Having read through many of the threads here, I have seen many discussions on the Simple church ideal and practical. What I am interested in here is a quiet comparative study of the Simple church, the Apostolic church, and the Bible verses pertaining to church form and function.

Tags: apostolic, bible, church, simple

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Hi Sean et al,

You wrote:

...but adding liturgy not from day one. I would add it little by little with some discipleship. I would start out as simple as possible.

I see some wisdom in that. And you are right that I was thinking in terms of established disciples. However, I also had in mind a reproducing church that would have unbelievers along with the believers eating, discussing, and debating together. Along with praying and being prayed for. If it were virgin territory, I would add liturgy with discipleship, as you say. But things won't always stay virgin, will they? Then what? That's why I advocate explaining liturgy while doing it. But doing it.

So the group dynamic depends much on which phase each group is in.

I can go along with that.

(including beloved Netiviyah).

Yes, they have stagnated of late. Shulam was listed as one of the world's most effective evanglists by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. I watched the interview for a book they were putting out because...Joe and I were supposed to have met that afternoon for a little "one on one." Then the Billy Graham team came. So I waited. Anyway, Joe is highly evangelistic, but the elders around him less so. And the result is telling as Netivyah gets older...and older...and...

Liturgy does not play an extreme role with us as if it is sacred.

We are looking at liturgy from two different angles. You see it in terms of pragmatics and I see it more theologically. I have noticed that many church planters tend to be "nuts and bolts" type of people. Where I come in is to help try to get them to see the theological underpinnings to their efforts...whether or not they are all biblical. From a theological perspective, liturgy is sacred. It is matching earthly worship to heavenly worship. However, rubber must meet road and the implementation of any ideal must employ practical measures, so I applaud your graded approach. Even if it's not what I had in mind initially when I mentioned liturgy.

If they are from Muslim backgrounds, they maintain some of their former Muslim liturgy that is redeemable, and the ones that are not we replace it with the Lord's prayer and the like....

I can see that...from a practical standpoint. But then, there are those biblical windows into heavenly worship (Isa 6; Rev 4).

Shalom wa'Sala'am from Manila,
--Michael

P.S. By the way, only baptized believers should be allowed to participate in communion as it is a covenant renewal meal. Yes, this set-up is purposefully designed to make unbelievers feel like outsiders. Which they are.
I would really like to understand what you mean. It sounds like you might want to make a serious point, but what you wrote is very unclear

vigel said:
Church does not teach the true gospel (Christ crucified) and which does not build faith in the true Word, and that does not make the Bible as the sole reference and reference to live, but who taught "popular culture" and the message sweet message in my ear Babylon church congregation is a church that has been .. prosti...tuting themselves with the world and apart from Christ and His Word
Deadly sins emotional sensitivity and concern for others. The truth will heighten awareness of the needs and desires of others, to deepen our understanding, sharpen and clarify the various problems or circumstances we have to deal with the truth .... FROM .. THE HOLY SPIRIT (Galatians 5:19-23)
Tammie said:
I think Vigel's point came across very clearly; what's not to understand? :)

Church does not teach the true gospelWhat Church? Is he saying no churches are teaching that or that just merely attending church does mean one is getting the whole Gospel? I may be dense, but is not the center of most Christian teaching "Christ crucified"? (Christ crucified) and which does not build faith in the true Word, and what/who does not build faith in the true Word? Going to Church? and that what? That ? If a writer is not clear on the beginning of the statement...?does not make the Bible as the sole reference and reference to live, but who taught "popular culture" and the message sweet message in my ear Babylon church congregation is a church that has been .. prosti...tuting themselves with the world and apart from Christ and His Word Is he saying that all Churches, and consequently all Christians who attend churches are prostituting themselves???

Is he is saying that all of Institutional Christianity is Babylon, or Just some, if so which ones? It sounds like he is saying that, and then it sounds like he is saying that it is not good to use only the Bible as a basis for faith???

Sorry, I don't mean to be dense or offensive. : /
Vigel is Indonesian and his native language is not English. Expect there to be gaps in communication. I am familiar with this phenomenon due to experience with other Asians (Israelis, Arabs, Chinese, Malaysian, Indonesian, Filipinos, etc),

Shabbat Shalom from Manila,
--Michael
howdy saints,

Hey Michael, I probably have misunderstood, and perhaps will continue to misundertand you. I just don't see in this time of my walk with the Lord a need to take a form or pattern and apply it.

For the record. I for one don't think a person who is liturgical is less spiritual UNLESS their liturgy grieves or resists the Holy Spirit. To me the definition of spiritual is real easy. It's being under the complete government of the Holy Spirit.

I for one also think that sometimes folks become *meeting* oriented. Is God's heart bound up in our meetings, that's the question.

I believe it boils down to fellowship. John speaks of it in his first letter. And fellowship means a joint, full participation, with the Father and with His Son Christ Jesus. From before the foundations of the world the Father and the Son have been sharing love, glory, and joy unspeakable. And in the council of the Godhead a decision was made to invite man into this.

Blessed be the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ for divininely inviting us!!!!! 1Cor.1:9

I for one am longing for this, this fellowship. If it's liturgical as you put it Michael, then fine.

Again, I ask. Is God's heart bound up in our meetings?

may grace and peace be mulitiplied to all the saints,

Bill
Hi Bill,

You wrote:

I just don't see in this time of my walk with the Lord a need to take a form or pattern and apply it.

That's fine, brother. But let me just reiterate my observation that Christians who say things like the above are already applying a form or pattern to their get-togethers and even private times with the Lord. It is ultimately inevitable. However, the form or pattern they are applying is more derived from their enculturation than from what is described (and sometimes prescribed) in Scripture. Just something to think about...

To me the definition of spiritual is real easy. It's being under the complete government of the Holy Spirit.

That is similar to my definition too. And since the Spirit Who indwells and "govern[s]" us is the same Spirit Who breathes life into the written word, then what is patterned (with allowance for cultural variations, etc) in Scripture harmonizes with the communications He gives to those He indwells/governs. And liturgy is found from Gen-Rev.

Is God's heart bound up in our meetings, that's the question.

That's a good question...and one that should not be answered in reaction to past experiences of IC overemphasis on meetings. I would say that God's heart is not bound up in meetings, but that neither are meetings unimportant to God.

Blessed be the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ...

That is a liturgical formulation!...a B'RAKHAH ("blessing," following a set pattern). Once you enter sympathetically into liturgy you begin to recognise it more often in the stuff you read everyday in Scripture.

If it's liturgical as you put it Michael, then fine.

Like I said, the evidence is there in the whole Bible. Once the "anti" lenses are removed it is a no-brainer to note the liturgical worship going on in heaven...as well as acceptably on earth.

Blessings bro,
--Michael
I liked the greeting someone gave the other day, to the Branches:

It almost seems like many of us are attempting to have the last word on this matter and that seems moot to me. As long as the conversation is civil, I recall God's invitation to Isaiah, "Come, let us reason together." Althought the context is different, I think God enjoys seeing us hash these things out.

One of the problems with liturgical worship that people have stems from involvement in the IC where many of have seen it become liturgy for its own sake. It is interesting that Jesus warns against "meaningless repetition" in Matthew 6:7 and then proceeds to give us arguably the most famous liturgical prayer known to Christendom. It seems to make it obvious that it is not the liturgy that is bad, but the motive. If it helps (and Michael and Kim would probably say that it does and is even inevitable) to get your mind set on or direct your worship it is great. But, just like anything else it is about the attitude of the heart. I consider our fellowship to be an SC group of sorts and yet we have people that come to our meetings for the sake of coming. I tend to agree that anything beyond chaos will have an element of liturgy to it because, as humans created by a creative God, we tend to like and desire some sort of pattern. Even if it is as simple as a prescribed, approximate (in our case) starting and ending time.

Peace from the N's of the Earth,

Mike
Interesting
Brief!
Howdy living stones,

Michael Childress says:It almost seems like many of us are attempting to have the last word on this matter and that seems moot to me.

Hey Michael C., you got the last word until now;^D I know that in myself at times I have the need to be right; to have the last word. As far as I know the following is not that.

I guess I have a question for *liturgy* Michael. Let's say there's a local group of believers that God has determined and assembled to be an expression of Himself in this dark world. Now this group has, by God's inner-working, relinquished all rights to themselves, genuinelly realizing they've been bought for Him. In this place God's Spirit has free reign in them as they collectively declare they were crucified with Christ, but yet live; but not them but Christ Jesus.

So here we have a body under the complete direction of the Head, who just live, this LIFE being true praise, bringing much glory to God.

Here's the question Michael: Let's say you come along and observe this body and in your estimation you see that much of their *activities* are liturgical. However, they are unaware of any liturgy coming into the equation of the LIFE they know.

O.K. here's the question: Is it important that they be told that they are being liturgical?

I appreciate you Michael and your zeal. May you be found as one in complete agreement and cooperation with our Heavenly Father; one with whom He will share His heart and vision. May it please our Heavenly Father to overwhelm you by revealing His Son Christ Jesus IN you. May you utterly drown in the Person of Christ Jesus.

Bill
Hi Bill W et al,

You wrote:

I know that in myself at times I have the need to be right...

It is a loving and righteous thing to want to be right (1Cor 13:6). Who in his/her right mind would deliberately choose to be wrong?!?! However, to want to appear to be right when one is not right, that is hypocrisy. And I don't see anyone here being hypocritical. : )

God had/has the final Word in Jesus...so getting in the last word is not automatically wrong or arrogant.

So here we have a body under the complete direction of the Head, who just live, this LIFE being true praise, bringing much glory to God.

Your example is idyllic. I know that as soon as I joined that perfect fellowship that some level of taint would follow. But maybe that's just my experience...

Is it important that they be told that they are being liturgical?

Because all fellowships that I have ever been associated with were not perfect and had room to improve, I would say that a fellowship who were doing some liturgical worship instinctively would benefit from being told that they were doing a liturgy and would benefit from being guided into fine-tuning their liturgy based on the biblical examples (Isa 6; Rev 4).

I appreciate you Michael and your zeal...

Back atcha, bro! : D

Shalom from Manila,
--Michael

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