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Archive for October, 2013

Hello and welcome to another edition of ACTS 29 TODAY.

quill-pen-and-inkwell

It seems we could go on forever with the history of the CHURCH BUILDING but I really want to get this part wrapped up.

So just a few finishing thoughts, Gothic architecture also was introduced way back then and the main message of this was…GOD IS TRANSCENDENT AND UNREACHABLE…SO…BE AWED BY HIS MAJESTY. Of course that message defies the very truth of the gospel as GOD has made Himself so accessible as to take up residence within his people.

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THE PROTESTANT CHURCH BUILDING

In the sixteenth century the Reformers inherited the church building, and Luther made it very plain that the BUILDING WAS NOT THE CHURCH, but it was impossible for him to overturn more than a millennium of confusion on the subject.

The biggest change the Reformers made architecturally was they made the PULPIT the center of attention rather than the alter table. The Reformation was built on the idea that people could not know GOD nor grow spiritually UNLESS THEY HEAD PREACHING.

Preaching

THE STEEPLE

The message of the steeple also contradicts the message of the gospel, saying people have to reach into the heavens to find GOD. But NO…HE IS HERE, WITH US, IN US.

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THE PLATFORM

The pulpit was so important that it soon was raised up on a platform, and clearly elevates the clergy to a position of prominence, and true to its meaning it puts the preacher AT CENTER STAGE…..separating and placing him/her high above GODS people.

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THE PEW AND BALCONY

I cant even get into this one but just to say it was brought in to get the people closer the the preacher so they would not miss anything that he said and also it would not be so easy for the people to go to sleep.

is it over yet

is it over yet

THE INCREDIBLE HIGH COST

Most Christians just take for granted that the church building is a part of what is needed to do church…THEREFORE THEY…NEVER….QUESTION THE NEED TO FINANCIAL SUPPORT THIS DINOSAUR THAT HAS O, NADA, AND NO BIBLICAL BASIS WHATSOEVER TO EVEN PUT ONE PENNY INTO.

In the US alone real estate owned by the institutional churches today is worth over 230 BILLION $$…church building debt, service, and maintenance consumes about 18 % of the 50-60 billion tithed to churches annual.

THE POINT….CHRISTIANS ARE SPENDING AN INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF MONEY ON THEIR BUILDINGS. (and their PROFESSIONAL CLERGY)

Money-down-the-drain

All the traditional reasons put forth for ” needing a building ” collapse under careful scrutiny…..we so easily forget that the early church….TURNED THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN…WITHOUT THEM. (Acts 17:6) .

They grew rapidly for three hundred years WITHOUT THE HELP….OR….HINDRANCE OF CHURCH BUILDINGS.

Contrast the overhead of the traditional church, which includes….salaried staff and church buildings, with the overhead of a HOUSE CHURCH. Rather than such overhead costing 50 to 85 % of the house churches monetary giving, its operating cost amount to a small percentage of the budget.

FREEING MORE THAN 95% OF ITS SHARED MONEY FOR REAL SERVICES LIKE HELPING PEOPLE, MISSIONS, AND EXPANDING THE KINGDOM AT HOME AND ABROAD.

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Just listen to what people say about the church building.

they refer to it…AS CHURCH.

GODS HOUSE.

THE PLACE OF WORSHIP.

DID YOU GO TO CHURCH TODAY.

WHAT CHURCH DO YOU GO TO…(this is my favorite)

WE GO TO (PASTORS NAME) HIS CHURCH.

THEY QUIT GOING TO CHURCH.

And we could go on and on and on.

Next time CAN WE DEFY THIS TRADITION.

Thanks for being a part of ACTS 29 TODAY.

Larry

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SOMETHING REFRESHING

Just wanted to pass on a very refreshing link if you haven’t seen this before it is a very true message and not an easy one for any of us to operate in.

And I come in dead last in this one (my opinion) but GOD is still working with me on it and I hope to improve much more as the days go by…..enjoy.

http://www.simplechurch.com/video/a-girl-s-message-to-all-christians

Larry

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Hi and welcome to another ACTS 29 TODAY edition.

church images

Well to me the history of these things is absolutely fascinating and will certainly pave the way to a new understanding and wisdom to go forward with the building by JESUS of the REAL CHURCH…THE PEOPLE OF GOD.

Constantin’s thinking was dominated by superstition and pagan magic, even after his conversion to Christianity. He never abandoned SUN worship and set up a statue of the SUN god that bore his own image in the forum of Constantinople (the new capital) . He also built a statue of the mother-godess Cybele (though he presented her in a posture of Christian prayer).

Historians still debate whether or not Constantine was a real Christian or not, the fact that he is to have reportedly had his eldest son, his nephew, and his brother-in-law executed does not strengthen his case for true conversion.  In AD 321 he decreed that Sunday would be a day of rest-a legal holiday to honor the god mithras the unconquered sun, he had a great affinity for the SUN.

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He retained the title … Pontifex Maximus meaning CHIEF OF THE PAGAN PRIEST. In the fifteenth century, this same title became the honorific title for the Roman Catholic Pope. Constantine was an egomaniac to say the least and he thought he was the thirteenth disciple, after his death he was declared to be ” devine” (this was the custom for all pagan emperors who died before him). IT WAS THE SENATE THAT DECLARED HIM TO BE A…PAGAN GOD….AT HIS DEATH, AND NO ONE STOPPED THEM FROM DOING SO.

Because the church building was considered sacred, people had to undergo a purification ritual before entering, so in the fourteen century fountains were erected in the courtyards so the Christians could wash before entering the building. Also the Basilica put the clergy in a distinguished chair up above the laity Interestingly, most present-day church buildings have a spiecial chair for the pastor and his staff on the platform behind the pulpit. (like the bishops throne, the pastors chair is usually the biggest one of all) ALL OF THIS IS A CLEAR CARRYOVER FROM THE PAGAN BASILICA.

see if you can guess which one is the pastors

see if you can guess which one is the pastors

Under Constantine, the clergy who had at first worn everyday clothes, began dressing in special garments and those garments were the garments of the Roman officials. Separation of clergy was now even more prevalent in the gatherings .

Then the custom of starting the service with professional music and thus choirs were also added to the mix, worship became more PROFESSIONAL, DRAMATIC, AND CEREMONIAL.

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Fourteenth century Christianity was being profoundly shaped by…GREEK PAGANISM and ROMAN IMPERIALISM. Bottom line….There was a loss of INTIMACY and OPEN PARTICIPATION.

THE…PROFESSIONAL CLERGY…PREFORMED THE…ACTS OF WORSHIP…

WHILE THE LAITY……LOOKED…..ON……AS…..SPECTATORS.

Lakewood-Church

Constantine brought peace for all Christians, the faith had become LEGITIMATE so much so as to be above Judaism and paganism.   He was seen as sent by GOD to the Christians and had come to their rescue. CHRISTIANITY and ROMAN CULTURE WHERE NOW WELDED TOGETHER (kind of reminds me of where we are today THE USA CULTURE AND THE CHURCH OF TODAY MUCH THE SAME).

I am just going to jump in here and close with this thought. This morning the HOLY SPIRIT was talking to me about the salt of the earth, we are called to be salt and light. The bible says if the salt has lost its savor, or saltiness (the ability to preserve) it is worthless and is good for nothing except to be thrown out trodden under foot of men.

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One time as I was wondering, how does salt lose its saltiness (ability to preserve) and it is just one word…...MIXTURE…….if you add anything to salt it loses its ability that it had when it was….PURE SALT……When Christianity was mixed with Roman culture….it lost its saltiness.

Today more of the world has changed the Church, than the church changing the world (other way around in the early church) because of the MIXTURE with the world and its cult-ture. We are IN THE WORLD….but NOT OF THE WORLD. We are in one… or… the other there is no mixture between the kingdom of GOD and the kingdom of this world, the flesh and the Spirit.

So sadly, Christianity today in America has been thrown out and trodden under foot of men, its is SCOFFED AT, MADE FUN OF, RIDICULED, MOCKED, AND GENERALLY DISCARDED AND DISREGARDED……WHY?……BECAUSE OF THE MIXTURE.

The traditions of man and flesh will NEVER PRODUCE THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT….OR THE RESULTS OF THE SPIRIT.

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NOW THE GOOD NEWS…..WE CAN REPENT (CHANGE OUR MINDS AND GO A DIFFERENT WAY(GODS) AND BEGIN TO SEE HIS REAL PURPOSE AND POWER AGAIN). I no it looks impossible, and with man it is….but with GOD all things are possible.

So will the Church (people of god, not a building) be able to stop supporting buildings and all that goes with it and all the other things that we will discover as we go thru all of this.

YES I BELIEVE SO….ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE TO THEM….WHO BELIEVE.

NicolaiAldunin1

NEXT TIME I WILL TRY TO FINISH UP ABOUT THE CHURCH BUILDING AND MOVE ON TO SOME OTHER SACRED COWS (BS) Broken System…….THAT WILL HAVE TO GO.

Thanks for your time in reading this material its so important to understand in these last times.

Larry

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The early church believed that the church is the body of Christ and constitutes the temple. Jesus said this about their temples IF THE TEMPLE WAS DESTROYED HE WOULD BUILD A NEW ONE IN 3 DAYS the Jews thought He was talking about their temple the building, but Jesus was referring to His body that was raised up on the 3rd day

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Since Jesus has risen, we believers are now the temple of God as He has taken up residency in us. It is for this reason that the new testament ALWAYS reserves the word …CHURCH… for the people of GOD (maybe the royal community would be a better translation) and NEVER A BUILDING.

Christianity was the only thing on earth that had no sacred objects, persons, or spaces and did not erect sacred buildings for their worship. The Christian faith / church was started outside (day of Pentecost) and met in homes, courtyards, and roadsides. The Christianity that conquered Rome was A HOME / HOUSE CENTERED MOVEMENT. It was a conscious choice of the early believers not to build buildings and meet in houses. Christians did not begin to calling their buildings temples until the fifteenth century.

SACRED SPACES AND OBJECTS

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IN THE 2ND AND 3RD CENTURY’S A SHIFT OCCURRED, and believers began to accept the pagan view of reverencing the dead and prayers for the saints and later prayer to the saints began. Then holy spaces as they erected monuments over the grave sites and was also a pagan practice. Then art came in and they began to decorate the tombs, interestingly THE CROSS as an artistic reference of Christ death cannot be found prior to the time of Constantine. Christ on the cross made its first appearance in the fifth century.

So by the 3rd century Christians had sacred spaces and objects and they would soon have a SACRED PRIESTHOOD. Now that Christians had begun to think like pagans it set the stage for the man who would be responsible for the CHURCH BUILDING.

CONSTANTINE

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By AD 324 this man was the emperor of the Roman empire, shortly afterwords he began ordering the construction of Christian church buildings.

HE DID SO TO PROMOTE THE …POPULARITY…AND…ACCEPTANCE…OF CHRISTIANITY.

If the Christians had THEIR OWN … SACRED BUILDINGS…….like the JEWS and PAGANS…..their faith would be regarded as…..L E G I T I M A T E ………

Religious_Symbols

WOW I have to talk about this for just a moment as this is an incredible thing to happen to the Church (the people of GOD) Christians had been martyred, mistreated, rejected, and despised for a long time. Being legitimate and accepted would have been a great temptation for sure, BUT AT WHAT COST did this happen…well by the end of the 5th century it went into the DARK AGES.

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Think about what was accomplished thru the early people of GOD (the church) believers, the world was turned upside down (or right side up), many signs and miracles were done, great power was upon them as they told of the mighty resurrection of Jesus, the world new who these people were and many believed with them, they sold land and houses (OK LARRY YOU HAVE GONE TO FAR NOW DONT EVER EXPECT US TO DO THAT KIND OF STUFF) they had ALL THINGS in common, met daily from house to house, and on and on.

BUT IN THOSE WONDERFUL DAYS OF ACTS…..THEY WERE…NOT

ACCEPTED……..NOR WERE THEY……LEGITIMATE……….

AS COMPARED TO THE RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS OF THEIR DAY.

prisonmessengers

Now we have lost what the early believers (the church) had, and it must be restored in these last days, they new nothing of church in a box (church building) they were the CHURCH… A LIVING , BREATHING, MOVING ABOUT, ORGANIC, POWERFUL, LOVING, CARING, GIVING, ORGANISM.

The church building would change everything for the people of GOD and along with many other traditions of man would in a short time bring on the dark ages. Even tho many truths have been restored…the order of the service and most of the practices and where we meet are still in the dark ages.

And now for the good news…there is an awakening in the land... I dont expect the old ways to change much (cant put new wine into OLD HARD DRY wine skins) but we can be a part of a new way (for us) to do things and that my friends will bring about a dynamic change from the status quo (means THE MESS WE ARE IN) of today’s idea of what church is.

So if your tired of the mess hang in there and believe GOD with me for the change IN US FIRST then in those around us.

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God bless you and be a blessing to some one today…they really need it.

Larry

PS- as far as the objects I talked about, crosses and such I am not talking about you getting rid of all of that stuff….this is just the history of where all of this stuff that isn’t in the Bible came from and not that its all bad, it just isn’t in the word or was it practiced by the early church….as always BE LED BY THE WORD AND THE HOLY SPIRIT. And dont worship the object.

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