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Author Topic: Church service structure
KnowHim
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quote:
Originally posted by Aaron:

We need the church to return to her first love: Christ; to actually be the body of Christ on the earth, that is our function.

Aaron

Amen! [thumbsup2]


.

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Aaron
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quote:
Originally posted by KnowHim:
One of the biggest reasons I am responding to this is because in the modern day institutionalized religious machine which there are more of them then true churches these days.

(snip)

HA!

I wrote this yesterday but did not finish it. Chewy's comments are first followed by the verses and my comments.
__________________________________________________
*
*

Romans 10:13-17 - pretty clearly tells us that the preacher/pastor has the responsibility of teaching the Bible.

quote:
Rom 10:13 For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved."
Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
Rom 10:15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:

"How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!"

The bolded is important. The word for “sent one” is apostello. Look familiar? It’s root is the same one we get “apostle” from. Here, the one’s who are sent are apostles.
Today, the church really has a problem with "sent ones".
*
*


Acts 8:31 - here the eunuch asks Philip a very important question. How can I understand unless someone guides me? The preacher/pastor is to be a guide.

Yes. Guides are important. The Holy Spirit guides us into all truth but God will also empower saints to guide other saints. This is a truth among the saints that is not relegated to any group of gifted believers (i.e. not just for pastors). Indeed here, Phillip, the guide, was an apostle.

*
*

1 Timothy 5:20 - the elders are to rebuke those who continue in sin in the presence of all, so that they may be fearful of sinning.

quote:
1Ti 5:19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses.
1Ti 5:20 Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.

This portion is instruction concerning elders given from one apostle (Paul) to another (Tim). This is guidance given to Timothy about how to deal with elders who continue to sin. Here, as an apostle, Timothy can receive an accusation against an elder and also deal with elders who continue to sin.
*
*


Acts 20:28 - the overseer of the church is to be on guard for themselves and for all the flock. He is to shepherd the church.

quote:
Act 20:28 "Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
Again, Paul is talking to elders. An important command is bolded. This command to “shepherd” is the word “pastor”. In the Bible, “pastor” always means “shepherd”. So, elders are necessarily those gifted and operating in the gift of pastoring.

__________________________________________________


I hear "We need the apostolic church back!"
I beg to differ: the ekklesia contains not just the apostle but the prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher, etc. We need the church to return to her first love: Christ; to actually be the body of Christ on the earth, that is our function. God will return His church to her intended glory.

Chewy, keep searching. The Lord knows your heart for the truth. You will find it!

Aaron

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Zeena
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Thanks KnowHim, praise Jesus! [clap2]

--------------------
Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.

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KnowHim
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One of the biggest reasons I am responding to this is because in the modern day institutionalized religious machine which there are more of them then true churches these days. The pastors seem to think they are to rule over and dictate to people. They are not serving Jesus Christ but are serving the building and trying to raise money to make it bigger. Yes another touchy subject as a lot of pastors now a day’s love to pressure their congregation to do what they want. I personally don’t think many pastors now a day’s even know Jesus Christ but have just chosen to be a pastor as a profession. People need to come to know Jesus Christ first and far most. They should never place their faith in a pastor. They need to know the bible for themselves as many wolves are now in the roll of a pastor. A true pastor will always point you to Jesus and not to themselves. They will point you to Jesus and not to a building. They care for your soul and not your wallet.
Yes, I know there are still some good pastors out there, but they are few and far between.

Response to some of the above:

>>> Romans 10:13-17 - pretty clearly tells us that the preacher/pastor has the responsibility of teaching the Bible.

This says preacher in the good old KJV. Sounds more like an evangelist then someone that just preaches in a church building each Sunday. I think we are all called to be preachers and take the good news to the world. Actually anyone that actually knows Jesus Christ will be a preacher. That don’t mean they have to find a building and a pulpit to preach on it means they tell everyone they meet about Jesus.

>>> Acts 8:31 - here the eunuch asks Philip a very important question. How can I understand unless someone guides me? The preacher/pastor is to be a guide.

KJV actually states: And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
Does not say pastor, it says some man. This is the way things should work. If you are a following of Jesus Christ and lead by the Holy Spirit then you could be that man. God uses those that know Him and they don’t have to have a title. But again the way Philip is moving around in the text of this passage He seems to be an evangelist and is not just in one building but he is actually going to the people.

Acts 8:39
And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.

If this was a modern pastor the eunuch would have been ask to go to Philips church but he was not ask. It actually says the eunuch saw him no more. Tells me the Holy Spirit can work with anyone and they don’t have to follow a man but follow Jesus Christ.

1 Timothy 5:20 - the elders are to rebuke those who continue in sin in the presence of all, so that they may be fearful of sinning.

1 Timothy 5:19-20 (KJV)
19Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. 20Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

It sounds to me like it is the elders being rebuked and that is why they are to be rebuked before two or three witnesses. That is why Paul rebuked Peter in public. It is not saying that the elders are rebuking the people under them.

This is a warning to everyone. Make sure your Pastor, Preacher, Minister and any leaders in the body of believers are actually teaching from the bible and not just filling you head with manmade traditions. We are to follow God and not man nor made up traditions.

The command to “rule” the church is sometimes taken to extremes. A pastor’s official responsibility is to govern the church along with the elders, (which , by the way are suppose to meet the requirements stated in the bible, not just someone who has a lot of money or someone to just fill the open slot.) A Pastor’s focus should be primarily spiritual: matters such as edifying believers and equipping the saints to do the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:12) are a pastor’s main concern. Remember, ministry is not how to build a bigger building but to tell people about Jesus Christ and help the widows and orphans. This is hard to do if you spend all your resources on the building. Watch out for pastors who seem more dictatorial than shepherd-like, requiring those under their authority to seek their permission before making an investment, going on vacation, etc. These men simply desire control and are not fit to rule the church of God (see 3 John 9-10).

First Peter 5:3 contains a wonderful description of a balanced pastoral ministry: “Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.” The pastor’s authority is not something to be “lorded over” the church; rather, a pastor is to be an example of truth, love, and godliness for God's flock to follow. (See 1 Timothy 4:12.) A pastor is “the steward of God” (Titus 1:7), and he is answerable to God for his leadership in the church. He will tell the flock the truths of the bible if they like it or not. They will actually talk about the Lord Jesus Christ a lot more then they talk about themselves. You will know if someone knows Jesus, they can’t stop talking about Him.
Bottom line, you are not helping yourself nor anyone else if you stay in a body of people who do not put Jesus Christ first as they are just a club and not the body of Christ. This is not a game, this is life, and your eternal welfare depends on how YOU respond to God. God will not ask you on judgment day anything about a pastor, but will ask you what YOU did with His word. You will answer for you.



.

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CHEWY
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I really don't find the Bible being that unclear about the role of the pastor.

Romans 10:13-17 - pretty clearly tells us that the preacher/pastor has the responsibility of teaching the Bible.

Acts 8:31 - here the eunuch asks Philip a very important question. How can I understand unless someone guides me? The preacher/pastor is to be a guide.

1 Timothy 5:20 - the elders are to rebuke those who continue in sin in the presence of all, so that they may be fearful of sinning.

Acts 20:28 - the overseer of the church is to be on guard for themselves and for all the flock. He is to shepherd the church.

Acts 20:35 - the overseer must help the weak

From history we can conclude that timothy was the pastor of the church in Ephesus during Paul's final imprisonment.

2 Timothy 4 - deals with Timothy's appointment and instruction as the pastor. Paul instructs him in verse 2 to preach the Word; be instant in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.

1 Timothy 3:1 - refers to the position of overseer as an office. As well as Ephesians 4:11

Titus 1:5-16 - Titus appoints elders in every city to stand against the false teachings which existed and still do.

Chewy

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Zeena
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I REALLY enjoyed that post, btw [Smile]

It is spiritual Truth for sure, yet, PRAISE GOD there is a higher calling in Christ! [Big Grin]
quote:
Originally posted by KnowHim:
Pastors are to lead people to Jesus Christ, not to their church as he nor the people there can save them.

It's not the pastors who save, it never was. [Wink]

Jeremiah 23:1-3
Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD. And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.

Psalm 127:1
Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain.

Luke 15:4
"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?

2 Peter 3:14
Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

--------------------
Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.

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ANM
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I am sure if you go to most churches and mention this topic you will get your head took off very fast as YOU are out of line and should never speak against the modern day institutionalized religious machine. So be warned.

 -

.

[Big Grin] [/QB][/QUOTE]They simply say you are in rebellion and a have a problem with authority,then they got you repenting of your rebellion and never even lend an ear to what you really have to say.

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whats up?

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KnowHim
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quote:
Originally posted by Zeena:
God's perspective is Biblical, and we can either agree with Him or not

Yes that is fact, but it is sad that way to many Pastors change the prespective to be theirs and the the people going to the church don't have a clue. Happens why more then people want to note.

I agree with God and put Him first not tradition. We are not to be afraid to not agree with self appointed Pastors that don't teach God's word the way God gave it to us. We are not to be drones that just follow and do what we are told. We are to study the word of God and know it for ourselves and not follow a man but follow God. You will be the one that answers to God for yourself, not your Pastor nor the people that meet in a certain building. You can go to Church all your life, Sunday morning, night and Wednesday evening and still split hell wide open. But if you know Jesus and follow Him you are sure to be with Him forever. The Church is the people that have placed their faith in Jesus Christ and not the people that attend a certain building. People that place their faith in attending church are more lost then non believers because they are very hard to reach with the true gospel that life is about knowing Jesus Christ (not about attending Church building). Pastors are to lead people to Jesus Christ, not to their church as he nor the people there can save them.

I know this can be a touchy topic but I think it needs to be discussed as to what the Church truely is and is not. What is tradition and what is not.

I do believe that we need to fellowship together but the modern day institutionalized religious machine is getting way out of hand.

I am sure if you go to most churches and mention this topic you will get your head took off very fast as YOU are out of line and should never speak against the modern day institutionalized religious machine. So be warned.

 -

.

[Big Grin]

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Zeena
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quote:
Originally posted by ANM:
quote:
Originally posted by Zeena:
quote:
Originally posted by ANM:
I got lots o freinds that are pastors...and most agree with me.

They agree with you, or God?
I believe my perspective is pretty biblical, so I would say God.
God's perspective is Biblical, and we can either agree with Him or not [Smile]

--------------------
Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.

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WildB
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CHURCH-GOING

This Board is a gathering of 2 or more, so we Know that Jesus is here and that our thoughts are recorded in the book of remembrance.

Matt.18

[20] For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

I know that it is getting harder now a days to find a full Bible church. So join in until you prove one out to be a member of.

Mal.3

[16] Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.


Now for the lesson~


by Cornelius R. Stam

There is an important passage on church-going in Hebrews 10:23-25:

"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering.... And let us consider one another, to provoke unto love and to good works; not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is... "

We are often urged, these days: "Go to the church of your choice." The implication is that one church is as good as another -- just so you go to church. But this is not so.

The Scriptures teach that the true Church is composed of those who have placed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Savior who died for their sins. Such are told to "hold fast" the faith which they have professed, without wavering. This must come first, for it is only those who have first exercised such faith who can meet together with unity of mind and purpose to encourage each other "to love and to good works."

It is a truly blessed experience for those who have been saved by the grace of God, to assemble to express their praise together in song, to lift their hearts together in prayer and to join together in the study of God's Word so as to "grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."

In these days of tension and confusion there is a tendency for even the most sincere Christians to be so occupied with temporal things that they deprive themselves of the encouragement and spiritual uplift that comes from getting together with other Christians. But these are just the times when true believers need the encouragement of each other's company and should particularly remember the admonition of Scripture not to forsake "the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is."

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That is all.....

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ANM
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quote:
Originally posted by Zeena:
quote:
Originally posted by ANM:
I got lots o freinds that are pastors...and most agree with me.

They agree with you, or God?
I believe my perspective is pretty biblical, so I would say God.

--------------------
whats up?

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Zeena
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quote:
Originally posted by ANM:
I got lots o freinds that are pastors...and most agree with me.

They agree with you, or God?

--------------------
Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.

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ANM
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The duties pertaining to the office of pastor are vague in scripture,seems like theres alot of doctrine about pastors that has some mighty serious tradition going on there, I got lots o freinds that are pastors...and most agree with me.

--------------------
whats up?

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CHEWY
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In some ways I tend to agree with some of the posting on this topic. But I think we need to be careful here.

ANM stated -
"I don't like the whole pastor scene"

I am sorry that your experiences with pastors has brought you to this point. There are many pastors who have lost their First Love. However, just because you don't like it doesn't make it wrong. [I don't like needles, but I would be foolish to refuse medications if I needed them.] Perhaps you should consider doing what Thomas Jefferson did and cut those passages of Scripture out of your Bible which teach of pastors and their necessity [Eph. 4:11; 1 Peter 5:2]. Clearly the Old Testament and its lengthy discussion of the temple are a symbol of the need to have a place of worship. Without this place of worship it would be difficult to have a congregation. Isn't the church itself with the congregation worshiping God together as one body a picture of what heaven will be like? All praising God in one accord.

ANM stated -
"the whole thing has no foundation in the bible"

1Corinthians [particularly chapters 14 and 16] are directed toward an organized church. Paul's main emphasis thru these verses is that all things be done in order. Who will keep the Biblical perspective of order except pastors and elders?
[Not that they are always right in every for instance, but this is their responsibility]

Historically speaking, we know from several ancient writings that the Apostle John sat as an elder over the Church of Ephesus after his release from Patmos. If organized church was not what Jesus Christ had in mind one would think that John would have advised against it rather than participate in it.

Know Him stated -
"Seems they make salvation more about how many times you come to their building or if you volunteer to clean it or something. They have forgotten that the church is the body of believers (the people) not the place they meet."

I do agree with this in some ways. There is a lot of hub-bub that goes on in the realm of numbers. Instead of counting how many professions of faith the church has seen, many just want to count backsides in a pew. However, some teaching on ministries within the church is necessary. The inverse side of this is that we have far to many professing Christians who have forgotten or never knew that they themselves are ministers. A minister has to have a ministry. The problem is that many ministries such as cleaning the church, working in the nursery, keeping the lawn, etc., aren't positions of rank. They are considered lowly and undesirable. Let us not forget that we are taught by Christ that the last shall be first
and the first shall be last. Congregations do need to hear a certain amount of this teaching.

Know Him stated -
"The problem with the Religion Machine was that it started out as a neat invention designed to help people, but it wound up hurting them. The Machine was made for man, but soon man lived for the Machine and became dependent upon it."

I do agree that this is true in many cases. However, should we throw the idea of organized church into the machine as well, or should we stand strong to make the changes within the organized church that need to be made?

As we read the Scriptures it should be apparent that Christ intended an organized church. I agree that the Bride of Christ is the believers themselves and not a building. Clearly these believers need the "koinonia" fellowship of one another as a group for edification.

I am thankful to have a church that I don't have many of your feelings about. Yet I do recognize many of these problems existing in many churches.

Chewy-

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Zeena
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quote:
Originally posted by Aaron:
I like Chip's stuff. [thumbsup2]

Yea, that was a great story! [thumbsup2]

I love Jesus, that's why I go to church..

To see Him! [Big Grin]

--------------------
Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.

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Aaron
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I like Chip's stuff. [thumbsup2]

Honestly, I don't blame people who do not go to institutionalized church services. Typically, there's not much there resembling the Kingdom or the fellowship of the saints.

Aaron

P.S. I'd like to add my own list:

1. It means fellowship one with another. Only the saints are permitted in the church (no, church is not a building).

2.Eighty year-old Sister Bessie finds it hard taking the bus to church meetings. No matter, my wife and I will visit her after the meetings if she can't make it. Maybe we'll have lunch. The church meeting will come to her!

3.Man, it's taken me years to get to the point where I can sleep in on Sunday's and not feel guilty.

4.The Lord has asked me to give anything and everything to Him. As I get to know Him better this will be easier.

5.I'll know that there is no such thing as "general" Christian work. The Lord will call me and equip me for the specific work He has for me.

6.My pastor (shepherd) will shepherd me and I will be accountable to him. If he doesn't have time for me when I need him he's not my pastor. Personally Jesus was accountable to the Father for 12 souls. I wonder how many a shepherd will have in his flock today.

7.They may ask me to go in on a Saturday to set up chairs in the church hall for a youth rally that night.

8.They may invite me to go to prayer meeting on Wed. night, as well as Sunday service.

9.Outdoor meetings are nice in the Spring. Campfires are great, too. There's something about fellowship over a meal that is wonderful.

10.I am learning to trust the Lord in all I do. The fellowship of the saints helps prepare me to do this.

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Good NewsforAll
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Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

We need the support of each other, but the enemy could easily help us with ten good excuses to stay away from the structured church. No church is perfect, but your spiritual expectations may be.

1. It means fellowship one with another of like kind. I am a very private person. Brother Smith might get too friendly and invite me over to his house for a barbeque next Sat. night.

2.Eighty year-old Sister Bessie finds it hard taking the bus to chuch, so I may have to swing around and pick her up for church every Sun.

3.Sun. is the only day I get to sleep in. It is just too much trouble getting around for Sunday morning service.

4.The Bible still promotes tithing. The Lord may ask me to give more than I am willing to offer.

5.They may ask me to do some street outreach work for the homeless and poor.

6.By fellowshiping with fellow believers. I will be accountable for my actions.They may find out that I like to pack in a few cold ones on a Saturday night.

7.They may ask me to go in on a Saturday to set up chairs in the church hall for a youth rally that night.

8.They may invite me to go to prayer meeting on Wed. night, as well as Sunday service.

9.Outdoor meetings are the way to go. If I go to an outdoor ministry session. I can walk away with no ties or responsibilites to that mission.

10.I haven't attended any of these 'religion machine' churches, but I hear that they can be pretty terrible. Better just stay away from any church.

--------------------
The Pharisees tell us what not to do. Jesus tells us what to do.
Romans 10:15 As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"


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KnowHim
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quote:
Originally posted by ANM:
I got an issue with the way church is done, I don't like the whole pastor scene, or the monologue sermon, I don't see it as fellowship, in fact the whole thing has no foundation in the bible, seems to be alot of traditions that have taken over. Some hold these traditions sacred, I think they ought to be abolished and maybe go biblical, the effect of the church on the world and its own body is slackin.

I totally agree! Not all churches are like this but most now adays are. Seems they make salvation more about how many times you come to their building or if you volunteer to clean it or something. They have forgotten that the church is the body of believers (the people) not the place they meet. Salvation is about knowing Jesus Christ not about how many times you go to a building or how much you can serve the building. Or how much money they can get to support the building. I personnal believe it is a sin to spend all the money they collect on the building when so many believers are in need of help. But seems they have turned it in to a big business.

Below is a great article about this:

Dismantling The Religious Machine
Topic: Chip Brogden

Machines are used to do repetitive or difficult work more quickly and efficiently, giving people more leisure and free time to pursue something besides work.
Once upon a time a group of people saw that a machine was needed to make something hard and difficult more easily done. They put their heads together and came up with a handy little machine called “Religion.”

The Religion Machine would make life easier for everyone they said. With the Machine, we don’t have to waste precious time relating to a real God Who loves us. The machine would take these complex processes and break them down into a simple three-step process that anyone could follow, reducing God to a faceless, personless ideology of good works. The result would be a mass-production of religious people who all spoke, thought, acted, and believed the same way.

Things went very well for a while. The Religion Machine worked just like it was supposed to. Churches were built, movements were started, crusades were held, programs were implemented. The inventors congratulated themselves on making Religion so efficient.

But you and I know that machines require a lot of maintenance. Parts have to be replaced. People wanted the Religion Machine to be bigger, better, and faster each year. Research and development expense was incurred, testing expenses, raw materials and warehousing. The Religion Machine had to have qualified people to work on it, qualified people to run it, qualified people to supervise the people who run it, and so on.

With all the improvements and modifications to the original design, the Religion Machine got so big that they had to house it someplace; now they had factory overhead: the property, the specialized plant equipment, the electrical and water requirements, more work crews, the support staff, the management, still more parts, upgrades, routine maintenance, all the hidden costs associated with keeping the Machine running.

No one knew just how big the Religion Machine would get. The inventors would have never dreamed that their little invention would one day turn into a big business, but it did. People picked up their families and moved to live and work close to the Machine. There’s money there, a chance to get ahead, a chance to settle down, a nice place to raise their kids. The Machine is a boost to the local economy because it produces jobs and goods. It’s in everyone’s interest to keep the Machine running along.

The people took great pride in their work. Take a drive with them to any part of the country and they would point to the impressive array of expensive church buildings, sprawling seminaries, and mega-church outreach centers. “We helped put that one together,” they’d say. “Thank God for the Religion Machine! How did we get along without it before?”

But there’s another side to the story. Oh, the work is simple enough. “Do what you’re told. Push this button, pull that lever, flip that switch.” Keep producing, keep the Machine running. But there’s a human toll being exacted on the people who are running the Machine. Just another cog in the wheel, they begin to stop thinking for themselves; they depend on the supervisors to tell them what to do. They go home tired day after day (their busiest day is Sunday). They always work overtime and their family life is non-existent. Even when they’re home they think about work. Production is the name of the game; keep the Machine running no matter what; produce more with less.

People always get injured on the job. It’s hot, dirty work. And noisy. The Machine makes so much noise that all the workers eventually develop acute hearing loss. The light is so dim that the employees have become very narrow-eyed and squinty, not able to withstand bright light. But somehow the security that comes from getting paid each week is more important than the side-effects. So the work goes on.

Besides, where else could they go? What else could they do? Financial commitments based on that paycheck have been made: houses mortgaged, cars financed, durable goods charged. If the Machine stops running, the paychecks stop coming, and it means bankruptcy for the workers and the community. So on and on it goes.

Every once in awhile a pay raise comes. Some live long enough to retire, but most of the workers die young from stress, are injured on the job and permanently disabled, or have nervous breakdowns. But no matter what, the Machine kept running.

Then the unexpected happened.

The Religion Machine used a synthetic, man-made oil for fuel to keep it running.

The oil ran out. The Machine ground to a halt.

The workers were in a panic. No more fuel? How would the Machine run? What about their job? What about their paycheck? Who would take care of their families?

"What about natural oil?" someone asked. No that wouldn’t work. They tried that years ago. Genuine oil would not run the Religion Machine.

The supervisors cursed and swore. How could they get the Machine running again?

There was only one thing left to do.

The doors were locked, and the gates closed tight. Armed security gathered the workers together and had them form a line leading up to the top of the combustion chamber, the fiery inferno which fueled the Religion Machine.

One by one they were cast into the fuel tank. The Machine sparked and began to hum again.

"More people! We need more people over here!" Like lambs being led to the slaughter, the deaf, dumb, and blind workers were pushed over the precipice to be used as fuel for the Religion Machine. Next it was their wives, husbands, children, parents, brothers, sisters, all thrown alive and screaming into the Machine. The houses and cars, the clothing and jewelry, the furniture and possessions were all confiscated and dumped into to the Religion Machine to add more fuel for it to run.

At last everything that could be used for fuel had been used. It would not be enough, and it had all been in vain. Once again the Religion Machine ground to a halt, and no one was around to start it up again. The supervisors went out into the community to try and recruit new workers, but after hearing what had happened to the last shift no one would take the job.

Today those supervisors are dead and gone. The Religion Machine was dismantled by the townspeople, the parts scattered to the four winds, never to be assembled again.

The problem with the Religion Machine was that it started out as a neat invention designed to help people, but it wound up hurting them. The Machine was made for man, but soon man lived for the Machine and became dependent upon it.

Once upon a time another group of people saw that a machine was needed to make something hard and difficult more easily done and give them more leisure time. They were even more talented, technologically advanced, and affluent than the first group of inventors. So they put their heads together and came up with a handy little machine called “American Christianity”...

by Chip Brogden
www.theschoolofchrist.org

http://www.theschoolofchrist.org/articles/machine.html

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Zeena
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We studied from 'Unity of the Spirit' tonight at discipleship [Smile]

quote:
Ephesians 4
I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beseech you to walk worthily of the calling wherewith ye were called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as also ye were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.
But unto each one of us was the grace given according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended on high, he led captivity captive, And gave gifts unto men. (Now this, He ascended, what is it but that he also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the building up of the body of Christ: till we all attain unto the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a fullgrown man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: that we may be no longer children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error; but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, even Christ; from whom all the body fitly framed and knit together through that which every joint supplieth, according to the working in due measure of each several part, maketh the increase of the body unto the building up of itself in love.
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye no longer walk as the Gentiles also walk, in the vanity of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart; who being past feeling gave themselves up to lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
But ye did not so learn Christ; if so be that ye heard him, and were taught in him, even as truth is in Jesus: that ye put away, as concerning your former manner of life, the old man, that waxeth corrupt after the lusts of deceit; and that ye be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new man, that after God hath been created in righteousness and holiness of truth.
Wherefore, putting away falsehood, speak ye truth each one with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing that is good, that he may have whereof to give to him that hath need. Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but such as is good for edifying as the need may be, that it may give grace to them that hear. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, in whom ye were sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and railing, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, even as God also in Christ forgave you.

We need each other [Smile]

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Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.

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ANM
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I got an issue with the way church is done, I don't like the whole pastor scene, or the monologue sermon, I don't see it as fellowship, in fact the whole thing has no foundation in the bible, seems to be alot of traditions that have taken over. Some hold these traditions sacred, I think they ought to be abolished and maybe go biblical, the effect of the church on the world and its own body is slackin.

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whats up?

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