Community

Discussions on ecclesiology such as the nature, constitution and functions of the church.
rain
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Community

Postby rain » Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:23 am

Jesus lived and traveled with his disciples full time. He taught his disciples to go two by two, he said things like ''where two or three are gathered in my name, there I will be''. When we look at the book of Acts, we see the disciples living and working for the Lord together. It says they shared everything in common, people sold their possessions, and distribution was made accordingly. In Acts 11, it says the disciples assembled together for an entire year. In Hebrews 10, we are instructed to ''not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but to exhort one another more and more especially as we see that Day approaching''.

Anyone guess what I'm getting at?

There seems to be a huge gulf between how the early disciples lived and how Christians have lived ever since, but especially now in the 21st Century. What's stopping us from returning to that example? What's stopping us from forsaking everything we have, sharing all things in common, and living in community?

Perhaps it's our desire for personal freedom, individuality, pride, greed, laziness, selfishness?

Church goers and preachers alike, usually like to push for church attendance, where people 'assemble' together, but for how long...a couple hours on the weekend, perhaps a bible study on Wednesday? Along with this is the catch-cry of ''you need to be accountable''. Well, imagine the fellowship and accountability we would enjoy if Christians did return to the example of Jesus and his disciples. Walking in the light of community living can be challenging, problems will be exposed, but at least we can change then, rather than go the rest of the week with rarely anyone pulling us up spiritually and making us accountable for our thoughts, use of time, actions, etc.

Well, that's the thought. Jesus did it, his disciples did, and there are heaps of good reasons/teachings for why we should do too. What are the good reasons/scriptural support for the ''forsaking the assembling of ourselves''?

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Re: Community

Postby Nessa » Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:29 pm

rain wrote:Jesus lived and traveled with his disciples full time. He taught his disciples to go two by two, he said things like ''where two or three are gathered in my name, there I will be''. When we look at the book of Acts, we see the disciples living and working for the Lord together. It says they shared everything in common, people sold their possessions, and distribution was made accordingly. In Acts 11, it says the disciples assembled together for an entire year. In Hebrews 10, we are instructed to ''not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but to exhort one another more and more especially as we see that Day approaching''.

Anyone guess what I'm getting at?

There seems to be a huge gulf between how the early disciples lived and how Christians have lived ever since, but especially now in the 21st Century. What's stopping us from returning to that example? What's stopping us from forsaking everything we have, sharing all things in common, and living in community?

Perhaps it's our desire for personal freedom, individuality, pride, greed, laziness, selfishness?

Church goers and preachers alike, usually like to push for church attendance, where people 'assemble' together, but for how long...a couple hours on the weekend, perhaps a bible study on Wednesday? Along with this is the catch-cry of ''you need to be accountable''. Well, imagine the fellowship and accountability we would enjoy if Christians did return to the example of Jesus and his disciples. Walking in the light of community living can be challenging, problems will be exposed, but at least we can change then, rather than go the rest of the week with rarely anyone pulling us up spiritually and making us accountable for our thoughts, use of time, actions, etc.

Well, that's the thought. Jesus did it, his disciples did, and there are heaps of good reasons/teachings for why we should do too. What are the good reasons/scriptural support for the ''forsaking the assembling of ourselves''?


Really like your post :)

Personally, I don't go to Church anymore. I felt like as long as you were doing 'all the right' things e.g tithing..no one cared about how your actual relationship with God was going. Or cared about the 'real you'.

I asked someone once ' hey how are things with God'..they were like 'what?' They thought
they had misheard me :econfused:

I didnt know how bad my own relationship was with God until I left.

Dont get me wrong, no church is perfect and church does some great stuff. My old church was in some ways great at community. At least on the outside looking in.

Anyway, hubby and kids go to a small church home group.friday nights. I sometimes go to and there is real community there.

We share dinner, fellowship, pray, read the word...the works...

But even there, I feel like Im not free to be honest and real - to be myself fully.

To me community is about being authentic, raw and real..to accept each other and love each other for the person God has created us to be. And to not be turned away from each other cos we all have our own dirt to deal with.

Then and only then, can we really thrive and be the community God has called us to be.

rain
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Re: Community

Postby rain » Sat Sep 12, 2015 4:51 am

Hi Nessa,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I in particular liked this thought:

''To me community is about being authentic, raw and real..to accept each other and love each other for the person God has created us to be. And to not be turned away from each other cos we all have our own dirt to deal with''.

I think that realness you speak of, is the very thing that stops people from wanting to live in community with others. The light will expose our nastiness. But I think living and working in community is a tool that God uses to bring up the parts of us we would rather not let others see, it's his way of healing us. Unfortunately, people are running from the light, which then leads to self-deception about our supposed righteousness.

I have been living in Christian community for about 12 years, and just being in community doesn't necessarily mean we're walking in the light either, or being real and raw with one another. Sincerity seems to be fundamental in all of this. Are we willing to criticize, to accept criticism, make others accountable? If not, then the same shallow, silent conspiracy will evolve that has permeated the majority of Christian churches.

Anyway, that's enough of a ramble. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. Oh, one last thought, often family can be the closest most people ever get to the kind of community Jesus and his disciples lived and preached. In our families we see the best and worst, we help one another out, we don't charge for this either! But of course, even amongst families, there can still be silent conspiracy's, relationships can still be fairly shallow...emotional yes, but how much do we really share deeply with those 'closest to us'?

I'll leave it there for now. I hope it finds you well.

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Re: Community

Postby RickD » Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:01 am

Hi rain,

Maybe it's a cultural thing in the country where you live. In America, we do have communities where people live together, and follow a set of beliefs, and a leader.

But in the US, we don't call them Christian Communities. We call them cults.

I can understand the concept in a country where Christianity is persecuted. And Christians may simply be safer living in a community.

What country do you live in?
1 Corinthians 1:9
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Nessa
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Re: Community

Postby Nessa » Sat Sep 12, 2015 2:12 pm

rain wrote:Hi Nessa,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I in particular liked this thought:

''To me community is about being authentic, raw and real..to accept each other and love each other for the person God has created us to be. And to not be turned away from each other cos we all have our own dirt to deal with''.

I think that realness you speak of, is the very thing that stops people from wanting to live in community with others. The light will expose our nastiness. But I think living and working in community is a tool that God uses to bring up the parts of us we would rather not let others see, it's his way of healing us. Unfortunately, people are running from the light, which then leads to self-deception about our supposed righteousness.

I have been living in Christian community for about 12 years, and just being in community doesn't necessarily mean we're walking in the light either, or being real and raw with one another. Sincerity seems to be fundamental in all of this. Are we willing to criticize, to accept criticism, make others accountable? If not, then the same shallow, silent conspiracy will evolve that has permeated the majority of Christian church...


We often dont give others permission to be REALLY real and raw with us because we dont give ourselves permission. Sure, we may go down that road a bit...but then we stop. We hold back knowing if the other person really knew what we were thinking, their opinion of us may change.

How would you feel if everyone knew your thoughts? They were plastered on your forehead?

I'd never leave the house :shock:

We fail often to love and truly accept each other as Jesus did. But that is what Jesus told us to do.

And he DOES know all our thoughts.

Love and acceptance must come first as far as community goes.

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Re: Community

Postby B. W. » Sun Sep 13, 2015 10:29 am

rain wrote:Jesus lived and traveled with his disciples full time. He taught his disciples to go two by two, he said things like ''where two or three are gathered in my name, there I will be''. When we look at the book of Acts, we see the disciples living and working for the Lord together. It says they shared everything in common, people sold their possessions, and distribution was made accordingly. In Acts 11, it says the disciples assembled together for an entire year. In Hebrews 10, we are instructed to ''not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but to exhort one another more and more especially as we see that Day approaching''.

Anyone guess what I'm getting at?

There seems to be a huge gulf between how the early disciples lived and how Christians have lived ever since, but especially now in the 21st Century. What's stopping us from returning to that example? What's stopping us from forsaking everything we have, sharing all things in common, and living in community?

Perhaps it's our desire for personal freedom, individuality, pride, greed, laziness, selfishness?

Church goers and preachers alike, usually like to push for church attendance, where people 'assemble' together, but for how long...a couple hours on the weekend, perhaps a bible study on Wednesday? Along with this is the catch-cry of ''you need to be accountable''. Well, imagine the fellowship and accountability we would enjoy if Christians did return to the example of Jesus and his disciples. Walking in the light of community living can be challenging, problems will be exposed, but at least we can change then, rather than go the rest of the week with rarely anyone pulling us up spiritually and making us accountable for our thoughts, use of time, actions, etc.

Well, that's the thought. Jesus did it, his disciples did, and there are heaps of good reasons/teachings for why we should do too. What are the good reasons/scriptural support for the ''forsaking the assembling of ourselves''?


There are various forms of Christian Communities out there in the world at large today. There is the Eastern Orthodox, Hutterite, Mennonite, various forms of AnaBaptist movements, etc and etc. There are good groups then there are the cults that use the sense of community to control.

What group, Rain, are you associated with?
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Re: Community

Postby crochet1949 » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:42 pm

Yes, a sense of 'community " Is hard to come by. People move around a lot -- become disconnected -- friendship takes time to develop -- it's much easier to be 'surface' rather than vulnerable. I'm in my mid-sixties -- lots of 'life' has happened. I'm one who's sort of fallen through the cracks due to moving around a Lot over the years. Have not been able TO establish good friendships -- am going to a counselor -- have been for a while now. Ended up getting out of church for a while and now am back in a small church -- wonderful, caring people. Our pastor teaches Bible -- a great teacher. And a Local group is important to connect with.

We Are to get involved with a local group of believers. We Need to take time / make the effort To get to know others. Everyone Needs to feel important to another person in a healthy way.

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Re: Community

Postby Nessa » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:51 pm

RickD wrote:Hi rain,

Maybe it's a cultural thing in the country where you live. In America, we do have communities where people live together, and follow a set of beliefs, and a leader.

But in the US, we don't call them Christian Communities. We call them cults.

I can understand the concept in a country where Christianity is persecuted. And Christians may simply be safer living in a community.

What country do you live in?



How unobservant am I, Rick? I just noticed NOW that your avatar says sandwiches not.. cry... lol

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Re: Community

Postby Nessa » Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:30 pm

crochet1949 wrote:Yes, a sense of 'community " Is hard to come by. People move around a lot -- become disconnected -- friendship takes time to develop -- it's much easier to be 'surface' rather than vulnerable. I'm in my mid-sixties -- lots of 'life' has happened. I'm one who's sort of fallen through the cracks due to moving around a Lot over the years. Have not been able TO establish good friendships -- am going to a counselor -- have been for a while now. Ended up getting out of church for a while and now am back in a small church -- wonderful, caring people. Our pastor teaches Bible -- a great teacher. And a Local group is important to connect with.

We Are to get involved with a local group of believers. We Need to take time / make the effort To get to know others. Everyone Needs to feel important to another person in a healthy way.


How small is the church?
I think even if we go to a big church, God still designed us to keep within a small select few that we can really fellowship with. Be vulnerable with, as you say.

Even Jesus had a small group he regularly hung around. Invested time with. That doesn't mean though that you always have to stay within that group though.

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Re: Community

Postby crochet1949 » Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:37 am

The church I'm with has about 60 or so in Sunday morning church. The evening and Wednesday Bible study time has about 10 of us.

There can be a Problem with small churches, though. Lots of people prefer Bigger congregations so there can be more financing available. And if a person, couple Don't find a good 'fit' amongst a few -- it can be hard to develop friendships. Whereas in a larger church -- if one group doesn't seem to work - there Are other groups that a person Could fit into better.

I've been in both. And there are Lots of people who Don't want to be 'known' by others.

And finding a church that teaches Bible as being God's Word and really does teach it can be hard to find.

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Re: Community

Postby PaulSacramento » Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:44 am

Going to church is PART of being part of the community and the SOCIAL part of being the Body of Christ.
Hebrews comments on church going:
10-25 not forsaking our own assembling together.

BUT the context is crucial:

A New and Living Way
19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a [h]sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

There is strength in numbers and there are times that we need the emotional support from others to strengthen our faith in hard times.

This isn't a commandment to go to church nor is it a slight on those that don't, it simply is a statement of common sense:

We will find encouragement and stimulation in a group of like-minded people.

Just as we do HERE.

Being part of the Body of Christ is automatic when we are His, when we put our hope and faith in HIM.
Being part of a Christian community takes on MANY forms and going to church is just ONE of them.
No more or no less than any other.
Though I am sure there are many that would like it to be otherwise and foster the view that church attendance is mandatory.

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Re: Community

Postby Storyteller » Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:54 pm

Absolutely.

But church could be, and should be, a physical place to worship God.
I want to go to church but only if it means something.
I want to give praise, and glory, to God, publicly, along with fellow believers.
If I can find that in a church, and I think I may have, then I thank God for it.
But....

I can, and do, do that here.

So if church isn't for me then I trust in the HS and there will be a reason why. And my faith in Christ will be as strong as anyone who goes to a physical church.

Wherever you gather in my name is a church rings a bell.
Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof - Kahlil Gibran

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Re: Community

Postby B. W. » Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:22 pm

Storyteller wrote:Absolutely.

But church could be, and should be, a physical place to worship God.
I want to go to church but only if it means something.
I want to give praise, and glory, to God, publicly, along with fellow believers.
If I can find that in a church, and I think I may have, then I thank God for it.
But....

I can, and do, do that here.

So if church isn't for me then I trust in the HS and there will be a reason why. And my faith in Christ will be as strong as anyone who goes to a physical church.

Wherever you gather in my name is a church rings a bell.


There are no perfect churches because none of us are perfect!

The idea of a sense of belonging, a community of believers in Christ, growing together used to be actually the norm. However, it has now become difficult in this modern age to find that community due to a whole host of reasons.

Can you name a few?
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Re: Community

Postby Nessa » Thu Oct 01, 2015 1:38 am

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There are many reasons why God calls us to fellowship together.
One reason is that we were made to be known.

God knows us completely and we are called to know him but that is not where it ends.
We are also called to know each other. Really know each other.

It can be so easy to understand how we were once cut off from God but do we also understand we were once cut off from each other. And we still are.

But that is now our choice. Whether we remain cut off, or choose to be involved in community with each other.

We are made in the image of God, to love as he loved. And he chose to love us up close and personal coming to walk among us. Living among us, knowing us, suffering with us. He saw our pain with his own human eyes, and was moved with compassion with a heart of flesh that broke. And now he calls us to know each other. Love each other as he did. Accept one another as he did.

You may ask someone 'Do you know God?' But maybe there are times when God would ask you 'Do you know them?' There are many non christians that just need someone to know them. To love them. To accept them.

Yes, we were made to know God and be known by him.
But we were also made to know each other.

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Re: Community

Postby Nessa » Fri Oct 23, 2015 2:58 pm



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