[CS-FSLUG] Don't Tread on Me?

Fred A. Miller fmiller at lightlink.com
Fri Aug 13 18:40:48 CDT 2010

On 08/13/2010 06:17 PM, Jon Glass wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 3:54 PM, Fred A. Miller <fmiller at lightlink.com> wrote:
>> Agreed. In my view, the church "structure" isn't at fault as much as the
>> direction most churches have taken.
> I would disagree. ;-) And I'll use the free software model to prove
> it, too! What is it that we all like about the open-source, free
> software model? It's the decentralization of power. Why? It keeps any
> one person bending the whole thing to his own, personal needs. With
> the Mac, people have one man to "blame" for everything--Steve Jobs.
> With Windows, it's not one man, but the organization, called
> Microsoft. But try to pin _anything_ on any one person with the Linux
> model, and who can you blame? Sure, it may seem chaotic, but it keeps
> moving forward. It's almost organic.

That's true. But, a good study of EARLY church history has a LOT of support
for church leadership.

> To make the parallel to the Gospel and the "church." I would say that
> "church" as it's used today is a horribly abused term. I suppose I
> need to say a bit more at this point, but years ago, when I was
> preparing for my ordination, I had to prepare a doctrinal statement. I
> was preparing my thoughts on "church" for it, and started looking for
> verses that show the universal church (which I had been taught all my
> life, of course), so I found all instancs in the NT where the Greek
> word shows up, (this was back in the days of DOS, and The Online Bible

Hmmmm.....that dates both of us. But, of course, Tim goes back to when
he had to cypher on his cave walls, Moby Dick was a minnow and Noah
was in Yale.

Sorry, but I hadn't taken a good pot shot at his bow in awhile, and thought
it was due. ;)

> 3.x). I kept the printout I made of this for years, but there were
> something like 115 verses. I started through this list of verses,
> planning to put "L" for local church, "U" for universal, and "X" for
> neither (only one or two verses in the NT that get that, and that's an
> interesting study). As I went, I could not find _any_ verses that are
> unequivocally "universal" church. None. There are a few that use the
> term "church" in a generic sense, but nothing that somebody could
> point out and say that this verse is the doctrinal basis for what is
> commonly held to mean "universal church." It became clear to me that
> Scriptures truly see only one church on this earth, and it's local,
> i.e. a gathering or assembly or congregation of believers in one place
> for fulfilling the Great Commission (Matt 28:18-20) and for the
> building up of the body (Eph 4:11ff)--not worship, not
> organization/hierarchy or any other tiered system of multiple

I tend to agree with you. There were, as you said, "local" churches or
rather "home churches" comprised of small groups of locals. They DID
get the job done, UNlike what we see today. I also see a LOT of small
churches today that are striving to truly be New Testament churches,
as are some home churches. I see both of these as the ONLY remaining
REAL Christian "churches" left....now and in the future. Further, this will
apply all over the world.

> congregations. Elders are servants/pastors/shepherds or
> unde-rshepherds, with nothing suggesting any form of organization as
> we tend to view denominations/churches today--even the Baptist
> conventions. Needless to say, while I was ordained, I did upset some
> folks on my ordination. Yes, I am independent Baptist, and my

So are we.

> convictions in this are very deep. People tend to berate the
> independent Baptists, because of its chaotic nature, and I've had
> Catholic friends tell me that they think heresy must be easy, but if
> you think about it, just like with Steve Jobs, one man can make _huge_
> changes in the direction of a top-down church, or the committees that
> drive things can really muck things up, making for unwieldy ships of
> state (Microsoft). But the de-centralization of the independent
> Baptists has, in a very real sense, protected them from doctrinal

Yes. Our little church here belongs to an association, but there's NO
dictates from that body.....period!

> shift. This does not make them "perfect" by any means. We all hold
> this Truth in earthen vessels. But is Linux perfect? No. In fact, it
> is quite ugly and imperfect in many ways--at least as men usually
> judge these things. But I am convinced that as long as we live in
> fleshly bodies, that de-centralized is the only way to limit the
> effects of the sin nature. (You know, power corrupts. Absolute power
> corrupts absolutely) But that's more than anyone wanted to hear, I'm
> sure. ;-) I just hope that somebody likes my Linux comparison. :-D

I did. ;) Whatever may have been good direction from a church leader
many years ago, and there was some good leadership, can't happen
today, I don't believe. Satan has his hand on way too many in too
many high places doing his bidding either knowingly or unknowingly.
I don't need to mention any examples as most of us are well aware
of them.


"Gun control is like trying to reduce drunk driving by making it 
tougher for sober people to own cars." - Unknown

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