Our mission demands our union and allows for our diversity, our cultures and even our personalities. We are in error when we allow our opinions and differences to divide us over those opinions built on our traditions, beliefs and biases. This discussion has nothing on the pagans who divide over race, politics and other sins of pride and lust. This is a division in the “Church” as we know it today. The divided denominated historic “churches” of man. We can use the trucks as metaphors for our divisions.
What would it take to be one? We all agree we must be one? Right? Do we agree on the facts of the resurrection of our God and King in the flesh of humans, who lived with the eye witnesses.?
Do we all have the same map? Follow the ancient path? “The Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except by me” sez Jesus, “This is the Blood of the New covenant in my blood, poured out for the forgiveness of sins, For all!”
Do we all have the same GPS? Is our counsel with the “Wonderful Counselor” who will lead the humble into all Truth? or do we follow this “Pastor”, this best seller or the famous theologians of the reform or ? Jesus promised the Holy Spirit will lead us into all Truth. He can’t fill us with His Spirit what we won’t empty of self, our pride and ego take up room He needs room to function and mature us. As John the immerser said; “He must increase I must decrease” The mature don’t pause at the doorway to play with toys when real Gifts are waiting from the Father as He chooses to give in His plans not ours.
Continue with the metaphor, Does my truck need baby moons and chrome mud flaps to impress? Must we all be like yours? Can I play my radio on my worship stations, my worship music? Must we be the same if we are on the same page? Eph 4:1-6, of like mind, reasoning together. If we offend our brother with our eating or any idol worship we are in the wrong way traffic. If we allow our bias to prevent our fellowship with other believers we are wrong. The stronger are to help the weaker, the older teach the younger, Sound Doctrine. Titus 2
John writes what he heard Jesus say, John knew Jesus on a very personal level, eye witness reports of the teachings of Jesus, gives us the Apostles Doctrine; “I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. “While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.” click underline for online Word search. John 17 see also 1 John 3:22-24 where John continues the “Power of the Name” the Name above all names. https://www.biblestudytools.com/nas/1-john/3.html
We share this as our opinion also; “If our faith be ever so imperfect, and blended with error, yet if it leads us to do the will of God, and bear fruits of the Spirit; if it works by love; if it purifies the heart; if it overcomes the world — it is the faith of a Christian” (Barton Stone, Christian Messenger 2 [Nov 1827], 5.
We are included in these Words of promise. Our difference in opinions should not stop us from Worshipping, caring for and sharing with one another. The idea of refusing to fellowship with another believer because their theology and yours don’t match is not in the plan. You think his understanding is lower than snail slime while yours is above reproach. Can you find this attitude in the gifts, or fruits? We think not. Our most educated and gifted scholar of the Bible is a microorganism of knowledge compared to God. He can gift the common plowboy with understanding and wisdom the rabbis and priests of the church of Babylon won’t understand or know. Before Paul fussed and rebuked the former pagans and Jews in Corinth he called them “Sanctified” gifted “With all knowledge”, They like all disciples had problems with their traditions/bias and leaving them behind. They heard the Word, believed the Word and obeyed the Word. Acts 18:8, some divided over “pastors” or properly called shepherds. They were “messy” during the fellowship , meals, Worship and their lives each day. Just like most families today, messy in their diversity and balance. Paul prayed for harmony and unity in the Spirit, keep your opinion to yourself if it offends. It is good to have opinions and be assured by others agreeing, but using our “opinion” to disparage a weaker bro or sis is not going to make God happy. Romans 14, John writes about this in his letters to the churches. Acts 5:32, 1 John 3:22-24 the rest is religion.The most destructive attitude we have been guilty of is expecting others to meet our standards for worship, practices and beliefs. Like missionaries requiring natives in the tropics to build European style buildings, wear the heavier clothing, and change culture to replace native traditions that have nothing to do with salvation. We eventually will find the best of a “house church” gathering reduced to a copy of what the organizers left behind in the divided denominations. The attendees believing in opinions, rules and rituals that divide them from the group nearby. The issues are the same as what theologians have argued over for millina. We won’t solve them this time either. Walk side by side, in the light, don’t walk in another’s shadow no matter how many others are comfortable following a human. Even in the shadow of good men (Luther, Wesley, calvin, Zwingli, Hus, etc…) and women we fail to see what is meant for us alone. Sharing as equals we can gain from our synergy. Seeking understanding instead of strife is profitable. Each one’s gifts will compliment the other in God’s master plan to build His Ekklesia. Paul wrote the messy gathering of the Corinthians; “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree * and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.” 1 Cor 1:10
Many good teachers have labored over these issues. We can find many nuggets of Truth in their teachings. Look for the heart of the author, look for new ways of seeing the Truth. Use someone’s else’s glasses & you might see what you have been missing. Always be open to the “Still small voice” of our Wonderful Counselor above all the voices thundering, shouting “This is the way.” Our God does not confuse. If the author is confusing or uses “proof texting” fly away. If the author shows bitterness or disparages persons known or unknown to you. Fly Away! Test the Spirits! With those warnings we suggest good readings to share. Be meek as doves and fly away when the deceiver speaks
One Ekklesia by Henry Hon is recommended reading for those considering a house church, organic church, homestyle meetings.
One Body Life https://www.onebody.life/about
Paul writes to the Galatians; Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew Greek, there is neither*slave nor freeman, there is neither male nor female;for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.
Frank Viola writes @ https://frankviola.org/ reading Pagan Christianity is almost required to prevent the mistakes of the past being reborn in the home style meetings, God forbid we drag dead altars in to the new life of Christ in our family style meetings. The very idea of “Clergy” is anathema to “Ekklesia” of the Body.
We have enjoyed reading and…………………………………………………………. the refreshing study both are fresh looks at the ways we Worship
Jon Zens writes; https://www.searchingtogether.org/articles.html
Copy of KJV, NASB, Click on underlined for Greek and more info online.
1 But the Spirit explicitlysays that in latertimessome will fallaway from the faith, payingattention to deceitfulspirits and doctrines of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liarsseared in their ownconscience as with a brandingiron, 3 men who forbidmarriage and advocate abstaining from foodswhichGod has created to be gratefully*shared in by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everythingcreated by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; 5 for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.
Especially pay attention to the Greek word in the verse. https://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/eucharistia.html
Read the message in today’s language, the Truth remains in all translations. God is Good to His Children in all things we need; physical and more importantly Spiritual needs and power in His Name.
Our reading list in pictures. Working on hyperlinks.
https://www.biblestudytools.com/msg/1-timothy/4.html Click for online reference
1 The Spirit makes it clear that as time goes on, some are going to give up on the faith and chase after demonic illusions put forth by professional liars. 2 These liars have lied so well and for so long that they’ve lost their capacity for truth. 3 They will tell you not to get married. They’ll tell you not to eat this or that food – perfectly good food God created to be eaten heartily and with thanksgiving by Christians! 4 Everything God created is good, and to be received with thanks. Nothing is to be sneered at and thrown out. 5 God’s Word and our prayers make every item in creation holy. 6 You’ve been raised on the Message of the faith and have followed sound teaching. Now pass on this counsel to the Christians there, and you’ll be a good servant of Jesus. 7 Stay clear of silly stories that get dressed up as religion.