Author Topic: Church Structures & Graven Images  (Read 855 times)

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Offline Reformer

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Church Structures & Graven Images
« on: Sun Oct 11, 2020 - 13:06:21 »
REFORMATION RUMBLINGS
BUFF SCOTT, JR.
_______________________________
 
Church Structures & Graven
Images

    “Our God does not live in temples made by man...We ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image  formed by the art and imagination of man” [Acts 17:24 & 29].
______

    In relation to the mages we have made with our art and imagination, below is an interesting letter from a friendly church preacher of mine.
______

    “Buff, while it is always a matter of human judgment, some churches have, in my humble opinion, gone to extremes in the erection of fine buildings that indeed have become ‘shrines.’ But, again, this does not destroy the reality of the need for a place of some kind in which to assemble [Heb. 10:25]. The size of the place—a living room, a rented hall, or the group’s own building—would be determined by the size of the assembly. Or so it seems to me.”—Name Withheld.

++++++
       
     Here is an authentic scenario in the raw. The story goes of a large family—parents, eight children, and seven grandchildren—who met on a weekly basis to strengthen family bonds. They all lived within a short distance of each other. In each meeting they discussed a diversity of interests—problems, finances, future outreaches, their walk with the Lord, health, and other related topics. The parents functioned as leaders, advisors, and shepherds.  This continued every week, month after month.

    One day, while they all were sharing experiences, talking about the Lord, reading scripture, and exchanging ideas, their elder father called for their attention. Everyone hushed, and he began to speak.

   “Dear ones,” he said, “your Mom and I have decided to place before you a proposition. She and I feel we all need fresh thoughts, new ideas, and heightened approaches in our family discussions. Consequently, we would like to bring in a Seminary graduate to share with us what he has learned from his studies. We met him this week and he appears to be of noble blood. If we employ him, I think our weekly dialogues would be enhanced. 

     “If you will approve of this arrangement,” he said, “each  of  us  will pledge to give a specific amount of money each week toward his living expenses—food, house rent, utilities, medical insurance, retirement plan, gasoline and repair for his vehicle, and vacation disbursements. Tell us what you think of this idea.”


    By this time all of the family members, except Mom and Dad, were squirming in their seats. The oldest daughter motioned for the floor.

   “What is the meaning of this?” she asked. “We are family. We enjoy our family discussions and exchanges. We have freely shared our love and our ideas with each other for years, and each of us has been encouraged to live a closer walk with the Lord and with each other. It has cost us nothing, except for the contributions we all have gladly made toward evangelism and feeding the destitute. So why in heaven’s name should we be saddled with keeping a stranger financially afloat while he tells us what we already know?”

    One of the sons spoke up. “If we were to import and financially support a man to do what we are capable of doing ourselves, which would be nonsense, it would weigh heavily upon our ability to contribute toward evangelism and to alleviate the needs of the genuinely hungry.”

    He added, “Let us continue what we have been doing through the years and encourage this fellow to find a job and go to work. We will assist him in finding adequate employment. If, after he is employed and settled in, he wishes to join us for our weekly discussions, we would welcome him and treat him as one of us.”

    The other family members agreed. The father, seeing that his proposal was going  nowhere,  tabled the idea and thanked the family for their input. 

    If you have not grasped the connection by now, allow me to assist you. The chickens have come home to roost. The early believers formed family-like clusters in homes. To reach others, they frequented public places—open markets and Jewish Synagogues. The scriptures, such as 1 Corinthians 14, strongly indicate that their meetings were conducted in the format I have described in the story, where openness abounded and mutual dialoguing was prevalent. 

     To take my narrative a step further, let us suppose the group’s shepherds had recommended that the family build a church edifice to influence “outsiders” to join them in their weekly parleys. “To erect one that would delight the eyes,” the father says, “at least three hundred thousand dollars—or more—would be required. If we wish to keep up with the times and compete with other groups that have built elegant places to meet, we really should seriously consider sacrificing for the occasion.”

    In response, I can almost hear one of the children say, “Dad, we have the only meeting place we need. And it’s already paid for!  If our group increases and a lack of space arises, we’ll start another house meeting. It is the Gospel that entices receptive hearts, not images like church structures, crosses, and statues.”

      The picture is clear. The apostate church has the whole thing reversed. If we were shooting for the opposite of what heaven approves, we hit the bull’s eye.
« Last Edit: Sun Oct 11, 2020 - 23:35:07 by Reformer »

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Church Structures & Graven Images
« on: Sun Oct 11, 2020 - 13:06:21 »

Offline Wycliffes_Shillelagh

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Re: Church Structures & Graven Images
« Reply #1 on: Sun Oct 18, 2020 - 16:34:30 »
The idea of a congregation where the people all contribute to the conversation is highly appealing.

The problem I have found is that the people are often unwilling or unable to contribute anything of worth.

How to fix?

Offline Reformer

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Re: Church Structures & Graven Images
« Reply #2 on: Sun Oct 18, 2020 - 21:49:17 »

Jarrod:

    ”The idea of a congregation where the people all contribute to the conversation is highly appealing. The problem I have found is that the people are often unwilling or unable to contribute anything of worth.”
_____

    You are correct insofar as many assembly formats are concerned. I have, however, personally conducted many assemblies where openness abounded and mutual dialoguing was prevalent.

    I think one problem of why many are unwilling or hesitant to contribute anything in an open assembly is that they have not been encouraged—inspired—to get involved. They have not been “trained” to open up and share their sensibilities.

    Too many seem to still be clinging to the modern-day tradition, “Let the man who was hired to feed us do the feeding.” Mutual communication in our assemblies is not part of today’s practices, as it was in the early days of the congregations of the redeemed.

Buff

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Re: Church Structures & Graven Images
« Reply #2 on: Sun Oct 18, 2020 - 21:49:17 »

Offline 4WD

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Re: Church Structures & Graven Images
« Reply #3 on: Mon Oct 19, 2020 - 06:24:57 »
The picture is clear.
But it is your picture, not necessarily a biblical picture. You have conjectured the situation of the early congregations.  And it is just that  --  conjecture.  Almost nothing is ever stated explicitly in the Bible concerning the general format of the local congregations, outside of being led by elders.  There is probably a reason for that, and that is that it is not all that important.  Unfortunately, you have made it an essential feature of your belief.

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Re: Church Structures & Graven Images
« Reply #3 on: Mon Oct 19, 2020 - 06:24:57 »

Offline Texas Conservative

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Re: Church Structures & Graven Images
« Reply #4 on: Mon Oct 19, 2020 - 06:54:58 »
But it is your picture, not necessarily a biblical picture. You have conjectured the situation of the early congregations.  And it is just that  --  conjecture.  Almost nothing is ever stated explicitly in the Bible concerning the general format of the local congregations, outside of being led by elders.  There is probably a reason for that, and that is that it is not all that important.  Unfortunately, you have made it an essential feature of your belief.

True.

Buff seems to believe that if we were to go back and do things the way that he imagines the early church did things, we would have less problems.  The early church had problems, as the epistles illustrate.  Buff seems to discount that.

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Re: Church Structures & Graven Images
« Reply #4 on: Mon Oct 19, 2020 - 06:54:58 »



Offline Reformer

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Re: Church Structures & Graven Images
« Reply #5 on: Mon Oct 19, 2020 - 23:05:04 »
TODAY’S PARABLE –

    "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?"Job 38:2.

To rephrase:

    “Who is this who pretends to speak on the deep things of God without perception?”

Buff
« Last Edit: Mon Oct 19, 2020 - 23:18:19 by Reformer »

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Re: Church Structures & Graven Images
« Reply #5 on: Mon Oct 19, 2020 - 23:05:04 »

Offline RB

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Re: Church Structures & Graven Images
« Reply #6 on: Tue Oct 20, 2020 - 06:21:10 »
TODAY’S PARABLE –

    "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?"Job 38:2.

To rephrase:

    “Who is this who pretends to speak on the deep things of God without perception?”

Buff


? A man darkens the truth and basically hides it from others when what they are saying is without biblical support, and thereby,  is without spiritual understanding....SUCH people instead of teaching truth are actually HIDING IT.... or, instead of giving light on the subject, is making it more darken and difficult to see, which men without the Spirit of God are very good doing so, it comes very naturally, it is part of our fallen nature. 

So, the question is WHO IS HE concerning the subject at hand in this thread darkens it or are giving out LIGHT on this subject? 
« Last Edit: Tue Oct 20, 2020 - 06:23:29 by RB »

Offline Reformer

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Re: Church Structures & Graven Images
« Reply #7 on: Tue Oct 20, 2020 - 15:25:12 »

JOB’S CONFESSION –

“Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand” [Job 42:3].

May we see kindred confessions from modern-day “Jobs.” [See replies 3 and 4 above.]

Buff

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Re: Church Structures & Graven Images
« Reply #8 on: Tue Oct 20, 2020 - 15:35:46 »
JOB’S CONFESSION –

“Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand” [Job 42:3].

May we see kindred confessions from modern-day “Jobs.” [See replies 3 and 4 above.]

Buff

Any time you get someone that disagrees with you, you lash out. And you lash out with misused scripture pointed out at those you disagree with, and you still can't name names.   It's a bit sad that a grown man acts like that.  Your response is very "Beta."

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Re: Church Structures & Graven Images
« Reply #8 on: Tue Oct 20, 2020 - 15:35:46 »

Offline Reformer

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Re: Church Structures & Graven Images
« Reply #9 on: Tue Oct 20, 2020 - 20:57:39 »
IN CASE POOR EYESIGHT IS PREVALENT -

    In #2 Reply to #1 above, I noted, “You are correct insofar as many assembly formats are concerned.”

    I could post a whole bunch of similar affirmative declarations from my pen, but why cope with futility's inconsistencies?

Buff
« Last Edit: Tue Oct 20, 2020 - 21:00:49 by Reformer »

Offline Mere Nick

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Re: Church Structures & Graven Images
« Reply #10 on: Wed Oct 21, 2020 - 10:33:34 »
This is a pretty good article, Reformer.  House churches, renting a place on a Sunday morning, etc, does appear to be a better use of resources than a big building that is usually used just a few hours a week. 

Offline Reformer

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Re: Church Structures & Graven Images
« Reply #11 on: Wed Oct 21, 2020 - 15:10:24 »

MERE NICK -

   Thank you, my brother. Would you please share your insight with the author of Reply #8?

Blessings,

Buff

Offline Mere Nick

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Re: Church Structures & Graven Images
« Reply #12 on: Fri Oct 23, 2020 - 09:09:52 »
Buff,

I'm sure he can see it if he wants to. 

 

     
anything