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Friday, 18 June 2010

Showing Why The (Experiential) Emerging Church Christianity is Apostate, Pagan, Babylonic and Catholic

Updated And Revised 27 Oct 2010
I have described in many other posts the link between old Babylonic religion and Catholicised Christianity. You will have seen how the Roman Empire sought to introduce Babylonic paganism into Christianity by renaming Babylonic style worship with "so called" Christian names in order to introduce a global (catholic) religion which would be acceptable to Christians and pagans alike to aid Rome in its global conquest.

The hidden agenda and purpose behind the Emerging Church is (effectively) to do the same thing, by bringing Christianity back to the dark ages of Catholic dominance.

Before I bring the evidence of why this movement is apostate I would  like to give you a link to a video from Roger Oakland of Calvary Chapel. He gives a very powerful message exposing what the Emerging Church really is and its very dark roots. Please click on this shortcut link 

Note: After this was written I received some comments and replied to them (see the comments section). As the questions answers were (practically) a separate article on their own, I decided to post a separate article which complements this one entitled "Answers To Questions On Why Emerging Church Teaching Should Be Rejected" (please click on that link).

This is a portion of a written article also by Roger Oakland (who is a specialist on the emerging church) and illustrates why true born-again believers should not be involved in Emerging Church but actually expose it for what it is ie "a re-reinvention of Babylonic religion".o continue with THIS report please read on ....

The Emerging Church - Last Days Apostasy and a Return To Darkness

Commentary by Roger Oakland

While it is true, Christianity must be relevant in order to be effective, how far can we stray from biblical standards and still be sound Christian witnesses of the gospel of Jesus Christ?

Perhaps you have not heard about another new trend sweeping the Christian church. Many are saying a great change lies ahead. The seeker-friendly era is over. Now we are headed into another new period of church history. It’s called “the emerging church.”

Rick Warren is also very supportive of “the emerging church.” This is what he wrote in a foreword for Dan Kimball’s book, The Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity for New Generations --

As a pastor, I’ve watched churches adopt many contemporary styles in worship, programming, architecture, music, and other elements. That’s okay, as long as the biblical message is unchanged. But whatever is in style now will inevitably be out of style soon, and the cycles of change are getting shorter and shorter, aided by technology and the media. New styles and preferences, like fashions, are always changing.[3]

It is true over the past decades many trends have come and gone. Not all these trends have been based on sound biblical doctrine. In fact the reason many of these trends occurred was because Christians were vulnerable to “winds of doctrine” that had no biblical basis.

According to the Bible, in last days these winds of doctrine will be “doctrines of demons” that will influence Christians to fall away from the truth and accept ideas that “tickle their ears.” [4]

Rick Warren is enthusiastic about the “emerging church” because he believes it is the church of the future. In fact he believes this is what “the purpose-driven” church that he founded is about to become. He notes:
In the past twenty years, spiritual seekers have changed a lot. In the first place, there are a whole lot more of them. There are seekers everywhere. I’ve never seen more people so hungry to discover and develop the spiritual dimension of their lives. That is why there is such a big interest in Eastern thought, New Age practices, mysticism and the transcendent. [5]

Further, he explains what the “emerging church” must do in order to emerge:
Today seekers are hungry for symbols and metaphors and experiences and stories that reveal the greatness of God. Because seekers are constantly changing, we must be sensitive to them like Jesus was; we must be willing to meet them on their own turf and speak to them in ways they understand. [6]

Now, let’s follow Rick Warren’s line of reasoning through to its logical conclusion based on the idea the world is hungry for an Eastern worldview, the New Age, mysticism and spiritual enlightenment. If it is necessary to meet these “spiritual seekers” on their turf, wouldn’t that require Christianity to become more New Age and mystical?

If you are a Bible believer, keep a close eye on the emerging church. The Bible warns about joining hands with pagans. It’s a recipe for disaster – even God’s wrath.

Emerging into What?
 Photo of Emerging Church Book
Rick Warren and others say we need to pay attention to the emerging church. Things are changing, they say and the “emerging church” has the answers for our generation. But what will the emerging church emerge into? Could it be a form of Christianity that embraces experience rather than God’s Word?

Dan Kimball is the author of The Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity for New Generations. He is also launching a church called Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, California. Kimball makes the following statement in the introduction of his book:

I believe with all my heart that this discussion about the fast-changing culture and the emerging church must take place. While many of us have been preparing sermons and keeping busy with the internal affairs of our churches, something alarming has been happening on the outside. What once was a Christian nation with a Judeo-Christian worldview is quickly becoming a post Christian, unchurched, unreached nation. New generations are arising all around us without any Christian influence. So we must rethink virtually everything we are doing in our ministries. [7]

Certainly the spiritual climate in North America has changed radically over the past number of years just as Dan Kimball has stated. Many, including Rick Warren and Dan Kimball use the term “post-Christian era” to describe the days in which we are living. They say, while the seeker-friendly era was successful in bringing a generation of “baby-boomers” to Jesus, that time is past. Now we need to find new innovative methods that will reach this new generation for Jesus.

Kimball’s book, The Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity for New Generations, is written for this purpose. He not only identifies the problems he believes the church is now facing, he provides the answers and the solutions. The church for the future, he believes, must be more sensual and experienced-based. He calls this church “Vintage Christianity”.

Perhaps the term “Vintage Christianity” is new to you. While it is not my intention to describe all that it means in this commentary, a few chapter titles from Kimball’s book under a heading called “Reconstructing Vintage Christianity in the Emerging Church” will be helpful for us to understand where the emerging church is headed. These are: “Overcoming the Fear of Mulitsensory Worship and Teaching”, [8] “Creating a Sacred Space for Vintage Worship”, [9] “Expecting the Spiritual”, [10] “Creating Experiential Multisensory Worship Gatherings”, [11] “Becoming Story Tellers Again” [12] and “Preaching Without Words”. [13]

Now, I ask you, this question. What does the Bible say about Vintage Christianity and the so-called emerging church? Is the goal of Christianity experience-based or Bible-based? Jesus said: “If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” [14] Further He stated: “Why do ye not understand My speech? because ye cannot hear My word.” [15]
Less Word, More Worship

It should be apparent by now that the emerging church is more experience-based than Bible-based. Further, in the emerging church the Word of God takes a secondary position to the worship of God. While worshipping God is a very important part of the Christian faith, are there any problems that might occur if worship supersedes the Word?

Dan Kimball doesn’t think so. He sees a new worship generation in the making that is essential to the emerging church. In a section of his book subtitled “Truly worshipping in a worship gathering,” he writes:
We should be returning to a no-holds-barred approach to worship and teaching so that when we gather, there is no doubt we are in the presence of God. I believe that both believers and unbelievers in our emerging culture are hungry for this. It isn’t about clever apologetics or careful exegetical and expository preaching or great worship bands. … Emerging generations are hungry to experience God in worship. [16]

Obviously, in order for this to happen, changes would have to be incorporated. Kimball has thought this through and offers a number of suggestions which he lists in a chart [17] that shows how the “modern church” must adjust and move towards a “no-holds-barred approach” to worship. Some of these are:
Services designed to be user-friendly and contemporary must change to services that are designed to be experiential and spiritual-mystical.

Stained-glass that was taken out of churches and replaced with video screens should now be brought back into the church on video screens.

Lit up and cheery sanctuaries need to be darkened because darkness is valued and displays a sense of spirituality.

The focal point of the service that was the sermon must be changed so that the focal point of the service is a holistic experience. Use of modern technology that was used to communicate with a contemporary flare must change so that church attendees can experience the ancient and mystical (and use technology to do so).

Ancient-Future Faith
Dr. Robert “Bob” Webber is recognized by pastors, denominational leaders, scholars and lay people as one of the foremost authorities on worship renewal. He regularly conducts workshops for almost every major denomination in North America through the Institute of Worship Studies which he founded in 1995.
Prior to his appointment to his present position at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Webber taught at Wheaton College for 32 years as Professor of Theology. He has authored over 40 books and is also a regular contributor to numerous magazines and newspapers. [18] He is on the editorial board of Chuck Fromm’s Worship Leader magazine.

I was first introduced to Dr. Webber and his views when I read an article that he had written in the May/June issue of Worship Leader titled “Wanted: Ancient Future Talent.” Under a subheading labeled “The Call for Ancient-Future Worship Talent” Webber wrote:

I am personally most gratified to see the shift toward a recovery of the ancient. While many good choruses have been produced over the past forty years, the rejection of the sources of hymnody and worship by the contemporary church has resulted in a faith that is an inch deep. [19]

In this article, Dr. Webber stated that “the Spirit is working a new thing in the church” and an “ancient-future worship is being born.” He listed a number of things that he believes are necessary for “talented workers” to discover if they are going to be a successful part of this new movement. Some of these are:
Rediscover the Trinitarian nature of worship (We worship the Father in the language of mystery; the Son in the language of story; the Spirit in the language of symbol).

Rediscover how God acts through the sacred signs of water, bread and wine, oil and laying on of hands.
Rediscover the central nature of the table of the Lord in the Lord’s supper, breaking of bread, communion and Eucharist.

Rediscover how congregational spirituality is formed through the Christian celebration of time in Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Holy Week, Easter and Pentecost.

While I agree with Dr. Webber it would be beneficial to reintroduce the great hymns written in the past by anointed men and women of God that expound sound biblical doctrine, it appears that is not what he means by returning to “the ancient.” In fact his list of things to do in his call for “ancient-future worship talent” mentions a number of terms and ideas that cannot be found in the Bible.

In order to clarify Dr. Webber’s views, I did some further research. I found an interview Dr. Webber had done that was posted on the Internet for a website called Responding to the question: “What do you think the North American evangelical church is going to look like 25 years from now?” Dr. Webber responded:

Christianity will be less national, less culturally formed. It will be smaller pockets of communities in neighborhoods. The church will focus on people, not buildings, on community, not programs, on scripture study, not showy worship. [20]

Certainly this view of the future sounds reasonable and acceptable from a biblical perspective. In fact, I could say a hearty “Amen” to what Dr. Webber said. But the next statement adds a whole different dimension to the direction he believes Christianity is emerging towards. He stated:

Biblical symbols such as baptismal identity and Eucharistic thanksgiving will take on new meaning. The church will be less concerned about having an eschatology and more committed to being an eschatological community. [21]

Over the past several years, I have observed that Dr. Webber’s prediction regarding the future of the church seems to be accurate. Many who were once anticipating the soon and imminent return of Jesus are now asleep. Some are saying it appears “the Lord has delayed His coming.” Others are saying “we have been misled by pastors and teachers who have taught us that the Second Coming is a literal return of Jesus to set up His Kingdom.” These same people are claiming the “ Kingdom of God” will be established here on earth through Christians during the Eucharistic Reign of Jesus.

This is a Roman Catholic teaching and not found in the Scriptures.

The Ancient and the Mystical
Over the past number of years I have had the opportunity to travel the world speaking in various countries. While in these countries I have visited many old churches that are dark and mystical. These churches were founded by the Roman Catholic or the Orthodox Church many centuries ago.

In these churches I have observed, icons, statues of Mary holding baby Jesus, Jesus hanging on the cross, candles, incense, relics, and statues of the “saints.” While there is a lot of emphasis in the visual, sensual, and mystical, there is very little evidence that the Bible was ever taught to the people. If it had, there would not be an emphasis on extrabiblical paraphernalia, extra-sensory images, sounds and smells.

This brings up an interesting question. Is there some connection between the emerging church of the present era and the church that emerged following the period of time after the New Testament was written? Remember the words of Paul as recorded in the Book of Acts:

For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. [22]

While Rick Warren, Dan Kimball and Dr. Robert Webber and others may be excited about the “emerging church” and the direction it is presently headed, I am concerned the emerging church may actually be a re-emergence of what has already occurred in church history. If the pattern continues expect to see evangelical Protestants become more and more Roman Catholic.

It is important to keep Scripture in mind when we are looking for a method or a means to promote church growth. A Christianity that is not based on the Scriptures is a false Christianity. It may be ecumenical and it may be successful in attracting numbers, but it is not biblical. It could even lead people to believe they believe, but instead they are following false teachers and false doctrine and are deceived.

You know where they could spend eternity? Separated from God!

[1] 2 Timothy 3: 16
[2] Revelation 22: 18-19
[3] Dan Kimball, The Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity for the New Generation, Zondervan, 2003, page 7.
[4] 1 Timothy 4: 1 and 2 Timothy 4:3
[5] Dan Kimball, page 6.
[6] Ibid., pages 8-9.
[7] Ibid., pages 13-14.
[8] Ibid., page 127.
[9] Ibid., page 133.
[10] Ibid., page 143.
[11] Ibid., page 155.
[12] Ibid., page 171.
[13] Ibid., page 185.
[14] John 8: 31-32
[15] John 8: 43
[16] Dan Kimball, p. 185
[17] Ibid. p. 185
[19] Robert Webber, “Wanted Ancient-Future Talent,” Worship Leader, May/June 2005, p. 10
[20] Jordon Cooper interview with Dr. Webber,, posted December 11, 2003 


~~Just Me in T~~ said...

thanks for a refreshing article.
Read mine also please

Folks currently are questioning if God is so good, then why did He cause, or why did He allow the Deepwater Disaster to occur, killing 11 innocent men, and putting the entire eco system of the Gulf of Mexico into a catastrophic decline. And it’s not only the ecosystem but the future health and livelihoods of the Gulf’s inhabitants and possibly those of the entire southern parts of the USA. – Not to mention innocent people elsewhere, which the deadly toxins might affect, as is being postulated currently.

Anonymous said...

While choosing to appear as a scholarly treatise, this piece is full of logical errors, jumping across process to erroneous conclusions, and presumptive bias. If the author would really read the works he cites with a true biblical understanding and a view towards the actual fruit of the lives of these men, he would come to a far more rational, and correct, conclusion. These are men of God seeking to be obedient and faithful to Christ's call.

John Chingford said...

Hi "Just Me In T"

Welcome to this blog. I did have a quick look at your blog. God bless you, for participating here. I do hope you find some edifying stuff here.

A note for others reading this: Although I have published her comment and am showing her website address, it does not mean that I am (or am not) endorsing it as I have not had time to check it out. I leave it here as a matter of courtesy to this person.

Her blog tackles the question she left here.

John Chingford said...

Hi Anonymous

Welcome to this blog. Without getting too much into a debate here, I just wonder if you could be specific as to what the logical errors are? When being criticised I like it to be specific and not vague. I am happy to discuss things specifically only, otherwise it will not be very edifying to the readers.

If you surf through my entire blog you will see the evidence why these men are false Christian leaders

Anonymous said...

Hi John,

Great article - exactly the kind of info I need to help and/or enlighten others. Your post speaks the truth and CAN and WILL help many. Several of your previous threads have been of great value to me in assisting a few and planting a seed in many.

Don't mean to post under anonymous - my account is acting up for some rason.

Tony Cox

John Chingford said...

Thanks again Tony

If you want your name to appear, there is another way. Just simply click circle option "Name/URL" and type in your name. Then your name will appear even if your google account is not working properly.

God bless

natalie said...

I'm new to this conversation and am wondering why believers feel they have to debate the word of God. We all are one faith, one church, one baptism, yet we're divided? And we wonder where debate and criticism come from? The word of God is for teaching not debating. I attend a protestant church but I don't criticize the catholic church, before the reformers we all where catholic (universal). And before that we all were orthodox. Jesus prayed that His followers would be one, as He was one with the Father. Our faith is suppose to be based on the word of God yet church history (including that of the Reformers) shows that isn't entirely true. No wonder there's division.

John Chingford said...

Hi Natalie

God bless you for being concerned enough to write and welcome to this blog.

The reformation came because the Catholic church was teaching that you needed to earn your salvation by works or indeed you had to pay to get to heaven. This is why the RC became so rich. It was full of heresy and unchristian unbiblical practices with much idolatry.

Actually the true church existed (as an underground church) and was heavily persecuted by the RC, throughout the dark ages of the Catholic domination of Nations.

The fact is that, the true church (as seen in the New Testament "Acts of the Apostles") was persecuted by Rome before the Emperor became the first Pope. This Emperor introduced Babylonic worship into the Christian Church. So the true church of Christ had to go underground and separate from this apostate religion.

Throughout Catholic history the true evangelical (not "catholic") has survived and grown but lived separately from this Babylonic pagan religion.

So, you are incorrect to say that ALL christians were catholic - they were not. The Catholic organisation "forced" everyone to submit to the papal authority with great atrocities which show they were not "born-again" but a counterfeit of the church Jesus built.

John Chingford said...

Hi Natalie again. I would just like to reply to your other points. Yes, the "true" church of "born-again" believers SHOULD be one. This blog supports the unity of the true church of Christ. However, the New Testament letters many times state that the true church should be separated from Paganism. Paul wrote that after his departure wolves would come in and divide the church. This is what happened with the false teaching of "works" culminating in the catholicising of the church. Paul stated that a little leaven leavens the whole lump and that we should remove and separate from the leaven of false teaching.

Jesus prayed for the unity of the church - NOT the "state" CHURCH. The church is the body of believers born-again who believe in and follow Jesus. Jesus is praying for that church. He is not praying for those who attend buildings who deny the Lordship of Jesus and teach unbiblical claptrap.

Paul stated that there would come a time when people would hold to a form of godliness but deny its power. Those who do this are not the true church and therefore not those Jesus prayed to be one.

The church is not a building or a religious group but is men and women redeemed by the blood of Jesus who meet together to glorify Jesus on Earth. We are individually called "living stones" built up together to be one people.

You cannot have real unity if you mix truth and error. Unity MUST include upholding the truth, exposing error but it MUST be done in love and gentleness.

We are not debating for NO reason but as the New Testament says "contending for the faith once delivered to us".

Sam said...

Good article.
I agree with your assessment of the Emergent church 100%. It is a "me" centered church (i.e. "What can I receive from this service").
Are you aware, however, that the Emergent church is different from the Emerging church? Or that the Ancient Future methodology of worship (when practiced truthfully) is firmly grounded in scripture?
Incense, candles, meditative hymns were all a part of God's design for the temple and He was meticulous in giving Moses details of what He wanted.
When Jesus comes on the scene, the only thing He tells the woman at the well about worship is that God seeks after those who worship Him in Spirit and Truth.
Notice that there is nowhere in all the New Testament where we are given a formula or blueprint for "how" we are to hold a worship gathering. Paul tells the Corinthians that when they come together everyone has a song, a teaching, a word of exhortation, etc. If that is our blueprint then today's church is FAR from "doing" church correctly. Today's church only allows the pastor to speak while everyone else is a spectator.

It is easy to believe (and even logical) that as the first believers were Jews, they brought with them many of their Jewish practices with them into worship. A good example of this is Peter when he receives the vision of the sheet. He is praying his hourly prayer which most modern Christians would say is either unnecessary or legalistic.
However, we don't hear of incense being used and we can surmise that perhaps it was because they were being persecuted. Obviously the incense would not have been beneficial to use during a worship gathering if you are being looked for in an effort to kill you.

All of this to say, that simply because something "sounds" Roman Catholic to an Evangelical's ears, doesn't make it wrong or bad.
The issue of worship ever has and ever will be our adoration of the Almighty God without any concern for what He can give me.
He is the God who brought something out of nothing and because of His supremacy and sovereignty He simply MUST be worshiped.

God's peace and love be to you and yours! :O)

John Chingford said...

Hi Sam

Welcome to this blog. Sorry it has taken a long time to reply but I have not had time to work on this blog for about 2 weeks. I saw your comment 2 days ago and wanted to give serious consideration to your questions. Here now is my reply (in several steps because blogger limits the characters allowed for each comment):

You said :
Ancient Future methodology of worship (when practiced truthfully) is firmly grounded in scripture?
Incense, candles, meditative hymns were all a part of God's design for the temple and He was meticulous in giving Moses details of what He wanted.

My Reply:
My articles relate to Brian McLaren’s corruptive preaching and the Emerging Church he is trying to pioneer. Rather than get into the accuracy of incense, candles and hymns in the temple, I want to focus my answer on why the Christian church should not practice those things as we are NOW under a different dispensation of the new covenant and not the old. The NT book of Hebrews, Romans, Galatians etc highlight that the New Covenant is a far better way because we no longer need to earn our salvation as the price has been paid in full. “We are no longer under Law but under grace”.

Hebrews teaches that the practices in the tabernacle followed on by the temple, were totally symbolic of Jesus and therefore it was necessary to be extremely meticulous over the practices. The sacrifices, incense, dress code etc were all temporary procedures until everything was fulfilled in Jesus. Everything pointed to Jesus being the High Priest, King and Mediator.

It illustrates the blood of Jesus etc etc. We are told in Hebrews and other NT books that the way to the Father has been made available to each and everyone of us through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

The veil was torn from top to bottom to show the way into God’s presence is freely available for everyone who put their trust in Jesus. It says that we can boldly approach the throne of Grace, through the NEW and living way that has been opened unto us.

The old has passed away behold the new has come. We no longer need symbolic worship because we have the REAL person to worship without incence etc.

John Chingford said...

You said :
When Jesus comes on the scene, the only thing He tells the woman at the well about worship is that God seeks after those who worship Him in Spirit and Truth.

My Reply:
Absolutely true. We do not need the old temple practices because the way into God’s presence is available to us through the blood of Jesus. The true worshippers do not need to go to this or that mountain, they do not need to go to Jerusalem or even Toronto, Pensacola, Florida etc.

The true worshippers have complete access to the Father through Jesus and being filled with the Holy Spirit can serve Jesus where they are from their hearts. By the way it says “spirit and in truth”.

For those who ignore scriptures and just follow their experiences of “spirit” they are vulnerable to deception, error and the demonic, because Jesus said we could not ignore TRUTH. So the true worshippers worship (BTW, worship means serve as well as bow the knee) in spirit AD in truth.

They follow the WHOLE counsel of God (the whole Bible in context) and “walk in the spirit and do not gratify the flesh”. John said to test the spirits to see whether they are of God. The way we test things is to ask does it match up with the Word Of God.

Once we surrender ourselves to Jesus we will be baptised in the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of Truth then teaches us about all things we need to know but it should still be measured to the Bible.

Therefore, we do not follow the old code anymore.

John Chingford said...

You said :
However, we don't hear of incense being used and we can surmise that perhaps it was because they were being persecuted. Obviously the incense would not have been beneficial to use during a worship gathering if you are being looked for in an effort to kill you

My Reply:
As mentioned above the reason incense etc is not used is because it is not required anymore. In fact Paul told the Galatians that if they followed the old code Christ would have died in vain. He used strong words to tell them that they MUST stop following the Law or they will have fallen from Grace!!! He actually said that those who preached such things are damned! STRONG words!

You said :
Notice that there is nowhere in all the New Testament where we are given a formula or blueprint for "how" we are to hold a worship gathering.

My Reply:
Actually the New Testament is full of examples how to worship. ! Corinthians 12-14, Ephesians, Philippians, Peter etc etc. Best of all, the Acts of the Apostles show us how the early church worshipped. The Bible should always be our guide and not “traditions” which came much later.

In fact Jesus had some scathing things to say about the Jewish religious leaders “traditions”. Paul warned the Ephesians that the Mystery of Iniquity through “ravenous wolves” would enter the church (inferring the Babylonic mysteries) bringing in destructive heresies.

This happened through the early fathers of the Catholic church. What is happening through the Emerging church is the attempt to restore these Babylonic Mysteries back to the Protestant and Evangelical churches.

Regarding formulas, the Bible does not teach that we follow formulas (as such). Formulas is an example of Babylonic Mysteries. The Holy Spirit is not a formula. Jesus said (referring to the Holy Spirit) “the wind blows where it wills”.

We are simply obliged to be obedient to the Lord as instructed through the scriptures and not to find extra biblical methods. Paul said that we are not to be conformed to the world (or the way the world thinks) but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. This renewing is done by the Holy Spirit and not by New Age gurus.

John Chingford said...

You said :
Paul tells the Corinthians that when they come together everyone has a song, a teaching, a word of exhortation, etc. If that is our blueprint then today's church is FAR from "doing" church correctly. Today's church only allows the pastor to speak while everyone else is a spectator.

My Reply:
Actually, the Bible gives us a clear blue print and does indicate one speaker at a time. For example Peter on the day of Pentecost, Paul when preaching to a crowd or the church. Besides we are not told to “do” church. We are living stones and a royal priesthood. We ARE the church, we do not do church but are the church. So when two or three of us meet together whether in a meeting or witnessing etc Jesus promised to be amongst us. As He is the Head and we are the body we simply abide in Him and follow scriptural guidelines. As we are the body and He is the head, then we need to meet together because we need each other. The Holy Spirit distributes different spiritual gifts individually to use as a “body” to build each other up. As we use these gifts we are acting out “church” in obedience to the scriptures and to the Lord.

You said :
It is easy to believe (and even logical) that as the first believers were Jews, they brought with them many of their Jewish practices with them into worship. A good example of this is Peter when he receives the vision of the sheet. He is praying his hourly prayer which most modern Christians would say is either unnecessary or legalistic.

My Reply:
Yes Paul and the Apostles had to address this very thing. Paul writes quite a lot in his letters about the dangers of legalism, holding onto the Law and traditions. He puts it in very strong words that those who follow the Law or works are putting the Lord to public shame all over again.

Effectively they have rejected the Death and resurrection of Jesus as NOT enough to save us. He points this out as heresy. Paul had to challenge Peter over some of his legalistic and hypocritical ways which Peter accepted. In fact the example you give of his vision goes on to say how Peter realised that some of his practices HAD to end.

Regarding hourly prayer, if Peter did it out of legalism it WOULD be wrong, but Acts 10 does not say he did it out of legalism or custom it simply says “peter went up onto the roof to pray (fullstop). He did it out of his love and devotion to the Lord.

You said :
All of this to say, that simply because something "sounds" Roman Catholic to an Evangelical's ears, doesn't make it wrong or bad.

My Reply:
If anyone follows Catholic practices it IS wrong because it IS unscriptural, idolatry, legalistic and therefore in Paul’s words to the Galatians an anathema.

Expected Imminently said...

Hello John
Your reply to Sam is 'spot on'. When I read his comment I groaned, bless him, so keen yet so deceived and 'captured' by mans dead philosophy, like too many others.

God bless

Hello Sam
Col.2:8,9 "See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form…

2Cor.12:9a And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you…

Eph.1:17-23 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, MAY GIVE YOU (Sam)a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and ABOVE EVERY NAME THAT IS NAME, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
And He put all things under His feet and gave Him as Head over all things to the church, which is His Body, the FULLNESS of Him who fills All in All.

God bless you

John Chingford said...

Thanks EI for your valuable contribution

God bless