We do a rather quick and broad flyover of the development of money, its causes and effects, and examine economic systems and what they mean for the follower of Christ. All this is to establish context for the next two episodes, where we discuss mammon and the damage of the pursuit of money.
Money itself is deceptive
Who invented money? Who invented economic systems?
Bartering is great! – dealing with actual things with inherent value, while money is a promise of value. The promise of the value is dependent on a societal structure that values the money.
So what’s the big deal with money, anyway?
Money makes business easy – bartered goods require effort and care
Bartered goods require caring for the earth
Bartered goods are created by God. Cash is made by man, and influences people to find things to exchange for money.
Money fascilitates a migration away from stewarding the earth, and fascilitates greed.
Modern culture promotes frivolity
“Postponing the crisis” is an epidemic aspect of modern American culture
Songs: “Entitlement” by Beautiful Eulogy, from their album “Sattelite Kite”. It is available at www.humblebeast.com
What does the Bible say about leadership and authority? What does it look like, and what is its role in the church?
The problem with pastors – Romans 12:1-8
The chair of Moses – Matthew 3
Delegated vs Appropriated authority
Leadership as a spiritual gift
Gideon, David, Moses, Peter – all had issues, yet God chose them to be leaders, despite not striving for that position
Gideon – Judges 6:11
God giving ideon a new identity, Gideon rejects
wasn’t earned, faught for, or sought. It was god
this starts an interactive relationship with god
god understands man – man will find way to take credit, so God makes it clear it’s him
Characteristics of Godly leaders found in Scripture: imperfect, often reluctant or doubting, interactive relationship with God, servant, their authority was a gift of grace (wasn’t earned or fought for)
In the book of Acts, how was the Church described? What did it do?
Acts 8:1, 3 – It is persecuted
Acts 9:31 – At times, it enjoys peace. It is being built up, believers are going on in the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit
Acts 11:26 – The church is taught by apostles
Acts 12:1 – Again, it is persecuted
Acts 12:5 – Believers are imprisoned and engaging in intercessory prayer
Acts 13:1 – The Church contains people with spiritual gifts (specifically teachers and prophets)
Acts 14:23 – It has elders appointed; Believers pray and fast together for guidance
Acts 14:27 – They testify the deeds of God
Acts 15:3 – It sends out apostles
Acts 15:4 – It receives apostles
Acts 20:28 – Overseers are appointed to shepherd the church
Does this reflect your experience of church? Does it reflect your faith?
The “instruction” given to the church has more to do with how you love each other than what happens in a “service”.
New definition of “church” – humanity ordered under Christ
living the way humans were designed to live
living in the Kingdom – out of darkness, into light
sharing life together – can’t get through Acts and not see this
walking with God – like in the beginning. Spirit returned.
walking in the Spirit – not flesh
There is an aspect of coming together, of gathering. One of the most appropriate definitions of “church”, based on what ekklesia meant before Christ’s followers began using it, would be the assembly of the believers.
Homothymadon Scripture says that the believers were of “one mind” or “one accord”. That word is homothymadon, from homou meaning “together”, and thymos meaning “passion, angry, heat, glow, ardour, wine of passion”; also could mean “to rush along in unison”, as in music; or “one passion”. The same word is used to describe crowds reacting to the new church, usually in anger, but also in awe. It is used five times in the Book of Acts to describe the church meeting, praying, and praising together. This following verse gives some good context for the meaning of “homothymadon”:
Romans 15:5-6 “Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with ONE ACCORD you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
We are to be of the same mind, according to Christ Jesus – as we are “transformed by the renewing of our minds”, we are united in this new life in Christ, this new understanding of God and ourselves. We become united in our newly transformed passions, motivations, and our experience of God and the Kingdom – we rush along together. This word homothymadon shows passion, movement, transformation, intentionality, purpose, unity in a vision, in the Gospel, in a community of Spirit-transformed people.
We quote Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Because we can.
What about the gathering of believers?
Love is costly.
The same verses that talk about gifts also talk about love. Look it up.
What does all this mean for you?
If a church is going to “change from within”, we provide a handy list of things they would have to cease doing in order to move toward a biblical design.
Fat Shepherds – Ezekiel 34
This passage is a prophetic message against the shepherds of Israel. It uses a lot of imagery concerning sheep and what they do, and is being applied to the leaders of Israel. As a prophetic message, we believe it continues to applicable to His people. So look at the shepherds of today. Do you see the same sins?
Ekklesia – What it is and isn’t.
This word is the Greek word that is translated “church”. We look at the historical Greek and Chrisitan definitions, as well as the modern dictionary definition. While we don’t want to dwell on literal definitions, it is a good place to start, and to see how the meaning of the word has changed over time. We are always pushing for God’s designs and pictures, so we need to find that meaning and walk in it.
How does the Bible define “church”? These are some pictures that can be gathered from Scripture.
Community of believers united in faith, filled with the Holy Spirit, seeking God and His ways together, caring for each other (Acts 2; Acts 4:32-35; Ephesians 4)
A body with Christ as the Head, whose members are working in giftings (1 Corinthians 12, esp vs 27; 1 Corinthians 14:26; Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 4)
The Bride of Christ (Revelation 19:7-9; Rev 21:1-4; Ephesians 5:22-23; also Hosea)
A declaration of God’s glory (As fullness – Ephesians 1:18-23; As manifold wisdom – Ephesians 3:8-12)
These pictures can be seen as united/progressive. The Church is: a community of believers, which makes up the parts of the Body, which is also the Bride of Christ (because the bride and groom are one flesh), and this “family” is the household of God. This unity/family declares the glory of God.
“All I Need” by Enter the Worship Circle (www.entertheworshipcircle.com).
“Rugged Old Hand” by Ben Pasley.
Both used by permission of Ben Pasley of Enter the Worship Circle
The live broadcast included the song “Waiting on Pentecost” by Wilson and Macqueen. http://www.noisetrade.com/morningandnight/good-morning-happy-easter
Part 1 of our discussion of church definitions: man’s vs. God’s.
What is the American church doing?
We relay some statistics that point toward serious problems.
What has man added into the institutional church?
Are these activities biblical? Necessary? Harmful?
What are the effects of these choices?
Apostle-eez Throat Spray
Please stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 of this discussion.
This episode originally broadcast live on April 24, 2015 on KXEN 1010AM in St. Louis, MO
We conclude our discussion of the concept of the sacred assembly and the topic of unbelievers in the worship service.
The passages of scripture we are referencing are: 1 Corinthians 14:22-25, 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, Ezra 10, and Ezekiel 44
We explore the effects of allowing/desiring unbelievers in a worship gathering
What is God’s design for the church?
The problem of church discipline
Part 2 of our discussion of the Sacred Assembly. Stay tuned for part 3.
Digging into 1 Corinthians 14
What does this instruction mean about gifting?
Do we need unbelievers in our worship gatherings?
Is this passage nonsense?
2 Corinthians 6:14-18 – Marriage? Business? Neither?
The Church – a set apart people
Peter was not seeker-sensitive
How is the assembly corrupted, and what are the effects? Ezra 10, Ezekiel 44
What are we resisting?
What’s up with bricks?
We discuss the controversial topic of unbelievers in the worship service, delving into 1 Corinthians 14:22-25. What does this verse mean for the gift of tongues? What does it mean for our worship gatherings? What’s an apistos?
We discuss the idea of the sacred assembly – a gathering of believers, of followers of one Lord united in the spirit, functioning as a Body.
As with all our shows, this is part of a 2 hour live broadcast. Because of the dense nature of the topic, we are breaking this one up into 3 shorter podcasts.
We continue the discussion of the effects of the edict of Milan and the development of church systems
We ask, “Who makes a pastor?”
Mark has a cold.
We discuss Sun Ministries and the work we’re doing in St. Louis, focusing on our restaurant, Sun Cafe, and our woodshop that makes furniture out of recycled pallet wood.