Matt.18.20

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Frogman, Apr 23, 2003.

  1. Frogman

    Frogman
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    http://www.bereabaptistchurch.org/articles/WolfeRonnie/Matthew1820.html

    Above is provided an excellent article presenting the truth concerning the study of Matt. 18.20.

    As you may have surmised, I am in agreement with the author's view. The article is relatively short and easy to read.

    I have placed it here, though I wondered about putting it in the Baptist History Forum; I decided to place it here because of the Bible Study Connection. Though this is not to deny the historical significance of the article.

    Read it and react.

    I was in a church this past weekend and preached on Sunday morning which is in need of a pastor. It is highly unlikely this body will call me because I disagree with their view of such questions as is dealt with in this article and agree with the author of the article that the opposing view is rather a 'universalist' stance. It is also certain that if they do call me I will reject the call based upon their determination to stand where they are on this issue as well as on who is permitted to receive communion in the local church. Many in the church told me that I was making too much of this issue and that it was not as important as I presented it. I disagree with this kind of thinking. I believe the truth of ecclesiology is as important as that of soteriology.

    What are your thoughts?

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas [​IMG]
     
  2. Terry_Herrington

    Terry_Herrington
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    I did not have to read long to see that you are a Landmark Baptist? Do you attend an ABA church. We did at one time. It was one of the friendliest churches we have ever attended. However, because of the "Landmark" doctrine we had to leave.
     
  3. Frogman

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    Yes, I am a Landmark Baptist, yet we are no longer in association with the ABA, for some reasons that occurred prior to my joining the church I am in.

    Just for curiosity and discussion why did you have to leave because of the Landmark teaching?

    Bro. Dallas
     
  4. Grasshopper

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    I agree with the article. That verse is taken out of context more than any I know.
     
  5. Terry_Herrington

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    There are several reasons that I disagree with the ABA (which are Landmark Baptists):

    I do not agree with closed communion, which this church practiced. This was a minor problem, and I would not have left because of this.

    The pastor preached vehemently against the concept of a universal church. When he and I discussed it he wanted to know if I believed in either the local or universal church. I told him I believed in both. He said this was impossible and asked me to read some pamphlets put out by the ABA, written by Graves. I read them and did a cursory critique on them and presented it to the pastor. He told me that, although I was welcome to remain at this church, there would not be anything for me to do there because of my beliefs. I took this to mean that I was no longer welcome and left.

    Other than these two areas, there was a couple of other things that was of concern to me. For one, they did not believe that God worked today in any type of a miraculous way. I disagree with this.

    Also, they did not really want any people of other races to be members. I once ask the pastor if they would allow people of other races to join the church. He would not answer me directly, but said that, although anybody was welcome to visit, he felt that they would be better off in a church made up of their own people. My wife if Mexican. No one said anything about this while we were visiting and even when we joined. They made us feel right at home. However, finding out the pastor's view about other races did present a problem.
     
  6. Helen

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    As a total layman (woman) here, I have to say I am glad I'm not in some decision-making body where all these sorts of things have to be officially sorted out. It never occurred to me that this verse meant anything but the fact that even if only two of us are together, as Christians, that our communion is of and through Christ. If we are both indwelt by the Holy Spirit, which all Christians are (Romans 8:9), then of course Christ is there! If there are more of us together, then more of the same!

    On the other hand, I have visited in (and interpreted in) churches where I have wondered if Christ was there at all.... :confused: :(
     
  7. Frogman

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    Good Post Helen, while I agree with your last statement about being found in places where the presence of Christ may be doubtful, the first place I look in this situation is myself. Perhaps it is justifiable to lay the blame on some congregations, but the first place to look is myself, if Christ is not felt is it the fault of the congregation, the preacher or the individual. I think at times it can be any of the above, yet if Christ is in me, then it is likely that I have no need of his presence among others to successfully worship him in Spirit and in truth.

    That being said note that I agree with you. The Spirit is not always felt in all places. This is true though because we are yet in the flesh. What are your thoughts concerning the article, is it not truly the context of discipline of the church and if so, then how is it to be taken as a proof-text that where-ever two or three of His people are there is the organized church?

    Thanks for your post nonetheless. Just as you are thankful for your church not worrying with these questions I am thankful that the doctrine of the Church is taught where I am at as the important doctrine that it is.

    IMHO, it is the rebellion of man against the discipline of the church that places this teaching in a less important light. And such teaching as would follow from the interpretation of this scripture that the church is to be found anywhere and everywhere two or three are found also is conducive to division and schisim.

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas
     
  8. Frogman

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    Bro. Terry,

    I can understand why you left the church you were in. The church I belong to does not have any members of "color." This is not because they are discouraged however. We have in our community 'colored' churches and this is where they attend, but it is certainly not because they have felt unwelcome at Grider.

    We have a member whose daughter is married interracially and she and her husband has visited us quite often. Each time they are welcomed.

    I myself am 'racially' mixed including American Native (Cherokee), Mexican Indian, German, and English. This has never been an issue at Grider since I have been there.

    The issues at the church you left seem to me to be privately held. Though I may be wrong I do not think I am just being naive. It saddens me that such teaching is mingled with the doctrine of the church.

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas
     
  9. Jim1999

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    I agree with Brother Dallas that this verse has nothing to do with the formation of a church, but everything to do with discipline.

    We very often misuse and abuse this verse in isolation. It may very we a truth in fellowship, but then, is not the Lord present in a party of one? I should think the Lord is present when I pray alone.

    Whilst there is a universal fellowship held in common in Jesus Christ, there is only one body called the local church ordained of God.

    One does not have to belong to an organization to be a landmarkist. My seminary in Canada taught the landmark Baptist viewpoint. IN fact, we had two Landmark Baptist professors: Dr. C.D. Cole (Kentucky) and Dr. George B. Fletcher (Virginia). They were both marvellous men of God.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  10. Terry_Herrington

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    What about the error of teaching that there is no such thing as the universal church? My understanding is that this is a hallmark of "Landmarkism?"
     
  11. Frogman

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    Along with this 'universal' church theory is the idea of an invisible church. I do not think it is error to teach the church is local and visible only. This is the position of Scripture. I beleive people confuse the Family of God with an idea of a 'universal' and invisible church. If we accept the universal and invisible church theory then we effectively make null and void the discipline of which Matt. 18.20 is speaking, it is evident there can be no discipline followed on one who is walking disorderly who adheres to an unseen church. This is impossible and cannot be followed, so then the idea of a 'universal' church that all the saved belong to is the error.

    Bro. Dallas
     

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