A conversation with a Baptist coworker


#1

I have great Baptist coworker whom I am able to bounce religion off of and this is a question I gave her for her bible study.
Eph 5

25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Who What When Where is “the Church”?

The reply… The church is refering to all christians.

My question

In our verbal conversation regarding the underlines phrases, you mentioned that “the church” is a reference to all Christians.

With that in mind please read the following (I included the two verses previous to put the passages in context)

Matthew 18:15-18 (King James Version)

15Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

In Matthew Jesus is telling the disciples how to settle a dispute. However, at the end if the two or three witnesses cannot come up with a resolution they are to go to “the church”. If by your definition from Ephesians “the church” is other Christians. Then, why would someone in a dispute go to two or three people for a resolution and (for argument sake) not come up with a resolution. Then be referred to “the church” i.e. other Christians for consult?

It appears that Jesus is referring the people in dispute to an authority…. “the church”. Which begs an answer to the first question from Ephesians 5. Who What When Where is “the Church”

What do you think?
Thanks
Eric


#2

[quote=EricCKS]]Matthew 18:15-18 (King James Version)

15Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

In Matthew Jesus is telling the disciples how to settle a dispute. However, at the end if the two or three witnesses cannot come up with a resolution they are to go to “the church”. If by your definition from Ephesians “the church” is other Christians. Then, why would someone in a dispute go to two or three people for a resolution and (for argument sake) not come up with a resolution. Then be referred to “the church” i.e. other Christians for consult?

It appears that Jesus is referring the people in dispute to an authority…. “the church”. Which begs an answer to the first question from Ephesians 5. Who What When Where is “the Church”

What do you think?
Thanks
Eric

[/quote]

Yes, Christ indeed intended to have a Church, which by His authority, would have jurisdiction over disputes in the faith. We see in this verse from Matthew that he instructs people to take it to two or more people to decide on the matter in dispute. I would interpret it as other Christians. But later on in the verse, “Church” refers to a specific body of people, people of authority, through His given authority. This part of the verse would be hard-pressed to expand this meaning to be “other Christians.” Because, well, he mentioned it earlier. It is also the stance I have heard from many priests.

I would be curious to see how your good friend responds to this. :thumbsup:


#3

I’ve often heard within the protestant church that ideally yes we wouldn’t have denominations…but that we’re sinful people and all denominations are wrong in some sense and right in others so…

I’m not saying this makes any sense, but I have heard it within the Protestant church…


#4

I do not know where this conversation will end but it is in good spirit. And I am learing a ton about my faith and many of the things I have taken for granted. So the long and short is…its exciting.

Thanks
Eric


#5

[quote=EricCKS]. Who What When Where is “the Church”

What do you think?
Thanks
Eric

[/quote]

It is my opinion that “the Church” is the same today as it was from the moment Peter said, “You are the Messiah, the son of the Living God.”

That is -

The church is all those who believe that Jesus is the promised One. The church is all those who put their faith in him. Jesus’s reference and Paul’s indicate some minimal amount of organized structure to it which does seem a little difficult to imagine in the early days. But I think it is possible to imagine a situation where people can’t resolve their problems and finally someone standing up and saying. “Ok, anyone out there who follows Jesus, what do you think of this situation?”

In my opinion, this would be making an appeal to “the church”

peace

Jim


#6

I am pretty sure it wasn’t just anyone who followed Jesus as they had appointed leaders in the Church at that time. That is why they laid hands on others to pass on authority.

And anyone giving their own opinion to resolve problems is then no real answer to a question as then it would just be an opinion as the answer to the dispute.

If I believed that my wife shouldn’t have an abortion and she did where should we go to find out the truth? It is pretty easy to find Christians who are pro-abortion or pro-life it just depends on who we ask.

God Bless
Scylla


#7

Eric:

A good follow up would be to ask how this practically plays out in the protestant environment versus the Catholic Church. Let’s say you call out a sin: fornication. And your friend denies that this is wrong. Then take it to different denominations and you’ll get different answers. If you both go to a bishop of Kenya or Australia in any century if you wish, the answer will remain the same.

I think you’re on to the right track in citing the particular scripture and asking WHICH church. I think if it plays out reasonably and practically, the catholic system will prove most biblical.

God Bless.

in XT.


#8

[quote=EricCKS]I have great Baptist coworker whom I am able to bounce religion off of and this is a question I gave her for her bible study.
Eph 5

25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Who What When Where is “the Church”?

The reply… The church is refering to all christians.

My question

In our verbal conversation regarding the underlines phrases, you mentioned that “the church” is a reference to all Christians.

With that in mind please read the following (I included the two verses previous to put the passages in context)

Matthew 18:15-18 (King James Version)

15Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

In Matthew Jesus is telling the disciples how to settle a dispute. However, at the end if the two or three witnesses cannot come up with a resolution they are to go to “the church”. If by your definition from Ephesians “the church” is other Christians. Then, why would someone in a dispute go to two or three people for a resolution and (for argument sake) not come up with a resolution. Then be referred to “the church” i.e. other Christians for consult?

It appears that Jesus is referring the people in dispute to an authority…. “the church”. Which begs an answer to the first question from Ephesians 5. Who What When Where is “the Church”

What do you think?
Thanks
Eric

[/quote]

Eric, I am copying an excerpt from a noted protestant Bible expositor named Matthew Henry which wrote a complete commentary on the Bible. It will give you an idea of the historic position that many protestants have taken.

*3. "If he shall neglect to hear them, and will not refer the matter to their arbitration, then tell it to the church, to the ministers, elders, or other officers, or the most considerable persons in the congregation you belong to, make them the referees to accommodate the matter, and do not presently appeal to the magistrate, or fetch a writ for him.’’ This is fully explained by the apostle (1 Co. 6), where he reproves those that went to law before the unjust, and not before the saints (v. 1), and would have the saints to judge those small matters (v. 2) that pertain to this life, v. 3. If you ask, "Who is the church that must be told?’’ the apostle directs there (v. 5), Is there not a wise man among you? Those of the church that are presumed to be most capable of determining such matters; and he speaks ironically, when he says (v. 4), "Set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church; those, if there be no better, those, rather than suffer an irreconcileable breach between two church members.’’ This rule was then in a special manner requisite, when the civil government was in the hands of such as were not only aliens, but enemies. *
**
from Matthew Henry’s Commentary

blueletterbible.org/tmp_dir/c/1130243658-205.html


#9

[quote=EricCKS]I have great Baptist coworker whom I am able to bounce religion off of and this is a question I gave her for her bible study.
Eph 5

25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Who What When Where is “the Church”?

The reply… The church is refering to all christians.

My question

In our verbal conversation regarding the underlines phrases, you mentioned that “the church” is a reference to all Christians.

With that in mind please read the following (I included the two verses previous to put the passages in context)

Matthew 18:15-18 (King James Version)

15Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

In Matthew Jesus is telling the disciples how to settle a dispute. However, at the end if the two or three witnesses cannot come up with a resolution they are to go to “the church”. If by your definition from Ephesians “the church” is other Christians. Then, why would someone in a dispute go to two or three people for a resolution and (for argument sake) not come up with a resolution. Then be referred to “the church” i.e. other Christians for consult?

It appears that Jesus is referring the people in dispute to an authority…. “the church”. Which begs an answer to the first question from Ephesians 5. Who What When Where is “the Church”

What do you think?
Thanks
Eric

[/quote]

As you probably well know - the congregational type church government of protestant churches is quite different than the Catholic hiearchal form of government. In the congregational type the leaders naturally emerge. For example, the Baptist churches I have been involved with choose deacons from among the “flock” of believers. They are nominated by the flock and then elected according to majority vote (which is determined differently in different protestant groups).

The same goes for pastors. Some pastors are trained in seminaries and then are basically interviewed by a committee designated with the responsibility of choosing the new pastor. Some pastors simply come from the congregation and are elected because of their faithfulness and abilities to teach the Bible to others and ability to lead others. It reminds me of how a company works to a great degree. This is just to give you a more specific idea of what your friend is used to.

Peace…


#10

[quote=trogiah]It is my opinion that “the Church” is the same today as it was from the moment Peter said, “You are the Messiah, the son of the Living God.”

That is -

[/quote]

The church founded on that rock (Peter) and the gates of hell wouldn’t prevail agianst. Yeah it does sound pretty nice doesn’t it.

Wait a second it sounds just like… :eek: …the Catholic Church.


#11

[quote=ahimsaman72]As you probably well know - the congregational type church government of protestant churches is quite different than the Catholic hiearchal form of government. In the congregational type the leaders naturally emerge. For example, the Baptist churches I have been involved with choose deacons from among the “flock” of believers. They are nominated by the flock and then elected according to majority vote (which is determined differently in different protestant groups).

The same goes for pastors. Some pastors are trained in seminaries and then are basically interviewed by a committee designated with the responsibility of choosing the new pastor. Some pastors simply come from the congregation and are elected because of their faithfulness and abilities to teach the Bible to others and ability to lead others. It reminds me of how a company works to a great degree. This is just to give you a more specific idea of what your friend is used to.

Peace…
[/quote]

I felt I needed to clarify one statement and add on another statement. The above bolded statement isn’t implying that only the congregational form of govt. is the only one where leaders emerge naturally. The same can be said for the Catholic hierarchal form of govt. A good example - PJP2 went from priest - bishop - archbishop and then on to the office of the pope (I believe I have that right).

Also, there are two types of “preachers” - that is, one is ordained and one is not. For example, a man can voluntarily ask to be given the “license” to preach, that is, become an evangelist. This is done through the authority of the deacons (who are elected by the members). The ordained preacher is one that becomes “licensed” and called to be pastor of a church through an interview process conducted by a committee and/or the deacons (elders). The preacher (licensed to preach) cannot make administrative decisions on any level, while the pastor is obviously given much authority.

So you have the members forming a congregation and electing deacons (which are rotated every 1, 2 or 3 years) who then elect a pastor. This of course varies from one Baptist group to another, but is a general guideline for your purposes.

Just wanted to give you a quick view of the structure of the congregational form of government as practiced by the majority of Baptist churches, which have bylaws that differ from one local congregation to another. It depends on the member on what bylaws a new church is to operate under.

Peace…


#12

[quote=trogiah]But I think it is possible to imagine a situation where people can’t resolve their problems and finally someone standing up and saying. “Ok, anyone out there who follows Jesus, what do you think of this situation?”

In my opinion, this would be making an appeal to “the church”

peace

Jim
[/quote]

Since everyone that follow Jesus do not always agree with each other anyone could appeal to “anyone out there that follows Jesus” until he finds one that agrees with him. If one follower of Jesus is against him then he simply goes to the next and by your definition of “the church” this would be perfectly legitimate because the church could be just about anyone as long as they profess to follow Jesus.

I do not think that is what Paul is talking about, he seems to imply that the “church” holds the authority to make a final judgement upon the dispute and once the “church” speaks it is final, no appeals to anyone else.


#13

The Bible states that we must look to the Church for the proper interpretation. After all, the Bible cannot interpret itself, can it? Here are some verses that show us that private interpretation is frowned upon.


(2 Peter 1-20) - ***Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. ***



(2 Peter 3-16) -* As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. *


**(Acts 8-30) - *****And Philip ran thither to him, and read him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some men should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. ***

The teacher of the scriptures is the Holy Spirit, acting through the Catholic Church. The reason why there are so many non-Catholic churches is because there are so many different interpretations of the Bible. The Holy Spirit cannot be responsible for such mass confusion. There is not a “universal” Protestant Church. Some Protestants believe in infant baptism while others do not. The Catholic Church, however is universal, we have one belief system, and one leader to guide us.

(Jn 14:26) - Jesus states:* But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.*

(John 16:13) - *How be it when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth. *

**(Acts 1-8) - **But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth. When decisions had to be made in the early Church, a council, along with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, was gathered to decide crucial questions that needed to be answered.

**(Acts 15:1-2) - ***When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain other of them should go to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this questions *(this verse shows that Council did not use scripture to settle this difference)

(Acts 16:4) - *As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions which had been reached by the apostles and elders who were at Jerusalem so the churches were strengthened in the faith and they increased in numbers daily. *


The Church is where we resolve our differences, not other Christians.

Peace to All!

Tony


#14

[quote=Montie Claunch]The church founded on that rock (Peter) and the gates of hell wouldn’t prevail agianst. Yeah it does sound pretty nice doesn’t it.

Wait a second it sounds just like… :eek: …the Catholic Church.
[/quote]

:cool: No heretic, I am your (Holy) Father

noooooooooooooooooooooooooo

:stuck_out_tongue:


#15

Hi Eric, your coworker may have problems with seperating texts that speak of the local church vs universal ( body of christ ) concepts in scripture. So, how do you know when a text is speaking about the church universal verses a local body of christ?


#16

[quote=Daniel Marsh]Hi Eric, your coworker may have problems with seperating texts that speak of the local church vs universal ( body of christ ) concepts in scripture. So, how do you know when a text is speaking about the church universal verses a local body of christ?
[/quote]

Great Question! I do not have an answer for you. Thus I posted the conversation here for due clarification. Throught the process I have started I have found some great places for additional info.

However, since the RCC church participates in the body of Christ at Eucharist, would we not all be the church universal even though broken into many parts? Local churches…

THanks
Eric


#17

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