Sunday, August 2

Local Church Membership and City Church

David Rogers has done an excellent job addressing Local Church Membership and City Church. I reproduce his article below and invite you to join the discussion going on here of a topic few seem willing to tackle. What do you think about David's questions at the end of the article?

On previous occasions, I have argued in favor of the view that the New Testament Church is expressed (in addition to in other ways and on other levels) on a citywide level (see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here & here). At the same time, I think there is good evidence that a plurality of individual house churches existed within at least several of the cities of the New Testament world. What is not so clear is the degree of autonomy with which each of these individual house churches functioned. Did each house church, for instance, have its own separate elder or elders? Were there always a plurality of elders at the house church level? As far as I can tell, with the possible exception of the “angels” or “messengers” of the churches of Revelation 2 & 3, every mention of citywide churches and elders in the New Testament assumes a plurality of elders at the citywide level. What is not so clear is whether or not each individual house church had its own elders, or, if they did, whether they were always plural, or at times singular.

Some of the passages that have a bearing on this question are the following:

Hebrews 13:7 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.

Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.

Hebrews 13:24 Greet all your leaders and all God’s people. Those from Italy send you their greetings.

Titus 1:5 The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.

Acts 14:23 Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.

Acts 20:17-18, 28-30 From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church. When they arrived, he said to them: … Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.
It is evident (at least, to me) that the church today is not organized exactly as it was in New Testament times. As Baptists, we claim to be restorationists in our ecclesiology; that is, we claim to base our ecclesiology on a desire to return, as much as possible, to the New Testament model, and do the things we do, as churches, according to biblical criteria.

In New Testament times, for example, there were no denominational divisions. As I understand it (at least according to the biblical ideal), neither were there racial or social divisions within the church. The “church of Ephesus” or the “church of Corinth” or the “church of Philippi” was composed of every single person living in each of those cities who was an authentic believer in and disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In a lot of ways it is probably unrealistic to be consistently restorationist in our approach. Sometimes, in order to go back to the way things were in New Testament times, we would have to sacrifice other elements in our ecclesiology that serve as good safeguards for possible abuses. However, in keeping with a consistent restorationist mindset, I believe we should be aware of possible inconsistencies in our ecclesiology, and continually ask ourselves if there are not ways we could reform ourselves even more than we already have in order to come closer in line with the New Testament model.

For example, it is evident from what we read in the Bible that New Testament Christians met together with each other on a regular basis.

Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

It also seems to me that some believers within a particular city were considered as being associated with or belonging to a particular subgroup of the church of that city, very possibly (as I see it) one of the individual house churches that jointly made up the church of the city (see Romans 16, et al). It seems likely (at least, to me) that the believers also met together on occasions with the believers from other house churches within their city (Acts 2:46; 1 Corinthians 11:20; 14:23).

However, can we make the jump, on the basis of biblical evidence, that each believer considered themselves to be members of individual congregations on a house church level?

As I understand it, a key to answering this question hinges on the use of the phrase “your leaders,” which occurs three times in Hebrews chapter 13. The author of Hebrews apparently distinguished between Christian leaders who might rightly be regarded as the leaders of the individual receptors of the epistle of Hebrews, and other Christian leaders who were not specifically their leaders. Verse 17 appears to me to be particularly significant in this regard. As I understand this verse, certain leaders were expected to “watch over” certain believers and to “give an account” for them. This implies (if I am understanding this verse correctly) that there were other believers over whom they were not expected to “watch over” or to “give an account,” at least not in the same way as those particular believers who looked to these men as their leaders.

Acts 20:28-30 appears to allude to a similar dynamic. The elders of the church in Ephesus were admonished by Paul to “keep watch over … all the flock of which the Holy Spirit [had] made [them] overseers” and were to “be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.” Although it is possible to interpret this as referring to a broader group than just the believers in Ephesus, or to the hypothetical members of the particular house church in which each elder served, it makes more sense to me to see the responsibility of oversight and shepherding as a specifically local responsibility. It is a separate question whether or not they each exercised this responsibility individually, or if they exercised it collectively (e.g. if all of the Ephesians elders jointly exercised collective oversight over all of the church of Ephesus).

An additional factor that I believe plays into this is that, logically speaking, in order for someone to effectively “watch over” someone else and “give account” for them, it would be necessary to have a personal relationship with them, and to have a pretty good idea of what was going on in their life. In a smaller group, this would normally not be a problem. However, once a group reaches a certain size, the more and more difficult it becomes for a “leader” or an “elder” to truly “watch over” and “give an account” for every member of the group, or for even a team of “leaders/elders” to do so effectively.

Thus, it seems to me that each believer ought to have spiritual leaders they consider to be their leaders, and that the elders/leaders of a church ought to be clear about who specifically comprises that part of the flock of God of which the Holy Spirit has made them overseers. As far as I can tell, the Bible does not give us specific instructions about exactly how this is to be accomplished. However, it seems to me to be a valid inference that special care should be taken to see to it that no one “slips between the cracks.” Each individual believer ought to have some spiritual leader who knows them personally, watches over them, shepherds them, and gives account of them before the Lord.

It would also seem that each individual elder ought to have someone who shepherds them. I think it is likely due to this concern that very early in church history a system of leadership hierarchy developed, and a distinction was made between the role of bishop and elder. The responsibility of the bishop was to watch over, shepherd, and give account of the other elders.

The problem with this was that it eventually became a recipe for tyranny and corruption within the church. As early as the late first century, Ignatius of Antioch made the argument that the unity of the church hinged upon cooperation with and submission to the local bishop. I think he was almost certainly sincere and well motivated in his thinking on this point. However, what he was not able to foresee was that legitimate appointment and ordination as an elder/bishop through a pure line of apostolic succession did not necessarily safeguard someone from doctrinal error and moral corruption. Wishful thinking, perhaps. Subsequent history, however, was to reveal that faithful adherence to the teachings of Jesus and the apostles through the written records of the New Testament canon is a better safeguard for the orthodoxy and orthopraxy of the church than ordination and apostolic succession.

As best as I can understand it, one of the main reasons (if not the main reason) behind the Baptist distinctives of local church autonomy and local church membership is to guarantee the freedom of the individual believer, within the context of a system of mutual accountability, to seek out and attempt to follow the will of God as revealed in Scripture on their own apart from the coercive imposition of an episcopal hierarchy. However, this does not necessarily mean adopting, at the same time, a philosophy of “to each his own.” As Christians, we are called upon to be mutually submissive one to another, and hold each other accountable in our walk with the Lord. And within this system of mutual accountability, those who are recognized as leaders or elders have a special responsibility to watch over, shepherd, and give account of those other believers of whom the Holy Spirit has made them overseers.

At the same time, I think it is evident that the one another admonitions of the New Testament were not meant to be carried out at only a congregational or local house church level. In a very real way, we are expected to love, exhort, teach, encourage, and hold accountable all of the members of the Body of Christ, to the degree this is possible, even if they are not members of our particular congregation or house church. Evidently, the degree we are able to do this in any practical manner will depend on the level of personal relationships we are able to develop with other believers. And, we can never expect to develop a truly close, personal relationship with all of our brothers and sisters in Christ spread throughout the world. I do think, however, that we have a responsibility to do what we can, especially at a citywide level, to get to know each other better, and to carry out a more meaningful dynamic of body life and mutual accountability among us as the Body of Christ in our locality.

Several interesting side questions to this are the following:

1. Does it necessarily follow, from what I have written here, that every believer should be a member of one and only one local congregation at a time?

2. Is there a biblical basis for condemning church-hopping?

3. How do we, in the current modern-day denominational church system, best watch over, shepherd, and keep account of all the believers in our city?

4. What about our present-day large congregations, which are much larger than the New Testament house churches? Is official membership in a mega-church really a sufficient safeguard of mutual accountability and the watching over, shepherding, and giving account for each of the members of that congregation? Should not the church also be organized in such a way so that each member has at least one “leader” who knows them personally, and feels personally responsible for watching over, shepherding, and giving account of them?

What do you think? Does what I have written here seem biblically faithful to you? Why or why not? How would you answer these side questions from a biblical perspective? Are there other issues that what I have written here bring up that apply to the way we, as Baptists, and as Evangelicals, “do church”?

I think David has made a good case. What do you think?

36 comments:

A. Amos Love said...

Guy

We seem to spend a lot of time and energy
trying to figure out how to do church.

It’s becomeing like computers and technology,
every year there is a new model.

Books, CD’s, Confrences, Seminars, etc.

And they all go back to what is supposed
to be the NT model.

I have a question. Why?

Why are we trying to figure out
the NT form of doing church anyway?

What about when God tells us
over and over again to forget the past?
And not think about the future?

Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God.
He taketh away the first,
that he may establish the second.
Heb 10:9

Remember ye not the former things,
neither consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing;
now it shall spring forth.
Isaiah 43:18-19

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:
but this one thing I do,
forgetting those things which are behind,
and reaching forth unto those things
which are before,
I press toward the mark for the prize
of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14

And Jesus said unto him,
No man, having put his hand to the plough,
and looking back,
is fit for the kingdom of God.
Luke 9:62


Remember Lot's wife.
Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it;
and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.
Luke 17:32-33

Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire
from the LORD out of heaven;
And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain,
and all the inhabitants of the cities,
and that which grew upon the ground.
But his wife looked back from behind him,
and she became a pillar of salt.
Genesis 19:24-26

Now the just shall live by faith:
but if any man draw back,
my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
Hebrews 10:38

That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth;
and he that sweareth in the earth
shall swear by the God of truth;
because the former troubles are forgotten,
and because they are hid from mine eyes.
For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth:
and the former shall not be remembered,
nor come into mind.
Isaiah 65:16-18

Therefore
if any man be in Christ,
he is a new creature:
old things are passed away;
behold, all things are become new.
2Co 5:17

Jesus didn’t restore the religious system
He set up originally. He left it.
Did something new? Hmmm.

Didn’t man mess up that system
with all the rules and regulations?



Jesus didn’t stop there, not only did He leave,
He called others out, to follow Him,
out of “the religious system of the day.”

Doesn’t a disciple of Christ
learn directly from Jesus?

Doesn’t disciple mean learner, student?

Thus a student of Christ.

Maybe the religious sytem that we see
isn’t working because we haven’t
figured out what a disciple is or looks like?

Are we true disciples of Christ?
Or have we become disciples of a religious system?

Are we being taught by the Spirit? Or man?

Are those we think are disciples
taught by the spirit? Or the religious system?

Are we blind guides leading the blind?

Here’s a teaser for you.

How come, Paul, in all his epistles,
never mentions disciples of Christ?
Or the making of disciples of Christ?

Religion is the system not the relationship.

Peace and joy as you search for truth.

In His Service, By His Grace.

A. Amos Love said...

Guy

1st Samuel chapter 8 is about God's people rejecting God’s leadership for that of a man,
A King, to be like the other people.
God was not happy but he gave them what
they wanted and said to Samuel;

"they have not rejected thee,
but they have rejected me,
that “I should not reign over them."

Jesus told to His disiples
not to be called master/leader.
Because there is one master/leader the Christ.

Has the system today rejected God,
that God should not “reign” over them?

They all seem to want leaders
or to be a leader. Why?

Didn’t God say He wants to lead?

For “the leaders” of this people
cause thee to err;
and they that are led of them are destroyed.
Isaiah 9:16

O my people, “they which lead thee”
cause thee to err,
and destroy the way of thy paths.
Isaiah 3:12

My people hath been lost sheep:
“their shepherds”
have caused them to go astray...
Jeremiah 50:6

And other sheep I have,
which are not of this fold:
them also I must bring,
and they shall hear my voice;
and there shall be one fold,
and one shepherd.
John 10:16

One Voice- One Fold - One Shepherd.
If Not Now; When?

Be blessed.

In His Service. By His Grace.

GuyMuse said...

Amos,

Thank you again for taking the time and effort to express your thoughts about the various things shared here on the M Blog.

I think David's point is less about trying to figure out "how to do church" and more along the lines of affirming the the church is made up of all believers in a city/region. Once this truth begins to settle in, there are huge consequences. So much of the "strange sounding" portions of Paul's writings begin to make so much more sense. Such as the "7 One's" of Ephesians 4:

There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

What implications does ONE BODY, ONE SPIRIT, ONE HOPE, ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM, ONE GOD imply? How does this truth translate into the way we go, make disciples, baptize, and teach? Certainly much differently than we currently engage the issues!

Again, thanks for your input. I always read with interest what you have to share.

A. Amos Love said...

Guy

I certainly agree.

"What implications does ONE BODY, ONE SPIRIT, ONE HOPE, ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM, ONE GOD imply? How does this truth translate into the way we go, make disciples, baptize, and teach? Certainly much differently than we currently engage the issues!"

Making disciples, discipleship, teaching, etc.

I have discovered another way.

I quit - I quit - I quit - I quit.

I'm now letting Jesus build His church,
make disciples and do the teaching.

People have been trying to do that for 2000 yrs.

How's that been working? Huh?
What have we got? A mess, right?

I've found a whole bunch of things that God has
asked me to do in His word that I can't do.

Oh no some say. God wouldn't ask us to
do something we couldn't do.

Oh yea I say.

He asked the Israelites to obey only 10 simple commandments for a starter.

How are they doing?
Lots of dead lambs over the years. eh?

He asked Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree
of the knowledge of Good and evil.

They didn't do so good and neither do we.
We eat from that tree everyday and go around
judging this is good and this is evil.

There was a time when they only knew God.

Jesus said, you can't serve two masters. Right.

Does that mean serving six or seven masters is okay. Haven't counted, probably a lot more.

Love my enemies. Pray without ceasing.
Willing to lose my life. Repent.
Love unconditionally. Humble myself.
Consider others more highly than myself.
Submit one to another.

You get my drift.

Some would say you have to keep trying.

I say try and touch your nose.

People put there hand up
and don't know what to do for a moment.
Then they touch there nose.

I say, no good you touched it.

Trying is lying.

You either touch your nose or you don't.
No such thing as trying.

As far as making disciples of Christ;
all I've managed to do is make disciples of Amos.
Or the religious system I belonged to.

Almost impossible to make someone hear
His voice and follow Christ.
Not my voice and following me and what I do.

Most don't want to hear His voice
and be led by Jesus. They would rather
hear from a man and be led by a man.

Most don't care to be a student of Christ.
A learner of Christ. have jesus teach them.
To be led by the spirit and not man.

The good news i am seeing God do those things.

We enter into His rest when
we cease from our own works.

Jesus loves me this I know.

GuyMuse said...

Amos,

I don't know if we are trying to say the same thing, or not. But I understand Jesus gave us the command to MAKE DISCIPLES, BAPTIZE, AND TEACH. His part is to "build His church". If we will do our part, He will certainly do his!

There have been many times I wanted to quit, quit, quit, quit, but Jesus wants to do His work IN and THROUGH me--if I will only let Him do what it is He wants to do! One must "quit" trying to do the work in the flesh, and allow the Spirit who indwells to be the One who does. Are we saying the same thing?

A. Amos Love said...

Part 1

Guy

Much respect for your service...

“But I understand Jesus gave us the command
to MAKE DISCIPLES, BAPTIZE, AND TEACH.”

Okay... teach what?

Teaching them to observe all things
whatsoever I have commanded you.
Mt 28:20

It is written in the prophets,
And they shall be all taught of God.
John 6:45

But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost,
whom the Father will send in my name,
he shall teach you all things...
John 14:26

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come,
he will guide you into all truth...
John 16:13

Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are
heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me;
for I am meek and lowly in heart:
and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.
Matthew 11:28-30

To His disciples Jesus said,
But be not ye called *Rabbi:
for one is your *Master, [even] Christ;
Matthew 23:8

*Rabbi - Dictionary - an ordained teacher.

*Rabbi - Strongs #4461 rhabbi {hrab-bee'}
a title used by the Jews to address their teachers.

*Master - Strongs - a guide, teacher, master.

Sounds like Jesus wants to be “The Teacher.”

Isn't that what we are to teach?
And trust no man?
Let no man deceive you?

False apostles, many false prophets,
false teachers, false Christ's, false brethren,
and the list goes on.

I haven't figured out how to make
a disciple of Christ.
Someone who is capable of learning from Jesus.
Someone who is capable of hearing His voice.
Someone who gets revelation directly from Jesus.
Yes, I’ve tried. And I’ve Cried; a lot. Jesus Help.
Read a lot of books. Results - poor at best.
Church goers are one thing, but disciples. Hmmm.

Jesus Himself was only left with twelve at the end.
The others all left Him. His words were too hard.
And they saw the miracles.

Even Jesus said,
...I do nothing of myself; but as
my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.
John 8:28

When Peter told Jesus,
Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Jesus, obviously the greatest teacher ever,
didn’t take the credit.

Instead He said Peter was blessed, for two reasons.
1- Flesh and blood, man, didn’t “teach” Him.
2- The Father, God, revealed it to Him,
from another realm, the spirit realm.

Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona:
for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee,
but my Father which is in heaven.
Mt 16:17

If Jesus didn’t want the credit, then neither do I.
Most of the time : - )

Also Paul, when Jesus called him he said,
...immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
Galatians 1:16

Jesus, Peter, Paul, received it directly from God.

Do we lead people to ourselves and not to Jesus?

A. Amos Love said...

Part 2

I’m now at the place,(subject to change)
where I quit - I quit - I quit- I quit
wanting to be the teacher, a teacher,
a disciple maker, a leader or
what ever feeds my flesh.

I’ll spend hours and days with people, or not,
but they have to want to hear from Jesus
and be His disciple, not mine.

And there is quite a price to pay.

A disciple forsakes all...
Counts all things dung...
Just wants to know Him...
Loves not the world...
Loves not his own life...
Gives thanks for all things... All things? Yes.
Denys himself and picks up his cross daily...
Counts all the shame joy, for what's before him...
Those that are married act as though they're not...

I believe you could add a few.

I now believe it’s only Jesus who can rebuke, chastise, scourge, (scourge - that’s a tough one) those he loves
into becoming a disciple of Christ and look at that list
and rejoice. Yes, it’s all worth it.

I constantly ask people who have a question,
What is Jesus telling you to do?
Did you ask Jesus?
He said my sheep hear my voice.
Do you hear from Him? No.
Maybe your not His sheep?

If Jesus could speak this whole creation into being.
Speaking to one of His sheep would be easy.

Learn to hear His voice. Let Jesus teach you.

Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice,
that he might instruct thee:
Deuteronomy 4:36

Thank you for the time and effort
you put into this blog.

I enjoy the communion, koinonia, fellowship.
Doing this in remembrance of Jesus.
And causing me to think.
Remembering His death,
burial and resurrection until he comes.
May Jesus be glorified
in all our stumblings and wanderings.

Then they that feared the LORD
spake often one to another:
and the LORD hearkened, and heard it,
and a book of remembrance
was written before him
for them that feared the LORD,
and that thought upon his name.
Malachi 3:16

Be Blessed

ianvincent said...

David raises many pertinent questions for today, and there's many relevant issues which many thinking Christians often wonder about.

a. Ignatious. Agreed with David, it seems Ignatious was a real believer, yet he jettisoned the Apostle's teaching on government. Bishop/overseer was/is a synonym for Elder, and they are always plural. Ignatious changed that and made Bishop into an office higher than Elder, and yes, since that time it promoted corruption and heirarchical power.

b. Amos, at the top of your post you've used a number of Scriptures to try and say that we should not look to the NT pattern, however not one of them relates to the topic of church government or function, as the Apostles are the foundation, with Jesus Christ the chief cornerstone.

c. Have you ever listened to someone preach or teach a whole sermon on how the Holy Spirit is the teacher and not man? No one ever stands up and asks them to be quiet 'bcos we want the Holy Spirit to teach us and not men' ?

d. I agree with much that Amos has said, though.

e. Where we live in India we function as an organic relational group. So far, everything has happened relationally. We do have a real sense that the Head of the Church, Jesus, has been in the midst and we gather unto Him, and look to find what He is doing by His Spirit, IN and WITH His people.

f. Simplicity has been the outcome of Him in our midst. Whenever we meet it's totally up to the Holy Spirit what happens and what gifts are in use.

g. The authority of the Scriptures is given prominence in the way we approach teaching. This emboldens believers to step out in faith and bring a teaching, bcos it is the Truth of Scripture that is the authority, and not them, and this revelation empowers every believer to boldly preach and teach the Word in all simplicity and humility.

ianvincent said...

David touched on the question of whether the pristine original city-wide church will be restored. It would be wonderful, but Bible prophecy doesn't suggest such a thing happening in the last days. Darby (i'm not a follower) used a good illustration about the end time churches, he said it is a matter of building in the midst of a church which is in a state of ruin and desolation. Like trying to function normally in a war zone, amid chaos. I agree. I think that's the way it's going to be till Christ Jesus bodily returns to judge and rule the nations. It's going to be organic groups whom the LORD has raised up and each group is comforted to know that it is the LORD who is orchestrating the Body of Christ.

This way, if someone questions just how Biblical our group is, we can joyfully say, we are doing all we can with what God has given us under the circumstances He has placed us in.

GuyMuse said...

Amos,

There are many places where I could jump in and comment on what you write, but will take you up on this one...

You write, I constantly ask people who have a question,
What is Jesus telling you to do?
Did you ask Jesus? He said my sheep hear my voice. Do you hear from Him? No. Maybe your not His sheep?


Could it have less to do with their not being His sheep, and more with sheep not knowing how to hear their Master's voice? I think many sincere Christians want to know and follow their Lord's voice, but are confused by the many voices going on inside their head. How is one to distinguish the Shepherd's voice, from all the other voices in our heads?

I have a draft already of a blog post dealing with this very issue, but would be interested in your insights.

GuyMuse said...

Ian,

Several good points you make in your comments above. But the one that resonates the loudest with me is your final statement,

This way, if someone questions just how Biblical our group is, we can joyfully say, we are doing all we can with what God has given us under the circumstances He has placed us in.

To me this shows that you aren't just talking theory, but are doing your best to live out these things under the circumstances wherein you find yourself.

I have often felt frustrated that a lot of what we are seeing isn't "ideal" in the sense of what I think it should be. Yet, I would rather be doing what we are doing--warts and all--than simply theorizing about it. Seems that many who believe these things, aren't really living them in their own walk and experience.

Hang in there and keep on keeping on!

A. Amos Love said...

Hearing His voice is simple.

All you have to be is desperate. { ;o )

I was tired of being deceived by man,
and tired of deceiving myself.

I became more serious with God and said,
I’m not doing anything unless you tell me to.
You have to speak to me so I can understand.

You talked with all these people
Adam and Eve, Abraham, King David,
the prophets. How many times did they say,
the Lord said, God said, etc.etc.

In my experience, most people don’t really want
to hear His voice.

Like the Israelites in the wilderness,
They said, Moses, you go talk to God,
we’ll talk to you.

One of the first stumbling blocks
is you have to be willing to do
what he asks you to do.

Does the kindness and severity of God
ring a bell.

He says some wonderful and kind things
to calm our fears and how we feel
about ourselves.

Then he says, yes, this crucifixion is for you.

I’ve poured out my life to help folks.
And my wallet. Well it’s all His, right?
But hey, only one leper came back to say
thank you to Jesus.

People would wear me out.
And curse me out. Tell me to get lost.
I thought I was supposed to serve them.

Then one day Jesus speaks to me and says,

You are not to serve people you’re to serve me.

Now in serving Jesus you’ll serve people,
but it’s different. Way different.

I only have to serve those who Jesus tells me to.

Only give money when He says. It is His, right?

Now when they refuse to listen, or tell me to get lost,
or, you fill in the blanks, the disappointments,
the heartache. those things that bring on the tears.

Now it’s, okay Lord what's next.
Because I’m serving Christ not people.

Hey, on the website I gave you there’s a page about hearing His voice.

http://web.me.com/love101/love/His_Voice.html

There are 4 pages of just scriptures
on hearing His voice
in PDF that you can download.

Also, They shall be all taught of God.

I used to copy them and give them away because I foolishly thought that most people would be excited about having true communion
with the creator.

Now I just give people the website and say,
if you want to hear His voice just keep reading
the scriptures until you believe them.
Until you believe God. Until you hear God.

You are welcome to use the information
as you wish.

Everything there is free of charge.

There is also info on the webpage.
You can highlight it and copy it if it works for you.

As far as those “sincere christians” wanting to
hear His voice among all the other voices.

You had a post recently.
The best way to start a church is to start a church.

The best way to hear His voice is to hear His voice.

For me it was; Can Jesus really speak to people?
I started to ask people to listen for His voice
right now.

When they asked me a question,
I would ask, what did Jesus say?

They would look at me kind of funny.
Then I’d say, Jesus said, my sheep her my voice.
Do you belong to Him? Amazingly most say yes.

Well he created everything by speaking
so speaking to you would be easy. right? Yes again.

Then I ask. Would you like to have an adventure
and try an experiment? What’s that?

Just close your eyes for twenty seconds now and see if Jesus will talk to you and answer your question.

It’s amazing how many people just close their eyes
and listen. Some say they don’t hear anything,
often I’ll say okay try again.

Often the presence of God just fills the person.

It’s amazing, wonderful, just thinking about it.

Try it you’ll like it. Even with unbelievers.

They often sense the presence of God.
And some times they do hear from God.

Keep me posted. Let me know what happens.

Be blessed.

Mark Finger said...

Strange how so many 'church leaders' in the traditional church are afraid to trust God's children to His leading and instruction: rather, they feel as if they have to 'run the service' so that His people won't get out of control and that 'the service' will 'flow' well. We have to ask ourselves, "Who is the Chief Personality of our assemblies?"

In my house, it is God.

And in the New Testament, we find examples of how Holy Spirit inspired assemblies are commanded to relate to one another.

Interesting comments ....

Peace

GuyMuse said...

Amos,

Thanks for the link. This is a great resource of Bible verses for understanding what Scripture says about hearing God's voice.

You are right, many do not want to hear God's voice. To hear means we have to respond to what it is we hear. Sometimes that interferes with our religion!

Mark,

Thanks for stopping by, and for the comment. Do you have a website or blog we might check out?

Mark said...

http://www.theholymount.blogspot.com/

Been reading here off and on for a while ...

Peace!

Mark

ianvincent said...

On unbelievers hearing the voice of God:

John 16:8 And when he is come, he will convince the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment

Unbelievers have already heard the voice of God speaking to their conscience and they shut Him out.

Amos, the technique you're endorsing leads to channeling demons.

Jesus said that His sheep know His voice. I've heard His voice continually in my spirit since i was born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit, and i won't be practicing your technique.

To Guy, this relates to some of the authors you have endorsed, like Rob Bell, who are deeply demonic.

And you endorsed 'The Shack' and the author denies the sustitionary atonement of Jesus.

my mail is ian-vincent@hotmail.com if you'd like to dicuss this further.

GuyMuse said...

Ian,

I hear what you are saying. I'll let Amos speak for himself. As for my thoughts on Rob Bell, William Young, etc. I have shared in my latest post (above) the following which I believe:

19. Examinadlo todo; retened lo bueno. Paul's exhortation to "examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good..." is excellent advise for all Jesus followers. God is the author of all truth, regardless of where it is found. We have the tendency to "throw out the baby with the bath water" simply because some truth or good idea is found outside of our little world.

According to Paul's admonition, one need not endorse everything a brother says or stands for. We are to examine everything carefully and retain that part which is good. We must seek out the good and hold fast to it, even if it comes from Rob Bell, Amos, William Young, or even Ian!

GuyMuse said...

Mark,

Thanks for the link. I loved the article you have posted as your latest. It is saying exactly what I was trying to get across above in addressing what Ian has to share.

I completely agree with your words...

...I am collecting a series of links to other brothers and sisters who also share out of the abundance of grace that the Lord has granted them. Each of them possess a ministry gift (as defined below). I am in agreement with some more than others, but all possess insights upon some important biblical issues, which is why their blogs are listed here. In reading, follow the counsel of the Holy Spirit to "prove [test] all things and hold fast to what is good," (1 Thessalonians 5:21)...

May we all learn from your example to "hold fast to that which is good."

A. Amos Love said...

ian - Thanks for the encouragement
and kind words. Much appreciated.

“Amos, the technique you're endorsing
leads to channeling demons.”

ian - Amen, bless the Lord
that you understand that.

Often when people are challenged
with a dis...ease, I’ll ask them;

“If the cause of this disease was spiritual;
What would it be.”

Some know with out much thought at all.

I have a brother that I can’t forgive.
I have a brother that died and
I’ve been depressed for years. Or angry for years.
Many different answers but often they know.

And "they" told me me what it was. Hmmm.

Lots of timed saved ministering.

If they don’t come up with anything I’ll ask them to ask God. They close their eyes and start to talk to God. Real cool. It amazes me every time.

Here I am a total stranger
and they are willing to try talk to Jesus
and hear His voice.

And sometimes they have an answer,
“Oh, I’m full of fear and stress.”

Then I let them know that;

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Tim 1:7

and

There is no fear in love;
but perfect love casteth out fear:
because fear hath torment.
He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
1 Jo 4:18


Now that the person knows that fear
could be a spirit and
perfect love casts out fear.

We ask them, Do you want the spirit of fear to go
and can we pray for you?

If they say yes.

We channel that demon right out of them.
In the name of jesus.

I’ve found a lot of heart dis...ease
is that same “spirit of fear.”

Men’s hearts failing them for fear...
Lu 21:26

So, Yes ian, hearing God’s voice
leads to channeling demons out of people.

You also said;
“I won't be practicing your technique.”

That’s okay you probably have your own
technique for channeling demons
and hearing God’s voice.

Maybe you can help me though.

I didn’t know I had any techniques.

Sometimes you need someone else
to see things for you.

Because, if you could show me the techniques
maybe we could write a book together.

"Three Steps to Hearing God's Voice"
or something like that.

If not together I’d let you write the forward.

Thanks again.

Be blessed in your search for truth... Jesus.

ianvincent said...

"prove [test] all things and hold fast to what is good," (1 Thessalonians 5:21)...

Guy, this is exactly what i'm doing. I've tested Bell, found him to be a false teacher and rejected him.

This verse does NOT exhort us to look for 'the good' in false prophets and teachers.

Guy, do you think it's ok to endorse a false prophet and deciever just bcos he some good things to say?

Aren't there hundreds of admonitions in Scripture to have nothing to do with false prophets?

Guy, to what degree are you still being led by your own reasoning, and to what degree are you led by the Holy Spirit?

On Rob Bell, just one example : he said that even if it's 'proved' that God was not Jesus' Father, he would still be a Christian anyway bcos the teachings are beneficial.

This tells us many things about Bell:

a. He has never met the risen LORD Jesus Christ.

b. He doesn't believe that a Christian's life is exclusively IN the risen Son of God, bcos he believes that even without Jesus being God 'christianity' can still exist.

There's hundreds of other examples where he spits on Jesus.

Still want to endorse him?

Amos, So the lost person begins to hear the voice of 'jesus' saying "i have not given you a spirit of fear" .... what a comfort for them when they are cast into hell.

Their blood will be on your hands for not telling them the truth of the gospel.

Amos, why didn't you acknowledge that the Scriptures you quoted have no relation to the subject?

I know why, it's bcos the spirit that speaks thru you belittles the authority of Scripture and therefore is not the Holy Spirit.

I've encountered the 'new-age jesus' you talk about many times.

A. Amos Love said...

Part -1
ian - Once again, thank you for the kind words
and realizing I am wise.

And thanks for the rebuke.

It causes me to check myself and look
at how I’m trying to explain myself.

When some one isn’t able to see things my
way, maybe I didn’t say it properly.
Or it wasn’t their time to hear it.
Or their heart has become hardened to
anything other than their own traditions
that make the word of God of non-effect.

I love you.

...rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
Pro 9:8

I mean, Those people who think
they know it all
really aggrevate those of us who do.

You wrote;

“Amos, So the lost person begins to hear the voice of 'jesus' saying "i have not given you a spirit of fear" .... what a comfort for them when they are cast into hell.”

ian - Why would a “lost” person be cast into hell?

Aren’t those that are dead
in their tresspasses and sin’s
the one’s cast into hell?

And the one’s that are condemned already
for not believing in Jesus?

And you hath he quickened,
who were dead in trespasses and sins...
Eph 2:1

He that believeth on him is not condemned:
but he that believeth not
is condemned already,
because he hath not believed in the name
of the only begotten Son of God.
John 3:18

Don’t you have to have life in order to be “lost”?
Aren’t the “lost” the saved in the Bible?
Just led astray by their shepherds?

Jeremiah said it was God’s people
who were lost
led astray by their shepherds.

My people hath been “lost” sheep:
their shepherds have caused them to go astray.
Jer 50:6

The Psalmist, a lover of God,
saw himself as a “lost” sheep.

I have gone astray like a lost sheep...
Psalm 119:176

Praise God, even though the shepherds
in Ezekial 34 caused some
to be driven away and “lost”
God Himself would be their shepherd.

I will seek that which was lost,
and bring again that which was driven away.
Eze 34:16

And as far as Jesus speaking to unbelievers.
Didn’t Jeus speak to Paul before he was a believer,
as someone killing Christians?

And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice
saying unto him, Saul, Saul,
why persecutest thou me?
Acts 9:4

Then Paul asked Him a question.
What should I do?
Jesus answered him,
And Paul obeyed.

And he trembling and astonished said, Lord,
what wilt thou have me to do?
And the Lord said unto him,
Arise, and go into the city,
and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
Acts 9:6

I have seen people have similar experiences.

Sometimes, while we’re talking about healing
and asking them to ask Jesus what’s wrong,
He might tell them to forgive someone,
Or He, Jesus, just heals them. Awesome.

They say, wait, I don’t have the pain anymore.

I ask them, what happened?
and they say, Jesus just healed me.

And Jesus gets all the glory.
And now He has there attention
and they tend to listen differently.

Jesus does a much better job at saving people
and healing people then I ever thought I could.

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
1 John 3:14

Be Blessed in your search for truth.

A. Amos Love said...

Part - 2

P.S.And your fear about people channeling demons.

No fear about that, people are doing it everyday.
Whether anyone ask's them to or not.

They have been listing to satan their whole life
without knowing it.

And being controlled by unclean spirits,
spirits of infirmity, spirits of fear,
lying spirits and the list goes on and on.

Paul said it's no longer I that sin but sin that dwelleth in me.

Now they have an additional option to listen to.
The creator, the savior, the lover of their soul.

Hopefully, over time, they learn to discern the two.

The Bible talks about two kingdoms.
The kingdom of God.
And the kingdom of satan.

The way I see it now is, we all have to discern
which kingdom we are bringing forth on earth.

The kingdom come on Earth as it is in heaven.

Which kingdom are we bringing to earth?

The kingdom of God?
or
The kingdom of satan?

Who loves the brethren?
Who accuses the brethren?

Charity suffereth long, and is kind;
charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself,
is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things,
believeth all things, hopeth all things,
endureth all things. Charity never faileth:
1 Corinthians 13

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,
if ye have love one to another.
John 13:35

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
1 John 3:14

L.O.V.E.
the
L.anguage O.f V.ictorious E.ternity
is love.

ianvincent said...

Mr Love,

The issue is clear to any person of sound mind. You gave examples of 'jesus' speaking to unbelievers and affirming them that they are OK, "i have not given you a spirit of fear.." etc.

But you didnt answer my first question re: your handling of the Scriptures?

Is that love to ignore a person's question and keep talking to them anyway?

GuyMuse said...

Ian,

You write...

This verse does NOT exhort us to look for 'the good' in false prophets and teachers...Guy, do you think it's ok to endorse a false prophet and deciever just bcos he some good things to say?...to what degree are you still being led by your own reasoning, and to what degree are you led by the Holy Spirit?

Ian, you and Amos both have given me a lot to think about, and I am giving your words careful consideration. Thanks for the admonitions and words of exhortation.

In my limited, yet ever growing desire to become more Christ-like, I share in my latest post my understanding of how these matters of "hearing Jesus" play out in the real world with real saints and real situations. As usual, I am open to any observations, instruction, corrections you or anybody else might have.

Blessings on you, your family, and the ministry the Lord has called you to.

Mark Finger said...

A few things to consider:

... we are to speak according to conscience, each person accountable for their own words and actions ...

... we are to speak the truth in love and without fear ...

... we are esteem others better than ourselves, and yet, we are to cling to the truths of our Lord Jesus as a child clings to his mother ...

... we are to love those who persecute and despitefully use us: and this, by prayer, forgiveness, and Christian testimony, speaking those things which Jesus spoke (and His prophets and apostles) ...

I don't know. I've believed a lot of stupid things before. For example, I used to believe that if I gave more money to church, God would give more money to me: kind of a spiritual (so-called) 'get rich quick' scheme.

I could give more examples.

Everyone needs to speak according to conscience, as directed by God in the most edifying manner possible.

The word of God is enough.

I'll share my viewpoint on these matters as based upon my understanding of the word of God: in so doing, I'll intentionally avoid the nuances and focus on the fundamentals. (Have to post several times in a row because of blogspot word limits on comments.)

Mark Finger said...

Scripture truths other than the Gospel can be used by the Spirit to draw the unsaved to a moment of decision, as a beam of light that shines momentarily upon them in their darkness: but these truths will not fully awake them (bring them from darkness into the continual light of the glorious gospel); only the gospel ("the power of God unto salvation") can do that.

The Lord will not make another physical appearance until His return. Will He reveal Himself to some unsaved persons through dreams and visions? Perhaps, God can answer. But one thing is clear: they will not be saved until they have knowledge of the gospel, the Door through which men enter into the kingdom of God.

Unbelievers cannot understand those things that God has intentionally hidden from them (the deeper truths of His kingdom); but they can (by the Spirit's will and grace) perceive His witness of truths that are part of the gospel. Truths such as: it is God's will that all men be saved and come to repentance; or God punishes sin, etcetera.

And so we are clearly commanded to share the gospel: this is our charge.

Mark Finger said...

As for Ian's point about false prophets: I am in complete agreement. On page 120 of "The Shack" God (as a character in the book) says, "I do not punish sin. Sin is punishment enough." This is a clear contradiction of the gospel message. The consistent Pauline (apostolic) example in this regard is to ALWAYS rebuke men's attempts to pervert the gospel message and turn it into a doctrine of demons.

The bible is clear on this point.

I didn't like the book because many Christians I know raved about it, but when I questioned them about what they had learned from it, I didn't hear biblical truths (words which resonated with my understanding of scripture wisdom).

Later, I came across an audio clip (below) of the author in which he clearly states in his own words that he does not believe that Jesus died for our sins.

Link: http://www.alittleleaven.com/2009/03/william-young-author-of-the-shack-outright-denies-the-penal-substitutionary-atonement.html

Some people in my town have left the church they were in because they are using this book as a teaching tool ...

I asked my friend about the author's statement that he doesn't believe in the substitutionary atonement of Christ: he listened to the clip and was equally dismayed. I couldn't understand why this brother didn't warn others, however, as he knows the scriptures. It is the job of the wise to warn the unlearned: "be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove .... watching over the flock of God .... as a good ensample."

My question to my brother was this: how can someone who doesn't believe that Jesus died for our sins be saved (for what need does he have, therefore, for a "Saviour")?

Moreover (and this to Ian's point): how can good fruit come from a bad tree?

He loves me, ministers with me to the lost, and is definitely saved: but he doesn't show the wisdom that I feel convicted that he should at times, based upon the 'light which he has received.'

What should I do with him?

I speak the truth in love and show agreement whenever he affirms any scriptural truth ...

Mark Finger said...

I most definitely stand against perversions of the gospel message, however: regardless of human consequences.

The church is overflowing with bad theology (false teachings) and demonized messengers (false prophets) today: of that, there is no doubt.

I'm tired of wanting to talk to my friends about Jesus and having them talk to me about their latest church program, popularized fiction, or whatever the latest rage is ... I want to know, what is Jesus doing with you, lately ... what have you learned from Jesus?

I find the bible to be a sound guide and good read!

Peace

Mark Finger said...

On the link I gave you, from 2:17 - 2:32, I believe that what Mr. Young is suggesting is 'universal salvation': based upon my past experiences communicating with universalists.

2:38 - 2:59 is quite telling.

If you'll check his scripture 'quotes' (actually read the full verses he quotes), you'll notice discrepancies between what he says and the bible says.

LISTEN UNTIL THE END (5 minutes 32 seconds): at the end, he denies Christ's substitutionary atonement.

Correct me if I'm wrong ...

A. Amos Love said...

Part - 1

ian

You are correct.

I didn’t answer your question directly.

Let’s see if I can do better this time.

You wrote;
“Amos, So the lost person begins to hear
the voice of 'jesus' saying "i have not given
you a spirit of fear" .... what a comfort for
them when they are cast into hell.”

First of all I didn’t write what you wrote.
I think you twisted what I wrote.

And I felt I should overlook your transgression.

He that covereth a transgression seeketh love;
but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.
Pro 17:9

I don’t blame you because we wrestle not
with flesh and blood and some times
we bring the other kingdom to earth
or operate out of the wrong spirit.

I’ve been guilty of that myself
and have had to repent, go to the person,
apologize and ask for forgiveness.

Here is what was written;

------------------------

“Here I am a total stranger
and they are willing to try talk to Jesus
and hear His voice.

And sometimes they have an answer,
“Oh, I’m full of fear and stress.”

Then I let them know that;

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Tim 1:7

and

There is no fear in love;
but perfect love casteth out fear:
because fear hath torment.
He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
1 Jo 4:18”

--------------------------------------

As you can see,
I said “sometimes” they have an answer.

Sometimes there hear His voice and sometimes they just have sense or a feeling of what it could be. And some do not admit to hearing or sensing anything at all.

Often they sense the presence of the Lord.
Their eyes stay closed even longer than I ask.
When they open there eyes they often say
“Boy that felt good. I feel at peace.
What happened?
Not much, just His presence. His peace. Awesome.

The benefit is; they went to Jesus themselves.

I have no idea how far the sound
of that drum will travel.

But that person has, probably for the first time,
heard that God loves them and cares about
their challenge with a dis...ease,
and will speak to them,
and lead and guide them.

I live in an area where over 50% of the people
are from a Catholic background and have been
very influenced by the theology that they
must suffer like Jesus.

Or they are suffering because of their sin.

They have “not been taught” or believe that
Jesus suffered for us and took
our sickness and disease to the cross with Him.
Mat 8:17

A. Amos Love said...

Part - 2

And as you can see I never said,
what you said I said.
What I said was different from
what you said I said.

What you said I said was;

“the voice of 'jesus' saying "i have not given
you a spirit of fear"

What I said was, I said to the person after
they said that Jesus said or sensed that

“Oh, I’m full of fear and stress.”

That’s what they said,
then I said;

-----------------------------

“Then I let them know that;

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Tim 1:7

and

There is no fear in love;
but perfect love casteth out fear:
because fear hath torment.
He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
1 Jo 4:18”

----------------------------------

So, now I have someone who is most likely
“dead in their trespasses and sins,”
and needs resurrection life.

I’ve found three things that bring life.
His Blood, His Word and His Spirit.

I usually go thru the story of God’s plan of salvation being in the Blood of an unblemished lamb
from Gen. on.

The Blood.

...and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son
cleanseth us from all sin.
1 John 1:7

For the life of the flesh is in the blood:
and I have given it to you upon the altar
to make an atonement for your souls:
for it is the blood that maketh
an atonement for the soul.
Lev 17:11

I love talking about His Blood.
And His Word and His Spirit. Thank you Jesus.

It is the spirit that quickeneth; (brings life)
the flesh profiteth nothing: (I can do nothing.)
the words that I speak unto you, (His words, not mine)
they are spirit, and they are life.
John 6:63

So I expect, if God is calling someone,
that the words that he speaks to them, (now)
will bring them life. Born again? Hmmm?

If I have failed to satisfy any other
of your questions.
I’d be more than joyful to try again.

Be blessed in your search for Jesus.

A. Amos Love said...

Part - 3?

ian

And you, being dead in your sins
and the uncircumcision of your flesh,
hath he quickened together with him...
Col 2:13

For the love of Christ constraineth us;
because we thus judge,
that if one died for all,
then were all dead:
2 Cor 5:14

And you hath he quickened,
who were dead in trespasses and sins...
Eph 2:1

Even when we were dead in sins,
hath quickened us together with Christ,
(by grace ye are saved;)
Eph 2:5

Wherefore he saith,
Awake thou that sleepest,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ shall give thee light.
Eph 5:14

For as the body without the spirit is dead...
Jas 2:26

For as the Father raiseth up the dead,
and quickeneth them;
even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
John 5:21

Verily, verily, I say unto you,

He that heareth my word,
and believeth on him that sent me,
hath everlasting life,

and shall not come into condemnation;
but is passed from death unto life.
John 5:24

Verily, verily, I say unto you,
The hour is coming,
and now is,

when the dead shall hear
the voice of the Son of God:
and they that hear shall live.
John 5:25

It is the spirit that quickeneth;
the flesh profiteth nothing:
the words that I speak unto you,
they are spirit, and they are life.
John 6:63

...for thy word hath quickened me.
Psalm 119:50

I give thee charge in the sight of God,
who quickeneth all things...
1Tim 6:13

... but the spirit giveth life.
2 Cor 3:6

And other sheep I have,
which are not of this fold:
them also I must bring,
and they shall hear my voice;
and there shall be one fold,
and one shepherd.
John 10:16

One Voice- One Fold - One Shepherd.
If Not Now; When?

Be blessed.

In His Service. By His Grace.

ianvincent said...

brother Love,

The question i'm referring to was asking you to acknowledge that the scriptures you gave at the top of your post do not apply to the NT teaching on church order of government.

On the point about what message you bring unbelievers, i don't agree it's from the Spirit of Truth.

And..

Just invoking the mantra of 'love' all the time does not mystically transform a lie into the truth.

GuyMuse said...

Mark,

Thanks for your comments. I haven't yet had a chance to really listen to the P. Young audio link, but hope to do so in the coming days. Your comments, especially those in the first post, have got me formulating a new blog post to address some of these matters. I think for the most part we are saying pretty much the same thing, though our choice of words might be different.

Fellow believers holding differing understandings and interpretations do not bother me as much as they used to in the past. Again, my understanding is that we are admonished to "examine everything; hold fast to that which is good."

In doing so, I am not endorsing every single thing ever spoken, written, or proclaimed by such authors as Rob Bell, Paul Young, Amos Love, Ian Vincent, Mark Finger, etc. But it would seem foolish to dismiss everything you write (or one of the others listed) just because I disagree with part of what you say. Does this make sense? All of us are fallible. If we were infallible we'd have one of the books in the Bible named after us, right? :)

A. Amos Love said...

Brother ian - Once again you are correct.

“Just invoking the mantra of 'love' all the time
does not mystically transform a lie into the truth.”

I agree with you 100%.

LOVE does not rejoice in iniquity (lies?)
but rejoices in the truth and “LOVE never fails.”

And LOVE realizes that all things
work together for good
to them that “LOVE God” and are called
according to His purpose.

C'mon - Didn’t you appreciate the LOVE just a little?

C’mon “LOVE” just sounds nice. Doesn’t it?
Try it. Just say, Looooove. God is Love, right?
“LOVE” also looks nice in print.
And “LOVE” is a healer.
God is LOVE and God is our healer.
God heals - LOVE heals. Neat. Huh?

Haven't you gone from accusing me of;

Channeling demons.
Talking about a “new age Jesus.”
Being the reason someone is cast into hell.
Having their blood on my hands.
Having a spirit that speaks thru me to belittle
the authority of Scripture.

Ouch!!! { :o (....

To calling me “brother Love,”
in just a few days?

Glory to God!!! [ ;- )

Thank you for calling me brother. Bless you.
As you can see I’ve returned the complement,
Brother ian vincent. Hmmm? Sounds good to me.

I’ll take that as a notable miracle any day.

Praise you Jesus for your love that never fails.

Love and blessings to you

Brother A. Amos Love

A. Amos Love said...

Brother ian

Sorry, I got kind of carried away
with all that LOVE stuff.

You had a question about “Church government.”
(which you used in one of your comments.)

In another comment you said,

“The question i'm referring to was asking you to acknowledge that the scriptures you gave at the
top of your post do not apply to the NT
teaching on church order of government.”

Once again you are correct.

I acknowledge that;
The scriptures I referred to do not apply to
“NT teaching on church order of government.”

And once again I was willing to let
that comment slide.

They were never intended to speak about
“church government.”

What we have here is a
problem to communicate. Don’t you think?

I refuse to believe that you, my brother in Christ,
are continally trying to twist my words
or put words in my mouth that
I never said or thought about.

I know I wasn’t speaking about
“Church government” or
“The church order of government,”
because those terms are not in the KJV.

I have been trying to use Bible terms
and words, whenever and wherever possible.

And since those terms do not exist in scripture
I have no reference to answer your
question about a topic I never mentioned.

But since you keep bringing it up
I would be happy to give my opinion
or what I think scripture is saying about it.

But you have to go first and get it started
since the topic is not in the Bible.
Or maybe I missed it. Been wrong before.

As my uncle always says,
“It’s the things you learn
after you know it all
that really count.”

So, maybe you could give me
your understanding on “church government.”

And which church are we talking about?

Let’s see.... We have -
The Traditional Church,
The Institutional Church,
The Religious System Church,
The Steeple Corporation Church,
The 501c3, non profit, tax deductible,
Religious Corporation Church,
The Brick and Mortar Church,
The Pastor Led Church,
The Multiple Elder Led Church,
The Congregational Led Church,
The Pope Led Church,
The Bishop Led Church,
The Chief Executive Apostle Led Church,
There really is a Chief Executive Apostle
No Kidding. Saw it with my own eyes.
The Fluid Church,
The Solid Church,
The House Church,
The Simple Church,
The Organic Church,
The Small Group Church,
The Institutional Church,
Oh, i said that one already.
The Denominational Church,
The Non-Denominational Church,
The Inter - Denominational Church,
The Intra - Denominational Church,
The Underground Church,
The Full Gospel Church,
The Mega Church,
The Baptist Church,
The Lutheran Church,
The Evangelical Church,
The Charis maniacle ism Church,
The Pente it’s going to cost you a L ot ism Church,

God loves me and forgives me all my sin.

And other sheep I have,
which are not of this fold:
them also I must bring,
and they shall hear my voice;
and there shall be one fold,
and one shepherd.
John 10:16

One Fold, One Shepherd, One Voice.
If Not Now, When?

In His Service. By His Grace.