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5 years ago  ::  Aug 18, 2009 - 10:22PM #11
newway87
Posts: 25

Rethink them I have, Campbellite.  For quite a long time--it's certainly been an interesting wrestling match for me.  However, this summer things took an interesting turn.  I filled in at two churches as "pulpit supply", and felt inspired like I haven't been in a long time. 


Multiple people came to me after those two services and said I'd really given them a lot to think about, and several asked follow-up questions about the scriptures I'd used.  Being in the pulpit felt comfortable and familiar.


As you are a member of the clergy, let me ask you this.  I know without a doubt now that ministry is where I need to end up, whatever path leads me there.  I'm open to that.  Now, how do I differentiate between feeling thrilled that I led people to think and/or ask questions (including myself), and the potential for feeding my ego?  I can see after only two times, the potential for problems with power and ego.  As a lifelong pianist, I can tell you that there is a part of me that feeds off the stage--the acclaim and applause that comes with performance.  While I think that element of performance can certainly be used to good effect when it comes to ministry, how do you not give in to the drive for recognition/praise?


I'm sure prayer and support from other clergy members would have to be key, what do you do personally to avoid falling into the pride trap?

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5 years ago  ::  Aug 19, 2009 - 8:49AM #12
Campbellite
Posts: 2,068

"The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet." Frederick Buechner


I thought about saying somthing else, but this so beautifully sums things up for me.


And yes, I am a pastor, ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in 1982. And I have five CoC pastors (and another DOC) in my family as well.

You are unique.
Just like everybody else.
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5 years ago  ::  Aug 22, 2009 - 10:50PM #13
newway87
Posts: 25

Wow.  Succint and profound.  Much to ponder!  Thanks, Campbellite.

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 21, 2010 - 4:04PM #14
Livelysword
Posts: 15

May 6, 2009 -- 11:09PM, newway87 wrote:


I haven't been in an organized church service in over a year.  I grew up C of C, left there to attend various other mainline denominations over the years, but for the first time in my life I don't feel any stress or frustration with my religious practice.  I have felt that each church we tried to attend varied from the extremes of legalism and "anything goes", and each left me eventually feeling like pulling my hair out.


I continue to read scripture, keep an active prayer life, and spend every minute I can talking with one or both of my kids (teens) the important things in life, such as how our morals and God's laws apply to our daily lives.   On Sundays, my husband, children, and I spend almost the entire day together; we have 3 family meals, and lots of great conversation--we even sneak in a little fun once in a while.  It's become virtually the only day we have any quality or quantity of family time. 


I know scriptures advise us to not forsake gathering ourselves together with other believers, but Matthew 18:20 is very clear that where two or more are gathered, God is there with us.  Is someone that doesn't attend organized religious services less Christian than those who do? 




 


 


Lively:  Just a couple of thoughts... one was if I understood correctly, you were once a member of the church of Christ...  you grew up church of Christ and then left there and went in to denominationalism...  I can only think that you did not understand what was being taught, or what should have been taught was not being taught where you grew up...  as far as I know, the churches of Christ in general all teach to be separate from the religous world for reasons of biblical teaching...


 


Rom 16:16  Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.
Rom 16:17  Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
Rom 16:18  For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
Rom 16:19  For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.


2Co 6:14  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
2Co 6:15  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
2Co 6:16  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
2Co 6:17  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.


 


we have to understand that not all who call themselves Christians are holding to and teaching the truth of the bible or the gospel of Jesus Christ...  we are also taught to assemble with like minded brethren...


 


1Co 1:10  Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.


 


so, what is the cause of not speaking the same thing and having divisions such as denominationalism has?


 


1Co 11:18  For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
1Co 11:19  For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.


 


Division is caused by false teaching.. plain and simple...  the religous world today is all divided up... teaching all different things...  we must learn the doctrines of Jesus Christ, which means going to the word of God and reading what God commands and then following those things, and Joining ourselves with those of like precious faith...


 


2Pe 1:1  Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:


 


we obtain like precious faith by all of us following and heeding the teachings of the bible... and practicing what the bible teaches we are to practice...  the only way we can all be one as Christ would have us be is if we all hold to the doctrines of Jesus Christ...


 


2Jn 1:9  Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
2Jn 1:10  If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
2Jn 1:11  For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.


 


for those who do not abide in the doctrines of Jesus Christ... well they do not have Christ according to scripture...  we must obey from the heart that form of doctrine delivered unto us to become of like precious faith... what was that doctrine we all obeyed from the heart to be made in the likeness of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ?  Which religions out there teach it?


 


Rom 6:3  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Rom 6:4  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Rom 6:5  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Rom 6:6  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Rom 6:7  For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Rom 6:8  Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
Rom 6:9  Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
Rom 6:10  For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
Rom 6:11  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Rom 6:12  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
Rom 6:13  Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
Rom 6:14  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Rom 6:15  What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
Rom 6:16  Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Rom 6:17  But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
Rom 6:18  Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.


 


any out there who teach water baptism is not necessary for salvation from their sins, simply are teaching false doctrine, and do not have Christ... we are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus for as many of us as have been baptized into Christ put on Christ in baptism..


 


Gal 3:26  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:27  For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Gal 3:28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:29  And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.


 


Did you not learn any of these things while you grew up in the church of Christ?  Were none of these things taught to you, or were you never really paying attention to what is being taught?  I know as  Kid myself growing up a Methodist, that I did not pay attention to a whole lot of what is being taught...  but I did learn some of the things they did teach... and what they did practice... and when I heard the truth taught from members of a church of Christ and they showing me the scriptures... I knew my faith had to be in the word of God... and it had to be my guide... regardless of what anyone had taught me...  I found that though study over the years and being taught by brethren from the scriptures that the religous world is teaching lies... and not holding to the doctrines of Jesus Christ, even them Methodists which I grew up with...  the first night I was taught the truth and my eyes were opened to the truth, I was upset with what I had been taught all my life... but obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which the bible teaches...  I was baptized for the express purpose to be forgiven of my sins as scripture teaches... and joined those of like preicous faith... we do not go and join ourselves unto those who do not hold to the truth of the gospel and teach lies...  even their practices of faith are lies... they do not do what the bible teaches... even to having communion  upon the first day of the week... or teaching others what they must do to have salvation... they may teach what they believe, faith only saves... it does not...  I am certainly willing to go over any of these things with you if you so desire to hear about them... or any questions you may have...


 


with love...


Lively


 


 

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4 years ago  ::  Jan 25, 2010 - 12:13PM #15
newway87
Posts: 25

I was taught all those things and more.  I was also taught legalism over grace.  I was taught to judge (usually negatively) the salvation of others.  I was taught that acts alone can't save you, but failing to do one act (immersion) will condemn you.  I was taught that women are to be silent in church matters, and should relegate themselves to the teaching of other women and children only.  I was taught that the congregation can and will split over something as specific as whether you're saved a second before or a second after you've been baptized.  I was taught to fear God in a way that as a young child I would cry at night hoping I hadn't sinned by accident and forgotten to pray about it--sure that if I had and Jesus came back, I'd go to hell.


Since worshipping with other believers, I have learned that there is love for God and from God no matter where I am on Sunday morning.  I have come to the conclusion that (contrary to my up-bringing), there may actually be one or two people in Heaven some day that didn't attend a Church of Christ.


Do I find things that I question, no matter where I am?  Yes.  Do I believe God has specific things we must do to be His disciples, and enter into salvation?  Yes.  Don't mistake me for a new-ager that thinks "I'm okay, you're okay" and holds an anything-goes theology.  Every day I read His Word and study, praying that I will "rightly divide the Word of Truth".  I just have come to the conclusion that a separatist attitude about worship and salvation doesn't really get me anywhere except angry and frustrated. 


I leave you with words from John 10:16.  "I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd."  I pray for that day to come.


 

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4 years ago  ::  Jan 26, 2010 - 11:36AM #16
Livelysword
Posts: 15

Jan 25, 2010 -- 12:13PM, newway87 wrote:


I was taught all those things and more.  I was also taught legalism over grace.  I was taught to judge (usually negatively) the salvation of others.  I was taught that acts alone can't save you, but failing to do one act (immersion) will condemn you.  I was taught that women are to be silent in church matters, and should relegate themselves to the teaching of other women and children only.  I was taught that the congregation can and will split over something as specific as whether you're saved a second before or a second after you've been baptized.  I was taught to fear God in a way that as a young child I would cry at night hoping I hadn't sinned by accident and forgotten to pray about it--sure that if I had and Jesus came back, I'd go to hell.


Since worshipping with other believers, I have learned that there is love for God and from God no matter where I am on Sunday morning.  I have come to the conclusion that (contrary to my up-bringing), there may actually be one or two people in Heaven some day that didn't attend a Church of Christ.


Do I find things that I question, no matter where I am?  Yes.  Do I believe God has specific things we must do to be His disciples, and enter into salvation?  Yes.  Don't mistake me for a new-ager that thinks "I'm okay, you're okay" and holds an anything-goes theology.  Every day I read His Word and study, praying that I will "rightly divide the Word of Truth".  I just have come to the conclusion that a separatist attitude about worship and salvation doesn't really get me anywhere except angry and frustrated. 


I leave you with words from John 10:16.  "I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd."  I pray for that day to come.


 




 


Lively:  Though some may be legalists, such is not the attitude I believe God wants from us... he does not want us to live in constant fear that we have not done enough to merit salvation, which is what I am getting from what you stated... I too believe in Grace, but not apart from obedience to the commandments of God... I recall Jesus speaking with a group of the Pharisees and telling them..


 


Mat 23:23  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.


 


while these may have done some things, they were leaving undone other things, weightier matters of the law...  Judgment, mercy and faith...  these ought they to have done and not leave the other things undone...  in other words... Jesus was not condemning them for keeping the law... but for not keeping the law...  Most look at this verse and speak of it as that which they speak of the Pharisees as legalists... that is not the case, they are infact illegalists according to this verse...  so while some in the congregation you were at may have been legalists, making sure all the i's are dotted and the t's crossed... they are omitting the weightier matters of the law of Christ, such as love, faith, hope...  when we see those we read about in the NT... did they live in the fear you seem to have been under?  Its not like they did not understand that the same things you understood to be sin... they were sin for them as they are sin for everybody... me you and everyone... but we do not have to live in fear at all, because we have Christ and at any time we make a mistake and sin, we can be forgiven right away... all we need do is confess our sins, and he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins... and cleanse us from all unrightousness...


 


 


as the matter of forsaking the assembly... it is clear by scripture, we are not to do so... and my obedience has not been perfect by any means...  but the scripture does teach not to forsake the assembly of ourselves together...  Me, you, and everyone needs to come unto compliance with this command...  the verse you gave about other sheep not of this fold... has to do with Jews and Gentiles... the Gentiles were the other sheep not of the fold of the Jews... but both Jews and Gentiles are commanded to not forsake the assembly of ourselves together...


 


so in closing... don't let legalists spoil for you and take from you your joy and love in the Lord... you know when you are and are not keeping the word... and you also know what you must do to be in compliance with the Lord... and elders and legalists are not a problem, we ourselves are our own problem...  my compliance is upon me and your compliance is upon you... as it is for everyone...  our obedience should bring us joy and love... and if it is not, it is then because we do not have a willing heart to follow and keep the commandments of the Lord... and again, that is totally upon us...  Let us not be as them Pharisees who did some but left off of the more weightier matters of the law...  Let us be in full complance to the Lord and take back the Joy we may have lost...


 


with Love...


 


Lively

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