The Method of the Early Church

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Aaron, Nov 28, 2002.

  1. Aaron

    Aaron
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    I inadvertantly got the "Rick Warren" thread off track, so I'll chase this rabbit in a new topic.

    First, define "methodology." I define it as a procedure. I do not tack on technological devices to that definition. I have a way of speaking that is the same whether I speak into a microphone or a megaphone, or whether I'm in an amphitheatre designed to amplify the sound of my voice, or not.

    My method of speech is the same whether I speak in the open air or an air-conditioned room, or whether in person or broadcast over the airwaves, or whether recorded on celluloid for playback later.

    And certainly, the EC, as revealed by the Holy Ghost, is the only ordained model.

    You will find no great missionaries from the past (e.g.: George Muller, Hudson Taylor, C.T. Studd, etc.) who based their "methodologies" on anything that was not revealed in the Bible.
     
  2. Aaron

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    A blurb from A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael:
    A clipping from the newspaper advertising a Grand Bazaar to Liquidate a Debt on Argyle Place Presbyterian Church is pasted in, describing everything from a "fairy palace of a thousand lights," a Punch and Judy show, ventriloquism, and a shooting gallery, to THE FULL BAND OF THE GORDON HIGHLANDERS. Amy, giving free rein to her imagination, offers other possibilities:

    These principles, discovered when Amy was alone with her Bible and her God, written down only for the small circle of readers of Scraps, were never laid aside. Years later their influence was felt by thousands.</font>[/QUOTE]
     
  3. Helen

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    Thank you, Aaron.

    something I have noticed, though -- we in the West argue over so much, while where the church is persecuted, they are simply grateful to have a chance to meet together in secret, in private, and worship together.

    I don't wonder which God looks more kindly on, actually. I think I know... [​IMG]
     
  4. Aaron

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    bump
     
  5. SaggyWoman

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    Aaron--

    I saw that book at Lifeway recently and purchased it to read. I haven't started yet, but you have just tempted me.

    Now I am going to be all tore up.
     
  6. Aaron

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    Great book. What a testimony!
     
  7. Aaron

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    bump
     
  8. SaggyWoman

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    I have read several of EE's books and like them.

    I am not sure if I am ready to deal with her on Amy Carmichael, though. Tough stuff.
     
  9. Aaron

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    Don't put it off! It's a fantastic testimony. I actually cried at the account of her death! :rolleyes:

    But I understand your reservations. It is not easy to take in.
     
  10. Headcoveredlady

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    Saggy,
    I would second what Aaron said. I recently finished the book as well. It is a great book. What I admired most about her was her steadfastness in the midst of much opposition by other's where she ministered.

    HCL
     
  11. Aaron

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    Yes, she was dogged constantly by the other missionaries.
     
  12. rlvaughn

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    IF I understand the question and the terminology correctly - yes.
    Part of the problem is that the western churches - particularly those with freedom of religion - are the ones that have had the time, leisure and wherewithal to devise complicated systems outside of the biblical norms. Our persecuted brethren are simply trying to preach the word, worship the Lord, and survive - in most cases.
     
  13. Aaron

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    Thanks, rlvaughn for bringing this thread back to the topic. I'm trying to keep it to the top anyway so that SBC will reply.
     
  14. tyndale1946

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    You probably know that there are a few brethren are here that are called Primitive Baptist. I am a member of the such that are and if you had ever had the chance to visit one you would see how plain and simple our ways... practices... and doctrine is.

    I enjoyed the article by Amy Carmichael but then those things have never bothered us Old Line Primitive Baptist. If it doesn't belong in the church... It just doesn't belong in the church. When did mortal trappings become more important than people. Just because your methodology bring them by droves into the church can you say it is of the Lord or do the worldly trappings draw them in?

    Notice also there was a reason for the construction of the tabernacle and every thing that went in it... It had a higher purpose and was made according to the pattern showed thee in the mount. Churches are not built like that as it is not the outward appearance that makes a church but the inward appearance. Since the church is the people and not a structure a simple building will do. We are not Mormons we don't need to point out to the world this is a church.

    Since the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has come to the earth the tabernacle and temple that was a representation of him is no longer needed because now he dwells in the hearts of each and every child of God. There are no more tabernacles and temples as all was filled in Christ Jesus.

    Nowadays churches are too big and have lost the congregation... Hardly anyone know anyone in your gigantic churches. My church seats 100 and that as big as I want it to get as there is a closeness there and the people are not swept under the rug and forgotten. The Pastor can carry out his duties and the deacons theirs and everyone can be a caring and giving family. I feel when the Lord used the designation of little flock it was for a reason and we are meant to stay little so the needs of all are taken care of.
    A church was never meant to be a gigantic conglomerate as some have gotten to be and the eternal salvation of souls some kind of commodity... Yes our brethren are strange and we just don't accept anything... We are Primitive Baptist... Not in name only but by ways... practice... and doctrine!... Brother Glen [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [ November 30, 2002, 09:23 PM: Message edited by: tyndale1946 ]
     
  15. HBryant13

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    Tyndale...what you said about these Huge Mega-Churches is, sadly, often correct. The problem is that they area often the only churches that area getting the job done, as many of the smaller churches do not have the resources...people or money, to do the outreach that needs to be done. I am a member of a church that averages over 3000 on Sundays, and on some occasions over 3000 just in Sunday School alone. The problem is not getting swept under the rug, it is actually quite the contrary as there are so many responsibilities and ministries in the church that a person has a hard time not getting involved in too many things. The only people that may get swept under the rugs would be those who really aren't concerned about being ministers themselves but rather just come to be ministered to.
    This is all fine, but if there are to be less Mega-churches out there then we need more people with burden to start sound churches in areas that historically have been considered "Christian" areas as these areas have been neglected by church planters and the smaller churches have had to fold due to lack of membership and lack of people that are willing to do the ministering
     
  16. tyndale1946

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    I agree with what you had to say and you probably know of our brethren being from Tennessee. A lot of Primitive Baptist Churches in that area. I understand the resources question as a smaller church does not have it but is it the responsibility to help everyone.

    Should not the smaller church be concerned with only her congregation and let the other churches be concerned with theirs? I would love to help all Gods children that are in need but if we are speaking monetarily I don't have the funds. Then that is where all go anyway when they find they are in need... To the churches. The church is commanded to turn none away that are truly in need.

    I think that the churches are overburdened and that those that they help should help in turn others if they are able is some capacity or other. If they cannot help with funds they can help in other ways. All should return the kindness shown not to just use the church as an outlet when life as dealt them a bad hand. I just can't see church in a business capacity as all its members should see to the needs of the church and those that make up her body.

    I remember my Dad in hard times couldn't help with the funds of the church raising a family of four. He found other ways to help the church as two hands are sometimes better than two dollars. There are things that need to be done in the upkeep of the church building and grounds... It is not done by divine intervention but by human hands... So that was Dads job and it is still remembered to this day... even though he was a deacon and church clerk. His diligent service to make the house of God presentable to all that attended the service... even though he went to be with the Lord seven years ago... Just some of my opinions for what they are worth!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  17. All about Grace

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    Your definition is too limited. A method is a procedure or process for achieving an end . It also entails the concepts of a plan, a means, a manner, fashion, or system.

    Method includes not only the manner but the means to obtain the goal.

    What you choose to "tack on" to your definition is irrelevant. The reality is that a method includes anything that one employs to aid in the obtainment of the goal. If your goal is preaching, any device that aids in the process to help you obtain that goal is a method. I am not talking about merely your "method of speech", I am talking about any means/procedure that helps you obtain the goal. When you use a true definition of a method, we can discuss this issue.

    BTW, even if we take your restricted definition, I will still maintain that your church is most likely using certain "procedures" outside of those described in the Early Church.

    Let me get this straight. By this statement, are you suggesting that a local church should not utilize any method (properly defined) that is not found in the NT church?

    Is the Acts model DESCRIPTIVE or PRESCRIPTIVE?

    Muller, Taylor, and Studd were all criticized sharply for their missionary methods. I am thinking particularly of Hudson Taylor who is a prime example of becoming culturally relevant in order to communicate the gospel. If I remember his biography correctly, the Chinese refused to hear him until he "became one of them." :eek:

    Let me ask you a follow-up question. This week a young man from our church who works for Campus Crusade (particularly in translating the "Jesus" film into multiple languages) gave testimony of how they were able to communicate the gospel thru the method of a film to multitudes of remote tribes with whom they otherwise could have no outside contact. There is no doubt the Jesus film is a method that is not found in the NT model. This young man testified of the hundreds of natives that have now committed their life to Christ and started a church in this remote area b/c of the effects of this film. If I am following your logic, the Jesus film must be discarded and never used again. So I ask again, are you actually suggesting that we should employ no method that is not found in the NT to communicate the gospel in an understandable fashion?
     
  18. All about Grace

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    Aaron:

    What happened????

    I am interested in your response to my previous post.

    Did you ... what is that term you like to use ... BAIL??? :eek:
     
  19. Aaron

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    Me, bail? Hardly. I would have prefaced my bailment with something like, "Well, this is a fruitless argument..." or "If you can't see the logic in my arguments then..." or some other such drivel.

    Frankly, I forgot all about it. Got caught up in something else.

    I'll reply later. I'm tired right now.
     
  20. Aaron

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    They were criticized for not adopting the new methods commonly used by less devoted missionaries. A nearly toothless Studd was criticized for not accepting a gift of false teeth and scorning worldly comforts that would rob the plain Gospel of it's power to convert.

    And Taylor did not assume the apparel, diet and daily activities of the upper class. Studd knew he could not possess his vessel in sanctification and run bare through the jungle at the same time.

    And none of them would adopt exhibitionistic methods to present the Gospel.

    I have no doubt none of them would use the Jesus Film if they had the capability. I've seen the Jesus Film, and, as all exhibitions, it adulterates the preaching of the Word with actors' interpretations of Christ's emotions and inflections.

    No sinful human being can rightly portray a sinless Christ, and the end result is a weakened picture of an inglorious and sinful Christ.

    Sadly, many are attracted by what they have seen and actually think that Christ was just like that actor.

    The Jesus Film also tried to say the motivation of the Chief priests and scribes to conspire to murder Christ was pressure from Rome to silence Him.

    As you can see I am not impressed with the Jesus Film and am not swayed by it's popularity. Even you lend more credit to the method than the message in its success.

    The Jesus Film does not make the Gospel any more understandable than simply preaching, which is God's chosen method, in their tongue.

    It's just more dazzling to the flesh.

    [ December 14, 2002, 08:02 PM: Message edited by: Aaron ]
     

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