Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Comments

Yesterday three comments were submitted on my post about Queensland Madness which I felt deserved a post of their own rather than potentially get lost amongst the comments. As they were sent in quick succession I'm assuming that they're from the same reader.

Comment 1
why do we resign from our eccleias,why dont we speak to our ecclesias,before we cut off ourselves from them. If we are not happy with our ecclesia and will not talk to them about it, why not ask for a transfer when you have found an ecclesia you are happy with instead of leaving your brethren and sisters without an explanation.Probably because it makes good headlines.Paul did set out on a journey as do many of our brethren and sisters I am sure they dont resign before they do. If he did find find an ecclesia in corinth he would like to join he would write a letter to his ecclesia and ask for a transfer. The loving way to do things.
It seems to me that this writer has made some assumptions about the resignation which led to the letter which was the subject of my post. First, he's assumed (and I think wrongly) that a "resignation" is the same as to "cut off ourselves from them". I can think of several good reasons why someone might resign without intending to cut themself off from their former ecclesia. And perhaps this person already did talk with someone about it (I'm actually sure they did), and perhaps they did give an explanation. And perhaps they didn't "ask for a transfer" because at that stage they hadn't decided to where they wanted to transfer. But it's actually irrelevant because the point of my post was that the premise that "resignation from an Ecclesia is effectively resignation from the Brotherhood" is unChristadelphian and unScriptural.

But what I personally find most remarkable about this comment is that the writer has assumed that Paul must have read the Christadelphian Ecclesial Guide! Where in the Scriptures do we find any hint of ecclesias writing "transfer letters" for people who moved from one city or ecclesia to another? It's a modern practice which this reader has read back into the ancient texts.

Imagine this: Paul establishes an ecclesia in some city (and presumably arranges for a transfer letter from his old ecclesia so he can join the ecclesia he has just established). After spending some time with them and getting them on their feet he decides (or is moved by the Spirit) to move on. He travels to another city, preaches the Gospel, makes some converts and establishes a new ecclesia. He now has to write to the last ecclesia he established and get their permission to transfer to the new ecclesia he has just established so that he can stay there for a while. However, he will soon have to go through this whole process again (and again) as he is on a missionary journey and hopes to establish several more ecclesias. His biggest problem is that he can't resign from an ecclesia when he leaves a city, because that would mean he's no longer in the Body of Christ (because "Resignation from an Ecclesia is effectively resignation from the Brotherhood"), so he can't apply for a transfer until he has established a new ecclesia. But then he's faced with the new problem that he's a member of an ecclesia but not attending the meetings!

If the person making this comment could let me know which Scripture(s) he used to formulate this incredible idea I would love to see them.

Comment 2
dont hide behind a blogsite do something about it
If you look at the top right-hand corner of this blog you will see my name! I'm not hiding! However, I'm pretty sure "anonymous" is not your real name.

And by posting this information I think I AM doing something about it – exposing the madness in SE Queensland for what it is. What else do you think I should do?

Comment 3
yo talk about the NO ecclesia what about the PR ecclesia they need all the PR they can get.Its like political parties say one thing do another and get their PR departmrnt to fix it
I'm pretty sure this reader is referring to the Pine Rivers ecclesia, but I have no idea what point they are trying to make. What I do know is that Pine Rivers ecclesia is growing, dynamic, welcoming, encouraging and friendly. I've visited Pine Rivers ecclesia a few times and listened to people tell me what a wonderful place it has been to them, or how it has saved their family. I'm happy to give any ecclesia like that as much PR as I can!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have you spoken to anyone from NO to see there point of view, I bet you havent you just assume too much.

If concerned brethren wrote to you asking for an explanation of why you left with no apparent reason would you reply. Put in the whole text in your comments

Anonymous said...

You seem too have put all the text in my appology.

But what does concern me is the use of the word PREHAPS
If you have spoken to them do they have a reason or not your post does not say.
It seems that NO want answers and are not getting them. Brotherly love should not hide anything.

Anonymous said...

And by posting this information I think I AM doing something about it – exposing it the madness in SE Queensland for what it is. What else do you think I should do?

Speak to the people B&S's involved and help them to see that not talking to there ecclesia (former) is not the way to go

I am sure if you were a member of my ecclesia and up and left with no explantion given to anyone (or its being hidden for some reason) and I asked you for an explanation you would do it

Steve said...

"Brotherly love should not hide anything."

So "anonymous", why are you anonymous?

Cliff said...

Thank you Steve for your kind comments about the Pine Rivers Meeting.

What started out as a small "city of refuge" just four years ago, is fast becoming a large and spacious "city of refuge" for all who are experiencing Abuse in any form... especially Spiritual Abuse.

One of the aims of the Pine Rivers Meeting (from the beginning) is to share the love of Christ without the need to engage in "performance or appearance based religiosity."

The Pine Rivers Meeting has really grown, and especially since we prayed the "Prayer of Jabez" in the meeting about 12 months ago!! During the past few months the "borders" at PR have really had to be "enlarged".

As we read comments like those posted by (not so) "anonymous" above, and as we receive letters from NO and other meetings demanding explanations for why Pine Rivers (and other meetings) are the type of meetings that they are, all we can do is pray Jesus' prayer... "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."

I feel a lot of the reason for some of these "anxious" communications from other meetings is that their "expectations" are not being met. It appears that in some way, there are groups in CD who expect that their way is the only way to (a) run a meeting or (b) experience fellowship.

Speaking for the meeting at Pine Rivers, we are very happy to share Jesus' fellowship at any time with any who are genuinely curious, or who are seeking for a "better way" to grow spiritually. All we ask is that we can share an open Bible and that we approach each subject with an open mind.

Some of the "narrow minded" attitudes that surround us, probably stem from statements like the following made by Robert Roberts in the late 1800's... "To the charge of holding ‘that the knowledge of Scripture, in the writings of Dr Thomas, has reached a finality', we plead guilty."

Roberts made his view clear that "in the writings of Dr Thomas, the truth is developed as a finality, and that they are a depot of the Christian doctrine."

This attitude was in stark contrast to that of John Thomas himself!! John Thomas was a visionary pioneer who challenged long held traditions and theological positions, refusing to allow other men to do his thinking for him.

Sadly there appear to be very few men and women today with this sort of integrity (there are a few) who make any honest attempt to find out exactly what it is that Pine Rivers (and other) meetings are doing. (There is no mystery really - for when the Father told Paul "My Grace is sufficient for you" He meant it!)

The answer to many questions that might be asked of PR and other similar style meetings both locally and overseas is... "Grace!"

When the Father revealed to Paul the "Truth" that "My Grace will be sufficient for you," He was not telling Paul (or any of us 2,000 years later) that "your performance or appearance based criteria, or creeds, or traditions, will be sufficient to satisfy Me (God)."

That is why Paul says in Galatians, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed."

Obviously Paul is not referring to Heavenly Angels here in this place (who of us would dare to challenge Heavenly authority... though some might)... Paul is explaining that any other message (purporting to be "Good News" or "a gospel") delivered to, or taught to God's Children, other than "Grace," is actually really, really BAD NEWS!!

In other words, "Moses" (or any "Law") cannot finish what Jesus (Grace) started in us.

The main message of the Bible from beginning to end, is that God has Great News for us... "His Grace is sufficient for all our needs... both temporal and eternal." His Grace will save us.

To try to add tradition, creeds, statements, agreements, performance or appearance into the Salvation/Fellowship equation simply calls down a curse from heaven upon those who use such things as weapons so as to control others.

Jesus plus "anything" does not equal Jesus.

That is why Jesus said that many people choose the "broad way" that leads to destruction. It is exactly the same message Paul gave in Galatians 1.

Jesus "plus" any performance, or appearance, or minute knowledge based criteria does not equal Jesus.

The "Narrow Way" is Jesus alone... Jesus plus NOTHING = JESUS!

The "Narrow Way" is not a "Narrow Minded Way"... it is a narrow way because those traveling that "Way" with Jesus do not have to shoulder performance, appearance or knowledge based burdens to prove worthy of Jesus' love.

If you are reading this post and wish to visit the Pine Rivers Meeting at any time, you will be made most welcome.

You will not be interrogated at the door (or at any time) as to whether you agree or disagree with any man made statement, creed or agreement. We trust that since Jesus has called you to share His table and Fellowship with Him, then He knows what He is doing. Jesus NEVER practised guilt by association... and neither should we.

It is Jesus who saves us... not what we write about Him.

The "Truth" that saves us is found in Christ... not in creeds, statements or agreements.

By the way... many thanks Steve for explaining what "The Apostles Doctrine" (singular) is!! It is exactly the same as "Jesus Doctrine" (singular) which "blew men away" in Matthew 7. In the Discourse on the Mount Jesus gave the people HOPE through the Grace of God. He lifted the burdens of performance and appearance based religiosity from off the peoples' shoulders. We need more of this HOPE today!!

The day is here now that Moses forecast, when He declared that there would be a "Doctrine" (singular) that would refresh the entire globe, just like small rain on the tender herb, and showers upon the grass. (cp Deut 32:1-2).

Love Him
Live Forever
Let the Sonshine in...
Cliff York.

Anonymous said...

So "anonymous", why are you anonymous?

Unstable brethren have in the past inflicted violence for comments I made

I do not want this to happen again

Steve said...

Anonymous,

Thanks for explaining why you want to be anonymous. I guess you may want to retract your comment that "Brotherly love should not hide anything."

Now you might also understand why the brother you criticised may have chosen to keep some things to himself. Like you, he may be afraid of the "violence" that could be inflicted.