Jump to content
  • Welcome to Online Baptist

    Free to join.

DaveW

A clear verse teaching a universal understanding of the word "church".

Recommended Posts

The whole point of this thread, as is laid out in the first post, is BIBLICAL support for your position - of which you have provided precisely none.

I am sorry if you find it "indignant" or whatever, but I am not interested in what men say about the subject.

I am not interested in people who simply follow what they have been told.

I am not interested in people quoting other men's teachings.

I am not interested any man's opinion without Biblical support.

You are entitled to your opinion, but IN THIS THREAD your oponion will be rejected out of hand if it is not supported by Scripture.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, DaveW said:

The whole point of this thread, as is laid out in the first post, is BIBLICAL support for your position - of which you have provided precisely none.

I am sorry if you find it "indignant" or whatever, but I am not interested in what men say about the subject.

I am not interested in people who simply follow what they have been told.

I am not interested in people quoting other men's teachings.

I am not interested any man's opinion without Biblical support.

You are entitled to your opinion, but IN THIS THREAD your oponion will be rejected out of hand if it is not supported by Scripture.i DaveW, 

G'day DaveW,

You said:

"I am not interested in people who simply follow what they have been told.

I am not interested in people quoting other men's teachings.

I am not interested any man's opinion without Biblical support.

You are entitled to your opinion, but IN THIS THREAD your opinion will be rejected out of hand if it is not supported by Scripture."

Much of what you said is self-contradictory such as " I am not interested in what men say about the subject" But if that were true, why even respond or even reply to the posters on this thread? Including me? Why not just ignore me as an old man who you deem has learning problems?

And they are not my "opinions", and I have supported what I said using scripture. It's just that you have lack of understanding in the exegesis and hermeneutics of it. And you need to delve deeper in your studies. That, I can't help you. I study scripture every day, using exegesis and let scripture interpret scripture, and for you to say that you are not interested in people quoting other men's teachings (which I have not), or giving personal opinions without scriptural support (which I have not), or "follow" other teachers suggest that you have little to no knowledge about my study habits. IF bible teachers and Pastor's are correct, then they are correct if their teachings can be validated using scriptural support. I will leave you with this. I am 62 years old and not to toot my own horn, but I have been around the block a few times with regards to life's wisdom. I truly care for you and I'm quite sure you love Jesus, but I sincerely believe that you have much spiritual growth ahead of you, as we all do. I will bow out of this thread since it is only leading to a severe misunderstanding of what I've wrote. Take care!

God Bless,

Daniel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, (Omega) said:

I would say that the word church is a local assembly of Christians, and is a temporary, flexible small organization of some individuals within THE Church who, largely for geographical reasons, meet together for mutual encouragement and growth through the ministry of the Word of God -- at least that is the Bible's position:  Local assemblies are only as valuable as their dedication to carrying out their purpose; it also means that there is no justification for enshrining them with special buildings, special esoteric theologies (many of them which are false) -- all of which things contribute to a studied disinterest in the truth which is a hallmark of MOST denominations. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! :6_smile:

God Bless,

Daniel

Your first post was entirely unsupported opinion. No Scripture quoted, no verse even referenced. 

This is 100% at odds with the opening post of this thread which SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED verses.

 

9 hours ago, (Omega) said:

These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (1 Timothy 3:14,15)

The absence of definite articles in other bible translation here (for "house", "church", "pillar" and "ground" -- all of which refer to the local church) is of critical importance and has been missed by almost every major translation.  But notice that "the truth", the purpose behind having a local assembly in the first place, is indeed "definite"

This post you quoted a verse which so obviously doesn't relate in any way to a universal understanding of church it is almost imposdible to counter it - it simply doesn't relate to a universal church. At all. In any way....

As far as your accusation that if I was not interested etc......

I started the thread. I sa

I stated the purpose of the thread.

I have every right to direct it as I see fit.

Your first post was absolutely, 100% against the point of the thread, in that it was nothing more than unsuported opinion with no reference to the Bible.

 

I cannot believe that you are ragging on me for insisting that people support their opinions with Biblical support.

I will discuss with anyone a legitimate verse, where they have done the study themselves and are able to present a legitimate argument, and not just regurtitate someone else's teaching.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, DaveW said:

Your first post was entirely unsupported opinion. No Scripture quoted, no verse even referenced. 

This is 100% at odds with the opening post of this thread which SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED verses.

 

This post you quoted a verse which so obviously doesn't relate in any way to a universal understanding of church it is almost imposdible to counter it - it simply doesn't relate to a universal church. At all. In any way....

As far as your accusation that if I was not interested etc......

I started the thread. I sa

I stated the purpose of the thread.

I have every right to direct it as I see fit.

Your first post was absolutely, 100% against the point of the thread, in that it was nothing more than unsuported opinion with no reference to the Bible.

 

I cannot believe that you are ragging on me for insisting that people support their opinions with Biblical support.

I will discuss with anyone a legitimate verse, where they have done the study themselves and are able to present a legitimate argument, and not just regurtitate someone else's teaching.

 

Per the Moderator's request, I will post one last time and stop "arguing" and get on topic. 
I am on my way to the airport this afternoon. Just so that you can stop accusing me of having no scriptural support, I will break it down for you.
 
To be honest, I'm not sure what the problem is or what the objection is.
 
The word "church" in the Bible is the Greek word ekklesia and it means "assembly"; it's the same word used for the assembly of the citizens in ancient Athens and the assembly of the people in the wilderness under Moses' leadership (Hebrew: qahal often translated as ekklesia in the LXX; compare Acts 7:38 KJV).
 
Beyond all argument, there is a Church which is composed of all believers:
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter [the little rock] (petr-os), and upon this [mighty] Rock (petr-a, i.e., upon Christ Himself; cf. 1Cor.3:11) I will build My Church (cf. Dan.2:44-45), and the gates (i.e., the fortified defenses) of Hell (i.e., the devil's kingdom) will not [prevail] against it. (Matthew 16:18)
 
Beyond all argument, there are also smaller local assemblies that comprise only part of THE Church:
 
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia: (2nd Corinthians 1:1) 
Not even an unbeliever who finds the Bible pointless could read these verses and disagree with these two points.  So I'm not sure I understand your problem or putative point -- or motive in trying to make it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, (Omega) said:
Beyond all argument, there is a Church which is composed of all believers:
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter [the little rock] (petr-os), and upon this [mighty] Rock (petr-a, i.e., upon Christ Himself; cf. 1Cor.3:11) I will build My Church (cf. Dan.2:44-45), and the gates (i.e., the fortified defenses) of Hell (i.e., the devil's kingdom) will not [prevail] against it. (Matthew 16:18)

Beyond all argument?????

This verse does not require some sort of universal understanding of church.

First of all, in studying the meaning of word ekklesia, you find definition requires the assembling together. How can a universal church, which by definition is spread throughout the world AND throughout time be assembled together?

The concept of a universal church is absolutely at odds with the concept of being assembled.

Secondly, if it was "Beyond all argument" then there would be a plethora of verses supporting the concept - there just isn't. 

You will need to explain WHY this verse is necessarily universal in its meaning if you want a proper answer, because when I read this verse I do not see a universal church.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to make sure I understand what you are saying Dave and Omega

Dave
You believe that there are only local churches and that there is not a "Universal Church".

Omega
It appears that you reject the "Universal Church" that is taught by Catholics, but that you hold to the same position as me that there is a singular "Church" that all Christians belong to, but that God does not work through that Church today, he works through the "local Assemblies". That the singular church is simply referring to all truly born-again believers.

I just want to make sure I fully understand both of you. Are these accurate?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Pastorj said:

I want to make sure I understand what you are saying Dave and Omega

Dave
You believe that there are only local churches and that there is not a "Universal Church".

Omega
It appears that you reject the "Universal Church" that is taught by Catholics, but that you hold to the same position as me that there is a singular "Church" that all Christians belong to, but that God does not work through that Church today, he works through the "local Assemblies". That the singular church is simply referring to all truly born-again believers.

I just want to make sure I fully understand both of you. Are these accurate?

Yes sir, Pastorj

You have my position absolutely correct. I wish I could further expound on this but I am running late. Merry Christmas and a Happy 2018.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dave,

Good thread IMO and a good argument. I think I understand where you are coming from now and I think you are correct in that a church is always an assembly regardless of how mentioned. I am addressing two very related birds with this post if you don't mind.

Both the local church for us during our 70 years down here and all born again believers making up the body of Christ throughout the age, are Scriptural. Our business is the local church. God's business is the whole church from the beginning which will assemble in Heaven later on. So IMO this makes your argument very logical and it can be stated accurately that the body of Christ is not His complete or assembled Church "yet". But rather the mentions of His Church are in future tense and reference that time when it is complete and assembled in Heaven, including Heb 12 which is also applied in future tense because it is obvious that the audience nor Paul had yet "physically come unto the mount Sion" but that his name is written there and he and all to who that passage applies to will come later throughout the age until all are present. Then and only then is His Church Assembled. The Lord is outside of time so He refers to us all as His church (past, present and future) but we are still inside the limits of time and can only refer to our physical assemblies with any authority.

There is no doubt that the catholic perversion of the universal church lead by a pope is unscriptural. Just like every counterfeit aspect of Catholicism. Protestants and Charismatics follow the same errors in relation to I Cor 13. They believe Apostle type characters still exist in some more modern form like popery and archbishops and denominational presidents, etc.  Some of these groups even refer to their leaders as "apostle". So in mind-boggling error they think a central person is to have oversight of many churches as it was in Acts initially. What is not understood by these false groups is that in Acts, once these churches (that they personally planted) were later confirmed by the same Apostles (and their own disciples), they then became independent churches. They of course can't understand that the Spiritual authority and powers given the Apostles died with them after the completion of God's Perfect Revelation to man and the presence of indwelling Spirit. Not just Apostolic authority but also Apostolic gifts breathed on the Apostles by the Lord personally including all gifts of healings, tongues, prophesies, signs, wonders and miracles. Some of these gifts were passed onto the Apostle's direct disciples also but all ended at the end of the first century once the Book of Revelation was finished in written form.

All of these early gifts were considered child's play by God once the Perfect combination of His Spirit guiding believers in His Completed Word was come (that which is Perfect) I Cor 13. God has no need for Apostles to provide oversight anymore we have the "perfect" and more "excellent" way now. His Word is complete so there will be no more Revelation/prophesy from Him to anyone since AD96 and all the way up until the Comforter is taken out of the way with His remaining Church members. Nor is there any need for Spiritual gifts, signs, tongues or any other "sight" type early evidences for the unbelievers. The Spirit is here now to convict of sin, righteousness and judgment to come based solely on God's Completed, Written Word.

Since I Cor 13 and 14 are purposely ignored by these groups, all sorts of nonsense that mocks God and His Word goes on in this age. Man worship like Popery and denominational central offices/presidents (doctrine of the nicolaitans) comes from this purposeful misinterpretation, as does all charismania like dreams and visions and audible voices and near death (see the light) nonsense concocted in the mind that always needs to see a sign or proof of God.

God clearly puts no man anyone else in this age (Matt 23). He will speak to no one audibly in this age. All of His revelation to us is already revealed and Perfect being explained by His Spirit.

Out of ignorance these groups believe that we not only have God's Complete Revelation and God's Holy Spirit poured out over all flesh who convicts, regenerates, seals and indwells.

but they also redundantly retain the temporary:

Apostolic authority along with all the gifts clearly designated by God as temporary, IE..."in part" until the Perfect combination of the Spirit and His Word is come. The entire idea of seeking signs in this age is not only unscriptural but also makes a foolish mockery of God and His true Gospel which can only be received in pure faith without sight of any type. In addition, Spiritual growth can only come from true faith and true faith can only come from "hearing His written Word".

If a person seeks signs long enough, their subconscious minds will give provide them. Aided of course by spicy foods, hormonal imbalances, medications or rem-sleep dreams sometimes brought on by anesthesia . The ignorance is in the seeking of such signs. Except the sign of Jonas the prophet of course (Christ's Sacrifice for us). 

I believe false religions share the same misunderstandings of these passages and this is where some of their distinguishing falsehoods come from, whether man-worship (universal church) or extra revelation, signs/miracles in this age. These confusions are all directly related IMO.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Pastorj said:

I want to make sure I understand what you are saying Dave and Omega

Dave
You believe that there are only local churches and that there is not a "Universal Church".

Omega
It appears that you reject the "Universal Church" that is taught by Catholics, but that you hold to the same position as me that there is a singular "Church" that all Christians belong to, but that God does not work through that Church today, he works through the "local Assemblies". That the singular church is simply referring to all truly born-again believers.

I just want to make sure I fully understand both of you. Are these accurate?

Not exactly.

Where the word "church" is used, it is always used in its proper sense, which means a gathered together group. It is never used incorrectly of a universal ungathered group.

God DOES refer to all believers at times, but when He does He uses terms like "household", "fellowcitizens", etc.

I am not "local church only",  because I do not deny that the Bible refers to all believers. It is easy to produce verses that show this. But God never calls all believers as a single ungathered group "the church".

Edited by DaveW
Phone spelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DaveW

Thanks for the clarification.

I agree with you that the word church is a "Called out Assembly" and in most cases it refers to a specific local church. Maybe what I am saying is symantics, so let me rephrase and see what you think. I would say that "All Believers" belong to God's Church as he proclaimed that he would build his church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. (All Singular). However, I can agree with you that there is no "Universal Church" as taught by the Roman Catholics. If we said that "All Believers belong to the Bride or Body of Christ and that the Lord works through the local church, what would your thoughts be?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Pastorj said:

DaveW

Thanks for the clarification.

I agree with you that the word church is a "Called out Assembly" and in most cases it refers to a specific local church. Maybe what I am saying is symantics, so let me rephrase and see what you think. I would say that "All Believers" belong to God's Church as he proclaimed that he would build his church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. (All Singular). However, I can agree with you that there is no "Universal Church" as taught by the Roman Catholics. If we said that "All Believers belong to the Bride or Body of Christ and that the Lord works through the local church, what would your thoughts be?

 

Now you see, the problem i have with that reference (the gates of hell...), is that if it is universal, then Jesus was wrong.

Let me explain this:

In WW2, it could have been said at various times that the German army prevailed over the Allies.  They did not ultimately do so, but for instance, in France the Germans prevailed.

There are plenty of churches that have failed over the years, and if we are talking universally then we could rightly say that Satan has prevailed over the church in certain areas.

If however, that verse is referring to the church in concept (car reference from earlier in this thread), then the gates of Hell have not prevailed. 

By the way, when Jesus calls it "my church" He is specifying His church as distinct from any other assembly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DaveW said:

By the way, when Jesus calls it "my church" He is specifying His church as distinct from any other assembly.

Dave,

Thank you for your whole post; especially the last sentence quoted above. The Lord Jesus clearly said, "my church," or the called out assembly of the saints (not unregenerate sinners in some church roll).

1. This excludes all of the false churches throughout the ages.

2. The writer in Hebrews is very clear when he states, ""To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect." Hebrews 12:23 The writer in Hebrews is clearly speaking of all of the firstborn, the redeemed saints, whose names are written in heaven (not on some Roman Catholic church roll, or other church roll), of the spirits of just men made perfect. There is no universal church here on this earth that the writer of Hebrews is speaking of. It is an assembly of believers in heaven.

Alan

Edited by Alan
grammer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel like this argument is really based on semantics at times. It seems we all agree that in the future there is going to be an assembly of ALL believers in the future according to the passage in Hebrews that has been referenced. We also all seem to agree that right now on earth there are different assemblies of believers on earth now, all of which will belong to the assembled group in the future as referenced in Hebrews. 

I have some questions, Can you be part of the future gathering of all believers without being a part of the a local assembly?

Here's a scenario, Lets say you get saved, join a church, and the church you are attending closes it's doors. So now you are saved, but are no longer the member of any local assembly. Can we rightly say that person is still not part of Jesus "My Church" and that they are not part of the Church mentioned in Hebrews? I think if you honestly answer these questions we can come to the conclusion that there is more to being part of Christ's Church than just being a part of a local assembly. What is clear is God works today in this world through local churches. 

In my opinion what I see is a knee jerk reaction to the Protestant and Catholic understanding of a "Universal Church" with a hierarchal structure. I think many have gone too far in the opposite direction in response to this. 

Edited by Jordan Kurecki

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Jordan Kurecki said:

I feel like this argument is really based on semantics at times. It seems we all agree that in the future there is going to be an assembly of ALL believers in the future according to the passage in Hebrews that has been referenced. We also all seem to agree that right now on earth there are different assemblies of believers on earth now, all of which will belong to the assembled group in the future as referenced in Hebrews. 

I have some questions, Can you be part of the future gathering of all believers without being a part of the a local assembly?

Here's a scenario, Lets say you get saved, join a church, and the church you are attending closes it's doors. So now you are saved, but are no longer the member of any local assembly. Can we rightly say that person is still not part of Jesus "My Church" and that they are not part of the Church mentioned in Hebrews? I think if you honestly answer these questions we can come to the conclusion that there is more to being part of Christ's Church than just being a part of a local assembly. What is clear is God works today in this world through local churches. 

In my opinion what I see is a knee jerk reaction to the Protestant and Catholic understanding of a "Universal Church" with a hierarchal structure. I think many have gone too far in the opposite direction in response to this. 

Words are important.

The proper use of words is important.

Many people use the words "Church " in a lazy, thoughtless way.

We ought to use words in a Biblical way.

The word "Church" is used wrongly, poorly, and unbiblically by many, which leads to an unbiblical understanding of Biblical passages and concepts, and it makes room for false doctrines.

The problem becomes clearer when we consider Acts 2 (and other passages). If we lazily use the word "Church" in an unbiblical universal way, then we allow those who teach baptismal regeneration space to play around with such passages, for example. Sometimes seemingly simple things can have heavier doctrinal consequences. 

The word "Church" has been used by many in just such a lazy, unbiblical way on this site.

Semantics? Maybe I guess, but accuracy of terms is not unimportant. 

If I have made people consider their use of this word, and caused people to at least be more careful with it, then I am satisfied.

Remember also that this is a discussion forum, and this has in general been a good discussion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brother Dave,

I have been thinking lately about this thread discussion.  You indicated that the thread was started in order to challenge people to think and study more thoroughly concerning the matter of the "universal church" idea.  As one who considers you to be a dear brother, a forum friend, and one worthy of my respect, may I attempt to challenge your thinking somewhat concerning Hebrews 12:22-23.

1.  Would you agree that Hebrews 12:22-23 definitely DOES speak concerning some form of "church," and that being some form of truly Biblical church in relation to our Lord Jesus Christ?

2.  What basic definition would you give for the word "universal" in relation to the idea of "universal church" (while not narrowing that definition of the word "universal" by any given doctrinal system)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Brother Dave,

I have been thinking lately about this thread discussion.  You indicated that the thread was started in order to challenge people to think and study more thoroughly concerning the matter of the "universal church" idea.  As one who considers you to be a dear brother, a forum friend, and one worthy of my respect, may I attempt to challenge your thinking somewhat concerning Hebrews 12:22-23.

1.  Would you agree that Hebrews 12:22-23 definitely DOES speak concerning some form of "church," and that being some form of truly Biblical church in relation to our Lord Jesus Christ?

2.  What basic definition would you give for the word "universal" in relation to the idea of "universal church" (while not narrowing that definition of the word "universal" by any given doctrinal system)?

Brother, this is the one passage which speaks of all saints and clearly uses the word "Church" in relation to them. In that sense it is "universal".

However, it is still the proper use of the word "church" because those saints are all gathered together in one place - the Bible even specifically names and designates the "place".

In that respect it does no violence to the meaning of the word "ekklesia" upon which our word "church" is based.

Spiritual or otherwise is irrelevant in the sense that the Bible puts it in terms of an actual gathering together in an actual place.

Are there any places in the Bible that CLEARLY go against the basic meaning of the word church (when that meaning is based on the proper meaning of ekklesia")? Not that I have found.

When the Bible wants to clearly speak about all saved people without restriction, it uses other words, but not "church".

In that respect, the Bible does speak universally of all saved people, but it uses terms like household, family, fellowcitizens, etc- words that are not location dependent.

I can be a citizen of my country no matter where I am in the world. It is not location dependent.

I am a member of my family even when I am at work, my wife is shopping, the kids are at different places of study/work. We are still a family independent of location.

But the basic meaning of ekklesia, and therefore the biblical meaning of church are dependent upon being gathered together. This is reinforced by virtually every verse and passage that uses the word church, and the very few that are not 100% clearly local, are vague about the concept at worst, due to those passages not being concerned with the concept of "church".

None are clearly "universal only" in their meaning.

As a result, the actual concept of a universal church is not something that I would consider a possibility.

However, the Bible does indeed speak of all saved people collectively - it just doesn't use the word church when it does so.

"Universal church" is an oxymoron.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, DaveW said:

Brother, this is the one passage which speaks of all saints and clearly uses the word "Church" in relation to them. In that sense it is "universal".

Brother Dave,

Such is the very admission of Biblical truth with which I am seeking to challenge you.  As you acknowledge:

1.  Hebrews 12:22-23 DOES speak of ALL New Testament saints.
2.  Hebrews 12:22-23 DOES use the word "church" in relation to ALL New Testament saints.
3.  Thus Hebrews 12:22-23 DOES use the word "church" in a "universal" sense.
 

3 hours ago, DaveW said:

However, it is still the proper use of the word "church" because those saints are all gathered together in one place - the Bible even specifically names and designates the "place".

In that respect it does no violence to the meaning of the word "ekklesia" upon which our word "church" is based.

Spiritual or otherwise is irrelevant in the sense that the Bible puts it in terms of an actual gathering together in an actual place.

Although I believe that it would be worthy for us to consider the doctrinal details of the matter, I do not stand in dispute with the primary point of your comments herein.
 

3 hours ago, DaveW said:

When the Bible wants to clearly speak about all saved people without restriction, it uses other words, but not "church".

In that respect, the Bible does speak universally of all saved people, but it uses terms like household, family, fellowcitizens, etc- words that are not location dependent.

Brother Dave, with all due respect (and I do hold a great deal of respect for you as a brother and as a friend), these comments appear to be in contradiction with your opening admission.

Herein you say that (1) "when the Bible wants to clearly speak about ALL saved people without restriction," (2) "it uses OTHER words, but NOT 'church'."

However, with your opening admission you acknowledge that Hebrews 12:22-23 (1) "is the one passage which speaks of ALL saints" (2) "and CLEARLY uses the word 'CHURCH' in relation to them."

So then, while continuing my challenge to your thinking, I am compelled to ask -- Which is correct?  Does the New Testament ONLY ever use other words when speaking of ALL New Testament saints, but NEVER the word "church," no, NOT EVER?  Or, does the New Testament actually and CLEARLY use the word "church" in relation to ALL New Testament saints in at least the one passage of Hebrews 12:22-23?  In fact, the NEVER, no NOT EVER declaration, and the AT LEAST ONCE declaration are mutually exclusive.  It is impossible for both to be correct.
 

3 hours ago, DaveW said:

But the basic meaning of ekklesia, and therefore the biblical meaning of church are dependent upon being gathered together. This is reinforced by virtually every verse and passage that uses the word church, and the very few that are not 100% clearly local, are vague about the concept at worst, due to those passages not being concerned with the concept of "church".

None are clearly "universal only" in their meaning.

Again, I have no dispute with the primary point that you have made herein.  Indeed, I would not argue that Hebrews 12:22-23 teaches a "universal ONLY" idea for "the general assembly and church of the firstborn."  Rather, considering the precise terminology and grammar of Hebrews 12:22-23, I am compelled to contend that Hebrews 12:22-23 teaches:

(1) A universal membership and gathering (2) at a single, heavenly locality (3) at the present time (4) through a spiritual means.
 

3 hours ago, DaveW said:

However, the Bible does indeed speak of all saved people collectively - it just doesn't use the word church when it does so.

Again, with all DUE respect, I make the challenge that this statement stands in contradiction with your opening admission.
 

3 hours ago, DaveW said:

"Universal church" is an oxymoron.

So then, if the precise terminology and grammar of Hebrews 12:22-23 really does reveal that which I claim (and which you acknowledged in your opening admission), then the phrase "universal church" is NOT an oxymoron, but IS a BIBLICAL idea (not according the doctrinal details of any false doctrinal system, but according to the doctrinal details of God's Holy Word).

Even so, if such is correct, then we are compelled to study and understand the doctrinal details of that idea as revealed through God's Holy Word.

 

(By the way, Brother Alan, I have great respect for you as a brother and as a friend, even as I do for Brother Dave, and would also seek to challenge your thinking with these considerations.)

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle
grammar and spelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/2/2018 at 8:17 AM, Pastor Scott Markle said:

So then, if the precise terminology and grammar of Hebrews 12:22-23 really does reveal that which I claim (and which you acknowledged in your opening admission), then the phrase "universal church" is NOT an oxymoron, but IS a BIBLICAL idea (not according the doctrinal details of any false doctrinal system, but according to the doctrinal details of God's Holy Word).

Even so, if such is correct, they we are compelled to study and understand the doctrinal details of that idea as revealed through God's Holy Word.

Brethren,

With great hesitancy I entered this conversation, and, quite frankly, I want to depart from this conversation, as I dearly respect all of the brethren in this conversation and do not want to cause any disrespect to any body in this conversation. So, this may be the last of my comments.

The definition of "oxymoron" is: "A rhetorical figure in which incongruous or contradictory terms are combined, as in a deafening silence."  I feel that when David used the term "oxymoron" in his post he used it correctly in the issue of the word "universal" as it is commonly accepted.

Starting from the Roman Catholic Church, to almost, not all, of the religious denominations, para-church organizations, "Bible Teacher", espouses Hebrews 12:22-23 to prove that the "church" is universal and not a local church. These groups use the word 'universal' to try and force it into their own definition.

I am of the persuasion that the notion, or idea, or thought, that the Roman Catholic Church, or the other religious denominations, or the para-church organization, will sincerely learn, or accept, or be compelled to study and understand, the concept of a local church, is not realistic. These groups of people that I named have already, I must re-emphasize the word 'already,' determined to reject the concept of the local church and are adamantly against the local church and will continue to be adamantly against the concept of the local church.

Hebrews 12:22-23 clearly teaches that the church of the redeemed is gathered in heaven and has nothing to do with the concept of a universal church on this earth as the Roman Catholic Church, the other religious denominations, and every para-church organization teaches.

Alan

Edited by Alan
grammer deleted two sentences

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Alan said:

Brethren,

With great hesitancy I entered this conversation, and, quite frankly, I want to depart from this conversation, as I dearly respect all of the brethren in this conversation and do not want to cause any disrespect to any body in this conversation. So, this may be the last of my comments.

Brother Alan,

As I have previously mentioned, I greatly respect you as a fellow brother and forum friend; therefore, I accept your departure from the conversation.  Please understand that I have and have had NO level of animosity toward you or Brother Dave.  I love the two of you with Christian love far too much for that.

15 minutes ago, Alan said:

Hebrews 12:22-23 clearly teaches that the church of the redeemed is gathered in heaven and has nothing to do with the concept of a universal church on this earth . . .

This part of your statement I can AMEN, with a hearty AMEN!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We do indeed stand in agreement, but the critical point is that it is legitimate use of the term "church" precisely because they are all gathered together, thereby not doing violence to the underlying meaning of the word Church.

It is not relating to the "universal scope" of who is gathered, but the fact that they are gathered as a Church.

 

The underlying truth of this matter is that many, many people, including godly men, use the term "Church" carelessly, thereby opening up abuse of the term by false teachers to go unchallenged.

There needs to be a clear understanding of where you (generically) stand, so that you can defend against those who will use Acts 2:41, 47 and other passages against you, applying a universal meaning to such verses thereby opening a way to defend baptismal regeneration, for instance. 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This has been an interesting discussion. I believe we are all very similar in our positions.

1. We all seem to believe that the word Church is a "Called Out Assembly"
2. We all seem to believe that the Church spoken of in the New Testament is a local body of believers
3. We all seem to believe that one day the Lord will return and we will be a "Called Out Assembly" in Heaven.

Where the conversation breaks down is with the introduction of the word "Universal", which I believe we all reject the definition used by the cults and catholic church.

I have always enjoyed these discussions on this site. Don't take it personally, just hold on to your beliefs.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, DaveW said:

We do indeed stand in agreement, but the critical point is that it is legitimate use of the term "church" precisely because they are all gathered together, thereby not doing violence to the underlying meaning of the word Church.

It is not relating to the "universal scope" of who is gathered, but the fact that they are gathered as a Church.

Brother Dave, 

I can wholeheartedly agree with that.
 

11 hours ago, DaveW said:

The underlying truth of this matter is that many, many people, including godly men, use the term "Church" carelessly, thereby opening up abuse of the term by false teachers to go unchallenged.

There needs to be a clear understanding of where you (generically) stand, so that you can defend against those who will use Acts 2:41, 47 and other passages against you, applying a universal meaning to such verses thereby opening a way to defend baptismal regeneration, for instance. 

Agreed.  And as far as defending my doctrinal position against false teachers, I believe that I am able to do that fairly well with depth and precision (not that I cannot encounter a new detail, but that I can examine the case with understanding even when that happens).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Pastorj said:

This has been an interesting discussion. I believe we are all very similar in our positions.

1. We all seem to believe that the word Church is a "Called Out Assembly"
2. We all seem to believe that the Church spoken of in the New Testament is a local body of believers
3. We all seem to believe that one day the Lord will return and we will be a "Called Out Assembly" in Heaven.

Where the conversation breaks down is with the introduction of the word "Universal", which I believe we all reject the definition used by the cults and catholic church.

I have always enjoyed these discussions on this site. Don't take it personally, just hold on to your beliefs.

Brother "PastorJ,

My position on the matter is not precisely that which you present in your point #3.  Therein you appear to speak concerning the "the church in prospect," that is -- complete in the FUTURE with all New Testament saints throughout the entire New Testament church age after the event of the rapture.  Having been raised on the doctrine of "local church only-ism," and having stood for it and defended it for some time throughout my past, I am familiar with the position that Hebrews 12:22-23 teaches the "universal" church "in prospect."  In fact, such was JUST what I was taught and believed concerning that passage for some time.  However, I no longer hold to that "future" viewpoint concerning Hebrews 12:22-23.  The challenge to and change in my thinking happened as follows:  

A few years ago, I engaged on this very forum against various positions of preterism and replacement theology.  Indeed, some of the present members will likely remember my engagements from the time.  During those engagements, I was challenge by one of my "opponents" to produce a New Testament passage which revealed that Old Testament believers and New Testament church age believers were to be viewed as two separate groups Biblically.  My answer to that challenge was presented from Hebrews 12:22-24, from which I sought to demonstrate the distinction between the two groups listed by the two phrases (1) "to the general assembly and church of the firstborn" (as speaking concerning New Testament church age believers) and (2) "to the spirits of just men made perfect" (as speaking concerning Old Testament believers).  My "opponents" responded with the argument that these two phrases were speaking concerning the SAME grouping of individuals and that the entire passage was speaking concerning a FUTURE event.  In response to their "future event" argument, I demonstrated that precise grammatical detail the verb for the single sentence of Hebrews 12:22-24, as found in verse 22, is the PRESENT TENSE verb "are come" (NOT "shall come," or "will come," or "are to come").  Yet it was also in the moment wherein I realized that Hebrews 12:22-23 did NOT grammatical speak about a "universal" church "IN PROSPECT" (in the future), but that it spoke about some form of church IN THE PRESENT that included and encompassed ALL New Testament believers both in heaven and on earth.  At that moment, my thinking on the matter was challenged; and I was compelled to adjust my doctrinal positioning on the matter.  Furthermore, I was compelled to begin studying the details of the matter as precisely revealed in God's Holy Word.

You see, I believe as a Baptist that the truth and teaching of God's Holy Word is the ONLY and FINAL authority for ALL of what we should believe and practice.  Yet I myself would expand that idea in at least one manner -- that the truth and teaching of God's Holy Word is the only and final and PRECISE authority for all of what we should believe and practice.  As many on this very forum will attest, I continually push for the matter of grammatical, contextual, and doctrinal PRECISION in our Bible study.  Even so, when I encounter a precise grammatical challenge, as I did in my study of Hebrews 12:22-24, I am compelled to adjust my doctrinal thinking accordingly.

I pray that this testimony (of sorts) will be good to the use of edifying unto some fellow believer and fellow student of God's Word.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That helps, but you are still agreeing with the 3 points listed. You are just adding a 4th point that the "Church" in a universal standpoint is present on earth today. I would agree with that, but that is where there are others who disagree. I was focusing on the areas of agreement.

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Who's Online   1 Member, 0 Anonymous, 39 Guests (See full list)

×
×
  • Create New...