Context of 1 Corinthinans 14?

Steve has been promoting Jesus Christ via simple churches since the early 90's. Also a Conference organizer and the author/compiler of several books. He is a man of very high integrity. I've had the joy of encountering him several times. Good memories.

As for the meetings mentioned in 1 Corinthians, they included multi-lingual expressions (tongues) as well as intelligible extraordinary revelations from God (prophecies). I inquire: If these gifts were not active in a group today would more of the meeting 'default' to ordinary teaching? Every elder, you recall, must be "apt to teach". How does this fit in?

I am just stating the obvious. Most churches do not have persons which have these gifts - or at least they are not aware of them. I am not saying that all spiritual gifts have ceased - some are just rare. Healing - for example.

Personally, I would think it strange that a Christian would possess a spiritual gift and be unaware of it. But that is a separate topic.

And why would the apostle impose limits for tongue speakers or prophets? "Let two or three speak."

Also, could a traditionalist Christian argue that they do have open participatory meetings by way of interactive Sunday School classes? And that they have regular fellowship meals, too, even though they usually separate their fellowship meals from the "ritual" bread and wine?

As for the sharing of music, that seems to be the easiest issue to settle. Most traditional congregations today eagerly invite special music as would those who meet in homes.

And don't miss another participatory element which is completely overlooked in these discussions. It's right here in this same chapter, by the way. It's the verbal, audible amen of agreement. 1 Cor. 14:16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? 

Obviously, I do not have all the answers. I am just attempting in my views to be led by Scriptures and to be fair to others. I am submitting this short video as food for thought. 

As always, I am interested in the historical and scriptural contexts. The good news is that we serve a patient God who looks at our hearts most of all. 

May the Lord direct my steps. Yours also.

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  • 2009
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