From: BigMac55@ix.netcom.com
(nyuck,nyuck,nyuck)was my response rooted in the disbelief I experienced at what I perceived to be a very close-minded, or rather small minded position from a brother I
       had come to know as broad-minded.

       That's the great thing about us Christians.  We all have our blind spots. Just heard one today, for instance.  Watchman Nee adhered to that
       "no women speaking in church" and all that other chauvinist stuff. When it was a woman who led him to the Lord and a woman who told
       him of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  So I don't know how much more loudly God could tell this fellow the importance of women but for >some
       reason, he obviously had a blind spot about this.
       Thank God a woman spoke to him!
 

Paul seemed to have that "blind spot" also, if you notice, with "suffer not a woman to preach".  Perhaps there was a reason for that. What was right in
the early church is now wrong, huh...  Who wrote the new scriptures?  So any of us christians have that "blind spot", its hard for us to learn the
new, modernistic morality.

A mule spoke to Balaam, some want them to be equal now ...

  "In this last days He has poured out His Spirit on all flesh" - and >since
       the "harvest is plentiful and the laborers are few" - women >are needed.

That's for sure!!  A truly washed woman is uncomfortable with power anyway.
Mark
================================================================================================
From: Robert San Pascual <bsp15@juno.com>

The issue about women in ministry is an extremely important one for the entire church of Christ. I know that I and all of us must handle this
with sensitivity and respect for our sisters in Christ who love God and want to serve Him. I surely would not want to discourage even one of them
from following their calling.

I also know that we who do love God, both brothers and sisters, want to be obedient to Him as He reveals His will to us in His Word. In fact, God
does speak on the subject of women in ministry both in the Old and New Testaments.

We have the example of many women served God: Deborah, Ruth, Esther, Mary, and Priscilla, just to name a few. In Acts 21:8-9, Luke wrote:
"Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea and stayed at the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven. He had four unmarried daughters
who prophesied." It is clearly evident that God wants women involved in ministry and that our sisters are vital and necessary to the fulfilling
of Christ's Great Commission to make disciples.

While our sisters have great freedom in ministry, our heavenly Father chose to give them one restriction:  1Timothy 2:11 A woman should learn
in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. 13 For Adam was formed
first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women will be saved through
childbearing--if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

I did a study on this passage and tried to be as objective as I could, and I readily admit that I do have some blind spots. I read books and
articles from both sides of the issue, trying to keep an open mind the whole time. I attend a church that was on one side of the issue and a
seminary whose president and New Testament professor is on the other! My one objective was to try to understand God's Word on this subject and not
be pressured by the cultural forces or any of the people for whom I have respect (my pastor, professor, etc.).

What I found was that those who argued that God restricted women in this one area had more convincing arguments than those who say God permits
women to serve as elders/pastors. I'm hesitant to say this because I know I'm opening myself up to a lot of criticism from my fellow brothers and
sisters. Yet I know that we will all try to be gracious to one another on this hot potato.

The argument that this passage was only for that time and that place and does not apply today was not convincing, and I think the burden is on
these proponents to back up this statement. While the tide of culture is on their side, the biblical evidence appeared to me to be lacking. The
question of why God would say that only men should serve as elders/pastors was the toughest part of my study. In short, though, I believe that God created
order and that He sovereignly ordained that women should be subordinate to godly and loving male leadership. This puts the responsibility on us men to provide
not dictatorial leadership, but one that is patterned after Christ's example.

For those who are interested, I can e-mail my paper to you. Be forewarned, though, it's over 16 pages long! Here is a bibliography for
those who would like to do more study of the issue. First, let me give you the one I thought was most convincing, and then the rest in
alphabetical order.

Kostenberger, Andreas J., Thomas R. Schreiner, and H. Scott Baldwin, editors. Women in the Church: A Fresh Analysis of 1 Timothy 2:9-15. Grand
Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1995.

Archer, Gleason L. An Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties. Grand Rapids,
MI: Zondervan, 1982.

Barker, Kenneth, general editor. The NIV Study Bible: 10th Anniversary
Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1995.
Bauer, Walter. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other
Early Christian Literature. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press,
1979.
Brauch, Manfred T. Hard Sayings of Paul. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity
Press, 1989.
Bristow, John Temple. What Paul Really Said About Women. San Francisco,
CA: Harper & Row, 1988.
Douglas, J.D., organizing editor. New Bible Dictionary, Second Edition.
Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1982.
Ferguson, Everett. Backgrounds of Early Christianity, Second Edition.
Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing, 1993.
Gritz, Sharon Marie Hodgin. A Study of 1 Timothy 2:9-15 in Light of the
Religious and Cultural Milieu of the First Century. Ann Arbor, MI:
University Microfilms International, 1988.
Guthrie, Donald. The Pastoral Epistles: An Introduction and Commentary.
Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing, 1957.
__________. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, Revised Edition: The
Pastoral Epistles. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1990.
Hanson, Anthony Tyrrell. New Century Bible Commentary: The Pastoral
Epistles. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing, 1982.
Hawthorne, Gerald F. and Ralph P. Martin, editors. Dictionary of Paul and
His Letters. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993.
Jewett, Paul K. Man as Male and Female. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans
Publishing, 1975.
Johnson, Luke T. The Writings of the New Testament: An Interpretation.
Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1986.
Keener, Craig S. Paul, Women & Wives: Marriage and Women?s Ministry in
the Letters of Paul. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1992.
__________. The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament. Downers
Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993.
Knight, George W. The Pastoral Epistles: A Commentary on the Greek Text.
Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing, 1992.
Kohlenberger, John R. III, Edward W. Goodrick, and James A. Swanson. The
Exhaustive Concordance to the Greek New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI:
Zondervan Publishing House, 1995.
Kroeger, Richard Clark and Catherine Clark Kroeger. I Suffer Not a Woman:
Rethinking 1 Timothy 2:11-15 in Light of Ancient Evidence. Grand Rapids,
MI: Baker Book House, 1992.
Lea, Thomas D. The New American Commentary, Vol. 34: 1, 2 Timothy, Titus.
Broadman Press, 1992.
Marshall, Alfred. The Interlinear NASB-NIV Parallel New Testament in
Greek and English. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1993.
Moo, Douglas J. ?1 Timothy 2:11-15: Meaning and Significance,? Trinity
Journal, 1 (1980) 62-83.
Mounce, William D. Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament. Grand
Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1993.
Newman, Barclay M. Jr. A Concise Greek-English Dictionary of the New
Testament. Stuttgart, Germany: German Bible Society, 1993.
Packer, J.I., Merrill C. Tenney, and William White Jr., editors. The
Bible Almanac. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1980.
Ryken, Leland, James C. Wilhoit, Tremper Longman III, general editors.
Dictionary of Biblical Imagery. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press,
1998.
Walvoord, John F. and Roy B. Zuck, editors. The Bible Knowledge
Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty,
New Testament Edition. Victor Books, 1983.
Vine, W. E. Vine?s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New
Testament Words. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1996.
Williams, Don. The Apostle Paul and Women in the Church. Glendale, CA:
Regal Books, 1977.
============================================================================================================
Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>

Out of this whole list, I see two names of women.
Think it may be biased?  The defense rests.
===================================================================

> From: Robert San Pascual <bsp15@juno.com>
> of many women served God: Deborah, Ruth, Esther,
> Mary, and Priscilla, just to name a few. In Acts 21:8-9, Luke wrote:
> "Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea and stayed at the house of
> Philip the evangelist, one of the Seven. He had four unmarried daughters
> who prophesied." It is clearly evident that God wants women involved in
> ministry and that our sisters are vital and necessary to the fulfilling
> of Christ's Great Commission to make disciples.

And there are countless other examples.  And mostly women hung around the
cross and did not abandon Jesus.

> While our sisters have great freedom in ministry, our heavenly Father
> chose to give them one restriction:  1Timothy 2:11 A woman should learn
> in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or
> to have authority over a man; she must be silent. 13 For Adam was formed
> first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman
> who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women will be saved through
> childbearing--if they continue in faith, love and holiness with
> propriety.

Barefoot and pregnant.  Yeah, that's it.

> I did a study on this passage and tried to be as objective as I could,
> and I readily admit that I do have some blind spots. I read books and
> articles from both sides of the issue, trying to keep an open mind the
> whole time.

I'm sure the verse "for in Christ there is neither male nor female" comes
into play.  Remember, the above mentioned passage was written to
Timothy way back when.  We no longer treat children the way they
did back then and on the list goes.  We no longer have the town
synagogue with the section for the men and the section for the women.
That mindset was wrong then and it's wrong now.
We no longer have those sects of Saduccees and Pharisees.
Well, maybe we do. .   .     .       .

> I attend a church that was on one side of the issue and a
> seminary whose president and New Testament professor is on the other! My
> one objective was to try to understand God's Word on this subject and not
> be pressured by the cultural forces or any of the people for whom I have
> respect (my pastor, professor, etc.).

Why wouldn't cultural forces have any bearing?  God made these different
cultures.  God made Adam and Eve and He made sex.
And what did He say it was?   "Good?"
Read it again.  It says
"Very good"
Brothers and sisters obviously are different.  Anyone with two eyes can see
that. And countless studies have been done to show how we are different in our
make up too.  But the "me Tarzan - you Jane" thing is for the apes.
(If the fur fits, wear it)
=====================================================

That's for sure!!  A truly washed woman is uncomfortable with power anyway.

>===================================================
Okay, Okay... someone is quoting scripture about women having to sit in silence.  Well, let me
say this...  We've come a long way.

When interpreting the Bible, people should not forget the time it was written in.  At that time,
women didn't do anything more than be a mere meager servant in their household.  Now some
women have the freedom to even hold jobs that allow them to be the sole supporter of the family
and the hubby gets to stay home and be the house servant...  (not really a servant, but you get
the point).  I would like to see the Bible quoted as a reference source, but not as a militant
source.  Just me though, perhaps most of you are still into the women being subservient stuff...
NOT ME...

And now back to studying for my 2nd exam this week...   aaugh!!  Too much stuff to
remember...
Carol
==============================================

 From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>
 

Carol Stutts wrote:

    Okay, Okay... someone is quoting scripture about women having to sit in silence.  Well, let
    me say this...  We've come a long way. When interpreting the Bible, people should not forget
    the time it was written in.  At that time, women didn't do anything more than be a mere meager
    servant in their household.
    I'm surprised there's so many names in the Bible.  Back then, you're name quite
    often was what you
    were - like Mr Butcher was the town butcher; Mr Smith was - you know...
    And back then you would have been known as "Jim's wife".  And that's it.
    Though, back then, the names did have to do with their "being".
    Their names had to do with what they were about.
    But just because in Jesus' day children were to be seen and not heard
    does not make it right.
    And the separation of men and women, and the way they were treated
    Jn - 4 - they were "surprised" to find him talking with a woman;
    I just had another example escape me - but they are numerous.
    But, as in everything else, you see what you want to see, now, don't you?
    If you think women should "shut up, and walk ten paces behind"
    I don't know what to tell you.
    I heard, and maybe it was here, but in those countries where the women
    followed the men, they now walk in front of the men.
    They were questioned as to why they now walk ten paces ahead.
    The answer:
    landmines
     Just me though, perhaps most of you are still into the women being subservient stuff...  NOT
    ME...
    oh no, what are we going to do?!
===================================================
From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>

>  It is clearly evident that God wants women involved in
> ministry and that our sisters are vital and necessary to the fulfilling
> of Christ's Great Commission to make disciples.

If it weren't for the sisters, we'd be sitting around with our long beards
debating dogma.  And thinking that's "where it's really at, man".
And because it's the Bible, we would deem it sacrosanct - when all it
is is another version of keeping track of batting averages and half
time stats.
Praise God for the sisters.  They maintain the humanity.
No getting puffed up around them.
=======================================================
From: "John Apostle" <japostle@angelfire.com>

TP wrote:
>I presented my story and my pictures and additional pictures and the woman judge understood my plight
>and dropped the ticket.Whew! "Yes, we do tend to look for the signs" was her comment. (I'm not talking church here...I'm sure not into starting debates!)

Yes, that Phila parking system is efficient.  I finally paid several tickets last year that it had hounded me about since 1992 when I attended a conference
in the historical district.  I hadn't seen the signs, 'cause someone had yanked them out, but that was no excuse.  I decided I'd better pay up when I had to go
to the Library Company and I was afraid that if I got another ticket they might cross-check my Virginia tags against my name . . .  women judges . . . women can
be understanding and even use their brain sometimes . . .  yes, we have come a long way.  Catching up with Deborah, I guess.  Speaking of debates, I notice in
other postings that we are perilously close to drudging up the same one that we went through earlier this year -- which I recall wasn't really about women
judges at its root but about each doing what is right in his or her (or its) own eyes -- cultural relativism, and its permeation in the so-called Christian
church of our day.  If we are going to again indulge in a little round & round (must be either our destiny or sadomasochism) I'd like to up the ante a little
by changing the subject from women to homosexuals.  After all, the Bible has very little to say against homosexuality, especially in the public or the church
spheres (at least compared to women); homosexuals have come a long way in our day; they are accepted in not only government, politics, arts, and entertainment
but in many mainline Christian churches -- even evangelical ones.  The Nazis were against them, and there aren't any Nazis on this list, are there?  Ah, come
on, I know many of you like Elton John and Traci Chapman.  Whoops, that's the rock debate.

Don't follow leaders; watch the parking meters.

 Visit John Apostle's Website on the WWW:
    http://www.angelfire.com/ny/japostle/
=================================================================================

From: JFeath4301@aol.com

hey what does it mean "A truly washed woman is uncomfortable with power anyway".
Janet
====================================================

From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>

> From: JFeath4301@aol.com
>
> hey what does it mean "A truly washed woman is uncomfortable with power
anyway".

Very simple.  In that state they're more conductive and liable to get shocked.
=======================================================
From: "Mark Loftus" <mloftus955@hotmail.com>

A christian woman is not into seeking after power, and even in the household
would rather have the man take the lead and do his job rather than her
having to be the leader.  Nor will the true church try to boss her Lord
around.

"Washed"(cleansed from sin) if that term was confusing, the way I used it is
roughly equivalent to "saved".
 

Mark
===================================================
From: "Mark Loftus" <mloftus955@hotmail.com>

       > From: Robert San Pascual <bsp15@juno.com>
           While our sisters have great freedom in ministry, our heavenly Father
       > chose to give them one restriction:  1Timothy 2:11 A woman should learn
       > in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or
       > to have authority over a man; she must be silent. 13 For Adam was formed
       > first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman
       > who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women will be saved through
       > childbearing--if they continue in faith, love and holiness with
       > propriety.

       Barefoot and pregnant.  Yeah, that's it.
             Tom
 

Gee, I missed that message you were responding too about barefoot and
pregnant.

                   I did a study on this passage and tried to be as objective as I
             >>could,and I readily admit that I do have some blind spots. I read
             >>books and articles from both sides of the issue, trying to keep an
             >>open mind the whole time.
 

 I'm sure the verse "for in Christ there is neither male nor female" >comes
 into play.
And how is that?
 Remember, the above mentioned passage was written to
Timothy way back when.  We no longer treat children the way they
did back then and on the list goes.
It's possible they were treated better in the prior times.
We no longer have the town
synagogue with the section for the men and the section for the women.
That mindset was wrong then and it's wrong now.
We no longer have those sects of Saduccees and Pharisees.
Well, maybe we do. .   .     .       .
Of course we do.
 I attend a church that was on one side of the issue and a
 seminary whose president and New Testament professor is on the other! My
 one objective was to try to understand God's Word on this subject and not
 be pressured by the cultural forces or any of the people for whom I have
respect (my pastor, professor, etc.).
Why wouldn't cultural forces have any bearing?  God made these >different cultures.
So is that what we should do, forget the bibles and follow all the rules of
culture and society?
God made Adam and Eve and He made sex. And what did He say it was?
"Good?" Read it again.  It says "Very good"
Brothers and sisters obviously are different.  Anyone with two eyes >can
see that.
We all agree on something.
=======================================================
From: "Mark Loftus" <mloftus955@hotmail.com>

"Objective" is the key word.  It is not always easy to be objective with all
the forces on us, but that's where we have to start if we want truth.  If
any are in rebellion or resentful against a prior injustice (ie; COBU), then
objectivity is just not there.  There are sometimes quiet motives in some
hearts.  Questions like this can't be rightly handled on an emotional level.

Yeah, you won't be popular with the majority on this one, but you have to be
honest. God's law is for our protection also, so what He does may seem
restrictive but it is out of true love.

It's strange that this issue was never such a sensitive, "hot potato" type
thing until the last 200 years.  There's so much sensitivity in our time
which we can't get around.  You seemed to handle this issue graciously
enough.

I have never heard these liberal churchmen back up their cultural argument
very well on any biblical basis.  They mostly come up with human arguments
that appeal to the emotions.  They don't answer the bible references in a
straightforward manner, they set up a "straw man" of exaggerated arguments
that were never made, and destroy those arguments they attribute to others.
There are cases where men have mistreated women which is inexcusable, and
would give new power to the liberal argument.  However, the liberal
churchmen are not speaking out of any love for women in most cases but their
own purposes, just as the liberal politicians don't show love for women with
their lives either.  The larger part of many congregations is female, so
they know where their bread is buttered, ie. paychecks.

The pastor who counseled me before I got married spoke of being a
"servant leader", which has obvious scriptural references behind it.
=========================================================
From: Robert San Pascual <bsp15@juno.com>

On Wed, 17 Nov 1999 Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net> writes:
> From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>
>
> Out of this whole list, I see two names of women.
> Think it may be biased?  The defense rests.

I would certainly welcome any books, articles, or e-mail by our sisters
in Christ on the issue of women serving as elders/pastors. When I did my
research, and I'm not saying it was the most thorough since I had a
deadline, those two books were the only ones I found that were written by
females. Again, I would be happy to read what our sisters have to say
about 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and will do my best to stay open-minded and
objective.

I read your other post with the comments about being "barefoot and
pregnant" and the "Me, Tarzan; you, Jane" statement. I can understand how
some may be offended by what I wrote. As I said, this is a very sensitive
issue and an important one. I think, though, that all of us wants to know
what God has said, since He has spoken on the subject, so that we may be
obedient to His will.

If I could, then, may I focus on three questions about the 1 Timothy
passage?

1. God, through Paul, said something about at least some women not
teaching and having authority over some men in some circumstance(s). What
exactly did He say?

2. Why did He say it?

3. Does what He said in 1 Tim. 2:11-15 apply to other cultures, including
ours, or only to the situation that Paul addressed (the church of Ephesus
ca. 60 A.D.)?

Please understand that my aim is not to offend or divide, but to seek
God's will in order to do it.

In Christ,
Bob San Pascual
======================================================
rom: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>

> From: Robert San Pascual <bsp15@juno.com>
>
> I would certainly welcome any books, articles, or e-mail by our sisters
> in Christ on the issue of women serving as elders/pastors.

Right away, we're into the Aristotelian, Western mindset and playing with
the wrong deck of cards.  The way things have evolved that we do things
is very wrong.  There is no such thing as the "pastor" we know and love
today.  The man does not exist.  Where, in the NT, is there a man designated
to marry people, speak at funerals, and pat little old lady's hands?
There is no such thing as a bishop.
In one group, Gene asked for a private vote - who would you want to handle
your situation would you were caught in adultery?
Two names were continually written down.  These, he said, are your elders.
It has nothing to do with "seniority" or "authority" - but everything to do
with
how they're looked up to and respected for real.  But also in one group -
no one wants the spot of "leader".  And the whole fellowship is under the
head of Jesus Christ.
The sisters may at a time be "running" the fellowship.  And that's great.
But they would rather the brothers handle the "nasty" stuff.
This is from some tapes I've heard - very eye opening.  It all started with
"Church History"  and "Church Practices Ain't"
In book form there's "Rethinking Elders" by the Seedsowers (online).
"When the Church Was Led by Layman Only"
These books are "Beyond Radical"
 

> When I did my
> research, and I'm not saying it was the most thorough since I had a
> deadline, those two books were the only ones I found that were written by
> females. Again, I would be happy to read what our sisters have to say
> about 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and will do my best to stay open-minded and
> objective.

You can't read what men have trampled over for the last almost 2,000 years.
 

> I read your other post with the comments about being "barefoot and
> pregnant" and the "Me, Tarzan; you, Jane" statement. I can understand how
> some may be offended by what I wrote.

I am not offended, per se.  Mostly saddened.
This is a big boulder in more ways than one, and I don't expect many
people to move it.  That's just the way things are and will be.  For instance
-
Jesus didn't come and say we should get rid of/ reform Judaism, now did he?
Let them continue.  Leave them alone. That's their thing, it's what they want
to do.
So be it.  I suppose I'm not listening.
But I know there's others out there who wonder why everything doesn't make
sense and the glorious answer is IT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO -
HALLELUJAH!

> If I could, then, may I focus on three questions about the 1 Timothy
> passage?

The focus has to change.  Saying Jesus is the head is too simplistic,
but I don't know what else to say.
Read those books I mentioned and get the tapes if you can - if you dare.
The saddest book I read this year was sent to me by a brother called
"Becoming Orthodox - A Journey to the Ancient Christian Faith"
by Peter Gillquist.  These fellows were in Campus Crusade for Christ
in the 1960's and they wanted to discover the "real church" and worship
the "way that Jesus did".
Their conclusion, through their research (using a lot of Catholic type
texts) was that the Greek Orthodox church is most like the truest church
on earth as the way that Jesus wanted it.
One of the saddest books I've ever read.
The antithesis of "Revolution - the Story of the Early Church"
Gene pictures Jesus sitting in a dark, hot, sweaty synagogue imagining
he can't wait to die and make this just a little bit better. .    .      .
In "Becoming Orthodox" they actually made the choice to don the collar
and recite the liturgy and that's life to them.  Jesus understands.
I don't.

========================================================
From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>

I am living off aspirin and a heavy anti-biotic till they operate
on my mouth this Friday at 4.  So I'm up all hours in all states of mind
in case you were wondering.  .    .      .        .
God is Spirit.
Spirit is male we are tend to be told.
He-man  male dominated spirit.  No feelings, no flesh, no emotion.
Let us make man in our own image.
Man is the human race; male and female he created them.
We're all made in His image - male and female.
Got a problem with that?
Are you a member of Christ's church.  Do you want to go be with Him?
He looks at His church as a bride.
If you wish to be part of his bride you must be female.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Those who thrust out their chest shall not enter the kingdom
of God except to humble themselves as a child.
====================================================
From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>
 

You, dear brother, have been denied the greatest privilege a Christian can know, and you do not know it.  Not only you, but virtually every Christian who has ever lived for at least
the last 1700 years has not known of this loss.Of what do I speak?  This fact:  Only the first-century church found its direction from the brothers and sisters.  It did not find its direction from ministers not elders.  The individual churches did not find their very existence and survival deposited in ministers.  Counterwise, those churches existed by means of brothers.  Here, today, in this meeting with you men, I mean to prove that fact. There is something you do not have, but it is your birthright.  It is my calling to see that you have it.  In fact, this should be what every minister should do, for it is our calling.  For all of us who minister, this is our calling. Not that all of you present here are of the male gender.We men have grown up in an unspoken, unchallenged custom.Its ingredients are:  A church building.  A pulpit.  And you, a man... you or the male gender... now, ask yourself this question: What is your place in the kingdom of God as presently practiced in the present customs of Christianity? Let us look closely.  Here it is.  Man's role in Christianity:

At 8:30 on Sunday morning you put on that horrendous costume called a suit.  Then you have a fight with your wife and kids trying to get them off the Sunday School.  Then you,
man, still screaming, go to the car and "go to church."  You, man, walk into a church building.  (Remember, you are a man.)  You are at this very moment fulfilling Christendom's
expectations of you... the converted human male.  Now in the building you sit down.You, man, then listen to an oration which is delivered in the Greco-Roman tradition laid down by Aristotle in a practice which Aristotle called rhetoric.  You, man, have now done your masculine job, you have now fulfilled the male role model of a Christian.  So now you can get up out of the pew and go home. That's it!!  That is your role in the kingdom of God. In the beginning it was not so. What you think and what you see is simply you, the silent man, in a pew.  That is pretty much Christendom of you!  You are someone who is utterly dependent upon a priest, a minister, or elders when it comes to the ecclesia. Listen to your vocabulary, man!  All the vocabulary which sails around in the microcosm we each live in is indicative of what we think, and tells of our surroundings. You, and all Christendom, have accepted that status, and
that even without realizing it.  Walking into a building and sitting down, and getting up and walking out is you!  That is all that you are.  At least that is all that you are as "brother."
That is all you are as a Christian man.  It ought not to be that you walk into a building, sit down for an hour, and get up and walk out.  Nor is it right for you to see yourself, and
other men, this way.  That is not right.  And a revolution that changes is due!!  Not a tiny, timid revolution.  No! A radical, wrenching revolution! The greatest creative force on the earth as relates to the ecclesia, remains in chains.  Listen, you who are of the male species, it has not always been this way. Just how appealing is "church" as it is presently
practiced... how appealing is that to Christian men?  Think about it!

Walk into any church.  Let's start with the Catholics and then work our way down the ecclesiastical ladder.  Observe: In the Catholic meeting there are almost no men.  Women
dominate the pews.  Now come down to the Baptists... it is two women for every one man.  When at last you come to the Pentecostals, the ratio is a hair better.  That is it.  Quite
frankly, that is the way we ought to expect it to be.  Why?Because there just is not anything there for you.Christianity, at this point in time, is not a male religion, nor has it been for nearly two millenniums.  Has this affected
your life?  If so, pause for a moment and reflect on how it has
affected you.  Are you ready to see this scenario change?  In
your life?  Why are you and other men sleepwalking through
today's expectations of you?
Why is there no appeal to men?  There are probably
dozens of reasons, but the most obvious is this:  For a man,
church is boring. (The truth be told, the women are bored,
too.  The thing is boring to everyone!)
In a word, the present day practice of the Christian faith,
my dear brother, has sterilized you.
How shall I begin to show you that is was not always so?
Perhaps the best way to acquaint you with this unrecognized
loss is to take a peek at the vocabulary of first century
believers.  Not the conscious vocabulary used specifically to
convey a point, but the vocabulary that is unconsciously
spoken, that which seeps out, unconsciously.

In each of us there is a unique vocabulary that reflects a
part of those surroundings of ours which are so much part of
our lives that we do not even give thought of it.  To illustrate:
If you are a mechanic, plumber, computer operator,
construction worker, each of you has a vocabulary that the
rest of us do not have.  You are not even conscious of it, yet
we find it odd to our ears.  Ever have a doctor tell you what
is wrong with you?  He has a vocabulary that is so much a
part of his life that he unconsciously thinks you should
understand what he is telling you.
I would not understand two computer people talking
together.  Yet you are not even aware of the uniqueness of
your own vocabulary.  You have specialized vocabulary
because of your environment.  It is as much a part of you as
your own name.
Christians of the first century had just such an unconscious
vocabulary.
You can see this is true by listening to the unconscious
vocabulary of the different Christian groups which exist in
our day.  If you were around a group of Fundamentalists,
for instance, what might be some words that you would
hear? (these answers are from men present at the meeting
listening to Gene: repent, salvation, fire and brimstone,
Republicans, eternal security, justification,
the Bible says, morality.)
Now let us switch to an interdenominational organization
like Navigators, Campus Crusade or YWAM.  What would
you hear as their unique vocabulary? (Great Commission,
God has a wonderful plan for your life, discipleship, four
spiritual laws, missions, visions, soul winning, God wants
you to win people to the Lord.)
What are some words you might hear just around folks
who are called, in American, Southern Baptists?  (Annie
Armstrong, co-operative program, deacons, tithing, baptism,
once saved always saved, Lottie Moon, ministry, pastor,
youth minister.)  These are words that reflect the Southern
Baptist matrix, just as when a carpenter speaks of a hammer,
saw, chisel, measuring, plumb, etc.
Among Catholics what would you hear?  (genuflect,
tradition, rosary, mass, holy water, confessional, obedience,
mother of God.)
If you were around Pentecostals?  (the Holy Ghost,
miracles, signs, power, word of faith, prosperity, baptism
of the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues.)
What would you hear if you were among Plymouth
Brethren?  (head covering, communion, Lord's table, the
Lord's day.)
Within each of these groups these is a mindset.  That
mindset comes out naturally in routine conversation - an
unconscious vocabulary which gives us a peek into the the
microcosm they live in.
Let's move over to the house church movement.  What
are some words used in the house church movement?
(fellowship, commitment, deeper Christian life, koinonia, Bible
study, the Word, outside the organized church, cell groups,
social concern, woman's equality, house church theology.)
Let me tell you about a little niche of your thinking,
something of which you are not aware, yet that little
compartment of your thinking influences your life
incredibly... with or without a vocabulary.  In fact, this little
rut of thinking is in everyone's mind... it literally drives
Christianity, yet we do not know we are thinking this way.
Of what do I refer?  Let me illustrate.
A minister friend of mine calls me and begins telling me
how his ministry is doing.  As he does this, he shows the
minister's side of this very powerful but unconscious mind of
which I speak.  His words are ministers' words and are
ministry centered.  He tells me about his work, what he said,
what he did, where he has been, and his results.  All minister
centered.
Recently I was on the phone with a brother from Texas
who was telling me about all the house churches gathering
throughout one of the largest cities in the state.  He had five
hundred people in home meetings.  He must have talked to
me, almost without stopping, for over an hour.  "The Lord
showed me this... we had this problem and the Lord spoke to
me on this... we faced a different situation and finally I told
everyone..."  Did you know that in all that conversation he
never mentioned you?  I did not say he never mentioned
"laymen."  I mean he never mentioned you.  There was no
reference to anybody but himself.  He never talked about
you.  His mind is ministry centered, not you centered.
And you also think - when you think of Christian work
and things getting done - you think "minister" and "ministry."
Dear brother, you as brothers are not in the forefront of your
own Christian thinking.  Ministers are.
Ministers think ministers.  You think ministers.  You do
not think of you.  There is a mentality among Christians -
this is a mentality among laymen which is interdenominational, and
it is ancient.  You and all Christendom think in terms of
being led by ministers.
Think about this:  Next year you are going to go to a
convention. What, dear brother, dear layman, are you going
to do?  You are going to sit and listen to a minister.
Next year you are also going to get in trouble in your
personal life.  You have a friend who is a pastor, and you are
going to go talk to a minister about what to do about this
problem.
some of you are in a community where there is no church
that is to your liking.  You need a church.  So?  You need to
find a minister in order to have a church.
Some day one of you is going to get a little group started
in your home.  It is going to fall apart, or it is going to go
well.  After a while, if it holds together, you will all decide
you need a church without a minister.  All groups which live
very long ultimately need a minister.  It is your unconscious
way of seeing the Christian faith.  It is also inevitable.  It is a
necessity to survival.  A minister is a must!
You do not conceptualize in terms of the Christian faith
outside of minister or leader.  (A rose by any other name is
still a rose, and a pastor by any other name is still a pastor.)
Christianity wholly without ministers?
Is that ever true?  Even in the house church movement,
can there be a church without minister?
In the house church movement I notice not so much the
life of the ecclesia but, rather, something that is a glorified
home Bible study group.  Everybody comes in and talks.
The talk is shallow.  Talk, with a bit of the Bible thrown in,
then some fellowship, cookies and cake, and "oh, it was
wonderful" and everyone goes home. (This is a return to the
body of Christ!?)
But there is another aspect of a typical house church.  A
group meets in a house, yes, but a minister comes around
and preaches to you, and edifies and strengthens you.  While
he is there, you get perked up.  Then you, as a people, start
gradually downward until the minister comes back again and
boosts you up again.
The house church movement is as dependent on ministers
as are all other types of movements and denominations. (If not
ministers, then elders.) All churches find their direction either
from ministers or elders.
If you listen carefully to your Christian vocabulary, then
your vocabulary will tell you that all this is true.
You do not know it, but you have fetters all over you.
The path of church history remains unchanged century
after century, even into its third millennium.  Regardless of
all the news you will ever hear, regardless of how long the
Christian faith rolls on, you are still a layman.  A sit-and-
listen layman.  That is the way it is going to stay.  How bad
is it?  Next Sunday morning when you "go to church," count
how many laymen in the meeting do something - anything
except sit and listen!
I am a minister and grateful to God for that.  But I must
not think "me."  I must think "you."  And you must join me in
this perspective.  My job: to utterly work myself out of a
job.  My job is not ministry to minister.  My job is to turn
a church over to brothers.  Again, here in this room I intend
to prove the fact - from Scripture - beyond all question! The
church is to find its leadership and direction through the brothers.
Careful or you will catch yourself saying, "Yeah, that's
right.  Let's go back and hang the preacher."  That is not
going to work.  Things in Christendom are so constructed
that without your minister, everything will fall apart.
Christianity is simply not prepared to shift paradigms.  In
the way Christianity is presently constructed, there is utter
dependence on a local minister and a local continuous ministry.
This man is literally the key to all things being held together.
Remove him and all else collapses.
Christendom does not know how to raise up a church led
by men.  We have not known for 1700 years.
This may be the most important message to you, the poor,
sit-and-listen laymen will ever hear.  You are hearing one of
the most revolutionary statements that has ever been placed
upon this earth, Martin Luther not withstanding.  But you
are not about to hear of deliverance from this mold.  This
mold is here.  Forever.  We cannot change the way things
are.
You will never hear anything more important (unless
someone shows you how to touch and know and embrace
and fellowship and walk with the Lord Jesus in space/time
and outside space/time).  I warn you, after this day, you may
never again go to church, not as long as you ever live.  Also,
unfortunately, you may never have the privilege of
experiencing what you are about to hear.  But after 1700
years, it is time you were informed about something that is
not and has not been for nearly two millenniums.
I return to this word, vocabulary.
The Fundamentalists have fundamentalism to protect.
the Bible study people are into Bible classes.  The
interdenominational groups are into soul winning. (Whether
they can ever find a dropper full of these converts a year
later is not important, the great commission has to be fulfilled.)
The Baptists have institutions and organizations to preserve.
The Brethren have John Darby and the Bible to protect.
None of them have room for you.  Yet you, as men, once
had an incredible heritage.  That heritage is so utterly lost
that we find it virtually impossible to conceptualize this simple
matter which is central to our faith.
I would like to apologize for what I am about to say.  But
it may help us to see the utter futility of trying to change this
present pattern.
There is a very wonderful new movement abroad in our
land.  It just recently emerged on the evangelical scene.  But
it is up against this same granite mindset of 1700 years.
What mindset?  The silent male sits silently in the silent pew.
It is exactly what we have now, only on a livelier, grander
scale.  Ultimately, even in this new movement, the pew is still
your lot.  I refer to a large men's movement which often fills
stadiums of 60,000 men or more.  In those great rallies the
men grab one another, cry, shout, praise.  This is wonderful.
But then, they sit down!  Guess what?  They listen to a
minister, the sit and listen, then they go home.  (Ever hear
of that before?)  These men are all told to go to church.
What will these men do when they get home?  Get dressed in
a suit, walk into a building, sit down and... you know the rest.
Therefore, ultimately, this beautiful movement has not place
to go.
This "sit down and listen" practice has not only lived
with us for 1700 years, it is still going strong.  It will be here
on the day the Lord Jesus comes.  I, for one, am not going to
make any effort whatsoever to change this way of doing
things.  I accept it as part of the past and the future of
Christian history.  Why try to change this situation?  there
are too many other things to do.  My life is spent in one
of the areas of the impossible, but it is not to reform a present
situation, but to beginning anew from the dirt, up.
Brother, you ought to be delivered from this entire
scenario.  You are a man of the male variety and you have an
ancient heritage to reclaim, and it needs desperately to be
reclaimed.  Radical, yes.  Scary, yes.  Dangerous, yes!  But
no more so than it was back in Century One!  After today,
what is your part in the Christian faith?  To sit? To listen?
Or...
We don't have the foggiest idea what the Christian faith
is supposed to look like.  Brothers, we have had our
testosterone taken away from us.  For one moment let's tear
down your present conceptualizations and look at what the
Christian faith should look like.
LOOK AT THE RECORD.  WHO IS CENTER STAGE
IN CENTURY ONE?
====================================================
"Sohm Ving" <ving3@hotmail.com>
 

I do not know what voice with which to address this...this....letter.
Tom Pierron?...This is not your own hand here..is it? It does not sound like
you. There is a reference to Gene...so I am guessing this is a Gene Edwards
original.

First let me react with comedy and outrage...I must....the script requires
it.(((clearing throat)))....

"The nerve of this author,,,whoever he is...Read this 6 pager over again and
count how many times this fellow assumes things about me and other christian
men. Goodness I should just call up Stew in Florida to get that kind of "us
and them." And the ego and the exclusiveness of this chap!...If this is
Gene..I think I may have heard his dulcet tones on a tape once and concluded
that he belongs to that group of humans that has a heapin helping of brains
but can't quite humble himself to work along side others. Their world view
always...no matter how hard they orate....has them in the leadership
position, the guy who knows some truth..that's revolutionary. Forsooth!
Poppycock! Read Tom Pierron's "For Brothers Only." This author also vaguely
references Promise Keepers. Why he does not actually identify them is
telling. I found this portion of the blasted 6 pages...a Big fat case of
crowd-envy, audience-envy...call it what you will. The man can't stand that
there are brothers in Christ taking action and he isn't in front of them
leading the charge. The bus left without him...or the bus has doesn't have
his name or fingerprints on the specs and so he can give only partial
credit.

This letter is filled with "You don't know's," "You are this way," You are
that way. And he disgraces himself to not esteem very highly the brothers
who are doing the very thing he commends. No No, You are not really doing it
the REVOLUTIONARY WAY unless this guy is somehow involved. Hey everyone
there's a new cult in town. A man in his 60's, intelligent, great speaking
voice, has some truth that's been hidden for 1700 years. Which mountain do I
go to to sign up for the exclusive hidden secret knowledge.

What Bunk!!!. I am already an active Brother. My pastor Preached last Sunday
that we are all ministers, all members...all workers....and he means it.

Sit in the Pew!!! The outrage. I lovingly gather my family(((no screaming)))
and go to meet with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I , with my wife,
teach 2 and 3 year olds in sunday school. Then I go and worship God actively
with my brethren. How dare this fellow make such sweeping, idiotic
generalizations and embarass himself.

More later......someone throw water on me

Mike Montoya....a Brother...who roars.
===========================================================================

From:  Owen
        Dear Carol
       Luke 8:3 mentions by name the women who "supported them out of their own means".
These women had money, and the freedom to spend it.  Therefore they were not barefoot in
the kitchen.
        In Proverbs 31, the ideal women is not some helpless, submissive doormat.  Instead she
buys land, has a business, and she manages servants.  (And she might teach women and
children.)  But her hubby speaks out "in the gate".  There's no clue as to what he does for a
living.

                       America will be the land of the free,
               only as long as it is the home of the brave.
         Owen Camp    Bronx NY    dococ@prodigy.net
==========================================================
From: "Owen D Camp" <DOCOC@prodigy.net>

From:  Owen
        Dear All
       Paul gives as his reason (for forbidding women to teach) that Eve was
deceived by the serpent.  Frankly, this doesn't quite grab me as decisive,
self-evident, end-of-discussion reasoning.  BUT this does indicate that it
trancends the Jewish/Greek differences of that day.  This rule would apply
to all descended from Eve.

From: Robert San Pascual <bsp15@juno.com>
If I could, then, may I focus on three questions about the 1 Timothy
passage?

3. Does what He said in 1 Tim. 2:11-15 apply to other cultures, including
ours, or only to the situation that Paul addressed (the church of Ephesus
ca. 60 A.D.)?

                       America will be the land of the free,
               only as long as it is the home of the brave.
         Owen Camp    Bronx NY    dococ@prodigy.net
 

=========================================================
From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>

> From: "Sohm Ving" <ving3@hotmail.com>
>
> I do not know what voice with which to address this...this....letter.
> Tom Pierron?...This is not your own hand here..is it? It does not sound like
> you. There is a reference to Gene...so I am guessing this is a Gene Edwards
> original.

To make a long story short:
"Author's Note
In reading a book, there comes to the mind of the
reader something which, in literature, is called
the author's voice.  Unless you have actually heard
the author speak, or know him, your imagination
must furnish this voice.  Often the voice of the reader
and the disposition of the reader are what create that voice.
May I help you find the voice of this book?  The
book is written with malice toward none and charity
toward all, and spiced with a bit of east Texas
humor and a Texas accent."
This is from the beginning of another book.  If what he says doesn't apply
to you then that's great.  This is for those in those shoes.  And he doesn't
have to be the one in charge or any of that stuff - but this man does have
the goods - he has the key that opens the chest; Sing Gring and the glass
guitar - he's got it.
I don't know where one should start.  It either strikes a chord or it doesn't.
But I have read extensively, listened to tapes extensively, and watched
videos extensively.  And all this was years ago.  How to sum it up?
I don't know.  But I am so glad someone could make sense out of all
the nonsense out there.
Not "mentioning" the Promise Keepers by name was more out of respect.
And it is a good thing; a good work - but still...
Think about those who haven't had an experience of "real" church life
- so to speak - like a COBU - live together situation or maybe where
you are fortunate enough to have now.
The common expression and experience of Americanized Christianity leaves
a lot to be desired, and you know that.  And it is 1700 years old.
That is easily documented.  But where to start. .   .
==================================================
From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>

That first post was the whole first chapter of When the Church Was Led by
Laymen Only.  It was written around 1996.  I got a bunch of
those for $2 apiece and sent a lot out to people.  I used to
do that.  I don't anymore.  After all, there's e-mail now.
But back then it was
a) unsolicited and
b) they got it for nothing, and what people get for nothing they
     tend to value as nothing.
 One brother did send me a book this year saying "you sent me stuff
in the past..."  And I don't agree with the book he sent at all.
(Becoming Orthodox) and I wrote him so - and he wrote back and we
firmly disagree but in such an agreeable spirit.  I won't say who
he is - only he wasn't at the last reunion.
Another ex-COBU was pretty fired up and said, what's Gene got a
problem with authority?  No.  The way things are basically set up
in many denominations across the land just ain't the way the New
Testament talks about it.  I knew Gene's phone # in Maine at the time
and the brother said he was going to call him.  Gene is used to calls
like that.  I don't know what happened. (I spoke with Gene once on
the phone - better than I've done with Stew)
But I started reading and listening and watching these things in 1991.
A long strange trip its been.  I get Gene's yearly letter along with the
latest catalogues and if you knew where Gene's been and what he's doing
and why he's doing it, etc., you would look at him in a totally
different light rest assured.
I don't know if your manhood felt threatened or what alarmed
you on the six pages of the first chapter exactly.  The tone?
Here is chapter two.  Whether you warm up to what he has to say or not,
I know there are others out there like me that this turned on
some spot lights that I value being turned on.
But this was also five years after I'd already changed my mindset.
Let it marinate. (this chpt. isn't even half as long)

                  Chapter 2
 If you will read the record, from Pentecost forward to
the end of Acts and all through the epistles, you will see only
two or three types of people at the center of the stage of the
first century.  One of them is you.
 The first thing you see is church planters.  They are all
over the place, on every page.  There are about twenty such
men in the first century drama.  These men planted
churches.  Apostles are men whom God sent out to plant
churches.  That is what "sent ones" do.  Not "sent out" to
evangelize the world, mind you.  No, rather, they are men
"sent out" to enter a town and raise up a church.  that, and
that alone, is the primary function of sent ones.  (Lay aside
what came to your mind when you read church just now.
Those men did not raise up church buildings.)
 What next?
 Who else is center stage throughout the book of Acts?
 The second thing you will find is the ecclesia.  She is wild
and free and wonderful and glorious!
 Let me digress a little here.  A present-day minister may
see everything we have covered up to this point.  he says to
himself, "Yes, this is what we need.  I'm going to go plant
churches.  Let's return to the ancient pattern.  I'm going to
be a church planter and raise up a church.  We are going to
have something wonderful and new and different.  This is
going to be great."
 When ministers hear about church planters, a hope rises
up in their hearts to see again the way it was in Century
One... their eyes light up and the gears start turning.  "...yes,
we're going to have something different."
 May I make a request?  To both those of you who are
laymen and to ministers, please do not stop here.  Put aside
all that passes through your head about church planters and
about the ecclesia.  What is in your thoughts simply is not
radical enough.  Try to lay aside the modern concept of the
minister, ministry, laymen and ecclesia.
 Why?  Because the first century church planter, having
raised up a church, leaves!  He leaves soon, quick, fast! (Try
to get a present-day minister to do that!)
 If you are a Plymouth Brethren, or if you belong to the
house church movement, there is a very central word which
pops into your vocabulary right about now.  There are very
few church planters of any kind in our day, but even among
these men this same word also pops up in their vocabulary
right about now.  It is a word to fear... at least to fear the way
the word is used, and more to be feared when that word is
stuck on a human being... and the way that human being is
apt to treat you.  That word is elder.
 For a moment then, put aside your conceptualizations
not only of "minister,""ministry," and "laymen," but also
"elder."  Also "ecclesia."
 This business of minister and elder are tied together -
especially among groups outside the organized church.  Both
minister and elder think in terms of the church with all the
"arrows of importance" pointed toward them.  ("Arrow of
importance? should only point toward Jesus Christ and the
brothers and sisters who are the ecclesia.)
   "We are going to have a house
   church, we are going to preach, we
   are going to study the Bible, and pray
   and sing, and we are going to have
   elders, just like they did long ago."
 When you hear this, run!
 Brother, if that is what you are doing, you might as well
go back and join the Roman Catholic church.  In fact, move
into the Vatican.  Why?  Because you have actually moved
right back where you were before yo left the traditional
church.  You are back to 1700 years of the wrong practice.
 If you listen to men speak about the way eldership is
supposed to be, you would conclude, listening to them, that
the word "elder" is on every page of the New Testament.
 Or you have the same disease that prevails in the
traditional churches.  They see "pastor" on every page of the
New Testament.  (Pastor appears once in the New Testament.
But he never appears in the story.  Try to find him, for
instance, in Acts.  Elder?  How many times the word
appear in the New Testament in reference to Christian elders?
Wait and see!)
 Again, we are back to men's very revealing vocabulary.
Elder, elder, elder.  Deacon, deacon, deacon.  Serve, serve,
serve.  Witness, witness, witness.  Pray, pray, pray.  Minister,
minister, minister.  Pastor, pastor, pastor, pastor!  You would
think these words were every fifth word in the New
Testament.
 Open your ears and begin to listen to the Christian
vocabulary which surrounds you.  These are the words which
predominate.  Today!  But what of the first century?
 I receive a great deal of Christian literature in the mail
with postmarks coming from all over the planet.  So many
letters are a cry for help.  The contents so often are "We need
to raise up pastors," and "pray for pastors," "our pastor,"
and "your pastor."  Go into a seminary library.  The largest
single section in the library of any seminary or Bible school
will be on pastoral ministry.  The word is everywhere.  In
jungles, in Antarctica, everywhere.  You would think the
concept and practice of the modern pastor dominates the
word of God.  Tell me, does it?  Look again.  Ask yourself
what is center stage in first century writings?  It is (1) church
planters, (2) the ecclesia.
 But neither these words church planters (sent ones) nor
the word ecclesia dominate our vocabulary.
 "Bible study" keeps reoccurring in our vocabulary.  I am
not against Bible study.  Consider the word witness.  Does it
not seem to be every third word in Scripture?  (It is not, but
listening to our spoken vocabulary you would think it was.)
These words are our present vocabulary.  These words tell
us what is emanating from our thinking.  And our concepts.
And our ways and actions.  Our matrix.
 In the first century, there was also a vocabulary emanating
from believers.  But note, the words which floated out of
them were not hammered into their heads.  No, these are not
words they heard repeated in sermons.  These are the words
which simply seep out of the entire first-century environs.
These are unconsciously spoken words paralleling the daily
matrix they lived in.  These words also tell us of things
which men today know not of!
 Hear these words, words which simply come out of the
action, the decision making process, the daily functioning of
the ecclesia.  These are like the carpenter's words: saw and
ruler and plank.  One does not think about these words.  For
the one speaking, these are not special words.  No.  These
words are just part of communicating the lifestyle going on
around you.  Please note, those words which so naturally fall
from the lips of frist-century believers are not: Bible study,
witness, win souls, go to Bible school, fulfill the great
commission.  Such words may be the ones surrounding our
entire lives but they are not the "seeping out" words of the
early believers.
 Go through Acts and the epistles and see what words
just casually come out of the believers in their daily living.
When you do that, may the God of heaven and earth shake
your foundations.  And, in the process, may you who are of
the male species get a little of your testosterone back.
 We now come to the third person who is center stage in
Acts and in the epistles.  He is mentioned over and over.
First, church planters.  Second, ecclesia.  And third? Behold
what has to be the most overlooked word in the New
Testament.  We will begin in Acts.
============================================================
 

From: "Sohm Ving" <ving3@hotmail.com>

In the Words of Hogan's Heroes Hotchsttetter..."VAt is this man dooooing
here!!???....Who is this guy....answer me. Why the build up? Why the 1 hour
wait before it is revealed.

mm
========================================================================
 Mike (I mean Sohm...sorry for the slip-where was I...getting so old-OH
YEAH! he said excitedly)Sounds like you and your family have found some of
that "living water" that Jesus spoke of in John 7 and it has caused you to
water others-how much more "radical" can one be as a Christian?
God speaks to us in our church through His word every Sunday and at
Tuesdaynight prayer meetings...whenever a bible is opened and seriously
read-Some times it positively thunders and my soul is thrilled, or
instructed or chastised or reproved just the way His word is supposed to do.
His word doesn't return empty but accomplishes what He intends.
As for never having "heard what hasn't been heard for 1700 years" or some
such thing=pardon my yawn...pleeesse.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
========================================================

From: Robert San Pascual <bsp15@juno.com>

> From: "Owen D Camp" <DOCOC@prodigy.net>

        Dear All
>        Paul gives as his reason (for forbidding women to teach) that Eve was deceived by the serpent.  Frankly, this doesn't quite grab me as
> decisive, self-evident, end-of-discussion reasoning.  BUT this does indicate that it trancends the Jewish/Greek differences of that day.  This rule would apply
> to all descended from Eve.
 

Just one man's opinion on 1 Timothy 2:14:

In Genesis 3, while the serpent was talking to Eve, Adam apparently stood
by and said and did nothing. When Eve took of the forbidden fruit, ?She
also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it? (Gen.
3:6). Instead of taking the leadership role and protecting his family
from deception, as overseers are to do with their church families, Adam
failed in his God-given function as head of the household.

I believe Schreiner is right when he says ?The Genesis temptation,
therefore, is a parable of what happens when male leadership is
abrogated. Eve took the initiative in responding to the serpent, and Adam
let her do so. Thus, the appeal to Genesis 3 serves as a reminder of what
happens when God?s ordained pattern is undermined.? When men abdicate
their responsibilities as leaders and women take on these leadership
roles, God's design is forsaken (Moo, p. 68).

May we men be not like the first Adam, but the second Adam. And for those
of us who are elders/overseers/shepherds, may we lead our churches as God
intended: 1 Peter 5:1 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow
elder, a witness of Christ's sufferings and one who also will share in
the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God's flock that is under
your care, serving as overseers--not because you must, but because you
are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to
serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples
to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the
crown of glory that will never fade away.

In Christ,
Bob San Pascual
========================================================

             I appreciated every word and thought it was well written. We have been
             to meetings in the past several months where many folks stood and shared
             hymns, scripture, spiritual songs and the group has been interminglings
             of Interdenomination, Non-denominations, Presbyterians, Methodists,
             Baptists, Catholics, Lutherans, Penticostals. But I must admit all of those
             mentioned had either a pastor or an evangelist eventually leading them.
             Our pastor dislikes being called "Pastor", maybe he has been reading
             some of the same pages as brother Tom ;-)

             Jesus was after all a leader of sheep, each of the apostles were leaders,
             Paul another leader again with a following of sheep. Wouldn't one
             naturally expect all those coming after these great Christian leaders
             would behave similarly?

             Personally I love it when many denominations come together in worship
             and just plainly love King Jesus, and worship Him openly and never mention
             doctrines. I have been fortunate to be able to take part in many meetings like
             this lately. Also the original Quakers did not have a pastor or leader in their
             meetings. They all met in either one another's homes or had a meeting
             house built, and each took turns sharing songs, and scripture. They also
             carried their stools or benches with them, which is quite similar to the Amish.
 
 

             ##########################
             Raynard Merritt  n8vzl@qsl.net
             I don't know what you came to do, but I came to praise the Lord.
========================================================
From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>

> From: "steve saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
>
> As for never having "heard what hasn't been heard for 1700 years" or some
> such thing=pardon my yawn...pleeesse.

You seem to express what others are feeling and thinking.  Don't want to
bother anybody.  You see it or you don't.
This view is different - it is a totally different mindset, and you have to do
some soul searching from another place.
This view is restrictive - and I do believe it.  But as I've said - this began
marinating since 1991.  And I was introduced first with the history of a lot
of other things you haven't heard yet.
That being said, I do adhere to this philosophy:
That body of Christ has so many different denominatios because we as
people are so different.
Being so diverse, as the scripture says "He appeared to them in THIS way"
always something different and in different ways.
Always seeking and saving the lost - seeing to it that no one fail to obtain
the grace of God, that by all means all might be saved and have a
relationship with Him.
But until you've "heard the story" or realize the picture that emerges when
the letters of the New Testament are put in their chronological proper order...
Well, there is more to the Bible than we have known so far.
And isn't there always something new?
One recent revelation to me in years was hearing that the gospel of Luke
opens and closes in the Temple.
In the beginning it's with one man ministering to God.
And after Jesus dies for our sins and is resurrected - the gospel closes
with everyone in the Temple blessing God.
And Luke has the most in it out of all the gospels about worshiping God
and people being at Jesus' feet.  There's always something new.
But discovering the old - the story - reading it and feeling like you're there
and inside feeling what is actually going on and a bit of the thought
process - this is possible more than mining the Greek.
I guess I'm not good at getting it across.  And I don't know what
the doorway is.  I, for one, am so glad I found it.

============================================================

    Jesus was after all a leader of sheep, each of the apostles were leaders,

                Paul another leader again with a following of sheep. Wouldn't onenaturally expect all
                those coming after these great Christian leaderswould behave similarly?
                A leader is a one who is a servant and slave of all.
                Paul, and about 20 others in the New Testament were church planters
                - something virtually unheard of today.
                Paul could plant Jesus Christ, and trust that Jesus Christ would raise
                up a body of believers and that they would be an expression of Jesus
                Christ.
                Quite often Paul  stayed for a few months and LEFT.
                I understand that back then it was out of necessity.
                But think about it - he could leave - and trust that Jesus would raise
                them up.  Yes, he had a constant anxiety about the churches, and
                rightly so.  There were those set out to destroy the work of God
                with a works and outward appearanced mentality of circumcision and the
                obeying the law stuff.
                "But we believe that we shall be saved by the grace of God just like they
                will"
                And church planter cannot stay in one place.  Doesn't work like that.
                Weren't things better in the FF when Stewy moved on and let the houses
                be the houses?
                When I first got saved, all I knew was Jesus and the brothers and the sisters

                and seeing new things in the Bible and people getting saved.
                Then along came brother "kill-joy"
                If he would have moved on and only checked in every three years
                like Paul - we would have had much better of a chance of actually
                becoming something.  Not that the former days perhaps could have been
                better
                than these...  ...if only.  It's just that COBU imploded by not following
                Paul's church planting example.
                Just one point.
                I can see the picture but don't know if I can get it across as I've
                said many times.
                When you write of "leaders" - how I wish we could have seen those
                leaders - the verse was quoted earlier, I believe, of "not by constraint,
                but willingly" etc.  Jesus led through humility.  Have we ever seen an
                example of that for real?  I'll bet we have.  Skip?
                                                            Tom
=================================================
Tom,
One of the greatest leaders I have ever known was a pastor named Al Blackwell. He had a servants heart and helped me tremendously as my backsliding had ended and my restoration began. He has gone on to be with Jesus-what a man of God. Great leaders always point others to Christ and away from themselves.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve Saxton
=================================================
One example of being a leader is of Bill Willis at the reunion.
He was ubiquitous and always serving.  And the only time we
heard his voice was at dinner, or if you talked with him individually.
Get rid of the idea of Teddy Roosevelt leading the charge as a leader
and think about washing one another's feet (whatever that means)...
Any who - the conclusion.  Not long.
                     Chapter 3
 Read it and weep.  Or join the revolution!  That third
person, so often mentioned in the saga of the first century
is... you are about to see the third main person on the stage of
the first-century drama.  There is the church planter, the
church and...
 Watch that word seep out all over the place.
1.Peter stood up in the middle of the brothers
and said, "Brothers, the Scripture has been fulfilled."
2. Brothers, select out from among you
seven good men.
3. When the brothers learned of this, they
brought Paul down to Caesarea and
sent him to Tarsus.
4. On the next day, Peter rose up and
went away.  Some of the brothers from
the church of Joppa went with him.
  (You will never discover anything greater about true
church life than you will in reading these simple, unvarnished
passages as they flow unconsciously out of their matrix.
This is the way things really were.  This is your lost heritage)
5. And the brothers in Antioch sent relief
to the brothers in Judea.
6. Report these things to James and the brothers.
7.  Therefore, being sent on their way by
the ecclesia, the were passing through
both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing
in detail the conversion of the Gentiles
and were bringing great joy to all the brothers.
 There are more.  Many more, as you shall see.  But let us
pause a moment and consider.
 Do you belong to a church with this vocabulary?  Do the
acts of brothers in the ecclesia fill your daily vocabulary?
Automatically, spontaneously, unconsciously... simply because
such sights and actions and ways fill so much of your daily
matrix?
 In the next few moments I will try to explain the place of
men in the ecclesia of the first century.  But what I am really
pointing out (1) goes to the heart of everything that is wrong
in 1700 years of church history and (2) reveals what is so
desperately needed.
 What you see unfold in Century One as over against
your present status quo is inorganic versus organic.
 You will see civilization versus tribe.
 You will see organization versus discovery.
 You will see the contrast of rote as over against creativity.
 Let us return for a moment to the word tribe.  It will, in
some small way, help you to grasp what we struggle to
communicate... but can't.
 If you want to know the rest, it's called
When the Church Was Led only by Laymen.
============================================================
From: "Sohm Ving" <ving3@hotmail.com>

So who is this guy????/why all the secrecy?...who is he?....I'm
suspicious..when you say..he has the goods...sounds like i need to go to the
wilderness or the inner room to get the goods.

mm
========================================================
Amen about Bill,
Steve S
============================================================================================
You know, for me, this all started with the "should women do
this or that?"  I gotta throw the flag there.  Our whole view of
scripture needs revamping.  The things I'm sharing are long foregone
conclusions for me that I keep to myself, basically, because whenever
I do discuss these views everyone's feathers get ruffled and I'm not
into that (haha).
But my goodness, brothers, the way these discussions about women
are going it's like we're saying, "are women really people or not?"
"If it weren't for them, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in.
It's their fault.  'Oh no', some say, Adam was standing right there -
it's his fault he didn't take the situation by the reins."
All I know is as soon as sin came in the world then came
passing the buck, denial and self consciousness. (who told you?!)
I still stick to the story that God made us, male and female in His
own image, and they were there butt naked and he said it was "good".
No! Remember? He said it was "very good."
As for you elder happy people, just one thought:
The Corinthians were a messed up people in great doo doo.
What does Paul do, write a letter to the elders and tell them to
call a meeting and put everyone in line?   No.
He writes a letter to the church.
Show me one reference to an elder in that letter and I'll
eat it without salt.  Mindset, mindset, mindset.
Hey, I apologize for the way you're being treated on the list, sisters.
Forgive us, we know not what we do.
And I'm not looking for "brownie points"
(well, maybe a little...)
===============================================

Tom,
 I urge you to read all the passages about our nature as human beings-how God really sees us-He doesn't pull any punches. He doesn't elevate men over men, men over women, women over women or women over men. He does have an order that has never been done away with(even when many throughout church history have mangled what he called good) The liberal movement in the church has done much to muddy up the waters and turn true Christians away from what the bible really teaches and what it has consistantly taught since the inspired writters penned God's Word. Many have treated the bible as some sort of buffet that we can pick and chose what passages or what verses we like and agree with or don't like and don't agree with. This ought not be so! All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is suitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God may be equipped thoroughly for every good work.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve Saxton
====================================================
The Bible is always left to one's own interpretation, and that is why different people see different
things.  And some people choose to use what they see for their own purposes.
Carol
=================================================
Carol,
This ought not be so. God is not a god of confusion. The bible is plainly written. Some parts are hard to understand that the unstable will twist to their own destruction(Peter said that about Paul's writings) but scripture does interpret itself. If the Holy Spirit lives inside us, He will interpret these truths to us. Christ died for our sins only means one thing-not fifteen or thirty different things based upon how I feel about it, or how someone else feels about it.Though our feelings and ideas change, God is the same yesterday, today and forever. So is His word. It is too easy and glib to say that however anybody interprets the bible is okay and right for them. God doesn't allow us to do that and get away with it. He delivered it to be understood and trusted as what it is-His living word to us. We can have confidence of having assurred understanding. The problem comes in when we don't like what He says because it rubs our egos and feelings and pride the wrong way. But He is God and we are not and when we stand before Him try running it by Him, "Well Lord, your word is so confusing, I didn't really understand it. I didn't interpret any of it that way."
Sister Carol, James 1:5-God is faithful my sister. He will give you wisdom about what His word means. We need to  be willing to humbly believe and receive what He reveals to us.
Finally, 1Peter 1:20, 21-Scripture is not left to our own interpretation-that's a lie from the father of lies. Don't buy into it anymore.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve Saxton
=================================================

From: "Sohm Ving" <ving3@hotmail.com>

WHO WHO WHO WHOWHWOOWOWHOWHOWHOWHOWHWOHWOWH???????????????? Is this
guy?.....Tom , my brother, can't you see RED flags when anyone stands up and
says anything that has a restrictive, exclusive nature?  I think you're
smart...much more read than I am...I implore you to consider that whoever
this fellow..which you have not named yet...has the same condescending,
loves to hear his own voice,self taught arrogance that the Stew has...maybe
not as corrupt but give it time.

What's this about?...This is not like you.

Mike
============================================================
When I first got saved, all I knew was Jesus and the brothers and the sisters
and seeing new things in the Bible and people getting saved.

Ditto that!

Then along came brother "kill-joy"
If he would have moved on and only checked in every three years
like Paul - we would have had much better of a chance of actually
becoming something.  Not that the former days perhaps could have been better
than these...  ...if only.  It's just that COBU imploded by not following
Paul's church planting example.

When I returned after finding that other Christians were really ok to be
around, it was then that I discovered the FF had changed it's name to
COBU. That really freaked me out, but had it not been for that and
the bad treatment I received I might have moved back in. Let's face it
the FF was really radical as compared to what we were accustomed to,
and we probably are still radical as compared to the world.

Just one point.
I can see the picture but don't know if I can get it across as I've
said many times.
When you write of "leaders" - how I wish we could have seen those
leaders - the verse was quoted earlier, I believe, of "not by constraint,
but willingly" etc.  Jesus led through humility.  Have we ever seen an
example of that for real?  I'll bet we have.  Skip?

I was just sitting here earlier with my sweetie praying over dinner, that she
picked up from Long John's hehe, but I also managed to get in a forgive
me Lord for something I needed to give Him, and I thanked The Father
for Jesus that we might be saved and we both began to weep. I don't live on
feelings, but I do thank Him for the special times.

I also thank Him for this thread as it is full of good things for all of us. Thank
you brother Tom for bringing it into discussion. I especially liked the mention
about planting Jesus or planting the Word.
 

Raynard Merritt N8VZL
=================================================================
From: "Sohm Ving" <ving3@hotmail.com>

Here we go again.....Read the beginning of the 3rd chap.

                    Chapter 3
" Read it and weep.  Or join the revolution!  "

Let me guess....um....could it be........Stewart Traill?

for goodness sake....Right there the tone is...I got the truth...no
arguement...no room for criticism or human error or weakness or pride...just
"I got it, join me or burn."....I thought Stew was a one of a kind.

And the nagging question...once again

"  If you want to know the rest, it's called
"When the Church Was Led only by Laymen."

WHO WHOW HWOOHOHWOWHOWHOWHOWH WWWWHHHHOOOOO is it by? Who wrote it?

mm
====================================================

From: "Sohm Ving" <ving3@hotmail.com>

Okay the only problem I have here is that you like the unknown author are
making assertions that need support data. you say that "Paul, and about 20
others in the New Testament were church
    >      planters
>      - something virtually unheard of today."
 

How do you know that it's unheard of or barely existing? What database or
hook ups do you have to say something like that? That's my problem. you have
here, and unknown man in the 6 pages...assert the prob and then state that
you have the solution. When I read the 6 pages..I got the feeling that this
guy was reading old church reports and bemoaned in a cliqued way the state
of the body of Christ. He doesn't seem to be living in 1999. It's like
talking about the need for bomb shelters. Yeah...it was a problem....when?

mm
==============================================================
"I have just begun to type..."    Raymond Lee
or "something not for everyone" (from
How to Meet Under the Headship of Jesus Christ
and The Americanization of Christianity)
This book thinks the unthinkable and proposes the preposterous:
the elimination of Sunday morning church service.
Totally!  The end of the present-day practices of the
pastoral role - to be replaced by returning to the first-century
practice of the itinerant church planter.  The result is
 a lay-led church.
1993
Author's Note
 I have a few friends who will rejoice that I wrote this
book.  Just a few.  And I am not sure of the "friend" part, either,
because they are the ones who tell me, "Be bold, Gene."  My
answer is, "I could get in big trouble publishing a book like
this."  To which they respond, "Oh, that's all right."
 Well I want you to know that I did not write this book.
My above-mentioned friends did, and then they bribed me
with money (three or four dollars, as I recall) to get me to
place my name - not theirs - on the book cover.  Anyway,
they wrote this book, I didn't.  If someone writes a nasty note
about the contents of this book, please put on the envelope
"Nasty letter enclosed."  I will see to it that your letter is
placed in the hands of those friends of mine who actually
wrote this book.  You may be sure the letter will arrive in their
hands unopened by me!
Prologue
 Albania.
 The world's first and only atheist country had just opened
to the outside world.  It was August.  We were flying
in.  As our airplane touched down, we saw soldiers with rifles
covering the surrounding pastures.  Machine gun nests
greeted us as we stepped out.
 A few minutes later we were headed for the capital city,
Tirana.  This country of three million souls had not heard
the word God spoken not seen it in print for fifty years.  No
Moslems.  No Catholics.  No synagogues.  No Hindus.  No
Protestants.  No religion of any kind.  No buildings of any
religions.  All had been torn down or converted to other uses.
No religion - none!  And no people coming in from the
outside for two generations.
 But what has all this to do with a book about how
Christians should meet when they gather?
 A great deal!
 In the first months Albania opened to the rest of the world,
hundreds of Christians flooded into Albania.  Evangelism
was everywhere.  The para-church organizations
led the way.  Their purpose seemed to be but to win students
and youth to Christ.  The ecclesia was not in the forefront
of the minds of any western Christians who came.  Or so it
appeared.
 As I write these lines, how many people are Americans
and British winning to Christ in Albania?  Well, a leading
authority on Albania told me - sitting in my living room -
that all the Christian organizations in Albania were
"winning an average of ninety people per day to Christ."
 In the first year Albania was open, that would be over
30,000 converts.  Well, dear reader, Albania is the very best
situation we have ever had or ever will have to measure all
our evangelistic efforts.  So listen, para-church organizations.
Listen, mission boards that have worked in Albania.
Listen, all evangelistic efforts all over the world.  Of those
30,000 Albanian converts (in the first year), how many do
you figure are in some kind of gathering?  Are you ready for
this statistic?  Are you ready to face the cold, brutal facts of
your evangelistic efforts?  Are you ready to face the results
of the way we westerners evangelize and the way we have
been evangelizing for 150 years... and then take a look at the
results?  How many of those 30,000 converts are in a church
meeting?  Two hundred!
 Of 30,000 recorded converts, 200 are in meetings.
(a year from now you may be told this statistic is out of date,
"that there are 600 gathering in all Albania."  Yes, and by then
there will be eighty thousand recorded converts!)
 The largest gathering of Christians in Albania is on Saturday
night at the People's International Exhibition Hall in
the center of downtown Tarina.  At this meeting, including
attending foreigners, there are seventy-five people
in the meeting
 There are only 200 believers now gathering... in all of
Albania.  That is 200 out of 30,000 converts or a ratio of one
convert "in church" for every 150 conversions!
 And what has that to do with "How to Meet?"
 This: The way those two hundred people in Albania are
meeting is sheet death.
 After one hundred years of being told we Americans
should not import our foreign culture, we are doing just that, too.
We are Americanizing Christianity in Albania... just as we have
in all other countries on this planet.  For 300 years now,
we have imposed our culture on others; and Albania lays
open the naked truth that we are not going to stop.
 American missions, evangelists, etc., have destroyed
all hope of other lands discovering their own cultural
expression of the faith or their way of how to meet.
 That is the problem we are creating over there.  We have
a gigantic problem of our own right here in America.  And
it is also a cultural problem.
 I said we have given them the American way of church
meetings.  But that is not exactly true.  The way we meet in
America does not fir America either.  The way we meet does
not fir Albanian or American culture.  The way we meet is
as bad here as it is there!  What we have on Sunday morning
is a man-made invention that reflects no one's culture.  What
do we do in America.  And Albania?  And everywhere we
have taken the gospel?
 We peddle one gosh-awful way to meet.  What is that?
 Chairs are all set up in rows.  There is a speaker's stand
up front.  There is a pastor.  The people sing a few songs they
are told to sing.  There is prayer, and the pastor preaches.
Then everyone goes home.  We meet like that in America.
And Albania... and everywhere Christianity has gone on
this earth.
 As a result, the Albanian Christians are already getting
one of your habits... the Sunday morning thousand yard stare.
 In Albania, more than anywhere else in all Christian
history, we could have started with a clean slate.  We could
have done it right!  It turns out we are terrible exporters,
exporting our worst possible product.  Albania was a blank
piece of paper before us.  With the greatest gospel opportunity
in 2,000 years for doing it right just once.  Instead, what
we have is a living, breathing laboratory of all the failures
of modern Christianity.  Albania rises up and screams to us
the sterility of our entire practice of the Christian faith.  We
have imparted to these innocent people all our dull, boring,
lifeless, functionless, Christian-killing, Sunday morning
church service.
 This tragedy is also working its destruction in one
hundred thirty other nations where the gospel has been
preached and Sunday church services have been introduced.
Christians stop going to those gatherings.     They
always have, they always will.  Christians have every right
to (1) not go to church and/or (2) to be miserable when they
do go.
 And why those brave souls who do "go to church" on
sunday can't tell you what was said in the morning sermon,
not even five minutes after leaving the meeting.
 And why, fifty years from now, Albanian Christianity
is going to look just like churches in America and England.
Dead!
 And why nothing under heaven we are doing in the kingdom
of God is worth doing because it is a waste of time and
energy and money... until the body of Christ gives up the
present Protestant church service and starts gathering in
a totally different way.
 The present church services will kill the very heart,
spirit and power of anything else we do.
 Go with me now to Albania.  To a meeting.
 And I hope you will end up experiencing some of the
emotions I have.  About Albanian Christianity, about
American Christianity, and what its present church practice
is doing to all of us.

The Tragedy
It was afternoon.  The place, a home somewhere in central
Albania.  We were all sitting on the front porch.
 Twenty-five adult Albanian believers were present.
About twenty-three of them had been believers less than
a month.  Keep that in mind.. less than a month.  This was
their fourth time ever to meet as a body of believers.  It was
on Sunday.
 Think about it.  This a land which - a few months ago -
had no word in its vocabulary for God.  Innocence was never
more innocent.  Here was a porch full of believers, one month
old in Christ, in a land closed to all religions for two generations.
No religious traditions existed.  And no one present
knew any religious traditions nor had ever seen any.
 What happened that afternoon provoked this book.
 We had been having the noon meal together on the porch.
Everything was utterly informal.  Then came time for the
"meeting" to begin.  I was mortified at what happened.  I had
thought this would be an uncorrupted Albania-style
meeting.  Everything had been so informal, natural, fun,
living and normal.
 Suddenly the people leading these believers put the
benches in neat rows.. just like "church."
 Rows!  As in a church building.  Only this was a porch on
someone's house.
 All sat down, all faces facing front.
 The meeting began.
 In my lifetime, I have been in thousands of meetings
exactly like this one.  Identical.  All over the world.  No
difference whatsoever.  None! (even among the Hmong)
We could have been in the US, Britain, Thailand, Egypt,
Africa.  The meeting was the same as it is all over this planet!
 In less than a month the Albanians had already accepted
this ritual as the way Christians meet.  Missions, missiology
be damned... culture be damned... uniqueness be
damned.  Opportunity to be different, to get it right just
once... be damned.  It was going to be the same in Albania
as all the rest of this world.
 Here in this dark land, on this porch, with these new
converts... we had a Protestant/Evangelical Sunday
morning church service.  Exactly like the one at the First
Baptist church, Anytown, USA.  A service that duplicated
360,000 church services in North America and hundreds of
thousands of other church services all over this planet.
 In Albania, in America, everything gives way to the all-
enveloping Sunday ritual.  The death-evoking ritual is -
and for 450 years has been - the sacred cow of Protestant
Christianity.
 There it was again.  Making its entrance into Albania.
One person announced all the songs.  We sat.  We sang on cue.
We listened.  We did as we were told.  We did not function -
we followed.
 Those in charge did not dominate the meeting, they
were the meeting.  Twenty-five adults on three benches set
in neat rows (and fifteen children sitting on the floor)... sat...
and listened, while the ghost of five centuries looked on!
 Now let me tell you of the very moment this book was born.
 One of those Christian workers said, "Let us pray."
 As those words were uttered, all the children suddenly
dropped down on their knees, on that concrete floor.
they did that so fast it was as though they had all been shot
at once... thirteen children hit the floor, on their knees.  All
of them pressed their two palms together, closed their eyes,
stuck their hands under their chins and struck that famous
"Now I lay me down to sleep" pose.
 That was when this book was born.
Albanian culture, uniqueness, identity and social customs
had been raped before my eyes... by western Europeans
and Americans!
 Those people up front were not laymen.  They were of
the clergy stripe; titled or titleless, they were of the cloth,
and they had a ritual to give.  That ritual, please note, is clergy
centered!  They were doing the same thing all clerics do; they
were drawing their significance from their position over
God's people.
 And true church life?  And an organic, native expression
of the church?  Such holy matters never had a chance.
 At this rate an expression of body life will never ever be
known in Albania.
 In fact, most foreign Christian workers in Albania - or
anywhere else - rarely have ever even heard of such concepts.
Eventually, many of those precious twenty-five believers
will not be coming back to those meetings.  The
tragedy lies here:  They will not know why!  they will not be
able to articulate their feelings:  their boredom, their utter
disinterest in this boring ritual.  They will not fully understand
why they stopped, not will the foreigners understand
why it happened; consequently, this same tragedy, lived
out before our eyes on that porch, will keep on being repeated
in Albania.  A 450-year-old routine that curses and does not
bless.

Author's Note
In reading a book, there comes to the mind of the
reader something which, in literature, is called
the author's voice.  Unless you have actually heard
the author speak, or know him, your imagination
must furnish this voice.  Often the voice of the reader
and the disposition of the reader are what create that voice.
May I help you find the voice of this book?  The
book is written with malice toward none and charity
toward all, and spiced with a bit of east Texas
humor and a Texas accent.

Part I     Seeing the Problem
The Americanization of Christianity
I have seen it happen twice in my lifetime.
The first time, I was shocked and dismayed.
But there was nothing I could do.
I was only nineteen years old.
I am watching it happen again, but this time I am sixty.
And I can do something about it.
This time, so can you!

When Western Europe was Americanized
 Right after the worst war in human history Western Europe
was given American Christianity.  At that time the continent of
Europe was a pile of rubble, its people crawling out of cellars
and basements.
 As Europeans dug out of the ruins, they looked up and saw
American Christians coming over by the boatloads.  We came to
evangelize western Europe.  We stayed to Americanize it.
 We American Christians filled up tents and giant stadiums...
and preached the gospel to millions.  And thousands
upon thousands were saved.
 When word of all this excitement got back to America, more
of us Americans came!  And more American money poured in.
Western Europe met American evangelism.  The American
Christian mindset swept western Europe.
 European Christians welcomed us, back in those days.  After
all, we were ever-smiling, clean-cut, happy and enthusiastic.  We
built Bible schools for them and taught them our mindset.
 We Americanized evangelical Christianity in western
Europe.  Since that time Amercian-style evangelism has covered
a large part of this planet.  So has the American practice of
"church".  (To name a few: Korea, Africa, Latin America)
The First Choice
 The first choice western Europeans had was to go back to
the dead way the churches there had done things before the war.
Europeans ministers who selected this choice signed their own
death certificates!  Today the more traditional churches of
Europe are pretty much written off.
The Second Choice
 The second choice was to imitate the American version of
Christianity.  This was easy to do.  We Americans were swarming
everywhere opening Bible schools, founding retreat centers,
mission boards, bringing in our denominational and non-denom-
inational movements.
 (None of us knew it at the time, but we were inventing and
perfecting what later came to be called the para-church organizations.)
 We Americans had money to give western European
Christians!  Lots of money.  All you had to do to get some of
that money was to join one of the dozens of American missions,
denominations, evangelistic organizations, or Bible schools we
boated over to you.
 If you did this, you then received our graces and our money.
In turn, we Americanized you.
 The European churches which took the American approach
to the Christian faith grew.  Never forget that.  Those
Americanized churches flourished.  They got big.  They became
successful.
 Repeat:  Americanized European churches spread all over
Europe and became successful.  The traditional European
churches shriveled up.
 The best and biggest - and certainly the most lively -
churches in western Europe today are an Americanized version
of the church.
 Dear Western European, we Americans Americanized your
western European churches.  We did it.  Never think we did not.
We Americanized you.
 We did the same thing in Latin America and most of Africa.
 That brings up the subject of eastern Europe.  The only
reason we did not Americanize the eastern European churches back
in those days was because of Communist guns.
 Now, dear eastern European Christians, it is your turn
to be Americanized!
 We are coming.  No!  We have come!  We have arrived.
This very day we are hard at work Americanizing you, eastern
Europeans!  We are giving you the American version of
Christianity and the church.

Universal vs. Uniqueness
 Such universalism has happened in Christianity before.  The
Roman Catholics stated this practice and an iron fist held
all of Christendom to one church expression for a thousand
years!  Later, as other denominations emerged they practiced a
"one and only one expression".
 Every denomination in Christendom has some unique feature
in the way the 'do church'.  This "way" does not change
regardless of the nation or culture that movements go into.  No
changes.  None!
 But we are now past the smaller universe of a denomination's
ways.  Those practices are ubiquitous only in this limited
circle of influence.  We face a much larger sphere of influence:
the American mind-set ruling all of evangelical Christendom!
The American Christian culture being the only matrix known by
born again believers... no matter where they live.  A worldwide
American church, a worldwide American Christianity.
 What a dark and dreadful day that will be.  Or has that
day already arrived?
 How do you feel about that?  Which brings us to the third
choice.  This is the choice which you in eastern Europe need to
make right now.  It is the choice which western Europe missed!
It would not hurt western Europeans to try again.  Or all the test
of the tribes, tongues and notions of this earth who are now part
of the Americanized Christian faith.  Otherwise, universalism
will win again on this planet.  We do not need a universal
American church any more than we needed a one universal
Roman church.  We cannot afford a second ecclesiological Dark
Ages.
 In the next chapter I am going to speak very frankly to
eastern European Christians. (You who live in other parts of the
world are invited to listen, as this affects everyone.)  We come
now to the third choice.  It is far better than your first choice;
and, yes, it is also better than your second choice.
(written in 1994)
===============================================================
From: "Sohm Ving" <ving3@hotmail.com>

I must go back and read these blind spots....I don't recall in the cursory
glance that the Brothers here were punching out the sisters. I should
reread.....I am still baffled by the Unknown author's 6 pages and how it
answers and helps the sisters deflect such treatment. I must go back and
read...it's all very confusing.

mm
=================================================
From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>> From: "Sohm Ving" <ving3@hotmail.com>
> I must go back and read these blind spots....I don't recall in the cursory
> glance that the Brothers here were punching out the sisters. I should
> reread.....I am still baffled by the Unknown author's 6 pages and how it
> answers and helps the sisters deflect such treatment. I must go back and
> read...it's all very confusing.
Gene's name is here and there.  You must've glanced over it.
As for the sisters - how would you feel?  Notice the absence.
Only Carol is outstanding in her field. (Utopia "Beatle" album)
Also, who else would have written "Laymen", "Headship"
and stuff like that.  You're parachuting in the middle of it and
perhaps don't know why all the bullets are whizzing by.
Start with church history - 5 tape set.  That's where I started.
=================================================
=====From: "Sohm Ving" <ving3@hotmail.com>

Why do I feel Like you and Gene are patting me on the head?

mm
=============================================
From: Cathy Bucher <cathy@ezonline.com>
A.  because they are?

Whew!  This whole thing felt like having a tooth pulled!    ;-)
=============================================
Ah ha!
==============================
Hi Ray,
I hold to what the bible declares in Eph.4:11,12-Jesus "gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up..."(NIV)
God calls certain men to become pastors for the reasons stated-they are part of the body of Christ and absolutely needed. Our church has been without a pastor a couple of times since I joined back in the mid 1980's but God kept us together through His faithfulness and now has provided us with a wonderful pastor named Roger King. Roger has made it very clear that his role is that which has already been stated in this email and our duty as a church is to do those works of service. It is really quite beautiful in its simplicity.
When churches don't have pastors at the moment, God doen't abandon the fellowship of believers-look at the case of Lydia in Acts. God sent Paul with others to help build them up. Notice her response, it wasn't one of being threatened by these "men" from across the sea. She submitted to God's way of doing things.
Also, thank you for edifying me about the topic under discussion. Well done, bro.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve Saxton
=============================================
From: "Mark Loftus" <mloftus955@hotmail.com>

Bob, I really think that answer and explanation is excellent...
unfortunately it is also timely as too many of us men aren't living up to
their role as leaders so that women feel forced to do something.
So you see many churches end up being run by the women and going astray due
to the lack of a shepherd, the male bodies that are in the pews being
inactive.  In fact, so many men don't even go to church anymore (which is
why the Promise Keepers was started), often this is because of the state of
the church and the dead religion, so influenced by the phony culture and
society of the world around it.

So this is not only doctrinal, but timely.
 

Mark
=============================================================
From: "steve saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>

Sent: Friday, November 19, 1999 4:11 AM
Subject: [cobu] maybe it doesn't ring a bell

I'm glad you are getting closer to God also-indeed, I rejoice in that Tom.
Understand though, unless God had opened your eyes to what you now see, you
never would have seen it-remember what Jesus said to Peter about seeing and
Whom had given him that sight.
I am convinced that God reveals to each of His children exactly what they
need to see at the moment they need to see it, where they are at in their
lifelong walk of faith with Him. I also believe and am convinced that James
1:5 is absolutely true. God gives wisdom to those who ask and believe that
He will. I'm sorry, but I don't buy in to a certain select few getting this
specially reserved insight in scripture that only a few christians are
allowed to see. Stewart Traills, Herbert W. Armstrongs, Jim Joneses, and
other false teachers come out of this type of faulty thinking which is not
backed up or even hinted at in scripture. The closest the bible comes to
saying something like that is in 1Cor.2- the natural man or the unsaved man
cannot understand spirtual truths because they are foolishness to him-he is
not able to understand them. It isn't that he isn't willing(look at the
Jehovah Witnesses-talk about being willing to understand the bible!)but even
they, with all their willingness are not able to understand the things of
the Spirit because they don't have God's Spirit living in them interpreting
spiritual truths to them.
Do I believe God, in His grace and mercy in your life has shown you
remarkable things scriptually? Yes I do-He does things like that-what an
awesome God we serve. This one who writes to you now sure hasn't deserved
any of  the wonders He has given me and keeps giving. I never will deserve
any of it. His Son bought those things for me. And Ephesians says He made
that decision before the foundation of the world-He predestined it.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve Saxton

==================================================
From: Raynard Merritt
Tom wrote:::
Hi Ray,I hold to what the bible declares in Eph.4:11,12-Jesus "gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up..."(NIV)
And when they're strengthened the brethren - they LEAVE.  A church planter is itinerant.
What we have known as a pastor for the pastor past 1700 - Jesus, John and Paul wouldn't know
what we are talking about.
An example:  There was a gathering of beleivers in Africa I believe.  These people had
church life.  A fellow who "speaks" came by to see them.  They had a good time.
When it was time for him to go, the one fellow from the group he was visiting asked,
"Could you tell us why at one point you stood up and talked to yourself for all that time?"
Mindset.
As for pastor - once in the Bible someone chose to translate that word into that word.
Would you like to list the long list of other pastor verses?
The fellowship back then, which can be clearly seen through their unconscious
vocabulary shows that they were led by the brothers.
They were planted by an intinerant church planter (which I realize, back then,
things like that were out of necessity - but could a church planter do that today?
Gene once told a fellowship - you won't see me for a year.  Unless it's really really
really an emergency - no contact for a year - I'll see you then - this was in the 1960's)
The fellowship is under the headship of Jesus Christ.  Everything that a church is
today from the building down to the sermon can be documented piece by piece
along the way where it was picked up and adopted.
If the Apostles attended a church service today -  what  would they think?
That doesn't mean that people don't get saved and come to know Jesus and grow
in the Lord through this system that's evolved.
But the system that was there in the first century can be seen if one abandons
their present mindset.  And that's almost par to having a lobotomy.
So if you don't follow, that's fine.  You think I'm a crack pot, fine.
But for some people, the dawn has just begun to shine.  Not for you?
That's okay.
Hey - I'm not in this type of church life.  The closest I ever got to church life like this
was living in COBU.  But there is church life planted by Gene in Chicago,
Beaumont Texas, Atlanta Georgia - even somewhere here near Philly - they
read some stuff and asked Gene to come help them; and they
mailed me - and invited me, and said they would only mail me once and if I was
interested to come - way up Lansdowne Ave somewhere. (45 minutes from me; I didn't go)
And there are other places that have started church life and
have asked that someone be the itinerant worker.  There are a few workers around.
I don't know who they are.
You know them by their fruits.
And I've read and seen videos of these people.  I've watched and learned.
Don't you think someone would have learned something had we video taped
some of our home Bible studies in COBU?  People could see brothers and sisters
interacting, learning, having a good time, etc. etc.  That's church life.
Beats the liturgy if you ask me.
 
 . God sent Paul with others to help build them up. Notice her response, it wasn't one of being threatened by these "men" from across the sea. She submitted to God's way of doing things.
There is absolutely no reason to be threatened.  An itinerant worker comes by to strengthen, to restore hope - as was needed in this case.  They beg them to come.
To build up, teach, restore, whatever.  And then they LEAVE.
Trusting Jesus Christ to be the Head of the body.
============================================
Tom,
With all due respect, where does scripture say explicitly that a pastor is only to stay for a short while and then leave-like as in a commandment type thing-ya know watta mean man?
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
===================================================
From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>
> From: "William Bloomer" <wbloomer@excite.com>
> I've been in Baptist, Espicopal, United Church of Christ, Presbyterian,
> Brethren, Messianic, non-denominational charismatic and non-charismatic, and
> in more different types than I care to remember.  I've been in extremely
> free-form services, rigidly structured liturgical services, and some with
> elements of both.>
> And through it all the most important part has been relationships with the
> people there.  I can stand almost anything as long as I'm with people I know
> who know me and we care about each other.
That's the bottom line.  Feeling at home.  People needing you and you
needing people.  That's what we've got now, and we've got to make
the best of it.  Gene talks of the way the first century met and how much
better (to say the least) that is.  It's the way Jesus did it.  The way the
Apostles met around Solomon's porch.  The way Paul raised the
Gentile gatherings.  Just about everything that goes on inside of a church
building today did not exist back then.  Not that we can't use what we've
adapted and it cannot help us with our relationship with God.  It blesses
many people.  And many people are bored.  That was a big draw of
COBU - not boring like the churches.  That was part of the draw.
Part of it.  I'm not going to get into a long drawn out story.
I'm off work tonight - had oral surgery and am not in much pain -
my nephew suggested South Street - so I'll drive by and see if
- you know...  BTW, I'm 45 today.
=================================================
 Many have treated the bible as some sort of buffet that we can pick and chose what passages or what verses we like and agree with or don't like and don't agree with. This ought not be so! All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is suitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God may be equipped thoroughly for every good work.
But one has lost the story.  Why these things were written.
We see Jesus' life and teachings up to the cross and resurrection.
The church had a progression of events too.
Do you realize that someone placed these letters in their own arbritrary order?
If you would place them in the order that they were written datewise -
it would be much easier for the story to be understood.
Galations was the first letter written, and should be #1.
And on.  This is something that has been denied all of us.
One source is The Original Bible Restored by Ernest Martin
page 233 - The Order of Paul's Epistles.
This is nothing "secret, deep, or unknown".  Just something that
isn't readily passed along.  No body is better than someone or more
knowledgable or whatever.  It's just a matter of being told about it or
not.  I read a few books, watched a few tapes that for me, are like no
others I've ever seen before.  But just like in the 1970's, when I knew
that Todd Rundgren was the best thing since the Beatles, why didn't
every body else think so?  I could never figure that out.
================================================
 

Tom,
I always liked "We Gotta Get You A Woman"-but that's neither here nor there.
I have a chronolgical bible but I can't say that it has given me any deeper insight than the bibles that have been printed the way they have since the printing press was invented. I am not convinced that God can only teach a Christian the meaning of His word the best way by having a bible that is arranged with the books inserted in the order in which they were written. It is a help, but it isn't a detriment if one learns without it-I doubt that Martin Luther or Spurgeon had such a thing and they seemed to have had a fairly good grasp on the subject.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
=============================================================
From: Robert San Pascual <bsp15@juno.com>
Seems to me the Scriptures Raynard quoted here (Eph. 4:11-12) are very
appropriate. Tom, it might be that Gene Edwards is not making a
distinction between an apostle (as he calls it, a "church planter") and a
pastor/elder/overseer/shepherd. They are not one and the same in Eph. 4
or in Acts 14:23:  "Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each
church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom
they had put their trust." That is not to say that apostles did not also
function as elders/shepherds/oversees as well (see 1 Peter 5:1).
Yes, the church planters planted and left, but before leaving, or a
little while later, they appointed overseers to stay for the long haul:
"The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what
was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you"
(Titus 1:5 ). Paul and the other church planters then revisited the
churches they planted or sent representatives to them (such as Titus
above) or wrote them to help them stay or get back on the right path.
Some are called by God to plant churches and some are called to stay in
those churches and shepherd them, not in an overbearing dictatorial
manner, but in love (1 Peter 5:1ff)
.In Christ,
Bob San Pascual
==============================================
From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>
It's back to work.  Last 3 and 3/4 days off.
This week I volunteered for my day off Thurs, my designated Holiday
Tues and my day off Wed - which means I will work all six days
(Lord willing) this week - and with next week, that'll be 11 days
in a row - looking forward to that check.
In writing what I've written in the past days, one day I felt like
Neil must've felt like at one point.
I am taken the wrong way.  Someone mentions people in the
Bible didn't feel threatened.  Where did that  come from?
I think it came from some being threatened by what they thought
they were hearing.  What I am writing about is life.
The only thing it threatens is the sacred cows of Protestantism.That's it.
Nothing more.Well, much, much, more actually.
A peek, a view, a knowledge, a hint, a grasp of
what the New Testament Christians were about.
They weren't about "here's the church, here's the steeple,
look inside and see all the people"
That isn't it at all.  It's gathering around Solomon's porch
because you can't wait to hear more about Jesus.
And then what John saw, heard, touched, etc. he still has
fellowship with - and now so do - and we have fellowship
with one another.  It's about life.  The Christian life.
Spiritual life.  I don't know what to call it.  But we all know
about it deep inside - we all have it already.  It's just no one's
explained it to us to the point where I can be articulate enough
to get it across to you.  Help me.
(but no dogma - the scriptures must be life like like they are!)
And the "personalizing" of scripture that we thought the one filled
with vim hath vaunt - is something akin to the "Autobiographyof Jesus Christ"
Stopping sticking your toe in the water and telling us it's too cold.
===================================================
From: "Owen D Camp" <DOCOC@prodigy.net>From:  Owen        Dear All
       Remember the old days?  We claimed that the WHOLE church had gotten
off track and that we were going to be the ones to straighten those lukewarm
sunday types out.  Those benchwarmers who didn't have true interpretation.
We were different, we were God's green berets.  We were the original vision
of the New Testament church raised up for the end times; to preach the
"Gospel of the kingdom"; led by "the faithful and wise steward".  We were
the "end-time John The Baptist.
        TOM  I have to agree with Mike.  Does anybody really think that
Jesus is going to let His church stray for 1700 years???  If this guy loves
Jesus he would love His bride, and not set himself up as better than her .
=================================================
Owen,
Well said.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
======================================
From: Tom Pierron
But my goodness, brothers, the way these discussions about women
are going it's like we're saying, "are women really people or not?"
NOT at all!  Saying someone shouldn't teach in church is hardly denying their humanity.  Their are classes of men who shouldn't teach in church (ie. unbelievers), kids also.  Being different (as females are to males) is not something bad.  Nor is it inferiority (however defined).
I still stick to the story that God made us, male and female in His
own image, and they were there butt naked and he said it was "good".
Who here doesn't?
Hey, I apologize for the way you're being treated on the list, sisters.
You can only apologize for your behaviour.    Right???
Owen
=========================================================
From:  Owen
        Dear Tom
      For the record I agree with Frances Schaeffer (and others) that there are sacred cows of Protestantism that need to be slaughtered.  It's just that meeting together regularly isn't one of them.
=================================================
Tom,
Sadly, this is just a thinly disguised diatribe of hatred toward America posing as indignation about how Americans have exported a faulty way of presenting the Gospel. Jesus made the people set down in rows also. But the main thing that comes through to me is how pragmatism is looked upon as the measure of success in presenting the gospel and running churces. The only way people get saved is by God's power, not our persuasion, or how glitzy the entertainment is in supposed robust churches. Yes, many American churches have become farces. But God still has His remnent and the gates of hell will not prevail against His true church. I know missionaries who are deeply concerned about helping to raise up Godly men and women  in other countries. Even at the risk of death. These missionaries are also very concerned that the culture in those countries is not changed. So they learn about the culture as they live with the people they are ministering to and God has been pleased to save many. Churches have begun in Papua New Guinea and now the new churches are going to their former enemies with the Gospel risking their lives as they go.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve Saxton
======================================================
Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>>

From: Robert San Pascual <bsp15@juno.com>
>  "Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each
> church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust."And how far along the story line did this happen.
Remember - 1 Co. there is not a hint of elders.  (the church was too young) and elders are something that emerge.  Sort of like with God when he said "I have found in David, son of Jesse"   sort of like a discovery.
It becomes evident to all who they are and what is there.
> Yes, the church planters planted and left, but before leaving, or a
> little while later, they appointed overseers to stay for the long haul:
> "The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what
> was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you"
> (Titus 1:5 ). Paul and the other church planters then revisited the
> churches they planted or sent representatives to them (such as Titus
> above) or wrote them to help them stay or get back on the right path.
They visited and left.  Who stayed?  Name one.
> Some are called by God to plant churches and some are called to stay in those churches and shepherd them, not in an overbearing dictatorial
> manner, but in love (1 Peter 5:1ff).
No one is appointed to stay and shepherd.  Read the shepherd references
and then read the brothers and ecclesia references and who do you think
is in charge (Jesus Christ being the Head).
================================================
From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>>
From: "Owen D Camp" <DOCOC@prodigy.net>
>   If this guy loves
> Jesus he would love His bride, and not set himself up as better than her .
That's not it at all.  Where did you hear that?  I have seen few people
with the reverence for Christ's bride...
You're reading my words - second hand stuff, my interpretation, if
you will.  Jesus used Wayne and Gene to give me hope in what has
happened on earth with Jesus' words.
===================================================
Tom,
Sadly, this is just a thinly disguised diatribe of hatred toward America posing as indignation about how Americans have exported a faulty way of presenting the Gospel.
Not thinly disguised at all.  Outright attacking.
 I know missionaries who are deeply concerned about helping to raise up Godly men and women  in other countries. Even at the risk of death. These missionaries are also very concerned that the culture in those countries is not changed. So they learn about the culture as they live with the people they are ministering to and God has been pleased to save many. Churches have begun in Papua New Guinea and now the new churches are going to their former enemies with the Gospel risking their lives as they go.  Steve
And Prem Predahm from Nepal and Bauxine.
=========================================
Tom,
I always liked "We Gotta Get You A Woman"-but that's neither here nor there.I have a chronolgical bible but I can't say that it has given me any deeper insight than the bibles that have been printed the way they have since the printing press was invented. I am not convinced that God can only teach a Christian the meaning of His word the best way by having a bible that is arranged with the books inserted in the order in which they were written. It is a help, but it isn't a detriment if one learns without it-I doubt that Martin Luther or Spurgeon had such a thing and they seemed to have had a fairly good grasp on the subject. Steve
It is like the difference between Jesus teaching through a story
or learning by rote in an Aristotelian mindset.
=============================================
Hi Ray,I hold to what the bible declares in Eph.4:11,12-Jesus "gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up..."(NIV)

And when they're strengthened the brethren - they LEAVE. Where does it say that? A church planter is itinerant.
All  throughout  the  story  .    .
================================================
From: "Owen D Camp"
     Dear Tom
> They visited and left.  Who stayed?  Name one.
Peter and 11 others stayed in Jerusalem.  Even during the persecution that
Saul brought about.  (Acts 8:1)
=====================================================
From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>>

From: "Owen D Camp" <DOCOC@prodigy.net>
Peter and 11 others stayed in Jerusalem.
So much for the Great Commission - I say that tongue in cheek.
I think they did leave after about ten or fifteen years.
Got a good story about the first major decisions made
there (in Jerusalem as regards the Gentiles having to keepthe law...)
====================================
From: "Mark Loftus" <mloftus955@hotmail.com>

Interesting Owen,
Note that when a man tells a woman how great she is (or looks), he often
wants something from her.
So when a leader tells his church she is special and better than the others,
maybe he wanted to get something from his church!
Just a thought,
Mark
=================================================
From: "Mark Loftus" <mloftus955@hotmail.com>

Clever post, Frank, probably the most imaginative in this discussion.
If the scriptures concerning the women are set aside, what next??
Scriptures are being set aside all over the place even in the church as you
well know.

If saying homosexuality is wrong means I am a Nazi, so be it!! If saying
they are the ultimate as far as "the feminized male" is concerned means I am
a Nazi, so be it!!  If pointing out that a lot of that comes from their
hatred of their father in their boyhood makes me a Nazi, so be it!!  It
doesn't matter what they call me, as long as I make it into the kingdom.
And the liberals will call their opponents names, because they have no
answer.

Having said all that, there is at the same time there is a place to show
these people an alternative and that they may be forgiven.  Not all of them
boldly push their trip on everyone else, so they are not all uniform in
their attitude, and some have come out of that prison.
 

Mark
 
 

    From: "John Apostle" <japostle@angelfire.com>
Subject: Re: [cobu] parking, women, and cultural relativism
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 08:52:22 -0800

TP wrote:
>I presented my story and my pictures and additional pictures and >>the
woman judge understood my plight and dropped the ticket.
>Whew!"Yes, we do tend to look for the signs" was her comment.
 

    Speaking of debates, I notice in other postings that we are perilously
close to drudging up the same one that we went through earlier this year --
which I recall wasn't really about women judges at its root but about each
doing what is right in his or her (or its) own eyes -- cultural relativism,
and its permeation in the so-called Christian church of our day.  If we are
going to again indulge in a little round & round (must be either our
destiny or sadomasochism) I'd like to up the ante a little by changing the
subject from women to homosexuals.  After all, the Bible has very little to
say against homosexuality, especially in the public or the church spheres
(at least compared to women); homosexuals have come a long way in our day;
they are accepted in not only government, politics, arts, and entertainment
but in many mainline Christian churches -- even evangelical ones.  The
Nazis were against them, and there aren't any Nazis on this list, are
there?  Ah, come on, I know many of you like Elton John and Traci Chapman.
Whoops, that's the rock debate.  JA
====================================================
From: "Mark Loftus" <mloftus955@hotmail.com>

From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>

But my goodness, brothers, the way these discussions about women are >going
it's like we're saying, "are women really people or not?"
 

No one has said that at all, that's another thing you are putting into
brothers mouths.  Just because some don't share your opinions, you don't
have to make outrageous statements to get support.

    "If it weren't for them, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in. It's >their
fault.
 

No one is blaming the women for the fall, in fact if you read the posts, Bob
made a point to speak about Adam's failure of leadership, which I agreed
with, and applying to men today.  Nor do I think any of the brothers think
that, Tom.  You must know that Paul wrote, "Adam was not deceived, but Eve
was deceived...".  The Lord went to Adam first after the fall, not Eve,
showing who He considered most responsible.

Really, nothing negative is really being said of the sisters, just to
challenge you that there is a Divine Order.  You want the sisters to come to
your aid, like a politician.

    Hey, I apologize for the way you're being treated on the list, >sisters.
Forgive us, we know not what we do.  And I'm not looking >for "brownie
points" (well, maybe a little...)
 

As far as behavior, the only swipe I see is the ones you are taking against
the brothers? Though not even directly.  I think Bob was very kind toward
the sisters and also toward you, but when he presented scripture, you just
mocked it which surprised me, where did you get that from?

Tom, you and I have to start with examining ourselves before throwing
indirect accusations at brothers, how do you treat the women in your
everyday life?  Just because you have an opinion that surfacely sounds
favorable to women, doesn't mean you treat them any better.

Look at the liberals in our society who claim to stand for women's rights.
That great champion of women's rights, Ted Kennedy, just needs votes from
them, (wasn't too concerned about Mary Jo Kopechne's rights...), Bill
Clinton or that former Senator Packwood who seemed to back the women, who
don't have true "love" to begin with.  Does Karl Marx treat women better
because he made "equality of women" one of his fourteen points?

Again you don't argue honestly, you put words into the brothers mouths as a
method of argument just like the above liberal examples.
Perhaps there can be a "reverse judgmentalism" as there is a "reverse
prejudice", you who speak against "the paucity of the religious right", are
you judging those whom you consider to be judges? Change has to be from the
inside out, not just opinions...  If you have bitterness or resentment
toward ST or COBU, that must be dealt with first before you can help and
direct others, or be objective at all.  It is better to be able to forget
that stuff, though I know that it is easier said than done.
Resentment, rebellion and bitterness at this point does not hurt ST at all,
just the one who still has them in his heart...  It would also
be better to hear something you've learned from within and experience, not
just repeating something you heard from your favorite preachers (not saying
that's wrong but you are capable of better than that) which most anyone can
do...
The good thing about this list is that sometimes things we say are
challenged which is good for all of us, none of us have perfect views.
There is more light with a larger group.  The challenge should just make us
sharper.
 

Mark
======================================================
> Well said Mark.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve Saxton
====================================
Just my impression - not inserting words.  And if I was a sister I think I'd
just let it ride too.
Just bringing up and "questioning" these archaic practices and not recognizing
the chauvinism involved...  where do you think wisdom comes from?
That's it.  Nothing more.
==============================================
From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>
I'm not being contentious or anything, but think about it
- do we "do" everything in the Bible.Do you pluck out your eye?
Do you pray for Paul?Do you light a lamp?Times do change things a little.
Sin and the flesh hasn't changed, but our
surroundings and how we deal with it has.
(I don't think I've ever prayed for Paul)
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