The following message was sent on the Oregon group in response to posts from Scott in the Midwest that were share by Richard, a local PCM in Oregon. If you di not see Scotts posts ask your local PCM or Minister of Record. Below his post I add my comment:
| These two recent posts by Scott have been so helpful to me. They cleared up a foggy aspect of my perception, regarding His Church. I am new to the ideas presented by brother Gregory. I am in agreement with what he presents, and I am in agreement with these points communicated by Scott. These give me much to ponder. In particular, I appreciate Scott's explanation pertaining to entrusted offerings.
| Also, it is true ... finding like-minded people with whom to gather is quite difficult. My favorite way to gather with people is face-to-face. That way, I can sense their spirit, and a two-way street of feedback happens readily (and instantly, quite often). Accountability is much easier to implement when a person is right there in a face-to-face conversation with me.
| Fellowship can be had via email or forum posts, but its quality is limited, all too often. Some people have difficulty writing their thoughts, and some people detest the chore of writing. Phone conversations have their pros and cons, also. For example, if the phone call comes to me at an inopportune time, I am not as open to conversing, and then the caller who lacks persistence is discouraged from calling me, even though my heart's desire is to have an edifying conversation with the caller when scheduling permits. When we gather in a local meeting, face-to-face, we come prepared to set aside time for the ministry of edification. In those who have a heart to serve the brethren in love, this preparation is nearly automatic.
| The experience of a local gathering easily lends itself to the ministry of living out the patterns of godliness, so that elders may be examples, not only with their spouse and children, but with those of other families. By this means, families learn from one another, and a deeper experience of worship is a likely result when the Spirit of God works in and through the various ones attending the meeting.
| For these reasons (and others, too, I am sure), it is so important that we should gather in local meetings, ministering among those who are part of the body of Christ. And we should never forget, where two or three are gathered in His name, He is in the midst, and so a local meeting can be quite small and quite short (maybe just to pray together before heading off to work).
| Having said all of this, the quality of fellowship from a distance can be very sweet, indeed ... especially when the Spirit of God is working at each end to enhance the understanding, and at times, the only person I know who can understand with wisdom is one who is far away, beyond a convenient driving distance, and in that case, koinonia fellowship and the exchange of love for one another is accomplished across the wires.
| I'm not an expert in the topic of believers gathering for effective ministry. These are my humble contribution to discussing this very important issue. From D. a New member of the network in Oregon
I thank D for his candor and of course we encourage everyone to meet with others locally and many of you have.
But also we encourage all of you to come face to face in your own hearts and minds with yourselves.
The search for the kingdom of God and His righteousness is an individual quest each of us must make to get right with God by seeing the truth about the world and our relationship to it.
The quest for fellowship is really a quest for fellowship with Christ....
The people we gather with need to aid each other in coming face to face with our own selves in an honest communion of the saints and sinners, like the early Church. We come not to condemn but to she light on the truth. The task of loving one another by freely giving and receiving which require repentance and forgiveness is conducive of bringing us face to face with our own failing as children of God.
The world around us is laden with temptations ... pride in our religious rituals forms and philosophies often keeps us from the humility of faith.
But are we doing the will of the Father who are in heaven.
- Matthew 7:21 "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."
What was and is His will?
Is it not "Seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness."
The Kingdom of God was at hand for those who lived by faith in the early Church. Those who lived by faith did not forsake the gathering together.
- Hebrews 10:25 "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some [is]; but exhorting [one another]: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."
Unless they and we gather there is no other way they could nor we can avoid neglecting the widows and orphans and other needy of their society.
- Acts 6:1 "And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration."
Christians could not apply to men who exercised authority one over the other for any benefit.
- Luke 22:25 "And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so:"
They found it necessary to look out amongst themselves and pick men they trusted as we see the needy neglected in the early Church.
- Acts 6:3 "Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business."
There was lots of welfare for the people in those days. All the temples of government in Rome and Judea supplied benefits through systems of Corban. The system of the Pharisees made the word of God to none effect.
So when people got the Baptism of Christ instead of the Corban baptism of Herod they were cast out of one system of social welfare set up by Herod and needed to enter one set up by Christ and His Church.
- John 9:22 These [words] spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.
With out the free bread of Rome or Herod's Corban the people has to provide the benefits of society through seeking the perfect law of liberty.
- James 1:25 "But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth [therein], he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed."
The did this so that none of their numbers would have to go to any of those authoritarian benefactors who entangle men again in the bondage of the world.
- Galatians 4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
- Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
- Colossians 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
Anyone not working to create the network like that of the early church that bound the people by love alone is not showing the fruits that are worthy of repentance and is simply not living by the faith the early church ha in the way of Christ.
Those who are really seeking the kingdom at hand will often find they are spread out when they find others who actually understand the gospel and what it means to seek the kingdom of Go at hand and its righteousness.
Many will think they believe and will say they believe and will give much or even give all they have to the poor but they of not understand the gospel of the kingdom at hand nor the responsibility of the charity Paul talked about.
- 1 Corinthians 13:1 "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
How could you bestow all your goods and have not charity?"
Because the word Paul is using is not really have to do with giving a coat but has to do with agape meaning love
Agape was a Greek word "used to describe what we would label altruism, selfless love for the welfare of another. Agape is not defined by what you get out of the relationship; in fact, it really isn't present if you are somehow being rewarded for it."
Faith & philosophy of Christianity by Maya George
If you do not strive daily to provide all the social welfare for those seeking the kingdom of God then where is your agape.
If you will not seek to become the appropriate government agency of Christ to check on the welfare of His people then how can you say you are seeking his kingdom at hand?
The early church was electing men they trusted and appointing men to care for the daily ministration to the needy.
The charity Paul talked about "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."
That " Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
The Church was clearly organized and served the people as a government of righteousness. Its division of bread from house to house so that no one had to eat o the table of other governments is obvious to those who have eyes to see.
- 1 Corinthians 14:33 "For God is not [the author] of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints."
If a man does not have to take the benefits of the adversaries that use force to collect the offerings of the people but h=if he will not forsake his abundance to save others from having to apply for the benefits of Babylon then how can he say he is standing with Paul or the gospel of the Lord?
- 1 Corinthians 15:1 "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;"
NO. Anyone who cannot see that the Church was organized with elections and appointments, daily offerings and distributions over a vast network of faithful people who did not forsake the coming together and were in essence a social welfare system governed through charity of the people, by the people and for the people and the men who served as Christ came to serve to free the people from the bondage of the "world" does not know the gospel of Christ.
Join The Living Network of The Companies of Ten
The Living Network | Join Local group | About | Purpose | Guidelines | Network Removal
Contact Minister | Fractal Network | Audacity of Hope | Network Links