local church v Acts 15

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by BRIANH, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. BRIANH

    BRIANH
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    Trying to be concise:

    What are the arguments for a independent local church?

    Why do you think Acts 15 does not support denominationalism?

    BH-not a Baptist and thus posting in the only forum I can :)
     
  2. Marcia

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    What do you mean by an "independent local church" Independent of what?

    Denominationalism does not necessarily divide - believers still agree on and confess the essentials. Thus all born again believers, whether Methodists, Baptists, AOG, Bible Church, etc. are in the body of Christ.
     
  3. Jedi Knight

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    I for one have experienced in my own denomination cold friends that if you don't attend their church they don't fellowship with you no more. I feel clicks happen to often and it's sad to see even some Pastors act like they don't know you from Adam if you won't attend their church even if you've known them for quite a while. Jesus said they will know your my disciples because of your love for one another"the body of Christ".
     
  4. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    I heartily endorse the idea of an independent local church. I am so strongly supportive of this concept that I have been a member of four such churches since I was saved and baptized at age nine--62 years ago.

    The church I serve today is an independent, autonomous, self-sustaining local church.

    I am a Southern Baptist.
     
  5. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    The independent, autonomous, self-sustaining church to which I belong voluntarily pools some of its resources with other like-minded independent, autonomous congregations to send missionaries, do evangelism, educate train people for full-time Christian service and other cooperative ventures.

    Once a year, these like minded churches send representatives to a central meeting point for two or three days to get reports on how these cooperative ventures are doing, to agree on some goals and other matters. The independent churches will agree on instructions to those whom it has employed to handle details and organization of those ventures.

    No one at that gathering, called a Convention, will tell a single church represented there what it must do. Any obligation that church has is one voluntarily assumed.

    That is the reason it is called the Southern Baptist Convention, and not the Southern Baptist Church.
     
  6. BRIANH

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    What are the essentials and where do you find what is essential and what is not?
     
  7. BRIANH

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    What are the arguments, briefly, for being independent in YOUR view?
    This is not a trick question, I wonder to what degree Acts 15 seems to refute independent churches so I am listening to and seeking the arguments for such.
    If you wish to list a few.
    Thanks
     
  8. donnA

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    what do you suggest instead of independence? some akin to RCC? I don't see that form of church governement in scritpure.
     
  9. Thinkingstuff

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    I like more detailed answers. Tom Bryant for instance gives a detailed view of his view of Church government. What form of Government do you see represented in scriptures? For instance we see with a dispute about what gentiles are supposed to do about circumsision so the Apostles and Church Leaders got together and made a statement. Support for Church councils?



    Just some notes Paul and Barnabas were at Antioch and teaching (the Church) Later they move to Jerusalem and they were welcomed (the church) It can be understood as the church there but then again why the Church rather than the Church there. Is it a problem of translation? So the Church is either specific to the city or more inclusive of the entire body of christ. There is debate. Referencing already established principle, direct referrence to scripture. Peter clarifies a point and James refers to what Peter said and makes a decision. Regarding the fact that Gentiles are not required to follow all Jewish Laws and should be obedient to the Noahic Laws. And a letter of clarification is sent to all the churches. These are the elements of the selected verse. What type of Christian government do we see here?
     
  10. Tom Bryant

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    I did? Wow. :smilewinkgrin:

    Independence and cooperation are not mutually exclusive. When I came from the IFB churches to a SBC church, I told someone that I was coming from an independent Baptist background. He (Dr. John Sullivan of the Florida Baptist Convention) was real clear that all baptists are independent, some just choose to cooperate.

    But when you cooperate, there will be some areas that you won't get your way.
     
  11. Thinkingstuff

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    Since I attend a SBC its pretty clear on how they participate in Church organizations. In the SBC all Churches are independent yet adhere to the conventions basics and pool money together for evangalism, missions, study material, Lottie Moon, etc... But the SBC is well Documented. IFB churches are entirely independent there is no pooling of anything. Christian Alliance is simmilar to SBC but not quite as comprehensive.
     
  12. BRIANH

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    I was not really suggesting anything. I was wondering about the biblical support for independence and what exactly the constitutes in relation to Acts 15.
    There are four major players in Acts 15 it seems.
    Peter, James, Paul
    Elders
    The church
    scripture (which James uses to make a decision)
    I am not sure if the fact they are apostles persay is what is most important. Since James makes the decision in his role as head of the Jerusalem church(es), I do not think that is the result of his apostleship necesssarily.
    We still then have three of those present:
    elders
    church
    scripture

    I see then what appears to be a biblical example and nothing to indicate the biblical example is dependent upon James being an apostle; even so the other three remain to this day.

    I am not sure why you mention RCC. Is that what you think of when you see Acts 15?
    Thanks
     
  13. donnA

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    so we are to have someone else , not a part of our church, tell us what to believe, what we can do, what misssion we can and can not support or do, we can no longer interpet scripture and follow God's leading if it violates what the people above us decide?
    I don't think so.
     
  14. Darron Steele

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    Written to someone else:
    I do not think anyone sees the Roman Catholic Church in Acts 15.

    I think it is interesting that you asked if she associated the Roman Catholic Church with Acts 15. I see nothing of the sort coming from her mind.

    Here is what she said:
    She was asking exactly that. Were you going to advocate something like the Roman Catholic Church, which is known for being authoritarian.

    Here is your original question:
    First of all, Acts 15 was when the Lord's Personally-commissioned Apostles were in charge.

    When the apostle Paul was about to die, he told his protege Timothy an authority to follow: Scripture. This is at 2 Timothy 3:16-7. There is no indication that a new generation of people with similar authority was to arise.

    There is no situation where people Personally-commissioned by Jesus Christ are in charge in the present era.

    Second, anytime a few people get too much power or influence, bad things happen. The proto-Orthodox/proto-Catholic church leadership is a good illustration. The Vatican is another good illustration.

    The Presbyterian Church USA I believe does not have congregational autonomy. In positions of the authority, they have left-wing radicals pushing their own agendas. The same is true of the United Methodist Church, although not to the same extent. Both denominations are in decline.

    Other illustrations where autonomy is preserved, but a few are abusing their positions: denominations known for being liberal because the wrong people are in position to talk too much, and they do. The United Church of Christ and the Disciples of Christ have autonomous congregations, and do not have to listen to the unsolicited advice they get from denominational leaders. If they did, those denominations would not only be in decline -- they would be totally trashed.

    Between congregational autonomy or overlordship by people not Personally-commissioned by Jesus Christ, I will take the former.
     
    #14 Darron Steele, Jun 12, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2009
  15. BRIANH

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    James is using scripture when he makes a decision. You bet. This is not a discussion of Sola Scriptura though. Instead, it is the framework in which the churches operate I am discussing. There are denominations that support Sola Scriptura and there are independent churches that do as well.
    However, why do you say that James was acting in his capacity as in apostle; instead of his capacity as pastor of the Jerusalem church(es)? We also have no evidence that James was personally commissioned by Christ. It is generally thought that he became a believer after the resurrection but scripture does not speak of it.
     
  16. BRIANH

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    Is that the only alternative you see? But back to Acts 15. Is there a reason it is not germane?
     
  17. matt wade

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    Well, then you aren't really independent, are you?
     
  18. Marcia

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    The essentials are what are preached and taught over and over by the apostles for salvation. And of course, the Trinity, because if people have the wrong God or the wrong Jesus, they can't be saved.

     
  19. BRIANH

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    It seems like it (the view that some things are essential and others are not) puts certain scripture over another scripture without really giving a reason. The Bible does not teach that part of scripture (and for discussion lets say the NT) is "less than essential". Is there a biblical basis for saying something is essential and something else is not?
    Thank you for answering, don't get me wrong, I appreciate that.
     
  20. Marcia

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    I think we can derive the essentials of the faith from the biblical text based on what Jesus said, his death, and resurrection. These are spoken of as what gives eternal life. It's just a matter of seeing it right there. It doesn't have to be preceded with the words, '"These are the essentials of the faith." The whole Bible is about man's sinful state and need for redemption; therefore, to give what God declares is needed for redemption is pretty plain.

    The essentials are a recurring theme in the NT; hard to miss them.

    Also, the early church made confessions as to the essentials when the faith was attacked. One can see from the heresies and even from false teachings today what the essentials are, because these are always attacked (though this is a secondary way to see them, not the primary way).

    JWs and most cults today deny the deity of Christ.

    Mormons deny the Trinity and make Jesus less than what He is.

    Mormons make man more than what he is.

    All cults teach a works salvation.
     

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