Announcement

Collapse

Christianity 201 Guidelines

orthodox Christians only.

Discussion on matters of general mainstream evangelical Christian theology that do not fit within Theology 201. Have some spiritual gifts ceased today? Is the KJV the only viable translation for the church today? In what sense are the books of the bible inspired and what are those books? Church government? Modern day prophets and apostles?

This forum is primarily for Christians to discuss matters of Christian doctrine, and is not the area for debate between atheists (or those opposing orthodox Christianity) and Christians. Inquiring atheists (or sincere seekers/doubters/unorthodox) seeking only Christian participation and having demonstrated a manner that does not seek to undermine the orthodox Christian faith of others are also welcome, but must seek Moderator permission first. When defining “Christian” or "orthodox" for purposes of this section, we mean persons holding to the core essentials of the historic Christian faith such as the Trinity, the Creatorship of God, the virgin birth, the bodily resurrection of Christ, the atonement, the future bodily return of Christ, the future bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust, and the final judgment. Persons not holding to these core doctrines are welcome to participate in the Comparative Religions section without restriction, in Theology 201 as regards to the nature of God and salvation with limited restrictions, and in Christology for issues surrounding the person of Christ and the Trinity. Atheists are welcome to discuss and debate these issues in the Apologetics 301 forum without such restrictions.

Additionally and rarely, there may be some topics or lines of discussion that within the Moderator's discretion fall so outside the bounds of mainstream orthodox doctrine (in general Christian circles or in the TheologyWeb community) or that deny certain core values that are the Christian convictions of forum leadership that may be more appropriately placed within Unorthodox Theology 201. NO personal offense should be taken by such discretionary decision for none is intended. While inerrancy is NOT considered a requirement for posting in this section, a general respect for the Bible text and a respect for the inerrantist position of others is requested.

The Tweb rules apply here like they do everywhere at Tweb, if you haven't read them, now would be a good time.

Forum Rules: Here
See more
See less

Regional Impact on Church

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
    Well, we're still talking, and we haven't resorted to beating one another about the head and shoulders with baseball bats.
    Since this is the Christianity forum, we . Those Bibles with commentaries can hurt.

    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
    So, I think you can tell a lot about the Church by the tone the pastor sets - mainly on Sunday morning.
    Does he preach the word, or just tell stories?
    Does he preach expository sermons, or topical sermons for which he rounds up a bunch of out-of-context verses for support?
    Does he seem to have a balance of "preaching truth" but with compassion for the lost, like Jesus had?

    Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but, yeah, could be a problem.

    And therein likes the challenge -- finding a church that preaches the Truth, but in a manner that encourages redemption?
    I agree with your indictors. So no matter how the church got to where it is, the pastor is either setting the tone or reflecting what the congregation wants to hear. In most churches, it's probably a combination. People keep talking about changing the church you're in to be more faithful. The more I think about it, the harder that task is, especially if you're a lay person. Money could talk (here's a $100K plus a pledge for $50K/year if you do what I want) but that's definitely not the Christian way. So I would be naïve to go into a church and expect my presence to make a significant difference at least in the first few years there.

    Which brings up the issue, churches are comprised of saved sinners in various stages of discipleship and growth. As remarked upon, there is no perfect church on Earth until Jesus comes back to rule and reign. I am finding the televangelist call to find a "Bible-believing church" while important not as easy as they make it out to be. I wonder if they realize that but I'm digressing.

    So yes, I should be a member of a church - both to give and to get. However, I can't expect the church to met all of my spiritual needs and desires. Ultimately, that is a deeper relationship with God. But I find the training and encouragement to do so lacking.
    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

    "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
      Since this is the Christianity forum, we . Those Bibles with commentaries can hurt.
      Coals of fire upon your head, brother.

      I agree with your indictors. So no matter how the church got to where it is, the pastor is either setting the tone or reflecting what the congregation wants to hear. In most churches, it's probably a combination.
      So, you made me think... (that can be very dangerous)
      In some churches, the pastor is a "hired gun" (or, in biblical terms, a "hireling")
      In others, they call a pastor to be the leader, to set the tone.

      People keep talking about changing the church you're in to be more faithful. The more I think about it, the harder that task is, especially if you're a lay person. Money could talk (here's a $100K plus a pledge for $50K/year if you do what I want) but that's definitely not the Christian way. So I would be naïve to go into a church and expect my presence to make a significant difference at least in the first few years there.
      I think that's a fair assessment. And in many communities, particularly in smaller churches, the "church" is a couple of families who run things, who have always run things, who will always run things, and the pastor is just "the preacher".

      Which brings up the issue, churches are comprised of saved sinners in various stages of discipleship and growth. As remarked upon, there is no perfect church on Earth until Jesus comes back to rule and reign. I am finding the televangelist call to find a "Bible-believing church" while important not as easy as they make it out to be. I wonder if they realize that but I'm digressing.

      So yes, I should be a member of a church - both to give and to get. However, I can't expect the church to met all of my spiritual needs and desires. Ultimately, that is a deeper relationship with God. But I find the training and encouragement to do so lacking.
      I think this is one of the values of a Sunday School class or "small group" within a church - where you can actually get to know people, and be encouraged and an encourager, and do that "iron sharpens iron" kind of thing.

      But, to badly misquote John F Kennedy --- "ask not what your church can do for you - as what you can do for the Church".

      The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
        Coals of fire upon your head, brother.

        So, you made me think... (that can be very dangerous)
        That's good. That I got someone to think means I'm using my gift of teaching effectively.

        Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
        In some churches, the pastor is a "hired gun" (or, in biblical terms, a "hireling")
        In others, they call a pastor to be the leader, to set the tone.

        I think that's a fair assessment. And in many communities, particularly in smaller churches, the "church" is a couple of families who run things, who have always run things, who will always run things, and the pastor is just "the preacher".

        I think this is one of the values of a Sunday School class or "small group" within a church - where you can actually get to know people, and be encouraged and an encourager, and do that "iron sharpens iron" kind of thing.

        But, to badly misquote John F Kennedy --- "ask not what your church can do for you - as what you can do for the Church".
        So depending on the church history and organizational structure, a pastor may be working under constraints he doesn't like. I hadn't really thought about that before. It does have the definite implication that the lay leadership may be far more important to what the church is like. As my wife and I look for a church, I'm going to have to pay more attention to who the lay leaders are and what their positions are than I have in the past.

        I see your point about Sunday School or "small group". This supposes the church has the ability to integrate new members. The last church we joined didn't have this capability and none of the cliques admitted us as members. I knew we were done there, after over a year, when I realized none wanted to fellowship with my wife. Off topic: getting my wife to join a small group is going to be a challenge.

        Re Kennedy quote: it thrown around enough but I question its validity. I still remember being at one church where my wife and I separately and together participated in just about everything and still got the one finger salute when we needed something. Compared to the late 1980's when I started as adult going to church, I think churches have lost the ability to be a genuine community. As some posted somewhere else, it's something the white church needs to learn from the black/Hispanic churches.

        Of course, we've drifted off the OP - do regionality make a difference in how a church works. I seem to remember reading some social studies that indicated liberals tend to be more interested in people outside their group than in their group while conservatives tend to be more interested in people in their group than outside. For example, they said loyalty to someone tends to be an indicator of being conservative. So I guess being a conservative in a liberal region indicates I'm going to have a very frustrating church experience.
        "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

        "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post

          That's good. That I got someone to think means I'm using my gift of teaching effectively.
          And I was a good listener!

          So depending on the church history and organizational structure, a pastor may be working under constraints he doesn't like. I hadn't really thought about that before. It does have the definite implication that the lay leadership may be far more important to what the church is like. As my wife and I look for a church, I'm going to have to pay more attention to who the lay leaders are and what their positions are than I have in the past.
          That's yet another dynamic -- a good pastor will realize that he is not able to do the job alone, and will not be intimidated by enlisting the help of others who are better at some aspects of church life than he is.

          I see your point about Sunday School or "small group". This supposes the church has the ability to integrate new members. The last church we joined didn't have this capability and none of the cliques admitted us as members. I knew we were done there, after over a year, when I realized none wanted to fellowship with my wife. Off topic: getting my wife to join a small group is going to be a challenge.
          My wife isn't into small groups either. I kind of enjoy the opportunity to get to know people on a more intimate level than just preaching to them or teaching them.

          Re Kennedy quote: it thrown around enough but I question its validity. I still remember being at one church where my wife and I separately and together participated in just about everything and still got the one finger salute when we needed something. Compared to the late 1980's when I started as adult going to church, I think churches have lost the ability to be a genuine community. As some posted somewhere else, it's something the white church needs to learn from the black/Hispanic churches.
          Again, I think a lot of that comes from the personality and leadership of the pastor. I've known some pastors who distrust small groups because of insecurity - like maybe they're getting together to talk about him, or something.

          Of course, we've drifted off the OP
          NEVER!!!!!

          - do regionality make a difference in how a church works. I seem to remember reading some social studies that indicated liberals tend to be more interested in people outside their group than in their group while conservatives tend to be more interested in people in their group than outside. For example, they said loyalty to someone tends to be an indicator of being conservative. So I guess being a conservative in a liberal region indicates I'm going to have a very frustrating church experience.
          I'll need to give that one a mull or two.

          The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
            snipping parts of the post.
            But, to badly misquote John F Kennedy --- "ask not what your church can do for you - as what you can do for the Church".
            I finally realized why the Kennedy quote so annoys me. In my life now, I'm in several situations where I give into and get little back. To tell me to go to Church and do more of the same feels like asking me to get blood out of stone. I'm sorry, but right now I'm more looking to be ministered to than minister.

            Sadly, I may also have become weary of doing good. (Galatians 6:9)

            (I'm going to try to respond to your more recent post tomorrow.)
            "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

            "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post

              I finally realized why the Kennedy quote so annoys me. In my life now, I'm in several situations where I give into and get little back. To tell me to go to Church and do more of the same feels like asking me to get blood out of stone. I'm sorry, but right now I'm more looking to be ministered to than minister.

              Sadly, I may also have become weary of doing good. (Galatians 6:9)

              (I'm going to try to respond to your more recent post tomorrow.)
              Interesting --- I've often said people come to Church for one of three reasons (not limited to these, but a lot of it is this)

              1) To find a place to serve, to give, to "be the Church"
              2) To be ministered to, because they've been hurt or broken or worn
              3) To try to figure out where they fit in the body, or just to hear the options
              The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

              Comment


              • #22
                I think the reasons most people go to church today don't necessarily match the reasons we see in the NT. For many people, it boils down to singing songs and hearing preaching. Basically, sing "to" God, hear preaching "from" God. But in the NT, the horizontal -- people-to-people -- is just as important as the vertical. It's about bonding with other members, trying to meet each others' needs. If all that matters to someone is singing and hearing preaching, all that person needs is an Internet connection.
                Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

                Beige Nationalist.

                "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

                Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post
                  I think the reasons most people go to church today don't necessarily match the reasons we see in the NT. For many people, it boils down to singing songs and hearing preaching. Basically, sing "to" God, hear preaching "from" God. But in the NT, the horizontal -- people-to-people -- is just as important as the vertical. It's about bonding with other members, trying to meet each others' needs. If all that matters to someone is singing and hearing preaching, all that person needs is an Internet connection.
                  My experience up here is the opposite. I find most people go for the people-to-people relations and pay lip service to God.

                  Getting back to the OP: does the region of the US make a difference on the emphasis between I go for the vertical or I go for the horizontal?
                  "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

                  "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    [QUOTE=Cow Poke;n1307592]

                    And I was a good listener!

                    That's yet another dynamic -- a good pastor will realize that he is not able to do the job alone, and will not be intimidated by enlisting the help of others who are better at some aspects of church life than he is.

                    My wife isn't into small groups either. I kind of enjoy the opportunity to get to know people on a more intimate level than just preaching to them or teaching them.

                    Again, I think a lot of that comes from the personality and leadership of the pastor. I've known some pastors who distrust small groups because of insecurity - like maybe they're getting together to talk about him, or something.

                    NEVER!!!!!
                    - do regionality make a difference in how a church works. I seem to remember reading some social studies that indicated liberals tend to be more interested in people outside their group than in their group while conservatives tend to be more interested in people in their group than outside. For example, they said loyalty to someone tends to be an indicator of being conservative. So I guess being a conservative in a liberal region indicates I'm going to have a very frustrating church experience.
                    I'll need to give that one a mull or two.
                    [QUOTE]

                    My wife is getting distinctly anti-social these days. Part is Covid and part is her concerns about being judged by other people. It makes it harder to find a church as she seems predisposed these days to not like the people even before she meets them.

                    I know one pastor who shut down the woman's group because it had become a gossip circle. I think your right about pastor insecurity. Depending on the church structure, he may be concerned about any group he isn't a part of is plotting a coup against him. Related, it may also be a control issue for him.

                    I am also tired of small groups being the solution to all church teaching and relationship problems. They have their rightful place in a church but I have found putting a random selection of people together in a group doesn't always make for a good group. The best group I was ever with, at the start the associate pastor went around inviting people in to join the new group. Intentionally or not, he got a really compatible group of people.

                    Waiting into see the results of your mulling. I would add to the quote that is why you need a full spectrum of conservative and liberals together to get the balance between focusing on the group and focusing on outside the group.
                    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

                    "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
                      [My wife is getting distinctly anti-social these days. Part is Covid and part is her concerns about being judged by other people. It makes it harder to find a church as she seems predisposed these days to not like the people even before she meets them.

                      I know one pastor who shut down the woman's group because it had become a gossip circle. I think your right about pastor insecurity. Depending on the church structure, he may be concerned about any group he isn't a part of is plotting a coup against him. Related, it may also be a control issue for him.

                      I am also tired of small groups being the solution to all church teaching and relationship problems. They have their rightful place in a church but I have found putting a random selection of people together in a group doesn't always make for a good group. The best group I was ever with, at the start the associate pastor went around inviting people in to join the new group. Intentionally or not, he got a really compatible group of people.

                      Waiting into see the results of your mulling. I would add to the quote that is why you need a full spectrum of conservative and liberals together to get the balance between focusing on the group and focusing on outside the group.
                      I'll get back to this tomorrow - just responding to a few quick no-brainers before heading to bed.

                      The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
                        Over in Civics in a thread, there was a discussion of how different versions of a church denomination can differ on how conservative they are. The group being discussed was the Lutherans: ELCA, LCMS, etc. Not wanting to seriously derail the thread and wanting to keep the discussion "in-house", I'm starting this topic.

                        I think we lose the impact of the region the church is in as it affects how liberal <--> conservative it is. I'm in the Northeast and went to a LCMS church for a year. It certainly wasn't conservative in preaching or teaching. Yeah, the pastors were all male but that was it for being conservative. I've had anecdotal reports from people that have moved in to the area that say yes there is a real difference in how church is viewed and works here as compared to other parts of the county.

                        I submit that where you are in the country has more impact on how your church stands on issues than what denomination or non-denomination you're a part of.
                        It seems to me that this is largely a Protestant phenomenon, although I understand that some Roman Catholic archdioceses in the US are more liberal or conservative, which has an impact on the priests in those regions. Orthodoxy isn't really large enough in the US; all the seminaries are on the east coast, except for one in Alaska. Priests are assigned by bishops, mostly where they're needed (ROCOR seems to be something of an exception, in my experience, in that they have an abundance of priests).

                        Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

                        Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
                        sigpic
                        I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                          It seems to me that this is largely a Protestant phenomenon, although I understand that some Roman Catholic archdioceses in the US are more liberal or conservative, which has an impact on the priests in those regions. Orthodoxy isn't really large enough in the US; all the seminaries are on the east coast, except for one in Alaska. Priests are assigned by bishops, mostly where they're needed (ROCOR seems to be something of an exception, in my experience, in that they have an abundance of priests).
                          My experience is within the Protestant church and on issues like this I try not to speak about what I don't know. The only item I will add is the Roman Catholic diocese in which I live is I've heard is counted as one of the more liberal ones in the country.
                          "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

                          "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                            It seems to me that this is largely a Protestant phenomenon, although I understand that some Roman Catholic archdioceses in the US are more liberal or conservative, which has an impact on the priests in those regions. Orthodoxy isn't really large enough in the US; all the seminaries are on the east coast, except for one in Alaska. Priests are assigned by bishops, mostly where they're needed (ROCOR seems to be something of an exception, in my experience, in that they have an abundance of priests).
                            My little town of about 8000 people has two churches under the OCA umbrella, plus an Orthodox monastery outside of town. I don't know much about them, other than that they exist.
                            Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

                            Beige Nationalist.

                            "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

                            Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              I'm still coming back to this!
                              The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                              Comment

                              Related Threads

                              Collapse

                              Topics Statistics Last Post
                              Started by Thoughtful Monk, 10-16-2021, 04:01 PM
                              21 responses
                              112 views
                              2 likes
                              Last Post Sparko
                              by Sparko
                               
                              Started by nico, 10-08-2021, 11:16 AM
                              26 responses
                              159 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post KingsGambit  
                              Started by Bill the Cat, 09-29-2021, 08:31 AM
                              76 responses
                              508 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post NorrinRadd  
                              Started by Thoughtful Monk, 09-20-2021, 08:19 AM
                              28 responses
                              138 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post Cow Poke  
                              Started by NorrinRadd, 09-07-2021, 04:03 AM
                              33 responses
                              195 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post nico
                              by nico
                               
                              Working...
                              X