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Current Worship Patterns

July 24 2017 at 1:02 PM
Scripture  (no login)
from IP address

In response to William in discussion of Sabbath vs Sunday--it is all too typical for announcements to be made, after which the announcer says "Now let us begin worship." William brings up some very good ideas.

Then we have a series of worship songs, usually call "praise songs." These songs are generally all directed to(ward) God with little self-improvement and self-edification, and normally the complete absence of conversion songs. The praise team kicks in, and the audience (trapped worshipers) are asked to stand on their feet for three or four songs.

Normally the songs are those derived from about 1980 or later, with the traditional hymns only a small minority of the songs. The traditional hymns found in the humnals do contain a fairly even distribution of conversion, reflection, duty, and other themes than just praise songs. But these themes are considered irrelevant to today's commercial processing of those who come to worship.

I suspect that William worships in such an environment, as do most readers of this thread.

In some churches, when the "worship" is over, there used to be a final song [to end the worship] and then no telling what is going to take place--items that are not classified as worship, but which are either entertaining and secular or whatever.

I would say that William thinks the "Now let us begin worship" should not be stated.

Many churches which fit this pattern are in the process of "transitioning," but are not clear about what this means. One church is in the process of lowering its pulpits and installing a flat 5 inch high stage to accommodate what is not quite clear. These changes look like the Jimmy Swaggert stage. Often the Lord's Table is considered a distraction, and it may be placed in the back of the auditorium, so this "sacrament" no longer is the focal point, but the stage antics become the attraction. In some churches the baptistry is placed in the foyer.

Rather than extend the invitation at the end of the sermon, the audience is instructed "if there is any way we can help you, let us know. The shepherds are in the foyer to give counsel." The "sacrament" of baptism is not mentioned.

The Lord's Supper (called Communion by the transition teams) and baptism seem to be an artifacts rather than working agents.

At the same time, the preacher often says that all the accomplishments of the church members have not been achieved by them, but by the "Holy Spirit" who opens doors and gives growth. The congregation is also informed that the Lord's Supper is not to be a solemn feast of introspection, but an opportunity to TALK to the person next to you all about the preceding week and about the Lord's and Holy Spirit operation. In some churches, members are asked to take a stone at the start of the worship period, and during the Lord's Supper to bring it forward and place it near the Lord's Table. This is to indicate that the "stone" (hindrance) in the worshiper's life is to be removed during this Supper. These comments may be given by a preacher in his 20s who says he knows more about 1 Corinthians 11 and 12 than all the people who have studied these passages for half a century.

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Ken Sublett
(Login Ken.Sublett)

Re: Current Worship Patterns

July 24 2017, 10:18 PM 

You might invite someone to show how "worship in the spirit" can be "worship in the flesh."
Find preaching a self-composed sermon as an act of worship
Find listening to a self-composed sermon as an act of worship.
Singing but not the Biblical text as an act of worship.
Reading verse 3d as an act of worship.
Leading others in prayer as an act of worship.
Laying by in store at church as an act of worship.
Paying for "staff" as necessary to enhance the Word.
Calling people out of their rest twice on the first day of the week.
Calling people out of their rest on the fourth day of the week.

This would be a good study.

The Lord's Supper is to show forth or "preach" the Death of Jesus Christ: by examining ourselves we are compelled to sit down, shut up and listen to that which is written for our learning. Making the "communion"

1Cor. 10:16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

"Give money to make poor pious youths learned clergy, or vain pretenders to erudition; and they pray that they may preach to you; yes, and pay them too. Was there ever such a craft as priestcraft? No, it is the craftiest of all crafts. It is so crafty that it obtains by its craft the means to make craftsmen, and then it makes the deluded support them!" (Campbell, Alexander, Christian Baptist, Dec. 1, 1823, Vol. 1, p. 91).

"Money is of vital consequence in the kingdom of the clergy. Without it a clergyman could not be made, nor a congregation supplied with a 'faithful pastor.' O Mammon, thou wonder-working god!" (Ibid., p. 124).

"'Will you,' said an honest inquirer, 'allow the clergy no salary at all? Will you not allow the poorer class of the clergy a decent little competence?' I replied I have no allowances to make. Let them have what the Lord has allowed them. 'How much is that?' said he, Just nothing at all, said I. A church constituted upon New Testament principles, having its own bishop or bishops, or, as sometimes called, elders, will not, and ought not to suffer them to be in want of any thing necessary, provided they labor in word and doctrine, and provided also, they are ensamples to the flock in industry, disinterestedness, humility, hospitality, and charity to the poor. Such bishops will now be esteemed very highly in love for their words sake; but especially those who, by their own hands, minister not only to their own wants, but also to the wants of their brethren." (Ibid, p. 140).

"That any man is to be paid at all for preaching, i.e. making sermons and pronouncing them; or that any man is to be hired for a stipulated sum to preach and pray, and expound scripture, by the day, month, or year, I believe to be a relic of popery." (Ibid., Vol. 3, p. 185).

"Our Elder labors with his own hands, that he may live honestly..." (Vol. 5, p. 163).

"... our elders labor... for their support, and are not burdensome to the church; but in case of need..." (Vol, 5, p. 95).

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Worship and Word of Faith Doctrine and SEED MONEY

July 25 2017, 12:39 AM 

Hymnal: "Glorify Thy Name"

Verse 1. Father, we love You, we worship and adore You, . . . .
Verse 2. Jesus, we love You, we worship and adore You, . . . .
Verse 3. Spirit, we love You, we worship and adore You, . . . .
Chorus Verses 1, 2, and 3: Glorify Thy Name in all the earth. Glorify Thy name, glorify Thy name, Glorify Thy name in all the earth.

This is not the only song found in hymnals we find questionable. However the hymnal selections contain only a few such hymns, when contrasted with the hymns written since about 1960.

Here are some concerns:

1. The love here seems oddly similar to erotic love. . .
2. One doesn't need to state flatly that we "worship" God in order to do just that. Nuance is something the facebook generation seems unable to fathom.
3. Spirit is taken to be a person, and many in the pews do not consider the Spirit to be a person. Many consider the Spirit to be a power emanating from God. Others believe that the Spirit is the abiding Word of God as he or she accepts the teaching of Christ.
4. Glorify thy name occurs 3 times in the three chorus verses, which oddly is Trinity X Trinity, or 3 X 3, which is 9. The number 9 can imply being aristocratic, romantic, proud, egocentric, arrogant, fickle, cold, and mentally unstable.
5. There is no subtlety in the song. It's in your face. It's a little wooden or stiff, in that it is something that a person who likes geometric symmetry.
6. Repetition gets on many nerves--both in how FSHS are addressed exactly the same, how the desire is the same to all three.
7. Asking God to glorify His name, seems a little odd, since one would think that worshipers should be glorifying His name.
8. Base begins low in the Chorus, and heightens gradually toward the end. The song goes from masculine to feminine in the chorus. Perhaps there is a subliminal message here.
9. The hymn is an affront to those who do not like creeds.
10. Now, what other ways can we glorify God rather than just in Word. In fact, this appears to be AN INFESTATION OF THE WORD OF FAITH DOCTRINE, WHICH SAYS THAT WE CAN SPEAK SOMETHING INTO EXISTENCE. That is, just by saying something we can make it happen. This is Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland, and Benny Hinn. By singing "Glorify Thy Name" we speak that into existence. Mankind doesn't have to glorify God, we just need to express to God that He glorify his own name.
11. The "seed money" people are all over the religious sites, asking for donations, with the idea that this amount of money will make the people who send it RICH. In fact, those who receive the SEED MONEY are the ones rich.
12. Watch for ample SCAMS in the some of the modern songs.

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Dianna Howell
(Login dianna01)

Thy word is truth

July 25 2017, 1:08 PM 

This was always a conundrum to me. If we worship in spirit, our spirit, with the truth, then what is the purpose of saying now we will do worship in the assembly? Do we need to be told when or how to worship? Can't we worship anytime anywhere? I don't remember such an emphasis put on "worship" until recently.

I agree there was not much emphasis on baptism at the end of the sermon like it used to be. The huge screen blocks the view of the baptistery so it's not in sight anymore.

Teaching for a fee takes the idea of charity to our fellow man and prevents many from being reached. I believe that was the charity that Jesus was showing us. That it is free because he paid the price. No man should be put above another man. That principle was corrupted when we started paying someone to teach over us!

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Donnie Cruz
(Login Donnie.Cruz)

Re: Current Worship Patterns

July 25 2017, 3:47 PM 

I provided stats years ago regarding a maximized "contemporary worship service" when there was only one old hymn vs. 14 contemporary "praise songs" during the entire "gathering" period.

Many contemporary congregants now believe that the "worship services" period is mainly comprised of "praise singing" during the entire hour-and-a-half time span. Everything else is adjunct, subordinate, supplementary -- the sermonette, the "Communion." The predominance of music is "worship," AKA "musical worship." So, what's happened to the individual, "non-corporate" worship that Dianna alluded to earlier?

From the "Easter Sunday" celebration from a couple of years ago, the physical cross ramains on display in the "Worship Center" -- the following image resembles what's become a permanet fixture in the "worship center. [Perhaps, Scripture can explain the "beauty" (significance) of the sash]:

When the "invitation" is extended -- which is mainly now to receive counseling from the "shepherds," there's the display on the screen of "the cross" with the verbiage: "Shepherd's Prayer" along with the name of the shepherd designated to lead prayer. Notice "the cross" in both of these images: the cross resembles that which is shown with the Pope and without the Pope:

Getty_Jeff_J_Mitchell_Pope_Palm_Sunday_2 ... beast-image.jpg

It appears that the trend is towards or going along with the Ecumenical Movement of the Roman Catholic Church: coming home to Mother Church as the "worship pattern."

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Ken Sublett
(Login Ken.Sublett)

Re: Current Worship Patterns

July 25 2017, 5:49 PM 

Donnie: Many contemporary congregants now believe that the "worship services" period is mainly comprised of "praise singing" during the entire hour-and-a-half time span.

That was the Purpose Driving Jubilee: Rubel Shelly said "the only purpose of the church is to worship."

I listened to Jimmy Swaggart Sunday: they sang the same short phrase over and over and over." Someone would get up and "praise God: let hear that again." Over and over and over and over." That is what Jesus called a laded burden and it is sorcery or witchcraft knowing that they can put you into a different state."

To their credit, I heard a good sermon on Joshua. No one ever sang in Paul's holding of assembly because he understood:

Eph. 3:7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
Eph. 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
Eph. 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
Eph. 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
Eph. 3:11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
Eph. 3:12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
Eph. 3:13 Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

This is the creation of the Kingdom of God and Christ which began on Pentecost and is RESERVED UNTO FIRE.. It is to hold those reserved to be cast alive into the lake of fire, the sorcerers, speakers, singers and instrument players." It is to PRESERVE the tiny flock FROM fire. The Mark is the sound of "wind, string and percussion instruments" which Lucifer, the singing and harp-playing prostitute brought with him-her into the garden of Eden."

This message has been edited by Ken.Sublett from IP address on Jul 25, 2017 5:50 PM

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Dianna Howell
(Login dianna01)

"Mother Church"

July 25 2017, 5:56 PM 

I have been reading many different blogs, and even the Catholics are upset at what is being done in their assemblies. Many have disowned the pope and want separate services from the more progressive of their members. They are saying he is a jesuit. I am not too familiar with just what a jesuit does, but it doesn't appear to be a good thing. At least that's what is said on the grapevine.
Many just weren't taught what being Protestant actually meant. It meant a protest against the practices of the priests and pope.

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Ken Sublett
(Login Ken.Sublett)

Re: "Mother Church"

July 25 2017, 6:25 PM 

The women at LU and other universities are defacto "Jesuits." Hitler used Ignatius as his model of the death camps.

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Is the Wooden Cross Idolatrous?

July 25 2017, 9:52 PM 

The color purple does signify royalty, so that is one meaning of the picture above of the cross with purple sash.

The question I have of the Pope with the cross is that the cross is likely considered essential to the ritual for the Catholics.

If not essential, then why do they always have it.

In an assembly, is the presence of the U.S. flag equal in question as is the cross? Aren't both objects which a spiritual Christianity can do without?

Remember that the flag may imply to some that the Kingdom of God is the same as America. Billy Graham thought this for a long time, but after the Watergate debacle and the cursing from Washington, I understand that he began to change.

Pertaining to the cross, remember that worship in the New Testament era is according to spirit, while the physical cross is closer to the objects used in Old Testament times. Christian is a religion of the heart, not of the object.

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Ken Sublett
(Login Ken.Sublett)

Re: Is the Wooden Cross Idolatrous?

July 25 2017, 10:44 PM 

[linked image]

[linked image]

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Dianna Howell
(Login dianna01)

Crosses and such

July 26 2017, 2:39 PM 

Most people have not had a voice while Christianity was being destroyed in America. People want to hold on to anything that reminds them of Christianity. They are being manipulated to fight for these symbols. Traditionally the chuch of Christ never had any symbols and did not support those things. This is simply a case of not knowing what to do to fight the secularization that has been gaining ground for decades. Many who would never have defended things like crosses are swept along with the masses, thinking that there is no harm. Never understanding that they have been brainwashed for just this reaction. This to me shows even more the lack of education, especially the history of Christianity. Each generation has passed on less and less information. We should be able to teach within a smaller time frame, at least a general outline, then get to the in depth study.

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I responded on the other thread

July 27 2017, 12:18 AM 

To me, the assembly is when we assemble. Don't know how it got so complicated. The key, for me, is that the assembly should be done "decently and in order" The order seems to be up to us.
Communion -- derived from "common union" -- is a phrase used everywhere I have ever been, as a guest or attendee. It is not a Biblical word, just as church is not a Biblical word.
I have attended services where the servers of the Lord's Supper assembled in the rear and brought in the emblems, but the prayer was still in front. A little different, but certainly not a drunken revel. Who says that the serving implements have to be piled up in front?
Hopefully, I will be in Nashville in early September, and maybe I will go to a "Hills" or "Creek" church just to see what they do.

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Re: I responded on the other thread

July 27 2017, 9:59 AM 

I know of one "Hills" church that turns off the lights so that you can't read your Bible.

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Communion and Church

July 28 2017, 11:08 AM 

Communion is used to refer to Lord's Supper in the KJV. "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Jesus Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?" 1 Corinthians 10:16.

Communion can be called "common union" or "sharing". Communion with someone else is "sharing", regardless of its nature. We "share" when we include other people in our activities and resources. The Bible refers to communion with demons, for example. 1 Corinthians 10:20.

Communion is a good word for the Lord's Supper, so the Christian world frequently called it "the communion", rightfully so. Either word can be used, but in the Churches of Christ I attended it was called "the Lord's Supper." Communion is often used in churches with "high" worship. High worship churches are the mainline denominations. Low churches, such as evangelical, are normally those that populous. But many in the high worship churches consider themselves evangelicals as well.

The Lord's Supper is a sharing, and from it we get spiritual gifts--it is not a meaningless form. 1 Corinthians 11:30, "For this cause many of you are weak and sick, and a number sleep." Catholics call the communions a sacrament. Baptism is also considered a sacrament. The elevation of the video screen to the front of the auditorium reduces the significance of both ordinances.

Low churches generally disregard weekly "communion" at the Lord's Supper, and baptism is generally not mentioned, or it is delayed for a season, when "batches" of people are baptized. "Low church" is not a negative expression since it refers to those without fixed "liturgy." Both high and low churches can have spirituality, in that sense.

When we meet together on Sunday morning, with songs, and Bible readings along with a common sermon theme, we are "sharing" or have "common union" or "communion" with those around us. But the Lord's Supper sharpens the focus and clarifies the bond between us--the bond being that we are saved through Jesus Christ's gift.

This is why many worry that screens, and specialized music, can distract from the communion at the "Lord's Table."

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July 28 2017, 3:21 PM 

Yes, I am aware, and I apologize for my lapse in thinking and imprecise syntax. The KJV translators (God`s Secretaries) seemingly inserted communion where virtually no other does. Most other translations use variants of sharing or partaking, etc., more direct gerunds than communion. My comment was in response to the comment that the transition team calls the Lord`s Supper "communion", and ff. Have you ever heard anyone say we have now reached the point in our service where we take the Sharing? Communion does not refer to the Lord's supper but to a metaphysical state that occurs when we share or partake or join in common union.
Basically, some little to do about nothing.
I understand the worry, too. The distraction from the metaphysical state, because the physical acts are meaningless without understanding, purpose, and intent. I am not so sure of the general demeanor at the first one, with lots going on, people milling about, lots of conversation, etc. I have visited where lights were dimenished, soft hymns, etc., and I found it disquietly funereal.

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Ken Sublett
(Login Ken.Sublett)

Atrahasis and Human Creation

July 28 2017, 5:41 PM 

Pagans always want to force the Kingdom of Christ back to Babylon.

John 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

This defines most people's limitation. However, to those with eyes and ears He said:

John 6:63 It is the SPIRIT that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the WORDS that I speak unto you, they are SPIRIT, and they are LIFE.

The Mass is Babylonish which began with the need to regularly execute a god. The gods got wise and let the king (senior pastor) be executed. The Jews regularly sacrificed infants and Hezekiah substituted goats. Most christians want to dress up as God and keep Jesus an infant in a cradle. The Catholics want to keep Jesus on the cross. A few days ago my wife's devout Catholic niece visited and she was troubled with the Catholic cross which still has Jesus pinned to it.

In Babylon.

Nintu made her voice heard
And spoke to the great gods,

On the first, seventh, and fifteenth of the month
I shall make a purification by washing.
Then one god should be slaughtered.
And the gods can be purified by immersion.

Nintu shall mix the clay
With his flesh and blood.
Then a god and a man
Will be mixed together in clay.

Let us hear the drumbeat forever after,
Let a ghost come into existence from the god's flesh,
Let her proclaim it as her living sign,
And let the ghost exist so as not to forget the slain god.

"For Frazerians literature harks back to myths that were originally the scripts of the key primitive ritual of regularly killing and replacing the king in whom the god of vegetation resided, in order to ensure good crops for the community. "The king must die".

Ezekiel 8 describes the death and resurrection of Tammuz.

Britannica: According to the EUCHARISTIC doctrine of Roman Catholicism, the elements of bread and wine are "TRANSUBSTANTIATED" into the BODY and BLOOD of Christ; i.e., their whole substance is converted into the whole substance of the body and blood, although the outward appearances of the elements, their "ACCIDENTS," remain.

"Such practices as the ADORATION and reservation of the HOST [Sun Image] follow from this doctrine that the whole Christ is really present in his body and blood in the forms of bread and wine. During the 19th and 20th centuries the Roman Catholic Liturgical Movement put new emphasis on the frequency of communion, on the participation of the entire congregation in the priestly service, and on the Real Presence of Christ in the church as the fundamental presupposition for the Real Presence in the Eucharist.

"In Reformed Christianity, Huldrych Zwingli emphasized the memorial aspect of the Eucharist. John Calvin, however, taught a "real but spiritual presence" of the living Christ, but in the sacramental action rather than in the elements.

You cannot eat his flesh or drink His blood without ritually killing Jesus.

John Mark Hicks apparently wants to EAT THE FAT of Jesus in the Eucharist as a "feast with and for god God: God eats with us while we burn the fat.

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Church and Ecclesia

July 29 2017, 10:29 AM 

Some thoughts come to mind.

Strangely enough, church and ecclesia are etymologically different. "Church" replaced ecclesia in the translation of the New Testament, beginning with the King James, but preceded by centuries of religious thought. In other words, the King James translation only sealed thought that came centuries before.

Ecclesia literally means "the gathering of those summoned," or merely "assembly" as William has mentioned. Roots of "assembly" can be said to be "those called out." In only three cases in the New Testament is "ecclesia" correctly translated as "assembly". See Acts 19:32,39,and 41.

Church however is etymologically derived from "that of the Lord", or kuriakos, or "pertaining to the Lord." This word is found only two times in the Greek New Testament, 1 Corinthian 11:20 and Revelations 1:10. The first refers to the Lord's Supper, the second verse to the Lord's Day. Church probably gets its modern usage from the fact that worship centers (buildings) were for worship to the Lord. Hence, "church" originally referred to the building, but the called-out assembly (ecclesia) was called the church (kuriakos). So the modern words are different from the original meanings.

This may be unfortunate since the usage of the word "church" ignores the fact that God's family are those "called out." "Called out" can refer to those who respond to Jesus being the "Son of God," and are called out as a result of that fact. See Matthew 16:18. "Upon this rock will I build my assembly (church)." Those who respond to His sonship are called out from the immoral unbelieving life to a life transformed by the love of God and the gift of Christ.

"Church" on the other hand, refers to ownership, and the developing clergy of the early centuries found this meaning to be to their advantage, at least some would say. Church evolved into referring to s superstructure which began to exercise authority beyond that recognized in the New Testament.

A real turn-about is that "church" in its original meaning is closer to "the Lord's Supper", since church refers to that pertaining the Lord, or owned by the Lord. Communion on the other hand might refer to how the called-out (assembly, or ecclesia) bond together in sharing thought, prayers, songs, and Biblical reading.

Communion, in that sense, is a broad term, referring to a number of sharings that Christians have with one another. Then the Lord's Supper is not the only communion. We have communion from the time we are "called out." Oddly enough, the called out (kecclesia or assembly) has a communion (ownership, sharing, or kuriakos) on the Lord's Day and during the Lord's Supper. That common ownership or sharing is made possible by the Sonship of Christ whereby we are called out from paganism and immorality.

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Ken Sublett
(Login Ken.Sublett)

Re: Church and Ecclesia

July 29 2017, 11:38 AM 

Thanks! That makes it pretty clear. As noted the Catholic Kuria (sp) makes the Pope the "owner".

Does that also mean Senior Pastor?

This message has been edited by Ken.Sublett from IP address on Jul 29, 2017 11:48 AM

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Re: Church and Ecclesia

July 29 2017, 12:59 PM 

When the elders give subservience to their pastor, we have the beginning of hierarchy. Then when Right Now Media is introduced, the elders, pastor, and the "laity" know who the bishops are over their churches. All very nicely laid out, then some time down the road we can get the Protestant pope, chosen from those who are authoring the most books with evolving theology.

So I think we could have a SuperChurch, the Protestant Vatican.

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Re: Church and Ecclesia

July 29 2017, 4:41 PM 

The tendency of many "transition" (evolving) churches is to cancel Bible classes so as to break that momentum of Bible textual study. Additionally some churches have abandoned Bible Study on Wednesday nights. Films and self-analysis is in their place.

Bible classes are usually taught by those with a long track record, who are versed in restoration history. These teachers are an impediment to "transition." This may be why their classes are cancelled. Right Now Media is their substitute.

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There are thousands of churches being taken over across America.

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Madison Church of Christ was a 60 year old church. At one time it was one of the largest churches in the US, and the largest Church of Christ.

It thrived for many years on the vision of it's elders and those of it's ministers. Those visions undoubtably came from the the inspired word of Jesus Christ.

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