04 December, 2006

FHC: The Church of Tomorrow - Part 3 - Change?

Improving the Church
Merely to suggest changing the church is to put your neck in a noose.

People are happy to window-dress. I could recommend we change the order of worship, or that the preaching be done a little differently. But to suggest that the church needs core change is just not acceptable.

And I doubt that the reasons are entirely spiritual.

Any, every, all change causes exactly the same chemical reaction in the brain as hitting your thumb with a hammer. Trust me. I see the faces of brilliant people contort as I tell them about a change that's coming. I may as well have walked around the room with a hammer and popped them all a good one.

When life is sailing along, you are running in "sip" mode, energy-wise. If you were a car, you would be a hybrid running on battery power at 75 mph. That portion of your brain is remarkably efficient. Then I come along, and I change something. Now you have to switch to mental "gulp" mode. Now you are more like an SUV loaded with 3 tons of rock going up the Donner summit at 85 mph. You might be burning 2 mental gallons per mile. And your brain reacts to that change as it does to any other pain.

Still, the church must change.

There's A Change Coming
I am a dreamer by trade. Sad to say, my dreams make people unhappy, but dreaming is what I'm paid to do.

I dream up red tape.

My job is to corral the most brilliant and creative group of people you could ever want to know: programmers. I tell programmers how and when they are allowed to unveil the fruits of their genius to their customers. Twice a year or so, I change their world.

They remind me repeatedly of the old, unpublished truth that all change is bad.

I present all my new ideas to my customers face to face. I have been booed. I have been cajolled. I have been complained about at every level of management. And, invariably, I go meet with my unhappy customers face-to-face, and we part company happy.

Really.

There are two reasons I succeed in delivering the awful news of change. The first is that I know what I do to them sucks, and I say so. I often use the line, "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help," with irony dripping from my voice. They get it. I tell them up front that I'm sorry for what I'm forcing them to endure.

The second reason for my success is that I tell them why they are going to have to endure it. I won't bore you with the reasons, but they are good. In three years, our group has taken 400 programmers from 60% compliance and 71% success to 99% compliance and 93% success. I show them how their group has gotten better. I show them how 4 years ago (before I started) they did just as much paperwork, but it was random and pointless. The paperwork I ask of them always has a real reason, a reason they appreciate.

I change things in ways people hate every day, and when I'm done those people succeed.

There's a Change Coming
And I only know the half of it.
I dream big, but I only actually make small to medium-size changes.

I make changes for about 400 people at 3 levels. 15 or so of them work for me. 50 or so of them work with the 16 of us. The remainder think they work against me, but they don't. They work for their customers, and I am just an obstacle to them. They don't work against me. They work around me.

All 400 of those people are geniuses at what they do.

So when I push out the medium-sized change that came from my big sweeping idea I hear about everything wrong with it in about 3 minutes. And whatever they tell me is always right. And not because they are my customers. They're good at what they do.

I don't care how big, how beautiful, how perfectly balanced my idea was; there's always something wrong with it, and sometimes it's something big. When that happens, we modify the idea per request, or we back it out. We don't wait for management to force us to admit we were wrong. We jump up, send out a "we were wrong"-gram, and change whatever we gotta change to make sure everyone can do their jobs effectively.

By the time we are done making my big sweeping idea work for all 400 people, it has always evolved in ways that make it ugly to me.

That's a good thing.

Those 400 people know their jobs perfectly. They have them nailed, and anything I do that puts them out of their groove is a bad thing. When all is said and done, the thing that rolled out to everyone is a big improvement for all 401 of us.

I have rolled out 6 big changes over the last 3 years. They were universally feared when I introduced them, and now pulling them back out would be just as scary. Everyone is now happy with those changes, but they will still fear and hate the next one.

Bottom line: Complaints made when a change is introduced, but before it happens have very little credibility with me. Suggestions, on the other hand, are always highly valued.

Never Change a Winning Strategy
Always Change a Losing One.

There is a huge difference between surviving and winning. Just ask the three guys to whom Jesus gave talents in Matthew 25. All three of them still had everything they started with, but one of them added nothing to it. That last man, the one who buried his talent so he would know where to find it when the Master returned, was told that he should at least have taken his talent to the money changers - just before that lone talent he had was taken away.

Barna's reports state one thing clearly. The younger you are, the less likely you are to be attending church.

We all know that the interpretation of data is more important than the data itself. My interpretation of Barna's findings is that the present church is not going to work with the younger generation. I support that interpretation by refering to the workplace. The workplace has changed drastically in the last 30 years. Far beyond allowing more casual clothing and flexible work hours, the way work is assigned and tracked is changing with the generations. More responsibility is being devolved down to younger ranks, and it is working.

Hang onto that phrase, "It's working."

We know it's working, because the old codgers are going along the same way as the young kids. Everyone is looking at work as a short-term transactional contract, and asking for work that enhances their resume. We all know that this is what the kids are doing, but it's what the gray-hairs are doing, too.

Scripture, Scripture, Scripture
I hear the protests, of course.

God established the church the way He knew it needed to be. Only a fool would tinker with an eternal organization to conform to a fallen generation.

Pretty soon, I'm going to be hearing verses about a perverse generation surrounding themselves with teachers that tickle their ears.

All I can say is, "If you want to go down that road, lead the way." :-)

You will not find a single verse of scripture to support a denomination.
You will not find a single verse of scripture that requires a church building.
You will not find a single verse of scripture to support seminary.
You will not find a single verse of scripture advocating customer experience marketing.
You will not find a single verse of scripture forbidding 100% participation in ministry.
You will not find a single verse of scripture suggesting in the most oblique of ways that Christians who disagree on doctrine should separate to be more united.
You will not find a single verse of scripture that confounds consistency of belief with love the way our religion does.

We seem to believe that "they will know we are Christians" because we fellowship with a bunch of like-indoctrinated people 10 miles away "by our love."

Remember how I said change is working in the workplace?

Staying the same is not working in the church. We are surviving, but we are not thriving. The message is good, and the saints are good. The organization is what's left. It is the organization that's failing us.

Change it.

It's painful, but only by changing can we get back to the way the Lord set the church up 1900 years ago.

Change is coming anyway. Let's get out ahead of it! Let's get there faster!

21 comments:

Milly said...

I said what I thought the changes will be somewhere. I agree that change is on it’s way and lots of those not ready will find themselves lost.

I miss the ability to discuss views like I did in college when folks didn’t get stomping mad. We can disagree and still sit next to each other.

DugALug said...

CP,

Hey it's me again. I know you know, that I can't let this one lay. Before reading this, please know that I appreciate your bravery about putting posts like this out for all to criticize. Unfortunately, I am going to do just that.

It's painful, but only by changing can we get back to the way the Lord set the church up 1900 years ago.

I think you are missing it here bub.

First of all, I am more interested in the Church that God intended us to have, not what they had 1900 years ago.

Secondly, I don't know about you, but I like lights and air conditioning, and audio systems. The 1900 year old church lacks such ammenities. I also like the fact that I have 12 bibles that have different tranlations. It gives me extra insight into the intent of some scripture.

Third, I don't know any 1900 year-olds myself, and we know that history is written by the victors. Even if there was some 1900 year old lurking in the dungeons of some forgotten corner of the earth, he is already past caring. Who's to say that our view is tainted by those who had the ability to log.

Finally, the church is in the constant state of change. Just look at the church of today compared with that of 100 years ago. Dude! Open your eyes, the church is in flux.

A wise man told me once that if I ever find the perfect church, don't join it because it will no longer be. Christ is PREPARING his bride for His glorious return. That means that we... as the bride... are in the state of flux: Change is part of that.

Now to your shots across the bow: I'm just going to go down the list because there I have too much to say here

You will not find a single verse of scripture to support a denomination.

That's bunk, Revelations is chocked full of them. You recall John's visions to the 'Church of...'.

You will not find a single verse of scripture that requires a church building.

Nor will you find a single one that shuns having one. I was curious... where is your storehouse in the temple? I know where mine is.

You will not find a single verse of scripture to support seminary

Where are you getting this? There are tons of scriptures that encourage the studying of the word. what you are writing is just plain wrong. Again, you will also find none that oppose seminary.

You will not find a single verse of scripture advocating customer experience marketing.

You will also not find one that advocates the use of the web or a blog, yet here we are!

You will not find a single verse of scripture forbidding 100% participation in ministry.

Double negative... do you mean you will find scriptures that will require 100 percent participation in ministry? I'm confused.

You will not find a single verse of scripture suggesting in the most oblique of ways that Christians who disagree on doctrine should separate to be more united.

You mean like Paul did with Barnibus?

Or Paul did with Timothy?

Your premise is out of kilter.

Me thinks you have let your personal passions cloud your better biblical judgement here.

The bible clearly tells us to focus on our own walk and not worry so much about others. Lead by example, and let your life be a living witness.

If you have problems with a denomination: deal with it and/or vote with your feet. If God has called you to write a tretise and put it on the wall, them by all means go ahead and do it, but expect those who feel that they are in the center of God's will to scrutinize your comments and, in this case, find them wanting.

I know you'll get back to me.

God Bless
Doug

codepoke said...

I good discussion is so much fun, Milly. I agree.

I'll still eat a moonpie wit'cha.

codepoke said...

Thank you, DugALug.

The night has moved too quickly for me, as detailed in comments on the previous post. I hope you will be patient with me, as I don't know when I will get to get back to you.

Tomorrow morning, I have to bake the scones, so I doubt I'll have much time to give you the cycles you deserve.

I love your conclusion. B-)

but expect those who feel that they are in the center of God's will to scrutinize your comments and, in this case, find them wanting.


It sounds like

Milly said...

Codepoke,

Glad to hear you're a join'n me I was afraid I frightened you off by something I said. Sorry about the new set up but I know you and you'll find away.

Milly said...

The changes I see coming are more of the flashy It’s all good like Tulsa has seen. They will preach with a hand out. People will flock to the mega style churches because they want to have to do less. The bigger the church the more corporate it has to become, so the less people are involved.

Smaller coffee house style churches are here and growing. Those that have had no church back ground like it because it’s a one on one experience those who have been caught up in a mega problem like it because they don’t have to deal. I know how it is to be involved and it’s a very stressful situation our phones ring a bit. Under the right amount of stress at work, home, and church people will walk away and seek something new.

The newer generation like my son’s might just surprise us at the way the worship when they are my age.

I suppose this isn’t the subject at hand yet that never stopped me before.

codepoke said...

Hey Milly,

That is PRECISELY the subject at hand, and I could not agree more. Coffee house churches are a step forward, and I would not be shocked to see your son happily worshipping there 20 years from now.

Praise the Lord!

DugALug said...

CP,

Take your time, and pass me some scones, while your at it.

God Bless
-Doug

Danny Kaye said...

I dunno, Doug. I may disagree with a little of what CP is saying, here. And when I saw that you were going to address some of the things you disagreed with, I was all set to hunker down and learn something. But I don't know that your arguments are all that convincing. And as a matter of fact, the more I read, the more I kept saying, "Wha...?"
And please know that I write this because I am baffled, and not to be argumentitive.

So...

Your argument about the CP's setting up of the church 1900 years ago seems to assume that CP was referring to technology. I don't read anything of the kind in what CP wrote at all. CP is not saying anything about "having what they had" regarding the cool tools we have, now. He is addressing the heart of the members of the church, not by what methods they get their insights.

I am quite amazed that you can find denominations in the Book of Revelation. It baffles me that you believe that, just because the churches were in different cities, they were separate in their beliefs. How did you get that!!?

I agree with you about the building. Scriptures lead me to understand that, depending on the need, buildings are fine. But prudence tells us not to sink all our $$$ into them to the point that all they become are steepled-money pits about which people say, "Oh! What a beautiful building" and they say nothing abuot the folks inside.

Regarding what CP said about seminaries, I cannot believe that you believe that CP was saying that folks should not study their Bibles! He was obviously talking about the horrible mentality that someone has to graduate from one of these faith-stealing institutions in order to be qualified to be a full-time minister.

And about the customer experience marketing stuff, again, you are simply comparing technologies. All they had was "pen and paper" so to speak. And they used it. So we have a few more medias through which we can communicate with the lost world. So what? If they had them back then, they would use them. And I would assume that if the Lord doesn't come back during the next 1900 years, those who are alive will be squalking about OUR lack of technology.

Paul and Barny did not disagree on doctrine. They disagreed about something that was clearly an opinion issue: Was John Mark cut out for the next trip?
And I am not familiar with the disagreement that Paul had with Timmy, unless you are referring to Pauls admonition to be more bold and a better minister. It was the same as when Paul addressed Peter. When we fall short in areas, we are helped by our brothers. This is not a "disagreement", it is discipling.

So I conclude this with your own words to CP:
Me thinks you have let your personal passions cloud your better biblical judgement here.

I do give kudos (in the form of scones?) to you on this:
Finally, the church is in the constant state of change. Just look at the church of today compared with that of 100 years ago.

On that, you are exactly right. Well phrased.

Andreia said...

I thought I was the only one that refers to Barnabus as Barney! I did it to explain the story to my kids and now they think Paul walked with a purple dinosaur!

I also like to think of Timothy as Little Tim...never thought of Timmy. I know Im weird. Its good to know others are too.

Danny Kaye said...

It's funny Andreia. Some people can't get over such irreverance when discussing the men and women in the Bible. But I think it makes them a little more "human" and a little less "historical."

I'm glad I can be weird with ya!

DugALug said...

DK,

I'm sorry my arguments were so dissapointing to you. I wrote these late at night, perhaps I was tired. Still, I'm glad you asked, I am gonna do my best to clarify.

Your argument about the CP's setting up of the church 1900 years ago seems to assume that CP was referring to technology.

The technology stuff was a joke: to lighten the mood. Evidentaly it didn't go over so well...lol.

I am quite amazed that you can find denominations in the Book of Revelation.

Revelations 3:14
To the angel of the church in Laodicea write...


Laodicea is a real place, right next to Ephesians. Why didn't God just say to 'Christians'? This biblical reference was clearly to a group that identified themselves as 'Laodiceans' that is the basis for a denomination. And don't be confused: these churches met in small houses all around Laodicea, just as a denomination would with churches, and they had an elder-based heirarchy as well.

How else can you interperate this?

But prudence tells us not to sink all our $$$ into them to the point that all they become are steepled-money pits about which people say, "Oh! What a beautiful building" and they say nothing abuot the folks inside.

Amen to that, but still, even the examples in the Bible, of the Temples built were magnificent and, according to the bible, pleasing to God. I don't know how to interperate that, but I do know that building a church is not a sin, nor is meeting in a little house. There is sin in the poor stewardship of God's money and that we must always protect against.

{concerning seminary}He was obviously talking about the horrible mentality that someone has to graduate from one of these faith-stealing institutions in order to be qualified to be a full-time minister.

What is so obvious about that? So are you implying that seminary is the problem? I'd say that people are the problem, as with most institutions. I know plenty of seminary students who will attest to the exact opposite of what you are saying... so who is right, you or them? The bible says to study the word, and keep it close to your heart. If that is not the intent of a seminary student, then shame on them: that is not the institution's fault. It is the individuals! As for teachers who lead the sheep away: God has some very choice words concerning them. They they better 'study' a little closer.

Paul and Barny did not disagree on doctrine. They disagreed about something that was clearly an opinion issue: Was John Mark cut out for the next trip?

Paul and Barnibus split fellowship. Later they came back together.You can say it was because Paul didn't like Barnibus' attitude or because Barnibus was called to a different vision. In the end, the Gospel was spread further because of this split. Catholics and Anglicans split on their opionions concerning divorce, and the right to have bibles writen in language other than Latin: these are neither salvation issues. Paul and Barney split, and God prevailed. This is no different to me than a denomination. I guess I am missing your point here?!

Acts says it best.

Acts 15:39
39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus,


Yet in the end, they came together and Paul wrote of the greatness of Barnabas. Sounds to me like the same things that has occured in a few different denominations that come to mind. AOG, and the Penticostal Holiness movement for one.

The falacy is looking at the split and not seeing that God had His hand in it.

I don't know what else to say here.

I hope this makes it clearer.

To say I have passion for denominations would be about as accurate as saying I like income tax. Truthfully, I am wary of organizations, and things that wreak of man. But to not recognize the need for them, and work to remove those who corrupt them is ludicrous to me.

Does this explain things better?

God Bless
-Doug

DugALug said...

Andreia,

I thought I was the only one that refers to Barnabus as Barney!

Barnabus, is a nickname, The Way translation actually translates it 'Barney'. I think that is pretty cool.

God Bless
Doug

Danny Kaye said...

I appreciate your comments, Doug. But I'm still not sure I am on the same page with you about some things.

Are you implying that the reason the letters to the Churches were written separately because they were separate denominations? I can't buy into that one. You say Eph. and Laod. were "Right next to each other." Well, I guess if you consider about 100 miles on foot (or at best, on a donkey!) right next to each other.

No, these churches spanned several hundred miles which, back then, is a considerable distance compared to todays' traveling methods. Even today it takes a couple of hours to go 100 miles. (If I remember correctly, the closest two churches in Rev. were Laod. and Philly; and that was about 40 miles.) No walk in the park, literally.

"And don't be confused: these churches met in small houses all around Laodicea,..."

Oh. Something like CP's Neighborhood Church idea? ;-)

"even the examples in the Bible, of the Temples built were magnificent and, according to the bible, pleasing to God..."

That is because thetemple was supposed to house the Ark in which God's Spirit and the stone tablets dwelt.
WE are now temples for the Holy Spirit. No need for fancy schmancy buildings anymore. Just four walls and a roof, and possibly a necessary, as well. ;)

"I know plenty of seminary students who will attest to the exact opposite of what you are saying... so who is right, you or them? "

I will concede this point to you on the basis that I have not attended a seminary. I have only heard many graduates say from the pulpit that they had more faith going into the seminary than when they came out.

But my main point on this was that I believe, as does CP, that we don't need a degree from some institution to say we are qualified to be full time (by that I mean "paid") ministers.

After reading your explanation regarding Paul and Barney, I still can't see how you come up with their split being a doctrinal or denominational issue. They both parted believing the same things about Christ, Scripture, and Salvation. They simply disagreed about one man's mettle(sp?). Where does Acts 15:39 and following infer that two denominations were created as a result? Didn't paul go on teaching what he always taught? And didn't Barney go on to teach the same?

And I agree that many people get hung up on the splitting of these two great brothers. I don't by into traditional thinking that they parted with bitterness. I believe firmly that they strongly did not want to part company, and that they exchanged many hugs and shed many tears before they parted. But that's just me. (Hmmm....I think I just found the topic of one of my next posts...)

Anyhoo...I certainly appreciate the discussion. And I hope you did not think I was saying that you were passionate about denominations. That thought would never cross my mind. I think I've understood how you feel about them for some time now. And on that I believe we are not only on the same page, but reading the same paragraph!

DugALug said...

DK,

In terms of geography. There is an excavation in what is believed to be Laodecia that is called the gateway to Ephesus. Townships in Roman times extended past the actual town to surrounding areas and travel on the outskirts was less than 2 days apart. Either way, distance is arbitrary. Clearly John wrote a different message to the Church of Laodecia versus that of say... Philidelphia. And the issues were different between them, yet only a few days walk separated them. Also some of the 'churches' referenced in Revelation don't exist on any map. Could this mean that they were located in the same cities? It's hard to say.

Oh. Something like CP's Neighborhood Church idea? ;-)

Yes... a denomination. :)

But my main point on this was that I believe, as does CP, that we don't need a degree from some institution to say we are qualified to be full time (by that I mean "paid") ministers.

I agree with this completely, but my point is that Seminary is not the problem. A silly rule in some bylaw is.

I still can't see how you come up with their split being a doctrinal or denominational issue.

Paul and Barney had two different visions. Both of them went separate ways and the bible says that they had a 'sharp disagreement' and they parted ways. Sounds close enough to a skism to me. Doctrinal? Not really, but the fact the they were not of one vision is all I need to make my point.

Again the Gospel benefited from this rift, but make no mistake, if you talked to Paul or Barney the day after the initial split, my bet is they wouldn't see as we see it now. I am of the camp that says they parted, at best, wounded, but like the good-hearted Christians that they both were, they overcame and pressed on.

God Bless
Doug

codepoke said...

Great discussion!

I'm sorry I missed it. :-(

Danny has done such a great job of defending my position, I hate to try to add to it. Let me take DugALug's original propositions, and only add to them things that Danny did not already say.

Let me say this, though. I admire the fact that you are fully persuaded in your own mind. This is a good and commendable thing.

And remember that when Paul told the Roman church they were to be fully persuaded in their own minds, he also told them to be one body. Even while they disagreed, and were fully persuaded in their own minds, they were to continue to meet and love together.

Third, I don't know any 1900 year-olds myself, and we know that history is written by the victors.

I read a great comment on this snippet yesterday. The poster pointed out that the victors usually ended up roasted on stakes or in some other way made to feel less than victorious. The history of the church, and the doctrines of the church, were established by men and women who died to hold them. This was more of an argument against DVC, and I know that you agree completely. I just wanted to mention the thought here because it was so touching to me.

Finally, the church is in the constant state of change. Just look at the church of today compared with that of 100 years ago. Dude! Open your eyes, the church is in flux.

You will recall that the last comment of my post was not that the church was not changing, but that we are behind the curve. We need to get the quicker.

You will not find a single verse of scripture to support a denomination.

That's bunk, Revelations is chocked full of them. You recall John's visions to the 'Church of...'.


Again, show me where "Smyrna" had a paid staff, a hierarchy making decisions, etc. Of course Babylon had a certain amount of money....

You will not find a single verse of scripture that requires a church building.

Nor will you find a single one that shuns having one. I was curious... where is your storehouse in the temple? I know where mine is.


History is another story, though. Archaelogy puts the church squarely in the middle of homes, clear up into the Dura-Europa find of the late second/early third century. You know this.

The church can be clearly placed in "church buildings" only after Constantine legalized Christianity and filled our leadership with converted pagan priests.

Paul had the clear example of a synagogue in every city, and he did not follow it. The churches Paul planted did not go out and buy/build a synagogue equivalent. It took an emperor to break Paul's pattern 250 years later.

Church buildings are no sin, but they are not scriptural. They are traditional, as in "traditions of men." I have not learned from Paul to build buildings for God, and neither has anyone else. That was learned from Constantine, and I will not take him for my spiritual guide on anything.

You will not find a single verse of scripture to support seminary

Where are you getting this? There are tons of scriptures that encourage the studying of the word. what you are writing is just plain wrong. Again, you will also find none that oppose seminary.


No, where are you getting the contrary? From tradition. We have established a tradition of seminary, but there is a better way to communicate living truth than such an institution.

Jesus took 12 men with him everywhere He went.

Paul took 7 men with him to plant the church at Ephesus.

Peter took John Mark with him when he worked with the churches.

Paul commanded Timothy to surround himself with men worthy to carry on the work.

We send young, young men to university where they study jots and tittles. And when they get back, we put them in charge of people's lives.

And we wonder why we have troubles.

You will not find a single verse of scripture advocating customer experience marketing.

You will also not find one that advocates the use of the web or a blog, yet here we are!


Last I heard, we were supposed to proclaim Christ crucified, and proclaim that by our love.

When I read a billboard saying,
"We don't want you to fill our pew,
We want you to fulfill your purpose!"
I get offended. We wonder why people don't come to Christ with anything remotely resembling humility. :-(

You will not find a single verse of scripture forbidding 100% participation in ministry.

Double negative... do you mean you will find scriptures that will require 100 percent participation in ministry? I'm confused.


Can you think of one modern church that could possibly have this Corinthian problem?
1 Cor. 14:26
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.


It is impossible for us to have a problem like this. There are at most 3 people who share anything in a common Christian meeting. The Corinthians had a problem, but our solution is much, much worse than their problem ever was.

You will not find a single verse of scripture suggesting in the most oblique of ways that Christians who disagree on doctrine should separate to be more united.

You mean like Paul did with Barnibus?

Or Paul did with Timothy?


OK, I certainly cannot add to the Barny and Timmy answers. :-D

I will merely agree.

Show me where the solution to the circumcision problem was to denominate. Where did they solve the gifts problem by denominating? The meat sacrificed to idols problem? The holy days problem? The Nicolaitan problem?

You quote the Revelation regarding the "denominations" found there, but in all the solutions Christ put forth for those seven churches, separating was not one.

---

Again, I appreciate your strong stand, and that you find yourself square in the middle of God's plan. I don't need to tell you to stand firm in that by which you are persuaded. You do so unto the Lord, and I commend you.

I will do the same.

DugALug said...

CP

I wish I could just let it ride... but I just can't... it's not in me.

Let me say this, though. I admire the fact that you are fully persuaded in your own mind. This is a good and commendable thing.

Umm, cool... i think... lol Are you saying I'm ignorant and am happy to be that way? lol

Again, show me where "Smyrna" had a paid staff, a hierarchy making decisions, etc. Of course Babylon had a certain amount of money....

Again, you show me where they didn't have a paid staff. And weren't we just having a debate on elders? I would have to say that eldership is a form of hierarchy.

Paul had the clear example of a synagogue in every city, and he did not follow it. The churches Paul planted did not go out and buy/build a synagogue equivalent. It took an emperor to break Paul's pattern 250 years later.

In Roman's didn't Paul toke money to help the saints in Jerusalem? I'm asking, I don't remember for sure.

Up until 67AD Christians worshiped in the temple and in synagogues right next to Jews. It was the entry of the Gentiles that kabashed that and within 3 years after this Jewish declaration, the Temple was no longer. When Rome flexed its muscles, the Christians had little choice but to keep their meetings in small homes.

History is another story, though. Archaelogy puts the church squarely in the middle of homes, clear up into the Dura-Europa find of the late second/early third century. You know this.

As far as meeting in homes, yes that may have been a little more prudent, being that christians were being persecuted and killed by malevolent leaders. I would have to say that being brutally murdered for my belief may impede my desire to have a 'central' meeting place. Is this any different than those meeting in homes in the USSR durring the communist occupation? No, the building is not the issue.

Jesus took 12 men with him everywhere He went.

And many referred to him as 'teacher'... I rest my case.

You will also not find one that advocates the use of the web or a blog, yet here we are!

Last I heard, we were supposed to proclaim Christ crucified, and proclaim that by our love.


The point is that you sited a very specific thing to nit-pick. I was pointing out that you cannot show me a scripture that supports blogging... but this is where common sense kicks in. Jesus referenced this with his discussions of the letter of the law versus the spirit of the law.

Show me where the solution to the circumcision problem was to denominate. Where did they solve the gifts problem by denominating? The meat sacrificed to idols problem? The holy days problem? The Nicolaitan problem?

Christ is the solution. Follow Him and let this stuff fall where it may. But God, puts different visions on people's hearts, and those visions may call them to join forces with like-minded christians.

Again, I may not be a Catholic any more, but if you know history, you know that God used the Catholic church to 'protect' the Gospel though some very dark times. And no, that doesn't justify the Crusades, Inquisitions, the ravaging of England or the many other atrocities done 'in the name of God', but little home churches weren't protecting the texts, nor were they thriving for over 800 years. I have to thank my Catholic brothers for that. By the 1500's it was time for the Baton to be passed and opened for the world again.

You quote the Revelation regarding the "denominations" found there, but in all the solutions Christ put forth for those seven churches, separating was not one.

First of all, the fact that Christ recognized that there were seven churches says all I need. Recall this was in reference to you proclaiming that there is no reference of a denomination in the bible and I gave one. You cannot deny the fact that these were 7 churches operating under the Body of Christ.

I'm still waiting for those scones.

God Bless
Doug

codepoke said...

Let me say this, though. I admire the fact that you are fully persuaded in your own mind. This is a good and commendable thing.

Umm, cool... i think... lol Are you saying I'm ignorant and am happy to be that way? lol


Thanks for the lol's. I'm saying we disagree, and that we are both fully persuaded, and that Paul makes room for such differences. I'm not quite saying you are right, ;-), but I'm saying we are both doing as we do unto the Lord.

I honestly don't see how your arguments follow my statements, but that's cool.

If Jesus teaching 12 men is the same as a seminary to you, then I can see why you disagree with me. If the entire population of Christians in Laodicea being called "the church" singularly strikes you as a pattern for what we have today, then I can see why you disagree with me.

it was time for the Baton to be passed and opened for the world again.

Change that sentence to "it is time..." and we are together again. ;-)

pearlie said...

Great discussion!

Yeah ... i am wishing i am living in the same time zone ... not to mention the snow :)

Thanks for all the insights, and the "Barny and Timmy" - never thought of calling biblical people in that way!

Milly said...

This has been a great discussion, makes me wish for those college days again.

I still think that change is on it’s way and in a big way. I feel that God is leading us to let go of the buildings that, I’m sorry if this offends some, we turn into the most important thing. How to fix it, how to pay for it, and what if the big money person leaves. A smaller venue doesn’t have to worry about those issues. I know that I am closer to the side of how to keep the building working to be completely objective on this issue.

We also know that so many things that we do aren’t in the Bible I was Baptized inside a church, I didn’t go down to the river. Do I think that being Baptized in a fresh, warm, clean, environment might be God led? Yes I do. Because it isn’t about the water it’s about what happened inside me.

I don’t think that we should bend in the winds of change if we feel strongly against them. I do think that God is leading us, I wonder if the sand is going to be involved. I think we may need to learn a thing or two. . .and God talks to us when we go for long walks.

DugALug said...

CP,

Change that sentence to "it is time..." and we are together again.

Okay here it is... but don't drop it...lol

God Bless
-Doug