Question on evangelism

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by Herald, Sep 11, 2005.

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  1. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Chris,
    Not that I disagree with anything you havce said, but for the record, do you agree with what Andrew has provided or are you taking this a step further?
     
  2. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    Jonathan,

    A long time ago, a very wise person told me, "If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...its a duck!" If I thought that an exegetical response would help convince Christopher, then I would have responded. I was so dismayed after reading both of his posts that I wondered if any response could sway him from his (In my humble opinion) unbiblical position. I doubt it would/will. Furthermore, I share many similar views with my Presbyterian brothers. But if the WCF is the standard by which this matter is decided, it is obvious that we are going to sharply disagree. I find disagreements of this magnitude passionately held to by both camps. If that is the case, I doubt much good comes from lobbing salvos back and forth.

    And Chris, for the record...YOU are the only one who is using Matthew 28. Many of my Baptist brethren, who share by point of view, do not use Matthew 28 as a proof text.



    [Edited on 9-16-2005 by BaptistInCrisis]
     
  3. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Bill,
    Aside from Chris' post, would you mind interacting with what Andrew has provided?
     
  4. ChristopherPaul

    ChristopherPaul Puritan Board Senior

    Andrew, well said.

    I have met with far too many Christians who are unfairly overwhelmed because they are not a C.S. Lewis when it comes to the Sigmund Freud´s they encounter. It is known that they are a follower of Jesus, so the sons of the devil interrogate. The genuine Christian is left defenseless. Does that mean they should have been ready and well studied on polemics and theological answers to the world´s attacks?

    The fact that certain Christians die believing in Christ is testimony to the irresistible grace of God. Some have no defense whatsoever to the scientific attacks against our faith. But they remain steadfast and thank God for those in the body who are gifted in such areas. Those gifted can and should thank God for those gifted in the other areas.

    Geesh, I truly mean to write a short post, but I can´t seem to. If I had more time available, perhaps I would be able to condense. Apologies.
    :banghead: ;)

    [Edited on 9-16-2005 by ChristopherPaul]

    [Edited on 9-16-2005 by ChristopherPaul]
     
  5. ChristopherPaul

    ChristopherPaul Puritan Board Senior

    Good day Scott!

    Andrew posted in between me hitting reply and submitting my post, so I missed it.

    I agree with what Andrew has provided.

    Cheers!
     
  6. ChristopherPaul

    ChristopherPaul Puritan Board Senior

    Bill:

    My intent is not to upset you. You are accusing me of some high crimes.

    Where am I off in my interpretation of Matthew 28?

    Do you believe it is every Christian´s responsibility to teach and baptize?
     
  7. JonathanHunt

    JonathanHunt Puritan Board Senior

    Bill

    What with Andrew's helpful (when is he ever not?) comments, and CP's tighter definition of what he MEANS, I think I find myself, whilst not a Presbyterian, broadly in agreement with the general drift here.

    The Arminian numbers-seeking philosophy is soul-destroying to the individual believer, but we also obviously avoid the extreme of hyper-calvinism by reminding ourselves that scripture shows that the Lord uses His people as instruments in His plans.

    I do agree that CP's original posts did seem dismaying, but in the light of his explanations I find them less so.

    With more time to think and ponder I could doubtless pick a few little holes but life's too short and besides, I have to get five more people saved by the end of the week otherwise my quota will not be met and I'll get humiliated in the Sunday Services...

    :lol:

    kidding...
     
  8. ChristopherPaul

    ChristopherPaul Puritan Board Senior

    Jonathan, I believe our mission as individual disciples will result in a witness to the world. By our love, by our unity, all men will come to the Church (John 17:23 and 1 John 3:14).

    We testify of Christ. An accurate testimony or witness is, "œI believe Jesus is the Christ, son of the living God." Because this testimony is true, good works should already be evident and the world notices that I have a hope within me. If my testimony and my resulting works draw them, then they should be glad to join the Church (through baptism) in order to begin discipleship (through learning all that Jesus commanded).

    As an individual Christian, I should stop at that. I testify to the hope I have. My devotion is to the Church, not to teaching and baptizing the lost as if I, myself am some sort of walking individual church.

    One may not even know why they believe theologically, but they cannot deny that they believe, and they are eager to learn all that Jesus commanded simply because they love Jesus.

    [Edited on 9-16-2005 by ChristopherPaul]
     
  9. ChristopherPaul

    ChristopherPaul Puritan Board Senior

    LOL!

    I expected the pitchforks, that is why I made the disclaimer in my original post. There is a line that we must be careful not to cross. We can be hyper-Calvinists by becoming elitists and ignoring the world, or we can be followers of Christ who are salt and light to the world through our unity and love.

    Grace!
     
  10. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    Okay, where do I go from here? Individual responses or the shotgun approach? For now, I am going to use by double ought buck shot.

    First off, I am acutely aware of the Areminian view of "witnessing." Get as many decisions for Christ as you can. Fill up the roles. I distance myself from that view of evangelism.

    Second, the position that unbelievers will be called via the faithful preaching/teaching of God's word within the context of the local church. I buy some of that. To the extent that a sinner will frequent a church that is preaching the gospel, CP's view is accurate. I never disagreed with that part of his premise. But it is unfair for CP to throw back at me as to whether I believe all believers are to teach and baptize. It is my position that those actions have no bearing on sharing the gospel with a lost sinner. I receive the impression from CP's posts (and I still hold to this opinion) that evangelizing is best left to those capable of teaching and baptizing. If that is his position, I sharply differ from him.

    All of us have members of our family that are unregenerate. If they were to die today they would go to hell. Add to that close friends, business associates and common acquaintances and we have a bevy of folks that we rub shoulder with who are foreign to the gospel of grace. I wonder what our approach should be to those who are closest to us who do not have faith in Christ? Do we simply invite them to church and pray the Lord uses the proclimation of His word to change them? Or do we reason with them from the scriptures, persuading (2 Cor. 5:11) them to place their faith in Christ alone?

    Remember, we are not to be wise in our estimation. I am always concerned about creating a caste system within Christianity. We are guilty of that when we divide believers into learned and unlearned. Ivory towers are often cold and inhospitable, even though they may be full of knowledge and learning. And lest I be accused of being anti-intellectual; I believe all believers should mature in their faith. This includes knowledge of the word and the history and customs of the church.

    I actually began this thread with a desire to understand different Reformed traditions in regards to evangelism. I was not expecting such sharp disagreement.
     
  11. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Yea, we cut it straight here.............:D
     
  12. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    Scott - straight? Sometimes it seems anyway but straight. ;) But I have quickly learned not to assume anything!
     
  13. ChristopherPaul

    ChristopherPaul Puritan Board Senior

    Bill, I appreciate your response. I am beginning to see where our conflict is. Basically the question has now become: is the gospel call, which is proclaiming Christ crucified, for all those indwelt by the Holy Spirit, hands, eyes, ears, feet, etc. while actually making disciples is for the Church alone which is made up of those indwelt by the Holy Spirit each doing their gifted part in unified love?

    Hmm, I see the dichotomy and wonder where the line is from teaching to simply proclaiming. Perhaps I am being too dogmatic, we shall hopefully find out.

    I certainly do not think every baby Christian should be guiding people through the scriptures as Philip did with the Eunuch, for instance. However, was Philip evangelizing to the lost or was he teaching? James did not permit many to become teachers within the church, but are we as individual saints free to teach those outside the church in order to persuade them?

    I would appreciate some input.
     
  14. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Bill,
    In all seriousness, there are many things that affect one's view. Do you disagree with what has been presented thus far above? If so, straighten us out........seriously. Present your case. This is what is so blessed about this board and the community of believers that are involved. I have yet to see where when someone presents an ironclad case, that people do not respond graciously and turn from error.
     
  15. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    Chris, lets look at Romans 15:14:


    The word for 'admonish' is "noutheteo." It means (Friberg), "admonish, warn, instruct, as giving instructions in regard to belief or behavior."

    It is interesting that Paul would use this word in regards the church in Rome. Paul addressed, "my brethren." Additionally he said, "you yourselves" and "one another." Paul was not writing to teachers only, but to all the brethren in Rome.

    What was Paul telling them? That they were, "filled with all knowledge" and "able also to admonish one another." They were able to teach one another. Paul was not drawing a distinction between learned an unlearned.

    Look now at another Pauline passage where the word "noutheteo"
    is used.


    In this passage the Greek word for "instruction" is "noutheteo." Paul uses the same word in Romans 15 as he does here. The contrast is striking. In Romans 15 Paul uses it in the context of all believers being able to instruct. In 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul uses it in the context of "those who diligently labor among you." Who are these who "diligently labor?" Today they would be church leaders (elders and pastors). The only parallel between these two passages is the word "noutheteo." In actuality these two passages are contrasts.

    The point?

    All Christians have the indwelling Holy Spirit and are able, to the level of their understanding and by the power of the Spirit, to "admonish" one another. If a believer can instruct another believer, why can they not share the gospel with an unbeliever? The answer? There is no good reason not to.

    Now let me touch a moment on the matter of balance. The Christian life needs a fulcrum. If we are too far to the right, we become so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good (to borrow a phrase). Our eloquence in matters pretaining to church and doctrine may be second to none. Yet we have no relevance in the world. We lose touch with the world we live in and appear to the world as holier-than-thou. But what of the far left? It is just as unbalanced. A passion for the souls of men, devoid of the power of God's word, is misplaced. An attitude of "save 'em and sign 'em up" is perversion of the grace of God. There must be a balance. I believe the bible lays the balance out clearly. I have quoted many verses in other posts that supports a passion for the lost and a command to preach the gospel. Chris has done a good job of pointing out the ecclesiastical commands of scripture. Both are relevant and necessary, but none stands independent from the other.

    Scott, in response to this comment:

    I have and I am again. But my original post was not about debating ecclesiastical vs. evangelistic pros and cons. I was simply asking about different methods of evangelism in Reformed circles. In Chris' earlier post, it seemed that there was no method of evangelism outside of the pulpit. I disagree with that. If that was truly Chris' position, then we must conclude that missionaries are in error since they are not a local church. Not every missionary is able to start a church. Many of them labor among remote people groups proclaiming the gospel. Some never see the fruit of their labors. Are we to conclude that if God wanted the pygmies to be saved that they would have sought out the nearest WCF proclaiming church?

    Again, I call myself back to my comment on balance. I will concede to Chris (which is really no concession, since I have held this position for years) that some are more apt to teach than others. These are the shepherds that lovingly watch over the flock of God. But even rank-and-file members of the flock have the indwelling Holy Spirit. As such they are able to proclaim God's word, both to each other and to the lost.


    Now what do we do with this balance? Glorify God and enjoy Him forever. But as for me? I sure would love to glorify Him with more sinners regenerated....especially members of my family for whom I grieve. In the end it is ordained by God for His glory. In that I trust.

    [Edited on 9-17-2005 by BaptistInCrisis]
     
  16. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Bill,

    You write:
    Again, the distinction needs to be made between witnessing and preaching (proclaiming).

    Do you believe they are the same things?

    Please, in your own words, define what the great commission is?



    [Edited on 9-17-2005 by Scott Bushey]
     
  17. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    Scott - yes and no (man...I hate it when someone answers that way to a question that I pose). Of course, let me explain...

    In the sense that witnessing is a attempt to impart knowledge of something (the persons depravity and sinfulness), and someone (the Lord Jesus Christ), then yes...witnessing is a form of teaching. But we know, from 1 Corinthians 2:14, that the natural man cannot understand the things of the Spirit of God. It is hard to teach someone who is spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1). We share the gospel prayerfully, hoping that the Lord will quicken the heart of the sinner unto salvation.

    Let me become a bit more practical. What actually is "witnessing?" In order to share the gospel with a sinner, does a believer have to exegete a complete biblical text, annotated, single-spaced and leather bound? No. In order to share the gospel with a sinner, can a believer share a verse? Personal testimony? An act of charity in Jesus' name that leads to a discussion about God? Handing out a gospel tract?* Yes. When we witness, we do so within our ability/knowledge and by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is not our responsibility to push for a decision for Christ. God is the One who has chosen the "foolishness of preaching" as the means by which sinners are called and converted. Once regenerated, the new believer is able to be taught. The new nature is now able to receive the things of the Spirit of God. This is not possible before regeneration.

    As for Matthew 28:19,20 (and Mark 16:15), I do understand that there is a specific command being given to the eleven. It is arguable that the Apostles were not able to go into "all the world" in their lifetime. I believe Acts 1:8 supports this. Were the Apostles able to reach the remotest parts of the earth? I suppose it depends on how you define "remotest part." From a literal normative approach, I take it to mean the remotest parts of the globe, not just the areas that the Apostle's feet would tread upon. I believe an exegetical argument could be made that we are also to "go" as a continuation of the command in Acts 1:8.

    Scott - but even if we disagree on the exegesis regarding witnessing, is it not something we should desire to do? This great grace which has saved us should reach a critical mass within us. To proclaim it to a lost and perishing world cannot be a great sin. It is God who will use His word to bring those He chooses into life.

    I suppose I have taken this personally, and for that I apologize. I never thought the issue of sharing ones faith in Christ was even open for debate.

    *The average gospel tract is a treatise on free will. I reject most of them. Thankfully there are a few that present the gospel biblically. John Piper has an excellent "give-a-way" booklet he has published that presents the gospel in a manner which accentuates the sovereignty of God.

    [Edited on 9-17-2005 by BaptistInCrisis]
     
  18. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Have all of us been ordained as teachers? The term is specific in the bible.........In fact, please show me where the term witness is even applied to other than teachers. I am more comfortable with the term sharing.

    Phm 1:1 Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our beloved fellow worker
    Phm 1:2 and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house:
    Phm 1:3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Phm 1:4 I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers,
    Phm 1:5 because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and all the saints,
    Phm 1:6 and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.

    There is an pertinent difference; there has to be, else the machine breaks down, which is exactly what has occured. Do I share? Absolutely!


    How is this accomplished practically? Again, does the common man preach? Men are saved by hearing the preached word. Can witnessing accomplish the task, I am sure of it. However, the overall goal should be to get the person to come to church, hear the preached message by one of Gods ordained, called servants, subsequently attaching themselves to the local church. My heart grieves for all the sharing I have done and never followed up with these people. The command is to make disciples; it is contrabiblical to witness and shake hands goodbye, leaving the person to the world and a lie that he is now saved because he agreed with our message. Outside of the church, there is no hope of salvation.

    I call this being salt and light........

    Correct. However, keep in mind, the HS will not work outside of Gods command and decree's, i.e. lawfully ordained men.


    Key word: Preaching. Lay people are not preachers & preachers are not laypeople.

    Who is responsible for that teaching?

    Agreed.

    All 11 were ordained by Christ.

    True, they were to pass the keys and ordain more officers for the job that Christ ordained them with.

    ~See above statement

    Having defined the terms, historically Bill, no one agree's with your interpretation.


    We all should share what God has done. We all should be a statement of Christ, a love letter; salt and light. We all should be able to give a reason for the hope that is in us. Lets leave the preaching to the officers called and ordained by Christ.

    I suggest doing a Greek study on the words #2097, 2098, 2099 and compare them to the texts. You will be surprised.

    [Edited on 9-17-2005 by Scott Bushey]
     
  19. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    Scott - what do you make of Romans 15:14 vs. 1 Thessalonians 5:12,13? I commented on these two passages in a previous post? While the passage in Romans is not ordaining laypeople as ministers of the gospel, it seems that they are able, and expected, to teach (noutheteo).

    Interested in your interpretation.

    Thanks.
     
  20. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    Scott - I am not ignoring your first paragraph, but in my opinion I find this quote to be the heart of your argument (as far as I am concerned).

    I attended a well known bible institute in New York State. We were encouraged to persuade people to make decisions for Christ. A weak attempt was made to introduce these new "converts" to a solid bible teaching church. I share your grief in that area. I can literally weep for those who may think they are saved based on a verbal prayer. But that does not mean "sharing" ones faith is wrong, just because some have abused the privelege. I know you would agree with that.

    When you say, "Outside of the church, there is no hope of salvation" are you suggesting that no one can come to faith without A) Doing so within the actual brick-and-mortar building B) Doing so under the formal authority of the church C) Another explanation I do not understand? Your statement makes me question the work of missionaries. Missionaries are usually not under the formal authority of a local church (even though they are sent and supported by churches). Are they rouge evangelists?


    Scott, I agree...we should all be "salt and light" (to borrow your term). That is what I term "witnessing" and you term "sharing." Semantics? It seems that way. I do not question your commitment to share your faith in Christ. As far as the preaching, I agree that formal teaching of the "logos" should be from trained men. You state that this preaching should be from "officers called and ordained by Christ." I will accept your statement, even though Baptist churches may grant more latitude in this area. For example, in our church the ability to teach is not granted based on a formal church position. If there is a brother who is well trained in the word, possesses the ability, has the desire, and whose life is one of observable character, he may be given the opportunity to preach/teach.

    As the rhetoric cools (mostly from my end), it seems we are more in agreement than we are apart.
     
  21. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    I think the problem may be that some believe only in crisis-conversion, whereas the reformed seem to believe more in process-conversion. In the first instance, someone hears the gospel, believes it instantly and maybe says a prayer for the first time. In the latter, one might share one's faith with someone, that person starts to take an interest, then can start coming to church and hearing the preached Word, while learning what Christians do and how they think, i.e. discipleship. It may be that the person comes to faith at some point in this process. This doesn't mean that there are no crisis-conversions, only that they aren't the only kind. Typical "4-Spiritual-Laws" evangelism is geared toward a crisis approach. Even when such conversions occur, we are responsible to teach them to observe all that has been commanded and to be baptized.
     
  22. Steve Owen

    Steve Owen Puritan Board Sophomore

    I think that if we could actually get a glimpse into hell, wec would have a very different view of the importance of evangelism. Our friends, relations, maybe even children are heading in that direction. Will we wait for an 'ordained preacher' to come and minister to them? It sounds like an excuse for inactivity to me! :mad:

    Consider Acts 8:4. 'Therefore those who were scattered [by Saul's persecution] went everywhere preaching the word.' These guys weren't 'ordained'; they were ordinary Christians, and pretty new ones as well. The word translated 'preach' here is laleo which literally means to 'chat' or 'gossip.' They just took every opportunity to tell anyone they met about the Lord Jesus.

    And look what came of that! 'Now those who were scattered by the persecution that arose over Stephen travelled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, preaching [laleo again] the word to no one but the Jews only. But some of them ............ spoke to the Hellenists, preaching [euangelizo, to 'tell good news'] the Lord Jesus.
    And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number turned to the Lord
    (Acts 11:19-20 ).

    Now were these people officially ordained to do this work? Absolutely not! The apostles didn't even know it was going on at first. Look at v21. 'Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabus to go as far as Antioch.'

    If these people had waited to be asked about Jesus, waited until they understood their doctrine better, waited until they were ordained, the Church might never have got started. And the same thing happened in the Great Awakening. If you don't like the Wesleyans, consider the Calvinistic Methodists in Wales. Howel Harris was never ordained but he led hundreds, if not thousands, to the Lord. The C.Ms didn't do their own ordinations until about 85 years after Harris began his ministry, yet they were blessed with one revival after another.

    There are hundreds of ordained ministers in the Church of England today who wouldn't know the Gospel if it bit them on the leg! Give me a non-ordained man any day, who may never have been to seminary, may not know Greek or Hebrew, but who knows by personal acquaintance what the Gospel is, and is not ashamed to preach it.

    Grace & Peace,

    Martin
     
  23. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    Matthew Henry on Acts 8.1:

     
  24. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Bill,
    You are making this text (Rom 15) say what it does not intend.

    G3560
    νουθετεÌω
    noutheteō
    noo-thet-eh'-o
    From the same as G3559; to put in mind, that is, (by implication) to caution or reprove gently: - admonish, warn.

    Do a word comparison in the Greek. This has nothing to do with teaching. Some of the poorer translations actually use the word teach. This is not accurate. The better interpretation intended is to warn or reprove. Do the comparison and you will see.

    [Edited on 9-18-2005 by Scott Bushey]
     
  25. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Andrew,
    You beat me to the punch again!

    To believe that these dispersed saints were sheep without a shepherd is ludicrous. Martin, with all due respect, this thinking shows a fracture of sorts in your ecclesiology. One would normally understand this in light of Gods ordained government that is in place. Unless of course you are prepared to state that at this point there was not a structure in place, hence Christs church wasn't prevailing. believers without leadership is not a church.
     
  26. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    As I have stated, we all should be ready to give the reason for the hope that is in us........

    Of course not. A building does not a Christian make.

    Yes. Whenever I am sharing, witnessing, I represent, my local church and eldership. I can be taken up on charges by them if I say something abberant. In this, we are all under formal authority.

    All missionaries are sent. They all are under local church authority. I have no idea where you have come up with this? Even in the baptist churches I have been part of held to this.

    Thanks for your patience Bill. :amen:

    [Edited on 9-18-2005 by Scott Bushey]
     
  27. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    Since I seem to be the only Baptist posting in this thread I suppose the "crisis-conversion" term may be directed at me? If so, let me put you at rest. When I share my faith in Christ, I do not demand an immediate response. I used to. In my 'free willy' past I would always seek to, "close the deal." But with my soteriological flaws corrected, I no longer expect an immediate response. I do leave it in the hands of God (where it belongs). If the sinner is moved by God to repent at that moment, then so be it. I do invite the person to church. While the church is intended for believers, sinners will be sitting under the conviction of the Word of God. If their conversion is secured while in the house of God, then so be it!
     
  28. Herald

    Herald Administrator Staff Member

    :lol: Scott, I didn't come up with it...I'm just asking!

    You know, when I became a Calvinist (about eight years ago) I knew nothing about the Reformed faith through the eyes of the PCA or the CRC. I had heard of John Calvin and the WCF, but they were abstract to me. Being a good "free willy" Baptist, it was seldom that I heard Reformed theology or other reformers referred to in a good light. So how much of my current point of view is due to the fact that the majority of my Christian life has been in a Baptist church? Probably to the same extent that you have been PCA. But I am trying to shed the trappings of tradition when they conflict with the clear teaching of scripture.

    I have a hard time with, what appears to me, to be a church government that extracts hard demands on its members. That is my knee jerk reaction to Presbyterianism. Please do not interpret my comment as slam. I realize that many Presb. traditions and customs are foreign to me. Sometimes it seems (to me) that the WCF supercedes scripture. I know you will say this is not the case, and I want to trust you on that. It is just the way it seems. I am trying hard to understand. I really am. But sometimes I just don't get it :banghead:

    In any event, while you and I may differ on semantics, I feel much better with you explanations. The only thing additional I would offer is that we, as the church, should seek opportunities to share our faith in Christ. Considering the depth of theological knowledge on this message board, I have no doubt that the gospel would be well presented if a sinner came asking. I suppose my admonition is that we genuinely seek these opportunities.
     
  29. Steve Owen

    Steve Owen Puritan Board Sophomore

    You (and Henry, whom I much admire) may read that into the text if you wish, but it's not there. Look at Acts 8:1-3- 'They were all scattered...' And again, As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.'

    So there were ordained preachers in every house, were there? And some of the 'ordained preachers' were women?

    With the greatest respect, if your ecclesiology forces you to read your presuppositions into the plain words of Scripture, it may be time to look again at your ecclesiology.

    Grace & Peace,

    Martin
     
  30. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Martin,
    I'll ask again; Did these people have shepherds or not? Or did God just leave all these people to fen for themselves? If they didn't then Christs church was not prevailing as he decreed. Which is it, it cannot be both???

    Just because they had homes does not mean that they didn't congregate. Even the apostles gathered in the upper room after Christ was crucified for fear.

    Joh 21:17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

    Keeping in mind that all households generally had federal heads, i.e. fathers/mothers whom were responsible to teach. However, the teaching that is going on in these capacities cannot be compared with that of a worship service where lawfully ordained individuals are leading congregations.

    Presuppositions??? Where, because we believe God commands a government in His church? :um:

    [Edited on 9-18-2005 by Scott Bushey]
     
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