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Featured The City Church

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by rlvaughn, Dec 11, 2017.

  1. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    In the Name A Church thread "thatbrian" wrote,
    That brought to my mind the teachings of Watchman Nee. Watchman Nee and his disciple Witness Lee taught that there should be only one church in every city -- and at times I hear this idea expressed by Baptists. Based on his later comments in that thread, I don't think that is what "thatbrian" meant. Nevertheless, I thought that would be an interesting discussion. Here are two quotes from Nee and Lee.

    Watchman Nee:
    Witness Lee:
    Do you agree or disagree with Nee's and Lee's views of "the city church"? Why or why not?
     
  2. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    The unity of believers in a singular church (imo) was already beginning to have problems from the very start.

    Paul mentions divisions occurring because some following a person, or some specialty in significance related to who baptized whom.

    Because of the Apostlic authority, the first assemblies were united.

    However, by the end of the second century, fellowships were already dividing, more often (imo) because of personality rather then purity of doctrine.
     
  3. annsni

    annsni Administrator
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    Well, one problem we have is that when the church gets too large to meet in their facilities, they need to grow bigger facilities, hire more staff and it becomes a bigger entity. It becomes a place where you can't know most of the people in the church because if you combined all of the churches in each city into one, they would be huge. Can you image the church of New York City? I think there is no problem with having multiple churches in a community - multiple churches that meet different needs. Heck, we have three churches in the same building! One is a very small pentecostal church that needed help paying the bills. Ours was a small church without a home and needing a place to meet. The third is a biker church that meets at night and they also needed a place to meet. So we are three churches in one building. It is working out well!
     
  4. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    Thank you for not misrepresenting me, firstly.

    Secondly, I am no fan of Watchman Nee. My views have nothing nohing to do with Nee or Lee.

    Thirdly, thank you for starting this thread. This topic is a good one to discuss.

    My views on the matter are based on Christ's words regarding the unity of the church, and secondly, the biblical example regarding churches.
     
  5. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    One major issue in separate churches in one local is the lack of diversity of gifts and temperaments. I belong to a Reformed church. Reformed churches tend to attract thinkers - people who use their intellect, but sometimes fall short in other areas. Other churches focus on acts of kindness (not that my church does not, BTW) and their people are very empathetic. They are "feelers", while my small church is populated with thinkers, generally speaking.

    Choosing a church by the "birds of a feather" method leaves all churches with gaping holes which can never be filled. Christian churches which are based on geography only would help to have a more even spread of gifts and talents.

    That's just one small argument in favor.
     
  6. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    The obvious question is if you see the need, why are you not a member trying to fill that need as God has gifted you?
     
  7. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    You are much too quick to judge, brother, and too simplistic a thinker. If you haven't noticed, this issue is pertaining to all of western evangelical Christianity.

    I'm just about ready to give up on BB because I haven't found it conducive to rational discussion with reasonable men.
     
  8. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    Look,

    All I did was ask the obvious question.

    You discern a need.

    You discern you can help fill that need.

    Why not then fill the need?

    OR is there other issues such as doctrinal agreement contained in statements of faith that prevent the unity.

    The earliest church wrestled over policy concerning equitable treatment of members.

    Not long after, the church wrestled with puffing up icons as if knowing or being in contact with them meant more favor should be granted, or some attainment of some measure above others.

    Ultimately, by the mid of the second millennium the issue was doctrine and most churches have disparity that prevents the unity other then casual interaction between assemblies.

    So, again, the question I presented is that as YOU stated a measure of intellectual/emotional alignment - why not work to correct the problem? Or is the problem actually more?
     
  9. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    One obvious reason is that I've just begun to consider this issue. There are countless more nuanced issues, which would take you knowing me and my particular situation to understand.

    Secondly, I am on the verge of making such a move, and it will likely pain me and my wife deeply because the church nearest us has a clown in the pulpit. I mean that literally. Yet, in spite of that, we are contemplating joining this church because of its location to us, in a very unchurched part of the country.
     
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  10. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    This is typical problem on the BB.

    Too often when we are not next to each other, communication often fails.

    Let me assure you that I recently had to move. The church I currently belong to has a new pastor. He and I communicate regularly in hopes to build each other up in the principles of the Scriptures. He has the fire of a leader, and the humility of a servant. And, we approach each other as teachable. Not as one who already knows and has to educate the other. Too often people are put off with others who are "quick to listen" but not "slow to speak." (James 1)


    Most interesting. I encountered such in multiple areas.

    What I found most helpful was prayer. Not so much for the pastor, but for myself, that I not become a hindrance to the Spirit. Inevitably, because I remained more often silent and only inquired when it came to a policy, or custom in the assembly that I not be "out of step" the folks where receptive when I would at the opportune time slip a sentence or two into a conversation. Never to challenge, but to merely suggest another viewpoint or alternative thought.

    The other prayer that was central was that I learn from these folks. Remember Daniel rose in the ranks of the opposition? He learned from them. As the Lord permits, you, too may come to the place of being looked upon as wise, called upon to provide answers, and held in regard even by those who oppose.

    Should you make that change, it will be interesting to watch how you vent on the BB.

    :)
     
  11. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    Why then are you posting in a Baptist Only section of the BB?
     
  12. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    Jerome, the authorities don't seem to take that into great consideration as long as the poster is not pushing a non-baptist view. Many PCA folks are former Baptists, and the other way, too.

    I like to interact with Brian, he and I don't agree all that much, but at least he thinks!
     
  13. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    Ah, don't give up, take a break when need be, don't take yourself too seriously, and ignore the ogres.
     
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  14. TCassidy

    TCassidy Administrator
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    He registered as a Baptist.
     
  15. TCassidy

    TCassidy Administrator
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    Yes, we do. He registered as a Baptist. If he is no longer a Baptist he should inform an Administrator who will update his information on his profile page.
     
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  16. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    Aw, Here I thought the BB was a place of extended grace. :)

    Wait, aren't you and administrator?

    :)
     
  17. TCassidy

    TCassidy Administrator
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    Yes, but he hasn't asked me to update his profile, and I don't make such changes on the basis of rumor or innuendo. :)
     
  18. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    I am a member of a PCA church because there are no Reformed Baptist churches anywhere near me. Is that Okay with you?

    I have far more in common with people in the PCA than I do in mainstream evangelicalism.
     
  19. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    Thanks for not responding to this lynch mob, Tom.
     
  20. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    Thank you. I love theology, and I love discussing it, but this venue is not the place to do so. The Reformed folks are great, but those holding other positions are not inclined to even debate the subject. To them, Calvinists are demons doing the work of Satan.
     
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