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All About GOD - Growing Relationships with Jesus and Others

Even though it's technically possible to live the Christian life in isolation, it's certainly not the norm nor should it be. There has always been Christians who have been hurt by an abusive institution or pastor and they run away from fellowship. The healing process for such family members differs according to their level of maturity and how much they abide in Christ.

 

By God's Grace and to His Glory there are many beautiful and healthy churches out there doing the Lord's work, so is really inexcusable not to obey God's design for us in this topic.

 

I do not ignore that there are times when it's recommended to depart from an unhealthy Church. God may lead us out due to the abuse or false doctrine that is being done and taught, but this and the cases of people who are in a hospital bed, or working in an isolated area where no church exists, are among the exceptions.

 

When you become a Christian, you are called into a relationship with God (1 Corinthians 1:9. But I John 1:3 makes it clear that we enter a fellowship that goes two ways: with God and with other Christians.

 

Many others have exchange the local church for the "Church on the TV or internet" there are legitimate reasons for this options God has blessed us with, but most don't want to deal with the challenges belonging to the church brings up. Dying to self, practicing sacrificial love etc...

 

Talents are best nurtured in solitude, but character is best formed in the stormy billows of the world. Quote by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

Luke 10:1-3 Jesus sends the seventy-two in pairs

"For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20, NKJV)

 

"Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge." (1Corinthians 14:29)

 

1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.  Galatians 6

 

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:25

 

Family how do you justify not fellowshipping in a local church. Let’s talk about it in love. :)

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Hi David & others,

Interesting conversation going on here. If I may add my two cents worth.

Do you need to belong to a church? If you are talking about a bricks & mortar building only, then no you don't. If you are talking about the fellowship of people gathered to worship, then yes you do. Hebrews 10:25 tells us we should not neglect to meet together, but it doesn't say we have to go to a building. It's the fellowship and the meeting together that is the key.

Interesting when you look at the word that is translated as "church" in the original Greek. The word is "ekklesia" and actually translates out as a gathering or an assembly of people. It doesn't say anything about buildings. When Jesus said to Peter, "On this rock I will build my church" (Matthew 16:18) he was talking about the assembly of his people not a bricks and mortar building.

As for some churches teaching false teachings, well that will happen too. It doesn't mean they are all false, wrong or insincere. Yes they may have differing viewpoints and may argue about points of doctrine and scripture. Let's face it, we do just a little bit of that here from time to time. But all it shows is differing levels of maturity in the body and sometimes if we are prepared to listen we can learn...I know I have.

Even within that devilish false church that is called Babylon in Revelation the Lord says, "Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues..." (Rev 18:4) So even in that despicable place there are the people of God. So we must not condemn the churches or put a blanket condemnation across the churches because of the failure of a few. God has his people everywhere, even in that worst of so-called churches.

It is important to fellowship with other Christains so it is important to find a place of assembly. Whether it be in a taditional church, local hall, home group or whatever, we need to come together to worship from time to time. While the internet and TV churches exist and do some tremendous things, unless there is interaction I don't believe they can take the place of fellowship. If a person can't find a place of fellowship they need to commit their needs to the Lord. In time He will point them in the right direction to a place where you will find like minded people.

I think my two cents just ran out....

All the best.

Your brother in Christ,

John

John,

 

Good word, brother.

 

Lord Bless,

LT

Veronika,

 

A food for thought:

If your church body that you belong to is on the net and not in person how would you go about obeying the command in James 5:14 if the need arose in your life?  Who are the elders over you and how can they anoint you with oil over the internet?

 

Lord Bless,

LT

LT, I gently suggest that Veronika may be correct.  Please consider, that the passage in the Epistle of James to which you refer may not actually be a command to anyone who is alive now, or it may apply to some saints, somewhere, at some periods of their lives.  Please consider that the LORD may sometimes call some people to be physically, intellectually, or spiritually alone, at least for a while, perhaps for many years.  I suggest that He may sometimes call saints to fellowship with or minister to others by the electronic means He has given us.  He may call us to fellowship with or minister to only random saints we meet in our daily tasks, according to his eternal appointments.  There are certainly many modern ways of knowing that we should pray for someone, and I suggest that the best Oil for Annointing may not actually come from a bottle.  A final question: may God not bring the Elders that he has appointed to minister to Veronika into some sort of contact with her in a way that could joyfully surprise us.  I have noticed that real, godly, wise, Elders are getting harder to find in some places, but the LORD has ways of bringing them into our situations when He needs someone to annoint us.  Unfortunately, those who call themselves Elders in local B&M churches often do not meet the qualifications specified in the NT, but God can use what is available.   

Michael,

 

You make some really good points and ask some solid questions. I am pretty literal most of the time in my approach to Scripture. I do see this as a principle to be followed at the local level by a congregation that we belong to. It is true that it is getting harder to find "Biblical Elders" and God just may open up another avenue, for surely He will not leave His children without when they are in need.

 

I will pray about this and look into it to see if my view may be to narrow regarding church, elder and the anointing of oil. Thanks for giving me something to ponder :-)

 

Lord Bless,

LT

Ok I have been wrestling with this for decades. Now Praise the Lord Iam coming to grips with this indecision. I have a JW bible study with a lady every Monday. Of course I felt at first that all she wanted was me to join their 'group'. Then there was a young man at work that wants me to go to his church but he never ever really pressured me. He has always been truthful and said in due time and of my own accord I will find the answer to this dilema. Now I'm not sure just which group I should join for fellowship. How about I go to each one and then decide? Quite frankly I'm a bit leary of the JW but they seem well versed in the scriptures and know the Bible front to back, this could be a help but then my coworker seems as knowledgable. Decisions decisions.....

Dear Penny -

 

This is really not a hard decision once you know a little back ground on the JW. I studied with them for about 3 years so I am very familiar with their doctrines that change the primary doctrines in Christianity, hence making them a cult and not a Christian church. Check out this discussion in one of my groups: 

 

http://www.allaboutgod.net/group/allaboutgodnet/forum/topics/jehova...

 

Thank you David I now know where I must choose to go for more deeper fellowship. Joshua will be very surprised to see me in his congregation. As will the Lord. I will still welcome Roxy into my home for discussions since I enjoy asking her questions she obviously has the wrong answers for. I just think calling God Jehovah is just too disrespectful. He is GOD my LORD the Alpha and Omega the Holy One of Isreal ...even my Father is more respectful....thank you again and God Bless

Miles,

 

Thank you for your response. I would start with that I see the context a little different than you. I see in these verses several principles to be followed in various situations by believers and especially in the local body of believers:

 

Principles:

* In trouble - pray.

* Happy - sing a song.

* Sick - call the elders of the church to pray and anoint with oil in the name fo the Lord.

* Prayer offered in faith - faith is essential and if the church is operating as God designed, the elders are men of faith. Today, some churches simply fill positions without concern for biblical qualifications.

* Confess your sins and pray for each other.  

For me the reading is straight forward, and as related to verse 14, calling the elders and literally anointing with oil.

 

Regarding the whole body and the building. I agree the building is nothing more than a meeting place and thus is never considered the church, but simply a place. The whole body is called to build one another up, and yet we see Scripturally that God has established various postions within the body and elder is one of those positions. Thus, for me the literal reading of James 5:14 in context is the calling of the elders (others can pray too, but the elders are the spiritual leaders of the local community) and anoint with literal oil (symbolic of the Holy Spirit). Is this the only way God heals? No, but is a principle laid out in Scripture.

 

In the church I pastor when one is ill I call the elders and ask any in the congregation who feel led to come forward and lay on hands and pray with us as we anoint with oil. We do this in what we see as obedience to James 5 and,I trust, in faith.

 

Michael's comments give me a reason to ponder if this means something other than the literal meaning, or at least how I see it as literal.

 

Thanks for the input as I will ponder what you have said as well.

 

Lord Bless,

LT

David,

Great video with an important message.  Thanks for posting.

Blessings, Carla

Hank H. is one of my favorite radio pastors, although I think he might not like the title "radio pastor".  I used to listen to his program every day unless he was hawking a product.  He was my favorite "pastor" for several years when I only had radio pastors.  Even priests (in the vocational sense) need pastors, and the LORD has always provided me with one.  Many years ago, when I was married to the "sweetheart" of my youth (after my first wife had died in childbirth, leaving me with an infant daughter), I unexpectedly found that I was married to an unbeliever.  I hungered for the physical touch of someone who shared my beliefs, so much that I was a hound for hugs!  The irreconcilable differences in that marriage caused a shattering divorce, but I thank God that he brought Jill to be my minister of touch.  Jill has MS that is advanced in the brain and that leaves her with disordered sleep patterns and the need for more daytime sleep than you can imagine unless you live with someone who suffers a chronic, debilitating illness.  She is simply not able to attend a B&M church regularly.  I used to go by myself, but for a married man that causes a kind of severe loneliness you might not imagine.  Moreover, there is the constant problem of well-meaning Christians, including pastors, elders and deacons (and others who believe they have the gift of healing) who want to annoint her and pray for her.  This has happened so many times without the intended result that it has become embarrassing.  It has become very difficult to find a conservative, "Bible-believing" church in whicl this will not happen, short of walking in with a sign, "Yes, I have MS.  Yes, I have been prayed for with the laying-on of hands and annointing with holy oil.  No I have not been 'healed', but God's Grace is sufficient for me!"  Lest I leave any reader with the impression that i do not believe in divine, physical healing, I hasten to add that when I was dying of bone marrow failure, I was suddenly, completely, miraculously healed by the prayer and imposition of hands of a very godly, retired (Roy, are you listening?) AG Pastor.  (Oh yes, I was also healed of an excruciating shoulder ailment while watching a Benny Hinn crusade.)  Most of the time now, I still get my ministry of the Word via radio or internet, but Jill and I minister life-supporting touch to each other, and I thank God for the fellowship I get in internet communities like this one.

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