Church Member Responsibility and Church Discipline at Pastor Eric Davis’ Church

Church membership, church discipline, Pastor Eric Davis, Cornerstone Church


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Church Member Responsibility and Church Discipline According to the Cornerstone Church By-laws

mind-the-gap

-by Kathi

I recently wrote about how Julie Anne and I dared to comment on an article at The Cripplegate which subsequently caused our comments to be deleted and comments to be closed. Pastor Eric Davis provided an entirely too long explanation about how the discussion had run its course, more humbleness in being a part of God’s community was needed, and that there was too much focus on logistics. Let’s not forget that he provided the wonderful 16-point article challenging excuses for not going to church. But who’s focusing on logistics?

I was up most of the night wondering who Eric Davis is and what kind of church he runs. Here is Eric’s profile at The Cripplegate:

screenshot-2017-01-11-at-9-01-17-pm

Eric’s bio on Cornerstone Church’s site states that he holds an M.Div. from Master’s Seminary and a M.A. in Biblical Counseling from The Master’s College. It is important to note that all but one leadership team member at the church hold some type of degree from The Master’s College or Master’s Seminary. Oh, look! Cornerstone Church even shows up on The Master’s College site as a TMS Alumni Church!

While I can’t find the specific article, I remember reading something on 9Marks (or The Gospel Coalition?) about membership responsibility. What stood out then was how members who live too far away from a “good church” should move, and if members are working on Sundays that take them away from church, they should get their work schedules changed. These two points were in Eric’s post and it caused me to be suspicious that Cornerstone Church might be affiliated with 9Marks. I looked up Cornerstone Church on the 9Marks site and sure enough, they’re affiliated (Search by zip code 83001. It’s a different physical address but same web link). No surprise to me.

So now we know that we have John MacArthur taught leaders in a 9Marks affiliate church. What could their by-laws be like? Since the original post Julie Anne and I commented on was specifically about members, we’ll look at membership and church discipline at Cornerstone Church which is found in Article V of the by-laws.

How to apply for membership:

Section 4. Applications for Membership – All requests for membership shall be made to a Pastor, Elder, Deacon, or Steering Committee Member. Upon making such a request, the person shall be given an application for membership, along with a copy of the Statement of Faith contained in the Articles of Incorporation and a copy of the Bylaws. …… Each applicant shall assent to the Statement of Faith, subscribe to the Bylaws, and shall testify publicly before a duly appointed Committee of the Board, per Article VI, Section 17 of these Bylaws, at a regularly held meeting for prospective members.

Your membership may be denied:

Section 5. Denial of Membership – If, upon review of an application for membership or after meeting with a prospective member, the Board of Elders, or Steering Committee if not yet replaced by the Board of Elders, determines that the applicant does not confess Jesus Christ as his or her Lord and Savior, or that there is a lack of evidence of a Christ-like lifestyle, membership shall be denied. The decision made by the Board, or Steering Committee if not yet replaced by the Board of Elders, shall be final and there shall be no appeal to any court from that decision.

The Board of Elders holds the power to deny your membership if they deem that you are not a true believer or if they think your lifestyle is not Christ-like enough. Forget going to court over it; their decision in final. Why bring up appealing to court over a denial for membership? Does this happen? I guess it must or, this is simply 9Marks talk to cover all bases.

How you are admitted into membership:

Section 6. Admission of Applicants – Applicants admitted to membership shall, if possible present themselves at a worship service designated by the Pastor and Board of Elders, at which service such applicants shall publicly affirm their membership commitment and be publicly acknowledged as members.

Here one stands before the congregation to acknowledge commitment to the church. Keep reading, though, . . . you’ll find that you might “stand” before the congregation for another issue – perhaps not physically, but surely in spirit.

Member responsibility:

Section 7. Responsibilities of Members – Members shall seek to exercise their spiritual gifts for the work of service to honor Jesus Christ and build up the church and shall submit to the loving shepherding of the Elders, or Steering Committee if not yet replaced by the Board of Elders.

Serve Jesus and accept loving shepherding. Now we move on to the “loving shepherding.”

Purpose of church discipline (Church Discipline is Section 8):

a.) Purpose: The purpose of church discipline is to glorify God by: 1) pursuing a sinning believer for the purpose of helping them be reconciled to God and the church (Matthew 18:12-18, 1 Corinthians 5:5, Galatians 6:1) 2) promote the holiness of Christ in the local church (1 Corinthians 5:6) 3) promote a biblical fear of God and turn away from sinning (1 Tim 5:20).

PPP – pursue, promote, promote. Honestly, it’s the pursuing that concerns me.

The process of church discipline:

b.) Process: Members of this church and all other professing Christians who regularly attend or fellowship with this church who err in doctrine, or engage in conduct that violates Scripture as determined by the Board of Elders, or Steering Committee if not yet replaced by the Board of Elders, shall be subject to church discipline including dismissal according to Matthew 18:15-18.

Say I’m a member of this church and I need to undergo church discipline. For this scenario, we’ll say I’m questioning the leadership by commenting on a blog post in regard to doctrine or church policy (because we all know that would happen):

First, someone who knows about my sinful conduct should come alongside me to warn and provide correction. If I do not repent, then the next step would be for the warning individual to find one or two other people who agree with my sinful nature. Those individuals would also provide warning and correction. But, I’m stubborn and I still do not repent.

My continued stubbornness causes the elders to investigate the matter. If they are able to determine that, yes, I am sinful in my questioning and that I have been warned but did not repent, then:

(b. iii.)…the Board of Elders, shall inform the church and the congregation thereof at a regularly scheduled worship service in order that the church may come alongside the erring individual to call them to repentance and restoration.

Yes, airing my sinful nature during a worship service would totally signify to me that they are walking along my side. Say I still do not repent, even after public rebuke. Now I am publicly dismissed from the church during a regular worship service. The elders can choose to bypass the first two steps and go straight to the congregation if I publicly refuse to repent, disseminate “doctrine deemed false or erroneous by the elders” or if I disregard two warnings.

But here’s the real kicker:

d.) The members of this church, and all other professing Christians who regularly attend or fellowship with this church, agree that there shall be no appeal to any court because of the dismissal or because of public statements to the congregation at the third or fourth stages of church discipline. Members who are under discipline by the church, as defined in the previous paragraphs, forfeit and waive the right to resign from this church. Resignations from membership are possible only by members who are in good standing and who are not under any disciplinary action.

Did you catch that? You cannot appeal this decision or any statements made publicly in a court. The only recourse you have is to appeal to the elders. If you are under church discipline, you “waive your right to resign from this church.” WHAT??!! With the expectation of members fully adhering to the leadership and the process of church discipline, is it any wonder that Eric Davis has opinions about the reasons people give for not going to church?

I did not see anything that states that members need to sign a membership agreement, but I would venture to guess that this happens. Don’t do it folks! You are only giving written permission for this leadership to call you out for what they deem as conduct that “violates Scripture.”

I’m sure that includes asking questions.

245 comments on “Church Member Responsibility and Church Discipline at Pastor Eric Davis’ Church

  1. Mark

    Here’s just the first Qualification in both 1 Tim 3, and Titus.

    1 – Must Be BLAMELESS.

    Titus 1:5-8 KJV
    5 …ordain elders in every city…
    6 If any be BLAMELESS, the husband of one wife,
    having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
    7 For a bishop “Must Be” BLAMELESS,
    as the steward of God; NOT self willed, NOT soon angry,
    NOT given to wine, NO striker, NOT given to filthy lucre;
    8 a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober,
    JUST, HOLY, temperate;

    1 – Must Be
    Strongs #1163, die. – It is necessary (as binding).
    Thayer’s – necessity established by the counsel and decree of God.
    This must be is the same Greek. – You must be born again. Jn 3:7
    Seems to be a small word but very important. Yes?

    1 – BLAMELESS
    Strongs #410 anegkletos – unaccused, irreproachable, blameless.
    Thayers – cannot be called into account, unreproveable, unaccused.
    Dictionary – Without fault, innocent, guiltless, not meriting censure.

    How many, pastor/leader/elder/reverends…
    Who honestly examine themselves…
    Seriously considering this one qualification…
    Can see themselves as **BLAMELESS,* without fault, innocent…
    And thus qualify to be an pastor/leader/elder/reverend?

    And if you can see yourself as BLAMELESS?
    Is that Pride? Deception? Delusion?
    And NO longer without fault? 🙂

    And, if a pastor/elder/overseer does NOT Qualify???

    Will they remove themselves?

    And be a good example to the Flock?

    Like

  2. Mark

    Here are two more Qualifications from Titus.

    2 – JUST
    Strongs #1342 – dikaios {dik’-ah-yos} from 1349;
    Thayers – righteous, observing divine laws, innocent, faultless, guiltless.

    3 – HOLY
    Strongs #3741 – hosios {hos’-ee-os}
    Thayers – undefiled by sin, free from wickedness,
    religiously observing every moral obligation.

    Now that’s three tough qualifications for pastor/elder/overseers. Yes?

    If WE, His Ekklesia, His Church, His Called Out Ones, His Body…
    Take seriously the many tough Qualifications in 1 Tim 3:1-6, and Titus 1:5-9…

    The number of Biblically Qualified – pastor/leader/reverends…
    Is quite small. 😉

    But, will these UN-qualified, pastor/leader/reverends…

    “Remove Themselves?”

    And be a good example to the flock?
    xxxxxxxxxx

    The Bible talks about elder/overseers.
    And Qualifications for elder/overseers.

    Can you have one without the other?

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  3. Mark

    Who is your “leader?”

    Does your “leader” meet these 17+, very tuff qualifications?

    How about just these 3 Qualifications?
    1 – Must Be ”BLAMELESS”
    2 – JUST. 3 – HOLY.
    xxxxxxxx

    Who is your ”postional Authority?”

    Does your “postional Authority” meet these 17+, very tuff qualifications?

    How about just these 3 Qualifications?
    1 – Must Be ”BLAMELESS”
    2 – JUST. 3 – HOLY.
    xxxxxxxxxxx

    The Bible talks about elder/overseers.

    And Qualifications for elder/overseers.

    Can you have one without the other?
    xxxxxxxx

    I have Decided to Follow…

    The ”ONE” Leader – The ”ONE” Shepherd – The ”ONE” Teacher

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

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  4. julie Anne: you can delete this: Just turned him in to his Master’s Seminary group for his control issues (in just reviewing his articles, he’s pretty much closed all this comments even down to 1, 3 or less); so obviously has some issues fear, etc., control=no freedom to express=feel sorry for his congregants. More church abuse victims up the road telling their horror stories. Confronted where is Membership scriptural, many other items. Amos you did great, appreciate you!

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  5. p.s. he also took his picture down? lol. thanks for doing your research! Leonard Ravenhill confronted that in a sermon, imagine Jesus making someone a member of a church, no, no, no, a thousand times no believe it was his 1-27-1991 message in Anaheim CA it’s on the net=one of the most powerful messages ever, one of the best. really appreciate the as iron sharpens iron comments here. and amos on confronting eric’s orig.memo.

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  6. I don’t think there’s a point in debating this any more. We obviously have a different idea of how scripture works. I look at all of scripture as authoritative, and yes, I struggle with passages that seem to contradict, but in studying this issue to respond to you, what I’ve held seems to be underscored by scripture after scripture. I find it pointless to search scriptures for things that contradict what you’re saying, only to have the very same thing come up two or three posts later.

    I continue to believe that there are fundamental failings in the organized church, not because the organized church is somehow fundamentally evil, but because power and prestige are what the world seeks after, and, unfortunately, most of what is out there is the world. It’s not just the church. Fathers lord it over their wives and children. Policemen lord it over the poor and minorities. Politicians lord it over all of us.

    We can’t argue from the specific to the general. Evil priests did not make the priesthood unscriptural, neither evil synagogue leaders make the synagogue wrong, nor did evil Kings make the throne of Israel and Judah illegitimate.

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  7. Thanks Mark. I got a pretty good laugh from your comment.

    We obviously have a different idea of how scripture works. I look at all of scripture as authoritative, and yes, I struggle with passages that seem to contradict…”

    Jesus said, “ONE fold. ONE shepherd. ONE body. ONE head”.

    I look at Jesus’ plain words as authoritative and not my limited understanding of a particular text validated by years of ‘christian’ tradition and commentary. – me

    “I continue to believe that there are fundamental failings in the organized church, not because the organized church is somehow fundamentally evil, but because power and prestige are what the world seeks after, and, unfortunately, most of what is out there is the world. It’s not just the church. Fathers lord it over their wives and children. Policemen lord it over the poor and minorities. Politicians lord it over all of us.”

    There’s only the church Jesus is building Mark and it’s not failing at all because Jesus is an excellent builder. You’re referring to the churches built by men. Not the same ‘church’.

    “We can’t argue from the specific to the general. Evil priests did not make the priesthood unscriptural, neither evil synagogue leaders make the synagogue wrong, nor did evil Kings make the throne of Israel and Judah illegitimate.”

    Jesus’ priesthood looks nothing like the one in the OT.

    No physical temples. No more sacrifices. No religious services.

    Whatever the ‘church’ of today is DOING, it has no foundation in Jesus Christ. His people ARE the ‘church’ not the weekly religious meeting.

    We are on two very different wavelengths Mark.

    Thanks for the discussion.

    If I’m completely wrong then I truly hope the Lord will open my eyes.

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  8. Salty

    Yes – Yes – Yes
    “There’s only the church Jesus is building Mark
    “and it’s NOT failing at all”

    because Jesus is an excellent builder.”

    You’re referring to the churches built by men. 😦

    Not the same ‘church’.

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  9. Salty

    WE, His Ekklesia, His Called Out Ones, are warned…
    That some will preach another Jesus. 2 Cor 11:4

    Dontcha think some are preaching another Ekklesia?
    A false ekklesia, where man is in control? And NOT Jesus?

    Isn’t Jesus is the head of ”The Body, The Church?”

    Didn’t Jesus teach ”His Disciples” NOT to be called Rabbi/teacher?
    For you have ”ONE” Teacher – Jesus?

    Didn’t Jesus teach ”His Disciples” NOT to be called ”Master/Leader?”
    For you have ’ONE” master/leader – the Christ? Mat 23:1-10 KJV

    Doesn’t the Bible warn ”His Disciples” about “Titles?” Job 32:21 KJV

    1st Samuel chapter 8 is about God’s people ”Rejecting God’s Leadership.”
    For that of ”a Human, A King,” to be like the other people. 😦

    God was NOT happy…
    But, He gave them what they wanted, ”And a Little Bit Extra.” 🙂 🙂

    1 Sam 8:7
    And the LORD said unto Samuel,
    Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee:
    for they have NOT rejected thee, but they have rejected me,
    that I should NOT reign over them.

    And how did having Kings turn out for Isreal? My.. My… Tsk… Tsk…

    If folks want a Mere Fallible Human to “Reign Over” them?
    To have “Authority” over them? To be THEIR leaders? THEIR shepherds?

    And NOT  – The **“ONE” Leader? The ”ONE” Shepherd?
    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    God will give them what they ask for, ”And a Little Bit Extra.” 🙂 🙂

    1 Sam 8:11
    This will be the manner of the king that shall ”reign over you:”
    He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots,
    and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots….

    Your King will take your sons.
    Your King will take your daughters.
    Your King will take your fields.
    Your King will take your vineyards.
    Your King will take your oliveyards.
    Your King will take the tenth of your seed.
    Your King will take your menservants.
    Your King will take your maidservants
    Your King will take your asses.
    Your King will take the tenth of your sheep.

    and you shall be ”the Kings servants…”

    1 Sam 8:19
    Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; **
    and they said, **Nay; but we will have a king over us…

    Human Kings, leaders, don’t look like such a good idea now, do they? 🙂

    But, God, will give you what you ask for, ”And a Little Bit Extra.” 🙂 🙂

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  10. Yes Amos.

    We have been warned many, many times.

    Who can we trust?

    The One who is Truth and the One who promised to dwell in His people to guide them in The Way.

    Sounds mysterious huh?

    Haha.

    “Go into your room and pray to your Father”.

    He didn’t make it difficult.

    He even gives the Spirit to us for free!

    But we want books and tapes and conferences and SERMONS.

    No thanks.

    I’m good 🙋👊

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  11. Mark I find it pointless to search scriptures for things that contradict what you’re saying, only to have the very same thing come up two or three posts later.

    This inabilitiy to see other viewpoints is a hallmark of being in deception. Or of someone seeing a truth and rigidly cliniging to it and being unwilling to see other, qualifying or supplementing truths.

    Everyone’s views are to a greater or lesser extent influenced by their experience. You are undoubtedly right about error in the institutional church, but the equal and opposite error is the ‘Jesus and me alone’ error. The body of Christ does not consist of one member!

    You have to balance the truth that Jesus as the good shepherd does indeed teach and tend each individual Christían direct, and that he gave gifts amongst men that some should be pastors and teachers. In other words, part of Christ’s ministry comes to men through other men.

    I’ve had to learn as I have got older that within the institutional church are genuine, authentic NT churches. That even if someone carries the title reverend or pastor they may actually being fullfilling that ministry amongst those they serve and care for. You have to judge on a church by church basis.

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  12. Hi Amos,

    Well, we know that Peter had a wife and most likely several children. He left his fishing career to follow Christ while Jesus was traveling around and ministering. How did Peter provide for his family while he was on the road traveling with Jesus for three years?

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  13. Avid Reader

    Peter trusted God to meet his needs???

    Php 4:19
    But my God shall supply all your need
    according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

    Luke 12:28-32 KJV
    If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field,
    and to morrow is cast into the oven;
    how much more will he clothe you,
    O ye of little faith?
    And seek NOT ye what ye shall eat,
    or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.
    For all these things do the nations of the world seek after:
    and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
    But rather seek ye the kingdom of God;
    and ALL these things “Shall be added unto you.”

    2nd Cor 9:7-11 KJV
    Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give;
    not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
    And God is able to make all grace abound toward you;
    that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things,
    may abound to every good work:
    (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad;
    he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.
    Now he that ministereth seed to the sower
    both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown,
    and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
    Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness,
    which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.

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  14. “Well, we know that Peter had a wife and most likely several children. He left his fishing career to follow Christ while Jesus was traveling around and ministering. How did Peter provide for his family while he was on the road traveling with Jesus for three years?”

    Most likely family and the extended family business of fishing. That would have been tradition. It’s not as if he had a benefactor ( the Roman tradition) right away. We do know in Luke 8 the women traveling with them had means and provided for them financially. That is not a “tithe”, though. Nor is it a salary with benefits, 401k and tax free housing allowance. :o) it was quite messy, I imagine. We don’t see much official bookkeeping after Judas. :o)

    I think we might come at this differently. You communicate in a way that we “owe” certain titles because supposedly Jesus commanded it to work that way. I think you have misunderstood. Each person can decide to whom to help with an offering and how much. I don’t view it as my business what you do in such cases. I am perplexed why you view it as your business what others decide even down to insisting we must choose your interpretations.

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  15. Amos,

    Yes, Peter trusted God. But how did that translate to food on the table for his wife and children? How did he keep a roof over their head while he was gone on the road, following Jesus?

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  16. Avid Reader

    Okay – “Peter,” is found in 156 verses.

    I just quickly read them all… 🙂

    And NOT one verse answered your questions…

    “But how did that translate to food on the table
    for his wife and children?
    How did he keep a roof over their head
    while he was gone on the road, following Jesus?

    NOT one verse had, “Peter,” providing food for his wife, and children.
    NOT one verse had, “Peter,” having children.
    NOT one verse had, “Peter,” providing a roof.

    But I cudda missed it… 😉
    Maybe you can help? Where are these verses that answer your questions?
    xxxxxxxxx

    When “Peter,” travelled with Jesus…
    ”Judas,” carried the money they needed…
    And many women provided for them… Yes?

    Luke 8:3 NKJV
    and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna,
    and many others
    who provided for Him from their substance.
    xxxxxxxxxx

    Luke 18:28 KJV
    Then Peter said,
    Lo, we have left ALL, and followed thee.

    Acts 3:6 T
    Then Peter said,
    Silver and gold have I none;
    but such as I have give I thee:
    In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth
    rise up and walk.
    xxxxxxxxx

    Once again…

    What’s your point?

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  17. On another note, I remembered that Paul describes Phoebe as both a deacon and “protasis” which means patron or benefactor . He mentions that in relation to many people, not just himself. That could mean she funded many in their ministry endeavors or helped poorer believers while also a deacon serving others. But Greek is weird in that is has much fewer words and some words can mean different things depending on the context. My guess is she was wealthy, traveled and helped a lot of people along the way. He wanted to Roman church to accept and respect her.

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  18. January 21, 2017 @ 10:47 PM Salty and one and all, great comments. FEEL LIKE I’M HAVING TRUE CHURCH thank you one and all for feedback. Love the “Bible=Word” going forth. One time Avid R. asked me a question on another site about how I would do church or take care of the poor whatever. Years ago, I read the Bible completely through more than once and pulled out every verse for taking care of the Fatherless, Widow, Orphan, Stranger, Alien etc., what tithe/money was really meant for and researched what Jesus Christ required and said; what a true church was and looked like Items/things that come up research/Study the Bible like Matthew 18:19-21. I don’t get myself caught up in my one friend who grew up in the church and now EXTREMELY bitter and going to hell over a former pastor/church and throws in my face discrepancies of the Bible (Matthew 7:13-14). I tell him I know that I know, that I know God, Jesus, & Holy Spirit are real and it’s NOT on works and performance and have seen wonderful items Bible talks about. Appreciated Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola (green cover) that answered all my remaining ?’s for God (of my rants of the why of it all). Reality, The Hope of Glory/True Fellowship-Art Katz written works and all of Leonard Ravenhill works which set me on the straight and narrow because we don’t see Holiness Men much IF at all; if it all or what’s written in “That’s No Problem, for the Lord by Jerry Leonard. Studied the argument: of when someone says “forsake not the assembly”; studied what that really meant!

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  19. Hi THOT,

    It sounds like you may have mistaken me with someone else.

    Someone else asked you that question.

    By the way, I really appreciated you recommending the book:

    Ten Lies the Church Tells Women

    That’s a great book—I highly recommend it as well.

    Like

  20. Good morning Amos,

    Sometimes the real world interrupts and pulls me away from the keyboard right when I’m trying to respond. Now things have settled down and I’m back.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. 156 verses on Peter? Wow! I’m impressed that you would take the time to read through all 156!

    Here’s the verse about Peter having a house:

    “When Jesus arrived at Peter’s house……” (Matthew 8:14 Berean)
    (this is where Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law)

    I’ve been thinking a lot about what you wrote in several comments on this thread and where we had our long discussion about pastors on another thread. You had asked the question of whether Jesus or any of His disciples ever were “paid professionals” (in the sense that pastors receive salaries today).

    That got me thinking—how was Peter providing for his wife and children? In the ancient world—it was pretty normal for people to have large families. Absent any physical impairment, Peter and his wife would have had several children. We also know that his mother-in-law lived with them, as well.

    Then the Apostle Paul specifically referenced Peter in 1Cor 9:5 as an example of someone having the “right” to provide for his wife while doing the work of the ministry.

    So are we missing the forest by looking at the trees?

    We’ve had a long debate over whether Jesus is the only pastor or God still calls people to do the work of pastoring. We’ve debated whether all pastors have to work a full time job or whether they can receive a salary from doing the work of the ministry.

    We know that Jesus worked in carpentry during the first thirty years of His life. Was Jesus still working full time as a carpenter to pay his bills while He traveled and ministered for three years?

    Jesus and the disciples were doing ministry full time during the three years that they traveled together—they didn’t need any titles but they did need to provide for their families.

    You had specifically asked if any disciples had had any titles. Peter specifically referred to this in Acts 1:20 when they take a vote among on early church on who replaces the “office” Judas had held.

    Peter references Psalms as authority for the decision they were making on how
    “May another take his office.”
    Acts 1:20 (Berean)

    Peter says
    “So now we must choose a replacement for Judas from among the men who were with us the entire time we were traveling with the Lord Jesus.”
    Acts 1:21 (NLT)

    “And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two YOU HAVE CHOSEN to occupy THIS MINISTRY and APOSTLESHIP from which Judas turned aside……”
    Acts 1:24-25 (NASB)

    Here’s an example of the disciples using titles—not that titles matter. But they still sought the heart of God over who God had chosen, not who wanted that job. That’s the whole key to this discussion. It’s about who God chose and gifted for doing the work of the ministry. No one here is suggesting that we have to support self proclaimed apostles and pastors. We judge them by their fruit. Real apostles and pastors just do the work of the ministry without trying to “exalt” themselves.

    The Apostle Paul specifically referenced the analogy of a solider going to war. Does a soldier receive a salary to provide for his family while he’s gone or does he have to work full time as a welder to pay his way to serve in the military overseas? That’s not my words. That’s 1Cor 9 where Paul was telling the Corinthian church that they weren’t contributing their fair share—thus because of their decision Paul had “robbed” other churches to accept the support that the Corinthian church wasn’t contributing.

    “I robbed other churches by accepting their support in order to serve you.”
    2Cor 11:8 (Berean)

    If we are going to say that the whole chapter of 1Cor 9 doesn’t apply to us today— then the whole books of First Corinthians and Second Corinthians don’t apply either. We can’t have it both ways.

    In the early days of American history—when Virginia was a colony of England—there were laws that only one Christian denomination was allowed. Everyone had to attend that one. No one could preach without a license from the government run church. The early Baptist preachers were thrown in jail for preaching without that license. There’s a story about how Patrick Henry rode horseback for many miles to reach the trial of three Baptist pastors so he could serve as their defense attorney. He gave a resounding speech that brought the whole courtroom to their feet by asking basically why are we putting them on trial for the “crime” of preaching the Gospel?

    So when America became a nation, Patrick Henry and James Madison had a big argument over whether Virginia could levy the tithe as a legal tax. Patrick Henry wanted that tax. James Madison argued against the tax because he felt that if people had freedom of religion, they could choose whatever church they wanted to support and then the good pastors would receive the support and no one would want to support the bad pastors. Ironically, neither of them had a problem with pastors receiving a salary, they just wanted the churches that were actually helping people to thrive and the rest to be held accountable by congregations that could vote with their feet. Guess who won the argument and wrote the Bill of Rights. 🙂

    Like

  21. Salty,

    If you’re called by God to be a hand in the body of Christ, you’ll naturally be attracted to wrist groups and repulsed by shoulder, elbow and knee ministries. We are not suggesting that you have to try to fit somewhere that you don’t feel that you belong.

    The danger that all believers face is how easy it is for us to get comfortable within whatever four walls of Christian groups we attend and forget that the heart of God beats for reaching the whole world with the Gospel. The heart of God wants ministry to get done around the world. Each part of the body of Christ has a part in that.

    Like

  22. Hi Avid, the body of Christ has many members and God gifts each member for a specific ‘ministry’ or service (if you prefer). Jesus was mocked for saying the temple would be destroyed and raised again in three days. Of course he was referring to his Body.

    The Body of Christ is not a religious meeting, group or institution called ‘the church’. The weekly meeting is not ‘the temple’ or ‘house of God’. The church Jesus is building has its members all over the world as there is only ONE body of Christ. We house the Spirit of the living God.

    My point in all this is that what everyone continues to call ‘the church’ is not the church Jesus is building.

    It would have to be the biggest delusion going.

    “Come to the house of the Lord. God is going to do something amazing tonight”.

    Jesus said, “don’t go”.

    I understand God gives his people gifts.

    He does not give a person a gift in evangelism so they can hold ridiculous ‘evangelism meetings’ which are held in ‘churches’ built by men and always attended by professing believers. We are given gifts to Goooooo.

    Where?

    Out into the world.

    But nooooo.

    Christians want meetings.

    “I hate your solemn assemblies” said some prophet we don’t bother reading.

    Like

  23. Avid

    Seems – We have a mis-understanding…
    About the use of the word ”Tithe.”

    My understanding of ”Tithe” in the Bible.
    ”Tithe” = NEVER Money.
    ”Tithe” = NEVER required of one of ”His Disciples” in the NT.
    ”Tithe” = NEVER required to be given to a NT church.
    ”Tithe” = NEVER required to be given to a NT pastor.

    And we seem to have a big mis-understanding…
    About people who serve the Lord full time…
    Or people who serve the Lord part time…
    Trusting God – Living by FAITH…
    Receiving ”Money.”
    From people….
    Donations..
    Offerings…
    Gratuities…
    Housing…
    Clothes…
    Cars…
    xxxxxxxxxxx

    I have lived this way – By FAITH – Depending on the Lord to provide…

    Left my profession in the late 80’s…
    Went to work for the Lord with a foster care agency…
    Working with abused teenagers… NO salary…

    After savings were gone…
    Lived 10 years without a bank account…

    And the Lord provided through people…
    ”Money”… Housing… Clothes… Cars…

    ”Money” would show up from strangers, friends.

    Had some ”ODD” Jobs along the way. – Emphasis on ”ODD.” 🙂

    ”Volunteering” with homeless ministries…
    ”Volunteering” with food pantry ministries feeding in the streets…
    ”Volunteering” with veterans at a homeless shelter at a VA hospital…

    Often full time… For Months… Years… NO salary… Trusting…

    NOT always my choice… But, the Lord provided… 😉

    Like

  24. Avid

    You might have missed this comment on the other thread.

    https://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2017/01/07/comments-closed-and-removed-at-the-cripplegate/comment-page-1/#comments

    “Comments Closed and Removed at The Cripplegate”
    xxxxxxxxxx

    JANUARY 14, 2017 @ 9:02 AM
    Avid Reader

    I have NO problem with any believer giving MONEY.
    Giving MONEY to a ministry… Giving MONEY to people…

    I encourage believers, often, To Give Freely. – But…
    To ask Jesus first – where to give this MONEY. – Yes??? 🙂

    If Jesus has asked you to give MONEY to pastor Jeff?
    Or anyone who has taken the Title/Postion, pastor/leader/reverend?
    A Title that does NOT exist in the Bible for one of His Disciples.

    Please, do what Jesus asks you to do.

    If Jesus asks you to give 10%, from your wages, MONEY…
    To pastor Jeff? Or any pastor?

    Please, do what Jesus asks you to do.

    But, If that pastor says, you, Avid, are required to “Tithe”???
    Give 10%? From wages? Weekly? To a “local church?”
    As a requirement? From the Bible?

    That is NOT in the Bible. That is NOT the Truth.
    That pastor is a Wolf and a Con Artist.
    Whether That pastor knows it or NOT.

    That is what “Today’s Corrupt Religious System” often teaches. 😦

    You asked @ JANUARY 12, 2017 @ 7:45 AM…
    “Is it a sin for “good pastors” to receive tithes?

    I believe “a good pastor” would NEVER ask you to give tithes.
    And, “a good pastor” would NEVER receive tithes.

    Because, in the NT, Jesus, taught His Disciples

    There is NONE GOOD but “ONE,” that is God. Mat 19:17.

    And, Jesus, called Himself, The Good Shepherd. John 10:11-14.

    And, Jesus, called Himself, ”The “ONE” Shepherd.” John 10:16
    xxxxxxxxxx

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

    1 Pet 2:25
    For ye were as sheep going astray;
    BUT are now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Like

  25. Hi Avid

    You write @ JANUARY 24, 2017 @ 8:03 AM…

    “You had asked the question of whether Jesus
    or any of His disciples ever were “paid professionals”
    (in the sense that pastors receive salaries today).”

    “You had specifically asked if any disciples had had any titles.”
    xxxxxxxxxx

    Well, NO…
    That’s NOT the questions I ask. 🙂

    I never ask…
    “any of His disciples ever were “paid professionals?”

    I never ask…
    “if any disciples had had any titles?”
    xxxxxxxxxx

    This is one form of the questions I usally ask…
    I guess these questions need repeating… 🙂

    xxxxxxxxxx

    Haven’t ”you,” Avid, ever wondered? Why? In the Bible?

    NOT one of ”His Disciples” took the “Title” pastor?
    Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend?

    NOT one of ”His Disciples” called them self pastor?
    Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend?

    NOT one of ”His Disciples” was ever “Hired or Fired” as a pastor?
    Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend?

    NOT one of ”His Disciples” ever bacame a…
    Paid, Professional, Pastor, in a Pulpit, Preaching, to People, in Pews?
    xxxxxxxxxx

    If being one of **”His Disciples” is important? – To you?**

    Wouldn’t what Jesus taught **”His Disciples” – be important?**

    Wouldn’t what **”His Disciples” did – be important?**
    xxxxxxxxxx

    Did Jesus teach ”His Disciples” to have the “Title/Position” pastor?
    Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend?

    NOPE

    Did Jesus teach ”His Disciples” to become a…
    Paid, Professional, Pastor, in a Pulpit?
    Preaching, to People, in Pews?
    Weak after Weak?

    NOPE

    What is popular is NOT always “Truth.”
    What is “Truth” is NOT always popular.

    Like

  26. I want to share a story with you all:

    6 months ago I went to a ‘Christian event’. It was something related to an organisation my better half was involved with ten years ago.

    I met a woman who I did not know but she knew my other half. She asked me about my ‘testimony’ and my fave question, “where do you GO to church?”.

    I laughed and said, “are you really sure you want to talk about this now?”.

    She said, “why not?!”.

    Then I shared my story how I came to faith in Christ and also told her all my ‘church’ experiences. I told her why we stopped attending weekly religious meetings called ‘worship services at church”.

    Her jaw dropped as I was telling her this. She looked really surprised by my perspective.

    I asked her why she was so shocked and she grabbed my arm and explained that she’d realised something was ‘not right’ at ‘her church’ but she wasn’t sure how to put it all together.

    In the car trip on the way to that event she asked God to help it make sense to her.

    Then a couple hours later we meet.

    Her ‘church’ has the same problems as the rest.

    The Diotrephes character.
    Salaried professional servants.
    Emasculated men.
    Elders all leave due to rock ‘worship’.

    This is so normal now we never think to ask, “is this really what Jesus is building?”.

    “I will build my weekly meetings”.

    Bible words to look into:

    Temple – Body – Spiritual – House – People

    Then also play a fun game called “find the Pastor, worship meeting, liturgy and church building”.

    It’ll be hours of fun 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Salty

    Nice story about the lady…

    Yes – Most today know…
    “something was ‘not right’ at ‘her church’
    but she wasn’t sure how to put it all together.”

    xxxxxxxxx

    Then also play a fun game called find the Pastor,

    HaHaHaHaHa

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Yep, Boston Lady: Amos Love/Salty are so very right! So, sad that so many brainwashed so-called Christians are giving money to all these big names and NOT inquiring of the Lord what to really do with the money as these FALSE ministries are robbing the TRUE entities and helping people that need to be/get done=SOBERING! How fearful it will all be on judgment morning/day!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Salty wrote

    “Jesus said, “don’t go”.”

    Please show me where that verse is.

    I like the verse you shared from Amos 5:21. That’s a great passage about how God wants justice to get done.

    “But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”
    Amos 5:24

    There’s a lot we can learn from the OT. So far, I’ve tried to focus on NT verses but if you’re interested—we can analyze the OT verses on this topic too.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Hi Avid,

    In Matthew 24 Jesus says something very interesting.

    “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before.”

    I have no doubt many Christians interpret this differently based on their view of Matthew 24.

    I look at the fact you’ve got:

    False Christs and prophets.
    Signs and Wonders.
    Deceived brethren.
    Claims that Christ/God is here or there.

    Every week there are meetings in my town where Christians claim God ‘shows up’. These people teach the Christ of the Cross… “They will come in my name saying I am he”.

    They sings songs to the Lord. Lift up their holy hands… and claim that the “Spirit of God is IN THIS PLACE tonight”.

    No.

    The Spirit of God dwells in His people.

    Not here nor there.

    Jesus warned us.

    Like

  31. Salty,

    That’s a real powerful point about how Jesus warned us about the wolves.

    If anyone’s interested—the Apostle Paul continued that thought in
    Acts 20:29-31(Berean)

    “I know that after my departure, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number, men will rise up and distort the truth to draw away disciples after them. Therefore be alert and remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you…..”

    Like

  32. Amos,

    Thank you for clarifying that thought.

    The way that you have selflessly poured out your life for others is admirable. I would hope that we can all aspire to giving more of ourselves and trusting the Lord on a deeper level in our lives as you have just described.

    However, the admirable decision to live by faith doesn’t eliminate the need for material goods. As long as we’re breathing, we still need food, clothes, and shelter. That’s been the focus of this discussion—that people doing the work of the ministry still need to provide for themselves and their families. Material needs don’t evaporate the moment we answer the call of God to serve in the ministry. Peter’s wife and family didn’t evaporate the moment he “left all” to follow Christ. We know that Jesus had a habit of helping the poor—He wouldn’t have wanted Peter’s family to starve while Peter was traveling with Him.

    Now I’m confused. You stated that
    “I have NO problem with any believer….giving money to a ministry….”

    But at the same time during this really long discussion that we’ve moved from another thread to this thread—you’ve stated your position that Jesus is the only pastor therefore there are no other pastors, called by God. If that’s not what you’re saying—please clarify.

    Amos wrote:

    1-21-17 8:16AM
    “I have Decided to Follow…
    The ”ONE” Shepherd – The ”ONE” Teacher
    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}”

    (We all agree that we should follow Christ—does following Christ mean that Christ is the only pastor therefore God doesn’t call anyone else to do ministry work? Sometimes we cook dinner for our families. Sometimes we go out to dinner and let someone else do the cooking. Does eating a restaurant meal automatically translate to putting the restaurant as a mediator between us and God? Does eating at a restaurant put the restaurant in the position of “king” over us?)

    Amos wrote:

    1-24-17 9:32AM
    “And, Jesus, called Himself, ”The “ONE” Shepherd.” John 10:16”

    1-18-17 9:58AM
    “In the Bible? Have you ever noticed?
    NOT one of ”His Disciples” ever took the ”Title” pastor?
    Or shepherd? Or leader? Or reverend?”

    “NOT one of ”His Disciples” ever became a…
    Paid, Professional, Pastor, in a Pulpit, Preaching, to People in Pews?”

    Amos,

    According to your words, it sounds like you’re saying that the ministry gifts (i.e. pastor, teacher, evangelist) don’t exist. Please clarify if that’s what you actually meant.

    Like

  33. Avid,

    Yep there’s lots of warnings for us to heed.

    Is it ok if I make a comment about the financial support for ‘pastors, teachers and evangelists’.

    Avid, I ‘do the work of an evangelist’.

    I ‘teach’ others about the Lord using the Scriptures.

    I ‘guide/shepherd’ younger believers in the ways of the Lord.

    This IS ‘the work of the ministry’.

    It is not a special secret ‘calling’ for a select group of believers who take titles for themselves and command financial support to ‘serve’.

    I am not involved in any religious organisation and yet I am somehow functioning as a member of Christ’s body to do the job he has gifted me to do.

    Not one verse in the bible suggests we should be paying money to ‘Pastors, teachers, evangelists’ when Paul himself set the example by ‘working willingly with his own hands’.

    Religion/Christianity has taught you, Avid, that ‘ministry’ is something very special.

    It’s truly not.

    The words simply means service.

    Every.member.of.the.body.is.called.to.minister/serve

    If you want to pay your ‘Pastors and teachers and evangelists’ then please ensure the widows and pope get their pay cheques first (as per Jesus and Paul’s exhortations), then pay the kitchen ladies who minister with hospitality gifts and also those with gifts of mercy who do hospital rounds.

    No member of Christ’s body should be getting a salary to SERVE.

    It is appalling.

    Like

  34. Avid, please don’t give the pope any money.

    I meant poor.

    Poor not pope.

    The pope is a deceiving, blasphemous scoundrel.

    We have One Father.

    He does not live in the Vatican 💀💩

    Like

  35. Regarding certain words and phrases in the NT.

    Please everyone help yourselves out by reading and or at least listening to ‘the Great Ecclesiastical Conspiracy’.

    It highlights how the King James Bible translators put Ecclesiastical terms in to suit their agenda.

    To justify -the Church- that is not Christ’s Ekklesia.

    And don’t let the word ‘conspiracy’ turn you off.

    There’s no tin foil hat nonsense in the free book.

    It’s relatively easy to check what they claim by using free online bible study websites.

    “Prove all things, hold fast to that which is good. Everything else throw in the dung 💩 heap” – paraphrased salty version

    Like

  36. Salty,

    Throughout this whole discussion, you’ve shared many fascinating thoughts. I’d hope that you would always feel welcome to continue joining whatever discussion Amos and I are having. By the way, as you requested—I did read that history on the KJV.

    I totally agree with you that each believer is called to do the work of the ministry.

    I totally agree with you that real ministry is service not thrones.

    But as we’ve already discussed, the person who’s called by God to be a paramedic and devotes sixty hours a week to their job, doesn’t have as much time for doing the work of the ministry as someone that is called to devote their whole life to the ministry according to Eph 4:11. There’s all kinds of work that needs to get done around the world. That work takes more than part time service. It takes every part of the body of Christ answering the call of God on their lives as God has set them in the body.

    By now we’ve discussed so many Scriptures on this subject that we’ve memorized probably all of them. I don’t want to repeat all the ground that we’ve covered.

    However I’m trying to understand why you would say that
    “Not one verse in the bible suggests we should be paying money to ‘Pastors, teachers, evangelists’ when Paul himself set the example by ‘working willingly with his own hands’.”

    What are we supposed to do with what Paul wrote in 1Cor 9:13-14 (NIV)?

    “Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple get their food from the temple, and that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar?
    In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.”

    When Gladys Alyward was rescuing one hundred little children from a brutal life on the streets, there were many times when she ran out of resources and had to literally knock on doors and beg for food to take care of the children. Why would we want the next generation of Gladys Alywards not to have the resources to go overseas and do the work that needs to be done?

    Why would Jesus send out the seventy on the road to do the work of the ministry and then tell them not to take any money with them because “the worker deserves his pay?” Luke 10:7 (NET)

    Like

  37. “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.” Luke 10

    The recompense is hospitality as in shelter, food, etc.

    Here are His instructions for the 12 in Matthew 10:

    9 “Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts— 10 no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. 11 Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. 12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.”

    Again, hospitality is the reward. Sharing space, food, etc. it was much more of a barter economy, anyway, so receiving regular pay just does not fit. The tithe does not fit at all.

    Not carrying money also meant people would not be clamoring to get them to spend it with them. It would be pure hospitality and openness to their words. I suspect they had a lot of doors slammed in their faces, too.

    “But as we’ve already discussed, the person who’s called by God to be a paramedic and devotes sixty hours a week to their job, doesn’t have as much time for doing the work of the ministry as someone that is called to devote their whole life to the ministry according to Eph 4:11. There’s all kinds of work that needs to get done around the world. That work takes more than part time service. It takes every part of the body of Christ answering the call of God on their lives as God has set them in the body.”

    A favorite book of mine is Matt Redmonds, “God of the Mundane”. He left pastoring and went to work at a bank. He talks about his opportunities to minister to people out in the real world while doing his job. As a friend of mine said, there is a real need and opportunities for serious Christians all over the workplace and professions. They become very “set apart” in the institutions as in separated.

    I think it is sad we compartmentalize so much. As if a lowly clerk does not have opportunities to minister daily. I guess I am no longer sure exactly what “full time ministry” means anymore. Are there unreached people groups? Are there brave souls who will go to Saudi Arabia, undercover? It used to be that missionaries would go and live among people to minister. Globalism has changed a lot of things. My sister was in China for a while about 20 years ago. She said the underground church was so different we would not recognize it as church. It did not operate like we know it. Where she was, The state sanctioned churches had salaried pastors. The underground church did not. That does not mean there were no offerings of help for who needed it. It is all a personal decision what we support as we are to be stewards, too.

    Like

  38. Lydia,

    I agree with you that there are lots of opportunities for everyone—including the store clerk to do ministry. However, the important work of the ministry that is done by the store clerk doesn’t eliminate all the other callings and giftings in the body of Christ.

    Lots of good things would happen if every part of the body of Christ made good use of all their opportunities.

    Like

  39. Hi Avid,

    We are the temple of the living God.

    Matthew 23: Jesus has interesting words for religious people who wish to peddle their brand of God overseas. We’d do well to put aside our thoughts on their noble efforts and consider what He says about it.

    Yes, God has used missionaries who get paid money to spread the good news.

    I’m not talking about them.

    I’m talking about people who want kingdoms on earth that involve temples and not wanting to use their own dinner tables and living rooms (elders must be given to hospitality).

    Another story:

    I used to have a very good job in the city (pre- kids).

    I made friends with an older unbeliever. We would meet for walks and breakfast. They were new to my city and needed a friend. I shared Christ with them and gave them a bible. Told them to read John. One morning they text me: “I understand now. It makes sense. I believe in Jesus now”.

    This is evangelism. This is teaching. This is shepherding. This is —– The Ministry—-

    It’s not a separate calling for a special person who needs to posture themselves religiously.

    I don’t have postcards on people’s refrigerators saying:

    — SERVANT OF GOD— please consider supporting the work of this very important work.

    No. It’s religious posturing.

    All those people who get up on stages and get pats on their backs and hand claps for doing ‘the work of the ministry’… they have their rewards.

    Jesus was so clear in Matt 23. He hates religious posturing.

    So where does that leave us all as individual members of the Body?

    We are to view ourselves as SERVANTS of a KING.

    We do ‘his business’.

    Read George Mueller’s biography. If we need money for God’s work: he’ll surely provide.

    I know missionaries who have gone overseas only to later get converted to Jesus Christ.

    This happens.

    Elders also.

    It’s real and goes on. Religious posturing is a thing.

    Like

  40. “However, the important work of the ministry that is done by the store clerk doesn’t eliminate all the other callings and giftings in the body of Christ.”

    Excepting missionaries/evangelists, like Paul, who often made tents, can you give examples? Why does a pastor need to be at the office in a mostly empty building all week?

    Earlier in the thread you put the word “office” in quotes. That is one of those words added by translators. The giftings are functions. They are verbs, not nouns.

    Sadly, adding words is not that rare. You won’t find “symbol of” in the early manuscripts in 1 Corinthians 11, either. And those two additional words totally change the meaning as did adding “office”. But it is understandable since our translations came from a church state mentality. .

    Like

  41. I meant to add that anyone is free to support whomever they choose in their work with offerings.I am not sure if you agree with that freedom or not since you believe in a tithe system. (The church building is the temple in that thinking)

    If not, who gets to choose for us whose work is worthy of our hard earned money? If it is not between an individual and the Holy Spirit, who has that authority? I am confused on your position.

    Like

  42. Again, hospitality is the reward. Sharing space, food, etc. it was much more of a barter economy, anyway, so receiving regular pay just does not fit. The tithe does not fit at all.

    And that made sense in that economy. It doesn’t always make sense in ours.

    Excepting missionaries/evangelists, like Paul, who often made tents, can you give examples? Why does a pastor need to be at the office in a mostly empty building all week?

    Ah. This is a good question. Biblical or not, traditionally pastors have many jobs within the church, including teaching on sundays and at various bible studies/sunday school, visiting the sick, doing weddings and funerals, etc. I know our church also has ministries to help people who wander into the office asking for it.

    Whether you want to choose to contract those things to a pastor, via the church, is up to you. But I can’t say I see anything wrong with it either.

    Like

  43. I am confused on your position.

    It seems like some believe you must support full time ministers and others believe you absolutely must not. I don’t fall in either camp.

    Like

  44. Thank you all for replying. There’s lots of good food for thought here.

    To clarify as requested….

    Lydia,

    I totally agree with you that each of us should vote with our feet. We get to choose which people to support. We are supposed to judge them by their fruit—whether they are actually doing the work of the ministry or only self-proclaimed apostles, etc.

    We were discussing earlier how if you’re called to be a hand in the body of Christ you’ll naturally be attracted to wrist ministries and naturally feel like you don’t fit with shoulder, elbow and knee ministries. Therefore I’m NOT saying that anyone has to try to fit somewhere they feel they don’t belong. I would hope that everyone knows they are free to decide where to get involved. That’s why I shared that part of history about why we have freedom of religion built into the laws of our country.

    There seems to be some confusion here.

    You wrote
    “The church building is the temple in that thinking” (meaning believing in tithing)

    Nope.

    I totally agree with you that we are the temples of the Holy Spirit. That’s a fascinating thought. God could have chosen anyone to dwell inside of us—an angel, some other spiritual being—but God didn’t trust anyone to dwell inside of us but Himself.

    No pastor ever should try to usurp the Holy Spirit’s job in our lives. They are called to comfort the hurting, reach out to the lost, “feed” sheep and protect them from wolves. That’s totally different from the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

    Nowhere in the Bible does it say that you can’t have a church building. There’s a lot of different parts of the body of Christ. All I’m saying is that the home fellowship people and people who attend a brick and mortar church can’t say to each other “I don’t need you.”

    The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”
    1Cor 12:21 (NIV)

    Also, pastors shouldn’t be sitting inside an “office” for forty hours a week. Real pastors go outside the four walls to do the work of the ministry. Through the years, the people that I got to know who had the gift of pastoring—whether they had any title or not—you could always tell who actually had the pastoring gift because they were going out and doing ministry where people needed it the most.

    Case in point—there was a retired Anglican pastor who would spend his time going out and finding homeless teens. He would get them something to eat and just listen to them. Hear their thoughts. Let them vent. Counsel them. Help them get off the streets. Many times he was able to convince them to return home to their families. That’s the thing. Real pastors have the heart for people that drives them to reach outside of the four walls of the church even when they don’t have a pulpit anymore.

    That’s why I’m still trying to understand how some people believe that Jesus is the only pastor therefore there are no pastors. That doesn’t make sense when there’s a tremendous amount of work that needs to get done.

    Like

  45. Salty,

    I admire your heart for people. You’ve shared many powerful stories that help us understand how ministry works in the real world.

    None of us are saying that you have to support some self-proclaimed apostle. We’ve discussed the difference between the people that God calls and the people that exalt themselves. I’m just saying that there has to be at least one George Mueller/Gladys Alyward somewhere in the world that we can all find and support. Hopefully we can find several to support. Each part of the body of Christ is needed and needs all the other parts.

    By the way, thank you for recommending George Mueller’s biography. I highly recommend it as well. It’s pretty powerful. Once again, someone was doing the work of the ministry, trusting God to provide. How did God provide? Through other people. There were many people who contributed to Mueller’s work. God isn’t going to drop material goods out of the sky.

    Here’s the thing—we all believe in the concept of helping others and contributing towards the work of the ministry around the world. None of us want to burden anyone struggling under a difficult economy. But since we believe in the concept of sending laborers to the harvest, why would it be so offensive to believe in the idea of contributing ten percent? It’s not that much of our income. Most of us actually give more than that to charity anyway.

    Like

  46. Hi Avid 😊🙋

    “That’s why I’m still trying to understand how some people believe that Jesus is the only pastor therefore there are no pastors. That doesn’t make sense when there’s a tremendous amount of work that needs to get done.”

    If we can ignore 1700 years of pagan ‘christian’ tradition (called ‘church history’) and focus only on the Scriptures:

    The modern day pastor is no where to be found.

    The closest character you will find is a guy called Diotrephes. It’s not a positive report.

    Elders are all over the New Testament and as the word is an adjective which means AGED PERSON it is not a special category of super saint called Priest, Bishop, Pastor or capital E elder.

    It’s just an old fart.

    If you wanna step it up we could go to the list of qualifications for an AGED person who desire to exercise ‘oversight’ (counsel/shepherd/guide:- there’s your ‘pastor’)

    Name one Pastor in the religious world who meets those qualifications. As Amos has highlighted there are few who would come close.

    Surprise surprise.

    So the question is:

    Why are Christians so obsessed with having a man who does not meet the qualifications set forth in our textbook lording over us and doing menial tasks like ‘visiting the sick in hospitals’ etc… when we are all perfectly able to do such tasks ourselves.

    Hmmm…

    It’s easier to pay someone else to serve me.

    Why is it that many church goers never get to really know other people they attend ‘church’ with?

    Lack of care?

    Too busy?

    That’s what we pay that guy at the front for, right?

    Excuse my cynicism but we are the members which God uses to shepherd and burden carry.

    Not some guy who doesn’t exist in the Bible.

    And Avid.

    We have Jesus as our Shepherd because He said it was so.

    Look up every verse for shepherd in the NT.

    That’s your Pastor.

    Like

  47. doing menial tasks like ‘visiting the sick in hospitals’ etc…

    First of all, I don’t think that is a menial task. Second, absolutely people at church can and should be visiting people! But sometimes there is something comforting about a pastor specifically, whether that makes sense or not. There is a reason hospitals have chaplains, for that matter, who btw are also paid.

    Why is it that many church goers never get to really know other people they attend ‘church’ with?

    In good churches they do. But you won’t know everyone. You might miss someone who really needs that connection.

    Like

  48. If I said to you:

    The word ‘poimen’ translated ONCE as pastors (Ephesians) could ONLY refer to the oversight function of an elder (adjective describing the AGE of the person), and we could all agree that this ‘elder’ (presumably aged 40 and over to technically BE elder) we then have this ‘list of qualifications’.

    This list does not qualify anyone to be the modern day definition of a pastor.

    An elder who wants to ‘exercise oversight’ is not a salaried religious professional.

    How do we know this?

    Thank you God for religious ‘church history’.

    Approach with integrity, an honest heart and you will discover how churchmen created a THING out of fellowship.

    The ‘church’ is the people of God. Not the meeting.

    Israel ‘the ekklesia in the wilderness’ is the body. Jews and Gentiles all in the same 🌲

    When you don’t need a building then you don’t need a religious facilitator.

    Do you think your local ‘pastor’ would invite you to his living room for bible studies and prayer?

    Would he charge and would you pay?

    Do you know any widows who are paid half the ‘pastor’s’ wage?

    Talk about 1700 years of scripture twisting.

    Thank God for the Internet and bible study software and forums.

    Like

  49. Salty,

    I LOVE that list of qualifications for church leadership that Amos posted.

    That’s the thing—if there’s a Biblical list of qualifications for church leadership—then there must be some sort of church leadership. Otherwise, why would there be a list of qualifications?

    If you prefer we can use the term “elder” instead.

    At your request, I’ll start studying the “elder” verses.

    “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 14:23 (NIV)

    Salty, I’m trying to understand why you would feel this way when you said
    “If we can ignore 1700 years of pagan ‘christian’ tradition (called ‘church history’) and focus only on the Scriptures: The modern day pastor is no where to be found.”

    Let’s “focus only the Scriptures”

    “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.”
    Eph 4:11-12 (NLT)

    Like

  50. Lea, Jesus didn’t come to build religious meetings he came to build up a holy people. This is the meaning of the word Ekklesia.

    If people need a ‘holy man’ to give them warm and fuzzies then they don’t want Jesus Christ.

    We have all drunk the kool aid.

    Like

  51. Avid,

    I trying to get you to see these verses within the context of the early church.

    They did not have ‘church buildings’.

    They did not have pews, pulpits, programs and liturgy. They did not have salaried religious professionals.

    This all comes from Roman Catholic tradition and not from the early church.

    The early church fellowshipped from ‘house to house’.

    You quoted:

    “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.”
    Eph 4:11-12 (NLT)

    First point:

    The church (singular) is the body of Christ. This is not a religious meeting but refers to the ‘called out ones’. The gifts given are to HIS PEOPLE not to his people who go to religious meetings called ‘the church’. Christ has only ONE body and this is not the weekly religious club.

    ‘His work’ is NOT a reference to the weekly religious programs done in a building called ‘church’ which is NOT his Ekklesia.

    I suspect you read this verse and see this:

    “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the Sunday club: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the Sunday club, the body of Christ.”
    Eph 4:11-12 (NLT)

    The Sunday club is not ‘the church’ Jesus is adding to.

    Jesus is not building Hillsong, Lakewood or Bethel.

    These having nothing to do with the spiritual house God is building which is made of born again set apart individuals who are members of his Body.

    We have been deceived into thinking Jesus is building meetings.

    He is not.

    Like

  52. Try visualise believers meeting in a house.

    They share stories, sing songs, pray together and discuss the Cross and break bread. This is the early church. They did not have the NT back then but they had prophets and ‘words of knowledge’. 1 Corinthians tells us their meetings were messy.
    We are told to have order when we meet. Order does not mean “1 hour sermon buy a religious guy”.

    How I apply it all looks like this:

    As believers we open up our lives to other believers. We are family in Christ. God gives gifts as HE wills to do His work (as you quoted). We don’t need programs. We need to open our lives to others. Fellowship in our homes. Elders are simply older believers who CARE for ‘youngers’ (😂).

    Just because the English translators used ‘Pastors’ doesn’t mean we have to go doling out titles to men when Jesus said not to behave this way.

    Bible translators aren’t trustworthy. If the enemy wants to mess up the people of God you can bet his best method for doing so is going to be fiddling with the Scriptures.

    Bedtime.

    Love you 😘

    Like

  53. Avid Reader

    You write @ JANUARY 24, 2017 @ 1:39 PM…

    “…you’ve stated ”your position”
    that Jesus is ”the only pastor”
    therefore there are ”NO other pastors,”
    ”called by God.”

    If that’s not what you’re saying—please clarify.”
    xxxxxxxx

    ““According to ”*your words,**
    it sounds like you’re saying that
    the ministry gifts (i.e. pastor, teacher, evangelist) don’t exist.”

    “Please clarify if that’s what you actually meant.”
    xxxxxxxxxx

    Well – To ”clarify” – That’s NOT ”MY position.”
    Those are NOT ”My words.” 🙂

    I guess I’m NOT explaining myself very well… 🙂

    I NEVER wrote, that Jesus is, ”the only pastor.”

    I usually try to say… What I can find in scripture…

    In the Bible – Do you know ”WHO,” called them self…

    ”The “ONE” Shepherd?”
    ”The “ONE” Teacher?”
    ”The “ONE” Leader?“

    🙂 🙂 🙂
    xxxxxxxxxx

    In the Bible – Do you know ”WHO,” taught ”His Disciples?”
    NOT to call themselves?

    ”Teacher?”
    ”Leader?“

    🙂 🙂 🙂
    xxxxxxxxxx

    Hmmm? ”called by God.”???

    Please – Can you Name one of ”His Disciples” – From The Bible…
    Who was ”called by God?” to be a ”Titled” ”pastor? leader?”
    Who was ”called by God?” to have ”the ministry Gift of pastor?”
    Who was ”called by God?” to become a…
    ”Paid, Professional, Pastor, in a Pulpit, Preaching, to People in Pews?”
    xxxxxxxxx

    If being one of ”His Disciples” is important? – To you?
    Shouldn’t WE, His Sheep, His Kings and Priests, His Ekklesia…
    Look, at least a little, like one of ”His Disciples” In the Bible?

    If someone ”Today” calls them self? or has the ”Title” pastor? leader?

    Are they one of ”His Disciples?” 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Like

  54. If people need a ‘holy man’ to give them warm and fuzzies then they don’t want Jesus Christ. We have all drunk the kool aid.

    Or we are human. And like the connection of other humans?

    Also, “wherever two or three are gathered in my name, I am there with them”. So there is a biblical reason to want someone there. It doesn’t have to be a pastor (or elder, or whatever the preferred term is) but I think you are ignoring that people might want that. There is nothing WRONG with that. That’s what I am saying.

    Like

  55. Lea,

    That’s a great point.

    On that same thought, part of why we need that human connection is that we can all learn from each other.

    Like

  56. Avid Reader

    You write @ JANUARY 25, 2017 @ 8:34 AM…
    “That’s the thing—
    if there’s a Biblical list of qualifications for church leadership—
    then there must be some sort of church leadership.
    Otherwise, why would there be a list of qualifications?”
    xxxxxxxxxx

    Well, in the Bible, there is NO…
    “Biblical list of qualifications for church leadership”

    ”Church Leadership” is NOT mentioned in 1 Tim 3, and Titus.
    ”Church Leadership” is NOT mentioned in the Bible…

    Jesus taught ”His Disciples” NOT to be called ”Leaders.”
    For there is ”ONE” Leader – Jesus. Mat 23:10 NASB

    In the Bible, NOT one of ”His Disciples” called them self ”leader.”
    Or church leader. Or Spiritual leader. Or christian leader.

    In the Bible, ”His Disciples” all called themselves ”Servants”
    xxxxxxxxxx

    Hmmm? Good question…
    “why would there be a list of qualifications?”

    I have some possible answers… 🙂

    Like

  57. Avid Reader

    Hmmm? “why would there be a list of qualifications?”

    You ask a reasonable question. It is one I’ve asked often myself trying to figure this thing out. Why would Paul recognize elder/overseers and direct Timothy and Titus to do the same “IF” there was NO one eligible to be an elder/overseer?

    Well, Ask different questions get different answers…
    Have you noticed, in Titus, that Paul leaves Titus “a way out.”
    ”A way” where Titus does NOT have to ordain anyone…
    As an elder/overseer “IF” they do NOT qualify.

    Titus 1:5-8 KJV
    5 …ordain elders in every city…
    6 If any be BLAMELESS, the husband of one wife,
    having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
    7 For a bishop “Must Be” BLAMELESS,
    as the steward of God; NOT self willed, NOT soon angry,
    NOT given to wine, NO striker, NOT given to filthy lucre;
    8 a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober,
    JUST, HOLY, temperate;

    Have noticed this…
    In Titus 1:5, Paul tells Titus, …ordain elders in every city
    BUT – In verse 6, Paul “Introduces a Condition”
    “Before” Titus ordains anyone – by saying…

    5… and ordain elders in every city…
    6 – ”IF” any “be blameless.”

    This is a very large, little, word: ”IF.”
    This ”IF” is found many times in scripture. Yes?

    Gen 18:26, Gen 18:28, Gen 18:30, Psalm 66:18, Psalm 130:3, Isa 1:19, Isa 1:20, Jer 18:8, Jer 18:10, Jer 22:5, Eze 3:19, Eze 18:21, Eze 33:9, Eze 33:13, John 5:31, John 8:31, John 8:54, John 12:26, etc., etc,…

    This “IF” in Titus sounds like “IF” someone is NOT BLAMELESS, JUST, HOLY, then do NOT ordain them. Because, In verse 7, Paul explains why he “Introduces this Conditional””IF.”

    7 – For a bishop “must be” ”BLAMELESS.”

    Paul seems serious about this qualification.
    Using ”BLAMELESS,” twice in Titus, and once in 1 Tim 3.

    Titus 1:5… and ordain elders…
    Titus 1:6 ”IF” any be ”BLAMELESS…”
    Titus 1:7 For a bishop ”must be” ”BLAMELESS…”
    Titus 1:8 …JUST, HOLY,

    I had to admit -** I did NOT Qualify…**
    And, I did NOT know one pastor/elder/overseer who Qualified.

    What should a pastor/elder/overseer ”DO?”
    When they realize – They do NOT Qualify?
    xxxxxxxxx

    In the next comment – I’ll continue to answer your question.
    And go over some of my understandings ”Today,” of…
    **Why Paul, gave so many, 17+, very tough Qualifications. **

    Hmmm? “why would there be a list of qualifications?”

    Like

  58. It is very weird but ever since I left the institutions my connection with people is on a totally different level. Not one experienced in the institutions where connections tend to be more planned out and now feel a bit clinical.

    One of the things that I keep coming across is the idea from other Christians that not being in an institution is bad. For example, they often ask if I think it is a sin to go to church or if I expect church to be “perfect”. Hmm. Why ask that right away simply because someone is no longer involved. People in the institutions tend to be very defensive unless they are aware of what is happening in Christendom and are open minded. I think it goes with identifying with a tribe and feeling the need to defend choices. I have absolutely NO problem with people who go attend church. But they seem to feel the need to get you into them. As if that is ONLY place where one is saved and fed. I think both sides should live and let live on this issue. I am always willing to discuss how these issues relate to scripture because I find all that very interesting. It has been a sort of quest that ends up with no definitive answers on every issue relating to polity and functions within the Body. I think it was quite messy in the 1st Century and they were trying to find their way.

    I have been on both sides of this. My most shameful side is when I was actively marketing/consulting in the church growth movement. The whole focus is nickels and noses. Getting the bodies and money in. I am well aware of just how corrupt so much of it is to my utter shame. I do know how the money flow works quite well, though. With a generation of millennials, who don’t buy into the tithe system, they found that people give when they are there. So the need for lots of activities. Before that, the whole marketing world of the “unchurched” strategy was born back in the 80’s or so. Megas were filled with Baptists, Catholics, Methodists, etc. The mainlines were dying and the megas marketed church the way you want it. A sort of one stop shopping for young families. We are seeing that trend start to reverse a bit.

    The “unchurched” movement has morphed into “be a member of a local church or you are in sin” movement.

    None of this means there are no venues where many good things are going on with community services. My sister, I mentioned earlier. was later involved with a church here in a bad area that offered everything from ESL, Job Training, Homeless programs, etc. It was a dying old SBC church. As they worked to serve the poor community of mainly illegals as they were fighting off takeover attempts by SBTS students/grads who were convinced that church did not know “the true Gospel”.

    I guess I am old school enough that when I do visit a church, I feel obligated to throw money in the plate. After all, I am using their facilities where electric bills have to be paid, too. It is a weird feeling. Almost like pay to play. But that is just my personal hang up from my own experience. But church is voluntary and I think people have to make their own choices.

    Like

  59. Avid Reader

    Hmmm? “why would there be a list of qualifications?”

    Hmmm? How about this question?

    Why would someone, who calls themself, pastor/elder/overseer…
    Take a ”Title/Position” they do NOT Qualify for?

    Could the list of qualifications in 1 Tim 3, and Titus, be…

    ”A Test” of someone’s “Integrity?”

    God does test and prove “His People” A Lot in the scriptures. Yes?
    Deut 8:2 NKJV, Gen 22:1 NKJV, Psalm 66:10-12 NKJV, Psalm 26:2 NKJV. etc.

    Why would someone assume the role of pastor/elder/overseer…
    And say they are a pastor/elder/overseer…
    If they know they do NOT qualify to be a pastor/elder/overseer?”

    Wouldn’t that be a lack of “Integrity?”

    What would you call a medical Doctor, who said they were a Doctor..
    And they knew they did NOT qualify to be a medical Doctor?

    What would you call a Lawyer, who said they were a Lawyer…
    And they knew they did NOT qualify to be a Lawyer?

    Would you recommend a Doctor, or a Lawyer, to a friend?
    If you knew they did NOT qualify to be a Doctor or a Lawyer?

    Or, would you warn your friend? – They do NOT qualify?

    Would you take the time to warn the Doctor? The Lawyer?
    That you know – They do NOT qualify?

    Wouldn’t it be dangerous and expensive to trust and depend on…
    A Doctor, or a Lawyer who does NOT qualify?

    In my experience…
    It is dangerous and expensive to trust and depend on
    pastor/elder/overseers who do NOT qualify.

    Would you take the time to warn the pastor/elder/overseer?
    That you know – They do NOT qualify?

    Maybe that’s why “The Religious System” of today…
    Is in such a mess, lots of abuse, and folks are leaving in droves…
    pastor/elder/overseers – who do NOT qualify.
    And, NO one to tell them. NO one willing to say – You do NOT qualify.

    The Bible warns us, a lot – About False apostles, many False prophets,
    False teachers, False Christ’s’, False anointed one’s, etc..

    To trust No man. To not trust in princes. Let no man deceive you.
    And The list goes on…

    And lot’s of scriptures about trusting and following Jesus.

    What should a pastor/elder/overseer “DO.”
    “If” they “DO NOT Qualify?”
    xxxxxxxx

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

    1 Pet 2:25
    For ye were as sheep going astray;
    BUT are now returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Like

  60. Lydia-I think it was quite messy in the 1st Century and they were trying to find their way.

    It does seem so. Which is why I don’t think any particular thing they were doing is necessarily right for us. Some things, sure. But just because they did a house church in Corinth doesn’t that’s the ‘one true way’. There are lots of ways. I think we should be flexible.

    I guess I am old school enough that when I do visit a church, I feel obligated to throw money in the plate. After all, I am using their facilities where electric bills have to be paid, too. It is a weird feeling. Almost like pay to play

    It makes sense to me. If you don’t believe in ‘tithing’, then the alternates are giving no money, giving money to charitable orgs, or giving to church to the level you think is appropriate, however you come to that decision. Because if you go, you are hopefully getting something out of it. The music, the preaching, the community…whatever it is. It makes sense to support that. I don’t think of it as pay to play, unless there is a push to make you give. I like that (most) churches are open to all…they don’t charge a cover. Maybe it is somewhat transactional but I’m not sure that’s wrong.

    Like

  61. “But just because they did a house church in Corinth doesn’t that’s the ‘one true way’.”

    I don’t have any personal experience with this but some have written about their horrible experiences in a house church movement that was based on shepherding movement.

    The key for me in all this is being very careful not to put people on pedestals in any way shape or form due to titles, positions,. etc. . We often fool ourselves that we aren’t. I saw this all the time in the mega movement and in the Neo Cal movement. the celeb on stage was a great guy, humble, personable. People felt like they knew them. But they didn’t. (They did not deal with him except when he was “on”) People are very inclined to pay deference to a pastor in so many ways and even refer to it as “his church”. Its funny how language is used and we don’t even pick up on it until we have a reason to. I used to wonder about this when reading 1 Corinthians 12 and how we so often miss it. At least I did.

    ” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”

    Like

  62. Avid Reader: Happy, you enjoyed the 10 Lies The Church Tells Women by J. Lee Grady; have you read his other books? What about Thieves by Trey Smith, The Fleecing of Christianity by Jackie Alnor, UnGodly Fear by Stephen Parsons to name some excellent reads; Don’t Call Me Brother by Austin Miles.
    Amos Love: “Wounded and Betrayed Believers Are Useful to God” by Graham Cooke (don’t worship men at all, but one of the best messages ever heard along with 1-27-1991 Leonard Ravenhill & John Paul Jackson’s Jezebel Spirit teaching=tape); he talks about men taking titles that they’re not dead yet. Think of all these big named ministries stealing the glory that belongs to God and also stealing $ that could really go to doing what Jesus Christ said to do and taking care of Orphans, Fatherless, Widow, Homeless, Poor, Single Parents/their Children etc., instead of building their inane, inept kingdom’s to self. God/Jesus/Holy Spirit doesn’t get a penny, dime or a dollar but the prostituting and the whoring of their names by all these used religion salesmen/women selling their dead religion.

    Liked by 1 person

  63. Lydia00

    You described exactly what my experience has been in the last 9 years or so, having not found a church I believe the Lord would have me attend. ” no perfect church, and if you attend it won’t be perfect”.. Kind of thing..

    When I meet someone from my old mega church, the first thing they ask is not ” what happened to you, why did you leave”, but ” what church are you going to?”And I used to say ” I’m not”‘ and that would usually lead to ” you’re in disobedience to… “Do not forsake the fellowship with other believers”
    Most of these folks..I never even really knew them. Just casual acquaintances who had no idea why we left ( didn’t bother to ask), and obviously didn’t care, yet they believed they were speaking for God in our lives.
    Then I began to ask them , ” how long did God take Moses ALONE in the desert to minister to him and train Him up to know Him and His will for the people”.. That began to shut them up!
    I used to think maybe they meant well, but then realized they were trained by the CC … Just parroting what they have heard over and over in sermons by the now fallen pastor…
    I believe now it’s as if they are pronouncing a curse on you by saying ” Don’t stay out of church, the devil will make your life miserable”!

    I too put $ In the plate when I visit churches.
    But if I see Malachi tithing verses on the screen I don’t! 🙂

    I don’tthink anyone else has any right to tell you what you should do. They don’t know your walk, what you went through as far as spiritual abuse at the church, even doctrinal issues involved in why you may have left, etc,.or your relationship with the Lord and what He may be doing in his life..or even how badly you DO want to find a place of fellowsip..And they really could care less about you. It’s really just a brainwashed response.

    We all know fellowship with other believers biblically could be family.
    So what does the bible really say about that? Here we go now on divisions on interpretation.

    Which brings me to the position on why I believe it affects families as a whole when we suffer spiritual about by a narcissistic Pastor.
    I think the Pastors have done disservice to our spiritual position with the Lord, early on in our walk, by not training fathers to be the spiritual leaders of their homes, and understanding and supporting their role of leading study of the Word with their families. Many want you to rely on the buildings and the ” programs”.. Connection with the building and not a deep, personal relationship with the Lord through individual study of His Word. that sets it up for the Pastor having control over the family and disrupting the family unit, especially when that Pastor falls. You rush to church dragging your kids for Wednesday night to have a youth teacher having total control over your kids ( even Sunday’s)… Having no idea what their position is..anywY you get the drift..
    The fathers need to pray with the family, read the word with them, be the true prayer partner if their wivesm etc etc.
    That’s not happening ..I’ve spoken to many women about this.

    Liked by 1 person

  64. Then I began to ask them , ” how long did God take Moses ALONE in the desert to minister to him and train Him up to know Him and His will for the people”.. That began to shut them up!

    Ha! I like that response.

    Liked by 1 person

  65. Hannah: EXCELLENT WRITE AND SO TRUE. Remember one time in late 80’s went to visit a church and some young woman told me she had NOT been in a church in over 7 years=pondered that and wished had researched sooner but then NOT a whole lot out there on why to exit and or abuse (didn’t apply Bible to my abusive church/leadership). InPlainSite.org when read her testimony she was right. Brainwashing of “forsake not the assembly”. Really sad when some woman from my former Cult AoG (assassins of their god) told me she moved back East to get away; UNDERSTOOD (moved also, but NOT as far; tired of the guilt, condemnation, criticism, belittling, cursing, wrong prayers (amazing, profess to be christian think they have the right to pray manipulating, controlling=their will witchcraft prayers; DO NOT want to even run into these people). Yes, been saying it for years the church (false) has been a tool in the hand of satan to destroy the family” instead of building healthy people and like you wrote Father being the head when so many women have “dethroned their husbands off their heart” by worshipping the pastor (beth cavete wrote that well in her “coming out alive” article on her wordpress site). “Could care less about you”=really sad. I’ve seen that for years and always ask my family: why would you raise us in churches that didn’t care whether we lived and or died or had food on the table; didn’t know us and or care to that we were acceptable as long as tithing (not even then, wasn’t part of 1st/2nd class citizens); very SUPERFICIAL church; SAD, SO MANY LIKE WHAT YOU DESCRIBE TOTALLY.
    Derek Prince used to say/write: “beware of people who make you feel guilty, they’re walking in witchcraft” and lay it out why by scripture. High price to pay: “Exploiting, the Need to Belong” article by Stephen Parson’s and “Ungodly Fear”. Stupid Charisma magazine was printing articles on legalistic pastor’s bashing “church exiters” years ago=pretty bad; got exposed (Galatians 3:all/entire book).

    Like

  66. “Then I began to ask them , ” how long did God take Moses ALONE in the desert to minister to him and train Him up to know Him and His will for the people”.. That began to shut them up!”

    I may have to steal that! It made me think of Paul after escaping from his first evangelistic debacle. He went to Tarsus. Some scholars think as much as 14 years passed before Barnabas went to fetch him for help!

    Like

  67. http://search.yahoo.com/search?ei=utf-8&fr=aaplw&p=definition+of+a+cult
    When you read the definition of sociopath on page 12 & 20 etc., of this site doesn’t it fit most narcissism god playing pastors who are so consumed with self?
    Hannah/Lydia: Used to pray all the time to have right word in season to confront cult like members on their dogma=scripture.
    Kinda ironic, someone that came out of my former cult/regime/movement famous in entertainment whatever industry and our different perspectives he/she stayed soul tied to one of the most evil men ever met (our former leader=won’t EVER call him a pastor/shepherd; has never repented and or apologized to anyone for extreme abusive behavior). Sad, because someone said have nothing to do with famous person; I said well what do you expect he/she just behaving in what was modeled used car salesmen selling dead religion, new age, guru garbage (person bragging about money and all I could think of what’s your soul worth; Acts 3:6-16). Scary to see that so compromised what the Lord called them to do for approval of man to be a golden haired person just to bring money to a type of mormon coffers=no different. Was sharing with a friend examining; living in state of repentance, exams ones life for what I’ve compromised in and hope and pray that if/when time comes don’t deny Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15, studying preaching/knowing Jesus and giving the Gospel out of what didn’t transpire when the person had the chance of giving World, Gospel Message). Was sharing with my friend this particular article/blog and he talked about lukewarm verses, who makes it, who doesn’t; told him I really keep study of hell verses in front of me; so don’t go there as viewing mortality and close family/friends dying and where they’re spending eternity. So great to talk to the person who found this message, “Is Death the End etc. message by Art Katz on website. Want to keep Beatitudes, Sermon on the Mount, Luke 14:all, Matthew 25:31-end in. From one who WAS going to hell over someone who called himself pastor/shepherd=NOT ANY MORE=Happy Dance!

    Like

  68. LydiaOO
    You can use it lol!
    Being alone for extended periods of time ith The Lord is relly important to grow us.and very painful but necessary. I was so involved in ministries and volunteering that it becomes a distraction.

    THOT

    My husband was jealous of my admiration and awe of the Pastor ( before I saw the truth that is).
    Demonic activity…a lot to say about that. I had someone ask a rabbi if it was OK if I attended A six week study on the NT and its application ( or not I suspect) to Jews today.( a womens study at a nearby synagogue. A christian lady who knew I was a believer who works there told me bout it. I was all set to go, and I slipped and fell at home on wet tile..and fractured my wrist badly..surgery yesterday..pins and plates… The study started yesterday. I know God is in control but I still wonder ..as a saved Jewish girl I so looked forward to hiw The Lord was going to use me..
    Anyway I’m on too much pain mess to type with on hand…
    A nice discussion…I’m sure many of us such as myself who never set foot in a church or knew Jesus , became ” hooked” on church the building .
    I’m just now understanding the sufferings, trials and isolation the walk really entails.

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  69. Hannah,

    I’m sorry to hear that you’re hurting from that slip and fall. That sounds totally awful. Hope you feel better.

    Amos,

    Right now the real world is still pulling me away from the keyboard but I’m thinking long and hard about what you said and will respond as soon as possible.

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  70. Goodness that’s terrible Hannah. Sorry to read that. Saw ‘wet tile’ and can only imagine. I slipped on our floor recently and scored an impressive rainbow knee. Might have sworn. Looking to the Cross for that one ☝🏿

    Accidents suck.

    That meeting would have been interesting (and potentially loud).

    THOT, your posts make me smile as I wonder if you talk like you write. It’s great and I enjoy what you share. God is good.

    This morning I met a grieved believer whose ‘church’ is being taken over by laser light show Hillsong wannabe false worship man children.

    Horrible stuff.

    A few are staying for the younger ones who love God. Many of the mature believers are leaving.

    It’s so depressing to hear how divisive this music nonsense is. I’m no old and crusty “hymns only” person but the slope is long and slippery from singing the Psalms to a smoke machine spectacular.

    Man o man.

    No wonder the church has left the building.

    No one can hear Jesus through the music and the Par star.

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  71. “was all set to go, and I slipped and fell at home on wet tile..and fractured my wrist badly..surgery yesterday..pins and plates… ”

    Yikes! That is a serious fracture. All the best to your healing.

    Like

  72. I’m no old and crusty “hymns only” person

    I am! I have only rarely heard any modern church music that comes close to a proper hymn.

    Like

  73. Hannah: SO SORRY, OUCH (praying for healing/restoration)! 3 things come to mind; because been there done that. Learned this the hard way and very expensive lesson and yes God/Jesus/Holy Spirit speaks to us=BIBLE FOR TODAY! Went to out of State Conference, awful and altercation happen got annihilated by someone and I was ask the Lord WHAT WAS THAT ABOUT and the response was ‘you didn’t ask if you could attend”; oh, I didn’t know was supposed to! At the time, got “no more books, tapes, conferences” but just the Bible.

    I’m sorry to say this, my former church life and life outside was total hell and when I changed churches the Warfare subsided, every area was UNREAL; how survived it, by the GRACE of God. I sat under a Godly man who fasted/prayed and he saw it: Example: Have a friend whose life is warfare from every side and I told her I would re-think your church; something must be wrong in the whole body of the fish stinks from the head.
    1. to be there and warfare prevented.
    2. NOT to be there (ask, inquire)
    3. TO INQUIRE of the Lord if you could attend and no means no.

    I’M sorry; took late in life to learn to inquire of the Lord whether to be or go somewhere (I’d give you all the Biblical Examples of, had to do that study=research). Not long ago, was told to go to Michigan (particular place), obeyed=a lot came out of that (could write a book, SAD to say, haven’t always obeyed). I’M NOTHING SPECIAL, I pray for divine appointments and Lord to order my day (have had some mind-blowing ones)*. Big one for me, is always would sit in back of the church for some reason Usher’s would find an excuse to move me that was very indicative of something wrong in the church. My friends will tell you this is true, they’ve seen this so many times=funny. I would get asked to leave the church and I didn’t even say anything. My one friend is always going “you just walked in the door, you didn’t say anything”.

    SALTY: Yes; that’s how it is, I’m not grammatically correct I have a learning disability. I shared the journey with David Wilkerson who made a commitment to read everything sent him because I was asking him for years to deal with church issues at the time and some horrific items that were going in like what was covered in “Marketing of Evil by David Kupelian and Dumbing Down Our Kids by Charles Sykes.

    Wished could meet people on this blog. *two perspectives, I don’t want to waste what little time I have on planet Earth (from one who worked in death/dying industry and understand this is NOT home; that would include reading a book, watching some inane, inept item on “electric toilet, plug in drug”=T.V.). Just read a book “That’s No Problem for the Lord by Jerry Leonard”, that’s how my life has been also and it was encouraging; my friends have similar experiences. Have book offers also. I’m stupid enough to believe the Bible and everything it says!

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  74. THOT, there’s a real wisdom and sincerity that comes through your comments. I too wish I could fellowship with many I ‘meet’ here. Some genuine souls. I too only just came to realise how short our time is on earth and that yes, we are pilgrims and strangers with a task.

    If the bible is true, we’ve got the Treasure.

    What a responsibility.

    We can live like Kings or we can, like our Saviour, empty ourselves and hope it makes a difference.

    I think love is key.

    “Love builds up”.

    The Lord has his building of stones.

    Let’s him help add to his temple by loving those outside the camp in such a way that they cannot deny our God.

    Like

  75. THOT

    Yup – Me Too – I also had to learn “The Hard Way.

    “Learned this the hard way and very expensive lesson
    and yes God/Jesus/Holy Spirit speaks to us=BIBLE FOR TODAY!
    Went to out of State Conference, awful and altercation happen
    got annihilated by someone and I was ask the Lord
    WHAT WAS THAT ABOUT and the response was
    ‘you didn’t ask if you could attend”;
    oh, I didn’t know was supposed to!
    At the time, got “no more books, tapes, conferences”
    but just the Bible.

    I would add…

    but just the Bible. and…

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

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

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

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

    Psalms 32:8
    I will instruct thee and teach thee
    in the way which thou shalt go:
    I will guide thee with mine eye.

    1 John 2:26-27
    These things have I written unto you
    concerning them that seduce you.
    27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you,
    and ye need NOT that any man teach you:
    but as the same anointing
    teacheth you of ALL things, and is TRUTH…
    xxxxxxxxxx

    It does take a step of faith to believe and trust…
    That Jesus, Holy Spirit, Father…
    “can speak to you” and “teach you” “ALL” truth.

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  76. Hmmm? Pastors?

    Jeremiah 22:22 KJV
    ”The *wind shall eat up ALL “Thy Pastors,”

    *wind = ruwach = breath, mind, spirit.)

    xxxxxxxxxx

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

    1 Pet 2:25
    For ye were as sheep going astray;
    BUT are now returned to
    the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

    {{{{{{ Jesus }}}}}}

    Like

  77. Boston Lady: Thank you! http://www.workplacebully.org that site also titles of books were interesting could have applied them to the church also and thought “snakes in suits” could apply to preacher’s. Used to write and expose workplace abuse. Read some of the book reviews on books listed in site in Amazon=interesting. Leonard Ravenhill used to say/write “this generation of preachers is responsible for this generation of sinners; and as the church goes so goes the world” if the world is corrupt it’s because the church is=sobering; the Bible speaks about throughout.

    Hannah: https://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2014/11/05/why-dont-young-people-go-to-church/ (go to that article and read those comments also a lot of wisdom from so many). Also, Art Katz (who writes under Arthur, Arthur Aaron, Aaron also) wrote some amazing books on Apostolic/Prophetic Call which would consider two major gifts totally killed, suppressed in the false church and it’s leadership because as John Paul Jackson covers in his “Jezebel Spirit” tape/cd he covers why really well (not his book). Leonard Ravenhill would brutally confront in his Sermons/written works Church/Leadership, Pastors. Two major Holiness guys (know read an article where someone bashed Katz, his model of True Fellowship and Reality, the Hope of Glory and Apostolic Foundations and Prophetic Call was something I had NEVER seen in any of the churches been in and the ones that wanted God and his Glory=got “violently killed” in the process (these two writers set me on straight/narrow once again because no one was teaching the process of it all.
    My neighbor wanted to attend a prophetic conference where they were charging $400 per Session=WHAT? THE GOSPEL IS FREE, told my neighbor read your Bible or buy true prophetic voice in Ravenhill & Katz teaching on the same book would be LESS expensive (said, speaker of the conference @ time, bought a book for $7.50 on site, cheaper than $400.00 and we’re not judging/confronting that?). Can you imagine Prophet going to Seminary=man’s opinion rather than God’s. I really P.Off the religious community when I ask where did Jesus send anyone to Modern Babylon Fuller Cemetery, show me where that is
    Biblical? Google: “Picture of A Prophet” by Leonard Ravenhill and do that read and so true (my friend sent me a text recently: “the prophets are coming, the prophets are coming” and I’m saying about time for the Generation of the Dragon Slayers to slay quite a few in the church and it’s leadership. Yes, Salty: “All, you need is Love, Love is All you Need”! Amos Love: Yes, those are verses knew them but they needed to become revelation=real.

    Like

  78. Hannah: regarding January 26, 2017 @ 9:56 a.m.
    “My husband was jealous of my admiration and awe of the Pastor ( before I saw the truth that is). Demonic activity…a lot to say about that”. Yep; Thank you for being honest and forthcoming=so true=SO PREVALENT in so many churches. https://bethcavete.wordpress.com/ Her “coming out alive” article was excellent as well as her other articles address this. Look at the Tullian fiasco; like way too many worshipping our pastor/leaders OVER God, Jesus, Holy Spirit and getting seduced and deceived in the process. Most of them are lying an giving us another Gospel and Jesus, guess they forgot to read where liars go? Worse, they have “no fear, of the Lord”; therefore NO WISDOM=Proverbs 9:10. Important to put on Praise/Worship my personal favorites: Robin Mark-“Revival in Belfast/Come Heal Our Land” and just REST (studied Biblical Rest).
    Amos Love, I was still typing comment, your synopsis on Pastor’s came up. Years ago, study the word Pastor (comes up mentioned 7 times in the Old and once in the New Testament). Think of Jeremiah 23: and Ezekiel 34:, 2 Corinthians 11:13-15. Study Wolves, False Shepherds, Hirelings, Charlatans, Ministers, Pharisee’s, Sadducees, Matthew 23: and Matthew 25:31-end, Luke 14: so many verses if 2 Timothy 2:15=Study! Important: Acts 5:29; and Matthew 11:12.
    Regarding Hymns: Grew up with Hymns and Leonard Ravenhill wanted them sung when he spoke/sermon and Kevin Prosch who did a really anointed CD: “Even, So Come” said we need to get back to Hymns.

    Like

  79. THOt

    On some heavy duty painkillers . Will get to those links when my mind is more clear.
    On shepherds…many thoughts.. Priesthood..during Jesus time.. Pharisees became ” traditions” teachers as the Talmud was already in effect and the religious leaders were already leading people astray… I don’t see Paul talking about Shepherds the way Jesus was. He sheep are the lost tribes of Israel. Gospel writers thought kingdom on earth will be during their life…
    Have recently come to a better understanding of the gospels vs the epistles.
    All in the context of the kingdom ( millennium- Jews future) vs age of grace- now (Paul)
    Anyway, Jesus knew the people of His time had false shepherds who were shutting out the kingdom of heaven for them. It was never about rules and regulations. John was there to let them know their curcumcision was not enough. They needed to repent and be washed as they understood the priests needed this to enter the holiest place where God dwells.
    We are baptized into Christ. No need for priest or even Pastor to give us rules or conditions.
    We enter by faith. Some don’t like the simplicity of that..

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  80. I just went on that link and don’t see that article you wanted me to read. Perhaps you can just send the link for that one. Ps got wilkersons newsletters for many years. Was going to get involved with teen challenge last week to teach the girls crafts when this happened to my hand. Two major places I was going to go… Just never know why stuff happens..

    Like

  81. Hannah: http://www.workplacebullying.org/recommended-books/. (read some reviews on amazon, they were funny and great and sobering). Church/leadership doesn’t teach SUFFERING, SUFFERING, SUFFERING they’re too busy teaching the prosperity gospel for their gain and getting people chasing like pot of gold, gambling mentality; pyramid scheme; get rich quick mentality scheme=sad.
    Art Katz/L. Ravenhill put suffering; truth into perspective.
    Salty/Amos Love: Note your addressing someone what a true church is and should look like; yet that person doesn’t want to see and research truth still brainwashed by doctrine/man’s agenda (churches was in homes). Note that you wrote about Hillsong (there’s an over 30-40 year horrific child pedophile by Brian Houston regarding his Father; Google Don Elley website). Lakewood, Bethel do your own research. Google are they cults churches, are they satanist pastors, scandal, people’s negative feedback, controversial articles, abused by any name of church and or pastor=research. Like on Mike Bickle’s regime/ihoprayer fiasco I’ve NEVER seen so many Blogs and comments removed exposing corruption makes you wonder the evil power behind that doesn’t want truth out there.

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  82. Don Elley is a good guy THOT. He’s no slouch and has put his own reputation on the line by writing what he does.

    Jesus warned his disciples about:

    Professors who don’t walk the talk
    False teachers and prophets who proclaim Him
    The religious who love to be seen as Teachers

    I’m so glad to be out of the institutions.

    Free to meet with believers in my home any time of the week and trust that the Giver of gifts is able to meet our needs in that area without resorting to employing self titled men who presume to be gifted in areas they usually are not.

    The seminaries don’t dole out gifts.

    It is God.

    Peter never went to Bible College.

    He spent time with the Lord.

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  83. Salty: Agree 100%. Yes, Don Elley is fighting that good fight at the risk of what he went through; glad that he is doing what he is doing like Julie-Anne and so many others also that post here. SO GLAD TO BE OUT OF THOSE INSTITUTIONS ALSO! SO VERY HAPPY=FREEDOM!

    Like

  84. I might have missed it up the thread in the comments, in case anyone mentioned it, but I will do so again: The appellate courts in the United States have ruled that going to a religious group is voluntary and that people are free to leave at any time.
    These By-Laws and Membership Covenants that authoritarian churches are using are unconstitutional, violating the federal and state constitutions.

    If you are trying to get out of one of these churches:
    1. send them a certified return receipt letter and resign, no details.
    2. if they bother you call the police and an attorney
    3. have an attorney send the church a ‘cease and desist letter’.
    4. if that doesn’t work, sue the church and its leaders.

    Like

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