reading Philippians instead of a sermon?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by 12strings, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. 12strings

    12strings
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    I am considering suggesting this to my pastor to serve as the beginning of his upcoming series on Philippians: A service dedicated to the reading of the entire book. It would go something like this (details very loose at this point):

    -Opening song
    -Welcome and explaination of what we are doing
    -Read Ch. 1
    -Related song(s)
    -Read Ch. 2
    -Related song(s)
    -Read Ch. 3
    -Related song(s)
    -Read Ch. 4
    -Related song(s)
    (probably a prayer or 2 in there as well).


    I saw this done at another church and really liked it. It would most likely be 4 different readers, one of which may or may not be the senior pastor.

    My Question is, do you see a theological or biblical problem with doing this in the primary worship service for one week at the expense of a sermon?

    Fair warning: if you say yes, I'm going to argue with you. :laugh:
     
  2. Greektim

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    Think it is a great idea!
     
  3. kyredneck

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    Don't know if this is what you meant, but, IME, congregational reading aloud of scripture is very effective, and gratifying, in this manner. And it works wonders with scripture memory work when the same text is used for a month or so at a time. Excellent way to help teach kids how to read too. I consider it to be a superior form of worship overall.

    Everyone has to read from the same version though. We used the KJV at a Bible church we attended many years ago.
     
    #3 kyredneck, Jan 6, 2013
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  4. mont974x4

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    I think it's a great idea, however.....

    IMO, preaching is the primary event of corporate worship. Therefore I would tweak the idea. Week 1 have someone read chapter 1, and then the preacher preaches. Carry on in this manner until the series is complete. In fact, I think it would be a good idea to do that every week regardless of the sermon series.

    I think we find an excellent example in Nehemiah 8. We have Phillip teaching the eunuch. I cannot remember an example in Scripture of someone reading from the Scripture and not providing instruction to go with it.

    Read it, explain it.
    Read it, explain it.

    If you just read it I think it's like inviting someone to supper, they come hungry, and you cut them off after the appetizer. I'm afraid you would end up working against what it is you are trying to accomplish.
     
  5. annsni

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    It's a great idea to change up the service every once in a while and dedicating the service to reading God's Word is a great idea!
     
  6. Herald

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    Oh, well. Time to keep me mouth shut. I don't want 12 strings coming after me.
     
  7. Herald

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    12strings,

    In all seriousness, I consider one function of the pastor's responsibility to preach the word.

    Reading without teaching and exhortation is not preaching. Reading without teaching and exhortation does not call the hearer to act on what he is receiving.
     
  8. annsni

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    Does not the Word of God call us to act on what we are receiving? I think if it was the norm, I'd question it but as the Sunday before starting a series studying the book, I think it's a great idea - especially when you can add in songs that will emphasize what the passage is saying. It's just one Sunday out of 52. :)
     
  9. Herald

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    Actually a pastor just reading the Word is not the same as teaching or exhortation. If it was then the pastor's job becomes a lot simpler, if not unnecessary.

    I understand your affinity for this irregular practice. It's different, a change of pace. A biblical order of worship will include the reading of scripture before the message. We have two readings; the call to worship and a call to repentance (just before the Lord's Supper). The call to worship is always a Psalm. The second reading includes a brief word of exhortation about the passage being read. It is important that the church be taught the Word, and exhorted from the Word. Reading alone does not do this.

    Ann, please forgive me if I seem picky. I understand that the Reformed view of worship is a minority position on this board. It's not going to appeal to everyone. Hopefully I'm providing another point of view to consider. That's all I can do.
     
    #9 Herald, Jan 6, 2013
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  10. 12strings

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    I agree that reading is not the same as preaching,
    I agree that there are some scripture passages that would likely shed more confusion than light if presented without explaination.
    I agree that one of the pastor's primary responsibilities is to preach the word.

    HOWEVER,
    -In 2 Timothy Paul does not specify how often, or specify that he is to preach every time the assembly gathers.
    -In Acts 2, we have the apostle's teaching, prayer, breaking of the bread, and fellowship...but most churches do not take that to mean we are required to observe the Lord's supper EVERY TIME we meet.
    -It seems that the manner in which the NT epistles were written was with the assumption that they would be read aloud for the congregation...most scholars thing that the book of Hebrews actually was meant to be a sermon read in one sitting (about 50 minutes)....It seems reading an entire epistle aloud in one service would be fitting with the intent with which they were written...and of course, unless the service were several hours long, you could not explain or preach on the entire book after doing so.
    -I also think that there are many passages that can encourage, edify, and even call to action all on their own.
     
  11. 12strings

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    I would simply challenge this idea to say that could not the scripture reading be well before the message, with perhaps a song in between, or could not the pastor read it bit by bit as he worked through it rather than reading the whole passage at the beginning? Would either of these be unbiblical?
     
  12. Herald

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    Are you referring to the order of worship or the passage the pastor is preaching on? If it's the latter most pastors read the entire passage they're preaching on that morning at the start of their message. There's no hard and fast rule on that. There have been times when I've read the passage in segments as the sermon progressed. My earlier objection was not about when the passage for the sermon is read, but whether reading the passage without teaching and exhortation is acceptable. In light of 2 Timothy 4:1-2 it is, a best, highly irregular and, at worse, improper.
     
  13. Herald

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    Even though Paul does not specifically tell Timothy that he needed to teach each time the church gathered, the circumstantial evidence is overwhelming. You cited Acts 2 as not supporting the Lord's Supper being practiced every week. You even commented on the Apostles teaching. They were doing this daily. Such was the state of the early church in Jerusalem. They gathered daily. Now the church gathers weekly. Is it too much to ask to teach the Word of God on the only day the corporate body is commanded to meet?

    The NT epistles were mostly written by Apostles (Peter, John, and Paul). Apostolic letters carried with them Apostolic authority. Reading them to the early church was expected. Not every letter proved to be canonical. There were more letters written than actually made it into the Bible. But the churches that the Apostles wrote to also had elders (Acts 20:17). The elders would probably have added their comments. They have would have helped explain these letters. We cannot assume that everyone in the church is going to understand the correct meaning of a passage. Scripture needs to be explained. Again, this is the job of the pastor (and elders).
     
    #13 Herald, Jan 6, 2013
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  14. mont974x4

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    Rom 10:14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? (NASB)

    This verse is central to my conviction concerning the primary place of preaching.
     
  15. kyredneck

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    But I say, Did they not hear? Yea, verily, Their sound went out into all the earth, And their words unto the ends of the world. Ro 10:18
     
  16. psalms109:31

    psalms109:31
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    Everyone says this is the ends of the world, but their and not even Paul's ends of the world is not our ends of the world.

    Until Christ comes again Praise Him who comes in the name of the Lord. I pray we teach until our ends of the world and so on and so on. I will continue until my physical death and we should teach others to do the same.

    Matthew 13:
    47 “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.


    51 “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked.

    “Yes,” they replied.

    52 He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”
     
  17. 12strings

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    But you've just made my point. The early church did these things daily, we generally do them one, 2, or 3 times a week, and the Lord's supper even less frequently. Very few would argue that we should have a sermon every day.

    You have simply made an emotional appeal "is it too much to ask to teach the Word of God on the only day the corporate body is commanded to meet?" It is similar to those would argue for a sunday evening service simply by saying, "Is it too much to ask to hear God's word twice on Sundays, when the rest of the week you won't hear it."

    We can probalby ASSUME that adding comments to the reading and even preaching was the NORMAL practice, but we can't KNOW FOR SURE that it was the REQUIRED, EVERY SUNDAY practice.

    You've made my point again, it is irregular, and MIGHT POSSIBLY be improper...but based on WHAT?

    Another example might give a different perspective, so please bear with me an consider the following hypothetical example:

    --> A pastor stands up to preach, But immediately passes out due to some illness, and some people help him out and call for an ambulance. The congregation is left in the room and problaby one of 2 things will happen:
    1. Some lay leader or associate pastor will stand up and say, "Let's pray for our pastor and his family now." And after the prayer says, "I think the Lord and the pastor would want us to hear a message from God's word, and so reads a passage and gives a short explaination and exhoration based on some past study.
    2. Some lay leader or associate pastor stands up and says, "Let's take this time to simply pray for our pastor, and after we finish, we'll go home to our families and keep the pastor in prayer."

    Has the second church sinned in someway by not having a sermon in this unique, non-standard situation?
     
  18. 12strings

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    I agree, but does it MANDATE a sermon EVERY Sunday morning? And really, Is this passage not primarily about the informal preaching of the gospel that an evangelist does?

    I will add that my pastor his heavily influenced by reformed teaching and practice (as am I), so it will be interesting to see if he would even consider this idea...I will find out sometime this week and try to remember to let you all know his reaction.
     
  19. annsni

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    Can someone explain what reformed theology has to do with this?
     
  20. Herald

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    The Reformed conviction on worship.
     

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