Author Topic: Comparing Today With Yesterday  (Read 968 times)

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Offline Reformer

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Comparing Today With Yesterday
« on: Wed Oct 05, 2022 - 19:08:46 »
REFORMATION RUMBLINGS
BUFF SCOTT, JR.
__________________
 
Comparing Today With Yesterday

    I get quite a few letters from my Reformation Rumblings readers and, on occasion, I receive one that highly attracts my attention. The following one is such a letter. I want to share it with you.

    “In a recent message you spoke of the early believers meeting in private homes and similar places, and that the meetings were mutually inclusive, involving anyone who might wish to share or express himself. If believers adopted such meetings today, would there not be ‘voices of ignorance’ trying to teach one another, as well as a diversity of opinions? Would there not be more confusion than order?”

    Let us try to understand that in such meetings varied opinions would not be discouraged, as diversity yields growth. No one, however, would be coerced into conforming to someone else’s conception or interpretation of truth. Although everyone would be urged to look for pearls, a few would find lesser stones. Those few would not be rejected.

    As to “voices of ignorance” trying to teach one another, we must not forget that the early believers practiced the method I am here describing, and we don’t refer to them as “voices of ignorance.” Their family circles and family discussions brought out the best in each of them. The least effective method of communication is pulpit preaching and lecturing. The most effective method of communication is mutual dialogue.

    There should be a mutual exchange of ideas by as many who might wish to participate, both male and female. Participation would not be compulsory, but everyone would be encouraged to get involved, for “group therapy” or mutual ministry would be the crux of each meeting. Someone with the gift of leadership would lead each session, preferably older and experienced elders or shepherds.

    “But how do you manage order in a setting where everyone is encouraged to participate?” is often asked. A good leader will maintain order, very much like an earthly father maintains order in a family discussion. Disorder was prevalent in the meetings at Corinth [I Cor. 14]. Everybody was trying to speak at the same time. Paul told them to speak “one at a time” [v. 27]. Then he told them that “everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way” [v. 40].

    It is noteworthy that the “pulpit minister” or “pulpit pastor” isn’t even mentioned or referred to. Where was he? Wasn’t he supposed to be the center of attraction and the core of attention? He wasn’t there. His office was invented centuries later, thus forming the first major cancer in the body of believers.

    As to where the early believers met to edify and strengthen each other, I have never indicated it is wrong to meet in some structure. Renting a room in some pubic facility once or twice a week is a good idea. I’ve “been there, done that.” I once met with my congregational fellows in a barn on a farm. Occasionally, some of the early believers met by the river side and others in an upper room, such as Acts 20:7-8. The scriptures below will at least give us an idea where the most common meeting place was.
 
1] “Greet also the congregation in their house” [Rom. 16:5].
2] “Aquila and Prisca, together with the congregation in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord” [I Cor. 16:19].
3] “Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the congregation in her house” [Col. 4:15].
4] “To Philemon our beloved fellow worker and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the congregation in your house” [Phil. 1-2].

 
    Looking at the current modern-day scene, we have built fancy, expensive temples made by man’s hands, although God “does not live in temples made by man’s hands” [Acts 17:24-25]. “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” [v. 24].
 
    The only temple God approves is our body, as the Apostle Paul said, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?” [I Cor. 6:19]. Also, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” [3:16]. Please see also Eph. 2:21-22.
« Last Edit: Wed Oct 05, 2022 - 19:18:54 by Reformer »

Offline Cobalt1959

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Re: Comparing Today With Yesterday
« Reply #1 on: Thu Oct 06, 2022 - 02:40:16 »
Quote
we must not forget that the early believers practiced the method I am here describing

Unless you physically attended several of these 1st Century meetings, officiated by different groups in different areas you have no idea how they were actually conducted.  None of the Apostles would ever entertain allowing different doctrines being preached at the same time in the name of "diversity."  They would be completely opposed to that notion.

Offline Texas Conservative

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Re: Comparing Today With Yesterday
« Reply #2 on: Thu Oct 06, 2022 - 07:32:31 »



Offline Mere Nick

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Re: Comparing Today With Yesterday
« Reply #3 on: Thu Oct 06, 2022 - 09:36:00 »
Thanks, Reformer.  What you are describing is usually how it goes during our Wednesday night classes.  It appears that Cobalt1959 is overstating the danger.  Whenever people meet together to discuss a matter, there will often be something said that will not withstand scrutiny and questioning and it's good they are brought up. 

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Re: Comparing Today With Yesterday
« Reply #3 on: Thu Oct 06, 2022 - 09:36:00 »

Offline Alan

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Re: Comparing Today With Yesterday
« Reply #4 on: Thu Oct 06, 2022 - 09:45:12 »
-"My house is 1800 Sq ft and the congregation is growing, much too large for my house. Add to that, I'm not necessarily comfortable having strangers in my home that I know nothing about. No one else seems to want to split off and take the overflow to their own house, and besides that, people seem to like the message here and enjoy the internal discussion"


-"Perhaps renting a hall would be good, we could have snacks and beverages"

-"The hall is working, but with insurance and permits it's costing $400 a pop, twice a week is $3200, and the offerings don't begin to cover that expense"


-"Maybe I could purchase a building, if I shop around I could find something that could bring the expenditures down significantly"


-"The building is great, we found a nice property within our budget, and folks are quite willing to offer their time and skills to help fix it up"

-"We've renovated the basement and created a kitchen where we can serve soup and sandwiches on Fridays, and cook some Turkeys on Thanksgiving and Christmas"

-"The congregation is still growing, and the offerings more that cover the expenses. We use the surplus to have a small rainy day account, and to help out some of the needy people around town"

-"Looking back to when we started with half a dozen people in our home, it's amazing what God can do when we allow Him to lead the way"

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Re: Comparing Today With Yesterday
« Reply #4 on: Thu Oct 06, 2022 - 09:45:12 »

Offline Texas Conservative

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Re: Comparing Today With Yesterday
« Reply #5 on: Thu Oct 06, 2022 - 10:23:59 »
-"My house is 1800 Sq ft and the congregation is growing, much too large for my house. Add to that, I'm not necessarily comfortable having strangers in my home that I know nothing about. No one else seems to want to split off and take the overflow to their own house, and besides that, people seem to like the message here and enjoy the internal discussion"


-"Perhaps renting a hall would be good, we could have snacks and beverages"

-"The hall is working, but with insurance and permits it's costing $400 a pop, twice a week is $3200, and the offerings don't begin to cover that expense"


-"Maybe I could purchase a building, if I shop around I could find something that could bring the expenditures down significantly"


-"The building is great, we found a nice property within our budget, and folks are quite willing to offer their time and skills to help fix it up"

-"We've renovated the basement and created a kitchen where we can serve soup and sandwiches on Fridays, and cook some Turkeys on Thanksgiving and Christmas"

-"The congregation is still growing, and the offerings more that cover the expenses. We use the surplus to have a small rainy day account, and to help out some of the needy people around town"

-"Looking back to when we started with half a dozen people in our home, it's amazing what God can do when we allow Him to lead the way"

Alan, Alan, Alan....

We know the issue here is that by going after a building, they have allowed in cancer.   ::pondering::

Offline Reformer

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Re: Comparing Today With Yesterday
« Reply #6 on: Thu Oct 06, 2022 - 13:09:41 »
Colbalt1959:

    Regarding your #1 Reply: I'm anxiously waiting for you to give us your thoughts on how the early assemblies functioned, in light of the passages I submitted, especially I Cor. 14. Don't keep us waiting, please.

Nobalt in Arizona

Offline Reformer

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Re: Comparing Today With Yesterday
« Reply #7 on: Thu Oct 06, 2022 - 13:12:49 »
Mere Nick:

    Thanks for your #3 Response. Yes, Colbalt1959 is "shooting in the dark" and missing his target.

Buff

Offline Reformer

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Re: Comparing Today With Yesterday
« Reply #8 on: Thu Oct 06, 2022 - 13:20:56 »
Alan:

   In your #4 Reply, it is always possible the house meeting becomes too small to accommodate everyone. That would be an ideal time to start another house meeting. Apparently, the early believers used the same method.

    Each house meeting would be set up and organized in the same manner as the first group, with leaders who encourage mutual participation. It would not be an ideal time to build a “church structure.” The early believers did not build and own “church houses” and fancy edifices. They met in each other’s homes and in public places.

    Church buildings were not built until sometime around the second century. They have become monuments to our failures. Jesus said to get out and go, but we have moved in to stay. We seem to want to do the opposite of what our Master instructed.

Kindly,

Buff

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Re: Comparing Today With Yesterday
« Reply #8 on: Thu Oct 06, 2022 - 13:20:56 »

Offline Reformer

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Re: Comparing Today With Yesterday
« Reply #9 on: Thu Oct 06, 2022 - 13:32:57 »
Texas Radical:

   "Alan, Alan, Alan....We know the issue here is that by going after a building, they have allowed in cancer."   ::pondering::

    This radical believes what the mainstream religious establishment tells him to believe. That is why he presents their talking points as his own.

    Compare that to what he said about me a few days ago, namely, "You believe what the mainstream news tells you to believe. That is why you present their talking points as your own."
 
"What goes around comes around."Snakedung.

Reality in Arizona