Jesus is Lord of all things.
Especially church.

I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one. John 17

Thank you, David, for your concern for my condition. I can't tell you how much it means to me that I have heard from so many good friends like yourself these last few months, all wanting to help out where they can. God has been gracious beyond measure throughout my life, and especially more so now with these new challenges that I face with my family. I am grateful to have a loving wife who makes my meals and takes me to innumerable doctor's appointments. Her care and patience are truly inspiring. And so far as any financial needs are concerned, those have all been covered by insurance through my work, so we have no outstanding expenses. There once was a time quite long ago when this wasn't the case, so I know firsthand how much such kindness can mean in difficult times. If anyone wants to help, I would ask this favor... if you or a loved one has not had a routine physical exam recently then please go see a doctor as soon as you are able. Had I done the same, I would have learned that I have diabetes which could have been corrected prior to my infection getting out of control.

I am so grateful to God for His provision in my life. That includes this community. Despite what happens in this life, we are completely lost without our loving Savior, Jesus Christ. Praise God for that!

  • 986

Hello dear brother. Thank you for the encouraging words wide and experience - especially amidst your own difficulties. Obviously your faith is strong, as is your reliance upon the Almighty.

Sadly, many become bitter or even angry with God when something like this occurs.

Your new and ongoing situation will require major adjustments. Everyone, please lift up our brother and his loved ones in your daily prayers.

Todd, will you contact me privately on this site? Please provide me with your PayPal or Amazon address. I'll act as a go-between for those desiring to help, rather than share your personal information online.

David Anderson, serving as Administrator.

  • 1108

I find that there's a real balance to be struck that your average Christian does not understand, which is really too bad since Scripture cries out that we seek it. Jesus came first and foremost to heal us spiritually, but in the same way God does not leave us to fend for ourselves physically. Matt 6:25-32 tells us not to be anxious about anything because God loves us more than the birds of the air and lilies of the field, yet ends with with verse 33 which is near and dear to many of us here... "But seek first the reign of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Both the spiritual and physical are important to God

While I agree with the author about churches obsessing on the mechanics of church, I would disagree with the statement that, "It was largely about spiritual salvation and growth, praying for people, and religious codes of conduct." As I have lamented previously on this website, what many might call "spiritual salvation and growth" is much more cultural in nature than it is Christian. There is a set of standards and behaviors that Christians are expected to adhere to, which look frighteningly similar to Western cultural values. I've often struggled to find Christians who want to talk about sin and salvation, which is core to our Christian faith. I guess that I've never been one to believe that obsessing over making the worship service perfect was a great use of time

Yet I also have to wonder about churches that take the opposite approach and dedicate themselves to only providing for the physical needs of the community in which they live. Here where I live near Seattle, churches are big into taking care of the homeless, sometimes to the exclusion of all else. It would be difficult from a spiritual perspective to call them churches as they focus on very little in Scripture other than Christ's command to feed the poor

Where I think the lack of balance comes into play in this whole equation is in our collective lack of understanding that our physical infirmities can be directly tied to the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden. I recently spent 16 days in the hospital in which I had my right foot amputated due to a severe foot infection. Nothing could have made a better statement to me of the effects of sin than those two weeks. It's not as though God was punishing me for specific sins as some might believe. But I couldn't escape the fact that we all live in a fallen world, and that only by the grace of God that any of us has hope for the future. An eternal future full of the grace of our beloved Savior

I guess my point is that there is a middle ground in all of this. To focus solely on the spiritual is to miss the point of God's daily mercies in our everyday existences. Watching a limb rot away before your eyes as I recently did is a sobering reminder of the fragility of our lives here on Earth. We need God to survive. But to say that all of the ills that we face will be somehow cured with a clean pair of socks and a hot meal is to miss the point as well. As the human race, we are where we are today because of sin, and to help someone in need without sharing the hope that God has placed in us for the future is missing the point when it comes to the Christian life

  • 1
  • 1839
Added a Post  

Here is a recent arrangement of the Lord's Prayer set to music. I hope you all enjoy it!

https://livingtruth.com/our-father-in-heaven/

  • 1
  • 2490

Great point!

  • 2454

As for church leaders who become turf-protecting bureaucrats, I would be the first to point this out for immediate adjustment.

But sadly, for every power-grabbing church leader, there are dozens of others who are more than willing to give up their own responsibilities and privileges. There is plenty of blame on both sides.

On the other hand and in the other extreme, there are those who insist that the whole concept of human leadership in the church is of little concern at all. Thus: "A Dramatic lack of Attention..."

Really? Well pray tell me, whey did Paul and Barnabus when they had ordained them elders in EVERY church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

If this was no big deal, why the PRAYER and FASTING? And why the prominent mention of this ongoing activity in EVERY city and church? See Acts 14:23.

Human leadership is indeed complementary with divine leadership in a home or in a church. 1 Peter 5:4: And when the chief Shepherd (divine) appears, you (human shepherds) will receive the unfading crown of glory. 

  • 2473
Added a Video. 

We do not encourage political topics on this site because that is not our goal. Besides, there are many other sites for such a purpose. Nor is it to suggest that these matters are unimportant. They surely are.

Lately, everywhere we turn - there is a tragic loss of the freedom of speech as well as massive hate mongering toward the people of Israel. We do not want to see this for any ethic group.

On a minor point, it should appear obvious that house churches are the only and beset option for many in the mid East.

What I want us to be reminded of today is how colleges and universities which were founded by Christians eventually lost sight of their stated purposes.

Truly, the Enemy has come to steal and kill and destroy. Whereas the Son of God came to give life and joy unspeakable.

Brothers and sisters, let us bow in prayer...

  • 3050
Added a Discussion.  

It took 25 years to find it, then it vanished, writes blogger Micheal Camp.

More times than not, in my evangelical experience, the average church is all about promoting and providing the following: a statement of faith, worship, church bands or choirs, sermons, communion, Bible studies, teaching on acceptable lifestyles, prayer meetings and ministry, youth groups, Sunday school, pre-marital counseling, evangelistic outreach, baptisms, support for overseas missions, fellowship (potlucks and picnics), and conducting funerals. With some exceptions, these churches rarely had ministries that actually provided practical care for people’s physical, emotional, or mental health. It was largely about spiritual salvation and growth, praying for people, and religious codes of conduct.
In my 25 plus years in evangelicalism, I only went to one church that actually had a ministry to the poor. Granted, there were some individuals who did in a couple churches. And in my overseas mission work we did relief and development projects for the impoverished, but these were exceptions. This one ministry in a church had a great program done once a year called Day of Hope. Church members and even non-members volunteered to extend free services to the poor in the community on this one day (anything from providing goods to dental care). Both recipients and volunteers loved it.
The problem was, after the church did it a few years, they dropped the whole program. They were too busy doing the other things to have time for it. In some evangelical churches, people would occasionally help out at a local soup kitchen for the homeless or visit prisoners, but this was not part of the heart of the church.

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/thespiritualbrewpub/author/mcamp/

  • 4732
Added a comment to Famine 

yes

  • 4613
Added a comment to Famine 

Is this his youtube channel? with these... videos?

https://www.youtube.com/@williamgetumbe/videos

  • 2
  • 4617
Added a File.   

There seem to be more theorists than practitioners in our movement. David is both. He's what we would call a missions strategist. He wakes up every day desiring that more people would somehow meet their Saviour. Then he attempts to execute a good plan.

David earned a bachelors, 2 Masters and a Ph.D. degrees. He's used these academic credentials to write 4 books, edit 4 and contribute more than a hundred articles and papers in various journals and books since 1983.

His latest writings are in community development, Christian theology, Asian cultures and inter-religious relations.

He's presently the President of Asian School of Development and Crosscultural Studies (ASDECS), based in Manila, Philippines, with branches and partners in 12 countries in the world.

By his kind permission we offer this important essay. Other papers can be found at https://asdecs.academia.edu/DavidLim.

As always, members who are logged in can download a copy for their own library. Others can read the entire essay right here.

  • 5473
Added a Discussion.  

Service is essential. Our Lord taught that if we would be great in his Kingdom, we must become servants. It's the same word in the original as deacons, by the way.

Discernment is required. It's easy to think we are serving but we may actually be enabling a destructive course.

Look at all the self-seeking politicians who consider themselves as "public servants", for another example.

Paul wrote of those who could perform great acts - yet had not love.

From the mighty pen of CS Lewis:

An Epitaph

Erected by her sorrowing brothers

In memory of Martha Clay.

Here lies one who lived for others;

Now she has peace. And so have they.

  • 6313

Hello readers. Hello brothers. Yes, actions without a sincere heart are worse than no actions. As the Lord said through Isaiah the prophet: Who hath required all this religious activity of you? I am weary of it. Is 1:12.

And using religion of any kind to gain control over others is just wrong. Yet it happens as we speak.

The church, which is composed of Christians, was supposed to be the salt of the earth. Light of world and a city on hill which could not be hid. They were to have influence for the glory of God's name and for his Kingdom on earth. Not their own selfish interests, of course.

If they failed, better to have been cast aside as worthless salt which lost it savor.

Jesus was supposed to have been the Lord of all life and learning. Every sphere, public or private, visible or invisible belonged to Him. In ALL things, including family, church, and civil government, he was to have the pre-eminence. In fact, the civil leaders are called his servants or "deacons".

If the church is occupied with entertainment or using God to become rich or using him merely to pursue well-adjusted private lives, with little or no interest in HIS mission - they indeed deserve to be ignored and to have their influence be further diminished, even thrown out.

While others are circling the wagons, running for the exists, and retreating on every front, every day I will continue to pray: Your Kingdom come, your will be done. ON EARTH as it is in heaven. For myself, I will lock arms with any Christian seeking God's will. Their opinion of the "house church movement" is not very important to me.

Personally, I do not believe that the "good old days" were all that good in many ways. So I am pressing on, praying for better days ahead and an outpouring his Spirit. As people are (voluntarily, not legislatively) changed, one by one, society, culture, and community standards will invariably also be improved.

Magazine covers such as this are based on math. The story-line is always about percentages. For me, I want to see the number of true Christians increase.

Please join me at the throne and let us pray for true conversions and true revival. God's mission is not to condemn the world but that the world through his Son might be saved. The end effect will be a vast multitude which none can number from every tribe, nation and language.

I pray that every Christian will realize that they are a co-equal minister in order to serve others. And that the church, at last, will become the servant church. Committed to charity rather than being a charity, itself. Only then, can a nation or a culture truly be transformed.

"Behold I make ALL things new" ~ Jesus Christ.

  • 6760

With no offense intended to you or your question, when people speak of "turning things around", I lose interest very quickly. I think that's because I look back over the last 60 years of my life in the church and wonder if there was ever a time when things were "good". That's not to say that there weren't a lot of good things that came out of my church experience, and for those things I am grateful to God for providing them. Yet I also see how much baggage comes with the Christian experience, and it's a lot. Perhaps the House Church movement hasn't always executed well in delivering the Christian experience either, but it does have one extremely good instict, which is to cut out all of the extra nonsense that the institutional church today delivers in spades. Prior to the Protestant Reformation in 1517, the church had a lock on being the middleman between God and man. The Reformation was supposed to end this practice. But look at the large percentage of Protestant churches today that effectively browbeats their parishoners into believing that the church is the key to the pathway to God. In these churches, Christ can no longer be called its Head. Instead, the whims of its leaders and the rules that it holds fast to are what define the church.

But this is not God's plan for His church. Consider, for example, Jesus' teaching on adultery from Matt 5:27-28...

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart

In other words, it's not just your actions that God is concerned with, but also what's in your heart. This theme runs throughout Scripture. So why then does the church attempt to write rulebook after rulebook of dictates that a Christian must obey to be in right standing before God? And why does it teach that the blood and sacrifice of Christ are there just to fill in the gaps when we (occasionally) sin? Have we learned nothing from Scripture (Psalm 51:1-6)?

Have mercy on me, O God,
  according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
  blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
  and cleanse me from my sin!
3 For I know my transgressions,
  and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
  and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
  and blameless in your judgment.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
  and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
  and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

So if you ask me, "would you like to go back to church the way that it was before?", I would have to ask you what you mean by that. Like most people, I would welcome returning to a time when crime in the streets was less prevalent amd public discourse was more respectful. But does this mean that we'd be a "Christian nation"? Far from it. Just because we'd clean up our language or dress up in a suit and tie for the occasional trip to church would mean nothing. As Christians, we need to show the world that we take our sin seriously and recognize that it is only by Christ's merit that we are saved from them. "Living your best life today", a phrase common with many Christians, does not mean that you leave your wife and family because they are harshing your mellow. Nor does it mean that you cheat on your texes, even if it's to help you pay for Christian school for your kids. It means that you consistently confess to God just how weak you are to do His will, then rest assured that God is "6 merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin" (Ex 34:6-7)

  • 6849

David, Certainly, with God's help we can all do better. We could start with humility and searching our own hearts. This morning I read this quote on social media:

”Better to hear the quiet words of a wise person than the shouts of a foolish king. Better to have wisdom than weapons of war, but one sinner can destroy much that is good.“

‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭9‬:‭17‬-‭18‬ ‭NLT‬‬

  • 7235
Added a Photo. 

Many years ago there was a contraversial Newsweek magazine cover: Is God Dead?

This one is not recent but it still concerns us. Our hope is in God and in his Son who has promised to build his church despite all opposition.

But, can the church not do better?

Three words come to mind: Adapt or die.

  • 7712
Added a File.   

What a plan! Self-supporting, professional, Christian workers showing up to... work. Rather than arriving with their bags and seminary certificates and expecting to become religious local professionals. This is not to suggest that a seminary degree isn't a useful thing. All learning is of value just as surely as all truth is from the Almighty,

I'm reminded of how the Apostle Paul found fellowship with those of the same employment and craft. And our Lord, too, of whom it was asked: Is this not the carpenter?

Accordingly, David Aikman envisions “thousands of Chinese technicians and workers”, wearing the disguise of the professional workers of the Chinese led global system of economic development. Their disguise is their non-western physicality, presumably indicating a lack of ideological and religious agenda but in reality concealing the fact that they are the representatives of an international effort to spiritually transform the societies they encounter.
The Islamic world… will no longer be able to resort to the usual complaints about the ‘decedent west’ or the perils of globalization. Globalization is indeed here to stay and the Christian component of it, more and more, will have a Chinese accent.

This paper is published by the kind permission of the author who describes himself:

I am currently a postdoctoral fellow at the center for the research of conversion and inter-religous encounters in Beer Sheva. My focus is on ethnicity and religion in contemporary China, particuarly in Yunnan Province. My doctorate dealt with christian missionary work in today's Yunnan and the way it realtes to issues of ethnicty, identity, state policy and globalization. 
In addition I teach Chinese history, culture and religion in Bar Ilan University and Herzog College.

Other papers he authored are found here.

  • 8651

Hello dear sister and long-time friend, good to hear from you.

Thank you for being here and putting yourself on the map. I have replied to you via PM (private message).

If anyone else needs an adjustment, just let us know.

  • 9100

I seem to be on the map twice but I do not know what email I used for the old listing

  • 9235
Added a comment to Papal Bull 

The Scripture just prior to the "keys" passage is near and dear to my heart. Here is Matt 16:13-18...

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of **** shall not prevail against it.

Listening to Peter's testimony of who Jesus actually is always warms my heart. Yet many church leaders turn this beautiful piece of Scripture into something it is not. They focus on Peter and not Jesus. They follow on with the "keys" passage to claim ultimate authority with the church, even beyond Christ as the Head of the Church. They fail on at least two key points:

  1. The original Greek translates the middle of verse 18 as "and on this the rock I will build My church". Please notice the definite article "the" (τῇ) before the word "rock". Jesus' focus is not on Peter as many would have you believe, but rather on the Messiah Himself. "The rock" is Peter's answer to Jesus' question, "But who do you say that I am?" (emphasis mine) The authority that church fathers attempt to derive from this passage fails to manifest itself when Christ is the center of attention rather than Peter
  2. Not only are the "keys" OF the kingdom and not TO the kingdom, as you rightfully point out, but the "binding" is clearly in response to God's will and not the will of man. Please take a look at this same Scripture in the Young's Literal Translation, "19 and I will give to thee the keys of the reign of the heavens, and whatever thou mayest bind upon the earth shall be having been bound in the heavens, and whatever thou mayest loose upon the earth shall be having been loosed in the heavens." English translations of the Bible often use active tense which tends to distort who the main actor is in a passage. The "binding" here is not the will of Peter and the other disciples, or of any other man, but rather of God Himself. The wording is admittedly a bit clunky, but hopefully you can see this principle in action if you pause mid-sentence with a comma... "whatever thou mayest bind upon the earth shall be, having been bound in the heavens". The binding and loosening has already taken place in Heaven before any "decision" was made by a disciple. I believe that it is God the Father who binds and loosens, and that the disciples were just following God's will
  • 10195

Thirty years is a long time. Many years ago and many miles ago. Many good memories among the not so good ones. God be thanked.

I think your and your wife's analysis is accurate. In looking back, I wish things had been different. And that the alternative church movement would not have been so continually pessimistic and judgmental.

It was summed up well in a line from the book Pagan Christianity: "The institutional church has no right to exist."

Well, something is better than nothing. Many of the critics of the institutional church had precious little themselves and therefore reduced the definition of church (literally, an assembly) to playing a round of golf, as portrayed in the book Revolution.

Rather than tear down the work of others - we must do something better ourselves.

Thou — who art thou that art judging another’s domestic servant? To his own master he will stand or fall; and he shall be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand. Romans 14:4.

No doubt, I have fallen into this quagmire myself and have been guilty from time to time. May God forgive me and enable me to do better in the time which remains. Looking back at some of the things I've written, the proper balance was occasionally lacking. I may have complained about "controlling clergy", for example. But for every one of them, there are dozens of "lazy laymen" who are unwilling to serve in any form of ministry or to exercise their newly discovered priesthood in Christ.

The perfect terminology about church affairs matters little. It is the substance which matters. Unless we are speaking the original Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic, we are not speaking "Biblically". Scriptures warns us of getting carried away with words. If we master them all but have not love - something went wrong.

The principles do matter however. And so the question remains: How do we present truth without contrasting it with error? Can it be done? Yes, I think so. If so, it must be done in love.

How do we not be overcome evil but overcome evil with good?

Yes, it's thirty years later. As the song goes: "It's later than it's ever been before." Billions of precious people still have not heard a single presentation of the Gospel or visited any church of any kind. They are looking for help and hope more than a debate of any kind. Let us keep these in mind when we are fighting among ourselves and writing each other off.

“Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop because he was not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. Mark 9.
  • 10513

An inquiry came in via email about the author of this ground-breaking volume.

Not to stir the pot too much, the author used a "pen-name". He was a university professor in New York and perhaps did not want to bring the school into this controversy. Pen-names were not unusual back then, I gather.

One additional note about the author regarding his other productions from an old magazine:

  • 10861
Added a Post  

Part of the problem, or part of the solution? Almost 30 years ago we attended a House Church Retreat in the US. Some of the people we shared a cabin with were swapping stories of the problems they experienced in the Institutional Church.

My wife interrupted them by asking, "But what is God doing among you now?"

That was a sincere question. We had already seen what was wrong in Christianity. We came there looking for how to get it right, or at least better.

Fortunately, we did meet some wonderful people then who were making progress and enjoying what God was presently doing with them. Thirty years later I have seen a greater general acceptance of the principle of small fellowships that focus more on worship and personal growth over programs.

However, the drive to tear down more than to build up seems to persist.

I know it is still not easy to work with limited resources and so few people who get what we are doing. Jesus started with 12, and after His resurrection had 500 followers. Many of them persisted and God blessed their faithfulness. They became part of the solution!

  • 11128
Added a Discussion.  

Author of The Hireling Ministry - None of Christ's (London, 1652). Don't look for this title at your local Christian book / paraphernalia store.

Besides founding Rhode Island, in 1638 he founded the First Baptist Church in America in Providence. Williams studied the language of the New England Native Americans and published the first book-length study of it in English.

His combined writings fill 7 volumes. He was active in church, state, political, and missionary activities yet he provided for his own family. I wonder how many Baptists in today's world are aware of his example. The books I found this information in have not been recently checked out, you see.

A page below from the book Roger Williams, A Study of the Life, Times and Character of a Political Pioneer by Edmund Janes Carpenter (1909) is for further clarification of his unusual but Scriptural views:

  • 11712
Added a Discussion.  
‍‍Bless the Lord, O my soul

O my soul

Worship His holy name

Sing like never before

O my soul

I'll worship Your holy name

The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning

It's time to sing Your song again

Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me

Let me be singing when the evening comes

Bless the Lord, O my soul

O my soul

Worship His holy name

Sing like never before

O my soul

I'll worship Your holy name

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger

Your name is great, and Your heart is kind

For all Your goodness I will keep on singing

Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

Bless the Lord, O my soul

O my soul

Worship His holy name

Sing like never before

O my soul

I'll worship Your holy name

And on that day when my strength is failing

The end draws near and my time has come

Still my soul will sing Your praise unending

Ten thousand years and then forevermore

Bless the Lord, O my soul

O my soul

Worship His holy name

Sing like never before

O my soul

I'll worship Your holy name

Jesus, I'll worship Your holy name

Lord, I'll worship Your holy name

Sing like never before

O my soul

I'll worship Your holy name

Jesus, I'll worship Your holy name

I'll worship Your holy name

  • 11884
Added a File.   

Here is a review of a recent book entitled: THE ELDERS: SENIORITY WITHIN EARLIEST CHRISTIANITY. STUDIES OF THE NEW TESTAMENT AND ITS WORLD by R. Alastair Campbell.

It a obviously a book about the identity of those called elders. As this word reads - so does it mean. These are merely the older Christians who are given the responsibility of oversight and shepherding in the church of God. When readers of the New Testament letters came across the word, it already had thousands of years of clear meaning.

By viewing this review one will be reminded that the traditional consensus view of church leadership is being challenged and that it is ongoing. It's too bad that we lost about two thousand years attempting to figure it out.

This is not a mere academic question. Satan has always attempted to keep believers from their responsibilities. Most older ones in the church today have no clue that they are to be caring for, shepherding, and pastoring the others. Thankfully, there are many who instinctively have an awareness to be occupied in such a way toward their junior members.

Yet overall, the simplest, most natural arrangement has been all but lost upon us. Worse still, millions of Christian men who should be serving others in this respect seem to have little or nothing to do or a reason to live. Worse still, the finances of the churches today are dominated by the "teaching elder" when in reality, every elder is required to be a teacher. 1 Timothy 3 2.

The church must again become the servant church. Otherwise more irrelevance and eventual death await it. How can the servant church occur when it continues to spend most of it's resources upon itself?

Worse still, the joyful task of shepherding is given to those already in place. "The elders AMONG you..." Only Heaven knows the amount of false teaching and damage which has been delivered from afar by those, often with a seminary degree in hand, but practically unknown in the locality of the church. Worse still, thousands of churches close each year for lack of ability to fund this "teaching elder." Yes, there have been exceptions but they do not upend the rule.

Biblical eldership is not a calling, not a career, not an office. Nor is it referred to as such. Nor is an elder referred to as 'the minister' or 'the preacher' in the modern sense. Unless disqualified by sin, every Christian senior is to be involved in the care of God's flock. Elders are "appointed" or "ordained" to be the only thing which they can be appointed to: oversight. (They are also known as bishops). And just as qualified senior women, (and masters) were to be honored according to the same source, so were senior men. But the context of this is support is clearly needs based for both the male and female seniors. 

Taken at face value, 1 Timothy 5 17 teaches that it is the alleged "ruling elders" who are also to receive double honor.

Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

Can we really believe these small churches, often meeting in homes, were paying full-time salaries to a list of widows as well as to "ruling" and "teaching elders"?

The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage but being examples to the flock.And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. Likewise, ye younger... 1 Peter 5 1-5.

Did you happen to notice the last phrase above in which the seniors are contrasted to the younger ones? In Paul's address we see the same pattern. Elders are called to oversight. And do not overlook the fact that his manual work was intended to be an example to the elders of the church: 

And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. 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. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20.

Above all, we readily acknowledge that church structure does not have to be perfect in order for a community to be used of God. And, of course, we readily acknowledge that myriads of seminary graduates have been equipped to be better servants of their Lord. Still, we must press toward the Biblical standards as they will be proven to be the most effective and efficient in the times ahead. Regarding leadership, the bar for entry must neither be set too high nor too low.

  • 12747

Here's an interesting quote from the above author George Bush. The phrase in view is "Pandora's Box of evil" which is spot on true. Please consider his words:

My question is: How can the Church again become the servant church? The early church had a list of qualified widows (among other things) which it supported, for example.

What happened to this list? I think I know the simple answer. Widows are no longer a financial priority. Most all the funding today goes to the clergy. I am referring to tens of billions of dollars each year.

  • 12772
Added a Discussion.  

Friday 2-2-24 6th. Day Of The Weekly Cycle, Shevat 21 5784, 44th. Winter Day

Some people are convinced that Sunday, the first day of the week, is the Biblical Sabbath. Others believe that Saturday, the seventh day of the week, is the Sabbath.

Let’s take an in-depth look at this topic and examine the facts about what day is the Sabbath of the Bible. According to the Ten Commandments, the Sabbath is located on the seventh day of the week. Exodus 20:8-10 says the following, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God.” At creation God also rested and declared the seventh day holy (Genesis 2:1-3).

Is the seventh day the Sabbath?​

The New Testament is in agreement as to which day is the seventh day of the week. One of the most straight-forward references is found in Luke 23:53-56 & Luke 24:1, and describes Joseph of Arimathaea taking the body of Jesus down off the cross. “Then he took it [the body of Jesus] down, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of the rock, where no one had ever lain before. That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near. And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment. Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.”

Therefore, according to the Bible, the Sabbath day can be pinpointed as the day before the first day of the week. Today, we call this day Saturday or the seventh day of the week.

Browse: Who changed the Sabbath to Sunday?

Preparation day or sixth day = Friday

Sabbath day or seventh day = Saturday

Resurrection day or first day = Sunday

Which day is the first day of the week?​

Jesus rising out of the tombMany have asked the question, my calendar begins on Monday, doesn’t that make Sunday the seventh day of the week? It is true that many calendars begin on Monday, but some calendars around the world begin on Friday, Saturday or Sunday as well. The answer to this can be found by studying the linguistics or meaning of each day’s name, rather than only looking at the order of the days printed on paper. Any human can change the order of a printed calendar, but it is a lot harder to change every language in the world.

Browse: Was the real Sabbath day lost because of a calendar change?

Consider the Greek language in which the New Testament was written. According to the Bible, the day before the Sabbath was called the preparation day or “paraskeue" in the Greek language. Even today, thousands of years later, the sixth day of the week, called "Friday" in the English calendar, is still called “Paraskeue" in the modern Greek calendar. Therefore the day that comes after Friday is the Sabbath day.

Sabbath around the world​

Looking at over 100 languages around the world, the seventh day of the week is translated as “Sabbath”. Here is a short list of languages and their translations: (Arabic: Sabet, Czech: Sobota, Indonesian: Sabtu, Italian: Sabato, Latin: Sabbatum, Portuguese: Sábado, Russian: Subbota, Spanish: Sabado).

What does the English language say about the Sabbath? Webster’s dictionary defines the Sabbath as the following: “Seventh day, Saturday, the seventh day of the week.” (Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary, unabridged 2nd ed.)

Consider this—no language contains a correlating link between the word “Sabbath" and the first day of the week. In fact, not even one language designates another rest day besides the seventh day. This confirms the fact that those who used the original languages understood the meaning of the Sabbath and which day it fell upon.

Love, Walter And Debbie

  • 12992
Added a Discussion.  

Thursday 2-1-24 5th. Day Of The Weekly Cycle, Shevat 20 5784, 42nd. Winter Day

Has Jesus mentioned anything about Trinitarians Or Non-Trinitarians? Yet we have our beliefs.

Should we not just have one? Explanation Of Unity: Ephesians 4:4-6

Love, Walter And Debbie

  • 13257
Added a Discussion.  

1-31-24

Trinitarians and non-trinitarians have different beliefs because they interpret the Bible and the nature of God differently. Trinitarians believe that God is one being who exists in three distinct persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They base their belief on passages in the Bible that suggest the divinity and unity of these three persons, such as Matthew 28:19, John 10:30, and 2 Corinthians 13:14.

They also rely on the decisions of the early ecumenical councils, such as Nicaea and Constantinople, that defined the doctrine of the Trinity in response to various heresies.

Non-trinitarians reject the doctrine of the Trinity and believe that God is either one person or a group of separate beings. They base their belief on passages in the Bible that emphasize the oneness and uniqueness of God, such as Deuteronomy 6:4, Isaiah 44:6, and Mark 12:29.

They also point out the passages that imply a distinction and subordination between the Father and the Son, such as John 14:28, Mark 13:32, and 1 Corinthians 15:28. They also question the reliability and authority of the ecumenical councils and the creeds that they produced.

The debate between trinitarians and non-trinitarians has been going on for centuries and is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon. Both sides claim to have biblical and historical support for their views, but they also have different ways of understanding and applying those sources. Ultimately, it comes down to one’s faith and personal relationship with God.

Love, Walter And Debbie

  • 13429

A fascinating story in so many ways. Shows God's love for all the nations, not only the Jews.

It reminds us in the innate knowledge of God in all people, made in his image. These "foreigners" knew right from wrong and dealt with Jonah accordingly. Overboard he went.

Please observe that Jonah was not told to go to seminary for extensive training or to earn an ordination certification in order to preach.

What has changed in all the time since Jonah? Not much. We still are disobedient and lethargic regarding his command to preach the gospel and disciple the nations.

All things still work for God, says the Scripture. In this story, we were given a picture of the Saviour of Mankind who would come many centuries later, live a perfect life, die for the sins of the world, and lay in the tomb for 3 days.

Praise his name everyone with life within them. He is risen!

  • 14115
Added a Discussion.  

Wednesday 1-24-24 4th. Day Of The Weekly Cycle, Shevat 12 5784, 35th. Winter Day The

Jonah 1

1 Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,

2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.

3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.

4 But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.

5 Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.

6 So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.

7 And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.

8 Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou?

9 And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land.

10 Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him. Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them.

11 Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous.

12 And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.

13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them.

14 Wherefore they cried unto the Lord, and said, We beseech thee, O Lord, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O Lord, hast done as it pleased thee.

15 So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging.

16 Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the Lord, and made vows.

17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Jonah 2

1 Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish's belly,

2 And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of **** cried I, and thou heardest my voice.

3 For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.

4 Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.

5 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.

6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God.

7 When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.

8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.

9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.

10 And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Philippians 4:13

Love always, Walter and Debbie 

  • 14282
Hey there dear Sunset, good to see you on our site. We welcome you in Jesus' name. It's obvious that you have a burning love for Our Lord and for his word.
(You remind me of myself. Because my mind is always racing from one topic to another. Haha. Especially as I read the scriptures each day. And as I see the news and behold my beloved country go deeper into decline, even into chaos. I don't share those things here because our focus is Christ-centered, non-traditional churches. It's not that current events or other Biblical questions are unimportant, of course.)
That Sabbath question has always intrigued me and house churchers have a golden opportunity to recovery a special day of rest. For myself, I cannot see that the day was ever changed on the calendar. It was intended to be a day of rest... which doesn't exactly correspond to the "first day of the week".
I love how Jesus reminds us that the day was made for our happiness. And to be a delight, too, as the saints of old were also reminded.
Sometime, will you let us know how you all celebrate and honor this special day in these modern times? We look forward to it.
1-22-24
First, how are you all? We are fine.
As we have come unto this knowledge of the Sabbath, Of resting, as we understand having Bible studies with the material of His teachings, especially on that day at home, with our leader and members live on a radio conference hook-up with one another.
But since our leader is deceased and his wife, we have been getting studies with the scriptures concerning that issue mainly, and about the Kingdom.
Love, Walter And Debbie
  • 14443

Hey there dear Sunset, good to see you on our site. We welcome you in Jesus' name. It's obvious that you have a burning love for Our Lord and for his word.

(You remind me of myself. Because my mind is always racing from one topic to another. Haha. Especially as I read the scriptures each day. And as I see the news and behold my beloved country go deeper into decline, even into chaos. I don't share those things here because our focus is Christ-centered, non-traditional churches. It's not that current events or other Biblical questions are unimportant, of course.)

That Sabbath question has always intrigued me and house churchers have a golden opportunity to recovery a special day of rest. For myself, I cannot see that the day was ever changed on the calendar. It was intended to be a day of rest... which doesn't exactly correspond to the "first day of the week".

I love how Jesus reminds us that the day was made for our happiness. And to be a delight, too, as the saints of old were also reminded.

Sometime, will you let us know how you all celebrate and honor this special day in these modern times? We look forward to it.

  • 14454
Added a Discussion.  

Hello, I have been thinking about the OP and the different posts, but have not received any revelation on what Jesus was talking about to Nicodemus. But I'm glad to have an understanding of these views on this thread and more on other site forums.

I was looking at: It is by scripture we as Christians are not Born Again until we are caught up to be with Christ 1 Thessalonians 4:17, and 1 Corinthians 15:51-58

But here are some views from Bing:

In Christianity, being born again means having a spiritual renewal or change of heart by accepting Jesus as the Savior and Lord. It is not about physical birth or external requirements, but about receiving salvation and becoming part of God’s family1.

The phrase “born again” is frequently misinterpreted. Looking at its primary reference, we see that its meaning is not about physical birth, but about experiencing a spiritual renewal. It is an expression used by many Protestants to define the moment or process of fully accepting faith in Jesus Christ. It is an experience when the teachings of Christianity and Jesus become real, and the “born again” acquire a personal relationship with God2.

Also, we will be in prayer about this process.

Bible Gateway passage: John 3:3-8, Colossians 1:15-18, Romans 8:29, Revelation 1:5, 1 Corinthians 15:50, Galatians 4:26, 2 John 1, 2 John 13, Revelation 12:1-5, Hebrews 12:23, Malachi 3:1 - King James Version

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say...

thelord's_pearl said:
Hi all,
Does "born again" mean that you simply believe in faith or simply chose to believe in faith in Jesus Christ, or does it also mean that you have to be baptized? I hope this is a simple answer. Thank you.

Hello, I have been thinking about the OP and the different posts, but have not received any revelation on what Jesus was talking about to Nicodemus. But I'm glad to have an understanding of these views on this thread and more on other site forums.

I was looking at: It is by scripture we as Christians are not Born Again until we are caught up to be with Christ 1 Thessalonians 4:17, and 1 Corinthians 15:51-58

But here are some views from Bing:

In Christianity, being born again means having a spiritual renewal or change of heart by accepting Jesus as the Savior and Lord. It is not about physical birth or external requirements, but about receiving salvation and becoming part of God’s family.

The phrase “born again” is frequently misinterpreted. Looking at its primary reference, we see that its meaning is not about physical birth, but about experiencing a spiritual renewal. It is an expression used by many Protestants to define the moment or process of fully accepting faith in Jesus Christ. It is an experience when the teachings of Christianity and Jesus become real, and the “born again” acquire a personal relationship with God.

Love, Walter And Debbie

  • 14568
Added a Discussion.  

Edward Adams challenges a strong consensus in New Testament and Early Christian studies: that the early Christians met 'almost exclusively' in houses. This assumption has been foundational for research on the social formation of the early churches, the origins and early development of church architecture, and early Christian worship. Recent years have witnessed increased scholarly interest in the early 'house church'.
Adams re-examines the New Testament and other literary data, as well as archaeological and comparative evidence, showing that explicit evidence for assembling in houses is not nearly as extensive as is usually thought. He also shows that there is literary and archaeological evidence for meeting in non-house settings. Adams makes the case that during the first two centuries, the alleged period of the 'house church', it is plausible to imagine the early Christians gathering in a range of venues rather than almost entirely in private houses. His thesis has wide-ranging implications.

This fascinating scholarly book - the first of its kind - will not cause house church purists to rejoice. He does acknowledge their validity but believes there were other places in regular use as well.

  • 14818
Added a Discussion.  

Friday 1-19-24 6th. Day Of The Weekly Cycle, Shevat 7 5784, 29th. Winter Day

Is there anyone that keeps The Sabbath Day Holy, from Sunset on the 6th.Day/Friday until The ending of The 7th. Day at Sunset, on Saturday by The Gregorian Calendar.

If so being on one accord for that event to happen, We want to thank God for your Faith in doing just that as a start to perfection. Every Sabbath , Sabbath Scriptures: About Sabbath Scriptures , Sabbath Day In The KJV

Sabbath Day, Please Read all.

Sabbaths , Judging one another about the Sabbath .

I have reason to believe of the above study, that The Sabbaths and the Feast Days/Holy Convocations goes together for his/Jesus customs as him and The Apostles, went in the synagogues. Luke 4:16 , Acts 17:2

Acts 17:2

Righteousness is a position. When you become saved you are considered in right standing with God. ... Holiness is the quality of being holy,a life that is full of godly character.Righteousness is to be upright in God, to be blamless. A righteousness man is also a holy man,both of them works together.

Ephesians 4 KJV

Love, Walter And Debbie

  • 1
  • 14967
Added a File.   

Eventually, the subject of baptism will come up. Can this puzzle finally be solved? Hundreds if not thousands of books have been written regarding the mode and subjects of what is considered by most as a sacrament.

But... there are few books out there which regard external water baptism as now obsolete. In view of a better, inward spiritual baptism. This volume seems to lean toward the latter view. Read it for yourself and decide.

We're brothers and sisters in Christ. We are seeking unity, not division, as we seek the truth. Therefore we will not allow our interpretations to affect our friendship and good-will towards every other child of God.

That said, it never hurts to take a fresh look at anything we hold to be true.

Let me inquire today upon a different matter. If you lost your precious eyesight and had to be led around, would you still thank God for your life or would you become bitter? Would you seek to serve others as did this writer of old?

  • 15398
Added a Discussion.  

The Pope has been in the news more than usual. He is being opposed by Arch-Bishops and Cardinals, which is rare. His credibility is being called into question. As it should be.

Peter is alleged to be the first Pope. It looks as if Peter’s first Papal Bull was a dud and required a reproof. So much for Papal infalibility. Imagine Jesus referring to the first Pope and Satan.

And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Matthew 16:19-23

And notice the keys given to the Apostle Peter were OF the Kingdom, not TO it.

Us? Let us not be overcome with evil but overcome evil with good.

  • 15401