Talk:Home church

From PreparingYou
Jump to: navigation, search

Home Church discussions

Dear Joseph Mitchel and home congregations team

I looked over the [homecongregations.org website] you seem to be connected to and find it's content of interest because we almost exclusively meet in homes but we do gather in larger groups at least once if not more each year if we can manage a location to do so. There are some things that seem to be missing in our admittedly limited examination of that site that we have found common in the early Church and is certainly evident in the scriptures.

Home church is an important topic which we have covered extensively. See Home church

Joseph said "It is a very fascinating history and I would encourage you to look into it. That is 'why' I challenged you on it. The truth of Christ and His people is there in history."

I agree that the truth is evident in history. We have already done that extensively for over a half a century. We may simply have more to add to what you already believe to be true.

Your group says "The Bible is our Guidebook for Life; for all actions and commitments, for righteous living and determination of truth, for healthy relationships, for understanding love and justice, and for how to live life to the fullest, as God intends." We believe this is also true but it is the Holy Spirit that brings us individually to a full understanding of that "original model for ministry that Christ started".

We present volumes of information with thousands of footnotes and hundreds of additional documentation to back up what we share for free about that content and context of the Bible including "in its original manuscripts". We also try to present what we found in simple term during the last half century but offer more in-depth pursuit if people wish to do so.

You wrote, "I find it disturbing that you explain what an Ekklesia is and yet still call yourself an church?"

The etymology of a word is not the meaning of a word. I was admittedly abrupt with you and could have been equally disturbed by your seeming lack of understanding of the "Gospel of the Kingdom" in your first letter to me.

I shared links to articles I have written over many year to help people understand why we say and do what we do and say.

I understand your confusion and that is not surprising after centuries of apostasy and a thousand years of persecution by false man-made institutions referencing themselves as the "church" before the term church was even coined in the English.

Churche or Church has been used in early translations into English but it has been defined and redefined by use for centuries like many other words. I am sure we can agree that the Church or ekklesia established by Christ can only be honestly defined by Christ and we depend upon the scriptures in determining the truth of what Christ intended.

While ekklesia has been translated by some as an assembly and it may be an assembly it means the "called out". While many are called not everyone is "called out". You never even mentioned that in your letters. I understand most people fail to make that distinction even though it is supported by many scriptures.

Your group says it believes "the Bible is the inspired Word of God. As such, it is without error in its original manuscripts, and it is fully, totally and uniquely reliable; always trustworthy, as the one essential guide for coming into relationship with our Creator. The Bible is our Guidebook for Life; for all …" I agree.

In looking around your website there seem to be some of the basics of Christ's instructions absence. I could be mistaken but I could not find them.

How many of your "team" are actually "called out" in the way the term was used by Jesus and even the Apostles and Paul?

Jesus did call His disciples out of the world?

How many know what it means to be "called out" and not be "of the world"?

Your group states on the webpage "We believe that Christ never intended to start a religion, but that men have built the church as we know it today." I can agree with that too but it is not clear that the group is using the same definition of the word Religion that the the early followers of the way of Christ were using when scripture was written.

The word religion is mentioned five times, six times if you count the one time where the word commonly translated religion is translated worshiping in the Bible.

Only once does the word "religion" appear in the text (James 1:27) as a positive good thing and James make that form of Religion clear in the text is properly understood.

Can people change what religion means in the Bible by changing the definition in the minds of men and women?

This is why it is so important to know what the word meant when they were first used in scripture.

Please don't forget just because I share with you thing you did not hear before that does not mean they are not true. The truth is not the truth unless it is the whole truth.

How many of your "team" know what "Pure religion" is and what it means to practice that pure religion "not spotted by the world"?

It would be far more important in determining who is truly the "Called out" of Christ to know what they are actually called out of. Just using the English term Church or ekklesia in itself is not very revealing.

I agree that the early congregations of elders met in homes but it is clear that they were also a kingdom that provided daily bread, welfare and aid around the world for Christians in a network of faith and charity so that no Christians had to go to the "fathers of the earth" nor the "benefactors" of the governments of the world for their daily bread.

Abraham, Moses, John the Baptist and Jesus and the early Church advocated a Daily ministration that provided all the social welfare of the people but was dependent on Charity alone. The called out served the people in "companies" of Tens who gathered "in ranks of one hundred" as Christ Commanded. The early Church formed a temple of living stones through love that was not like the temples of world nor the system of Corban of the Pharisees and Rome who forced the contributions of the people.
Jesus said he would take the kingdom from those who did not know Moses and what he was instructing the people to do and appoint the kingdom to others who would be doers of the word and produce fruit.
Jesus as the Christ appointed His little flock and "commanded" His disciples, His called out, to "make" the people "sit down" it that pattern of tens before they could receive His benefits.

The Church is the ekklesia

It has been known from the beginning of the English Bible that the word 'church' found in the New Testament is translated from the Greek word 'ekklesia' which actually comes from two Greek words 'ek' meaning 'out' and 'kaleo' meaning to 'call'.

An ekklesia or 'calling out' was not just an assembly. In fact the Greek words "agora" and "paneguris" as well as "heorte", "koinon", "thiasos" can all mean an assembly. There are other words in the Greek that can mean a small assembly or group of people like "sumposion" [1] used in Mark 6:39 when Christ commanded the people be assembled in familiar patterns and ranks of tens. The Greek words sunagoge[2] and sunago[3] or even sunalizo a verb that means "to gather together, assemble" [4] all contain the root of the word synagogue but none of these common Greek words mean the same as the word "ekklesia".

Gathering

While you may assemble those who are called out by Moses or Jesus we should see clearly that the word ekklesia means called out. The Aramaic words edah[5] ’esah, qahal,[6]za‘aq[7] or yahad could be translated into the Greek word ekklesia which we translate into Church if we assume that word just means "assembly". The Greek word ekklesia meaning the “called out ”specifically includes the idea of separation as we see with the Levites, who were called out by Moses and the Essenes at the time of Christ.

“They shall be separated from the midst of the gatherings of the men of wrongs to go to the wilderness to prepare there the way of the Lord, as it is written: In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord ...”[8]

The emphasis on separation is clear in Jesus’ statements about being in the world but not of it.[9] The Levites were also to be separate.[10]

The Church was designed to maintain an entrance[11] to the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth where every man might be returned to his possession and restored to his family.[12] The kingdom of God meant the right to be ruled by God rather than men and is sought by seeking righteousness.

The Levites were also “called out” by Moses, just as Jesus called out His disciples to be His Church. They were the ministers of the common welfare of the people seeking the Kingdom of God. They taught the ways of God’s kingdom and kept the people free, together and strong by a well organized system of charity and hope.

The Apostles along with the 70 appointed by Christ and the 120 in the upper room were all ministers in one accord, calling themselves servants, appointing men chosen by the people to tend to daily ministration, providing common welfare through charity and love rather than force and fealty.

Moses and Jesus did it that way so as to not bind the people through their covetous practices and the men who call themselves benefactors but who exercise authority one over the other. These ministers appointed and regulated by Christ's words were to rightly divide the bread of His welfare from house to house[13] and work daily in a living temple made of lively stones.[14]

The transition of society from bond to free requires ministers who are separate from the system of the world in which the people are already in bondage. Those ministers must belong to a sovereign power whose kingdom or government is not a part of the world.

Public Assembly

The word ekklesia was clearly a political term in the Greek language of the time, and not a general term for an assembly or specifically a religious term. If we accept that Jesus, as the Christ and Messiah, was the King of the Kingdom of God at hand then the authors of the Bible used the term ekklesia for a specific and good reason.

In classical Greek "ekklesia" meant "an assembly of citizens summoned by the crier, the legislative assembly."[15]

The early Roman Senate had no power to make law for the freeman. They were only titular leaders for the most part but their power would grow as the people became dependent upon the government benefits, the free bread. The Romans originally provided for their needs through voluntary practices of the community-funded social welfare. When the wealthy men of power and governments supported the temples through the tribute they collected their religion became public religion.


The Church in the wilderness

There was a Church in the wilderness, too. Israel was a government which was different than the governments of the world. Over time it had become corrupted by false or incomplete doctrines just like the prophets warned concerning the Church appointed by Christ would also become corrupted and even become workers of iniquity.

In Israel the government assembly was similar. Jesus who was the Christ took the government from those who sat in the seat of Moses because he was both high priest and king. He appointed His own seventy,[16] His own Sanhedrin, and appointed the kingdom to His called out Little flock, His disciples who became the Apostles known as the Ekklesia of "called out", or His Holy Church.[17]

The congregations of the people were originally composed of the elders of each family group through a network of electors which chose titular representatives in patterns of tens. These elected representatives did not make law either. There were no kings in Israel because it was a "government of the people, for the people, and by the people"[18]. If God was in the people's hearts and minds and the Church in the wilderness followed the leading of the Holy Spirit as they complied with the commands and directives of Moses they would be together a successful and free nation.

But there was another group that was called out to be separate yet provide some of the service needed in every society. This was the Levites and their services were religious. But the religious services they provided was not what people think of when you mention religion today.

The liturgy of their religion was "public service" through charity or what is called freewill offerings in the Old Testament. They provided welfare for the tents of the congregations by way of freewill offerings through living altars instead of force like the leaders of other nations who called themselves benefactors but who exercised authority one over the other.

Through service the Levites helped facilitate unity for an entire nation but prevented consolidation of power and influence. Moses devised this system by the inspiration of God at the time of the Golden calf. The Levites were the called out too and were called the Church in the wilderness.

Serve not Rule

By the time of Christ both, the Senate of Rome and the Sanhedrin of Judea had become bodies of legislative rulers exercising authority over the people. Their sacrifice or Corban was no longer funded by freewill offerings. They had become a corporate body of "lawmakers" ruling the people through vast bureaucratic systems under a central ruling office of executive power. When these institutions of men began forcing the contributions of the people through a system of compelled sacrifice to fill their treasuries or Corban they began making the word of God to none effect'. This alteration in the way of a society will alter the character of the people until they become "perfect savages".

When the people return to the pagan ways of the Golden calf Moses "called out" the faithful who were mostly of the tribe of the Levites. He appointed them to serve the "tents of the people" as the Church in the wilderness.

While in the Kingdom of God the people were at liberty to seek the righteousness of God and had No Kings over them being kings and priests in their own home, the Levites were the firstborn priests of the nation.

Many limitations, restrictions, and duties were resting on their shoulders as the called out of Moses. Once we fully understand the true nature of the role of the "Levites" and see the limitations, restrictions, and duties placed on them by Moses we may come to a better understanding of why Christ directed similar limitations, restrictions, and duties for His disciples and ministers whom he "called out".[19]


The King of the Church

Jesus, as the Christ, the Messiah, the highest son of David, was both Highpriest and King according to the order of Melchisedec. He would call out another group to replace the Levites, another Church.

Since the authority of the State in Israel was originally in the hands of the elders of each family, the people did not usually gather together to overthrow the corruption of government, since the people had learned to govern themselves. The heads of every household were the princes of Israel. The heads of each family group, which was a true government of the people, for the people, and by the people, under the God of Heaven were free as long as they remained faithful to God's law.

There was, at first, no Kings in Israel and the original Sanhedrin mentioned in Numbers 11:16 was to stand as a sort of overseer of truth serving the will of God by serving the congregation of the people in righteousness. They were truly titular leaders who served the public and God under the foundational laws of the government, the Ten Commandments. But, eventually, the voice of the people sought a ruler who could exercise authority and who appointed officers over the people from the top down making new laws of control and oppression. The need for an ekklesia steadily grew again as the people and their governments became more corrupt.

When the Greek city-states found their governments had become too corrupt and oppressive, they would call for an ekklesia, an assembly outside the civil authority of the city. If enough people came out and refused to accept the existing centralized civil authority, that government would collapse. Non-participation has been a successful and peaceful means to free mankind from oppressive civil authority throughout history.

Like the walkout strikes instituted by Gandhi in hope of freeing his people from the oppression of colonization, the act of calling the people out could be a very effective method of obtaining freedom through nonviolence. Gandhi did not only encourage worker strikes, but also practical methods to free society from the need of the corporate benefits and its resulting oppressive civil state. Moses had done the same in Egypt when he taught the people how to live without the exercising authority and benefits of the Pharaoh while still maintaining a viable, cohesive and productive society.

Jesus' procession into Jerusalem was a call for the people to stand against a corrupt oppressive government by offering them a legitimate government that operated differently than Herod the Great. John the Baptist had preached the kingdom of heaven at hand,[20] which was nothing less than a government operating by freewill offerings,[21] voluntary charitable participation[22] and the perfect law of liberty.[23] Jesus preached the same method of self-government and proclaimed that right for all who would remain faithful to Him. It was a powerful and non violent movement of the people, by the people, and for the people to change the course of history by changing the hearts and minds of men, by altering their relationship with governments of the Gentiles with their leaders who called themselves benefactors but who exercised authority .[24]

The Church and the congregation of the people

The use of the word Church was possibly a poor choice in place of the Greek ekklesia meaning a called out assembly but what men often mean unto evil God turns to good. That word Church has its origin in the meaning of lordship which may be accurate from a certain point of view. The called out must make their Lord truly their Lord by doing what he said. They are to be separate and not be a part of the "world" nor apply or pray for the gifts, gratuities and, benefits of the world while serving the people in a communion of righteous worship.

The ekklesia or Church was founded and established by Jesus Christ, Yahshua, almost 2000 years ago. It was a government established by the anointed King and appointed to His "little flock" to look after His Kingdom. Jesus was the rightful king, the highest son of David, proclaimed by many of the people as the Anointed. The trial before the Sanhedrin was an attempt to impeach Him and therefore end His appointed government. The Pharisees had given the ultimate right to choose who should be king of God's kingdom to the Romans back in the days of Pompey.

Luke 22:29 "And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;"

Jesus was recognized as the king by the existing world government when Pontius Pilate nailed his official proclamation of Christ's kingdom to the cross, which was sealed for all time in the blood of an innocent man. Jesus and His little flock of followers, the called out [ekklesia], were persecuted by the apostate church of that day who abandoned the house of David proclaiming they had no king but Caesar.

At Pentecost thousands of Jews, citizens of Judea, and others were baptized into that government by the appointed followers of the proclaimed and recognized king. All who became members of that kingdom of Heaven were put out[25] of the existing system of benefits offered through the Corban of the Pharisees and began to live a new life according to the precepts of God's government, by faith, hope and charity, and the perfect law of liberty.

God is the same, man is the same, sin is the same. Abraham was called out and eventually brought out many souls. Moses was called back to Egypt, assisted the people through the famines, teaching them the ways of God. He and Israel were cast out of Egypt but had to learn the ways of liberty under God. The people returned to sin with their golden calf and the Levites were called out to become the church in the wilderness.

Are we turning away from God's ways and back to the sin of Cain, Nimrod and the Nicolaitans?

The good news of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth has been shared with the world. His ekklesia was persecuted. Its chief executive officer is the Holy Spirit, its King is Jesus and its Ruling Judge is YHWH, God the Father. YaHWeH has given all power and authority to Jesus, Yahshua, who in turn has sent us the Holy Spirit to comfort us in our journey toward the Kingdom of God.

Salvation is returning to the Character of the Father like the Son. It is self-sacrifice, service and obedience that we must get right.


What the CHURCH is not

There are a lot of things the Church is not but at least:

And what it is

Who can define His Holy Church?

CHURCH "In its most general sense, the religious society founded and established by Jesus Christ, to receive, preserve, and propagate his doctrines and ordinances."
"A body or community of Christians, united under one form of government by the profession of one faith, and the observance of the same rituals and ceremonies." Black's Law Dictionary 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th eds.

How do we get into this government of Jesus Christ, this kingdom of Heaven on Earth?

Must we die to get into the Kingdom of Heaven?

"He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err." (Mark 12:27)

What and where is the key to the Kingdom of Heaven?

"And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art a rock, and upon this rock I will build my ekklesia (make my coming out); and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Matthew 16:17-19)

What is the form of His government?

How does Heaven run its government, it's ekklesia, here on earth?

"But Jesus called them [unto him], and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:25-28)

Are you in a government which exercises dominion over you?

If you are, then you are not in a government established by Jesus the Christ and the form of your government is not Christian.

Let every man remain subject to his superior authority; but should you go under authority in exchange for benefits and gratuities?

"All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body [is] not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make [them] the members of an harlot? God forbid." (1 Corinthians 6:12-14)

Have you sold the sweat of your brow <http://www.hisholychurch.org/study/gods/cog4eve.php> and gone under the authority and power of another?

Have you sold your land in exchange for gifts and benefits?

"Behold, we [are] servants this day, and [for] the land that thou gavest unto our fathers to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, behold, we [are] servants in it:" Nehemiah 9:36

" And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it. Nehemiah 9:38

Will you follow?

Is your Church attending to the Weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith which include caring for the needs of our neighbors and the widows and orphans of our society through Pure Religion in matters of health, education, and welfare. We are NOT to do so by the Covetous Practices of modern governments.

The Way of Christ was like neither the way of the world nor the governments of the gentiles who depend on benefactors who exercise authority. Christ's ministers and true Christians do not depend upon systems of social welfare that force the contributions of the people like the corban of the Pharisees which made the word of God to none effect. Many people have been deceived to go the way of Balaam and the Nicolaitan and out of The Way of Christ.

The Christian conflict of the first century Church appointed by Christ was because they would not apply to the fathers of the earth for benefits but instead relied upon a voluntary network providing a daily ministration to the needy of society through Faith, Hope, and Charity by way of freewill offerings of the people, for the people, and by the people through the perfect law of liberty in Free Assemblies according to the ancient pattern of Tuns or Tens.

The modern Christians are in need of repentance.


"Follow me!" —Jesus the Christ.


?
The original word Churche is not derived from the Greek goddess Circe nor the term for Pagan temples. It is more likely from the Celtic word for circle. The "companies" that Christ commanded his disciples to organize in a network of sharing gathered in circles of Tens. "Because the congregations were gathered in circles" of tens and ranks of one hundred which was the predominant form of government of free society throughout history as voluntary systems it should be obvious why modern doctrines avoid and distract the people from how the early Church was organizing and what it was doing.

Churche

Some say John Wycliffe took “churche” from the old English “kirke” which is often attributed to a pagan temple in earlier times. It is true that there is the word KIRKE (Circe) which was a goddess of sorcery (pharmakeia) who was skilled in the magic of transmutation, illusion, and necromancy. She lived on the mythical island of Aiaia (Aeaea) with her nymph companions.[27] But are these words really the source of the word Church we see in the text today?

Wycliffe always translated ekklesia “churche” even when it was used to describe a governmental assembly in Ephesus or the called out Levites in the wilderness.

In 1526 William Tyndale, and in 1535 Myles Coverdale translated ekklesia as “congregation”. Tyndale only used the word church in Acts 19:37 in reference to that pagan Temple of Diana when he was translating the word hierosulos, robbers of churches. [28]

To understand what a Church is and is not it might be useful to understand that the Temple of Diana was also a Church, one of many Temples that provided a means for the practice of Public religion instead of Pure Religion, and it was a bank?

But even more important why were Christians accused of robbing that temple while many other Romans and Greeks were Investing in Diana?

Christ was preaching one form of government as ancient as Moses and Abraham. He commanded his disciples to make the people sit down in "companies". We see the word "symposium" in the Greek text which was a small gathering of about ten friends. But they were also to connect each circle of friends by ranks of fifty and ranks of one-hundred. The first time Christ is seen commanding this network pattern in Mark 6 there were 5000 people gathered to share loaves and fishes.

The etymology of the word "church" or "churche" is commonly assumed to be from the Greek, kurios as we see in "kurios oikos" (house of the Lord). Or from the name of the Greek goddess Circe. These explanations might be true if it was not for the fact that the word existed in all the Celtic dialects long before the introduction of the Greek. Places of worship among the German and Celtic nations were always associated with circular gathering rome Stone Henge to King Arthur's round table. [29]

Anglo-Saxon 'circe' which came to mean a small church, has its origins in the word 'circol', a circle. It was these celtic words "Kirche" and "Circe" we see in most English versions as a rendering of the Greek word ekklesia.

Religious gatherings were often forming circles. The Druids, Celts, and Saxons all met in circles and often marked those areas with a circle of stones. Before Temples were buildings they were areas to safely meet which included sanctuary. At least twenty-eight of these ancient circles can be found in the area of Yorkshire alone. Many of the early Churches were built from some of the stones which had previously marked those sacred circles. Many people still called these buildings circe in Old English or kirk in Scottish when Wycliffe was translating the scriptures from the Greek into English.

  • "the derivation of the word 'church' is uncertain. It is found in the Teutonic and Slavonic languages and answers to the derivatives of ekklesia, which are naturally found in the romance languages and by foreign importation elsewhere. The word is generally said to be derived from the Greek kyriakos, meaning the lord's house. But the derivation has been too hastily assumed. It is probably associated with the Scottish kirk, the Latin circus/circulous, the Greek klukos, because the congregations were gathered in circles."[30]


One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.[31]

The Church established by Jesus Christ did not exercise authority one over the other nor did t exercise authority over the people who gathered in free assemblies of faith and love. When Christ commanded his disciples to organize the people in companies of ten and ranks of one-hundred they were not circles of power but of charity and service. God has always desired to set the people free from sin like the covetous practices which makes the people merchandise to the Fathers of the earth like Cain, Nimrod, Pharaoh, and Caesar.

Their offer of benefits and Free bread like Food Stamps, Social Security and welfare all provided through forced contributions not only makes the word of God to no effect they also are a snare and a trap.

  • Psalms 69:22 Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap.
  • Romans 11:9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:

Our desire to rule over our neighbor, to live at the expense of our neighbor, to extract security and benefits from others at the point of the sword brings us under the sword. If we are willing to bite one another we will be devoured.

The Modern Christian's imagination is often steeped in a distorted view of the Early Church. They have many ideas about Religion but none of them include "Pure Religion unspotted by the world". They have essentially made Christianity something it was never meant to be. They claim they want to get back to the roots of the early Christians but they hesitate to find out what the early Church was actually doing.

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


Have we taken the Mark of the Beast?

There is much more to share that may help people see what many have missed or were simply not told by the modern Church. In thee times I know knowing the whole gospel can be a great blessing.

Gregory



Fellowship Notes

Understanding true Christian Fellowship Read more at Fellowship


Four ways

There are 4 ways to provide for the welfare of society. But only two systems categories. See types of welfare The none system ways are

  • people who have randomly help people in need

or

  • the people who are in need randomly take from people who have.

The two systems are

  • People collectively force people who give through government what the government wants to help the needy

Or

  • The people systematically and voluntarily give charitably to the wisest and most charitable people of society who gather in an intimate network providing a practical daily ministration to the worthy poor.

The latter is both peculiar and free and what Abraham, Moses, John the Baptist, Jesus and the early Church chose to do. It is not what the Modern Church is doing.

"We are losing sight of civility in government and politics. Debate and dialogue is taking a back seat to the politics of destruction and anger and control. Dogma has replaced thoughtful discussion between people of differing views." James McGreevey

Of course Polybius said you would if you do not follow the fourth way

A government can give you nothing but what it takes from somebody else. A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you’ve got, including your freedom especially if you are willing to take from your neighbor to obtain the wages of unrighteousness Despite the warnings of Peter and other about covetous practices.

"If men were angels, no government would be necessary." James Madison

"The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next." Abraham Lincoln

The philosophy of the School Room today is Socialism and socialism is the religion you get when you have no pure religion.



Chan letters

Letters conflates form and substance in much of its critique of American church culture. Chan relates this story:

There is a simple exercise I walk through with church leaders. First, I have them list all the things that people expect from their church. They usually list obvious things like a really good service, strong age-specific ministries, a certain style/volume/length of singing, a well-communicated sermon, conveniences such as parking, a clean church building, coffee, childcare, etc. Then I have them list the commands God gave the church in Scripture. . . . .

https://books.google.com/books?id=DmhUDwAAQBAJ&pg=PT40&lpg=PT40&dq=%22list+the+commands+God+gave+the+church+in+Scripture%22+chan&source=bl&ots=_6P7OHaDSm&sig=tyeU4cHjjx2TT36X8T0vMR-Y_Vw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwidn-v2ubHfAhWLAnwKHUfpBdQQ6AEwAXoECAcQAQ#v=onepage&q=%22list%20the%20commands%20God%20gave%20the%20church%20in%20Scripture%22%20chan&f=false

Letters to the Church, Francis Chan,


Far too often we are more concerned with how well the sermon was communicated, whether the youth group is relevant enough, or how to make the music better. Honestly, what is it that gets people in your church stirred up for change? Is it disobedience toward commands from God? Or is it falling short of expectations that we have made up? The answer to these questions might just show us whether our church exists to please God or please people. (46–47, emphasis mine)

Many of the concerns Chan lists (sermons, music, programs) fall into the form category, about which the Bible says remarkably little. Surprisingly, it’s this lack of instruction that has helped Christianity to endure thousands of years and cross countless cultures. In fact, much of the book of Acts is about the church recognizing the cultural elasticity of their religious practices (think Acts 15:1–32). "Can your church be unapologetically attractional in form and robustly biblical in substance?"

Letters to the Church
FRANCIS CHAN
David C. Cook (2018). 224 pp. $16.99.

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/reviews/letters-church/

Again understanding the true meaning of Religion is important.
  1. 4849 ~συμπόσιον~ sumposion \@soom-pos’-ee-on\@ from a derivative of the alternate of 4844; ; n n AV-company 1, not tr. 1; Repeated twice in Mark 6:39
    1) a drinking party, entertainment
    1a) of the party itself, the guests
    1b) rows of guests
    "The symposium (or symposion) was an important part of ancient Greek culture from the 7th century BCE and was a party held in a private home where Greek males gathered to drink, eat and sing together. Various topics were also discussed such as philosophy, politics, poetry and the issues of the day."
    " The equivalent of a Greek symposium in Roman society is the Latin convivium."
    Plato in his "Laws" endorses the benefits of the symposium as a means to test and promote virtue in citizens.
  2. 4864 ~συναγωγή~ sunagoge \@soon-ag-o-gay’\@ from (the reduplicated form of) 4863; TDNT-7:798,1107; {See TDNT 764} n f AV-synagogue 55, congregation 1, assembly 1; 57
    1) a bringing together, gathering (as of fruits), a contracting
    2) in the NT, an assembling together of men, an assembly of men
    3) a synagogue
    3a) an assembly of Jews formally gathered together to offer prayers and listen to the reading and expositions of the scriptures; assemblies of that sort were held every sabbath and feast day, afterwards also on the second and fifth days of every week; name transferred to an assembly of Christians formally gathered together for religious purposes
    3b) the buildings where those solemn Jewish assemblies are held. Synagogues seem to date their origin from the Babylonian exile. In the times of Jesus and the apostles every town, not only in Palestine, but also among the Gentiles if it contained a considerable number of Jewish inhabitants, had at least one synagogue, the larger towns several or even many. These were also used for trials and inflicting punishment.
    • For Synonyms see entry 5897
  3. 4863 ~συνάγω~ sunago \@soon-ag’-o\@ from 4862 (with) and 71 (bring); ; v AV-gather 15, be gathered together 12, gather together 9, come together 6, be gathered 4, be assembled 3, take in 3, misc 10; 62
    1) to gather together, to gather
    1a) to draw together, collect
    1a1) of fishes
    1a2) of a net in which they are caught
    2) to bring together, assemble, collect
    2a) to join together, join in one (those previously separated)
    2b) to gather together by convoking
    2c) to be gathered i.e. come together, gather, meet
    3) to lead with one’s self
    3a) into one’s home, i.e. to receive hospitably, to entertain
  4. 4871 ~συναλίζω~ sunalizo \@soon-al-id’-zo\@ from 4862 and halizo (to throng); ; v AV-assemble together 1; 1
    1) to gather together, assemble
    2) to be assembled, meet with
  5. 05712 ^הדע^ ‘edah \@ay-daw’\@ from 05707 meaning witness in the original sense of fixture; n f; AV-congregation 124, company 13, assembly 9, multitude 1, people 1, swarm 1; 149
    1) congregation, gathering
    • ע Ayin also U Divine Providence Eye or Well of five states of kindness or severity. [eye, watch] 70
    • ד Dalet Selflessness – Charity, back and forth or through a door or pathway, to enter like a fish, 4
    • ה Hey Expression--Thought, Speech, Action. Manifest seeds of thought and life. [Emphasize, jubilation, window, fence] 5
  6. 06951 ^להק^ qahal \@kaw-hawl’\@ from 06950; n m; AV-congregation 86, assembly 17, company 17, multitude 3; 123
    1) assembly, company, congregation, convocation
    1a) assembly
    1a1) for evil counsel, war or invasion, religious purposes
    1b) company (of returning exiles)
    1c) congregation
    1c1) as organised body
  7. 02199 ^קעז^ za‘aq \@zaw-ak’\@ a primitive root; v; AV-cry 50, cry out 11, assemble 3, called 3, gathered together 2, gathered 2, company 1, proclaimed 1; 73
    1) to cry, cry out, call, call for help
    1a) (Qal)
    1a1) to call (to one’s aid)
    1a2) to cry, cry out (in need)
    1b) (Niphal) to be assembled, be called together, be joined together
    1c) (Hiphil)
    1c1) to call, call out, call together, summon
    1c2) to make a crying, proclaim
    1c3) to have a proclamation made
    1c4) to call out to, call out at
  8. The Community Rule, Dead Sea Scrolls.
  9. John 17:6-16, John 15:18-20; Luke 12:30, 6:22; Romans 1:1; 2 Corinthians 6:17; Hebrews 7:26.
  10. Numbers 3:12, 45, 8:14; Ezra 9:1; Nehemiah 10:28; Acts 4:36...
  11. 2 Peter 1:11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
  12. Leviticus 25:10 “...return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.” Leviticus 25:41 “... return unto his own family, and unto the possession of his fathers shall he return."
  13. Acts 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
    Acts 20:20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,
    1 Timothy 5:13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.
  14. Acts 2:46; Acts 5:42; Acts 3:2...; Acts 6; 2 Timothy 2:15
  15. Liddell and Scott define ekklesia as "an assembly of citizens summoned by the crier, the legislative assembly." [R. Scott, and H.G. Liddell, A Greek-English Lexicon, p. 206.]
    • Thayer's lexicon says, "an assembly of the people convened at the public place of council for the purpose of deliberating" [J. H. Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, p. 196].
    • Trench gives the meaning as "the lawful assembly in a free Greek city of all those possessed of the rights of citizenship, for the transaction of public affairs. That they were summoned is expressed in the latter part of the word; that they were summoned out of the whole population, a select portion of it, including neither the populous, nor yet strangers, nor those who had forfeited their civic rights--- this is expressed in the first. Both calling and calling out, are moments to be remembered, when the word is assumed into a higher Christian sense, for in them the chief part of its peculiar adaptation to its auguster uses lies." [Dean Richard Chenevix Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament, 7th ed., pp. 1-7].
    • Seyffert's dictionary states, "The assembly of the people, which in Greek cities had the power of final decision in public affairs" [ A German classical philologist, Oskar Seyffert, A Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, pp. 202-203].
  16. Luke 10:1 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come... 17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.
  17. There were many requirements and directives for these called out and appointed men which we list in the Free Church Report.
  18. General Prologue to the John Wycliffe Bible translation of 1384.
  19. Numbers 3:41 And thou shalt take the Levites for me (I am the LORD) instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel; and the cattle of the Levites instead of all the firstlings among the cattle of the children of Israel.
    Numbers 3:45 Take the Levites instead of all the firstborn among the children of Israel, and the cattle of the Levites instead of their cattle; and the Levites shall be mine: I am the LORD.
    Numbers 3:46 And for those that are to be redeemed of the two hundred and threescore and thirteen of the firstborn of the children of Israel, which are more than the Levites;
    Numbers 8:18 And I have taken the Levites for all the firstborn of the children of Israel.
    Nehemiah 10:36 Also the firstborn of our sons, and of our cattle, as [it is] written in the law, and the firstlings of our herds and of our flocks, to bring to the house of our God, unto the priests that minister in the house of our God:
    Matthew 1:25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
    Luke 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
    Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
    Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
    Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
    Hebrews 11:28 Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
    Hebrews 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect.
  20. Matthew 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
  21. Exodus 35:29 The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the LORD, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the LORD had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses.
  22. Luke 3:11 He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.
  23. 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.
  24. Matthew 20:25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. Mark 10:42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. Matthew 20:25-26 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
    Mark 10:42-43 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:
    Luke 22:25-26 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: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.
  27. Before that Circe was a goddess of sorcery (pharmakeia) who was skilled in the magic of transmutation, illusion, and necromancy. And her name is derived from the Greek verb kirkoô meaning "to secure with rings" or "hoop around"--a reference to the binding power of magic.
  28. For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, ...Acts 19:37
  29. "The etymology of this word is generally assumed to be from the Greek, Kuriou oikos (house of God); but this is most improbable, as the word existed in all the Celtic dialects long before the introduction of Greek. No doubt the word means "a circle." The places of worship among the German and Celtic nations were always circular. (Welsh, cyrch, French, cirque; Scotch, kirk; Greek, kirk-os, etc.) Compare Anglo-Saxon circe, a church, with circol, a circle." Ebenezer Cobham Brewers Dictionary of Phrase and Fable of 1898.
  30. Smith's Bible Dictionary from 1884, page 452.
  31. J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings (1954–55)