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What do you say?

Discussion in 'Same Faith Debates' started by HOGCALLER, Jun 13, 2006.

  1. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

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    NetDoc,

    It would depend on your definition of “fruit.” Based on what you have said so far, you and I do not have the same definition but that is to be expected at this point. The purpose of this thread is to see if we can agree on one. My definition does include character as one of many aspects, all of which must be present. However, it is not just the appealing skin or peel or just the seeds with their potential or just the juice regardless of how good and sweet it is that is required, it is the whole fruit. Also please remember Jesus’ said, “by their fruits you will recognize them.” Again, it is not character and character alone that is the identifier! It is by all the other things, by all the fruits, in addition to character, that we can make a positive identification. It is very possible for you and I to be fooled if character and character alone were all there was to use for identification purposes; in his Word, God gives us more than just that one thing and for that very reason.

    Perhaps we should talk about some specifics. Earlier you said that there are two commandments or laws that are required to be observed, followed or obeyed to be a disciple of Jesus. I feel fairly certain that you were referring to Matthew 22:34-40 or Mark 12: 28-34; I am using Mark as the basis for my questions to you.

    The first command Jesus gives is a quote from Deuteronomy 6:4-5: “Listen, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah. 5 And you must love Jehovah your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your vital force.”

    The second command Jesus gives is a quote from Leviticus 19:18: “You must not take vengeance nor have a grudge against the sons of your people; and you must love your fellow as yourself. I am Jehovah.”

    Lets deal with the first command first. Note the response to what Jesus said: “The scribe said to him: “Teacher, you well said in line with truth, ‘He is One, and there is no other than He’; 33 and this loving him with one’s whole heart and with one’s whole understanding and with one’s whole strength and this loving one’s neighbor as oneself is worth far more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 At this Jesus, discerning he had answered intelligently [answered with understanding, NAB and others], said to him: “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” (Mark 12:32-34)

    We do not know for certain that that particular scribe became a Christian but for the sake of my questions to you we are going to assume that Jesus read his heart correctly and that he did. As a Christian, what God did he worship ‘with all [his] understanding’? What was his nature and name? Would he agree with you that it matters not which God you worship just as long as you are of “good” character? If he were here today would he think that someone of outstanding character that bows down in worship and prayer five times a day to a God named Allah was a fellow disciple of Jesus?


    Legitimate question, let me let Paul answer it for you:

    (1 Corinthians 6:12) “All things are lawful for me; but not all things are advantageous. All things are lawful for me; but I will not let myself be brought under authority by anything.”

    (1 Corinthians 10:23) “All things are lawful; but not all things are advantageous. All things are lawful; but not all things build up.”

    (Romans 6:14) “For sin must not be master over you, seeing that you are not under law but under undeserved kindness.”

    (Romans 14:19) So, then, let us pursue the things making for peace and the things that are upbuilding to one another.

    (Romans 15:2) Let each of us please [his] neighbor in what is good for [his] upbuilding.

    In short, the answer is because doing so violates the second law and is a sure identifier of the “many.” By the same token not doing so is obeying both the first and the second law and is a sure identifier of the “few.” Oh yes it is harder to restrict one’s religious beliefs to no more and no less than what the Bible says but it is a protection against becoming enslaved by your own desires, a desperate treacherous heart or other fallacious misleading thinking. Remember:

    (1 Timothy 4:1-3) However, the inspired utterance says definitely that in later periods of time some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to misleading inspired utterances and teachings of demons, 2 by the hypocrisy of men who speak lies, marked in their conscience as with a branding iron; 3 forbidding to marry, commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be partaken of with thanksgiving by those who have faith and accurately know the truth.

    (2 Timothy 4:1-5) I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is destined to judge the living and the dead, and by his manifestation and his kingdom, 2 preach the word, be at it urgently in favorable season, in troublesome season, reprove, reprimand, exhort, with all long-suffering and [art of] teaching. {In many versions the word “doctrine” is used rather than “teaching.”} 3 For there will be a period of time when they will not put up with the healthful teaching {doctrine}, but, in accord with their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves to have their ears tickled; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, whereas they will be turned aside to false stories. 5 You, though, keep your senses in all things, suffer evil, do [the] work of an evangelizer, fully accomplish your ministry. (Curly brackets are mine.)
     
  2. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Here is a list of my fruits:

    Galations 5:16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. 19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
    22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. NIV

    Here is another list:

    II Peter 1:5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
    1 0Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. NIV



    Now, I am going to be away until next week. I have no idea how I will be able to access the internet and when I do it will probably be to deal with www.ScubaBoard.com
     
  3. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

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    ENJOY! And be safe too.

    I will talk to you agtain when you return and settle in.
     
  4. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

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    NetDoc,

    The Bible contains many do’s and don’ts. Each one of them was put there for a reason. None can be ignored with impunity. (Galatians 6:7; 1 John 5:16, 17) The verses in your lists are just a few of the many God put in the Bible.

    Earlier you asked, “WHAT is the acid test of a disciple? What is the one thing that distinguishes a disciple of Jesus from everyone else.”

    I replied: “To me John 13:34, 35. … But I believe there is more than just one. In fact, Jesus himself mentioned more than one.”

    You then asked, “I would ask you if you think there is any place in the scriptures that indicate that we can identify disciples by their doctrine or by any particular doctrine? … In fact, you will find that all of the methods to Identify a disciple are based on character and character alone. … Why is this? Why wasn't a particular doctrine assigned to being a Christian?”

    Let me answer you by first reminding you of Cain and Abel and asking you this: If “character and character alone” is all that was involved in being one and/or in identifying a true worshipper, then why even mention the offerings? Again, if what you say is actually the case, then why muddy up the water by even mentioning the offerings? If the point of the account about Cain and Abel is their respective characters and their characters alone then where are the details of Abel’s character? They are not there. All we are told of Abel in that account is what he did in regard to his offering; where are the details of his “good” thinking and/or character? If character was/is the only issue, then why not say it in a way that highlighted Abel’s character vs. Cain’s character rather than the way it is said where we see Abel’s offering contrasted with Cain’s offering: “Now while Jehovah was looking with favor upon Abel and his offering, 5 he did not look with any favor upon Cain and upon his offering”? (Genesis 4:4-5) The answer is obvious! Something more than just their character and their character alone was at issue.

    At this point, let’s consider a few of the things that Jesus said would be necessary to be a disciple:

    (John 13:34-35) I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves.”

    More than 1500 years before Jesus paraphrasing of it in his statement recorded at Mark 12:31, “You must love your neighbor as yourself,” true worshippers had been complying with the law: “You must not take vengeance nor have a grudge against the sons of your people; and you must love your fellow as yourself. I am Jehovah.” (Leviticus 19:18) Also, his statement iterating Leviticus 19:18 as the second greatest law was made before the occasion recorded at John 13:34, 35. So why did he say that it was “a new commandment?” What do you say?

    The dictionary defines doctrine as “2. A rule or principle of law, especially when established by precedent.” Leviticus 19:18 certain qualifies as “A rule or principle of law” as it was part of the Mosaic Law Code and having been on the books for 1500+ years should be more than enough “precedent.” In other words, Leviticus 19:18 was a doctrine of true worship. Deuteronomy 6:4-5 became a Shema (a confessing/stating of a belief/doctrine made as a part of worship) to true worshippers from Moses’ time down to Jesus’ time and Jesus plainly did not change or counter it but rather repeats it without change and thereby extends it to his followers. Likewise Jesus statements regarding Leviticus 19:18 extends its application. However at John 13:34, 35 he does renew and amend the application of that doctrine to true worshippers, soon to become called Christians. Down to this day and even forever he assigned those two doctrines, teachings, laws as particular identifiers/tests/requirements of being true worshippers, Christian. The first one was without any change whatsoever. Jesus’ disciples were/are to worship the exact same God as the Jews. The second one was changed only to broaden and refine its application but enough so that he called it “a new commandment.”

    Again picking up the conversation of the final evening together, after Judas was dismissed, Jesus continues to complete his assigned duties. (John 17:4 cp. Luke 22:20) In addition to finalizing his duties he summarizes his accomplishments and the results and/or changes stemming from them as well as reviews and/or gives final instructions. Interwoven into this final night’s conversations Jesus provides other prime identifiers/tests/requirements of discipleship in addition to the one found at John 13:34, 35 and the two mentioned at Mark 12:28-34 such as:

    (John 14:1) Exercise faith in God, exercise faith also in me. (Compare Exodus 14:31.)

    (John 14:6-7) Jesus said to him: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you men had known me, you would have known my Father also; from this moment on you know him and have seen him.”

    (John 14:12) Most truly I say to you, He that exercises faith in me, that one also will do the works that I do; and he will do works greater than these, because I am going my way to the Father.

    (John 14:15) If you love me, you will observe my commandments; (Please compare John 14:15 to John 17:11, 12 and then to Exodus 23:20-25, Isaiah 63:8-14, follow this link and scroll down to Isaiah 63:12, Isaiah 52:10; Isaiah 53:1-12, John 12:38-41 and finally John 17:5 & 20-26.)

    (John 14:21-24) He that has my commandments and observes them, that one is he who loves me. In turn he that loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and will plainly show myself to him.” 22 Judas, not Is·car´i·ot, said to him: “Lord, what has happened that you intend to show yourself plainly to us and not to the world?” 23 In answer Jesus said to him: “If anyone loves me, he will observe my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make our abode with him. 24 He that does not love me does not observe my words; and the word that you are hearing is not mine, but belongs to the Father who sent me.

    (John 14:27) I leave you peace, I give you my peace. I do not give it to you the way that the world gives it. {Think true peace vs. “Pax Romana” and/or other man-made imitation forms of “peace” enforced at the point of a sword/gun. Reread my opening post in this thread.} Do not let your hearts be troubled nor let them shrink for fear. (Curly brackets are mine.)

    (John 15:7-10) If you remain in union with me and my sayings {teachings/doctrines} remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will take place for you. 8 My Father is glorified in this, that you keep bearing much fruit and prove yourselves my disciples. 9 Just as the Father has loved me and I have loved you, remain in my love. 10 If you observe my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have observed the commandments of the Father and remain in his love. (Curly brackets are mine. Verse 9 and also the next quoted verses, 12-14, contain a hint as to how the second law changed and became “a new commandment.”)

    (John 15:12-14) This is my commandment, that you love one another just as I have loved you. 13 No one has love greater than this, that someone should surrender his soul in behalf of his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I am commanding you. (Such as Mark 12:28-34 and John 13:34-35 but also many others, including Matthew 28:19-20 and Acts 1:8 both of which can not be accomplished by an individual acting alone or by a small disorganized group and so requires a relative large and well organized group effort.)

    (John 15:16-19) You did not choose me, but I chose you, and I appointed you to go on and keep bearing fruit and that your fruit should remain; in order that no matter what you ask the Father in my name he might give it to you. 17 These things I command you, that you love one another. 18 If the world hates you, you know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were part of the world, the world would be fond of what is its own. Now because you are no part of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, on this account the world hates you. (Compare 2 Timothy 3:12, 13.)

    Continues below:
     
  5. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

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    Add to the above the following few examples of the many others contained in Jesus’ words:

    (Matthew 12:49-50) And extending his hand toward his disciples, he said: “Look! My mother and my brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

    (Luke 14:25-26, 33) Now great crowds were traveling with him, and he turned and said to them: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own soul, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever is not carrying his torture stake and coming after me cannot be my disciple. … 33 Thus, you may be sure, none of you that does not say good-bye to all his belongings can be my disciple.

    (John 8:31-32) And so Jesus went on to say to the Jews that had believed him: “If you remain in my word, you are really my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (No doubt Jesus and his listeners also were aware of the heavy hand of Rome enforced by its occupying pagan Gentile army which was paid for by the Israelites when they paid their heavy Roman taxes. Talk about adding insult to injury.)

    In fact there are enough of these identifiers/tests/requirements of discipleship so that it is impractical to list them all here and that it helps to categorize them. Please remember what in so many words I said earlier, the purpose of this list is not so it can be used as a bat to beat up on some individual but rather is to be used as a tool to use to identify a group quickly and easily rather than having to spend much time and effort examining each of the very many already existing religions/churches not to mention the never ending stream of new ones. Since we are talking groups and not individuals, talking about what is in the heart, as in character and character alone, is not going to apply very well to a group but talking about actions which reflect what the character of the group is does apply well.

    Also, as I pointed out from the very beginning our perception of an individual’s character is not trustworthy; we simply cannot read hearts. However, actions/conduct, beliefs/doctrines and other similar things can easily and effectively be applied to groups and is an indicator of the character of the majority making up that group. Before you object and try to give examples of outstanding characters within questionable groups, let me remind you that God considers one guilty through association. (2 Corinthians 6:17; 2 John 11: Revelation 18:4) Earlier I gave you a partial list and was hoping to work up the following list by Q & A but you are continuing not to A the Qs; so instead let me now give you my complete list of identifiers/tests/requirements of a group that is acceptable to God:

    Continues below:
     
  6. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

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    1. Its teachings are based firmly on the inspired Scriptures. God’s servants base their teachings on the Bible. The Bible itself says: “All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching {doctrine}, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17) Mark 7:7, 8 says, “It is in vain that they keep worshiping me, because they teach as doctrines commands of men. 8 Letting go the commandment of God, you hold fast the tradition of men.” Hence, beliefs and practices of the true religion are not based on human preferences, opinions, views and/or traditions. They originate in God’s inspired Word, the Bible.

    Jesus Christ set the proper example by basing his teachings/doctrines on God’s Word. In prayer to his heavenly Father, he said: “Your word is truth.” (John 17:17) Jesus believed the Word of God, and everything he taught harmonized with the Scriptures. Jesus often said: “It is written.” (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10) Then Jesus would quote a scripture. Similarly, God’s people today do not teach their own ideas. They believe that the Bible is God’s Word, and they base their teachings/doctrines firmly on what it says. Nothing more as well as nothing less than what God put in the Bible is what is required.

    2. The true religion advocates worship of only the one true God, Jehovah. (Matthew 6:9; Mark 12: 29, 30; John 17:3; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6) Those who practice the true religion have always worshiped only Jehovah and made his name known and the same is true today. Jesus declared: “It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.” (Matthew 4:10 cp. Deuteronomy 6:13; 10:20, ASV, Darby, LITV, Rotherham’s, WEB, YLT) Thus, God’s servants worship no one other than Jehovah. This worship includes letting people know what the name of the true God is and what he is like. Psalm 83:18, KJV, states: “That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.” Jesus set the pattern in helping others to get to know God, as he said in prayer: “I have made your name manifest to the men you gave me out of the world.” (John 17:6) Following in Jesus’ footsteps, true worshipers today teach others about God’s name, his purposes, and his wonderful qualities.

    3. A very important part of worship that is acceptable and pleasing to God is faith in his Son, Jesus Christ. Is true faith in Jesus Christ being demonstrated? This involves more than simply knowing that Jesus gave his life as a ransom for obedient humans and that he is God’s means of salvation. (Matthew 20:28; Acts 4:12) It involves more than adoring Jesus as a baby in a manger but rather involves recognition of Jesus’ true position in relation to his father and of his many special roles such as God’s appointed King in the heavenly Kingdom that will rule the entire earth. (Psalm 2:6-8; Daniel 7:13; 2:44) And more than that for God requires that we obey Jesus and apply his teachings if we want everlasting life. That is why the Bible states: “He that exercises faith in the Son has everlasting life; he that disobeys the Son will not see life.” (John 3:36) Such is shown by obeying Jesus’ commands—sharing personally and zealously in the work that he assigned to his followers. (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8) True religion builds true self-sacrificing love within its members and such faith that is accompanied by works. (James 2:26)

    4. God’s people show genuine, unselfish or self-sacrificing love for one another and even others. Jesus said: “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves.” (John 13:35) The early Christians had such love for one another. Godly love overcomes racial, social, and national barriers and draws people together in an unbreakable bond of true brotherhood. (Colossians 3:14) So strong is this love that it sets them apart as being truly different. When the nations go to war, who have enough love for their Christian brothers in other lands that they refuse to take up arms and kill them? That is what early Christians did. Members of false religions do not have such a loving brotherhood. How do we know that? They kill one another because of national or ethnic differences and even sectarian differences. True Christians do not take up weapons to kill their Christian brothers or anyone else. The Bible states: “The children of God and the children of the Devil are evident by this fact: Everyone who does not carry on righteousness does not originate with God, neither does he who does not love his brother. . . . We should have love for one another; not like Cain, who originated with the wicked one and slaughtered his brother.” (1 John 3:10-12; 4:20, 21)

    Of course, genuine love means more than not killing others. True Christians unselfishly use their time, energy, and resources to help and encourage one another. (Hebrews 10:24, 25) They help one another in times of distress, and they deal honestly with others. In fact, they apply in their lives the Bible counsel to “work what is good toward all.” (Galatians 6:10)

    5. True worshipers are no part of the world. Is truly separateness from the world maintained? Jesus said that his true followers would be “no part of the world.” (John 15:19) Later, when on trial before the Roman ruler Pilate, Jesus said: “My kingdom is no part of this world.” (John 18:36) No matter what country they live in, Jesus’ true followers are subjects of his heavenly Kingdom and thus maintain strict neutrality in the world’s political affairs. They take no part in its conflicts. However, Jehovah’s worshipers do not interfere with what others choose to do about joining a political party, running for office, voting, or even going to war. And while God’s true worshipers are neutral regarding politics, they are law-abiding. Why? Because God’s Word commands them to “be in subjection” to the governmental “superior authorities.” (Romans 13:1) Where there is a conflict between what God requires and what a political system requires, true worshipers follow the example of the apostles, who said: “We must obey God as ruler rather than men.” (Acts 5:29; Mark 12:17)

    To worship God in a manner that he approves and accepts requires that we keep ourselves “without spot from the world.” (James 1:27) Can that be said of those groups whose clergy and most other members are involved in politics, or whose lives are largely built around pursuing materialistic and fleshly desires? (1 John 2:15-17) It requires more than simple avoidance of certain “bad” actions listed in the Bible. (Galatians 5:19-21) It requires that we hate what God hates and love what God loves. (John 3:16; Psalm 11:5; Psalm 97:10; Amos 5:14, 15; Romans 12:9) If you hate something do you choose it to be your entertainment?

    6. Jesus’ true followers preach that God’s Kingdom is mankind’s only hope. Jesus foretold: “This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14) Instead of encouraging people to look to human rulers or organizations to solve their problems, true followers of Jesus Christ follow in his footsteps and proclaim God’s heavenly Kingdom as the only hope for mankind. (Psalm 146:3) Jesus taught us to pray for that perfect government when he said: “Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.” (Matthew 6:10) God’s Word foretold that this heavenly Kingdom “will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms {now existing}, and it itself will stand to times indefinite.” (Daniel 2:44, curly brackets are mine.)

    7. True religion is a way of life. Is a religion largely ritualistic, a formality, or is it a way of life? God strongly disapproves of religion that is merely a formalism. (Isaiah 1:15-17) True religion upholds the Bible’s standard of morality and clean speech instead of weakly going along with popular trends. (1 Corinthians 5:9-13; Ephesians 5:3-5) Its members reflect the fruits of God’s spirit in their lives. (Galatians 5:22, 23) So, those who adhere to true worship can be identified because they sincerely endeavor to apply Bible standards in their lives not only at their places of meeting but in their family life, at their secular work, in school, and in recreation.

    There you have my list. It includes everything on your lists and much more also.

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  7. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

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    It is not within the authority given to Jesus and then by Jesus to us (Mark 13:34; Matthew 28:18-20) for me or even Jesus to force you to do and/or not to do anything. That is totally your choice. So you are free to use or not use it.

    But, just as you asked me to carefully and thoughtfully consider whether or not what I was saying versus what you were saying was the way to identify these groups, I now ask the same of you. Just as you asked me, I now ask you: “I would ask you if you think there is any place in the criptures that indicate that we” can go out and startup our own little home church group or that we can join our self to just any church/religion we want even if it ignores everything else commanded in the Bible but it believes and teaches in agreement with what you have said in this thread and still have God’s favor? I would even take it further and ask “if you think there is any place in the criptures that indicate that” there was ever a time when there was more than one set of acceptable beliefs/doctrines or more than only one religion that was acceptable to God? Will you please tell me “if you think there is any place in the criptures that indicate that we” can ignore either the letter or the spirit of God’s commands found in the Bible and not suffer the consequences? Will you please answer these questions as you consider the list?

    Yes the foretold apostasy did come after the death of the apostles and we see the result all around us and it is the reason we have need for such a list. (2 Thessalonians 2:3) The good news is that the Bible also foretold that there would be a restoration which would include true worship; please note:

    (Acts 3:19-21) Repent, therefore, and turn around so as to get your sins blotted out, that seasons of refreshing may come from the person of Jehovah 20 and that he may send forth the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, 21 whom heaven, indeed, must hold within itself until the times of restoration of all things of which God spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets of old time.

    (Malachi 3:16-18) At that time those in fear of Jehovah spoke with one another, each one with his companion, and Jehovah kept paying attention and listening. And a book of remembrance began to be written up before him for those in fear of Jehovah and for those thinking upon his name. 17 “And they will certainly become mine,” Jehovah of armies has said, “at the day when I am producing a special property. And I will show compassion upon them, just as a man shows compassion upon his son who is serving him. 18 And you people will again certainly see [the distinction] between a righteous one and a wicked one, between one serving God and one who has not served him.

    (Micah 4:1-5) And it must occur in the final part of the days [that] the mountain of the house of Jehovah will become firmly established above the top of the mountains, and it will certainly be lifted up above the hills; and to it peoples must stream. 2 And many nations will certainly go and say: “Come, you people, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will instruct us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” For out of Zion law will go forth, and the word of Jehovah out of Jerusalem. 3 And he will certainly render judgment among many peoples, and set matters straight respecting mighty nations far away. And they will have to beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. They will not lift up sword, nation against nation, neither will they learn war anymore. 4 And they will actually sit, each one under his vine and under his fig tree, and there will be no one making [them] tremble; for the very mouth of Jehovah of armies has spoken [it]. 5 For all the peoples, for their part, will walk each one in the name of its god; but we, for our part, shall walk in the name of Jehovah our God to time indefinite, even forever.

    (Mark 9:50) Salt is fine; but if ever the salt loses its strength, with what will you season it itself? Have salt in yourselves, and keep peace between one another

    (Luke 19:41-44) And when he got nearby, he viewed the city and wept over it, 42 saying: “If you, even you, had discerned in this day the things having to do with peace—but now they have been hid from your eyes. 43 Because the days will come upon you when your enemies will build around you a fortification with pointed stakes and will encircle you and distress you from every side, 44 and they will dash you and your children within you to the ground, and they will not leave a stone upon a stone in you, because you did not discern the time of your being inspected.”

    Now let me repeat something from my first post in this thread:

    “Now if you will, please carefully consider for a moment this possible scenario: Had the inclination been there, it would have been quite possible for those early Christians to have come to know that “Saul, still breathing threat and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest (2) and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, in order that he might bring bound to Jerusalem any whom he found who belonged to The Way [as it was then called], both men and women” (Acts 9:1-2), and knowing that Saul was going to be on that road to Damascus they could have arranged for an ambush. Today, given that set of facts and those circumstances, that is exactly what one would expect to happen and what most “Christians” would enthusiastically advocate, well perhaps not an ambush but at least a Predator UAV drone equipped with a Hellfire missile or a couple of well aimed 500 lb. bombs. Is that also what you would advise?”
     
  8. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    There is only one command (cited as being such by Jesus). So those passages telling us to FOLLOW Jesus' teach/sayings/commands are referring to the SAME thing: LOVE. Jesus brought us the Gospel of Love and you just can't get away from it.

    So please, trot out any other scriptures that refer to something OTHER than love.
     
  9. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Yes. Home churches are identified in the NT. Are you suggesting that these are in error?

    You just poisoned the well. For sanity's sake STOP doing this. When you keep going on and on and on... you only muddy the waters. You are asking questions that simply can not be answered.

    It's not what I would expect of ANY Christian. Perhaps we have different ideas of what marks a Christian.

    Romans 12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
    14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
    17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
    "If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.

    In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
    NIV
     
  10. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

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    NetDoc,

    Welcome back!! I hope you had fun. I know you did even though I cannot follow the link in your signature. (I have never been able to follow it.) Perhaps, you being a NetDoc and all, you can help me figure out why not? I run IE 7 but I even installed FireFox thinking that might help—no joy. I run ZoneAlarmPro (v. 5, the newer versions are not stable on my computer and are much too intrusive for my liking and they even try to block programs that do work very well such as Ewido.) which can block sites as can other malware programs (antivirus, anti-spyware, etc.) that I use; but why would they block http://www.disciplesheart.com/? Also I use an “aftermarket” hosts file.


    (Colossians 4:15-16) Give my greetings to the brothers at La·o·di·ce´a and to Nym´pha and to the congregation at her house. 16 And when this letter has been read among you, arrange that it also be read in the congregation of the La·o·di·ce´ans and that you also read the one from La·o·di·ce´a.

    Their meeting in homes was because of necessity for they generally did not have anywhere else to meet and not necessarily as an example of what MUST be done or even should be done today. In other words, meeting in a home is not an identifier one way or the other. What was an identifier is the fact that those congregations were not autonomous, as are the ones you have in mind, and thus Paul’s instructions regarding his letters and so they instead were in harmony, the harmony Jesus said would identify his true followers. (John 17:20, 21) And they were clearly being directed by the apostles and older men in their DOCTRINE and BELIEFS. Isn’t that so, NetDoc?

    (Acts 16:4-5 follow the link) Now as they traveled on through the cities they would deliver to those there for observance the decrees that had been decided upon by the apostles and older men who were in Jerusalem. 5 Therefore, indeed, the congregations continued to be made firm in the faith and to increase in number from day to day.

    The idea conveyed by and meaning of those words is undeniable.

    (1 Corinthians 1:10) Now I exhort you, brothers, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that you should all speak in agreement, and that there should not be divisions among you, but that you may be fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought.

    (Ephesians 4:1-6) I, therefore, the prisoner in [the] Lord, entreat you to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called, 2 with complete lowliness of mind and mildness, with long-suffering, putting up with one another in love, 3 earnestly endeavoring to observe the oneness of the spirit in the uniting bond of peace. 4 One body there is, and one spirit, even as you were called in the one hope to which you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all [persons], who is over all and through all and in all.

    The synonym of “faith” is BELIEF. Those pointed statements from God provided to us through Paul did not just apply to first-century Christians only. Those words combined with the words above make it very plain what is required EVEN TODAY, don’t they?

    It is obvious that Christendom taken as a whole or in its various parts cannot be said to be adhering to them, so who does? Can you, or rather, will you tell me?


    NetDoc, please understand what you are saying!! Please carefully consider why it was that some could not, or more accurately, would not answer Jesus’ questions. Just as Jesus’ questions could have been answered, MY QUESTIONS CAN BE ANSWERED. So that is not the real issue. The real question/issue is whether or not you will and that is totally your choice. Which ever way you decide to go, answering or not answering the questions I raise or using or not using the list, you will in fact be answering the real question.


    Do you honestly think that I do not realize that? What do you think I have been trying to do here? Are you saying that now you want to go back and answer my questions so that we can come to an agreement? Remember, it takes two to Tango and so far you have not been a cooperative partner.

    Regardless of that, at this point we do seem to agree that John 13:34, 35 was a commandment that must be followed and that the following of it would identify Jesus’ true disciples. If I understand your comments and citing of Romans 12 correctly, we possibly seem to agree about Hellfire missiles and 500 lb. bombs; but to make sure let me ask you again:

    What had changed at that point in time that made everything different from what it was before? And also, what was there within the command itself that was so different from before that it changed everything? Again, I said “at that point in time” for even more changed at Calvary.

    Even without being in total agreement, as of yet, on many other things, perhaps we can and should explore what that command really means and who it is that, as a group, actually do obey it, what do you say? Can or will you answer the above questions?
     
  11. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    As for the "House Churches"... well, you seem to think that there is an issue with them. I don't see any caveats by Paul in regards to them. Can you explain what your issue is?

    As for divisions, I believe that there is a certain amount of discrepency allowed...

    I Corinthians 8:1 Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2 The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. 3 But the man who loves God is known by God. NIV

    I would suggest reading the ENTIRE chapter and all the way through I Corinthians 10. All of us understand God a bit differently and that is "OK". We are all FREE... just don't use your freedom to hurt another brother.

    Men desire RULES... God wants your heart. Rules are easy: living by love requires deep thought and care. Jesus wanted us to live by JUST one rule, but we are bound and determined to create rules. Even the apostles fell prey to this from time to time.

    WE ARE FREE! FREE FROM RULES AND REGULATIONS! FREE FROM CONDEMNATION! FREE FROM OUR LIVES OF DESPERATION! FREE! FREE! FREE! Except for our debt of love.
     
  12. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    BTW,

    here is an interesting article on poisoning the well:

    http://www.fallacyfiles.org/poiswell.html

    You ask more than one question at a time...

    Instead of : Can men make great fathers?

    You ask: Can sinful men who visit brothels and beat their wives make good fathers?

    So, CONSIDER CAREFULLY how you ask your questions, and you might find me more apt to answer them! :D
     
  13. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

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    NetDoc,

    I am answering your last post first. The full question was: ““I would ask you if you think there is any place in the criptures that indicate that we” can go out and startup our own little home church group or that we can join our self to just any church/religion we want even if it ignores everything else commanded in the Bible but it believes and teaches in agreement with what you have said in this thread and still have God’s favor?”

    Let me break it down for you and let us see if you can give me a straight answer. If you do not understand the question or something in the question it is on you to ask for clarification just as I have repeatedly done of you in this thread. As a matter of fact that is exactly what prompts the majority of my questions—asking you to make your position clear and you are mostly refusing to do so. Anyway, as I said, let me break it up for you and then will you please answer the questions or ask for needed clarification or explain how and why it is “poisoning the well” and therefore is not a fair question to ask. (At this point I do not think that it is; what in this question is unfair or inaccurate? I do not see it.) Is that to much to ask of you? If so, please explain why it is?

    1. “I would ask you if you think there is any place in the criptures that indicate that we” can go out and startup our own [autonomous] little home church group?

    IMO that is basically a “Yes” or “No” question with a request that you provide Scriptural support for a “Yes” answer. Remember, as I have repeatedly explained, the problem is not with the fact that they meet in a house. Please show me from the Scriptures where God ever approved of such a thing, viz. many disparate groups with their separate beliefs and teachings and doctrines and so on and so on. In other words, please show me where we individually or as a group are given the right to do things any way but God’s way. Please show me from the Bible any time when adulterated worship was acceptable to God whether from individuals or groups. Other than the fact that they meet in a house as did some congregations in the first century these modern day autonomous little home groups have almost nothing in common with the unadulterated unified and harmonious first century congregation. Please show me in the Scriptures where the proliferation of groups, large or small, with all their disparate teachings and beliefs and doctrines and so on and so on is God’s way of doing things rather than Satan’s.

    If keeping oneself and one’s group free of apostate “Christianity” is not a legitimate concern, please explain to me why it is not. If keeping oneself and one’s group free of apostate “Christianity” is a legitimate concern, please explain how your way is a better way than mine to accomplish that. What is the real problem here? There is something here that you are not saying. Why is it that you are not helping to address the point of the thread?

    2. “I would ask you if you think there is any place in the criptures that indicate that we can join our self to just any church/religion we want even if it ignores everything else commanded in the Bible but it believes and teaches in agreement with what you have said in this thread and still have God’s favor?” IMO that also is basically a “Yes” or “No” question with a request that you provide Scriptural support for a “Yes” answer. However because I add some provisos to this question it may appear more complicated than it is; so let me rephrase it for you: “I would ask you if you think there is any place in the criptures that indicate that we can join our self to just any church/religion we want [which] believes and teaches in agreement with [everything] you have said in this thread but it ignores everything else commanded in the Bible and still have God’s favor?”

    That question is basically the same question as above only with provisos. Therefore the same explanation applies: please show me from the Scriptures where God ever approved of such a thing, viz. many disparate groups with their separate beliefs and teachings and doctrines and so on and so on. In other words, please show me where we individually or as a group are given the right to do things any way but God’s way. Actually that question and its provisos was just another attempt to get you to answer my question which you continue not to answer: “Do not most people claim that there are persons of outstanding character in any and all religions and churches; do you say that they are Jesus’ disciples regardless of what they believe and “based on character and character alone”?” “For [your] sanity's sake STOP doing this”! The term “this” in that statement equals refusing to properly answer my questions and/or to explain yourself when requested.

    Everything you have said so far in this thread leads me to believe that your answer is “Yes” but because your answers are not at all clear or definite, that is an assumption on my part. I am not at all comfortable with making assumptions about another’s beliefs therefore it keeps bugging me and coming back up. All that is necessary is that you do what I have asked you to do: give me a straight answer or give me a good explanation of why you are refusing to answer.

    Let me provide you with a bit more insight into my point. We are in agreement that some men do go far beyond what the Bible allows for in their rule making. But that was a problem mostly in the past. Nowadays most go to the opposite extreme which is equally as wrong. It seems to me that you are in that group but I am not sure. Until I am sure I must continue to test and to probe even if you think it is insanity.

    Other than for their claims to follow the law of love and the Prince of Peace the vast over whelming majority of churches/religions of this world have almost nothing else in common with the first century church/congregation just as I said above. Please show me in the Scriptures where the proliferation of groups, large or small and with all their disparate beliefs and teachings and doctrines and so on and so on, is God’s way rather than Satan’s.

    Just as the Mosaic Law Code covered much more than issues of character/heart, so do Jesus’ and the apostle’s teaching. Oh yes character is a part of it but not all of it, which is what I understand you to be saying. Your belief, as best I can tell given what little you have told me, is that character is all of it and that all the other things taught by Jesus, by the apostles and by the Bible are superfluous. Well excuse me for disagreeing and for basing my question on all those other undeniable truths I find in the Bible that initially have nothing to do with an individual’s or a group’s character. Just because we disagree about that does not mean that I asked you an unfair question. It just means you need to explain where it is in the Bible that your point of view was ever acceptable to God and you need to actually answer my oft asked question.

    Again, let me repeat it, will you please answer my questions and will you ask for more information or clarification if there is something you do not understand and if you still feel that this question is unfair or inaccurate in some way will you please explain how and why it is “poisoning the well” and therefore is not a fair question to ask. Is that too much to ask of you? If so, please explain why that is too much to ask? As I have said before: “Remember, it takes two to Tango and so far you have not been a cooperative partner.”

    Let me say it again, because you refuse to say what they are I do not know what your beliefs are on most things even though I have asked you about them. I make that statement only to help you understand why I feel the need to ask so many questions and to add provisos to my questions. Also I cannot help wondering, “Why is it that you are being that way?” (1 Peter 3:15) Again, my point is: “it takes two to Tango and so far you have not been a cooperative partner.”

    Now I am moving on to your next to last post.


    Continues below.
     
  14. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

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    This is explained in my long post but knowing how much trouble we have in actually understanding what the other is saying and meaning (remember “drawing lines in the sand” and “boundaries”) it is very possible that I do need to give you more information and/or explanation. Therefore:

    Again, it has nothing to do with them meeting in a house. Again, it has nothing to do with them meeting in a house. Again, it has nothing to do with them meeting in a house. I really hope I can make myself clearly understood that it has nothing to do with them meeting in a house. It has everything to do with my list and my long post; therefore, may I respectfully suggest that you reread my long post in addition to reading what I will now say? If, after rereading what I have already said in this post and also my long post and what I am about to say, you still do not understand what my issue with them is please ask me again. I will be happy to try again: I just wish you would be so kind as to return the favor when I ask you to explain yourself.

    First, let me give you an illustration to help you understand the first set of questions that follow: Imagine you are sitting on a bench at the airport waiting for the Sky Captain to return with your baggage claim slip. A man approaches, sits down next to you and says, “I own the majority of all Microsoft shares. What is more, all the necessary paperwork to sign them all over to you is right here in my briefcase. If you will simply carry this package through security and onto the airplane for me, I will sign all those shares over to you.” As you examine the contents of his open briefcase you notice some very official looking paperwork in addition to a package about the size of a brick that is carefully wrapped up in plastic and duct tape. As you examine the man you notice that he does not look or sound like Bill Gates. Would you be tempted? Not likely!

    Let me change the story only very slightly: Everything is the same as the above except that you immediately recognize from his appearance and voice that the man is in fact Bill Gates; would you now be tempted to carry contraband through security and on to the plane? The fact that the rightful owner of all that stock is the one offering to make you majority stock holder in Microsoft and thus into one of the richest if not the very richest man in the world changes everything, doesn’t it? Now carefully consider the following Bible account.

    (Matthew 4:8-10) Again the Devil took him along to an unusually high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, 9 and he said to him: “All these things I will give you if you fall down and do an act of worship to me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him: “Go away, Satan! For it is written, ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’”

    (Luke 4:5-8) So he brought him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the inhabited earth in an instant of time; 6 and the Devil said to him: “I will give you all this authority and the glory of them, because it has been delivered to me, and to whomever I wish I give it. 7 You, therefore, if you do an act of worship before me, it will all be yours.” 8 In reply Jesus said to him: “It is written, ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’”

    In addition to the very obvious lesson to obey the greatest commandment what else does this account teach us? This: Satan actually “owns” “all the kingdoms of the world” that he offered Jesus and it logically follows that Jesus didn’t own what was offered otherwise and the account would be meaningless for there would be no actual temptation involved and Jesus would have simply called Satan on trying to give away something that did not belong to him (Satan) in the first place. OR Jesus would have informed Satan of what a fool he was for trying to tempt “God” with something that actually already belonged to Him and of which he (Satan) was only allowed temporary control or ownership. Hopefully my questions will be simple enough this time to be answered.

    Does Satan still own the “kingdoms of the world?” If your answer is “No” then there are many verses that I will ask you to explain that certainly seem to say otherwise. If your answer is “Yes” then there are many issues, yes issues of loyalty vs. treason, involving life or death stemming from the obedience and/or disobedience of both the greatest as well as the second greatest commandment, that need to be discussed. I await your “Yes” or “No” answer. Can you see the issue?

    Jesus taught us many fine lessons in the Sermon on the Mount. Many people consider them to be the most elementary or basic of Christ’s teachings. Please note:

    (Matthew 6:9-10) “You must pray, then, this way: “‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified. 10 Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.”

    Jesus here gives clear instructions to follow when we pray. To whom did Jesus tell us to pray? What is His name that we are to pray to be sanctified, honored or made holy? Can you sanctify, honor, or make holy His name by removing it from the Bible and by refusing to use it and refusing to make it known? If we do not know that Person well enough to know and to be comfortable using His name, how is it we can rightly claim to be obeying the greatest commandment? If we do not know that Person well enough to know and to be comfortable with using His name, how is it we can follow Jesus instructions that we pray to Him and for His name to be honored? Without that most basic and elementary knowledge does not the repeating of that prayer become a recitation devoid of any real meaning? If we are instructed by Jesus to pray to the Father, then why do so very many so-called “Christians” begin their prayers by invoking Jesus instead? Are they disobeying the greatest commandment when they do so? I believe so! If and individual or a group really was interested in obeying the greatest commandment, would they be so ignorant and disrespectful? Again, these are some of the most elementary of Jesus’ teachings and yet most do not have the knowledge necessary to answer those questions; do you? Can you see the issue? Is it a character problem or a knowledge problem? I say eventually both but it starts out as a knowledge problem and only when ignorance and disrespect remains as their choice does it then become a character problem, don’t you agree with that?


    Continues below.
     
  15. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

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    Continuing with verse 10: Is the kingdom that we are instructed to pray for a real actual kingdom, that is a government headed by a King, or is it just an abstract construct with no reality outside the hearts of men? If we do not know the answer to that question then how can we truthfully pray for it to come? If it is an abstract construct that is within men’s hearts then why is it that history shows that it has had little if any good effect on the behavior of mankind? Where is the evidence of it actually existing? If, on the other hand the kingdom is something upon which we have had to wait to come, then the prayer makes sense and many questions are satisfactorily answered. If it is a real actual government, what does it mean for us in our dealings with the “kingdoms of this world” over which Satan is king? Can we be an active supporter of this world and/or one its kingdoms over which Satan is king and still be loyal to God and to his kingdom and his appointed King? Is the Father’s “will,” “desire” or “pleasure” (check Strong’s or Thayer’s) now taking place on earth just as it is in heaven? If so, then why all the problems? If not, then why not? And when will it be done? Earlier, at Matthew 5:5, Jesus had already promised that the meek would inherit the earth. Is there a connection between the Kingdom and Jesus’ promise? Most reference Bibles show that Jesus was paraphrasing Psalm 37:11 and/or 37:29 where everlasting life on a peaceful earth is promised to the meek but many if not most so-called “Christians” believe that the earth will be destroyed by fire and that everyone “good” goes to heaven; how can both be true? Also, how and when can we expect Matthew 5:5/Psalm 37:11, 29 to be fulfilled? If correct knowledge of what the kingdom is and what it will do is not an essential part of true worship then why is it that Jesus gave us so many parables dealing with the subject?

    I could easily go on and on and on. The vast over whelming majority of so-called “Christians” do not know what they do not know because their religion/church/group has not taught them all these necessary things and therefore they have no idea whether or not they are obeying or disobeying the greatest commandment. But since it is all right there in the Bible they have no excuse for their ignorance and disrespect. Current events as well as history prove that they do not obey the second greatest command. Yes Satan has them convinced that their “feel good” religion is acceptable to the Father just as he, Satan, had Eve convinced that she could ignore the rules and do as she pleased without consequences; but that too was a Satanic deception with deadly consequences. Can you see the issue?

    Can or will you answer any of those simple questions?

    After rereading my long post and what I say above please show me where I advocate following or adherence to any man-made rule; can you do that for me?

    .
     
  16. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Of course. scriptures reveal MORE than one house church and there are no warnings against them. A study of the scriptures will reveal that by and large, these churches were autonomous. The elders were the sole authourity for the individual churches. Again, why do you detest them so much?

    Romans 16:
    5 Greet also the church that meets at their house. NIV

    Colossians 4:
    15 Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. NIV

    Philemon 1:
    1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker, 2 to Apphia our sister, to Archippus our fellow soldier and to the church that meets in your home: NIV



    You are obviously trying a trap ploy here. WHICH words of mine are you referring to? I do believe that there are many churches who try to rely on a "Christian Law" and have missed grace by a mile. So what if we miss out whether Jesus wanted the Lord's supper to have one cup or many. Or should it be wine or grape juice? There is NO ONE PERFECT and there is NO PERFECT CHURCH. Peter put it best:

    I Peter 4:
    8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. NIV


    My friend, you are going the way of the Pharisee. Rules and regulations have NOTHING to do with the Kingdom of God.

    Galations 6:
    12 Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 Not even those who are circumcised obey the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your flesh. 14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation. 16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God. NIV

    Now I have to ask this. Why do you oppose the FREEDOM we have in Jesus? How do YOU address scriptures such as this:

    Galations 3:
    1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? 3Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? 4 Have you suffered so much for nothing—if it really was for nothing? 5 Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard? NIV

    Now, I have asked you this before, so I will ask again.

    1) Why are you against house churches?

    2) How are we to identify true disciples?


     
  17. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Did he? Did he really? Did he address his soliloquy to EVERYONE or just those on the hill? Did he condemn all other prayers? Should we recite this verse in the original Aramaic even though the scriptures are in Greek? I would like to point out that he was trying to de-toxify their religion for them. Getting them away from legalism and not trying to instill more of the same.

    My friend, you are straining the proverbial gnat and asking me to swallow the whole camel. This was the legalistic thinking of the Pharisees. They tried to redefine God's commandments. Let's look at what this scripture tells us about these man-made commandments:

    Colossians 2:
    13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. 16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. 19 He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.
    20 Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: 21 "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"? 22 These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.NIV



    Don't you believe in FREEDOM?









     
  18. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

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    Your saying it is so does not make it so! If what you say is true, it will be easy enough to prove with scripture references. The scriptures you quote do not prove either the statement make or what you imply within your statement.

    We have already discussed in the previous thread that the congregation had many different meeting places; I see no need to rehash the point for it is not an identifier/test/requirement. Let me say it again:


    It is you that is hung up on the subject not me!

    You are dead wrong regarding autonomy. There was only one harmonious, united, and organized-from-the-top-down congregation in the first century:

    (Acts 9:31) Then, indeed, the congregation throughout the whole of Ju·de´a and Gal´i·lee and Sa·mar´i·a entered into a period of peace, being built up; and as it walked in the fear of Jehovah and in the comfort of the holy spirit it kept on multiplying.

    There was/is only one congregation. There was/is only on body.

    (1 Corinthians 11:29) For he that eats and drinks eats and drinks judgment against himself if he does not discern the body.

    (Romans 12:4-5) For just as we have in one body many members, but the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, although many, are one body in union with Christ, but members belonging individually to one another.

    (1 Corinthians 12:12-13) For just as the body is one but has many members, and all the members of that body, although being many, are one body, so also is the Christ. 13 For truly by one spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink one spirit.

    (Ephesians 4:3-6) earnestly endeavoring to observe the oneness of the spirit in the uniting bond of peace. 4 One body there is, and one spirit, even as you were called in the one hope to which you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith {or one belief or one “religious beliefs of Christians” per Thayer’s}, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all [persons], who is over all and through all and in all.

    That body was/is organized to do what Jesus commanded that it do. It was organized from the top down and not from the bottom up as you would have us believe. Jesus himself prophesied about how he would organize his one true body of followers:

    (Matthew 24:45) “Who really is the faithful and discreet slave whom his master appointed over his domestics, to give them their food at the proper time?

    (Matthew 25:21) His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You were faithful over a few things. I will appoint you over many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’

    (Luke 12:42-44) And the Lord said: “Who really is the faithful steward, the discreet one, whom his master will appoint over his body of attendants to keep giving them their measure of food supplies at the proper time? 43 Happy is that slave, if his master on arriving finds him doing so! 44 I tell you truthfully, He will appoint him over all his belongings.

    (Luke 19:17) So he said to him, ‘Well done, good slave! Because in a very small matter you have proved yourself faithful, hold authority over ten cities.’

    That “slave” or “steward” was not an individual for the above scriptures make it plain that this “slave” or “steward” would be present both in the first century and also at the Master’s “arriving.” That “slave” or “steward” was/is appointed by Jesus to be “over his body of attendants to keep giving them their measure of food supplies at the proper time.” The Apostles and older men, primarily those in Jerusalem but also Paul, was that appointed “slave” or “steward” in the first century. Who are they today? Or are you going to deny Jesus’ very words?

    (Acts 14:23) Moreover, they {Paul and Barnabas, an Apostle and an Elder appointed by the central body of apostles and older men in Jerusalem} appointed older men for them in each congregation and, offering prayer with fastings, they committed them to Jehovah in whom they had become believers.

    (Acts 11:22-26) The account about them got to the ears of the congregation that was in Jerusalem, and they sent out Bar´na·bas as far as Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw the undeserved kindness of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all to continue in the Lord with hearty purpose; 24 for he was a good man and full of holy spirit and of faith. And a considerable crowd was added to the Lord. 25 So he went off to Tarsus to make a thorough search for Saul 26 and, after he found him, he {Barnabas} brought him {Saul/Paul} to Antioch. It thus came about that for a whole year they gathered together with them in the congregation and taught quite a crowd, and it was first in Antioch that the disciples were by divine providence called Christians.

    More than just this one occasion do we find Paul acquiescing to the direction/instruction/guidance of the appointed “slave” or “steward” present in the first century.

    (Acts 16:4) Now as they traveled on through the cities they would deliver to those there for observance the decrees that had been decided upon by the apostles and older men who were in Jerusalem.
    (In the above, curly brackets are mine.)

    You are dead wrong when you claim those local congregations that just happened to meet in a house because there was no better place were autonomous. And what difference does all that make? Then and now also it makes a big difference:

    (1 Corinthians 11:29) For he that eats and drinks eats and drinks judgment against himself if he does not discern the body.

    Continues below.
     
  19. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

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    Now are you telling us that you have been empowered by God to determine and so to attribute motives, intentions? BE CAREFUL! I double dare you to quote what I have said that expressed “detest.” I have not expressed “detest” for “home churches.” I have many times met in a home as part of my regular worship services. So you must be not falling victim to something or someone else and not to me. As I said earlier: “It is you that is hung up on the subject not me!”


    (Matthew 21:23-27) Now after he went into the temple, the chief priests and the older men of the people came up to him while he was teaching and said: “By what authority do you do these things? And who gave you this authority?” 24 In reply Jesus said to them: “I, also, will ask you one thing. If you tell it to me, I also will tell you by what authority I do these things: 25 The baptism by John, from what source was it? From heaven or from men?” But they began to reason among themselves, saying: “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why, then, did you not believe him?’ 26 If, though, we say, ‘From men,’ we have the crowd to fear, for they all hold John as a prophet.” 27 So in answer to Jesus they said: “We do not know.” He, in turn, said to them: “Neither am I telling you by what authority I do these things.

    Was Jesus trying to trap them? Absolutely!! And if they had been humble enough to allow themselves to be trapped they might have been saved. Instead they worried about the wrong things. Was Jesus also trying to help them? Absolutely!! But they would have no part of it.

    I am not conscious of setting a trap for you and I do not see the trap you see; but just for a moment let’s say that I have set a trap for you and let’s say it was successful, how could it possibly hurt you? I do not understand what you are worried about. Would you be so kind as to explain what danger you see in our discussion and in the “trap” you perceive? Perhaps this will help me to answer some of my questions about you and your beliefs as well as to understand why you are acting the way you are.

    Only now that you have brought it to my attention can I see a trap in my question. Actually I now see it in both the often repeated question and this question. And now that I see it, I assure you that had I been aware it before I would have been using it before now and without an answer from you. Why and How? This way: Please correct me if I am wrong, but there could not be a trap without there being some exploitable weakness or flaw in your beliefs and/or some exploitable doubt on your part in regard to them? That necessarily means that what you were/are in reality trying to protect and/or maintain a weak or flawed belief system of which you yourself are unsure. Yes you are trying to protect something that you must know and believe at the very least is weak and vulnerable and at the worst is serious flawed. What in your character would make you want to do that? I am truly saddened that I now see it for I really had thought better of you than that. Please help me out here and explain to me how doing what it appears you are trying to do is a good character attribute.

    (Hebrews 4:12) For the word of God is alive and exerts power and is sharper than any two-edged sword and pierces even to the dividing of soul and spirit, and of joints and [their] marrow, and [is] able to discern thoughts and intentions of [the] heart.


    If I understand correctly what you are asking it was in the exchange we had in post #39 and your reply in #40.



    In that statement are you saying that you think/believe that they are out of grace and therefore are in danger? Rut Row, here is that “trap” again! When I wrote that question down it was because I wanted to understand what you are really meaning here, but I now also see that asking this question puts you between a rock and a hard place. That was not my original intention but now that I and everybody else can see it, I will not play ‘gotcha’ but rather simply ask you, in all sincerity, to explain away the corner into which it seems you have painted yourself.


    I agree!! But that fact does not change the fact that there always has been and always will be only one body, one faith, one way, one road, one door, one gate and so on and so on. Here are additional identifiers/tests/requirements given by Jesus as to how that one group and its members are to act:

    (Matthew 5:38-48) “You heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.’ 39 However, I say to you: Do not resist him that is wicked; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other also to him. 40 And if a person wants to go to court with you and get possession of your inner garment, let your outer garment also go to him; 41 and if someone under authority impresses you into service for a mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one asking you, and do not turn away from one that wants to borrow from you [without interest].

    43 “You heard that it was said, ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 However, I say to you: Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those persecuting you; 45 that you may prove yourselves sons of your Father who is in the heavens, since he makes his sun rise upon wicked people and good and makes it rain upon righteous people and unrighteous. 46 For if you love those loving you, what reward do you have? Are not also the tax collectors doing the same thing? 47 And if you greet your brothers only, what extraordinary thing are you doing? Are not also the people of the nations doing the same thing? 48 You must accordingly be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

    (1 John 2:3-5) And by this we have the knowledge that we have come to know him, namely, if we continue observing his commandments. 4 He that says: “I have come to know him,” and yet is not observing his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in this [person]. 5 But whoever does observe his word, truthfully in this [person] the love of God has been made perfect. By this {observance/obedience} we have the knowledge that we are in union with him.

    Even if all we were talking about were just the greatest and the second greatest commandments, the vast over whelming majority are in peril as I have already pointed out and as you totally ignored.


    I do appreciate your concern for me, I really do. But may I respectfully suggest that you remove the rafter from your own eye before you worry about the splinter in mine. And you are dead wrong about the Kingdom of God and about what is involved in obeying the commandments. There is much more I could say but I am discerning that it probably would be a waste unless you turn over a new leaf and actually start dealing with what I have already said and asked of you. So instead let me review and repeat:

    Continues below.
     
  20. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Let's continue when you calm down.
     
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