House Church Talk - New testament church

Bruce Woodford bwood4d at
Fri Feb 27 18:45:20 EST 2004

Hi Dan,
You wrote:"It seems to me that "New Testament Church" better describes what 
I believe we are desiring. Where our brothers and sisters who meet in 
regular church buildings are fullfilling Christ's will for His Church, I 
have to say that the New Testament Church is a reality. For example, in the 
New Testament Church, individuals were sharing the Gospel and people were 
being born into the Kingdom of God. The same often happens in many organized 
churches, however wrong they may be in other areas. But that does not mean 
that we will not pursue a more complete expression of the New Testament 
Church. If we have heard from the Lord concerning this, then the best we can 
do is obey Him. The result should be the manifestation of the elements we 
see in His Church in the NT. Do you think we could make some headway in our 
conversations with one another and people in the IC with the concept of "New 
Testament Church?"

Brother, I think you are "right on" here!   I was invited a few months ago 
to speak in an IC just last Sunday.  I tried to talk the man who invited me 
out of it (told him I was really radical and would not be "preaching a 
sermon from a pulpit", "accepting an honorarium"  etc but would rather sit 
down to engage the folks in conversation!  (That's precisely what new 
testament "homilies" actually are!) He still wanted me to come so I showed 
up with a burden to speak with the folks about what "New testament/covenant 
church" was all about.   I first asked them if I had their permission to 
challenge their thinking.

I think I got it, but I'm not too sure (they were not used to talking to 
"speakers" in church!)

I asked if any of them had ever heard any teaching on "the new covenant". 
Only 4 out of about 40 ever had. When I asked them what a "covenant" was, 
nobody knew! So we got down to basics of definitions and comparing the old 
covenant made at Sinai with the new covenant made at Calvary.  Covenants are 
promises which are signified with visible tokens which last as long as the 
covenant which they signify. The token of the old covenant was the 
sprinkling of blood of animal sacrifices.  The token of the new is the cup 
which we drink in remembrance of the Lord Jesus.

I asked them if they sent out missionaries to establish new testament 
churches if the practices which they taught new believers to follow should 
be old covenant practices or new covenant practices? They all agreed that 
those who plant new testament churches should teach new covenant practices.

I then gave them a list of practices and asked them to designate each as 
"old covenant", "new covenant" or "not found in scripture at all".

I warned them that they would have some major surprises if they simply 
allowed scripture to say exactly what it said!  Well the scriptures 
certainly challenged their thinking and time will tell whether or not I'll 
ever be invited back again!!!  I  pray that these brothers and sisters might 
really begin to search the scriptures and determine to obey what they find. 
Let us seek to be catalysts in the process of drawing each other back to the 
basics of scripture!

Your brother in Christ,

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