Are "we" the church; or is it the building?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by righteousdude2, Sep 11, 2015.

  1. righteousdude2

    righteousdude2
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    I wonder what you the people of God see the church as being. :1_grouphug: Is it the people of the living God? Or is it the brick, mortar and wood that make the building the church? :type:
     
  2. agedman

    agedman
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    In the early days of the Baptist church (Roger Williams) in America, the church did not build "meeting houses." In fact, building a "meeting house" was purposely avoided.

    Not until decades later, when the influential began to impress, did the eyes of the Baptists began to consider building permanent structures in which to meet. Even then, the structures were very basic and purposely unadorned in any way that the people not be distracted from worship.

    Strange it is that, as the Armenian influence increased, the churches became less and less sparse and made attempts to become worldly attractive so as not to appear uninviting to the worldly. (this is purely my own conclusion based upon various histories)

    In the modern times, the building and grounds take on an importance of their own. Grand structures are built with all manner of enhancements.

    Personally, I would like to be a time traveler stuck in the earliest days of Roger Williams' congregation meeting in family homes and spending serious time in prayerful worship without the distractions.

    The only convenience that I might truly miss is the near clean facilities with running water.

    The early Baptists had it right. The church is believers and their families who gather to worship, establish certain regulations and structures based upon the common agreement of applicable Scriptural principles, and seek to learn, meditate, and live the Word in such manner that the glory of God is shown to the world and worldly.
     
  3. Earth Wind and Fire

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    It is the come hither attitude that i object to. Like one big building (generally situated in a rich neighborhood) and everything within a 65 mile radious must travel to them to be fed. How is that helpful to those who cant drive or are pressed for time, really what does that do for developing communities? In fact, it sucks the life blood out of any smaller community initiatives struggling.
     
  4. Alcott

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    Are "we" the church; or is it the building?
    Regardless of whether an empty or filled thing?
    Well, filling's the question, though some don't like to hear it.
    But people-- not structures-- can be filled with the Spirit.
     
  5. Bro. James

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    "God does not dwell in temples made with hands", "God is Spirit, they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth."

    Spires, steeples and minarets(crosses too) can be traced to symbols of paganistic rituals of the flesh. God has a problem with icons of any sort.

    Many churches have become LLCs complete with govt. strings attached.
    True New Testament Churches are not businesses with staff and other hirelings.

    A good example of God's attitude toward such things: He allowed Jerusalem to be destroyed in 70AD; this included Solomon's Temple; the Jews were scattered--so were the Christians.

    The real tabernacle is in the hearts--of those born from above.

    "Where ever two or three of you are gathered, there am I in the midst." Jesus speaking to His followers.

    Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

    Bro. James

    P.S. Re: Roger Williams and The Baptist Church in America. The work of one John Clarke, Newport, R.I., predates what ever R. Williams was doing--some of Roger's baptismal practices seem somewhat un-baptistic. The Baptist Church is a misnomer--New Testament Churches, regardless of name, are fiercely independent and sovereign with no outside influence whatsoever including the State.
     
    #5 Bro. James, Sep 12, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2015
  6. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Amen Brother:thumbsup:
     
  7. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    Double..... NO, TRIPLE AMEN!!!!:jesus:
     
  8. tyndale1946

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    But to me church is more than that... Its not only being filled with Spirit but doing the work that you are commanded do in the Spirit you are filled with... I grew up in a small church and ever member knew every other member... We prayed, we sang the songs of Zion, and we listened to the preaching... We would take what we heard and applied it where we lived... We were in the world but not of it but try to make it a better world by the lessons we were taught from scripture... Sometime we were successful sometime we failed but through it all we learned, that is not in us but in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who we follow... As the Apostle Paul states "Follow me as I follow Christ". We can do nothing less!... Each and everyone of us follow Christ according to the dictates of our hearts... Loving God and loving our fellow man that is what church is... Brother Glen
     
  9. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Glen.....you are both saying the same thing. Church is not necessarily the building. Rather it is the people and the inwelling of the HS in them that makes the church....and the love, and the patience, and the compassion and the mercy, and the forgiveness that we have and in us that we in turn take to the world in lue of the worlds dying sinful ways
     
  10. Zaac

    Zaac
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    Who cares what men say?What does the word of God say?
     
  11. Reformed

    Reformed
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    I like the way the construction of the Church is explained in the 1689 Second London Baptist Confession of Faith:

     
  12. tyndale1946

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    Doesn't scripture tell us that God is the Creator?... Has the HS stopped creating?... Only God can create a sheep!... And he does so 24/7 on his terms and his way... We are also told what these gifts are and what they are not according to Galatians 5:16-26 and the Warfare before us... We are also told as Christians how to arm ourselves according to Ephesians 6:10-18 putting on The Whole Armor Of God and who we are fighting... And it is not flesh and blood!...Sometimes we forget who the enemy is and start fighting each other instead of Spiritual Wickedness in High Places!... Brother Glen
     
  13. Earth Wind and Fire

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    I dont believe that the problem is spiritual weakness in high places as it is complacency ....we have lost our capacity to go beyond the same old lazy church service, beyond the point of our own comfort zones and be active in peoples lives.

    See God wants us to excede our boundries....he is not calling us in our heads, where we have lived for too too many years that we have ceased to see beyond our own selves. Frankly we are afraid to touch the flesh of God, even to touch the flesh of one another in order to understand what God is calling us into.

    Remember Thomas in John 20:27....it is he that symbolizes our nature of heady faith, so what does Christ do.....He asks Thomas to touch the wounds!

    So forget about those commmunity gathering houses. They are certainly nice to go to once and a while but without real communion with people....without touching the flesh...the meeting house becomes useless. The Great Commission commands us to go out.....out to the world....thats where you will meet Gods people.
     
  14. Reformed

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    I caution against throwing the baby out with the bath water. Yes. We are to fulfill the Great Commission. No. The Church is not a building, it is the people of God. But we are also commanded to gather in worship. Unless you live in a place with year-round perfect weather, you are more than likely to meet in a building. A weekly meeting place provides stability. It is a visible testimony to the world-at-large, announcing to them that the people of God meet here.

    Instead of dissing the Church, we should look at ways to constantly reform it. Semper Reformanda!
     
  15. Earth Wind and Fire

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    LOL....I congregate on the street, in a fire house, in a bar, in a library, in a house, in a restruant, in a basement, in a barn....come to think of it, ive met with people to share Christ in all venues. I think what they are looking for is help...help with both their spiritual and day-to-day lives. Pastor Durant tells the story about going out to a farmers field to help a farmer fix his tractor. After being arms deep in grease and dung, Durant invited him to services. I like Padre for his practical approach. Unfortunately i dont see much of that going on in my own area. Its more like, you come to the church, participate in the service and then perhaps we will talk.....just make an appointment.:rolleyes:
     
  16. Reformed

    Reformed
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    I just want to make sure I understand you. Are you advocating all churches should disband and stop meeting in a brick and mortar building?
     
  17. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    Only the dead ones.
     
  18. wpe3bql

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    Instead of merely giving up on so-called "dead churches," I'd much rather see a dying church revived like the local church at Ephesus in Revelation 2:1-7.

    This passage is what Christ (Rev. 1:11) told John to tell them that although at one time--probably only a couple decades at the most--that they were fervent in carrying out what Paul wrote to this same church in Ephesians 3:16-19.

    Christ was fully aware of their works (Rev. 2:2) but He also recognized that within just a short period of time that this local church had "left thy first love (Rev. 2:4).

    He didn't want the local church at Ephesus to die off. Rather, He told them to repent and to "do the first works" (Rev. 2:5).

    In other words, even though the local church at Ephesus was very close to dying, He still encouraged them to go back to their first love, which Paul explained to them in Ephesians 5:1-10.

    Christ essentially told the local church at Pergamos the same thing In Revelation 2:12-16, and also to the local church at Sardis In Revelation 3:1-6.

    The local church at Laodicea was lukewarm (Rev.3:15), but Christ still considered them to be worth keeping them if they would heed His warning to them.

    I take this as not only a warning to a local church, but also an encouragement from Christ in that while each of these local churches had problems and challenges--something even the best local churches will have from time to time--they are still worth trying to rescue from dying out.

    Christ still considered these local churches as part of His Bride. I'm sure that if a man's bride has problems, he'd want to do all he can to encourage his bride to get things right between him and the lady he plans to marry.

    If Christ loved these local churches as his future bride, shouldn't we use His example and do all that we can to help rescue a dying local church?
     
  19. Salty

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    Amen Brother!:jesus:
     
  20. righteousdude2

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    This is where you need to dazzle all of us with scripture. Again, you fail to add spiritual substance to your thoughts. :tear:
     

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