Active or Passive? This is a sticky post so will be left up for awhile :)

Okay… now that I have wiped the tears of sadness from my eyes because I spent close to 2 hours writing a post then my laptop crashed along with my post, I will attempt it again. Sad smile

I’ve recently been reading a book called “Biblical Church” by Beresford Job and I have come across something that was quite thought provoking (I have blogged about this a few times, you can find the posts HERE if you’re interested). But I really, really wanted to share a couple of quotes from his book and hopefully you will find it interesting and thought provoking too.

I am going to leave this post as a sticky post (so [please don’t fret when you come to this blog and see this post at the top of this blog for longer than normal) because I really hope this post creates a few bites. I’m in the mood for a little bit of fishing! Smile

Anyway, If you’re unclear or don’t understand the differences between an unbiblical church and a biblical one, then see HERE and HERE. These are a must read so that you know where the author is coming from and it’s important to know what he’s NOT saying as well. Hence, this is why I am leaving this post as a sticky one because I know that we all have time issues and I would dearly love you to get the background behind this concept of “biblical church”. No pressure! Honest!!!

So here we go…

Under the subtitle “Active or Passive?” the author writes…

When all are free to take part and face the challenge of being duty bound to be reaching out to the Lord for whatever he wants them to bring to the gathering, then no longer is it a question of just coming along and asking, “How can I be blessed and what can I get out of it?” That is spiritual selfishness from which the only outcome can be ongoing spiritual immaturity. In a biblical church the question is rather, “what can I bring today? How can I give and be a blessing to others?” It is the complete opposite! It is the way of growth, of spiritual maturation, and of believers moving ever toward the full stature of the Lord.

[…]The whole of scripture portrays how the lord has designed men to be the loving self-sacrificing leaders of their families, with women being their fully equal, but submissive, partnering helpers and support. What kind of church experience, therefore best helps a man, as the spiritual leader of his family (or prepares young single men for their future role when they are married) to grow into and fulfil their role? Is it taking his family to a gathering where he sits passively with his wife in a pew while his church leader just tells him what he ought to believe, without any opportunity to question or challenge what has been said? Or is it attending, week by week, year and year out, a gathering where others look to him, simply because he is a man, to both teach the church, and share, and give of his relationship with the Lord to the others present?

I can think of a few things I would like to discuss.

  • Is this why we have spiritual immaturity in the church? hmmm interesting!
  • Is this why deception has crept in? Lets face it, within an unbiblical church the leader is up there and we are all passively listening.
  • Does this lead to a lesser degree of accountability?

In a biblical church, a small gathering of Christians inquiring of the Lord through scripture and as the Spirit leads, there is a better sense of personal relationships, and therefore personal knowledge of one another and accountability. We must remember that the biblical qualifications for an elder had very little to do with scholarship but everything to do with character, personal life and godliness (1 Timothy 3 v 2, Titus 1 v 6-8). With a distant hierarchical leader do you really get the needed transparency required to really know their character? In a small biblical church it would be harder to hide wouldn’t it?

Make sure you do understand what is meant by an unbiblical church and a biblical one according to this author. And may I just say that he doesn’t stand alone in his understanding on this, he has much documentation of early writings that prove his point. In fact, it was Pastor Dave Royle of Moriel Ministries (just google that) who put me on to this book and he said to me that he’s felt that Beresford’s take on this is spot on and more people are starting to realise this. Now that’s coming from a pastor!

So, there you have it. Just a few things to provoke your thoughts. Smile

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6 thoughts on “Active or Passive? This is a sticky post so will be left up for awhile :)

  1. Thanks Vee ~ wonderful post. Glad you are leaving as a sticky.. will be back for more. Sure appreciate how you dig in deep!!

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    • Thanks Lorrie… I will just wait until people have read a few things on it and then hopefully we can really get some conversation happening. Especially as I know there are people out there who are churchless.

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  2. Popped back in for more. What the author is saying rings very true.

    I can’t tell you how many times I have wanted to raise my hand during or after a sermon to ask a question. I will think… oh I need to corner him and put this question to him. I can think of one now that I’ve wanted to ask for weeks. In a biblical church I would certainly have my opportunity and get feed back too. I would really like that. I think this lack of interaction certainly does contribute to spiritual immaturity! And.. the sheep are hungry.

    Perhaps there are other opportunities at church to interact in a more biblical way that I am not aware of… (I only go once a week) and maybe I am so use to sitting passively that I don’t make the effort I should to interact more. Food for thought.

    I would say that degrees of accountability are also something that I have to be proactive about. Otherwise, it doesn’t happen much. Do I fear accountability? More food for thought.

    Just thinking about the realities of participating in a biblical church makes me excited and uncomfortable at the same time. It makes me want to examine my own transparency and comfort levels …determine whether they are Godly or not.
    Whooo… rubber meating the road eh? This is going to stay with me….

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    • I know… the whole transparency thing is a kicker! It’s not just for the elders but for the whole body of Christ. I have nearly finished the book and Beresford is not shying away from the problems that a biblical church can bring. But he sees that certain problems are because of this transparency and if certain issues are seen and raised in brotherly sisterly love, then it is an opportunity for people to grow in the Lord. But if issues are not accepted by some in the body as being a biblical correction, then it is a very personal interaction of saying that they must pray about it and for change, and if they refuse they must leave.

      I am not talking about secondary biblical issues. These should never separate the body, but rather issues like some in the group may want to dictate to the others by always bringing and trying to persuade others to see their side of things (it ends up being all about me, me, me). Some people are very self absorbed and this distracts from true sharing and brings the focus to that one person.

      He is very clear in that it is the men that should be the ones to preempt the church and woman and young adults share, but it is men as the elders so to speak. This could be problematic when you consider that — as my quote from his book states — that many men have been passive in their walk with God and therefore are sometimes not as spiritually mature as a woman who has been very pro-active.

      That would be the case with my husband and myself. He is not a Christian, whereas I have have been since I was fifteen. The friend I have given the book to is an old family friend, and we both were brought up in the Seventh Day Adventist Church, and his father is very knowledgeable in the Word but perhaps my friend isn’t so much as me. I will have to wait as both of these men read this book and see where we go from there.

      But Beresford is quick to point out that there are always teething problems and that WE ALL must be ready to have a teachable spirit. We must pray that the Lord be with us and direct us through His Spirit. And when issues are raised or things aren’t going so smoothly then we must all seek the Lord in how to proceed. He also says that there is a honeymoon period and after very close bonds are formed with the body of the church then issues will be become apparent.

      It’s exciting, but also scary. Am I ready to be stretched and do I really have a teachable spirit? These questions will be answered in time.

      More later 🙂

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  3. He says that biblical church starts of like 1 Corinthians 14. which I will just share with you so that we can get a handle of how the body starts off on the right foot…

    1Co 14:26 Then what is it, brothers? When you come together, each one of you has a psalm, he has a teaching, he has a language, he has a revelation, he has an interpretation. Let all things be for building up.

    and this in chapter 12:

    1Co 12:4 And there are differences of gifts, but the same Spirit;
    1Co 12:5 and there are differences of ministries, yet the same Lord.
    1Co 12:6 And there are differences of workings, but the same God is working all things in all.
    1Co 12:7 And to each one is given the showing forth of the Spirit to our profit.
    1Co 12:8 For through the Spirit is given to one a word of wisdom, and to another a word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit;
    1Co 12:9 and to another, faith by the same Spirit, and to another, gifts of healing by the same Spirit,
    1Co 12:10 and to another, workings of powers, and to another, prophecy, and to another, discerning of spirits, and to another, kinds of languages, and to another, interpretation of languages.
    1Co 12:11 But the one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing separately to each as He wills.
    1Co 12:12 Even as the body is one, and has many members, but all the members of the one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.
    1Co 12:13 For also we all were baptized by one Spirit into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, even all were given to drink into one Spirit.
    1Co 12:14 For also the body is not one member, but many.
    1Co 12:15 If the foot says, Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body, on account of this, is it not of the body?
    1Co 12:16 And if the ear says, Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body, on account of this, is it not of the body?
    1Co 12:17 If all the body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If all hearing, where the smelling?
    1Co 12:18 But now God set the members, each one of them, in the body, even as He desired.
    1Co 12:19 But if all was one member, where would the body be?
    1Co 12:20 But now, indeed, many are the members, but one body.
    1Co 12:21 And the eye is not able to say to the hand, I have no need of you; or again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
    1Co 12:22 But much rather the members of the body seeming to be weaker are necessary.
    1Co 12:23 And those of the body we think to be less honorable, to these we put more abundant honor around them. And our unpresentable members have more abundant propriety.
    1Co 12:24 But our presentable members have no need. But God tempered the body together, giving more abundant honor to the member having need,
    1Co 12:25 that there not be division in the body, but that the members might have the same care for one another.
    1Co 12:26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it. If one member is glorified, all the members rejoice with it.
    1Co 12:27 And you are Christ’s body, and members in part.

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