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Featured Independent baptists and the doctrine of a universal body of Christ

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by 360watt, Oct 10, 2015.

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  1. 360watt

    360watt Member
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    The late Dr. Richard Weeks said:
    An organized, autonomous band of immersed Believers, observing New Testament ordinances, having New Testament officers and actively carrying out the Great Commission.

    Yes.. this is it. This is what 'the church' is.

    Thayer wrote that in all the references to church in the New Testament.. in all the Greek lexicons there is not one time when it means anything other than something visible and local.

    Even when all believers become one church eventually-- it is still local and visible.

    As to christian businessmen meeting.. well yeah I would say the Holy Spirit wouldn't be 'in the midst' of that kind of meeting. It's not a church.

    Unless those men were part of the same church. (I don't mean a building BTW). Then the Holy Spirit would be 'in the midst'.

    It doesn't have to be the 'church service' on sunday.. it could be in bible study.. fellowshipping etc.. but it is within that local church organism.. that church family.

    This isn't 'limiting the Holy Spirit'.. it's abiding by the boundaries He has set in how He works.
     
  2. percho

    percho Well-Known Member
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    because I spake not from myself, but the Father who sent me, He did give me a command, what I may say, and what I may speak, John 12:49 YLT
    In many parts, and many ways, God of old having spoken to the fathers in the prophets, in these last days did speak to us in a Son, (from) Heb 1:1,2 YLT

    Based upon the above would Independent Baptist say Jesus was speaking of himself or the Father, as the one building his church in Matt:16:18?

    Acts 4:10,11 YLT be it known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye did crucify, whom God did raise out of the dead, in him hath this one stood by before you whole. 'This is the stone that was set at nought by you -- the builders, that became head of a corner;

    When was the stone set aside and when did it become, head of the corner?
     
  3. Josh the Baptist

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    We also practice "close" communion. The Pastor always invites all saved individuals to partake, but issues a warning that anyone "unworthy" should not. This is a warning to any unconverted that may be present, but also to any of the congregation that may harbor unconfessed sin.
     
  4. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    Fully agree my brother! Recently I was attending a SBC church (with several from a secular college who attended) when it came time for Communion - all the preacher would say was - come forward and partake of the elements.
     
  5. Josh the Baptist

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    God can view the "universal" body of believers. He knows every heart from since the church was instituted. He knows how all are intricately intertwined. He knows its forgotten history that has been lost from our sight. He knows each work and how believers submitted to His Word and were sensitive to His Spirit to accomplish what needed to be during their short life span. He knows what works were true and which were insincere.

    We on the other hand cannot know the universal church and don't need to try. The local body is a smaller version of the larger "invisible" universal church. Also, the universal church is not restricted to a certain period of time. It is 2000 years old. The local assembly is restricted to time, for it is not eternal. The souls who make up that body are, but not the incorporated institution. The make-up of a local body is always changing. I'm not belittling the local body. Thank God for it! Could you imagine the world without it? Imagine if there was only an ideology that a universal church must be visual and interconnected in anyway other than by the Spirit of God. It would result in a religious tyrannical hierarchy that would try to rule it. Aren't you glad that's never happened......................oh wait! It did and is. That's what happens when humans think that the "universal" church is something that they can observe and govern. I'm so happy that I'm a Baptist.
     
  6. Josh the Baptist

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    When I read "the elements" I immediately thought of bad weather......LOL.
     
  7. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson Administrator
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    Y'all would find The Church of the Fundamentalists profitable. I started a thread about the book on this forum.
     
  8. JohnBaptistHenry

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    THE CHURCH IS LOCAL
    Compiled by John Henry
    August 16, 2000

    The Greek word translated "church" is translated "assembly" 3 times. The occurrences of the word "church" in the word of God are generally local (except for some generic uses and a few prospective uses). The lion's share are clearly local. Note a few Biblical examples of the uses of the word church:

    TRANSLATED ASSEMBLY:

    Acts 19:32: "... the assembly [ekklesia] was confused..."

    Acts 19:39: "... a lawful assembly [ekklesia]."

    Acts 19:41: "... he dismissed the assembly [ekklesia]."

    GENERIC USES (These uses of the word "church" speak of all NT churches collectively):

    Matthew 16:18: "... I will build My CHURCH ..."

    1 Corinthians 10:32: "Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the CHURCH of God."

    1 Corinthians 12:28: "...God hath set some in the CHURCH, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers ..."

    Galatians 1:13: "... I persecuted the CHURCH ..."

    Ephesians 1:22: "... gave him to be the head over all things to the CHURCH."

    Ephesians 3:21 "... glory in the CHURCH by Christ Jesus throughout all ages ..."

    Ephesians 5:23: "... Christ is the head of the CHURCH ..."

    Ephesians 5:24: "... the CHURCH is subject unto Christ ..."

    Ephesians 5:29: "... the Lord [nourisheth and cherisheth] the CHURCH."

    1 Timothy 3:15: "... the house of God, which is the CHURCH of the living God, the pillar and ground of the Truth."

    Colossians 1:18: "... He is the head of the body, the CHURCH ..." (Note: Generic usage of necessity includes the prospective church; cf. 1:20-22, 25-27)

    PROSPECTIVE USES (These occurrences look forward to the future church that will one day assemble in Heaven):

    Ephesians 5:25-27: "...Christ also loved the CHURCH, and gave himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious CHURCH, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."

    Hebrews 2:12: "... I will declare thy name unto My brethren, in the midst of the CHURCH ..."

    Hebrews 12:22-24: "But ye are come ... unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem..., to the general assembly and CHURCH of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus ..."

    LOCAL USES (Individual or groups of local assemblies):

    Acts 8:1: "... the CHURCH which was at Jerusalem ..."

    Acts 13:1: "...the CHURCH that was at Antioch..."

    Romans 16:1: "... the CHURCH which is at Cenchrea."

    1 Corinthians 1:2: "... the CHURCH of God which is at Corinth..."

    Colossians 4:16: "... the CHURCH of the Laodiceans ..."

    2 Thessalonians 1:1: "... the CHURCH of the Thessalonians ..."

    Acts 20:17-18, 28: "And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the CHURCH. And when they were come to him, he said unto them. ... Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the CHURCH of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood."

    Acts 9:31: "Then had the CHURCHES rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria ..."

    Romans 16:4: "... all the CHURCHES of the Gentiles."

    1 Corinthians 16:19: "The CHURCHES of Asia ..."

    2 Corinthians 8:1: "... the CHURCHES of Macedonia."

    Galatians 1:2: "... the CHURCHES of Galatia."

    1 Thessalonians 2:14: "... the CHURCHES of God which in Judaea are in Christ ..."

    Romans 16:5: "... the CHURCH that is in [Priscilla and Aquila's] house ..."

    Colossians 4:15: "... the CHURCH which is in [Nymphas'] house."

    Philemon 2: "... the CHURCH in [Archippus'] house."

    And many, many more.
     
  9. rsr

    rsr <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
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    We've gone round and round on this. It is astonishing to me that so many references that seem to be about a "church" in its entirety are dismissed as "generic."

    I would recommend a reading of John Dagg on this topic.

    You believe the only church is local. I believe it is the collection of all the saints as well as the local body, because it is the the clear teaching of scripture. The writers could have easily made a distinction, but they didn't.

    You may believe what you will and I will believe as I will. Neither of us will convince the other.
     
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  10. reformed_baptist

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    I really do understand why this is a hot topic on a baptist discussion board - the idea of the church universal is used to justify a lot on sub-biblical ecclesiology and the idea of the visible/ invisible church is used to justify paedobaptism - but we have to be careful in that we don't 'throw out the baby with the bathwater' in this regard, there are clearly places where the term 'church' refers to all the saved, Matt 16:18 is a prime example, and there are also many clear references to the local church. Personally I shy away from terms used by other groups that are loaded with meaning that I might wish to imply, but there is no denying that the Bible speaks speaks of the church of Jesus Christ, as the saints that have been called from every nation throughout history, and also of the local church.
     
  11. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    is this much ado about nothing?
    You call it coke, I call it soda pop - but its all the same thing.
     
  12. JohnBaptistHenry

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    There is confusion on the definition of the word church. Long ago I was once caught up in this error of "the universal church" myself, until I studied it out for my self. Just follow the evidence and be honest.

    When Martin Luther came out of Roman Catholicism and started his new denomination he found himself in a dilemma. He had taught that there was only one church, but he had started another. So he invented the idea of a universal invisible church. Likewise other Protestant Reformers adopted Luther's new teaching to combat the equally erroneous view of a "universal visible church." However, by definition the Biblical word "church" must be local and visible. Today this false doctrine has even infiltrated some formally sound Baptist churches. The words universal and church used together form an oxymoron, that is they are contradictory the one to the other.
     
  13. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    In a million years this controversy won't even be remembered.

    :)

    HankD
     
  14. reformed_baptist

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    So which 'local church' was Jesus referring to in Matt 16:18?

    As for these things 'infiltrating' formally(? - I guessing your mean formerly?) sound baptist's church - I'm sorry but that isn't following the evidence or being honest, just take for example an early baptist confession of faith like the 1689 London Confession which states:

    26:1 "The catholic or universal church, which (with respect to the internal work of the Spirit and truth of grace) may be called invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ, the head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all."

    The baptists that wrote these types of confessions of faith are the spiritual forefathers of the modern 'baptist' movements of today!
     
  15. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    We practice an open one, in the sense not needing to be members of our local church, but must be a member of the body of Christ, and be not harboring and practicinf known sin!
     
  16. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    I know this might sound "lawless" or "Catholic" but I would not exclude Christians who have acknowledged sin in their life even if it is something with which they are presently struggling.

    1 John 1:9 If we confess (present, active, subjunctive) our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    Of course the acknowledgement should be heartfelt with some sense of victory forthcoming.

    1 Corinthians 11
    29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
    30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
    31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
    32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

    HankD
     
  17. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    We would view this as those who know have a sin problem, and refuse to even deal with it!
     
  18. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson Administrator
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    The local only interpretation of ekklesia dates back well into the 19th century. So, it predates the rise of the label Independent Baptist.
     
  19. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    If what? If they didn't acknowledge it to God with some expectation of victory?

    This has been the manner of victory over certain stubborn sins in my own life, when I quit trying to conquer it on my own, confess it, and then let Jesus take care of it.

    John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.


    HankD
     
  20. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    I believe above all God wants us to be honest with Him.
    I mean what else can we do!?

    After raising 11 children that's the quality I looked for in my kids.

    Just be honest with Mom and Dad and things will go a lot better for you.

    HankD
     
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