No time to read a boring article? You can watch it on YouTube.
ME VS THE EMERGENT MOVEMENT
1) I believe saying that practice is more important than doctrine is wrong. They are both equally important.
2) I believe historical doctrines and catechisms are good, useful and helpful
3) I believe that TULIP and the 5 solas are accurate outlines/summarizations of Scripture”s teaching of God’s sovereignty, mercy, and our salvation, sin and faith
ME VS THE SIMPLE/ORGANIC/HOUSE CHURCH MOVEMENT(S)
1) They say Christians should make religious organizations based in houses but I say a Christian should not make their fellowship into an organization/ministry and yet fellowship in a house or building or anywhere for that matter is pleasing to God.
2) They say that true worship is in the organization. I say that true worship is individually in obedience to scripture, and as a group does not need any business/organization/ministry/corporation.
3) I believe that the verse “Where two or three of you are gathered there I am”, refers to Christ giving the authority to write scripture in our canon to His 12 chosen followers, and has nothing at all to do with church fellowship.
ME VS NTRF AND JESUSLIFETOGETHER
1) There is no such thing as the Communion Ceremony/ Eucharist, but those who practice the Passover are to remember Christ as the fulfillment of all it’s symbolism.
ME VS ECCLESIA EQUALS ASSEMBLY/MEETING IDEA
1) I believe the word ecclesia always refers to individual living people and not to a meeting. This can be seen in many scriptures where human attributes are given to the word ecclesia, and also substituting the word “meeting” for ecclesia often makes no sense because Paul is clearly talking about humans and not a meeting.
ME VS ECCLESIA EQUALS COMMUNITY IDEA
1) I have found some verses which refer to ecclesia who are not a community but do not even know each other or live together.
The phrases “go to ecclesia”, “have ecclesia”, “do ecclesia”, “belong to ecclesia”, can not be found in scripture, nor can church names such as the first baptist church or grace bible church etc BUT RATHER we find THE ECCLESIA OF GOD (being one everywhere) in corinth (referring only to the location of some of those who belong to the ecclesia of God everywhere. “The ecclesia of God in corinth” is the same as saying “the american money in my pocket” I don’t have all of it in my pocket but some american money resides there… just as some of God’s ecclesia resided in corinth.
No time to read a boring article? You can watch it on YouTube.
God does not call you to be a PASTOR of a church but to SHEPHERD His people.
God does not call you to become an ELDER in a church but to be a SEASONED EXAMPLE to a novice in the faith.
1 Peter 5:1-5 ESV+Josh (verse 3 uses the adverb “hos” which is like the english word “as” unfortunately deleted from the ESV, my rendering is correct)
1 So I would encourage the seasoned among you, being seasoned myself, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 2 SHEPHERD the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but from the heart; 3 not as ones domineering over someone in your charge, but as examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief SHEPHERD appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 5 Likewise, you who are novices, listen more to those more advanced. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
God does not call you to be an OVERSEER in a church but a LEADER of His people.
28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you LEADERS, to care for the people of God, who He obtained with his own blood.
God does not call you to become a DEACON in a church but to if not shepherd then ASSIST those who do.
1 Timothy 3:13
13 For those who serve well as ASSISTANTS gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.
10 Don’t have others call you a leader, because you have only one leader, the Messiah. 11 The person who would be greatest among you should be your DEACON (servant)
God does not call you to become a church’s EVANGELIST but to SPREAD THE MESSAGE of Christ.
2 Timothy 4:5 YLT
5 And thou–watch in all things; suffer evil; do the work of ONE SPREADING THE GOOD NEWS; of thy service make full assurance,
PASTOR NO SUCH THING
Matthew 9:35-36 ESV
35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
“Like sheep without a pastor?” Why not write the word “pastor” here? It’s the same word in Greek! For that matter, let’s write “like laity without a shepherd”.
Matthew 25:31-32 ESV
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
“As a pastor separates sheep from goats?” Nope it doesn’t fit here either. Thankfully the translators of the ESV were on the ball here. however, they do use translate this same word as pastor in Ephesians. Poor Catholics, if they would only read their bibles, the word pastor is right there, and there they go calling their preachers, “father”.
Matthew 26:30-31 ESV (Mark 6:34, 14:27)
30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
Here we go. Why not translate “poimen” as “pastor” in this verse since it is using the word in the metaphoric sense of shepherding people? I guess Jesus can’t be seen as a mere pastor?
Luke 2:8-9,15,18,20 ESV
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.
15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”
18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
The word “poimen” really seems to just mean “shepherd”. Where did the word “pastor” come from then? Look it up on wikipedia. It is just the Latin word for “shepherd”, used as the title of a job that simply does not exist in scripture.
Ephesians 4:10-16 ESV
10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave ambassadors (in this case His 12 representatives), prophets, messengers, shepherds and teachers, (and laity?) 12 to equip the saints (including teachers etc) for the work of ministry (to become teachers and messengers and shepherds), for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
First off, Christ is not split. He does not have various bodies. Paul is preaching about the one body that builds itself up, not a church or various churches that are built up by one man as a “laity” mingles. Ambassadors refer to Christ’s 12 special followers who He made His own private representatives, telling them, “I send you out” as a King sends His delegates and as in 1 Kings many “apostolos” (using the same word in the LXX) were sent to Solomon from around the world, prophets refer to people who receive revelation from God vocally or by vision. Paul could be called this since at he too received dreams and visions from God. It’s not a job like the church prophet and someone may only get one revelation their whole life. Messengers are people who spread the history of Christ to other people. There isn’t a church messenger / evangelist as all are called to extend the teachings and person of Christ and be His representatives on this Earth. Shepherds are disciplers who follow in the footsteps of Christ and Paul in teaching new believers and training them to disciple others and teachers do the same. This is not a list of jobs people have in a church, this is a list of things that various believers around the planet do from time to time as the One Body builds up “itself”. Also notice that He did not give a laity, but the discipled saints are discipled to be disciplers as the pattern repeats itself. In 1 Corinthians 12 Paul then explains that we are ALL MEMBERS of the One Body, not just a teacher on Sunday, but all are members, this means that there is no laity. 1 Corinthians has a more extensive list but Paul is focusing on leaders in Ephesians.
Hebrews 13:20-21 ESV
20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Here is Paul who is a shepherd of God’s people speaking to future shepherds who will care for God’s people or are in some form or another about the great care taking shepherd Jesus Christ. He’s not a pastor and does not have a job in a church of pastor. Any discipler of God’s people or of new believers or their own family, fits this description. See how one word changes everything. Why suddenly throw the word pastor in the Bible after consistently translating poimen as shepherd and having no problem with the meaning of shepherd in the broad sense of the term.
1 Peter 2:25 ESV
25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the shepherd and leader of your souls.
Shepherd “poimen” and leader “episkopos” are not titles of who He is so much as words describing what He does. This is how they are used in Scripture. They describe what believers do not what they are as a title. We can just as easily rewrite this verse:
“For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the one who shepherds and is in charge of your soul.”
He is not a pastor, He shepherds and there are no pastors but there are many who shepherd new believers to be shepherds and care for God’s One Flock.
1 Peter 5:1-5 ESV
1 So I exhort the advanced among you, being advanced myself and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 5 Likewise, you who are amateur, be subject to those advanced. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Here peter uses the idea of shepherding as synonymous with the idea of being advanced in the faith (translated elder sometimes) to someone they are discipling an amateur new to the faith. Also using the word oversight comparing them with those in leading roles in new believers lives that Paul instructed Timothy about. They are not to be like pastors who act as governors of laity making their living off their tithes, but as examples , implying that there will be time spent together watching how they live and act as they are cared for and shepherded by their discipler/leader/advanced one in the faith.
Peter uses the two words advanced (presbu-teros/ elder or further on) and amateur (neo-teros) in contrast in this paragraph. It makes more sense in the Greek but if you translate it as I suggest you can still kind of see it.
And there you have all the New Testament occasions of the Greek word “poimen” which does occur often in the Old Testament LXX as well to refer to a shepherd and not a pastor. And I hope you will see that the term “poimen” in the New Testament is not used as a title of a persons job but as a description of what the person does. Care for and disciple the people of God like Jesus and Paul did and you too will be shepherding them in your Father’s footsteps. You don’t need a church to do it and you don’t need college training as Peter lacked or even ordination as Paul lacked. Just go and do it where you are, in your neighborhood. And don’t make Sunday meetings with morning doughnuts and an hour sermon with shaking hands and a goodbye. Just meet with them in their house and invite them to yours and spend time with them every day, readingthe Bible and praising God together, instructing them to do the same in ther families and with those who come to faith through them.
The Bible only describes two types of clergy and two roles for the present day people of God. The two types of clergy are leader (overseer, shepherd, elder) and helper (deacon). The two roles of God’s people are discipler (done by any leader) and disciplee (those who came to faith and are being trained to be disciplers by the leader). There is no laity in the sense that someone stays a disciplee.
The role of a leader is defined by the example of Jesus and Paul. Paul and Jesus were never members of a church or synagogue but did often use them as springboards for their message, while not attaching themselves to them. Jesus and Paul were both kicked out of most synagogues and stoned or attempted to be by the members of them. What churchgoers today call “church” would have to be the fellowship between Jesus and His followers who followed Him wherever He went, and Paul and his followers who he stayed with teaching them in their houses every day. The only large assemblies of believers which are recorded were rare and usually involved leaders from several cities gathering for a council meeting or the people of God before they were scattered while they lived in Jerusalem thinking that they were Jews.
The word overseer comes from the Greek word “episkope” and is used all throughout the Old Testament in the LXX and the New Testament, translated by many words in English such as officer, leader, overseer, watcher, with the very very general meaning of someone who is in charge. It is not the title of a job like the words pastor or bishop or overseer or elder. It is just a broad term that refers to anyone in charge of something or someone, the best English gloss being “leader”.
The word shepherd comes from the Greek word “poimen” and is used all throughout the Old Testament in the LXX and the New Testament, translated by many words in English such as herdsman, keeper (of any kind of animal), shepherd, with the general meaning of someone who cares for animals and often used in metaphoric sense for a person who cares for people. After the protestant reformation ascribed this job to a person called a “pastor” (shepherd in Latin) we see it appear more often in protestant Bibles. It is never used in the sense of being a job title though as Protestant churchgoers use it, no matter how often they use it to translate the word “poimen” (shepherd) in the Bible. The word shepherd or poimen is also often used synonymously with the words “episkope” (leader) and “presbuteros” (superior/elder), meaning they are general terms for the same role of discipler of new believers.
The word elder comes from the Greek word “presbuteros” and is used all throughout the Old Testament in the LXX and in the New Testament, translated by words such as “old”, “older”, and “elder”, with the general meaning of someone who is more advanced than another, most commonly in age but also in faith or status etc. It is never used as a title for a job as protestants began to use it, though Catholics attached the title of bishop to this word. Ascribe the title of a clergy position to it all you like but the Bible never uses it that way. It is always used in the general sense of someone being advanced in age and sometimes those who came to faith first thus being advanced in faith.
The word deacon comes from the Greek word “diakonos” and is used all throughout the Old Testament in the LXX and in the New Testament, translated by words such as “servant”, “worker”, “helper”, with the general meaning of a laborer or worker. It is never used as a title for a job like deacon who’s job description varies from church to church. Replace the English translation “deacon” with assistant, every time you read it in the New Testament and you will see that a helper is just that. It was not the title of a specific job but assistants were needed whenever there was a big job to do. The first Christians in Jerusalem hired assistants to help with passing out monetary aid and food to the believers there since so many were in Jerusalem, believing Christianity to be the true Judaism (which it is) and so many had been converted after Peter’s message on Pentecost. Since that time many people assisted believers for many different reasons. Timothy and Titus assisted Paul and so on and so on.
The three words for one who shepherds others and one who leads others and one who is advanced in the faith are all used synonymously to refer to people who disciple new believers and never as the title of a person’s job. The only reason the jobs “pastor”, “bishop”, “deacon”, “elder”, “overseer” etc. are seen as biblical, is because someone put these words in the Bible, blanketing these general terms like leader or shepherd or advanced with occupations such as bishop or pastor or priest. Simply replace the words “overseer” with “leader”, “elder” with “advanced”, “pastor” with “shepherd” and “deacon”, with “assistant” and the whole biblical basis for the existence of these jobs disappears. Likewise, replace the word church with multitude and you will see that the distinction between laity and clergy disappears all together.
ADDING THE SAVED TO THE MULTITUDE
Ecclesia in the New Testament
44 And ALL WHO BELIEVED WERE TOGETHER and had all things in common. 45 And THEY were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And daily, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, THEY received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having respect among all the people. And the Lord was daily adding the saved to THE MULTITUDE.
Main Takeaway Points
1) Believers were meeting daily and all lived in close proximity
2) The Westscott Hort manuscripts read that the Lord was adding the saved to “it” and the it is not a feminine it as in ecclesia so some translations such as the ESV translate this as “number” or “group”
3) Everyone who believed was this massive multitude of believers. When you add the word multitude and take out the word church we can see that the amount of believers was increasing and it isn’t even talking about any sort of church at all. The verse is simply saying that believers were increasing.
TELL IT TO THE MULTITUDE / TAKE IT PUBLIC
Ecclesia in the New Testament
15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, make it public. And finally, if even in the case of making it public he should still not listen, then let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
Main Takeaway Points
1) Don’t you think it just plain odd that so many translators, though they translate ecclesia into different words throughout the Bible feel it appropriate to translate it as church in this verse? Really!? If he refuses to listen to that group that you bring to him (which isn’t a church) then tell it to the church… Which church? What church existed as Jesus was saying this? The word church would be impossible to use in this verse because nothing like a church even existed yet. Jesus had not given the Holy Spirit and people did not even call themselves Christians at the time of these words.
2) When Jesus says “tell it to the qahal/ecclesia/multitude” in this verse He is saying, “tell it to everyone/ to all the rest.” Once you have come to the sinner in private, then take two or three with you (this might constitute taking a kind of church) and then finally just tell everyone else/ the multitude, of his fault, which means to give up keeping it a secret and then excommunicate the man.
3) Translating ecclesia as multitude helps us in this verse to understand the true point Jesus is getting at that you need to start small and tell everyone as a last resort. It’s not about telling some church group and kicking him out of your little group. You need to tell all the brothers and EVERYONE should excommunicate him. Otherwise he’s just gonna find some other group to pollute.
I WILL BUILD MY MULTITUDE
Ecclesia in the New Testament
13 When Jesus arrived at the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say is the Son of Adam?” 14 And they answered, “Some say John the Bather, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 And He said to them, “So, who do YOU say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the chosen heir and son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “How fortunate you are, Simon Bar-Jonah! Because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you. It was my Father in heaven. 18 And now I’M telling you, yes you are petros (a stone), BUT ON THIS petra (corner-stone) I will build my own MULTITUDE, and the gates of death will not prevail against them. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.
1) Peter is one stone in the wall but Jesus is the corner stone holding together the whole structure.
As you come to him, A LIVING STONE rejected by men but in the sight of God CHOSEN and precious, you yourselves like LIVING STONES are being BUILT up as A SPIRITUAL HOUSE, … Behold, I am laying in Zion … A CORNERSTONE … whoever believes in HIM will not be put to shame.
… you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; … Love the BROTHERHOOD. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
2) Jesus is the structure on which he builds His people, His multitude, His people for His own possession.
3) Jesus’ people will conquer death (the gates of death will not prevail against them) which means, though they die, that will not be the end. Those gates will not hold them captive.