The Ideal Church

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by drfuss, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. drfuss

    drfuss
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    Would you like to be in a church where all the members had the following characteristics?

    Knew their Bible

    Disciplined in Prayer

    Fasted Twice a Week

    Gave Tithes

    Were Moral

    Attended Church

    Were Evangelistic


    Would this be an ideal church?
     
  2. Marcia

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    Not necessarily. People can peform the outward things like fasting, praying, and tithing and still not even be saved.

    I do like the part about knowing the Bible and being evangelistic, but I would add to those:

    Being humble

    Welcoming anyone and being welcoming to visitors more than just shaking their hands (like inviting them to lunch afterwards)

    Educated pastors (I've got a thing about that)

    Discerning members - they don't just ride every wave that comes along

    Hospitable

    I might think of more but have to go. :type:
     
  3. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    I would add that the ideal church would contain people who were compassionate and who put redemptive action to their compassion. Compassion for whom? My favorite phrase is, "the last, the least, the lost, and the lonely."
     
  4. drfuss

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    Both Marcia and Joseph gave the right answers. Actually, I was describing the Pharisees as shown in the scriptures below.


    Knew their Bible - Matt. 5:20, Luke 5:21 & 7:30

    Disciplined in Prayer - Luke 18:10

    Fasted Twice a Week - Luke 18:10

    Gave Tithes - Matt. 23:23, Luke 18:12

    Were Moral - Luke 18:11

    Attended Church - Matt. 23:5

    Were Evangelistic - Matt. 23:15


    Three Questions:

    1. Do our churches emphasis the above Pharisee practices too much?

    2. Where did the Pharisees go wrong?

    3. Are churches today on the same path?
     
  5. Marcia

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    On the other hand, Jesus said:
    I agree some churches might emphasize external practices. The Pharisees also were practicing the traditions of men over what God had commanded, and emphasizing ritualistic practices over obeying God.

    I think that a bigger danger I see in churches today is seeking the experiential, minimizing the importance of objective truth, and reading the Bible subjectively. I think those are more of a problem than emphasizing externals, at least from what I've observed.
     
  6. drfuss

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    Quote:
    For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Matt. 5.29


    The rightousness of the Pharisees (listed in the OP) are what some fundamental churches emphasis today believing that is what reaches souls for Christ. What additional rightoueness do you think is required of us?
     
  7. mman

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    The Pharisee got everything he asked for yet nothing he needed. His reliance was upon himself. What he was doing was not the problem, it was that he trusted in himself. The pharisees were concerned about the minor points, which was good and should not be left undone, however, they neglected the weightier matters such as justice, mercy, and faithfulness (Matt 23:23). Jesus also said, do what they say, just don't follow their examples (Matt 23:3). From this, my take is that we should be concerned with details, but let's not loose sight of the the big picture either. The right actions with the wrong attitude or the wrong actions with the right attitide is useless. God must be worshipped in spirit and in truth.

    When Jesus said we are to take up our cross and follow him, just what did He mean? What is a cross used for? It is an implement of death. We must die to ourselves and totally rely on God.

    People in the church are forgiven, not perfect, therefore, there will never be a "perfect" church in that sense, even though the design is perfect.
     
  8. drfuss

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    Pharisees - - - - - - - - -Church Programs

    Knew their Bible - - - - - -Bible study classes.
    Disciplined in Prayer - - - Church prayer meetings plus daily devotions.

    Fasted Twice a Week - - -Fasting encouraged.
    Gave Tithes - - - - - - - - -Tithing required for membership.
    Were Moral - - - - - - - - Preaching against immorality.
    Attended Church - - - - - Church attendance promoted.
    Were Evangelistic - - - - - Soul winning classes and visitation.

    As shown above, our churches conduct programs and promote efforts that the Pharisees did well.

    What programs and efforts do churches (or should churches) pursue to take care of what the pharisees fell short in?

    Should these efforts be organized? If so, can you give examples?
     
  9. Marcia

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    We may have Bible study classes but I don't think Christians know their Bible at all. I see things taken out of context all the time, interpreted subjectively or wrongly, etc. So I see a big parallel to the Pharisees fall short. The Pharisees did know scripture and they knew the law.

    I don't think any of the above are bad. What counts is your faith and doing things in faith. If you are relying on yourself, or if the church is relying on man-based methods, then that is the problem.

    What matters is for the pastors to exhort church members to make the Lord their priority, to examine their faith and that they do all things in faith, to really teach the Bible to the congregation and how to interpret it, to not rely on themselves, and seek to please the Lord, not men.
     
  10. Bro Tony

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    I wouldn't want to be in that church.....Where's the love?

    Bro Tony
     
  11. drfuss

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    Neither would I. However, if our church programs and promotion efforts (such as numbers) become the emphasis in our churches, we can become just like the Pharisees.

    Church programs and promotion efforts can replace the worship and joy of the Lord an our church. IMHO, this is a big danger in many churches.

    Remember, "Rejoice in the Lord Always, and again I say rejoice" Phil. 4:4.
     
  12. drfuss

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    Marcia writes:
    "I don't think any of the above are bad. What counts is your faith and doing things in faith. If you are relying on yourself, or if the church is relying on man-based methods, then that is the problem.

    What matters is for the pastors to exhort church members to make the Lord their priority, to examine their faith and that they do all things in faith, to really teach the Bible to the congregation and how to interpret it, to not rely on themselves, and seek to please the Lord, not men."

    Good post. Are there pastors conferences or periodicals to remind pastors of the responsibilities you listed? I am afraid too many times conferences and periodicals emphasize attendance numbers and church growth over the pastor responsibilities that you listed.
     
  13. Marcia

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    Thanks.

    Some of these things are emphasized at the apologetics and bible discernment conferences I attend (and where I speak on New Age topics, not church stuff), but attendance typically is pretty low. Also, at some of these conferences, they've had critiques of the church growth stuff.

    There are some tapes from two of these conferences at
    http://www.pfo.org/2006tape.htm

    http://www.pfo.org/2004tape.htm
     

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