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    Denomination & Faith Movement Discussions - Thread: multiple site churches

    1. #21
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      Quote Originally Posted by Albion View Post
      Here is what seems the most obvious to me about this phenomenon. There are many very successful churches--congregations--that have started other congregations somewhere else. Often it's in another part of their city. There's nothing special about that and most of us consider the practice to be good. BUT that is not what these monster churches we were asked to comment on are doing. No, they seem more than willing to build Earthly kingdoms, monuments to their own glory, by doing what they are doing. And they are short-changing (in a spiritual sense) the people who come to these satellite churches.
      Exactly. The church I attended before I moved did what you describe - they saw a need for another church in a nearby area and planted one. The new church took some members from the existing church, appointed a pastor, and started to draw new members from the community. Now, from what I can gather, both churches are thriving - associated with each other but each with its own character.
      "Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

      "If you love me, obey my commandments" - Jesus Christ

      The Bible comes as a complete package. If we want to pluck verses out of context so make them mean what we want them to mean, if we want to ignore the passages that are inconvenient to our outlook, we should be intellectually honest enough to throw our Bibles in the trash and admit we are following Crowley and not Christ.

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    3. #22
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      Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
      Just stating what I've seen in my years visiting and personal involvement with many churches across this nation since last Century.
      Motives are known by the fruit of ones life and ministry. And this has nothing to do with numbers.

      And as disciples of our Lord, we actually are told to judge those inside the churches, especially the word that is being taught.
      As those who will one Day "judge men and angels" we are called to have discernment now and to "rightly judge." Paul continues in his epistle, "For what have I to do with judging those outside? Is it not those who are inside that you are to judge? 13 God will judge those outside." (1Cor 5:12-13)

      Now I know that God can use any, even a deceived pastor, to reach His Elect that are scattered, and largely unnoticed, among the large congregations and cause the remnant to receive His Truth regardless of the fluff being preached.
      Personally, I do not judge the individual speaking so much as I judge the word that he speaks, and discern the spirit behind his words. (And yes, I am using only the male pronoun here purposely.)

      In Revelation, Jesus commends the church for their testing of those behind the pulpits. "you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars." (Rev 2:2). The faithful must judge what is being preached; and the motive is usually easy to discern.

      A flashy or well known ministry that "has a name that it is alive" may in fact be "dead" in God's sight. Again, Jesus tells us, "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” (John 7:24)

      The Apostle John admonishes the Elect, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world." (1John 4:1)

      I know this Word is foreign to most in the assemblies today, in which humanism has gained a stronghold; but it is Bible.
      Yes, you can judge the word being taught. I would think you would have to. You wouldn't want to sit under someone who is teaching heresy. But, that is not what was being referred to here. It seems that judgment was being made about another person's motives which isn't possible since only God knows that

    4. #23
      Michael's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by jsimms435 View Post
      Yes, you can judge the word being taught. I would think you would have to. You wouldn't want to sit under someone who is teaching heresy. But, that is not what was being referred to here. It seems that judgment was being made about another person's motives which isn't possible since only God knows that
      Brother, we are close in age, we've been around for over a half Century, and we've interacted with more than a few folk. It has become easier over the years to discern people's motives. For me, being in the Construction industry now for 35 years, a Contractor for almost 20, as well as other jobs and adventures; and involved with several churches since late last Century; walking by the Spirit, I have gained wisdom in judging motives of people based mainly on the fruit of their lives. Does not Jesus tell us that "by their fruits you will know them"? (Matt 7:20)

      The Lord first exposed this in my own life, and continues to do so as the transformation process progresses. I used to tell people, 'I have a good heart, with good intent' while my actions and the fruit of my life proved otherwise. Truly, our motives, what is in our heart, is only known, even to God, by what we do. What we claim is of no effect if our conduct shows differently. If the "Word of Christ dwells in us richly in all wisdom", then I believe the motives of another can indeed be discerned, for "the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Heb 4:12)

      Peace & Blessings.

      .
      "having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.” - Heb 5:9
      "let no one deceive you. The one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous" - 1John 3:7
      Indeed, our Eternal lot is determined by our obedience and our behavior. (mdb)

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    6. #24
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      Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
      Brother, we are close in age, we've been around for over a half Century, and we've interacted with more than a few folk. It has become easier over the years to discern people's motives. For me, being in the Construction industry now for 35 years, a Contractor for almost 20, as well as other jobs and adventures; and involved with several churches since late last Century; walking by the Spirit, I have gained wisdom in judging motives of people based mainly on the fruit of their lives. Does not Jesus tell us that "by their fruits you will know them"? (Matt 7:20)

      The Lord first exposed this in my own life, and continues to do so as the transformation process progresses. I used to tell people, 'I have a good heart, with good intent' while my actions and the fruit of my life proved otherwise. Truly, our motives, what is in our heart, is only known, even to God, by what we do. What we claim is of no effect if our conduct shows differently. If the "Word of Christ dwells in us richly in all wisdom", then I believe the motives of another can indeed be discerned, for "the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Heb 4:12)

      Peace & Blessings.

      .
      I would think that age and wisdom would make you more reluctant to judge another person not more willing.
      I can't and won't judge the pastor of this church or multi site churches. At least they are trying to spread the gospel which is more than a lot of Christians do. For whatever the reason for it I am glad for that.

    7. #25
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      Is it not concerning that there are enough people to warrant a satellite church, and apparently nobody willing to preach? It's not even as if the same person has to preach every week - at my church the pastor preaches most weeks but there are maybe a dozen or so of us in the church who preach occasionally, to give him a week off if he needs it.
      "Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

      "If you love me, obey my commandments" - Jesus Christ

      The Bible comes as a complete package. If we want to pluck verses out of context so make them mean what we want them to mean, if we want to ignore the passages that are inconvenient to our outlook, we should be intellectually honest enough to throw our Bibles in the trash and admit we are following Crowley and not Christ.

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    9. #26
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      Quote Originally Posted by jsimms435 View Post
      I would think that age and wisdom would make you more reluctant to judge another person not more willing.
      I can't and won't judge the pastor of this church or multi site churches. At least they are trying to spread the gospel which is more than a lot of Christians do. For whatever the reason for it I am glad for that.
      It's not that I'm more willing, in fact I'm more cautious with an ear listening to the Holy Spirit. But I believe this is part of coming to maturity in Christ; to be able to rightly judge. Again, if God's Elect are to "judge men and angels" in that Day, our preparation is taking place now.

      And I am not passing judgment on any particular church mentioned in this thread, I was only stating my own experience.
      "having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.” - Heb 5:9
      "let no one deceive you. The one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous" - 1John 3:7
      Indeed, our Eternal lot is determined by our obedience and our behavior. (mdb)

    10. #27
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      I think Michael is referring to judging the teaching not the people...am I right on that?
      "Christianity does not require more work but more trust." Pr. Jonathan Fisk
      "Bearing fruit does not make you a branch. A branch is a branch because it grows from the vine." Pr. Jonathan Fisk
      "A Christian's life is not defined by what the Christian does. It is defined by Christ and what He has done for us." Pr. Rolf David Preus


      1 John 5:13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

    11. #28
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      Quote Originally Posted by tango View Post
      Is it not concerning that there are enough people to warrant a satellite church, and apparently nobody willing to preach? It's not even as if the same person has to preach every week - at my church the pastor preaches most weeks but there are maybe a dozen or so of us in the church who preach occasionally, to give him a week off if he needs it.
      the thing is that the main pastor doesn't preach every single Sunday. There are days and series that he has other pastors bring the message

    12. #29
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      Quote Originally Posted by jsimms435 View Post
      the thing is that the main pastor doesn't preach every single Sunday. There are days and series that he has other pastors bring the message
      Perhaps, although my point still stands that it's concerning to have enough people to warrant a satellite "church" but apparently nobody wants to do any teaching.

      If there are other pastors, why not assign a pastor to each church and have a group of associated churches, each with its own pastor?
      "Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

      "If you love me, obey my commandments" - Jesus Christ

      The Bible comes as a complete package. If we want to pluck verses out of context so make them mean what we want them to mean, if we want to ignore the passages that are inconvenient to our outlook, we should be intellectually honest enough to throw our Bibles in the trash and admit we are following Crowley and not Christ.

    13. #30
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      Quote Originally Posted by Lämmchen View Post
      I think Michael is referring to judging the teaching not the people...am I right on that?
      For the most part - yes. In context of the Christian religion, those who follow the Lord Jesus must be ones who take all we hear and "search the Scriptures daily to see if these things are so."

      In this way, we are judging the office of one who is a "preacher", "pastor", "teacher" or "apostle" by the words they speak, and how their lives line up with what they proclaim.

      But remember again, what the Lord Jesus commends His Elect for doing: in testing even the individual by their fruit and calling them for what they are - "false apostles."

      Speaking to His Church within the churches, our Lord says - "I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false." - Rev 2:2. And yes, He is speaking of "false apostles" IN the churches.

      And Peter writes as well to exhort the saints to judge the words being spoken to them, and to judge the individuals who bring forth what they claim is the Word of God.

      "But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, and will bring swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their unrestrained ways, and the way of truth will be blasphemed because of them. 3 They will exploit you in their greed with deceptive words. Their condemnation, pronounced long ago, is not idle, and their destruction does not sleep." - 2Pet 2:1-3

      See the influence these "false teachers" have - even to deceive, and blaspheme the way of Truth. Now, I'm not saying stand and rebuke these in front of all, unless there is a clear directive from the Lord; and I believe that day is coming. Most often it is best, as others have stated here, just to leave the congregation and move on.

      Personally (and sadly), the bulk of churches I have visited had messages from the pulpits that do not line up with Scripture. I judged the word, and moved on. A couple assemblies that I have been involved with, the Lord has given me occasions to confront the pastor or teacher; and such times were done with love and ended in a time of prayer and seeking the mind of the Lord. Both of these churches have invited me to teach even after such incidents.

      I share that to say that I do believe fully that we must judge everything by the written Word of God; and as well the spirit behind what drives some to preach a "different gospel" than what the Scripture (both Testaments) declares.

      God's Wisdom and Understanding to us all.
      "having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.” - Heb 5:9
      "let no one deceive you. The one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous" - 1John 3:7
      Indeed, our Eternal lot is determined by our obedience and our behavior. (mdb)

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