21
Nov
12

The Early Church and Banned by Strom Again.


It isn’t  a surprise. I’ve been banned again from commenting on Andrew Strom’s blog (after only a week or two back).

Why the continual banning? Am I belligerent and abusive?

No.

Do I try to promote heretical teaching?

No.

The main reason I can see is that I questioned something Strom said. As soon as I made the comment I realised what the outcome would be. The “offending” exchange related to Andrew’s idea that we need to return to the ways of the early church and my contribution to the topic follows:

Tim Nov 21st 2012 said

Our need is not to look back to how the church was, using them as a pattern to follow – our need is for genuine relationship with God. Genuinely Spirit led lives. Seeing the early church as an ideal template will leave us vulnerable to the same mistakes they made – mistakes which ultimately led to the church situation we have today.

Andrew Nov 21st 2012 said

Nonsense, sir. That is the only biblical pattern of “normal” Christianity that we have. It is the Christianity of Jesus and the apostles. Return to it or miss out. Bless you! Andrew

Tim Nov 21st 2012 said 

Andrew, DO we return to the early church of 1 Corinthains? Galations? Of Jude? Or just to the “early, early church” of a single chapter of Acts? A church that even the “early church” did not emulate?

No sir, it is not nonsense to suggest we need genuine relationships with God. That we need to be genuinely Spirit led.

Only THEN will we have any chance of genuine church life – a life of relationship which may lead to some of the things we read about the believers in those early chapters of Acts.

Trying to return to their practices will achieve nothing. It can’t be done. Their example came through their relationship with the Lord it did not come through following any pattern given to them. We can’t put the cart before the horse.

After that any further comments from me were blocked. I didn’t have the opportunity to add:

Identify what you mean by “the church found in the Book of Acts”. You earlier mentioned it was described through the whole book, but Acts mainly describes some of the experiences of one or two Apostles and their companions over a number of years. It does not describe the day to day lives and experience of the average Christian.*

Also I’d like to know what you mean by “Return to it or miss out”. HOW do we return to it?

Have you returned to it?

Do you know of anyone who GENUINELY has?

Do you have any answer as to HOW we return apart from the insistence that we need to?

Or maybe the answer found in having a GENUINE relationship with God and being GENUINELY Spirit led as I suggested above? Get the relationship with HIM right and the experience and expression of church will be right.

________________
*To get an idea of the state of he churches from the period covered by the book of Acts, see Paul’s letters. Those letters often portray LESS THAN PERFECT expressions of Christian life. The letters include Paul’s rebukes and words of correction to get them back on track. Which part of THIS early church are we expected to return to?

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1 Response to “The Early Church and Banned by Strom Again.”


  1. 1 Martin
    November 23, 2012 at 4:20 am

    Perhaps we should define terms here. I think so many people when discussing a return to the early church refer to smaller meetings, held in homes and with a NT leadership: no big properties, no regalia and no highly paid celbs for ‘ministers’ who aren’t servants at all, but there to be admired and themselves served.

    Such people are often to be found in the house church movement, or informal house groups. However, experience of this type of return to the early church teaches that all too often the doctrinal and procedural mistakes from earlier institutional affiliations is carried over. Also, the longevity of such groups before a melt down and authoritarianism takes is questionable.

    There is, however, seemingly a growing number of Christians who see a return not in terms of organisation or doctrine, but in terms of a closer relationship with the Lord Jesus through the Holy Spirit; a greater willingness to wait and be lead of the Spirit. In all, a more spiritual less denominational approach to what is a living faith/relationship and not a denominational church based belief.

    Frankly, having taken a look at some of the alternatives to conventional church, I can’t see any point in just effecting a change in denomination. It requires a relational change, and this, I would contend, is where the OOC movement comes into it’s own. But that’s another story … perhaps.


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