Anyone want to discuss O'neal's book, since he doesn't want to?
I think it's teaching the doctrines of men.
Read the Bible!
"EVERY CHRISTIAN SHOULD BE A CHURCH MEMBER FOR IDENTIFICATION
Acts 9:27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
Once he became a member ...Saul became active. He was involved in whatever the church at Jerusalem did.
Acts 9:28 And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem.
This "coming in and going out" refers to daily activities. Saul was "with them" on a regular basis. Wherever they went, he went. I'm sure that it wasn't long before people recognized Saul as a Christian and as a member of the church at Jerusalem."
If that is the meaning of biblical membership, how many churches do you think Paul was a member of?
Read the Bible!
I can't say that I disagree with O'neal's post. Am I missing something?
It is very important for a Christian to join a non-apostate Church. It is important to not forsake the assembling together. It's important to join hands and work together for the spreading of the gospel and discipling new converts. Doing this alone is just as criminal as ignoring the commission of the union of marriage. Christ loved the Church and we must love it also by attending, getting active, and standing for the truth they teach and preach.
What specifically are you rejecting from his teaching?
We all see the results of working outside the Church when Ananias and Sapphira lied and did their own thing. How often do we as Christians reject the solid Church programs and leadership and try and do our own thing? I personally know it is miserable and not blessed with God's Holy blessing. The great commission was given unto the Church and together we must work, not apart.
In this day of great apostate, I can see how believers would reject the local Church. The local Church need revival!
POST #12 (Oct. 11, 2010)
Last post until November 1st 2010
Last edited by God's Child; 10-11-2010 at 07:44 AM.
Anaias and Sapphira were not "doing their own thing." They were lying to the Holy Spirit. Scripture is exact and specific in what they did wrong and why they died. They were part of that church--"members" if you insist, though I somehow doubt the ancient church kept rolls the way modern churches do.
One can attend every service without joining. The command mentioned--"forsake not the assembling"--does not say "join thou in membership, either by giving of thine letter or of thy statement of faith." One can "not forsake" without formal church membership. One can work together to share the gospel without formal church membership.
I think he has some good points mixed in with some of his IFBxisms. I really only skimmed over the major points though.
It is a matter of looking for the meat and spitting out the bones as you should do with anything else.
The bottom line (of which I would agree with Pastor O'Neal) is that a Child of God needs to be connected with and in communion with other children of God! This is the simple, basic premise to remember. Pastors and teachers are a GIFT to the Church but they are not to be the focal point. Christ is the one who must have the preeminence when his people are gathered together!
I believe the principle error that the IFBx crowd makes in their ecclesiology is when they equate the NT office of Pastor/Elder/Bishop with the OT office of "Prophet" and "Priest" and thus we regard the person in this office as having some spiritual insight that you (the lowly layman or even a lesser "staff member") do not have. By allowing such a mentality to exist, we are facilitating a shift back to the "High Church" mentality where Nicolaitanism (which God hates) and "Popery" raises its ugly head once again!
A Christian is supposed to "Grow in Grace" and it is the pastor/elder's responsibility to have the oversight regarding your spiritual growth and walk. I think the best analogy to use is that of a parent/child relationship. A child in its infancy is, by nature, in complete dependence upon their parent. As the child grows physically, spiritually, and intellectually, he or she begins to have a mind of their own and thus starts to assert their independence and those of you with teens know EXACTLY what I am talking about!
As this child reaches adulthood, he or she has power and authority over their own lives, to make their own decisions and accept responsibility for the outcome of these decisions. Their parents, however, are still their parents but the relationship will have shifted from a strictly authoritarian relationship to that of a mentor/consultant whose counsel should be carefully considered but you now have the responsibility to exercise your own discernment regarding this counsel.
I feel like I am falling short here but perhaps you get my point and others can chime in and clarify.
Anyone can find verses, strip them out of context (or even ignore the grammar of said verses) to support any man-made view.
While the Bible is clear (and assumes) that we should be a member of a church, O'Neal's presentation is gravely lacking and shows a dependence on his own thoughts and foists them on Scripture.
Hebrews 10:25 is not speaking of churches adding church services. However, O'Neal begs the question when he states: "I am hearing of more and more churches that are canceling their Wednesday night and/or Sunday night services. If we believed the Lord's return was near, according to Heb. 10:25, we should be scheduling additional services, not canceling the ones we have had!"
The grammar of that verse does not support this statement.
In fact, we find examples in Scripture where the believers gathered once a week to give their monetary help for the poor in Jerusalem. 1 Cor 16.
I doubt anyone here is going to make a case for Paul telling us to only meet once a week.
Scripture does not give us any directive regarding the times and numbers of services each week. It is foolish to mistake tradition for Scriptural dogmatism.
Providing Free Sunday School Lessons to offset heresy (Semi-Pelagianism, KJVOism etcetera...)
Just so! It was the universal church, the Bride of Christ, that was being added to daily. It wasn't any particular congregations or local church organizations; those didn't exist yet, hadn't even been thought of. It was the total of all believers, who in this case happened to be in the same city. That's what "the Church in Jerusalem" (or any other city) referred to, all of the believers in Jerusalem (or wherever).
Big-time negotiators, false healers and woman haters
Masters of the bluff and masters of the proposition
But the enemy I see wears a cloak of decency
All non-believers and men stealers talkin' in the name of religion
And there's a slow, slow train comin' up around the bend.
the local church defines "getting active" and says if you don't do thus and so, you don't love the Church.
Read the Bible!
I think you can pretty plainly infer church membership of some kind was a practice of the early church since they took votes and such.
He that changes pride for worldliness, sensuality for Pharisaism, vanity in himself to the contempt of others, let him not think that he hath mortified the sin
that he seems to have left. He hath changed his master, but is a servant still. ~ John Owen