Strong/Weak Christians

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by drfuss, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. drfuss

    drfuss
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    Romans 15:1
    "We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves."

    Based on Romans 15:1, the Bible says there are strong Christians, and there are weak Christians. This can be interrupted to have something to do with eating and holiday convictions in the Romans church.

    My question here is "How do we define who is a weak Christian and who is a strong Christian today?

    Please consider the following questions and explain your answer.

    1. Can a Christian who has a through knowledge of the Bible/good doctrine be a weak Christian?

    2. Can a Christian who has little knowledge of the Bible/good doctrine be a strong Christian?

    3. Can a Christian who is very active in the church (such as being a good minister, deacon, and teacher) be a weak Christian?

    4. Can a Christian who faithfully attends church, but is not active in church activites, be a strong Christian?

    What do you think?
     
    #1 drfuss, Nov 16, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 16, 2011
  2. JesusFan

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    think that there are 2 seperate questions here being addressed...

    That of being weak/strong in regards to how we view living for God, under legalism and rule keeping, or by grace and in HS..

    also, that of being strong/weak in effectiveness of our walk with Jesus, being strong im him, or weak in ourselves!
     
  3. beameup

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    #3 beameup, Nov 16, 2011
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  4. drfuss

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    4. Can a Christian who faithfully attends church, but is not active in church activites, be a strong Christian?

    Quote from JesusFan:
    "yes, in regards to living in the Grace of God, but usually NOT on a personal walk with Christ, as tends to grow stagnent, and fails to use the Gifts HS has graced them with for local church"


    Are you saying that unless you are involved in local church activities, that you probably are not a strong Christian?

    What about those who are very involved in serving the Lord in activities outside the church, but hold no church positions? Salvation Army? Women's support groups? Missions to the homeless?, etc.

    We sometimes fall into the trap of believing that unless you are a part of the same type activities as we are, you are not a very strong Christian.
     
    #4 drfuss, Nov 16, 2011
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  5. Amy.G

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    There is nothing wrong with being involved any of those ministries, but it should not be done to the exclusion of our work within the local church. The gifts God has given us are to be used to build up the body of Christ. So, church first, then the world.
     
  6. The Archangel

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    Though this question was not directed to me, I did want to answer on my own behalf.

    Yes, I would say this is true. In fact, I'd say that if you claim to be a Christian and you aren't a part of a local church, in all probability, you are not a Christian. (Note: the use of the generic "you" is meant in plural, universal, and non-specific terms).

    If you are a member of a local church and attend every Sunday and you don't do anything outside of that, that is another story. Perhaps in that case the issue is maturity, not salvation.

    We have to be careful about looking to those groups that do social ministry. Social ministry is vital. However, social ministry is not the Gospel. Also, it must be said that socially ministering groups are not called upon to put their stamp of approval on claim to be a Christian. The church, however, is.

    It is possible to do vast amounts of social ministry, thinking yourself to be a Christian, though being mistaken, and wind up in hell. It is also possible to be a church member, do lots of social ministry, and wind up in hell. The issue is not the work you do; the issue is who you are in Christ. Social ministries, were never intended to take the place of or remove the responsibility of the church in the areas of assurance of salvation and discipleship.

    Amy's words (quoted below) are an excellent statement:

    Blessings,

    The Archangel
     
  7. JesusFan

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    was just saying that one should be active in 'something" int heir local church, as the HS will have gifted them with 'something" to contribute to those in the local body, but also feel free to be active on "outside" activities, as we can also work for the Lord in/outside of the church building!

    that one can exercise their faith and gifts for the Lord, failure to do such would be in a sense sinning against what God wants you to be doing, as he has gifted us all to do something on his behalf!
     
    #7 JesusFan, Nov 16, 2011
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  8. Amy.G

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    What is going on???? First Luke and I agree and now you and I agree? :laugh:
     
  9. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Good so since I do not belong to any church locally, guess Im an unsaved Creton bound for hell! :wavey::laugh:
     
  10. drfuss

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    Just for clarification, I am active in my church including teaching an adult Bible study class.

    In our Bible study class last Sunday, someone jokingly said that 'anyone that has different convictions and service than he does, is a weaker Christian than he is'. Of course it was a joke to illustrate that we tend to think what we do for the Lord is more important than what others do for the Lord.

    In our large church, we have some Christians who are active in other evangelistic Christian ministries not associated with our church, including street witnessing ministries and building churches in third world countries. These Christians regularly attend our church, but their main ministry is outside our church activities. I consider them strong Christians doing the Lord's will for their lives. I admire their dedication and service for the Lord.

    Too many ministers think that unless laymen are actively suporting their church program, they are not doing anything important for the Lord. They also teach the same to their laymen.
     
  11. The Archangel

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    This is good. I'm sure you bless the people in your class and I'm sure your pastor is very appreciative of your willingness to teach. I'm sure everyone also appreciates your other activities.

    Our church is very small (30 members at most). I am the only staff member (pastor). Our church, as most other churches experience, has to deal with the 80/20 principle--80% of the work is done by 20% of the people.

    So, as a pastor, when we have people willing to take on the responsibility to teach or to do some other necessary work, I'm thrilled.

    This is true--we do tend to think this way. If we take the biblical analogy of a "body" those who are feet tend to show disdain for the hands, but not for what they do...they show disdain to the hands because they are hands and not feet.

    Certainly the person's joke is a poignant example.

    The question I'd have here is this: Do they work to edify the body of believers first? All the other ministries that you've described here are really great. But, I don't think the Bible would support doing these ministries at the expense of edifying the body.

    Well...I don't know if this was directed at me for my earlier comments or if this is a generic statement. Our church is an anti-program church. We publicly state that our only "program" is our Sunday morning worship service.

    Most, if not all, programs tend to exist for their own sake, rather than for edification. To be fair, these programs do not start that way...but they tend to end up that way.

    What we do--through Sunday school, the preaching, and teaching ministries--is we equip the saints for ministry. This is to say that when someone in our church is sick, our people understand (or should...there are times when they don't) that it is primarily their responsibility to visit the sick (as opposed to the pastor's). Our people understand that it is their responsibility to evangelize. We say "Every believer is a disciple and every disciple is an evangelist." It is not the pastor's job to be the only evangelist.

    In this way the people of the church understand that their primary service is to build one another up and to share the gospel. There is ministry to each other and the world.

    Of course, how that ministry to the world takes place can take the form of some of the ministries you've listed above. Again, these ministries cannot be undertaken at the expense of the edification of the local and fellow believers.

    Blessings,

    The Archangel
     
  12. The Archangel

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    I know! Weird, isn't it. Some hot-place-down-yonder has, perhaps, frozen over!!!!

    It just goes to show that it is all about the Gospel first--Salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. If we agree on that, most other disagreements are nothing to bear claws over.

    Blessings in Christ,

    The Archangel
     
  13. The Archangel

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    Well...that remains to be seen. While I don't think you're hell-bound. I know it is generally (and I mean generally as opposed to specifically) those who do not join and serve in the context of the local church are like sheep without a shepherd.

    My best recommendation to anyone in a situation like you're in is to find a church that takes the gospel and discipleship seriously, find a church which will invest itself in you and expect that you invest yourself in it, and find a church that loves you enough to discipline you when necessary.

    Blessings,

    The Archangel
     
  14. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Sorry....there are no good shepherds up here....rather a ton of pathetic losers and/or false teachers. After doing exhaustive search, you loose interest.


    So here is what I will do .... I invite any Baptist Pastor in NW New Jersey to contact me about their church & I will respond, only know that my soteriology is strongly Salvation through Grace & I'm not interested in changing that. (come to think of it, Ive never dialogged with or seen a Baptist pastor from anyplace in NJ post here)
     
    #14 Earth Wind and Fire, Nov 17, 2011
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  15. Amy.G

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    God has His people everywhere, even in NJ. There is no excuse for not going to church and getting involved. It may not be the Primitive Baptist or whatever specific church you want right now, but God does have a place for you. If you don't get involved in a local church and do your part as a member of the body of Christ, you will remain an infant in Christ from now on. We grow up into Christ by doing it God's way, not ours. And if you isolate yourself from fellow Christians, it is likely you will fall back into the world. I've seen it happen too many times. Been there myself. We need one another and I am 100% sure of this because God's word says so.

    Hebrews 10
    24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.


    This is not a suggestion. It is a command.


    You can start HERE
     
  16. drfuss

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    Originally Posted by drfuss [​IMG]
    Too many ministers think that unless laymen are actively suporting their church program, they are not doing anything important for the Lord. They also teach the same to their laymen.

    Arch writes: "Well...I don't know if this was directed at me for my earlier comments or if this is a generic statement. Our church is an anti-program church. We publicly state that our only "program" is our Sunday morning worship service."

    drfuss: My post was not directed at anyone, but was based on years of experience in many small churches in many communities.
     
  17. drfuss

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    drfuss quote: In our large church, we have some Christians who are active in other evangelistic Christian ministries not associated with our church, including street witnessing ministries and building churches in third world countries. These Christians regularly attend our church, but their main ministry is outside our church activities. I consider them strong Christians doing the Lord's will for their lives. I admire their dedication and service for the Lord.

    Arch writes: "The question I'd have here is this: Do they work to edify the body of believers first? All the other ministries that you've described here are really great. But, I don't think the Bible would support doing these ministries at the expense of edifying the body."

    drfuss: I think our difference here is whether it is a small church or a large church. After attending small churches (less that 150) for years, about 20 years ago, we started attending our current larger church (about 2000 each Sunday). We immediately noticed the difference in operations. In the small churches, it was sometimes difficult to find qualified people to fill positions. In the larger chutch, there are usually a number of qualified people for each position. People ae seldom asked to fill a position because there are usually others who come forward and volunteer.

    Many Christians retreat to larger churches because of a bad experience in a smaller church until they are ready to get involved again. After a while, they have settled into the large church and see that their active participation in the larger church is not vital to the church. Many get involved in ministries outside the local church while still only attending the local church without having any obvious adverse affect on the large local church.

    On the other hand, I can see how Christians being involved in outside ministries while only attending a small church, could be a problem.
     
  18. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Where in the heck is "Lindenwold" ... been here over 50 yrs & never heard of it. :laugh:Again.... there are no real churches in my area & its not for lack of trying. So, what ya going to do. Go to an apostate Methodist or Presby church......naaaaaaaa. I will wait for the plethora of baptist churches in NW NJ to contact me. Since BB is so well known in Baptist circles, lets see what happens. :laugh: And you can forget those you listed too far, apostate and or inner city african american churches...some in places like Newark that cops are afraid to venture into.....no thanks!

    Besides I already have my salvation & Im not falling back into the world...that wont happen.
     
    #18 Earth Wind and Fire, Nov 17, 2011
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  19. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Still waiting.....I did hear privately from a guy in Maryland.....but no New Jersey...Hmmmmmm:smilewinkgrin:
     
  20. Earth Wind and Fire

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    .... And Maryland's too far to drive:love2: Where is all those NW NJ Pastors? :smilewinkgrin:
     

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