I was in my neighborhood restaurant this morning and was seated behind a group of jubilant individuals celebrating the successful passing of the recent health care bill. I could not finish my breakfast. This is what ensued:
They were a diverse group of several races and both sexes. I heard the young man exclaim, “Isn’t Obama like Jesus Christ? I mean, after all, he is healing the sick.” The young woman enthusiastically proclaimed, “Yeah, and he does it for free. I cannot believe anyone would think that a free market would work for health care. Another said, ‘The stupid Republicans want us all to starve to death so they can inherit all of the power. Obama should be made a Saint for what he did for those of us less fortunate.” At this, I had more than enough.
I arose from my seat, mustering all the restraint I could find, and approached their table. “Please excuse me; may I impose upon you for one moment?” They smiled and welcomed me to the conversation. I stood at the end of their table, smiled as best I could and began an experiment.
“I would like to give one of you my house. It will cost you no money and I will pay all of the expenses and taxes for as long as you live there. Anyone interested?” They looked at each other in astonishment. “Why would you do something like that?” asked a young man, “There isn’t anything for free in this world.” They began to laugh at me, as they did not realize this man had just made my point. “I am serious, I will give you my house for free, no money what so ever. Anyone interested?” In unison, a resounding “**** Yeah” fills the room.
“Since there are too many of you, I will have to make a choice as to who receives this money-free bargain.” I noticed an elderly couple was paying attention to the spectacle unfolding before their eyes, the old man shaking his head in apparent disgust. “I tell you what; I will give it to the one of you most willing to obey my rules.” Again, they looked at one another, an expression of bewilderment on their faces. The perky young woman asked, “What are the rules?” I smiled and said, “I don’t know. I have not yet defined them. However, it is a free home that I offer you.” They giggled amongst themselves, the youngest of which said, “What an old coot. He must be crazy to give away his home. Go take your meds, old man.” I smiled and leaned into the table a bit further. “I am serious, this is a legitimate offer.” They gaped at me for a moment.
“I’ll take it you old fool. Where are the keys?” boasted the youngest among them. “Then I presume you accept ALL of my terms then?” I asked.. The elderly couple seemed amused and entertained as they watched from the privacy of their table. “Oh **** yeah! Where do I sign up?” I took a napkin and wrote, “I give this man my home, without the burden of financial obligation, so long as he accepts and abides by the terms that I shall set forth upon consummation of this transaction.” I signed it and handed it to the young man who eagerly scratched out his signature. “Where are the keys to my new house?” he asked in a mocking tone of voice. All eyes were upon us as I stepped back from the table, pulling the keys from pocket and dangling them before the excited new homeowner.
“Now that we have entered into this binding contract, witnessed by all of your friends, I have decided upon the conditions you are obligated to adhere from this point forward. You may only live in the house for one hour a day. You will not use anything inside of the home. You willobey me without question or resistance. I expect complete loyalty and admiration for this gift I bestow upon you. You will accept my commands and wishes with enthusiasm, no matter the nature. Your morals and principles shall be as mine. You will vote as I do, think as I do and do it with blind faith. These are my terms. Here are your keys.” I reached the keys forward and the young man looked at me dumbfounded.
“Are you out of your mind? Who would ever agree to those ridiculous terms?” the young man appeared irritated. “You did when you signed this contract before reading it, understanding it and with the full knowledge that I would provide my conditions only after you committed to the agreement.” Was all I said. The elderly man chuckled as his wife tried to restrain him. I was looking at a now silenced and bewildered group of people. “You can shove that stupid deal up you’re *** old man, I want no part of it” exclaimed the now infuriated young man. “You have committed to the contract, as witnessed by all of your friends; you cannot get out of the deal unless I agree to it. I do not intend to let you free now that I have you ensnared. I am the power you agreed to. I am the one you blindly and without thought chose to enslave yourself to. In short, I am your Master.” At this, the table of celebrating individuals became a unified group against the unfairness of the deal.
After a few moments of unrepeatable comments and slurs, I revealed my true intent. “What I did to you is what this administration and congress did to you with the health care legislation. I easily suckered you in and then revealed the real cost of the bargain. Your folly was in the belief that you can have something you did not earn; that you are entitled to that which you did not earn; that you willingly allowed someone else to think for you. Your failure to research, study and inform yourself permitted reason to escape you. You have entered into a trap from which you cannot flee. Your only chance of freedom is if your new Master gives it to you. A freedom that is given can also be taken away; therefore, it is not freedom.” With that, I tore up the napkin and placed it before the astonished young man. “This is the nature of your new health care legislation.”
I turned away to leave these few in thought and contemplation and was surprised by applause. The elderly gentleman, who was clearly entertained, shook my hand enthusiastically and said, “Thank you Sir, these kids don’t understand Liberty these days.” He refused to allow me to pay my bill as he said, “You earned this one, it is an honor to pickup the tab.” I shook his hand in thanks, leaving the restaurant somewhat humbled, and sensing a glimmer of hope for my beloved country.
~ Clifford A.
Thank you Jonathon Melton
HOME CHURCHS AND THE LACK OF KNOWLEDGE
onenewsnow has a story out of Dallas about home churches also called organic church or simple church.
The lack of knowledge of the primary character is this news article is simply astounding. This man left a church where he was a missions committee chairman. This man reached a position in a church that would indicate that he should have some knowledge of God’s word, yet it is evident that he missed Paul’s passage to Timothy – “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. II Timothy 2:15,16.”
The first comment I want to make is that from the time of Christ there have been house churches. Almost every missionary has started in some ones home. Often this home was the missionary pastor’s home. Take a look at Philemon verse 2 – “And to our beloved Appia and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the Church in thy house.“ Home churches were known from the time of Christ until this very day. May I offer a phrase given to us by the writer of the book of Ecclesiastes – There is nothing new under the sun. House churches were mentioned several times by Paul. Now if these people were real sincere about getting to the most simplistic style recorded by God’s word, they would be a traveling church like the one Jesus called from the seashore of Galilee.
They brag about not having a pastor. How pompous can this be to deny the very office given to the Church in a shepherd capacity. God calls pastor for a reason.
Note that Paul instructed Timothy to not neglect the Gift of God. “Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. II Timothy 1:6.” Paul left Timothy at different churches to help them. Acts 14:23 says that Barnabas and Paul ordained elders in every church. Elders comes from the Greek word presbuteros and Thayer says – among the Christians, those who presided over the assemblies (or Churches). The New Testament uses the term bishop, elders, and presbyters interchangeably according to Thayer. Paul and Barnabas were ordained and sent with authority to begin Churches.
If I understand this article correctly, they have no right to observe the Lord’s Supper but yet they go through the motions by pinching off pieces of sour dough bread and drink wine and give the kids grape juice. They have no authority to baptise and I saw no mention of baptism. This indicates to me that they feel baptism is unimportant. It is amazing that Christ walked about 60 miles to be baptized by the only one that had authority, John the Baptist.
Take a close look at this quote – “In general, house churches consist of 12 to 15 people who share what’s going on in their live, often turning to Scriptures for guidance. They rely on the Holy Spirit or spontaneity to lead the direction of their weekly gatherings. Now we find that the Scripture is not their sole guide but a guide often. This is perplexing in it’s implication of the importance they place on Scripture. Is this a situation where we apply Scripture when it is convenient and thereby only use that part that we are in agreement with? What about the Holy Spirit they speak of? For the individual, the Holy Spirit convicts and draws and seals those that are saved. For the Church the Holy Spirit impowers to do the work that Christ has given it to do.
Now let us look at the Church that Jesus built upon Himself. To begin with it was a traveling Church that met on the side of a hill and received what we call the Sermon on the Mount recorded in Matthew chapter 5,6, and 7. Every one of His Church members had been saved and baptized by John the Baptist (Acts 1:21.) We see Jesus and His Church as a traveling Church, a Church that met in upper rooms and homes. They were organized and had a pastor (shepherd) Jesus Christ. They even had a Church treasurer (Judas Iscariot). Matthew 28:19-20 gave this Church 3 things to do. Proclaim the Gospel. Baptise those that were saved. Teach them all things whatsoever I have commanded you.
In the 8th chapter of Acts great persecution came upon the Church and it was scattered. Follow Philip into Samaria and see the great work he did in preaching the gospel. Many were saved and baptised. Acts 8:14-17 tells us of Peter and John coming to examine the work that Philip had done and approved it and organized a Church there in Samaria by laying hands on the people and they “…received the Holy Ghost.” What a great example of mission work and Church organisation. O yes, the Church at Jerusalem gained about 3,000 souls in one day.
One more thing if I may. This house church was not about worshipping God. The statement, “… share what’s going on in their lives…”. Worship is all about God and not about us. God has called us to worship. This day everything is back wards. The terminology – I Think, I feel, indicates to me that it is about the people and not God. These people have come together and done something that they believe is religious and now they are satisfied with themselves. They can go home happy. No baptisms because no authority to baptise. The supper they observe does not honour Jesus because of wrong elements and they are not commanded to observe the Lord’s Supper. No doubt those that are saved will go to heaven but standing before the Bema seat and not have any rewards will not be good.
Understand, I have been part of house churches and they have been given authority and they baptised and scripturally observed the Lord’s Supper and grew and bought property and built church building because they needed a place to meet and a house was too small.
Zeal without knowledge is not good. A selfish inward turning of attention to do what pleases us is just as bad as misdirected zeal.Technorati Tags: house, church, organic, Jesus, John the Baptis, baptise, baptism, The Lord’s Supper
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