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Was The Church You Attend Built by Jesus?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by J.D., Feb 22, 2011.

  1. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    Some doctrines are accepted blindly without thinking them through. One person believes that way, and therefore it must be true. No one really takes the trouble to study it out. Then when the doctrine is challenged on Scriptural grounds the appeal is made to man-made tradition--that is the belief of others, instead of Scripture. That is just what you did.

    We have made many good solid Scriptural arguments, and the fact is that you seem unable to defeat them.
    A universal church--an unassembled assembly is a contradiction in terms.
    It doesn't make sense.
    It is an entity that doesn't make sense.
    It is impossible to function. It has no purpose. It cannot gather. It cannot carry out the Great Commission, the two ordinances of Baptism or the Lord's Supper or any other command of Christ.
    It is an ethereal, nebulous, entity that contradicts the very word ekklesia, the word translated into "church."
    Ekklesia means assembly. That is the only meaning it has. Why assign a meaning to a word that the word doesn't have. That is not rightly dividing the word of truth.
     
  2. Robert Snow

    Robert Snow New Member

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    Not so. I believe the foolishness of your position has been refuted, but you will never accept it. I don't really care what you think concerning this issue. If it makes you feel good to stand against the belief in a universal church, so be it. Of most things debated here, this is one of the most trivial matters.
     
  3. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    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 20:28)
    When it says that Christ shed his blood for the church, (at Ephesus), it hardly becomes a trivial matter does it? And yet there is a thread on nursing mothers which apparently you consider more important. :rolleyes:

    You will stick to your traditions because you can't accept sound doctrine, neither can refute the positions that others have presented here.
    Have you considered that every epistle of Paul was written to a local church or a pastor of a local church?
    Have you considered that the letters to the seven churches in Revelation are all local churches?
    Have you considered that Paul went on three separate missionary journey and established about 100 separate local churches?
    Have you considered that the word ekklesia never means assembly in a universal sense in any Greek lexicon, and was never used that way in first century literature--Biblical or classical?
     
  4. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler New Member

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    I'm sorta curious. How many U-churchers here are dispensationalists? I ask that question because dispies must believe in a U-church or their eschatology falls apart.

    I suspect there are U-churchers here who are not dispies. But I'm just curious, anyway.
     
  5. Darrenss1

    Darrenss1 New Member

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    All you've done is design your own rules of engagement, eg, unassembled assembly. So anywhere you read church singular you claim its a local assembly and harp on about sound doctrine and your irrefutable position. Its almost comical watching it. :laugh:

    Darren
     
  6. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    Basically I agree with your proposition concerning etymology where it can be useful and that is the reason why I mentioned the basic roots of this compound word ekklesia because it is used in its secular meaning in the NT as well, - Acts 19:32. I disagree that the historic etymology of ekklesia has no bearing. Personally I believe it is for that reason Jesus chose ekklesia and not sunagogue in Matthew 18, we are "called out" of the world. We are in the world but not of the world.

    The few singular collective NT scripture usages of ekklesia seems broader than to exclusively pertain to those born-again folk who assemble together at certain XY coordinates to do those things you have iterated because if that were the case then ekklesia should have been plural in number. However, I realize that it could be viewed in the way of the local.

    e.g.
    1 Corinthians 10:32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:​

    Is it therefore OK to offend the church at Ephesus but not the church at Corinth?

    HankD
     
  7. J.D.

    J.D. Active Member
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    Tom, why are you so passionate about this issue?
     
  8. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    Hi Tom, a better way of saying the "invisible" church is to say the church known only to God.

    Any given "church" can have unregenerate members whether cultic or no.

    So, the "invisible" church are the collective of those who are regenerated which only God can see.

    Much of the church(es) is/are in heaven. We can't see them either.

    HankD
     
  9. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler New Member

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    Oh, I don't know, I guess I'm trying to match the passion of those on the other side of the issue.

    Robert Snow calls it a trivial issue, but he sounds pretty passionate about his view. I don't think it's trivial, but I don't make one's position on it a test of fellowship.

    Shoot, a some of the members of my own church probably disagree with me, but we get along just fine. I suspect I'm in the minority there over Calvinism, but we get along just fine. I'm not a dispy. Most of my fellow church members are. We get along just fine.

    But this is a debate forum, so let's debate. As passionately as possible.
     
  10. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler New Member

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    But Hank, if only God can see it, what is the purpose of its existence? Can't God see all of his children? Can't God see all those who are in his kingdom? Just what does this collective which only God can see, actually do?

    The answer is----nothing.

    Maybe that's why the Holy Spirit empowers real, live people in real live, visible and active congregations. They do stuff.
     
  11. Robert Snow

    Robert Snow New Member

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    Even more foolishness! Whether or not the church is only local, or both local and universal, like I believe doesn't change anything. I don't think our beliefs dictate God's truth.

    As far as your statement about "nursing mothers" is concerned, since I have not posted on that thread, or even read it, just shows your desire to color me in the light you see me in.

    The seven churches in Revelation, something I am studying presently, and yes they are all local congregations. They are representative of all churches in some way or another. The church you attend has attributes of one or more of these churches. Now, if I wanted to be mean, like you apparently like to be, I would say your congregation is probably more like Laodicea. But, since this would require me to have more information than I possess, I will refrain.

    Please stop with the nonsense that only your beliefs constitute "sound doctrine." You may find one day that it is not nearly as sound as you think.
     
  12. Robert Snow

    Robert Snow New Member

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    What I am passionate about is being attacked and accused of untrue thing because I see things differently than DHK does.

    When I say trivial, I mean our thoughts on this don't change anything in our lives. Whether of not a person holds only to a local church or to both the universal and local church has no effect on if we attend church or do the things that please God. So yes, to me it is trivial, unlike doctrines like the virgin birth or the divinity of Christ.
     
  13. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    Well no. I believe Paul was simply delineating the three groups of people left in the NT. There were the Jews, the Gentiles, and the Christians. When either a Jew or a Gentile became a believer they left their Jewish and Gentile practices behind and were one in Christ. I believe that the word "church of God" is used in a generic sense here, but not only that it is very specific to the church at Corinth. Most other translations that I have read have translated the word "assembly."

    Here is the verse in context in the WEB
    Whether, then, ye eat, or drink, or do anything, do all to the glory of God;
    32 become offenceless, both to Jews and Greeks, and to the assembly of God;
    33 as I also in all things do please all, not seeking my own profit, but that of many--that they may be saved. (1 Corinthians 10:31-33)

    The verse takes on an entirely new meaning when read in its context. It is instruction given to the church at Corinth. And just as we take the instruction of verse 31, and quote it often, I believe we can do the same with verse 32 and apply the teaching in the same way.
     
  14. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    OK, I can handle the "generic" sense or the Church as an institution or the church at large.

    It's almost a natural thing to speak of the church as generic especially when in a group endeavor (I realize some churches won't do that).

    Visiting missionaries often speak of "the church" meaning the churches at large.

    I think you showed another thing quite well and that is the purpose of "the church" is to glorify God.

    I can do that at home (30 miles away from the place we assemble)
    and have done it in large meetings involving other churches at retreats, conferences. etc.

    When I visit another church while on vacation or traveling, I don't think in terms of a "local" church but a church. I'm in/at a church with my brothers and sisters. There is a "church" bond there - call it "long distant" rather than "local", I don't know.

    Like I said, I really don't like the term "universal" church but I understand why folks use it especially in the present situation in America where there is a church for every verse in the NT and people use the term to differentiate NT churches from those in error or cults.

    Anyway, as important as it is, I don't feel like it's an issue to cause more division as it is evident that it does along with so many other issues.

    Usually I avoid confrontational debates (well almost) but I'm home ill today and want to busy myself rather than to pity myself.

    Thanks for the scripture around this subject.

    HankD
     
    #54 HankD, Feb 23, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2011
  15. J.D.

    J.D. Active Member
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    That sounds fine to me. You know I've always tried to debate in a lively manner but there's been times that I really hurt some folk's feelings unintentionally. Things can come across more harshly online than they are intended to be. You usually do a good job of finding just the right way to say it, but I was a bit taken back with your passion over this secondary issue.

    Anyway, in my experience it's usually the dispy that is strongly local-church-only. I don't know what Landmarkers like BH Carroll and JR Graves believed about dispy/covenant. I suspect that Carroll was covenant.
     
  16. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler New Member

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    D, I agree that it probably is a secondary issue. And I'm certainly not going to break fellowship with anyone over it. Further, I don't think that people who hold to a universal church are heretics.

    What I hope to do is to stimulate a little thought. I'm convinced that way too many people are U-Churchers because that's all they've ever been exposed to--by pastors, teachers or authors of books they've read. So, when somebody comes along with the views that DHK, John of Japan and I espouse, it's a shock to the system.

    I understand the shock because I was a dispie (that's all I'd ever been taught). One night, our pastor espoused a different view, and I'd never heard it before. Several of us headed for him after the service, ready to challenge his post-trib view.

    "Hold it fellas," he said, "we not going to debate this. Your assignment is to find one clear, unequivocal, not-subject-to-any-other-interpretation scripture passage which teaches a pre-trib rapture. And bring it to me."

    I couldn't find one. I thought they were all over the Bible, but I couldn't find one which fit his criteria. I'm sure you can understand the feeling when something you'd held sacred for your entire life suddenly is shown not to be true.

    I suspect that's what happens to some folks on the BB. They've never been exposed to our view before. What they believed to be true about the universal church has not been challenged before--and now it is. It's not pleasant.

    I have made some hard comments on this issue. I have labeled the universal church as a fantasy; as filled with heretics; and being disobedient to scripture by failing to assemble, failing to evangelize, failing to observe the ordinances, etc. Sure, I did it to get some attention. But I've not seen a credible response debunking those assertions.

    Ah well, one good thing. The discussions are intense sometimes, but they are pretty civil. And if my passion has come across as uncivil, I quickly apologize because that is not my intent.
     
  17. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    It is easy to become passionate about this subject, and it does make for a good subject for debate. That being the case I am in agreement with you that this is one topic that should not divide the brethren.
     
  18. J.D.

    J.D. Active Member
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    In my case it was just the opposite - I was pre-trib dispy local-church-only and eventually became covenant amil partial pret U-and-local-churcher.

    Regardles of where we fall on it, I certainly do agree that people should be exposed to all sides of an issue. In the churches I came up through, I wan't always afforded that opportunity. I could read material about the other point of view, but I could not read books by people who hold the other point of view without being looked upon as being weak in my convictions.

    I believe that the type of self-confirming isolation that takes place in many church circles has inflicted untold damage to the cause of the Gospel. If bible-believing christians can't find a way to have open dialogue, then is there any hope that Jesus' prayer "that they may be one" will ever be answered?
     
  19. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler New Member

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    The highlighted part caught my attention, because I thought a pre-tribber by definition was a U-churcher (the Church distinct from Israel).

    Don't want to derail the discussion, just an observation.

    I grew up in West Tennessee, which was ground zero for Landmarkism. Nobody had to teach it; it was so pervasive, it didn't have to be taught.

    The main thing I remember being taught is that Baptists were basically apostolic in origin. That we could trace our ancestry all the way back. And that every other denomination was a Johnny-come-lately.

    The two big things were successionism and perpetuity, as I remember.

    I'm a perpetuity kind of guy,but succession is not a hill on which I'm ready to die.

    So I'm not a full-fledged Landmarker, but I confess that I do have Landmark tendencies. So does a tendency taint the whole loaf?
     
  20. DHK

    DHK <b>Moderator</b>

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    I don't believe that there are two people anywhere that agree on every point of doctrine. If there are then one of two things has happened: one) the person is mindless (he doesn't think for himself), or two) he is a copycat, a dedicated follower of a man instead of Christ. Both are wrong.

    Being one in Christ doesn't mean we check our minds at the door of the church. We can still have our doctrinal differences. It simply means that we are all one in Christ. I believe it refers that we are all the true sheep in Christ and that there are no pretenders among us.
     
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