Mariano, you have done it again!!!! Awesome!!!! I concur!!!
I agree with these other guys...good work Mariano! A very enjoyable and thought provoking read.But I'm curious about something; what is your opinion (if you have one) on baptism by water? Isn't that a sort of "religious ritual"? And since Jesus participated in it Himself, aren't we as Christians pretty much required to do it too? Personally speaking, I was seven years old when I was baptized (and I chose to do it, my parents sure didn't push me into it), but I haven't attended a church even semi-regularly since I was about 15 because I'm not a big fan of organized religion. So it's not like I'm plugging Baptist churches here or anything by asking the question. ;)
I'm not a big fan of organized religionYou prefer disorganised religion?
Rhology wrote: "You prefer disorganised religion?"For brevity's sake, since I could ramble on and on about it, let me just give a quick answer and say I prefer a personal relationship with God through our Lord Jesus Christ over showing up to a church with throngs of people every Sunday (or Saturday, whatever the case may be). That's not to say that I think churches are inherently bad, in fact I think they tend to benefit the majority of people who attend (at least the smaller ones). I'm just saying that for me, on a personal level, I tend to feel closer to God as a "lone wolf Christian" so to speak. Jesus said that if two or more people were gathered in His name, that He'd be there among them; note the number: He didn't say there was a minimum requirement of a congregation of 20 or 50 or 200 or whatever, so I don't see church attendance as a required part of the package when a person becomes a Christian. If it benefits you or whoever, great, I just don't think it's a requirement, and it's not something I prefer for myself.
You do realise that in saying that He was commanding you to be part of a church, don't you?Read the context - it's CHURCH discipline. Heb 10:23-25, how will you fulfill that as a lone-wolf "Christian"? How about any of 1 or 2 Thess? 1 Cor 8-14? Heb 13:17? All the "brethren"s in the NT? For real, and I'm not just trying to be a jerk here, you need to join a church. Immediately. Start looking. You are disobeying many, many direct commands of God in holding yourself aloof.Peace,Rhology
Rhology:Or he could just start a fellowship with local believers. I know plenty of Christians who don't wish to join a church who do that. It also helps avoid the whole "denomination" thing which I see really gets in the way of fellowship sometimes.signed "that anonymous troll" ;)
Thanks for the concern Rhology, and thanks for the back-up anonymous troll. I'll have to look up those scriptures, re-read them, and take what you say into consideration. Thing is, I have never gotten the idea from reading the Bible that being an offering giving part of a church was a requirement, but then I'm never too old to learn something new either. Thanks for the recommendation...I've got me some reading to do tonight. :)
Well, I hate to interrupt you guys but… :o)There is a certain equivocation of terms. After all, the atheist activist Michael Newdow claims that atheism is a religion.I would say that the point of baptism is an outward sign of an inward commitment, of repentance, of dying and being raised again in the Messiah while manmade “religion” would tell you that it is a magic trick of sorts. Recall my point that the rituals were to affect change but some turned them into robotic hoop jumping.aDios,Mariano
Anon,No, you're absolutely right. I'm glad to have the opportunity for clarification, b/c in no way do I think nor does the Bible teach that one's church has to be in a fancy, specific building, nor have a denomination's name applied to it. But it has to have certain traits - a group. Of believers. Who know who each other are (ie, a sort of membership). Who baptise converts when God grants them. Who praise God. Who fellowship together. Who celebrate the Lord's Table together. Who pray together. Who give money and service toward the Kingdom. Who study the Word of God together.That's pretty much it. Lou, please know I don't mean to be argumentative just for the sake of argument. I really do blv this and want the best for you. God has blessed my wife and me so much thru His church, but that wouldn't be available if we weren't in it. Grace and peace,Rhology
Rhology wrote: "Lou, please know I don't mean to be argumentative just for the sake of argument."Not at all Brother, I understood where you were coming from, and again, I thank you for your concern. Maybe I should've been a little more clear about where I was coming from. I have been in at least one Bible study group that some guys and I arranged at this place where I used to work, I currently have weekly Bible readings with friends and family (in which I encourage others to join in if they like), I've given an actual sermon once (boy was that unnerving, getting up in front of a crowd of people) I go out and witness to other people, I send money to causes I believe in, and on occasion I will attend a church or two...I basically do the whole nine yards, I just don't belong to any particular church or denomination...pretty much what anonymous troll mentioned. So I guess I could've kept this shorter and sweeter by simply saying: "Yeah, what he said!" ;)If and when I start going to a particular church, I would like for it to be one in which I agree at least 110% with what they're teaching. I don't want some pastor to tickle the ears of the congregation or buckle to political correctness...I don't want to walk into a fashion show comparing clothes or cars every Sunday morning...I don't want it to be a three ring circus with tele-monitors and theater styled seating (we even have a church here in town that has a COFFEE SHOP set up inside of it, can you believe that?!) Maybe I have unrealistic demands...I don't know.But rest assured Bro, I'm not sitting on the Good News or keeping it hidden just because of the "lone wolf" status. You make a great point about fellowship and all, and perhaps one day I'll find a church that "feels right", but until then I wouldn't necessarily consider myself any less of a Christian. :)Thanks again for the clarification and your concern. And Mariano, if you're reading this thanks for fielding the question!Your Brother in Christ,-Lou-
(we even have a church here in town that has a COFFEE SHOP set up inside of it, can you believe that?!Oh, yes, I believe it. Seen it myself. May the Lord have mercy.