service, in the shape of a biblical dissertation that meets no spiritual need . 2. The good Shepherd can meet the needs of the flock when he leads.
Saying that, it is obvious and without a doubt, that God has specially annoited servants as leaders, teachers, pastors, missionaries, or evangelists, as Philip, Paul and Barnabas, Titus, Epaphras, Timothy, the twelve, the seventy, Samuel, Joshua, David, Moses, Nehemiah, Ezra ...
"... brethren, .. know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you ... to esteem them very highly in love"
John UK wrote: I am thinking of, for example.... "How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying." The context is the assembling together; the key words are "every one of you"; the end is edification. This never happens in a Pastor/congregation setting.
See what you mean. When the church walks close to Christ there will be no shortage of green pastures for the 'feeding' of the flock by the hand of many; where when we depend on a one-man-ministry solely the well might dry up at intervals, or permanently sooner or later, due to the lack of adequate mutual replenishing or personal refuelling. It has been said, 'He is a poor man that drinks only from a single fount.' Saying that, it is obvious also and without question, that God may have at times specially annoited servants for particular tasks of service in his work as leaders in different settings. Example, Paul and Barnabas, Titus, Epaphras, Timothy, the twelve, the seventy, etc...
John UK wrote: 1. ..questioning the generally accepted method of one-man pulpit ministry, where the congregation all face him and are led by him. This seems to contrast with much in the NT.. 2. .. transition from synagogue to NT assembly has been lost a long time ago
1. Any act of collective worship always includes individualised personal worship, and order, hence leadership is a must, as underlined in 1 Cor.14 "Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets"
God gave *gifts* to his church, in the plural. Sadly, they are often overlooked, neglected or overridden by unbiblical systems of church government
2. Rather than the synagogue patterns, which were plagued with man-made traditions, transitions should better center directly from the OT worship into the NC as given in: "let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name" Or "present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service"
John UK wrote: ... worship .. words .. Some say worship can include giving, praying, studying, preaching, reading scripture; so that every aspect of the assembly is an act of worship. One thing is for sure, .. I must never be bound by "what I enjoy" .. Aaron's lads' strange fire. No, ... "what is biblical". And I think the initial transition from synagogue to NT assembly has been lost a long time ago.
Worship is any conscious, voluntary act of homage accompanied with the attitude of honouring a superior in his own terms and for what he is, which in the case of God his terms are holiness, and according to revelation, say 'in spirit and in truth', for the absolute reason of Him being the sovereign ruler over all flesh.
"Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness" Cf.Ps 22:27-31 (Hence the uproar in Acts 13:15)
In the OT worship included offerings, sacrifices, confession, submission and praise
Abraham, his servant and & Joshua exemplify acts of worship,
"I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you"
"the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the LORD"
"Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said .. What says my lord unto his servant?"
John UK wrote: A heresy will always be a heresy. But a heretic will not necessarily always be a heretic. _____________- "John, thanks for your insights about worship, which is a rich topic .. Some good chappy has put up on You-Tube what worship would have sounded like in the synagogues. Most interesting and enlightening. I'll be quite honest, I have gone along with tradition for decades, without really thinking about it, nor studying scripture on the subject. But now I am questioning the entire methodology of "the assembly" and how it is to function in a biblical way. And that has led to questioning the generally accepted method of one-man pulpit ministry, where the congregation all face him and are led by him. This seems to contrast with much in the NT concerning this. And so I am in no mans' land to some degree. But my aim is always to be submissive to God, and is why I regard it as important to get it right.
Thanks, John It is always healthy to check things Talk to you later about this interesting and enriching issue. God bless
Lurker wrote: From the closed thread, John UK clearly referring to me, wrote to Bmac: "total depravity, origin sin, and imputed sin ... Get it wrong on this, and heresies will abound inevitably..." Bmac, again clearly referring to me, replied to John UK: "We should be aware that Scripture warns us that some doctrines can have their origins in the very pit of hell, (see verse below mentioning doctrines of devils) and those propagating them may pass by equivocation as servants of Christ, when in reality they are Satan's" Must be ...
Quite predictable, Lurker John's comment was about distorted key doctrines at the core of a dangerous position, which, sadly, it was yours. Mine was a general comment intending to underline the enormous gravity such take gets into, for the sake of orthodoxy. If you feel indirectly aluded, or rebuked, it is quite unfair to take it as a personal unveiled insult or backbitting. It is not uncommon here to read people exposing RC wrong doctrines for the sake of some posts coming in. Not heard of this being taken as backbitting or unveiled insults. Any difference?
John, thanks for your insights about worship, which is a rich topic to consider in Scripture. See to this later
Dave, please, find the meaning of backbitting: "malicious talk about someone who is not present", which in this medium materialises by talking not directly to the person, but to a third party in order to scorn or cause distress, vilify, defame, or for character assassination of the first. This has not been my practice. When a comment is due, it is presented to the person. If it is discerned not conducive to do so, it is given as a general comment for collective use or considerarion, but not as a personal harassment with unpleasant, deriding or hurtful words.
John UK wrote: It seems to me to be a modern thing. You change to a modern Bible, start wearing modern clothes, cease singing the psalms which are clearly ordered by God, begin compiling hymn books of your 1000 favourite hymns, introduce an electric organ instead of a piano, shorten the sermons so you have more time for "worship", take away anything that smacks of solemnity, become light and frothy, stop preaching on hell because it upsets people, cease to have church discipline (authority of elders), and what happens? What suddenly appears out of nowhere? CCM and all that entails ... the church inside having such a whale of a time without him and quite content to have it so? He scratches the word Ichabod on the church door and departs. It becomes just another apostate "church". When sinners walk into a church assembled, the first thing they should feel is perturbed. That is, disturbed by the presence of Almighty God.
John, your comment here came to my mind while watching this service: tinysa.com/sermon/7161780503 Wondering if you would enjoy this kind of reverent worship. Regards
Mike wrote: Ok, I'll read again how psalms are the only authorized way to sing praise to the Lord, then with closer understanding maybe come to a different conclusion than the obvious, which is- Newton's Amazing Grace was CCM in his day. Unless we have new definition of contemporary, which wouldn't surprise
No, Mike, the issue is not about the meaning of the word 'contemporary'. CCM differs widely in character from the music Watts or Newton sang. Neither is about singing Psalms only, which you are wrongly inferring
Dave A child of God does not delight in backbiting, neither delights in personal abuse as you do. Seldom a nasty busibody is found in the way of godliness.
Check yourself in case the derision your spirit diplays traces back from hell itself. This is an open medium, to which genuine edifying comment is welcome, not hateful disrespectful harassment. May your soul find mercy in repentance.
".. they laid to my charge things that I knew not .. They rewarded me evil for good.. " Ps 35
".. To turn aside the right of a man before the face of the most High, To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord approves not" Lm 3
"But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another" Galatians 5
Rodney K. wrote: "Entertainment is the devil's substitute for Joy, the less joy of the Lord you have the more entertainment you need." - Leonard Ravenhill
Relevant quote There are other modern substitutes for many other values. The substitute for godly living nowadays is what it is averagely acceptable, say not too odd; while the substitute for separation is what is fairly convenient to mantain our assumed life-style.
Sorry, Mike, quite stretched afar remark. Please, take a close understanding of the matter before you broad-brush the issue. Regards
John UK wrote: ... This is why we ought always spend more time in the Bible than the creed
Yes, what you say makes sense. Yet many unmature these days take to be 'doctors' in confessions, or systems of belief before getting personal mastering of Scripture in meekness. Worse than this is to observe some Reformed Churches in North America and Australia preaching in their services directly from their catechism, or their confession of faith, instead of preaching from the Bible. This is a dangerous malpractice, as quickly the confessions may take prominence over the word. Still the Bible urges to "preach the Word", not man-made stuff ..
It is interesting what you point about the ongoing maturity a believer's race should demonstrate
Christ gave himself to purify his church, hence to purify everyone of those belonging to that body, yet it is flabagasting to see the grosse absence of godliness in the average aged saint today obviously exhibited by custom, manerisms, & perspective. This exacerbated by the plague of Alzaimer or dementia on the aged, along with the accentuated individualism of the young in our generation, is depriving society/church from the benefit maturity bears. Perhaps such realities are even part of our present judgement.