Friday, December 07, 2012

World Wide Christianity?


Are we as followers of Jesus supposed to process His words through the prism of where we live and what we know, or is His ministry and calling universal and unalterably applicable to the entire world? This is not some philosophical question. The answer to this question changes the meaning of discipleship and takes what generally is considered Christianity and stretches it to the expansiveness of the entire world. It alters the definition of accountability, compassion, generosity, responsibility, and the overarching gospel commission. If, in fact, every follower of Jesus, regardless of the parochial nature of his life and specific ministry, is called to the four corners of the world then the core meaning of Christianity must be dramatically enlarged in theory and in practice.

There were times when it was impossible to minister to people across long distances, but today it is well within our reach even though we ourselves cannot go. Over the years since television poor people from all over the world have been used to raise funds for unscrupulous ministries that make wicked men and women wealthy. But even though that should repulse us, the poor people pictured in those videos are real and are in need of real gospel ministry. There are billions of people around the world who are silently sounding the Macedonian call.

There is a rule of thumb as it concerns the ministry of the Word and Biblical truth. If it cannot be preached in Washington D.C. as well as in Darfur then it is not absolute truth. If what you preach can only mean something in America, then it is false and a man made concoction. So if you preach prosperity to prosperous Americans, but you could never preach that to a woman in Darfur with a dying child at her breast, then it is a lie. You see, the Word should be relevant in the palace as well as in the street. The prince and the pauper should hear the same message of truth.

So if our locale influences the Word then it ceases to be the Word. But in today’s western culture everything must bow to our way of life, our way of thinking, and our way of doing things. And in that context we have taken the Word of God and rounded off the rough edges and shined it up and made it presentable to a fallen culture. Careful we have been not to eliminate some of the more familiar words that catch our doctrinal eyes, but what is believed and preached is no longer God’s Word. That is if God’s Word is universal and we are part of the universal church and not just an outpost with our own by-laws and mores. If the entire Bride of Christ is under the authority of “One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all,“ then we must walk under that calling and with our eyes opened to the entire world.

So if this faith is comprehensive and without geographical boundaries then it presents all sorts of conflictions when we compare it to what is purported to be Christianity here. Just a token missionary effort cannot absolve us from this colossal responsibility. Just some short term mission projects cannot provide fig leaves for the nakedness of our embarrassing faith. Living our entire lives for ourselves with a minor evangelical exception is a pitiful excuse for so great a faith. Look out upon the fields and see what God has called us to. Not just the neighborhood in which we live, as important as that is in God’s eyes, but look to the horizons and imagine a sea of humanity adrift in darkness and in need of the nail scarred hands of redemption. That, my friends, is what calls us from within and without.

But look what we have done as we scurry to raise funds for our magnificent ecclesiastical edifices filled with cold air, warm air, and the most modern sound systems. And see millions upon millions of professing believers sit and take it all in, returning to their narcissistic lives, only to revisit that same redundant blessing experience the next week. The church cannot even keep marriages together much less reach the world. Our youth are spiritually lethargic and supremely interested in the same things as are their parents - what benefits them most - education, success, money, sex, entertainment, and a generally pleasant life filled with all kinds of hedonistic toys. Wow, did I just say that?

But can we enjoy such an existence while millions perish? When so many have no food or water, can we enjoy a life of abundance and waste and still claim to be followers of the Redeemer? That is some spiritual deception, unless God showers material blessings of some and withholds them for others. Or more accurately, God’s will has been for believers to be consumed with the welfare of others and live very modest lives in order to share whatever material “blessings” are placed under their care. But that concept has long since been discarded and made way for a new and much more comfortable lifestyle that can hold onto this world with one hand and with the other hand pass out a few scraps which elicit no sacrifice and do not deny ourselves anything.

The question remains. Are the followers of Jesus called to a world wide vision, or are we supposed to be preoccupied, entangled, and generally formed by our immediate surroundings? Can we live in a constricted view of the faith and still legitimately claim to be followers of Jesus and His redemptive vision? I suggest that for far too long the western church has acquiesced to the culture and even formed our ecclesiastical structure accordingly. And there is a wide variance of excitement and commitment between building programs here and missions afar. You see, we see and appreciate and make use of the tangible here, but we receive no accommodations when we give to help the needy which live beyond our borders. We are much more responsive to that which meets our needs than anything we cannot see or enjoy the benefits thereof.

But if we are to admit to a universal calling which places great and glorious responsibilities on us all, then we are going to have to begin a routine of sacrifice which most would consider somewhat extraordinary. But what should we consider extravagant or extreme when it comes to sacrificing for our Lord? And even if we should begin afresh today, would there not be a great many back payments? We have lived such easy and careless spiritual lives that only generate concern with temporal issues. It is time we see the faith for what it is and not for what we have made it.

Jesus calls us to a far greater mission than that which is in driving distance. In fact His ministry covers ground that is out of this world. But let me finally couch it in practical terms. When we know that millions suffer around the world, and are literally dying because of starvation, thirst, and exposure, should that enter into all financial decisions we make here? And when some of those are brothers and sisters in Christ, should that be a concern as well? Those question are never asked in the context of American Christianity. A few food pantries a few special offerings and a few week long mission trips seem to provide a conscience salve. Now if our faith is only local, then those questions are immaterial. But if our faith cannot be restricted to geographical and cultural boundaries, then we must reexamine how we live and how we express our faith through how we show our concern and care for those around the world. This a vital analysis of the Christian faith when it lives in a hedonistic culture. Are we careful not to allow our culture to be the measuring stick as to how we live? Are we compelled by the Spirit to assess everything we do according to God’s Word and in the light of what most benefits the church world wide and the great commission?

Is our faith inexorably and immovably connected to the world, or can we live completely within our cultural dictates and remain subjugated to what is true in our own parochial setting? Let me illustrate:

There was almost 5 billion dollars spent on the 2012 election. There will be almost 500 billion dollars spent on "Christmas" in 2012. In one year almost 9 million people, half of which are children, will die of starvation around the world.

Now that is just one example of what is happening across the globe while our circumstances seem so out of touch. So as believers and followers of Jesus and His way, can we ignore those facts or be resigned to how things are, or must we process that kind of reality and adjust our lives accordingly? Does what is happening in other parts of the world impact our lives and our response to Christ, or are we granted some kind of geographical dispensation because we live and experience a much different set of circumstances? I contend that is untrue and unbiblical.

Phil.4: 15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.
16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.

II Cor.11: 8 I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service.

These verses clearly reveal a common giving pattern wherein churches were concerned over the ministry of the gospel that was completely out of their own location. But James goes further.

Jam.2: 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

Jesus had a heart for the poor, and even while the early church was coming to grips with salvation by faith alone and the inclusion of Gentile sinners in the gospel, they often mentioned the poor. But perhaps the greatest teaching on unconditional generosity and humanitarian passion is the parable of the Good Samaritan. Not only was that man in great need of help, but he had been passed over by the “orthodox” folk of his day. And in a stunning and shocking way to both disarm and alarm His listeners, Jesus makes the central figure a Samaritan. The Samaritans were considered mongrels and a mixed breed of Jews and Gentiles and they were generally avoided and looked down upon. But here is this Samaritan showing the compassion that Jesus calls us to.

Are we called to meet needs of people we do not even know? Are we called to be inconvenienced in meeting needs? Are we called to be aware of needs around the world and to go to some lengths to help? And are we called to sacrifice and lead lives of modesty in order to free up funds for the needy and the spread of the gospel? Many churches have mission conferences and they call for pledges for missions during the next year. Sometimes they even set giving goals. But what does that tell you? That speaks loudly to the fact that American believers do not normally give as they should, and that they respond to methods and fund raising techniques more than they do the leading of the Spirit year round.

The church which lives in America must lift up her eyes and revolutionize her thinking. If we actually believe there is an eternity and that sinners spend eternity in either one of two places, and if we really believe we have been given eternal life already, then how should that impact they way we think and subsequently live? And if others do not have that life, should that dramatically impact the way we live and think?

If the answer is no then go ahead, resume general swim.


Cherie C. said...

Part 1
I whole heartily agree with you Pastor. And as I can only speak for myself, I want to do what is right in God's eyes. But how?

You write truth, but then leave out the most important part; telling us how.

We who have come out of the church system crave to do what God has called us to do, but we are so wounded, still working out our deception that we cannot trust as we should.

We have world assistance organizations as well as church organizations supposedly helping the poor. But as we know the funds given aren't reaching the poor. Not all of it anyway. What is the ratio of actual funds received and used for the poor verse the funds that go for salaries, supplies, transportation, and other, in my opinion, non-essentials. Except for housing and life essentials of those in the field, no other monies should be withheld from those who really need it.

What missions are true that we should support? Direct us towards those who really do the work they are called to do and not work in vain as window dressing for their mega-church PR opportunities.

We who have come out of the church system do care and do want to do the world wide work your post talks about, but we are in great need of direction. Although true deception is a two way street, I am guilty of not seeing it because I was deceived and with God's Grace was set free. Set free after a major verbal assault from those who I thought were my brothers and sisters in the Lord. Then the Spiritual issues I am still dealing with and rightly so. God's gift of correction, but it is still painful though necessary.

I went to my first fellowship hosted by Steve Lumbley (that is where I found your blog) via a chat room. Of all the church fellowship I have had over the 36 years in the church system, this was the most true fellowship I have ever had and I did not see one face. Only the voice of dear brothers and sisters in the Lord and their texts.

On there is a section called testimony. Not for how you got saved, but for how you survived the church system and how the Lord brought you out from among them.

Sorry if this is long, but I needed to let you know.

Cherie C. said...

Part 2
All your posts talk about trust and the desire to do the Will of God.

Your post drives home scripture that directs me to do just as it says we should, but tell me how and who. More who than how because I don't know who is living the Word, not just speaking emptiness and lies. I know you are going to say we should be able to discern, but..... under false doctrines and false teachings, we need to be told the truth so we can. You're a Pastor, you know what I mean. Have the same compassion on those leaving the church system as you would the unsaved only as the Word says, give your brothers and sisters in Christ that much more. You know, the prodigal son? We are starved to death for true teaching and true shepherding. I know it is pitiful, but it is non the less true.

Your blog mentions only one missionary group and they are a 501 3c which I heard was not a good tax status because it makes you compromise your beliefs as a Christ centered entity in exchange for a no tax status. Is that true? Are they using the biggest part of the monies they receive for the poor? Can they be trusted as a 501 3c?

You do not have to post this if you don't want too, but if you do I can guess it will solicit some of the same response as to what I am saying. Even if you don't post this I wanted you to know, if you don't already know who actually reads your blog. Your blog draws those of us who were in the church system looking for someone to tell us the truth. The truth as to our sad condition and that by repenting and seeking the Lord and His Will and denying ourselves we can somehow have true hope of salvation. Wounds Pastor Rick, we have wounds and guilt.

I hope the next time I come to your blog I will see direction of some sort. What brothers and sisters do we support? Do you know? Tell me so I can help. Tell me so I can be what God's Word says I should be and do what I should do because what I know is wrong and deceptive and I want to do what I have never done before for the Lord; Truly obey God and live the life I was called to live as a child of God. He is using you Pastor. I did not find this blog by accident. Others are on their way. Can you help me and those who are here and who are coming. I do not speak of a revival; I speak of an exodus. If we are in the end times as God's Word says we are which you have confirmed by your posts, then as it says in Revelation of those in the harlot church, come out, and they are. I see it more and more. I thought I was alone. I am not alone. God is so good.

Cherie C. said...

Final part

Those of us leaving the church system are the sheep, I believe Jesus was speaking about when He asked Peter to feed His sheep. You as a Pastor (not in the church system) have His Word, to read that same passage. You are called to feed His sheep even if you do it by blog.

Will you help the wounded brothers and sisters coming out of the church system to the TRUE body of Christ? Even by way of the internet? Give us our marching orders for the missions. Some may send money and some may go into the field with them. However God directs, but you will find unchurched brothers and sisters ready to go. Will Jesus find Faith when He returns, from the Body of Christ He will.

I don't know if you had any help when you came out of the church system Pastor, but from what I see God has blessed you as a Pastor and with this blog. I believe you are here for those looking for refuge and truth. Teach Pastor those of us around the world coming out from among them as described in the following Scriptures:

2 Corinthians 6:17
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

Revelation 18:4
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

We are out, but still need Shepherding. Please. I believe this is now. But we come out with wounds and the wrong doctrine and we are in need of correction and edifying.

What missions need help? I will not only send support in finances and with prayer as God wills, but spread the word about them too. Perhaps one of your blogs can tell us about the false missions and those that are actually doing the work. Thank you sir for reading my comment.

May God continue to Bless you and keep you humble.

Cherie C.

Rick Frueh said...

Cherie - I find your thirst for righteousness refreshing and encouraging. Pray for patience and keep consuming God's Word. A ship cannot turn on a dime however it can change course. Listen to the Spirit and enjoy the spiritual rewards of digging deeper in Jesus Christ. I will continue to speak and teach what I sense the Spirit directs.
We are in this together with our Master!

Anonymous said...

Cherie: I love you. I echo some of your pleas for shepherding and leading by true pastors, like Brother Rick.

As you seek direction and guidance in practical matters, prayerfully listen and watch for the True Shepherd of your soul to personally bring guidance to you. He will bring relationships and people into your life, I believe.

I don't want to impose on Rick's site beyond what is proper, but I can recommend a good ministry for supporting brothers and sisters around the world. It is called Heaven's Family, of ShepherdServe administered by David Servant. There are many brothers and sisters ministered to in real ways around the world. EVERY PENNY goes to the people for whom you designate it! The "ministry" takes no money off the top! Of course, you can designate some funds for overhead costs if you wish. I personally have met and corresponded with David and am grateful to have found a means I can trust to get resources to the poor and suffering in the Name and love of Jesus. Check out their website.

Brother Rick supports the gospel and the saints in Africa through an effort that is similarly trustworthy. He has posted the address previously. Perhaps he will forward that info to you too.

I'm blessed to have found you here. The Lord is binding our wounds and healing and recovery are in process. Wish we could gather face-to-face but for now, how precious we find the fellowship here on the internet.

May you know Our Father's care in increasing measure. Your sister, Victoria

Cherie C. said...

See, the damage is real, I woke up this morning worried about what I wrote although I am not backing down, I wrote from the heart. I was ready to bear arrows and instead you are a blessing. Thank you Pastor. I cling to the Lord every day. Can't walk without Him.

Glad I found your blog too. God's Word is supposed to edify, correct, instruct and then some. Your site has provided that to me and keeps me directed back to His Word. I will continue to be a Berean as we all should, and thank you again for your encouragement.

Victoria, thank you for the information and your gracious words. Thank you sister in Christ, it is nice to meet you. Consider yourself hugged. God bless you.

michael said...


please ponder the following and then consider the implications that are against what Rick coins as the American Church: Acts 20:32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
33 I coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel.
34 You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me.
35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"

And Eph.4:25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.
26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
27 and give no opportunity to the devil.
28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.

I want to point to this model as the foundation for the "leadership" role which you never hear preached in churches or on weblogs.

What seems more prevalent are passages that are used to secure the welfare and modest wealth of the Pastors/Teachers so they can continue focused on the ministry of the Word and prayer, passages about not muzzling the ox or this one from Gal. 6:6 Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches.

There is a place for reciprocity back to those Shepherd leaders who have laid a good foundation in those God has drawn to them to equip and establish in Truth but not at the expense of the weak as you see indicated there in Acts 20.

I believe the Apostle Paul got that concept from these verses of scripture seeing he didn't have these twenty seven additional books we have:

Deu. 15:4 But there will be no poor among you; for the LORD will bless you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess—
5 if only you will strictly obey the voice of the LORD your God, being careful to do all this commandment that I command you today.
6 For the LORD your God will bless you, as he promised you, and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow, and you shall rule over many nations, but they shall not rule over you.
7 "If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother,
8 but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be.
9 Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart and you say, 'The seventh year, the year of release is near,' and your eye look grudgingly[fn] on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the LORD against you, and you be guilty of sin.
10 You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake.
11 For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, 'You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.'

What we see in the book of Acts were men who earned a living independent of charity, charity that was set aside to assist the poor in other regions. In some cases and I believe was not the nor men were supported by others temporarily as they were relocating to parts of the world where the Holy Spirit and Jesus were directing them to go: Acts 16:5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily.
6 And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.
7 And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them.

Shannon said...

It sounds as though the Lord is helping you to see through Spiritual eyes. John 10:5,27.
Rick has posted the link to Mastering the Bible. The Lord has blessed me through His Word using that site. I've never been discipled with the Word in churches in the past. Now the last couple of years He has led me to the Word through one whose "agenda" is to teach those of us desiring to know and understand His Word.
It took 13 years of wandering aimlessly through the institutional church system before the Lord led me out to where I am today. I, and a couple others, am home-churching now under the teachings of Bill Klein, Mastering the Bible. He is Faithful!

In Him,

Cherie C said...

Thank you Michael, but I don't quite understand what you're saying. I believe we should absolutely support our missionaries in the field. I just want to make sure that the poor get most of the funds sent. Most missionaries don't need public relation people to do the work the Lord has called them to do. I believe God puts people where He wants them and others He puts in position to help their brothers and sisters in Christ serving the poor. I am not called to serve the poor as a missionary, but I better support them as God has blessed me, I am definitely called to bless them. I just don't know which one so I need to reply on those who know to direct me.

I have read accounts in Paul's writings how he thanked those churches who sent him support. That is how it is supposed to be.

Again, I am not sure what you are referring to with regards to Pastor Rick, but I appreciate your post.

Cherie C.

Cherie C. said...

Hi Shannon,

Thank you for your words of encouragement. It would be such a blessing to find a fellowship like you are attending now in my area, but I do not know anyone yet.

God's Word says we should fellowship on with another especially in these last days to edify each other and share the Gospel. Just think, one day you and I will meet on our way to the Temple in Jerusalem to hear Jesus himself preach His Word to us.

It does get lonely now and again since I am the only one in my household at the moment who is born again. I keep it all before the Lord in prayer. God Bless you and I hope to chat again soon.

your sister in Christ Jesus,

Shannon said...

Your words are of encouragement to me as well :)
At this time in your walk with the Lord, He has you where He wants you. He has separated you from others right now to teach you in your alone time with Him. Many times we think we are alone, but this is not true. These valleys and many times dark places are when He makes Himself real to us. He is teaching us we can trust Him.
There are many times the Lord has to remind me that people are a distraction from His Word. He removes the many distractions on and off according to His timing. He knows what is best for us at any given time. Thank Him for allowing you quiet time with Him in prayer and study of His Word.
Sister, I want you to know that the Lord has led you to this blog for just fellowship with others who love His Word :)
I always wonder how many marriages contain two believers united with His Spirit. Most often I hear of one spouse being drawn to salvation during the marriage at some point, but very seldom do both get saved. He has us right where He wants us though :)Perhaps He will save them through our testimony of the Christian wife? A good study is 1Peter 3.
Praying for you sister,

Cherie said...

Shannon, thank you. I read 1Peter3 this morning and what a blessing. Also makes me wish my marriage was like that. Abraham and Sarah are such good examples of a married couple. This is good fellowship and it is blessing me. Please know you are in my prayers as well. God is good. God bless you.

your sister in Christ Jesus

Shannon said...

As encouragement, I want to share this clip of sermon of Pastor Bill Klein, Mastering the Bible, from Acts 14:22 which the Lord used to minister to me this morning:

Paul and Barnabas returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch to establish the souls of the disciples. When they returned they were doing two things. First..."establishing", to strengthen to be able to stand, added strength to be able to stand in the Lord.
Secondly, "encouraging" them. They encouraged them to do two things. They should "remain" in the faith. We can read in the text to learn why Paul is concerned about them. He was chased out of one city, stoned and left for dead in another. He went into another and preached the Gospel and then returned back to these cities. These are new believers. When they hear the Gospel and then see that the person who preached the Gospel to them is stoned and dragged out of the city, this kind of shakes you up a little bit!
Paul can see that these people need to see him. They need to see the one who was stoned and left for dead. They need to see the one who had been pursued and persecuted still serving the Lord and saying "So what!" Paul is an example of one who is "standing". He is remaining with the faith no matter what.
"...through much affliction it is necessary that we should enter into the kingdom of God." The word "affliction" means stress, pressure. This is what Paul told the Christians. He is telling them of what has happened to him. This is the way that we are entering in, the channel through which we are entering into the kingdom of God. What they've seen happen to him is what they will have to go through. We can expect much affliction, much stress. Through this we are tested. Through this we make decisions to stand by faith no matter what. Through this our souls become established. We become strong. We gain additional strength to stand in the Lord.
Today we do not hear pastors/preachers saying "Now that you have received Christ, I want to tell you the three basics of discipleship! First of all, you need to grow strong so you can stand, because the storms are going to come! Secondly, Remain in the faith. No matter what. No matter how strong the storm. Thirdly, we can expect the storm because it is through much affliction, it is necessary for us, to enter into the kingdom of God."
Jesus said in the Parable of the Sower, that those people who receive the message of the Word of the Gospel, that do it with joy, after tribulation strikes, they leave. They are not rooted. Affliction is the means by which God weeds out the pretenders from the real people who have born of the Spirit of God.
Pretenders don't want to suffer, don't want to go through affliction. Believers don't want to go through it either, but this is where God's Spirit is leading us. That is the way we learn to trust the Lord.

michael said...


you write: "Thank you Michael, but I don't quite understand what you're saying. I believe we should absolutely support our missionaries in the field."

Reading very carefully the Scriptures the norm is for men of God to work with their own hands and then go about the work in the Church to establish the truth in people God gives them. From that foundation you can have within that structure men and women supported by that Church in various things the Holy Spirit directs them to do and to be accomplished. That's the normal. What the Church today in our century has come too is producing schools where a person goes and submits to "higher" education to become a Paid Pastor with degrees and letters after their names and they become more important by the books and lectures and and and they produce or read or or or.

The verses I cited from Acts 20 establish the Apostle Paul's model and motivation for bringing the Gospel free of charge to the places the Holy Spirit was leading him to minister. I cited the Deuteronomy text as a probable place he got the model that Luke records he laid out to the Ephesian Elders there at Acts 20.

Yes, there were times, and are times even now and rare at that, though, where he did indeed receive help from brethren or Ministers today should receive help from brethren. That has become the norm these days not the exception. For the most part what happens is you "partner" with this "man" of God who has all the answers and anointing and receive your blessings of God through that partnership. You get fed his glimmick sayings which lead the unsuspecting into a lifestyle where they are dependent on the man for God's blessings to come to you after you give your money in the form of a blessing giving, a sowing seeds of giving and then your expectation is based on that act so that you expect God will then reward you in return for your act of faith. That ain't Faith nor is it the way God blesses His people!

It was the Ephesian Elders and Spiritual leaders the Apostle Paul called to him and Luke records that model he laid out for their raising money to establish the Ephesian Church up in the Truth, the leaders worked with their own hands and supplied for their needs and for those with them and beyond all that so they had sufficient reserves to help the weak and those truly in need. Apparently as in other Churches that Paul was directly mentoring with men of Faith there were some in the Ephesian Church who were lazy busibodies stealing not working for a living so he wrote that that I cited from Ephesians 4:25-27. Paul was practicing what he was preaching to the Church in Ephesus.


michael said...


Missionary work I believe in but supporting them the way most are these days isn't what the Scripture teaches. If it is go ahead and cite where for me. I am open to learn something here about how God establishes churches today? When we read about gathering up excess funds once a week for the charity of helping out the poor Jerusalem brethren it was a "one" time event basis a drought. As we read there were poor Churches who gave beyond their means even to contribute to the support of those poor Jewish Christians living in Jerusalem. That all happened prior to 70 a.d. when Jerusalem was destroyed.

So my point is what Scripture teaches as an anomaly people today have made the norm and what is taught as the norm has become the anomaly.

As for the reference to Rick I was asking you to go back and reread if you were not understanding what his blog article was about so as to grasp an understanding of it. I wasn't writing a negative complaint against him or the subject matter as I believe he has a better understanding of the simple intent and meaning of the Word on this topic. His understanding seems to be that which all or most all of his blog articles reflect?

I write that in light of this that you wrote in response to my post:

"Again, I am not sure what you are referring to with regards to Pastor Rick, but I appreciate your post."

Rick Frueh said...

We never base our doctrine or practice based upon a narrative (i.e. Acts). Paul cites both the Corinthians and the Philippians for their giving in support of his missionary work. It is a core of the Christian faith, and in fact, every loacl church is a missions work or should be.

Teresa said...

I have not left my Church yet. It's getting really tough, the past three years have really challenged me to follow Christ, not Church creeds or ideologies and it's been a blessing, but very lonely and trying honestly. I woke up thinking about all of this, decided to skip Church and try to read and really think about why I am even going and is it even the right thing to do anymore.

Reading this, and the comments were a huge encouragement. I think I stay at my Church because the Sermons are sound, but that's about it. Conversations among believers rarely mention Christ, I have no real fellowship there. Funny I have only a few years in my 9 years of being a Christian, and most of them are people I met online through blogs.

I want to follow Christ no matter the cost, and being very sick for two years really showed me how important it is that we live the Gospel. I find that I really have a stronger faith life, witnessing, studying scripture, sharing faith with people I meet etc. when I am not in Church. I know that might sound silly, but like someone said here it feels like false fellowship is a distraction, like baggage. I hate to use the word baggage to describe people but it's a mess to navigate and I am wondering if it's worth my involvement.

Thank you all for posting comments, it's given me so much to think about. Love and blessings to you all Brothers and Sisters.

Cherie said...

Dear Teresa,

I know what you mean. Before I left my old church, where the sermons became less and less sound doctrine, I tried desperately to find a way not to leave. I loved all the people there, but as you said, no one seemed to speak about Jesus during a course of conversation. Not that casual conversation is wrong, it's just that you think someone would have a word to say about what was just preached, or something of substance. I came to realize they could not because although I was learning that the preaching wasn't quite right, those there intrenched with the friendship with the Pastor could not because they loved the man, not the Word. I was to busy trying to figure out what was just preached.

As the Lord leads me, I am finally yielding like we are supposed to, I see clearly how dazed I was, and because of the love for those in my church, I was refusing to believe anything wrong was happening. Well, when I left the church all those people I love didn't love me very much. They took my concerns, of which I told only my husband and sons as a personal attack on the Pastor. It was not. I was warned by my older sister twenty something years ago about following the man instead of the Lord. LOL, foolish me, I remember how I cried like a baby when Jimmy Swaggart was caught in his indiscretion. My sister reamed me out. She is gone now, I know not where, but I hope it was to the Lord.

Your post said you are ill. I will pray for you. I pray His Will for you and peace in your difficulties. I hope we can chat again soon.

May God bless you and keep you close to our Lord and Savior Jesus. And if you ever feel alone; I sometimes do, please post here so we can send you encouragement.

1 Corinthians 11:33
Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.

Romans 15:14
And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

your sister in Christ Jesus