Wednesday, March 3

Ever wonder why...

...if there really is only One Body of Christ, we persist in separating ourselves from one another and clinging to our denominational distinctives?

...we don't ever hear any sermons on 1 Corinthians 12:28ff "And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues..."?

...our churches aren't structured according to Paul's above order, rather than the way we do so today with extra-biblical Senior Pastors leading the list? Are pastors even mentioned in the 1 Cor. 12:28 list?

...we delay baptizing new believers when every instance recorded in the Book of Acts indicates immediate baptism upon profession of faith?

...we program our gatherings into hour-long meetings rather than allowing the Head of the Church (Jesus) to lead and move among us as He desires?

...Paul never addresses his letters to the pastor or leadership of the churches he writes like we would do today?

Ever wonder who the Ephesian 4:11 apostles, prophets, and evangelists are amongst us? Can you name any in your church today? What happened to these folks? Have their roles been absorbed by the pastor-teachers in our midst? If so, is this what the Holy Spirit intended when he gave these functions to the church?

Ever wonder if Paul's epistles were written to individual local house churches in Corinth, Ephesus, Thessalonica, etc. or to ALL of the Church in each of these cities (house churches-plural?)

Ever wonder where we get the idea that listening to a prepared sermon is an essential part of believers gatherings?

Ever wonder how small can a church be and still be a church? Does the Bible say anything about how big is too big for a church to be?

Ever wonder when a group meeting together becomes a church? What is a church? What is the Scriptural support for your answer?

Ever wonder where in the Bible it refers to believers as members of a local church?

Ever wonder if believers can be part of more than one local church at the same time? (eg. a member at FBC-Dallas, Faith Bible Church, and Misión Evangélica Sión all at the same time) Why or why not?

Ever wonder whether a seminary education helps or hinders those seeking to multiply new church starts?

Ever wonder about what happened to celebrating the Lord's Supper as a meal? When did we begin substituting the Lord's SUPPER (meal) for a tiny cracker and sip of grape juice?

Ever wonder about where we get the idea of paid/salaried pastors and church staff when 1 Corinthians 9 is clearly referring to itinerant apostolic workers?

Ever wonder where we get the idea that "double honor" in 1 Timothy 5:17 for elders refers to a monthly salary and benefits package?

Just wondering.

While listening yesterday to a John Eldredge podcast I was struck with his statement that, "The biggest enemy of the Gospel is not paganism, but religion." I agree.

6 comments:

BParsons said...

Guy,
I have wondered about ALL those things. I have questioned so much of what we are doing and how we are doing it.
In the work in Esmeraldas, I dreamed of doing these things. For a short span, I read the entire book of Acts at least once a week.
Sad to say, I was met with a lot of opposition for asking these questions. I heard ripples about what my vision was from as far away as Chile and as near as my own team.
The best month of my whole mission career was the month that I was unable to submit a "number of baptisms" report to the mission because I honestly did not know how many we had baptized since I had done none of the baptisms, and been present for only a few of them.
Many people did not like this, and it was often discouraging. Yet there are seven works continuing that I know of that were not affected at all when I left because the believers there did not know I existed, except for a few chosen leaders.
The greatest meeting of my mission career was a "dream session" we had among potential team leaders. I remember you were there at that meeting, and along with others, had some great ideas. I really thought we were about to see explosive growth.
I hope to go somewhere again some day and do these things again.

GuyMuse said...

Bruce,

Thanks for sharing these thoughts. Many of us have felt the same kinds of things over the years. It has taken many years, but the kinds of things I "wonder about" are now being openly spoken. I just had a pastor over who spent the morning talking to me about some of these same kinds of things and sharing his own heart about the state of how he dreams things might be.

I love it when we can take off our masks, and let down our guard, and really share our hearts with one another. I don't believe God ever intended we try and box him in our little categories. Every time we try to do this, He has a way of breaking out and showing us anew that He will not be boxed in to our man-made categories!

The day you guys are ready, I believe there are thousands of places needing good people like you to challenge, stretch, and encourage the church.

Alan Knox said...

"Ever wonder why..."

Yes, I have. :)

-Alan

Frank (or Chip) said...

Guy,

As usual, you ask important and difficult questions.

Thanks

Frank Lamca

Peter J Farmer said...

I wonder about ALL of these things too!

We have been wondering through these questions in our context in the UK

Thanks for this post and other posts. I am really enjoying reading your blog!

GuyMuse said...

Alan, Frank, and Peter,

Maybe we should all meet some place and "wonder why" together! Thanks for stopping by and for the comments.