Theology and Politics

That's a rare thing, Major, that your experience is such that none went away disappointed. My experience in various church organizations has shown to me that there are always some who would and did go away disappointed when there was someone or some people who brought forth needs of far greater importance than some lesson the others could study on their own if only they cracked their Bibles open more than once or twice a week.

Thanks for the discussion. This is good stuff.

MM

Anyone that was upset in one of my classes......I always gave them a color, autographed 8 x 10 of ME!:cool:
 
One of my wife's sisters (she has many) who lives about 30 minutes away has expressed interest in stydying with us. I think it would be great, and would not mind driving there or having her over, or meeting someplace in the middle, but we never seem to actually get it going.

I have asked my wife if she would like to go to her sisters church, but appearatly she goes to a church considerably farther from mt house.

I have hosted Bible studies as well as been just a participant before and am familiar with several approaches including using published materials or read and comment formats either by book or by topic. Neither presents problems in my mind.

The only reservation I can see is her husband, who never seemed interested in spiriual things. We have had dinner out together a couple of times, ad while he is cordial, he seems to be putting on an act for his wife. For myself, I would approach study involvng him as demonstrating to him what it is to be a Christian.

But beyond making it clear that I am willing to adapt as needed to get things going, I must let wife and sister work out when and where.

As far as sturying between my wife and I alone, we do that. A topic will come up and we will find and discuss relevant scriptures.

Actually, Siloam, I wasn't pointing in the direction of Bible study. Unless one is being discipled, that really isn't necessary in a group setting when it should actually be done individually so that each one has something of substance to bring to the fellowship. There are many things each member can bring to the fellowship, both from the Bible and daily life where the rubber meets the road in their daily experiences.

Bible study is all fine and dandy, but what we need the most is fellowship, as your wife expressed, which is dangerous. Your unbelieving brother-in-law would not be a good mix in the midst of discovering fellowship because that is where we must become transparent before one another. Those who are harboring secret sins are most generally found out in fellowship, where in church services, with each person relegated to being an audience member having faded into the wood work, secret sins remain hidden.

Some have tried to tell me that Holy Spirit is the One who prompts those people in church services to deal with such sins. Well, waiting for a prophet or Holy Spirit to come around and deal with secret sins, that's not an answer. Paul encourages us to dealing with our secret sins, because when becoming transparent in fellowship, knowing that we will be found out dare we try to harbor and hide secret sin in our lives is an amazing reality in the midst of fellowship. One man was found out in one of our groups for being an active pedophile against his own son and daughter. He went to prison for it after we began to deal with him on that, speaking authoritatively to him that he needed to go to the authorities AND seek counsel while in prison, and afterward. He will be restored to the fellowship, but only after we see the Light working within him.

Fellowship drives people away who prefer to hide and hold on to their sins. Those not willing to be transparent become readily recognized and known in TRUE fellowship as compared to all the contrived styles of fellowship, so-called. Active sinners can't hide their sins for long. In all of that, we are then freed to build one another up, and mutually edify one another with the things of God's word we share, and the richness of life experiences we each bring into the fellowship.

My rule for everyone is that they leave their religion outside on the door step and pick it up on their way out...if they so desire. In fellowship, we don't have the constraints of program and iron-fisted order to the point of silence of each member. We sing, we praise, we share, pray for one another, the elder men teach when there's something of importance to teach upon, and that is relevant to each one, as well as the mature, younger men, and the women share their experiences and what the Lord is doing in their lives and the sections of scripture they have been reading. Rarely have we elders ever had to stand up and stop the advancement of false teaching and take-over attempts of the group by new members coming in with all their ideas of trying to degrade the fellowship down into paganism and/or a typical church service they can go anywhere else and enjoy. All that stuff simply is inconsistent with true and genuine fellowship.

We open each gathering with an invitation of Christ Jesus, and the declaration that we have gathered together in His name. We have communion every now and then. We even do baptisms when there are those who are seeking the public declaration of their having been buried and raised to life in Christ.

So, this journey places quite a demand upon those who host, but the rewards are plentiful. You likely can find people in your neighborhood to share Christ with, and invite to fellowship. We also disciple new converts somewhat in our fellowships, but I also spend face to face time with new converts, helping them to grow into maturity rather than to leave discipleship to group activities such as being an audience member in church services and Sunday school classes.

This is just a taste of what it is to become a functional believer who no longer waits upon the group-think activities of some collective out there. We are living that functional life in and out of our homes. I actively seek new members throughout my neighborhood to come and grow with us. Those who are harder cases to deal with in learning and growth, I spend time with them face to face, helping them by answering those hard questions, such as the question of harm and suffering in this life...things that some philosophers don't like having to deal with.

MM
 
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