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EDITOR:
Steve Van Nattan

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RE-ESTABLISHING CHURCHES

By Steve Van Nattan

The assumption here is that a few pastors will repent
of the jackboot methods and return to feeding sheep.

 

Introduction:

1. Doctrine of the foundation (Foundational doctrine in large font)

Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on
unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works,
and of faith toward God,
2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of
the dead
, and of eternal judgment.
3 And this will we do, if God permit.

If you are preaching salvation, tithing, hell fire, and loyalty all the time, you are spiritual babies, AND you are a rebel. Paul told you to move on to other doctrines, and you are too busy sheering sheep to do the right thing.

 

2. Doctrine of the true Church (This is just a start)
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men
of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Let's just pick one from the above many topics for building a mature local church-- "How to rejoice with those who rejoice and how to weep with those who weep" Did you ever preach on that topic preacher? How about, "Be not wise in your own conceits"?

If you have been feeding the saints pabulum, you, preacher, need a revival. YOU need to repent of your self-centered and lazy approach to the work of the ministry. You need to re-establish your local church on the Epistles and the rest of the Bible. One deacon said, "If you've gone beyond the Cross, you've gone too far." That deacon was probably not born again, for if he was, he would be eager to go all the way beyond the Cross to Revelation 22, and then he would start over at Genesis 1.

Preacher, do you want to see how little you know about the Bible? I will give you next Sunday's sermon topic:
"Be of the same mind one toward another" You have to preach this sermon WITHOUT ending up talking about the people submitting to YOU. It has nothing to do with your jack boot craving for control. Scary, is it not?

Do you see why I suggest some of you need to start over, even lay a new foundation, and then build a biblical church? For the record, the church is people, yes, even the LOCAL church is people. You thought it was a building where we better be there every time the "church doors" are open, right? Preacher, YOU are the most guilty of calling the Body of Christ brick and mortar. How can the saints ever figure it out if YOU can't? Oh, I know, you say it is what you teach that counts. Lie. It is what you SAY!

Matthew 12:37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

 

3. Doctrine of Salvation and the Gospel
John 20:30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Many preachers today do not preach a biblical Gospel. They preach for results and action-- they will not take the time to make sure the sinner is really being born again. Just walk the aisle, fling yourself on the altar, and repeat this prayer after me. Blah, blah, blah..... And, 90% of those who respond don't stick.

Here is the Gospel message. See if you even understand the Gospel.

If you are not preaching the biblical Gospel, if you are trying to win souls by taking lost people to Romans, you are damning many to hell. You are an hireling. It is time for alleged Bible believing preachers to find the Gospel in the four Gospels. It is time to take sinners to Jesus Christ, not to Paul teaching Roman saints the theology of salvation.

 

 

Why Re-establish a church?

1. Shame and lost testimony

a. Pastor before you

A pastor recently took a church that had been pastored by a fat self-centered creep who bashed up the sheep, demanded cash for his personal lusts, and finally got the church title with only his name on it. He left mad at everyone for letting him down, and he sold the church out from under the saints. God stepped in and arranged for the greedy pastor to lose his power over the church, and it came back into the hands of the righteous, though with residual troubles arranged by the former pastor. But, there was no way they could go on as the original church with the devilish leadership arrangements and name from the past. Along with the image of a church of brutes, sexual sin was openly known in the community as well. So, the church had to be re-established.

b. Testimony of church leaders in the community

c. Landmark principle-- Your church has become a landmark associated with some evil that was taught or done there.

d. All other churches in your area are evil or compromised

2. Rebellion in the ranks

Rebellion is found in the following and possibly others- The choir, the youth, women on the phone, older deacon or elder, the pastor, or a retired pastor who is attending the church. As soon as it is identified, it should be confronted directly with witnesses. If this fails, the offenders must be openly rebuked. If this fails, send them away, and that includes the pastor.

3. Local perception of your "kind"

You need to determine what is being said at the cafe and the barber shop about "those kind" of people or churches. If there are lies being told, you will need to make sure the life of the new work of replacement is clearly unlike these perceptions.

4. History-- Most church heritages are suspect at best, and present situation is wicked

It may be useful for the leader of a reestablished work to read over business meetings from long ago to see if there was a pattern of evil that started far in the past. This may need to be addressed even openly and biblically eliminated. It may be

5. Caesar

If the church has been into tax rebellion or illegal activity, you shoudl abandon it and start elsewhere. The government and law enforcement will be waiting for the other shoe to drop all the time.

6. Doctrine and Traditions of Men

If the church got into biblical heresy, an interim pastor must come and teach the correct doctrine. During this time, the leaders must decide if they are 100% in agreement. If not, those who are still clinging to heresy or error should resign and be silent. Anyone rebelling against correct teaching must be sent away.

7. Numbers have dwindled drastically

It may be that a pastor can be found who, like Paul, will be happy to mend tents for a few years in order to rebuild the assembly. Do NOT go around town and to other churches trying to steal sheep to build attendance. You will end up with church tramps for members. If the numbers are extremely small, close the site and move to a home and start a house church. Jesus did not die on the cross to save real estate. The Body is people, not buildings.

 

Is there a reason to NOT re-establish a local church?

Yes. If your assembly has not been deeply troubled in the recent past, do not change it as to organization. If you are already free of the Traditions of Men, do not re-establish it just to get rid of the name Baptist, Holiness, Bible Church, Grace Community, etc. Some names, like Nazarene or Lutheran have so much stigma that you must change them to escape their context. Of course, if all the churches in your area like your name are spiritual pig pens, you MUST at least drop the name from the sign out front. Do not ask other preachers if re-establishment is a good idea. They will counsel you not to. In most cases, they are devoted to church heritage and creed as their religion, and Christians second.

There is a notion around the USA in particular that the only right church is a church with a certain name out front. This is crass arrogance and wicked. There are thousands of local church fellowships around the world which honor Christ and are not members of anything. The same applies to any name you may go by. Christ is not a Baptist, Barnabas was not a Pentecostal, nor was Paul a Mennonite. It is time to realize that the names, though not evil in all their uses, are one of the most broad and pointless aspects in Christendom. Names are used by the agnostic denominations, and they are used by Bible believers, and every kind of filthy bird in between. The world has come to measure the meaning of the church name by many dreadful scenes in local churches in each particular group or association. It is time to say good-bye to a magic particular name. After all, the saints were called "Christians" first-- they were never called anything else until about 900 AD. In the rest of the world outside the Anglo Saxon community, "Christian" says everything.

Personally, I feel the name "Baptist" is filthy so much of the time that no saint who is right with God will feel comfortable with it. Many old time Bible thumping Baptists I know are very uneasy with the name "Baptist" since thousands of men like Jack Hyles and Truman Dollar dirtied it. Why keep it? This applies to all other denominations and associations as well. The excesses and wandering doctrine of each group is pasted over the profession of faith of the individual members.

Are we "Christians" or not? Are we "Bible believers" or not?

 

How to Re-establish a local church

1. At the same location with same group of people

You must decide if the testimony in the community is so evil that the same location cannot be used. You MUST change the name of the new work to disassociate the new assembly from the old. An interim pastor should probably be called in to referee the new work. All leaders who have complicity with an offending event or pastor must be removed from office and placed under church discipline or sent away.

2. Remove yourself with like minded people and start in another location

This is one choice if the above cannot be done.

3. House Church option

Also, please read about the House of Prayer-- See how to cleanse yourself of the Traditions of Men which Jesus hates.

4. Laying a New Foundation:

Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
3 And this will we do, if God permit.

STEP ONE--

Re-examine and teach the first principles, laying again the foundation, of the doctrine of Christ, repentance, and all topics mentioned above. It is urgent that you find any error in past presuppositions. All leading men must study the first principles again. Look for aspects of the former foundation which are not from the Bible. Show the whole assembly these errors, and teach the correct biblical doctrine.

STEP TWO--

"Go on" to examine the teachings for the Church:

Much error has come into the Lord's Church by building church life on the Old Testament and the Gospels with Paul set aside. This is why many Fundamental churches teach the heresy of tithing in the Church Age. It is NOT in the Epistles. In fact, another instruction is in the Epistles as to giving. There are many other errors which have come in by approaching the Age of Grace from the Law of Moses. Here is the order of

(1) Top priority-- The Epistles to the Church

The teaching for Church life in Acts 10 through Revelation 22 is the final and highest authority. Where revelation is advanced by the Epistles, the Epistles prevail.

(2) The Gospels through Acts 9--

If the Gospels through Acts 9 do not agree with the Epistles, the Epistles are the rule.

(3) The whole Bible--

If the Old Testament does not agree with the Epistles and / or the Gospels, the latter prevail.
The most deadly teaching I have heard recently was the use of typology from the Old Testament which had nothing to do with the New Testament application. The shouting was wild, and the altar filled afterward, but nothing during that service had anything to do with the work of the Holy Ghost. The church was a Fundamental KJV Only church.
In case you miss the point, an example would be the case where Jesus changed the Law of Moses about divorce.
Another would be where Paul changed the standard for giving from tithing to giving according to the blessing last week.

If you do not follow these rules in teaching and in church life, you will revert right back to the sloppy mess you came from. And, if you refuse to follow this bibilcal pattern, do not ask me to help you.

 

 

 

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Ephesians 3:14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might
by his Spirit in the inner man;
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the
fulness of God.
20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according
to the power that worketh in us,
21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

 

Photo Credit:
"Old Church"- Sub35089_ Flickr

 

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