13 responses

  1. Bob Aarhus
    January 12, 2012

    “Christians who wage war on the descriptions above do so because they can’t stand to consider the implications of meeting together daily in each other’s homes for meals and fellowship, while also giving up their hard-earned stuff so that a brother or sister can have a need met.”

    That, in a nutshell, is the issue. What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours, and our respective levels of blessing are a result of our obedience to God; if you’re not blessed, well, maybe you’re doing something wrong, and I really don’t want to associate with you any more than I have to. And, in order to get more of what’s mine, I’m Just Too Busy.

    Now, to be fair, we don’t live in the same hovel for most if not all of our lifetimes, we frequently travel far from our homesteads/birthplaces, and we don’t know our neighbors nearly as well as we could or should. It’s a challenge in this day and age. But if these difficulties have evolved, so have our distractions (movies, gadgets, etc.) that fill up our ‘free’ time and give us excuses not to meet.

    I’ve recently started tracking all of my activities through a nifty little iPhone app, and have found that I indeed spend an inordinate amount of time on entertainment, the Internet, responding to Blog posts…er…uh…anyways, would some of this time be better spent in fellowship? You bet. But we’ve eased out of that mode, and the excuses continue to mount.

  2. Fred
    January 12, 2012

    I wrote about something similar today. I don’t believe we can necessarily recreate the first century church, I do believe we are called to the same attitude. They were first devoted to Christ, then to each other. It was this devotion that caused them to do what they did, to lay down their lives for each other. That is what we are to be willing to do. It may result in the same actions, but it will also result in other things that the early Christians knew nothing about. The love and devotion is definitely prescriptive, while the actual actions may be considered descriptive.

  3. alan
    January 12, 2012

    Right on, Dan. Too many 21st century believers in the US with seemingly terminal cases of affluenza. For those people, anything approximating the early church dilutes the status and appearance of their accumulated wealth.

  4. Sulan
    January 13, 2012

    I think bottom line, we have allowed God to become small in our eyes — instead of portraying Him as BIG as He is.

  5. seeker3261@gmail.com
    January 17, 2012

    Fred’s statement that “They were first devoted to Christ, then to each other” is right on the mark.

  6. Oengus
    January 21, 2012

    Descriptive-Prescriptive battles over the book of Acts, eh?

    Hey, that’s nothing compared to what’s happened to John 14:12.

    Let’s be honest. Five-nines of xtians simply do not believe this verse, and will come up with the most squirrelly devices to explain it away. We would be more honest if we simply tooks some scissors and cut it out of our Bibles.

    • alan
      January 21, 2012

      Good point for certain, but not the subject of Dan’s post. Please stay on topic. One of the major pitfalls of web forums is hijacked topics. John 14:12 deserves much attention. But John 14:12 is not the subject of Dan’s post. Please open your own forum if that verse is your life mission.

      • Oengus
        January 21, 2012

        Alan: …if that verse is your life mission.

        Huh? My life mission? Are you kidding me?

        But my point—admittedly very tersely stated and liable to be misunderstood—is that the church has been bogged down for a long time in concocting complex theological systems for explaining away its lack of any kind of power: in other words, our experience often dictates our theology, in that our lack of experience leads to complex systems explaining why we never have the experience. Now the specific “prescriptive-descriptive” battle regarding the book of Acts, mentioned by Dan, is just one example of concocted intellectual devices for explaining away things. Formal cessationism and hyper-dispensationalism are other examples that I can think of. The verse I mentioned above is involved in just one more example of the same tendency to construct systems, only this time it happens to involve another book in the New Testament. But the underlying tendency is universal. In my opinion, much of it has to do with being very comfortable with what we have, along with institutional partisanism, added to which is the strong desire to prevent anyone else from daring to suggest that maybe there is really more to the story.

        But this is just a silly comment box, and it’s not my life’s mission to write out a big long dissertations in comment boxes. Anyhow, Dan knows who I am, and I think he understands my point, and besides he is perfectly capable of policing his own comment boxes.

      • Oengus
        January 22, 2012

        It did occur to me later…or maybe it was revealed to me, who knows? But it occured to me later that what was said in John 14:12 is actually very relevant after all: much of what happens in Acts is illustrative what the Lord meant in John 14:12. Acts demonstrates the truth of John 14:12.

        That our comtemporary experience falls way short of what we find in the book of Acts simply illustrates the current state of our hardened unbelief…although we like to pat ourselves on the back and think instead that it somehow proves the cleverness of our theology.

        So I plead “not guilty” to the charge of being off topic and attempting to hijack Dan’s web forum.

      • Dan Edelen
        January 23, 2012

        Alan,

        While I appreciate the effort, I can police my own blog. And I don’t think what Oengus posted is in any way off-topic. In fact, I find it extremely on-topic. Tangential, perhaps, but thinking about what he says leads to connecting the dots.

      • alan
        January 23, 2012

        My sincere apologies. I posted reactively and without thought.

      • Dan Edelen
        January 24, 2012

        Alan,

        No problems. We’re all human. I like to let people talk here, and most people stay on topic in one way or another. Tangents are fine. They keep expanding the truth.

    • Dan Edelen
      January 23, 2012

      Oengus,

      People so readily explain away big chunks of Scripture. Agreed on the John 4:12 issue and its ramifications for understanding Acts.

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