Christianity Then and Now - a Rant

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Christianity Then and Now - a Rant

Postby Chette » Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:25 pm

I am just going to ramble and rant on different things on here but the things you and I can share is what is observable with todays Christianity and or slash Christians. So I hope some of you will get involved and let's see where this goes.

My wife an I were discussing differnt topics of the Bible and one that seemed to be abused most are the what many call the Charisma gifts.  Well I guess we have already discussed that but I am sure many of these groups which put experiences over god's word just really don't know the truth as well as they claim they do.

But one thing that came out of our talk was how different Christianity is today from the beginning.

You know it doesn't take you long to really see the differences, for example you walk into barnes and noble.  Well right there walking into large retailed stores, these things did not exist back then.  back to walking into these stores you go over to the Christian book section and you see 500 different people with their books on Christian subject matter.  From how to have a baby to preparing for your death, and all thing in between.  Most of the topics probably never existed in the form they do today because of the vast difference in society.  With the advancement of science (so called) and the invention of just about everything that today makes our society a thousand time different that it was at the time of the early church in 90AD.

Well anyway, something that will stand out in churches and bookstores is the fact that though God's word is 100% applicable today as it was back then which proves God's word is living.  I listen to many preacher/teachers of God's word and the applications they come up with which an early church member would have a hard time relating too because it just was not relevant in their day.  and much of what was relevant to them is not today as well.  The few things that are absolutely the same is man's heart, pride, sexual immorality, greed, dominance or ruling over others etc etc.. . .

I was reading a devotional, and the theme of the whole book was building, so in the devotional the different writers are going to give five days worth of their interpretation of certain scriptures and will interlace it with examples for life learning.  What struck me as routine was that it seems so mechanical and without real life.  Though he spoke about pride I couldn't get to what he was really implying.  the example was a man joined him for weight lifting at the gym.  Ok let's stop right there in 90AD the common people did have gyms or places to exercise as we have today.  But in that day the solders did have places like gyms for training.  None of that was relevant back then but here in the here and now it may be, but let's proceed.

He tells of how a man joins him to work out and  that he is asked what his max weight is.  so he tells him 150lbs.  I see nothing unusual with that many who work out ask others what their max lift is and in of itself in the manner in which he answered in the devotional did not give any indication the man answering was being prideful.  So as they work out that day he gets to his max lift of 150lbs and he is unable to lift it.  Now he feels embarrassed because he can't lift the weight he told the man his max was.  He even tells us he told the man he doesn't understand he just lifted that two days ago.  He moves along in his writing telling us later that as he thought on it it was because of Pride that God did not let him lift the max weight he had told the guy he could lift.

Alright I will stop there for a moment either the guy was not good at conveying it or he left something out but he never gave any indication that he was prideful or boastful about answering the guys question about is max lift weight.  So to me it seemed like there was no pride or boasting when he answered what his max was until he got to the point where he couldn't lift it.  there embarrassed by not being able to lift what he said he could was the pride.  However he never said or spoke about the embarrassment being the pride he claimed god showed him his answering the mans' question that he was being prideful.  To me whether it was the answer or the embarrassment both of these things could have been a prideful moment.  My point here is the man was unable to show really where the pride was but God showed him just the claim of 150lbs lift was the pride but to me I saw it in his embarrassment.

Anyway, the devotional is full of what men contrive as spiritual lessons they have gone through and in hopes of being part of this 25 day devotional expose they will help some poor wretched failing Christian to humble themselves before God or Pride will cause them to fall as the example above.  

I have heard these types of lessons over and over to the point that I wonder what Christianity would be like back in Peter and Paul's day.  I like the Peter and Paul types of experiences.  What is great about them is they were real and not about themselves but about what God did and done.  Like sending the angel to bring out Peter from the most secure prison of its day.  Or even how Paul and Silas were unshackled as they sang praises unto God.  then once again it happened to us.  We are in line checking out our groceries at the store when I forgot the tang drink mix.  As my wife kept unloading the items I ran back into the isles of Walmart and while I darted back down the isles I saw a fellow church member a second time and she asked where my wife was and I pointed her to register 15 and continued on my way.

When I returned I found the cashier waiting for me but the lady who asked about my wife was the one paying for our groceries.  Her story went like this. " God laid it on my heart when I first saw you in the store to pay for your groceries but we had already parted ways, so I spoke to the Lord and said if you really want me to pay for their groceries let me run into them again".  That second meeting was when I was running back to get that last forgotten item while leaving my wife at the register.

We praised God for what took place I verbally said "praise God and God bless you" right there at the register with everyone waiting.  As we gathered our bags I turned to the people behind us and apologized for my holding up the line to go get my tang.  And of course they all said no problem.  But what they witnessed was an act of the Lord moving on a persons heart, a witness not often seen but many have heard or read of it.  I know that it is a humbling thing to have someone else pay for your food and there would be some who would have protested even so humbly but we allowed ourselves to be humble and allow this lady to do what the Lord led her to do.

When my wife and I got home she started talking to me about how nice it was to see God move like that and bless us.  But one thing I made sure my wife saw was this.  It was not because we are better than others or that the lady was better than others.  It is not about doing good works.  Deep down I said God knows our hearts and our hearts are right before him and what he did was show the same grace as he did with Jesus dying on the cross for us.  It something he does for his glory.

I have seen pride in some of our brethren when something like this takes place in their lives and they seem to lift themselves up as if it was because they are closer to God or because they are on the right track in life,  and both of those could be correct.  But as I explained to my wife it is God doing something to bring glory to himself and His Son Jesus Christ, it is the same grace that saved us that pushed on this ladies heart.  This lady has been a Christian for some time, She is poor and takes care of hard case young boys, but she always wants to be used of God in a small way and she did that which the Lord led because the fleece prayer she spoke to God of was answered and she then obeyed.

My point here is There are a lot of people today who want to be used of God like in the days of Paul.  But we must recognize that when God moves we are to praise him and glorify him in it and not start on some trip of how I have it and someone else does not.  It is through God's grace we have our being and we should live in that Grace.  When I read Col 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, [so] walk ye in him: I now have a deeper understanding of this not only are we to live our lives daily in faith but also living in His Grace, "For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves it is a gift of God" Eph 2:8

If many could live more of their days by God's grace through faith how then many would experience today the same power of God that Peter and Paul and others had seen in their day.

I ramble more later but please feel free to join in this conversation
Last edited by Chette on Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Psalm 49:3 My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart [shall be] of understanding.
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Re: Christianity Then and Now - a Rant

Postby Chette » Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:48 pm

Well today before I go to work I wanted to rant some more about my observations.  Mind you I am focusing on the body of Christ and not on all men.  But the sad conclusion is that the world is like this too.

In our current Christian world many want to be recognized, they want fame and glory. Though We are to glory in Christ the type glory many Christians are seeking is their own.  With all the current shooting instances in the public schools, court houses and just the random street shootings one thing is the same.  It is to have the recognition.  Gang members do it to intimidate others and have their respect by fear.  others like the teen who kills one and then kills himself probably wanted to commit suicide anyway so why not go down being remembered in infamy.  getting 15 minutes of fame for his wicked deeds.

Yet many Christians are just like this seeking to be recognized, to have fame, fortune and recognition.  now none of the apostles sought this, paul did not seek it and Jesus himself did not seek it so where do Christians get it?  Their choice of games and entertainment are where they find this.  And this leads me back to what I said yesterday about the church in its early days is nothing like what we are today.  While society has always had some form of entertainment and games a majority of the persons time in 90AD was spent working their fields, producing cloth or other items or working for another person herding or farming and in trade.  These things are there today however the vastness of the population are no longer involved in the activities of production and distribution as they were back then.  

When we read about the Virtuous woman in Prov 31 I could not compare her to many women today.  I look at my wife, now she does work hard, she cares for our kids preparing meals, cleans house, washes clothing (in the Philippines she has to do it by hand which takes longer sometimes four to five hours.)  the washer really cuts her time spent there drastically.  She also goes out side and trims hedges, plants a garden.  When she shops at the store she looks for deals or at thrift stores not only looks for things for her family but looks for something that will sell on our eBay store, that we can make a small profit on.  That is about as close as a woman can get to be like the virtuous woman of Prov 31.

Ok back on track.  A young man in his 30's just finished his seminary and is looking for a church and none will hire him.  One of the reasons is like all jobs. especially today, there are thousands applying for the job.  These churches have a wide choice and what are they looking for is someone who will put their church on the map of success and recognition.  And many of these men who do get a pastorate and develop a good, and I quote "Ministry", they want it to be a legacy.  that is recognition after they die of their great work and they want their sons to take over the ministry after they die.  Why?

Pride, self serving interests, recognition, fame and fortune.  My it's no different that the world.

You know what my advice was to this young man.  1) Be sure and test your calling, 2) Don't seek it to make money or fame and 3) Start your own group by doing a home church first.

By my own experience, the last one wont be done because of not doing the first and wanting to make money.  I remember a scripture I just can't put an address on it but it went like this "do none of my priest open the doors for naught, or make the offerings for naught?  One of Israel's problem was the priestly class of the Levites and those who were not to be doing the ministry of the temple was to do the work of God for money and gain.  And many teachers and preachers of God's word are that way today.

I have been doing the ministry by faith.  sometimes not knowing where I was, in my strength, going to get my next meal.  Yet God always blessed right when it was needed.  Because our heart was not to do the work for a price but because we were willing to do it for naught.  Our heart was to serve God and him alone do we worship.  I now know why Paul said it was better to remain single if possible.

Now as I observe my brethren in the assemblies we attend I see in some that attitude of I want recognition, I want to do the work but I am doing it in hopes of getting on staff.  Others just want to be recognized for good works, and yet others want to possess the power or at least have power to do miracles and healing that others would recognize them.  Oh they will praise God but deep in their hearts that pride is still taking glory for the power they "perceive they yield".

I am reminded of the verse in Matt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  His righteousness is that which was given us when we by grace through faith believed on Christ's finished work of the cross.  And as I mentioned in the previous post we are to live daily in the very way in which we were saved, by God's grace through faith.  There are many who see these things and are on the right track with God that are not after recognition.  But a majority or pastors and Christians are indeed looking to build something they can be remembered for.  A church, a ministry, a mission work so they can point to it and say, "you owe me God look what I have done, where's my reward"?

You know, and I have gotten in trouble for this because the hearer misunderstood, but I see that many a Christian seem to think or have a much higher value of themselves and that God died for them because there were valuable.  But truthfully we are worm ridden draught, not worth the spit of a goat and yet God's son died for us.  I am reminded what Paul said, Romans 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.   But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  If a Christian would really understand this they like I realize we are worthless totally depraved and not worth a plug nickel, yet Christ died for us.  You see only God would die for the worthless sinner, he didn't die for righteous, the elite, the great and the noble, NO!  He died for a lowly sinner bound for hell and if a man will recognize that and he in humbleness would come to God and glorify him and praise him for this great work and stop thinking that God did this work because he is worthy of it, that man just might learn something.

Well go,  We'll talk more on this later.
Psalm 49:3 My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart [shall be] of understanding.
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Re: Christianity Then and Now - a Rant

Postby Chette » Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:30 am

Was Christianity like this back then?

They did not have houses of worship or as many many of my Baptist brethren call them the house of the Lord or of God.  In this area of Virginia I bet there are 5,ooo houses of God.  It sure is good that he is omnipresent so he could live in so many buildings at once.  Truly this is the RC knock off of the Temple of God on Jerusalem that Israel had, but there is none today except in all these houses of God everywhere in the Gentile world.

Every time I here these pastors say "welcome to the House of the Lord" or "isn't it great to be in the house of the Lord?"  

I think, "I am the temple of God, I am his dwelling place not this building or the one around the corner or the thousands around the world.  "We the Body of Christ are the temple of the Holy Ghost.   1Cor 3:16 ¶ Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Cor 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

I keep thinking "know ye not" that this building is not the temple of God or the house of God?

Know ye not that the whole "House of God" attributed to a building is a Roman Catholic lie that your are propagating?

The early church surely didn't make this type of distinction of the places were they assembled.

Were the places where they meet anything like what is practiced today?

I mean did some bring along there harps, and drum, and a trumpet and play worship music for those assembled to sing to or be entertained by?

I read my Bible and I followed Paul and I never heard of such taking place.

How did the early gatherers start their meetings?

Acts 13:1-3 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.   As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.   And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

I came across this one church in Acts 13 it tells us there were prophets and teachers gathered in the church, this had to be a building, and they ministered to the Lord (stop!).  They ministered to the Lord?  This is interesting they are in Antioch so how did they Minister to the Lord?  I can't answer that at the Moment but I think about it a lot.  But here they were ministering to the Lord, and fasting, in the Old Testament God commanded Israel to afflict themselves by fasting on the day when they would assemble for the appointed feasts.  So Fasting must have been carried over into the church and would be similar to that which the Lord commanded Israel a one day thing.  But while they were ministering and fasting the Holy Ghost tells them to separate Paul and Barnabas.

Alright, so far I don't see anything like the home churches do, or the different denominational churches do.  It could be because I don't know what "Ministering to the Lord" actually was.  It makes me feel almost dumb because the ministry to the Lord in temple worship under OT law was opening the doors, making sure the oil was in the lamp and it was lit continually, and that fresh bread was on the table in the Holy of Holies.  David later added musicians to play music ( I guess it was for the Lord) or was it so people would be comforted rather than sitting in pure silence?  they were to do the Morning and Evening sacrifices and those for themselves and the people as they came to the Temple at those appointed times as well as all the rest of the year.

So how were these men ministering to the Lord that day in Antioch?

Are we doing that same thing today?  You know a lot of singing, talking in uninterpreted tongues, then one of them would a little devotional, something simple as not to offend anyone, then another song and then lunch?

Was Ministering to the Lord a kingdom thing or a Body of Christ Thing?

Just maybe because we don't know any more just what the believers in 90AD did when they came together, and so we do the only thing we have known (which is Romish) to come, sing, listen to one man, sing, have a prayer or two then out we go.

Then there could be the possibility that "those in the church that was in Antioch" could just mean people who were believers in Christ and some of them were prophets and teachers.  But what still is not answered is, "How did they minister to the Lord?"  there was no temple of God in Antioch but there were believers.  

Do I minister to the Lord?  As I said, "I think on this a lot"  I would like to learn what they did when they ministered to the Lord.  Is ministering to the Lord Ministering to the Body of Christ?

What is clear from Paul's writings is that when the people assembled in Corinth they weren't ministering to the Lord.  Paul asked almost sarcastically, 1Cor 14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. . . .  It seemed Paul was asking how could this be that EVERY ONE OF YOU hath something to share as if there were no one there just to be ministered to.  It was as if every one was to busy teaching and revealing, and speaking in a tongue or reciting a Psalm than to minister.  So Paul tacked on the end Let all things be done unto edifying.

Were these people ministering to the Lord?  

The way it is spoken of by Paul it looks as if it wasn't.  So he correct them in there ways and says that God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the churches (must be gatherings of believers in a location).  So we know that even within some years after Paul was sent from Antioch, that ministering to the Lord was not in the picture in the church but they still had their Prophets and their teachers.

I don't see ministering to the Lord happening in our churches today, and I wonder why aren't we?

This is something I wonder about and just thought I would ramble it out there for your consideration.

Good night all.  Until next time.  God bless
Psalm 49:3 My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart [shall be] of understanding.
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