Thursday, December 12, 2013

Fifty-Two Assumptions of Matters of Faith & Practice NOT Found in Scripture - Part 2 of 2

*Contributions & Edited by: Bobby Kmiec

This is the second half of an article posted entitled,

 'Fifty-Two Assumptions of Matters of Faith & Practice Not Found in Scripture' -
 Part 2 of 2
By: John Vuckovich

In the Scriptures there is no principle or record of….

27. New Testament saints investing money to build buildings rather than using money to build and help people.

28. The 59 one another’s (commanded through the NT) were set aside for the sake of pastor’s role to monopolize the gathering for His gifting and ministry at the expense of the entire body.

29. The church organized as a corporate business.

(The epistles show church as a family reunion preparing and practicing for a dress rehearsal because of an upcoming wedding.)

30. Saints assembling together only to segregate and departmentalize family members during the assembly time.

31. A hierarchical structure or chain of command within the body of Christ.

In the Scriptures there is no principle or record of….

32. A church being equated as having pastors in order to be considered a church.

33. Church life that centers around one person’s vision, direction, and position; namely the pastor.

34. The gift of the pastor being something someone is “called” to do.

35. The gift of the pastor singled out and exalted above all the other gifts of the body.

36. The concept of the Lord’s “work,” “ministry,” or “church” being regarded as anything other than people.

In the Scriptures there is no principle or record of….

37. Any kind of organization built around methodology being employed to build the church.

38. Church finances.

39. The name of one New Testament pastor.

40. Programs as a means to reach and deal with people (saved or lost).

41. Relationships within the body of Christ on the level of acquaintances.

(The early church enjoyed relationships that were up close, personal, and intertwined.)

In the Scriptures there is no principle or record of….

42. Needing a four-year academic degree from a Bible College (seminary) that prepares one to shepherd people.

43. Calling pastors from a far (or without) to shepherd a local church body.

44. A brick and mortar structure (namely the sanctuary) as being “The House of God.”

45. The philosophy of “full-time” Christian service.

46. Pulpit committee’s that recruit a pastor for the church.

In the Scriptures there is no principle or record of….

47. The pastor is God’s anointed.

(2 Corinthians 1:21 and 1 John 2:27 tell us every believer is anointed.)

48. Assessing a pastor as qualified based on His organizational abilities, previous ministry work and a degree.

49. The pastor as THE MAN OF GOD.

(The New Testament teaches us the Word of God was given to make ALL a man of God.) – 2 Timothy 3:16, 17)

50. Using Christians to do a “work” for God.

(The Word of God shows God doesn’t want us to do a work for Him but WITH Him.)

51. Fellowship as something that occurs after church is dismissed.

(Early Christians enjoyed fellowship as part of the church assembling together.)

52. The church is never referred to as a “congregation.”

*A congregation is defined as being an 'organizational body.' An 'assembly' denotes a much smaller number, such as 'a gathering' that would be separated from a congregation. Hence, the more precise and accurate definition of an ekklesia would be, "a called out assembly." Called out from where? The larger number, i.e. (congregation). Christ's assembly was 'called out' by Him from of a larger number of approximately 70 disciples (a.k.a. learners). The congregation of the 70 were apparently larger than the twelve apostles who were chosen to be called out from among them. Also, this would blow holes in the theory that Mosaic Hebrew 40 year Wilderness-Wanderers in the Old Covenant somehow magically equates to Christ's church of the New Covenant today. This 'view' can only be supported by speculation, splicing together, superimposing and over-spirituralization of Biblical groups and events. To hold fast to this 'theory' would be akin to a creationist supporting the theory of macro-evolution. ~BK 

2 Peter 1:3, "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue."

This verse makes it clear that God has provided ALL THINGS (which includes the church) that pertain unto life and godliness. Sadly, “church leaders” over the years have looked to the world, within, and business models to construct church. For some time now the religious establishment has plotted a course that has placed the body of Christ on a slippery slope. The way most do church today continues to change and evolve. Under the guise of ‘Christian liberty’ (defined as having license to proceed any way we wish so long as our actions do not violate the Scripture) Christians unwittingly and incessantly toil in bondage. We have institutionalized the family of God, the church. Unknown to its Author and Founder are the practices and methods of the day. The goal for our present religious establishment’s idea for what “church” is supposed to be is voiced in the cry of, “Our church is FOR Him!”  While this sounds noble, they have still missed the goal because early believers understood that church would be ‘FROM Him.’ People from the 2nd century on have gone from slowly drifting away from Christ’s model, which was created to remain and still stands alone, to right out abandoning it. The reason? Because most today are willing to settle for almost anything religious sounding, even if it is a mere echo of the original.

The heart of believers today needs to return with a heart that desires to be as close to the heart of Jesus concerning His true authentic church. Nobody would pay top dollar for an authentic product to find out it is a mere imitation knock off. Although imitation knock off products look identical, but because they are not authentic, they have little value. (if any at all). If we wouldn’t settle for less in our daily lives with cheap imitation things, why should God’s people settle for imitation church that is not authentic through and through?

I don’t believe God is settling with man’s imitation of church today. The bride of Christ has been turned into a business. Today’s church is constructed of a business mindset, marketing techniques, man-made ideas, methods, and traditions. These are the wood, hay, and stubble spoken of at the judgment. [1] The Bible is clear, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” [2] The church is in direr straits. The Bible warns us, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” [3] 

Pulpits can be pounded service after service over sin. But sin is not the problem. Jesus warned of something far greater in neutralizing His powerful Word. He said during His earthly ministry, “Making the word of God of none effect {how?} through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.” [4] Even in Jesus’ day He was fighting people who were elevating tradition above Himself. We have come full circle. I don’t doubt the sincere motives for the changes along the way. But these tweaks over time multiplied by decades and a continual evolution of change have created something unrecognizable when compared with the church Jesus started. 

I leave you with this thought-provoking quote that is trumpeted as a warning from a man who died 100 years ago when the church was nowhere near it is today. *It should also be noted that this man's "Church" was nowhere near the 1st century church of Jesus’ design. This goes to show us that even a man from a century ago, steeped within the Institutional "Church" structure, had recognized that the man made mechanism of a business entity was foreign to what Christ constructed two thousand years ago. ~B.K.

What the Church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men [and women, of course] whom the Holy Ghost can use – men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men – men of prayer.” - E.M. Bounds (1835-1913) *member of the Methodist Episcopal South clergy.

*Of course, Mr. Bounds' view came through the lens most see through today. That the Institutional 'Church' is somehow a descendant of Christ's original. The truth is, the Institutional "Church" originated from a different wellspring altogether. Christ’s authentic church is not dead. It's just that the vast majority of Christians of the last several hundred years have been deceived into believing that His church evolved into what we know today; an Institution. In fact, His debt-free assembly has been alive and unchanged since He created us over two millennial ago. We are still physical, local groups who meet without a business structure or budget attached. No steeples, no offering plates, no programs, or paid professionals. Just family gatherings that meet in homes in small numbers. We have the knowledge of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit who leads us. Jesus is our Head as we look to Him for all things in matters of faith & practice. ~B.K.

I trust this two-part blog will be used of God to do a work in your heart. Thank you for receiving this with an open, prayerful, and ready heart. God’s blessings to you.

Scripture References: [1] 1 Corinthians 3:12, [2] 1 Corinthians 3:11, [3] 1 Peter 4:17, [4] Mark 7:13

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