> From: JohnxCOBU@aol.com
>
>                                                         Hey Tom P.
>                                 Perhaps you could define what you mean by
> "church christian".  I think that you used that old term not too long ago.
> I am not baiting you but you should be cautious anyway.   john branzell
====================================================

From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>

I think of a "Church Christian" as someone who goes to
a building and sits in a pew.
=============================================

Stewart -- or at least others in the cult -- used the term to basically mean
christians "not of the body", i.e. not in the COBU cult or any other cult.

Fred
=================================================
From: JohnxCOBU@aol.com
 

So true.
There are a lot of pew sitters sittin down there stinkin up the whole place.
Takin up space, heat & A/C  and bein religious.  jb
=============================================
I wouldn't go that far (though I did go further in another e-mail)
Some of those in those pews are really blessed and feel and are drawn closer to
God through that stuff.  How, I'm not sure, but if it works for them
God bless 'em.
Doesn't work for me.
tom
==============================================
From: JThomas945@aol.com

From: JT

I thank God that I am a "Church Christian" for there is no other kind of
Christian.  Once I became a Christian, I became part of the church.  Isn't it
amazing that this cult mantra (church christian) was, like so many other
cutsie phrases, a degradation of the truth.
I go to a building and sit in a pew and I worship a living God, along with
many other "church Christians".
The woman at the well in John 4, made an issue about where people worshiped
and Jesus told her that the place is not the issue, but rather that God be
worshiped "in Spirit and truth".

In Christ,
JT
=================================================
I am a pew dweller too...and the life and joy I derive from being with a
functional body of  "church christians" is a total blessing!

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

> From: JThomas945@aol.com
>
> From: JT
>
> I thank God that I am a "Church Christian" for there is no other kind of
> Christian.  Once I became a Christian, I became part of the church.  Isn't it
> amazing that this cult mantra (church christian) was, like so many other
> cutsie phrases, a degradation of the truth.

No, not at all.
When someone says the word "church" almost everyone invariably
thinks of "here's the church, here's the steeple, look inside, and see all the
people"
A building comes to mind.
The only buildings Jesus went into was The Temple, the synagogue and people's
houses
"The house of..." is a New Testament phrase.
The "church building" did not exist till Constantine ruined Christianity by
saying
'dominee dominee, we're all Christians now' and started building these buildings
on the old pagan sites.  There were no pews.  That's why orthodox are
"orthodox" - they're like the original churches - original as in 323 AD (or so).
It is true - all Christians are a member of the body of Christ.
Different parts with different functions.

> I go to a building and sit in a pew and I worship a living God, along with
> many other "church Christians".

Should I say what I really think?  I much prefer to think of you
John, as a brother who takes a stand and quotes scripture
accurately refuting ST - that's the John I prefer to know.

> The woman at the well in John 4, made an issue about where people worshiped
> and Jesus told her that the place is not the issue, but rather that God be
> worshiped "in Spirit and truth".

Very good quote.  That's the whole enchilada.
Doesn't matter where we are in many ways.  We're still
a member of the body.  His betrothed.
Tom
======================================================
From: cooganjd@juno.com

Jim and I and our 3 girls go to an old campground church tabernacle that
has actual garage doors that open in the summer and the breeze flows
through... it is pretty unique.  The pews themselves are ancient, and
although many renovations have been made you can still feel how the place
dates back to the 1800s.  However, since we stand up so much, and since
we go down into the front area to participate in the flags or the
messianic Jewish dancing, or when I interpret, we hardly notice the
pews... you know your a charismatic when your kid asks for a tamborine
for Christmas.... LOL party on, the party in Heaven is gonna be GOOD
Nancy C.
==================================================
From: JThomas945@aol.com

In a message dated 99-06-11 21:21:26 EDT, you write:

<< << Should I say what I really think?  I much prefer to think of you
  John, as a brother who takes a stand and quotes scripture
  accurately refuting ST - that's the John I prefer to know. >>
  >>
Tom, when I went to that meeting (sinless meeting) ten years ago, I was
attending a local church, going to a church building and sitting in a pew.  I
take stands when stands need to be made, I quote Scripture when it is
appropriate; going to a church building does not nullify me and my gifts, it
enhances them (not the building but the congregation, which is the church).
JT
========================================================
From: Fred <fred@mitchellware.com>
 From: JThomas945@aol.com

 From: JT

> I thank God that I am a "Church Christian" for there is no other kind of
> Christian.

I have to sharply disagree with that. What is it in Christianity that says you
MUST GO TO CHURCH to be a Christian? Did Jesus go to church every sunday?

>  Once I became a Christian, I became part of the church.

That was your choice, the way YOU choose to practice YOUR version of
Christianity.

>  Isn't it
> amazing that this cult mantra (church christian) was, like so many other
> cutsie phrases, a degradation of the truth.

It's nothing new. Just one of the many, many ways one particular click or group
defines or labels those who are not like themselves. Throw in there these other
terms:

infidel
unsaved
backslider
heretic
gentile
heathen
barbarians
unbeliever

and a myriad of others.

> I go to a building and sit in a pew and I worship a living God, along with
> many other "church Christians".

Churches are just a different type of cult. More gentler, mind you, less severe,
usually, but on that same spectrum.

> The woman at the well in John 4, made an issue about where people worshiped
> and Jesus told her that the place is not the issue, but rather that God be
> worshiped "in Spirit and truth".

Exactly. So why "Go to church" to worship God? Can you not do this from your
home?

The real issue is that it is not in the CHURCH's best interest to have you
worship from home, so they create this mindset that makes you dependent upon
them. They make you feel as though you MUST go to that pew else God won't be
pleased with you. You MUST come to the church every sunday or you will be in
disfavor with your Maker.

For sure, this is not what Jesus as I understand of him from the writings in the
Christian Bible intended. Quite to the contrary -- he was AGAINST established
religion. Something the churches of today tend to downplay.

While I don't "believe in Jesus" or anything "Christian", I do acknowledge that
there are a number of positive aspects about the character Jesus -- whether
legend or actual is immaterial -- and I see Christianity as something that
appears to have gone WAY beyond the simple precepts of this one man -- upon whom
which Christianity is supposedly based.

More to the point, Christianity co-opted Jesus, just as the Gospels themselves
co-opted the Hebrew writings. In both cases they grab someone else's works and
reinterprets them for their own gain -- good or bad.

-Fred
==================================================
From: JThomas945@aol.com

Fred,
It is amazing how you build a straw man argument and then proceed to tear it
down.   The church is NOT a building or an organization (your straw man).
The church is the body of believers and therefore when you become a Christian
you become a part of the church.  An analogy would be being born in the US
makes you a US citizen.

JT
======================================================
From: JohnxCOBU@aol.com

Hold it am I on the right list. Yes I
am.
Hey Fred & JT,
I go to a church that emphsizes the
small group, home fellowships as more important than the Sunday celebration.
But our small groups have the advantage of being under the umbrella of
authority of the larger fellowship also.
Whose authority are you under
Fred?????
 

PS  Jesus a legend????  Very lazy Fred!!  Read the history books.   jb

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

I cannot cotton any hierarchy and  it's unscirptural.  The first elders
chosen in the church were chosen to wait on tables.
Elders appeared later for very rare occasions.  Look up how much it
says BROTHERS in your NT and compare that to all these other words
totaled together.  No comparison.  Check it out*  Anyway....
I went to Wayne Monbleaus's Worship in the Woods VIII
Saturday morning we all hiked up the mountain and got a Bible
study while looking out over the breathtaking view from the
Kittatinny Ridge.  There wasn't a cloud in the sky, but way off
to the southwest there were a couple that we were just about eye level
with.  Wayne stood perilously close the whole time to the edge of the ridge -
a few more steps and it's down you go!
I gave a ride to a fellow worker.   Some people may have met him -
he used to come to COBU meetings now and then.
He likes to go and hand out tracks - quite often by himself.  His name is Ray.
Peter Jacquay led him to Jesus in the early 1970's.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And here's the "it's a small world" part.  There was as fellow there who
wore his guitar like a back pack.  When he took off his hat, and shared
a guitar song - and he spoke - I knew I knew him.  He works at the Zapfs
in my area (a music store).  He now works at the Zapfs in Plymouth
Meeting.  His girl friend is an artist. We spoke at the last lunch.
But who do I meet Saturday afternoon?  I don't know if she would want
to be mentioned by name, (I forget her last
name anyway).  An ex-COBU sister.  Thank God she's out and about.
She doesn't come to many Wayne retreats because Wayne speaks at her
church often.  She said she had a hard time finding a church after leaving COBU.
She is in touch with brethren in the New York area.  She heard there's an
article out and Vinnie was going to get her a copy to read.
So out of 235 people who attended - I met one before - and I was in
COBU with another one.
Wanna hold hands and sing Kum buy ah?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wayne's theme for the weekend was about becoming a child.
It's amazing how much of something you can see when you choose to
look for it.  David and Solomon in their adult years referred to themselves
as a child before God.  Jesus said unless you become converted and like
children you will never enter the kingdom of God.
Wayne says many take half of the verse they want and leave out the other
half.  Many talk of conversion - but who talks of the necessity of being a child
before the Father?
And there were a few more he brought into the picture.  He said how important
this childlike aspect is.  Being born anew is mentioned in Jn 3 and 1 Peter.  Being a child
is mentioned much more often.  "walk with the light, while you have the light, that you
may become sons of light" - I forget how he tied that in.   "See what love the Father has
given us that we should be called children of God and so we are".
Let the children come to me and do not hinder them for to such belongs the
kingdom of heaven.
That's the weekend in a nutshell.
Coming down the mountain Saturday morning I came down fast, just letting each foot out in front
of me letting gravity take me down and down.  This hurt the front of my shins.
More than that - by noon I could hardly stand up and had a very
difficult time walking and putting on my shoes for the rest of the day
as I could not pull my feet up backwards as these tendons were depleted.
I'm pretty much back to normal today.
Don't come down a mountain fast.
But being up on a mountain - like Wayne said, once you go there, you'll
see why Jesus would go there often.  It certainly does give you a
different perspective.
*  You should read, and I can't suggest more highly:
When the Church Was Led by Laymen Only    and
Rethinking Elders
both by Gene Edwards.
(Published by the SeedSowers)
also Myths of "The Ministry"
by Clay Sterrett
CFC Literature
PO Box 245
Staunton, VA 24401 - only a couple bucks....
This sort of reminds when I posted about the book I read
Becoming Orthodox that a brother had sent me.  These sincere
brothers weren't concerned with making the scriptures fit the
way they had handled fellowships in the past.  (they were part of
the Jesus Movement in the 1960's and on)
(people take the scriptures to back up what goes on in Christianity
today.  How they do that is beyond me.  Why more people don't
question this is beyond me...)
They wanted the church that Jesus had originally set up - according
to scripture - and after much research and prayer they concluded
the Greek Orthodox was the most like the Church of Jesus Christ.
Beam me up Scotty.
Our perspective is something we choose.

========================================================
From: JohnxCOBU@aol.com

I too am a church
christian; but I sing with the "Worship Team" on stage and then I run
downstairs to help with the chilins.   I sit in the pew afterwards while most
folk are leaving out the door.    But  I am having fun.  I enjoy the people
and don't feel like I have to be there.
I don't put any trips
on folks who don't go to a building every week.  If they call on Jesus then
they are part of the church.  I sure have gotten a lot of benefit from being
part of a local body of believers.    There aren't any perfect fellowships
that I belong to because I am a part of them.  john branzell
===========================================================
From: JohnxCOBU@aol.com

I said not a thing about
elders or hierarchy; these terms or hang ups belong to you.
I realize this is a touchy
issue coming from our common history.  As someone else (Maureen I think)
said,  we were raped; a stranger dominated our lives with supposed good
intent and took advantage.  Jesus was misrepresented.
This however does not nullify
the flow of authority from Jesus to those who have submitted themselves to
him.   I have a pastor here on earth who does not dominate me but guides me
and I am submitted to him.  But I also have the phone number of his pastor if
he gets strange on me.    Don't submit yourself to someone who in turn is not
submitted to someone else.   Even Jesus was under authority.  end of sermon
jb
========================================================
From: cooganjd@juno.com

Amen, Amen and Amen to your post John.  Preach it bro.  It was from lack
of submission all of his life - read even in the secular high school -
that ST became the monster that ate Cobu.  His absolute power corrupted
him absolutely.  He used to quote that about others, but really, it was
an Eve "catch me if you can" number... he did those himself the old
serpent... he was under no authority but demanded respect for his
supposed authority as some "prophet."
Nancy C.
=======================================================
From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>

I have seen Jesus lead many to that which helps and heals
them - and they don't need my input.
If you've found a system that floats your boat, fine.
I'm not trying to torpedo success.  But there are things out there
that don't make sense.  And they're not supposed to.  Where
do you go to get the sense?  Ah!  Some offerings.
Just trying to help those whose boats aren't floating
or may be leaking.    I hold back a lot.
==============================================================
From: "Kenneth Samuel" <kds@integrityonline18.com>

>From Kenny
JB you made an excellent point.  Those of us who were involved in COBU
definitely experienced abusive authority.  That does not mean that authority
is unbiblical.    I have come to realize that often people who experience
something they consider bad will often swing to the otherside  of the
pendulum which is also bad.  An example would be parenting.  If your parents
were strict with you your tendency is to be lenient wth your children.  If
your parents were lenient with you your tendency is to be strict with your
children.  If your parents were extreme one way or the other your tendency
is to also be extreme.  We do this out of reaction to what has been done.

So lets not react to the abusive authority by declaring all authority
abusive.  We can't allow ourselves to think no one will be my authority
because we had a horrible experience.  Those seven in the book of Acts were
chosen not because they were strong enough to carry bread.  They were chosen
because they were of a certain level of Christian experience.  It says "good
reputation" "full of the Spirit" "and full of wisdom" "Full of faith".  they
were then put in charge of a certain of ministry which means they had a
measure of authority and responsibility.  We need to find the just balance
so we can receive the healing and maturity in Christ we all desire.

==============================================================
From: JohnxCOBU@aol.com

Something in me would love to be a
judge pronouncing the sentence at Stew's trial.   "So actually you were the
one doing the Eve #  #  #  #  #  #'s isn't that correct Mr. Traill"    jb

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

  Those seven in the book of Acts were
chosen not because they were strong enough to carry bread.  They were chosen
because they were of a certain level of Christian experience.  It says "good
reputation" "full of the Spirit" "and full of wisdom" "Full of faith".  they
were then put in charge of a certain of ministry which means they had a
measure of authority and responsibility.  We need to find the just balance
so we can receive the healing and maturity in Christ we all desire.
They were picked to serve tables.
They needed brethren who would be "Christian" in
in portioning out the portions.  (The Hellenists murmured)
You are making them something they weren't.
Rethinking Elders.  If you haven't read it, you are missing some key input.
Here is a smattering: elders weren't the first ones there (so they had "seniority")
and they aren't the oldest (physically).  After people know each other
for a few years - an itinerant person could ask - "If you
were caught in adultery, who would you want dealing with it?"
They wrote names on slips of paper and only two names
were written over and over.
"Those are your elders"
  TOM
===========================================================
I am not familiar with the book you are quoting, can you give the titile and author again.  I am not following your train of thought with the smattering you quoted.
Kenny
  ==========================================================
I am quoting the Bible.  Acts 6:2
"It is not right that we should give up preaching the word
of God to serve tables."
(I explained further in a sidebar)
============================================================