pastor's voice vs. my voice

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by HeDied4U, Mar 5, 2002.

  1. HeDied4U

    HeDied4U
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    LP, in another thread, posted the following question:

    A numbers of years ago (maybe 8 to 10), I read a book called 'The Open Church' (sorry, don't remember the author's name off the top of my head). It advocated an "open" style of church. In addition to the pastor/preacher/minister giving his sermon, time is allowed in the service for members to "share" a message with the congregation. This way, members are getting "fed" by more than just one person.

    An interesting idea, but it would lead to some problems. First; how many are allowed to speak during any particular service? After all, doesn't everybody have one sermon in them? I know I do, and someday I will get to preach it. :D Second; wouldn't there be a problem with "bad" theology? Misinterpreting the Scriptures could be a big problem, right?

    It would be nice to see this some how incorporated into a church service, assuming all the "bugs" could be ironed out.

    What are your thoughs on this? I'd love to hear them.

    God Bless!!!

    Adam :cool:
     
  2. LP

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    The Open Church concept is excellent. And no, there would not be a problem with sermons, because SOME meetings are set aside for that. Nor would there be a problem with bad theology, because then pastors could not get away with giving it out. ;) :D But seriously!

    Here are excellent articles:

    Discovering Interactive Teaching

    Discovering the Purpose of Church Meetings

    Discovering Participatory Church Meetings

    The Traditional Church vs the NT Church

    Actaully, this last one is a Chart that the prior articles fill in details of. So the Chart might be the bset place to start.

    [ March 05, 2002, 11:28 AM: Message edited by: LP ]
     
  3. Optional

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    I fervently disagree with the open church concept. One look at the televangelist movement shows what happens when people not annointed to preach the Word do. Bad theology is rife. I, too, have heard every sermon preached - basically. Yet so many times I am still filled with the Spirit or moved in some other way from these messages.
    Open church would be anarchy and bad theology rolled into one. In fact, if this concept were viable, the movement would have already swept the nation.

    Are pastors or Baptists perfect? A fervent NO.
    Prayer changes things. That's what I do when bothered by goings on at my church.
     
  4. LP

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    Well, it may be that your prayers are being answered by some things in an open church concept.

    Benefiting from something does not equate to the ideal form of it. Benefit does not make right, otherwise we would have to be Utilitarians. I have been benefited by Catholic Church homilies. Does that make me their defender?

    Too, you will need to deal with a lot of Scriptures contrasting our traditional way of doing church with the picture that forms from a hard look at the NT. Consider the following for starters:

    The Traditional Church vs the NT Church

    Most people who are against an open church concept are against it for one thing and one thing only, and this is only after all their bull has been stipped away. They DO NOT want accountability that they are not in control of, they DO NOT want to give up any measure of POWER. It is all a matter of CONTROL, sheer, ugly, control.

    You mentioned televangelists. Actually, the main thing they lacked was exactly what I am saying. They lack accountability that they are not in control of.

    [ March 05, 2002, 11:44 AM: Message edited by: LP ]
     
  5. Optional

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    You come across as very bitter and accusatory. You may have had bad experiences with church(s). I have not. The above argument is totally irrational and says absolutely nothing - a rant. I pointed out very valid reasons why I was opposed to the open church concept. You ignored every point and went into a diatribe of shouting petty accusations.
    My time is better spent with honest debate.
     
  6. Rev. Joshua

    Rev. Joshua
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    There is a very old baptist tradition of "testimony." It differs significantly from the sermon in that the testimony is a personal account of what God has done in the church member's life. The sermon, on the other hand, is a theological and contemporary reflection on a passage from the Bible.

    Testimony, consequently, does not require formal theological training and fulfills a different role in the service. It builds community and accountability, preserves our free church heritage, and allows the congregation to hear other voices besides that of the clergy.

    Sadly, testimonies are all but extinct (if they ever really existed) in the urban (generally moderate and liberal) baptist churches with which I am familiar. Of course, they never happened in Sunday morning worship when I was at First Baptist Atlanta either.

    I think we could use something of a revival in this area.

    Joshua
     
  7. tyndale1946

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    That might be a good idea but does the scriptures back it up or is it just another tradition of men.
    The scriptures are the final authority... What does the written word of God say in regards to this matter?... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  8. TomVols

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    The Bible is replete with examples of and commands for the elders to teach or preach the word (Ezra 7:10; Nehemiah 8; 2 Tim 4:2; 1 Tim 4:13). We are also told in Scripture not to disdain this (Num 11:25ff; 1 Cor 14:1ff; 1 Thess 5:20). However, the preaching must expose the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27) and not merely ramble on and on about the same themes. Consecutive exposition of Bible books is a great way to achieve balance and create excitement in the congregation.
     
  9. LP

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    Perhaps Optional missed it, but I posted four or five articles backing up what I said, and one in my post to him.

    Optional stated, "Open church would be anarchy and bad theology rolled into one. In fact, if this concept were viable, the movement would have already swept the nation."

    Though he states that what I said to this "is totally irrational and says absolutely nothing," he could not be more wrong.

    I stated, "Most people who are against an open church concept are against it for one thing and one thing only, and this is only after all their bull has been stipped away"--bull like "there would be anarchy and bad theology rolled into one," so we are therefore justified in monologuing things and keeping sheep silent. Such a notion reflects an illigitimate application of a power relation.

    I stated that such persons really "DO NOT want accountability that they are not in control of, they DO NOT want to give up any measure of POWER. It is all a matter of CONTROL, sheer, ugly, control."

    This is hardly "irratitonal" and "saying nothing to the issue" as Optional asserted. It is clear critique. Moreover, what I stated goes to the heart of the matter.

    Bottom line: The point about power relations is clear: lack of accountability leads to spiritual abuse and all sorts of other errors. This trumps the interest of a Pastor to control, control, control all things said and done in a church context.

    Now, perhaps the links do not appear as links clearly; so perhaps Optional did not follow the link I posted to him, which not following further fueled his accusation that I provided nothing of substance in counterance to his assertions. So here are some excerpts from one of the above links:

    TRADITIONAL CHURCH
    Pastors are trained in seminaries and sent out to serve in a congregation which has no real knowledge of his life or character.

    NT CHURCH
    Elders were local brothers who arose from within a local church where their life and character were known. (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5)

    TRADITIONAL CHURCH
    The Sunday “worship service” is characterized by passivity among the laity with the Pastor or a select group of leaders doing nearly all the ministry.

    NT CHURCH
    Church meetings were participatory and interactive – every member had a function and contribution to make. (1Cor.12:4-27; 14:26; Eph.4:15-16; Rom.12:3-8; 1Pet.4:10-11; Heb.10:23-25; Rom.12:15; 1Cor.12:26)

    TRADITIONAL CHURCH
    The Sunday morning worship service is characterized by a rigid and inflexible order of service.

    NT CHURCH
    Church meetings were characterized by informality, flexibility, and spontaneity. (Acts 20:7-12; 1Cor.14:26-31)

    TRADITIONAL CHURCH
    The goal of the meeting is worship, listening to a sermon or evangelism.

    NT CHURCH
    The goal of the meeting was mutual edification.
    (1Cor.14:3,4,5,12,17,26; Eph.4:11-12,16; Heb.10:24-25)

    TRADITIONAL CHURCH
    The church is led by the Pastor (or Senior Pastor in a large church).

    NT CHURCH
    The church was led by a plurality of co-equal Elders. (Acts 14:23; 20:28; Phil.1:1; 1Tim.4:17; Heb.10:17; James 5:14; 1Pet.5:1-2)

    TRADITIONAL CHURCH
    The church is comprised of both clergy and laity.

    NT CHURCH
    There was no clergy/laity distinction in the church – all the members comprised a fully functioning priesthood. (Heb.13:15-16; 1Pet.2:5,9; Rev.1:6)

    TRADITIONAL CHURCH
    Pastors deliver monologue sermons with no opportunity for questions or input from the congregation.

    NT CHURCH
    Various brothers taught the church, and allowed the congregation the opportunity to question them and/or add their own insights. (Acts 20:7; 1Cor.14:29-35)

    TRADITIONAL CHURCH
    The church allocates the great majority of its finances for administrative overhead (salaries and building expenses).

    NT CHURCH
    The church gave primarily to relieve the poor and assist Christian workers, often beyond their means; they had very little if any administrative expenses (Acts 2:44-45; Gal.6:9-10; 1Jn.3:17; 1Tim.5:17-18; 1Cor.9:6-14; 2Cor.8:3; Phil.4:15-18; Lk.12:33-34; Eph.4:28; James 1:27)

    [ March 05, 2002, 03:30 PM: Message edited by: LP ]
     
  10. Pastor Larry

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    LP,

    Your above list of "differences" between the NT church and the traditional church err from both sides. They attribute things to the "NT Church" that "just ain't so" while grossly misrepresenting most good modern churches.

    You ask, "Where is the accountability?" It is in the power of the congregation to stand up and vote out the pastor guilty of bad doctrine, abuse of power, moral failure, etc.

    The open church as you describe it is no where found in the NT. It is true that every member has responsibilities in the NT church and I preach that every week. However, I do not open the floor to allow people to say whatever is on their mind. It would be gross negligence for me to do such. It would invite the possibility of false teaching in teh name of the church. Like it or not, God gave the elder(s) of the church the responsibility for Bible teaching. It is his duty to pass it on to others who can then pass it on to others (2 Tim 2:2). It is not his job to give all people with a voice the floor in a service.
     
  11. LP

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    That is quite the sweeping genralization. If you wish it to have credibility, you will need to take the Scripture passages cited above as asserting what they do, and show how they "just ain't so" as regards what thay are being reported to assert.

    Too, the material is excerpted from a Chart composed by Brain Anderson, and elder at LINK TO Milpitas Bible Fellowship in Milpitas, California. So you will have a hard time saying such things do not work, given an appropriate context. See the four articles posted prior for more from that ministry on this subject. One gets into the details of how they do it.

    [ March 05, 2002, 05:30 PM: Message edited by: LP ]
     
  12. DocCas

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    LP, if your church is characterized by Pastors whom the congregation has no real knowledge of his life or character, and the Sunday “worship service” is characterized by passivity among the laity with the Pastor or a select group of leaders doing nearly all the ministry, and the Sunday morning worship service is characterized by a rigid and inflexible order of service, and the goal of the meeting is worship, listening to a sermon or evangelism, and the church is led by the Pastor (or Senior Pastor in a large church), and the church is comprised of both clergy and laity, and pastors deliver monologue sermons with no opportunity for questions or input from the congregation, and the church allocates the great majority of its finances for administrative overhead (salaries and building expenses), then I can only advise you to get out of that church! If that is what your church is like, it is a terrible church and I have no idea why you would want to stay there? What is wrong with you that you would tolerate such a corrupt church?
     
  13. qwerty

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    LP,
    Hang in there!
    Some here will not be able to hear you (read what you say and understand the intent).
    The open church concept is a threat to established traditionalists, both in the pulpits and in the pews.
     
  14. Optional

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    Sorry LP,
    But no go. As has been pointed out your "differences" are no more than propoganda and rife with error.
    Perhaps you could explain how open church threatens me, a mere member, in loss of power or control or whatever. I should be thrilled at the concept. Why am I not?
    Hint: It's not biblical.

    Hey, just a thought - while we're at it, let's run the country the same way. Open government!
     
  15. VineyardGold

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    An open church?!? Interesting concept.

    The problems you mentioned, HeDied4U, could be easily overcome. Everyone who wants to "give" a sermon would need to submit it to the pastor and the elders for review. If the "sermon" is found to be biblically sound, a list could then be made, and each Sunday am and pm, maybe 2 to 3 people could give their sermon. Once the end of the list is reached, the whole process could be started over.

    Frank

    [ March 07, 2002, 05:38 PM: Message edited by: VineyardGold ]
     
  16. LP

    LP
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    Ah, yes. Both our churches and our governments run best as closed, elitist oligarchies. :rolleyes:

    [ March 07, 2002, 08:50 PM: Message edited by: LP ]
     
  17. Dr. Bob

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    I was also moved by James Rutz "Open Church" series of books. Tried it on Sunday evening - made the assumption that I wasn't the only one with a message from God.

    Sat on the communion table and congregation could share verses, testimony, songs, poems, prayer - really informal and binding. Visitors came occasionally and felt right at home.

    Had a woman share what she had studied in her devotions. Went everywhere discussing it, and there was no time left for a sermon. But the Word HAD been preached and the saints edified!
     
  18. Optional

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    Ah, yes. Both our churches and our governments run best as closed, elitist oligarchies. :rolleyes: </font>[/QUOTE]You have an agenda & obviously can't handle disagreement. So roll your eyes all you want. If your open church was doable, it would have been done years ago. Get over it.
     
  19. blackbird

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    "Open Church" is what the Morman's do! And I ain't fixin' to mess my people up like that! I like what Nehemiah did over in Nehemiah 8. The book of the law was found and Ezra stood on the pulpit and "gave the sense" and the people understood. Its not the idea of the preacher gettin up and "blabbin" something you've already heard--its the idea of the wrong person in the "Open Church" gettin up and blabbin' something you don't need to hear--Paul called it "Silly Wives' Tales!"
     
  20. Gina B

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    Blackbird, you can learn a lot from other religions, whether they have the whole truth or not.
    Personally I felt that was one of the best parts of how they ran their services. It would be an awesome thing in Baptist churches to see everybody participating in each service, sharing their testimonies and knowledge, and people learning, and being active in the services and worship, as opposed to coming in and listening to the same person with the same style of message day after day.
    It made for a much closer knit church, deeper learning, and people paying more attention.
    da Gina
     

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