Thursday, November 29, 2012


Saw Lincoln yesterday [actually it was the movie].

I did like it- but to be honest- it was a little too much like watching the news [or some politics show].

My daughter crashed out on the seats.

I took Debbie- my youngest- she’s 20.

I’m trying to take them out at least once a week- the mall- Golden Corral [buffet].

You know- dad and girls day.

Okay- I also have had some good talks with the guys at the halfway house.

I spent about 2 hours ‘teaching’ an entire course on Ecclesiology [The doctrine of the church in the bible].

I haven’t taught this subject in a few years- it can get in depth- and it takes a basic foundation of knowing the bible before you can really teach it.

But Little Charlie really has the bible down well- for a younger Christian he knows a lot.

So- I took him on a tour of the mind.

The reason it’s not an easy subject is because much of what you pick up in this teaching is by simply reading the interaction of the biblical people.

For instance- Paul the apostle’s letters make up most of the New Testament.

So we read how he is addressing the churches he is writing to- and he seems to by-pass our normal ‘way’ of doing church.

Much of church in our day is a type of lecture hall format.

That is people go to ‘church’ [some sort of meeting place- from an old time Cathedral to a theatre].

And you listen to a lecture [called a sermon].

Okay- all of this has a role.

But when Paul writes to the churches in the bible- he is addressing communities of people living in a location [which is the biblical definition of the church- Ecclesia].

He speaks directly to ‘the brothers’.

That is- there does not seem to be an office of Pastor on the sense many modern Evangelicals understand the term.

How do you know this John?

Now you see why this study gets hard.

We know this because if you had the office functioning the way it functions today- Paul would be breaking church protocol to speak directly to the brothers in these churches- he would be violating the rule of going to the ‘authority’ office over the people commonly called the Pastor.

Okay- doesn’t the bible speak about Pastors?

Sure- actually one time in the book of Ephesians [one time- yup].

One time in the English King James version that is [Ephesians].

In the bible the word speaks about a gift that God gives to certain believers- and it’s a sort of shepherding gift.

It simply functions in the community- that is if you a part of a church [a believing community] more than likely you have a person like this who functions in the gift.

It was not a speaking gift- that is a sort of professional speaker who preaches to you every week.

Now- I’m just showing you the difference between the biblical word itself- and how we as believers have developed more ‘meaning’ to the word as time goes by.

So- this study does take a long time- cant’ do it here- but pretty much covered most of it in my 2 hour talk.

Charlie really learned a lot that day- it would take a long time to simply see these things yourself as time goes by.

The main point of what I was showing him was the important thing we are doing [as a new ministry- the halfway house just stared a few weeks ago].

Is we are simply working- helping- accepting people where they are at.

We are not starting a business- a 501 c3- that usually takes the description ‘local church’.

These things [non profit- etc.] serve a purpose if needed- but the point is in the bible the churches are the people.

Some of the guys are getting worried about all the money needed for the rent.

They are working- I also have chipped in cash- and John David [my buddy who actually started it] gets panicky at times.

So- I spend a few days a week simply working with the guys.

But I wanted them to get their eyes off of the idea that what they-we are doing is not simply attempting to start a ‘ministry’.

In the sense of the whole corporate thing.

But I wanted them to see that the important thing is the people.

That’s the whole point of me showing them that the apostle was writing the brothers [that’s how he mostly addressed the churches he wrote to in the bible- I think he addresses the Philippian church and does use the term Bishop- along with brothers- which means overseer- but he mostly speaks directly to the brothers].

So- to sum it up.

The best biblical definition of Church would be the communities of believers located in any given place at a set time.

That’s what we call ‘the Local church’.

It’s not the place they meet each Sunday- as fine as that might be- but it’s the family- the community.

And we also speak about the universal church- all the believers- of all time- even those who have died and are with the Lord right now.

Yes- these too are part of this great communion.

The gifts that God gives to people- pastors- teachers- etc.

These are for the purpose of building up the people- and they are the ones who go out and do the ‘work of the ministry’ [Ephesians].

So the job of leadership is to build others up- and they do the work of God.

It’s not the job of leaders to be the main [or only] functioning person among the people- and the people see themselves as the financial supporters of the gift of their minister.

Often times that’s how modern church expresses itself.

But that paradigm is very limited- and it hinders the growth of the church [the believers].

Because we have relegated them to a position where they see their main ‘job’ as simply giving money every Sunday- and others will do the work.

Yeah- this takes long to teach- and as you can see- I'm running out of time.

On the blog- I have written a few little books on this over the years.

I think there is an entire category in the February posts of the first couple of years that I stuck on the blog.

So- for those who want to study more on this- help yourself.

Okay- that’s it- maybe tomorrow well’ do some more news- let’s see.

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] - I have posted lots.

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