Humility and Lone-Ranger Christians

Young woman reading bible

I’m reading Romans and am continually blown away by it. What an amazing book. I’ve read Romans before, but something is clearer this time. Its teachings are profound and challenging, and so relevant to all believers.

 Romans 12:3-8 is important as we consider how Christians should engage in fellowship with one another and serve one another.

 Let’s hear from Romans 12:3-8,

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

Verse 3:

Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought” is about being humble, but it’s not just about being humble. In context with the rest of the passage, this verse is saying: look you are a part of a bigger whole called the body of Christ.

Together, when we are doing the work of our Lord to love and serve one another, we can do amazing things.

We are all gifted to support the body in our own unique ways. We should not think of ourselves as any better than another because alone we are worthless. Together, when we are doing the work of our Lord to love and serve one another, we can do amazing things.

Verse 5 is equally profound:

so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others”. We BELONG to one another. This suggests an interdependent relationship where we are to both give and receive from the body of Christ; one another.

Some people think it’s ok to be a lone-ranger Christian; a Christian who avoids fellowship with other believers or avoids going to church and being a part of a local body of believers. Many reasons are expressed, but the reality is that the body of Christ is weaker when Christians live in isolation.

Lone-Ranger Christian

The lone-ranger Christian is weaker because he/she doesn’t have the support of fellow believers, and the body of Christ is weaker because we can’t receive what you have to offer. Lone-ranger Christians don’t serve the body, and also prevent fellow believers the opportunity to serve them.

The rest of the passage is simple. Use your gifts to serve the body. Go to church (and fellowship with other believers) not solely based on what you receive, but for what you are uniquely gifted to give. If you are an encourager, and you don’t encourage the body, then there is a disease within the church. If you are a teacher and you don’t teach, there is a disease within the church.

The cure for the disease is to engage in fellowship and service within a local body of believers (aka “the church”). Pour out your life in humble, loving service to one another.

About Brad White

R. Brad White is the Founder and President of Changing the Face of Christianity Inc. Brad is a former atheist and became an "on fire for God" Christian in 2005. In 2008, Brad became incredibly burdened by what he perceived as a Christian faith far off course, and Christians far from living the teachings of Jesus Christ. In 2010, Brad submitted to the calling to reverse these negative Christian stereotypes, by starting "Changing the Face of Christianity" (a 501c3 Texas non-profit corporation). Read more about R. Brad White


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Comments

  1. Claire says

    I see the point about permanent Lone Ranger living, but even Jesus found it advisable to go off by himself to pray. He needed 40 days; might some others need more?

  2. alan says

    Great points and a good reminder. Christ is so great that not any one of us can display His fullness in this world, it takes a body. There is not one character in the Bible who fully displays all of Christ, except Jesus. . . not David, not Paul, John. . . While there is a course laid out by God for each of us individually, and our spiritual growth into Christ is often alone with Him, yet there will never come a time where we can say that we are whole apart from others. That kind of individuality that is satisfied being apart may only disguise pride that refuses to be challenged by others. . . there is a risk in being together that what we hold as most basic is merely a stepping-stone to something more, or that we are wrong. The hard times of being together, and needing and finding the grace to truly be loving, is the better thing. Often it is easier to leave hard things rather than let God lead us thru them.

  3. Alice Spicer says

    Being part of the body is not “going to church.” Believers ARE the church. They go to a building. Some believers are sick to death of the backhanded bull&*%$ that goes on behind the scenes. In case you haven’t guessed by now, I’m one of them. I tried to stick it out even though things were really, really bad. It was literally the worst 15 months of my entire life. The only way I’m going back to the institution is if God tells me to go, and it won’t be as wolf food, either. It will be as Moses returning to the slaves in Egypt, with a loud cry to Pharoah and the rest of the suits, “LET MY PEOPLE GO!” I’m writing a blog response, BTW. Thanks for this post. It does contain a lot of truth and relevance, but it is so totally wrong about equating Christian fellowship with church attendance. The wineskin is bursting, friend.

  4. says

    I’d have to check with you here. Which isn’t some thing I generally do! I get pleasure from reading a post which will make many people think. Also, thanks for permitting me to comment! michael kors fulton

  5. Scott B says

    I have several objections in regards to many of your statements that fail to be supported in scripture. These statements you present and I Quote: “Some people think it’s OK to be a lone-ranger Christian, a Christian who avoids fellowship with other believers or avoids going to church and being a part of a local body of believers. Many reasons are expressed, but the reality is that the body of Christ is weaker when Christians live in isolation”. Do have scripture to support part or all of these statements?: “the body of Christ is weaker when Christians live in isolation”, or is this statement just a personal opinion that you are injecting into Paul’s teachings? Please present examples listing the “Many reasons are expressed” ? I am one of few that have refrained from attending institutionalized churches and statements such as these is nothing more than personal opinion with no scriptural support and is also one of the many reasons I too have left institutionalized churches because of these un-scriptural messages preached by so called believers. I fellowship quite often with others of like mindedness who actually seek out scriptural truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and fully understand what Christ had inspired to his disciples when gathering in fellowship in the body of Christ. Mat 18:20 For where two or three are, gathered in My name, there am I in the midst of them.” Doesn’t appear that Christ has any objections with small groups, and yet we are also instructed by Christ’s in how to pray: Mat 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet [That would be alone in “Lone Ranger” mode], and when thou hast shut thy door[in solitude], pray to thy Father which is in secret [“Lone Ranger” mode]; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. Why would Christ ever utter such a teaching as that? Didn’t you just mention that this act of isolationism is damaging, and weakens the body of Christ? This undesired isolationism that you suggest, weakens the remaining body of believers? If that is truly the case then why would our Lord Jesus go on to explain where and when we would worship: (John 4:19-24) “The woman said unto Him, Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye [all the Jews] say, that in Jerusalem is the place [Temple] where men ought to worship. Jesus said unto her, Woman, believe Me, the hour comes, WHEN YE SHALL NEITHER IN THIS MOUNTAIN, NOR IN JERUSALEM, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour comes, and now is, when the TRUE worshippers [What kind of worshippers? TRUE ones, not how many or what location] shall worship the Father in SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH: for the Father seeks such to worship Him. God is Spirit [Not A “Spirit”]: and they that worship Him MUST worship in SPIRIT AND TRUTH” [doesn't say in large groups does it or what location]? Now did Christ state that future worshipping would take place in any given small structure, or new multi-million dollar modern day temple of later day Christendom, elbow to elbow with fellow believers? No he didn’t say that did He? After Christ returned to his former glories, the former Saul of Tarsus “Paul” was inspired to make several profound statements on the topic of worship and God’s expectations. Act 17:24-25 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, DWELLETH NOT IN TEMPLES made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though He needed any thing, seeing He giveth to all life, and breath, and ALL THINGS; Another witness: Act 7:48 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet. Well, gee whiz! Paul mentioned this twice in the same epistle and I wonder if this train of thought was of great importance or anything in this teaching? OF COURSE IT IS! One would NOW have to rule out worshipping in physical temples made with man’s hands. If one was to really continue to study on this topic then it would be very difficult to ignore instructions inspired upon the Apostles to share with all the believers of the body of Christ. 1Co 6:15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Notice “members of Christ”, not of members of fellow believers in a building of worship. 1Co 6:19 Or are you not aware THAT YOUR BODY IS THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT in you which you have from God, and you are not your own? If God is giving MEMBERS of the body of Christ this Spiritual Temple then logic and scripture dictate that physical temples are no longer required as in the Old Covenant. The day of the temple gathering, and the slaughtering and sacrificing of animals are now over. Christ has inspired the Apostles to teach that worshiping has now reached a higher spiritual realm then that of the Physical Laws of the Old Covenant and Paul also adds to this reasoning as well: Heb 8:1-2 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum [main point, principle thing]: We have such an HIGH PRIEST, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A MINISTER OF THE SANCTUARY, and of THE TRUE TABERNACLE, which the LORD PITCHED, NOT MAN. Well this is a different structure all together and this structure is erected by the Lord only, not man! This structure is not of the physical realm as that of the tabernacle, and temple during the days of the old covenant. Why does God stray away from a physical structure that were once worshipped in IN THE TIMES OF Moses Law?……………………………… Heb 8:5 Who serve unto the example and SHAWDOW OF HEAVENLY THINGS, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN SHEWED TO THEE IN THE MOUNT. This Law of Moses was needed and used for an example in order for God to introduce unto humanity a new covenant AND THIS Law of Moses was a pattern of good things to come. Heb 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. Were you not aware of these scriptures Mr. White? Can one be certain that Paul was on the mark with these statements? KJV Joh 2:19-21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up [the Lord’s temple that He pitched Heb. 8:2]. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? V.21 “But he spake of the temple of his body”. Ah yes, the Spiritual temple of Christ is what Paul and John are preaching about but even to this day physical temples continue to be built even though temples are no longer required, and the temple in Jerusalem has long since been destroyed. Yet, modern Christendom calls these temples churches which is un-scriptural and has been confused and translated from Greek word ecclesias. So, when and where did the Apostles, Saints. Believers partake in the assembly? KJV: Act 28:30-31 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him. Notice how Paul preached out of his own rented home and also the Gospel was spread by traveling from house to house: Act 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart…… Concordant Literal Translation is an interesting translation: Act 2:46 Besides persevering day by day with one accord in the sanctuary, besides breaking bread home by home, they partook of nourishment with exultation [lively or triumphant joy] and simplicity of heart…. Not with a group in a structure called the church. The temples became more and more off limits to the Apostles, Saints, and believers as time passed, which lead the Christians to gather privately, not in a Church or temple. Once again: Act 5:42 And daily in the temple [When the temple authorities would leave them alone], AND IN EVERY HOUSE, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. Where exactly does the ecclesias gather when worshipping? On the mountain? In the synagogues? In the main temple in Jerusalem? KJV Rom 16:5 Likewise greet the church [ecclesias/ out-called] THAT IS IN THEIR HOUSE. Salute my well beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ. Another witness to these gatherings is found in: 1Co 1:11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe…………. And: 1Co 1:16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas……………… 1Co 16:19 The churches [ecclesias/out-called] of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church [ecclesias/out-called] THAT IS IN THEIR HOUSE. Another witness: Col 4:15 Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church [ecclesias/out-called] which IS IN HIS HOUSE. Mr. White, all these gatherings were private and at various peoples homes at times. Who pray tell instructed the early followers to literally build more temples for the new Church of Christ that the Spiritual body of Christ could worship in? I’ll make it easy for you, NO ONE! Does this statement indicate I dislike modern day Christendom and their temples? Yes and no. No, because some good can emanate from the modern day Church in the acknowledgement of God and his Son’s sacrifice and some various local ministries in helping the needy, these things are positive activities, and Yes, due to the many un-scriptural man made doctrines, injected into the scriptures that have been inherited and accepted down through the ages. But that’s another topic of discussion. Look at the etymology and modern definition of church: Etymology: Middle English chirche, from Old English cirice, ultimately from Late Greek kyriakon, from Greek, neuter of kyriakos of the lord, from kyrios lord, master; akin to Sanskrit ś ūra hero, warrior 1 : a building for public and especially Christian worship 2 : the clergy or officialdom of a religious body 3 : a body or organization of religious believers: as a : the whole body of Christians b : DENOMINATION c : CONGREGATION 4 : a public divine worship 5 : the clerical profession Now look at the definition of the word ecclesias whereas early translators horribly defined this word in use: The Greek Linear displays “ekklesia” which means OUT-CALLED and Dr Strong confirms this description as well: G1577 a calling out, i.e. (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both. No definition of members of the body in Christ located in a physical Church that is included in this definition. This “out-calling” or “ekklesia” is found 118 times in the New Testament and this definition does not share the same meaning as of church nor harmonizes with the Greek Linear: Church n. 1. a building for public Christian worship. 2. public worship of God or a religious service in such a building: to attend church regularly. 3. ( sometimes initial capital letter ) the whole body of Christian believers; Christendom. 4. ( sometimes initial capital letter ) any division of this body professing the same creed and acknowledging the same ecclesiastical authority; a Christian denomination: the Methodist Church. 5. that part of the whole Christian body, or of a particular denomination, belonging to the same city, country, nation, etc. “ekklesia” retains the definition OUT-Called NOT A STRUCTURE that contains a group of believers worshipping in a building. Looking back in time at this definition in the 19th Century Dictionary definition of Church: Webster’s Dictonary 1838 Edition: CHURCH, n. 1. A house consecrated [Not according to Acts 7:48 & 17:24-25] to the worship of God, among Christians; the Lords house. This seems to be [Oh Really? “Seems to be”? What kind of scholarship is that?] the original meaning of the word [Abeit not the same meaning of the word ecclesias at all ]. The Greek, TO CALL OUT or call together, denotes an assembly or collection [But not a building or structure to be worshipped in]. But, Lord, a term applied by the early Christians to Jesus Christ; and the house in which they worshipped was named from the title [Even though ecclesia does not mean church building ]. So church goods, bona ecclesiastica; the Lords day, dies dominica. Brackets and caps emphasis mine. How does Church and the Greek word ecclesias share the same meaning? They can’t and they don’t. Mr. White it is apparent that an understand eludes you, and what makes you so sure that these “Lone Ranger” types are not the Elect that Christ will be calling out in the first place? Do the Lone Ranger types truly have the ability to weaken and overcome the body of Christ with these activities of isolation as you have suggested? According to you, they have this ability. Quote: “the body of Christ is weaker when Christians live in isolation”. This holier than thou finger pointing accusations falls in line with Mat 7:3 Mr.White. You are using one passage only in an epistle in your premise. Not to mention, when teaching scriptures of the gospel, the Scriptures instruct and warns us: “Adding to” or “taking away from” this Word (Rev. 22:18-19). When teaching God’s Word we are to rightly divide (or cut) His Word (II Tim. 2:15-18). We are to ” … distinguish the things that differ” (Phil. 1:10). We are to have a pattern of sound words (II Tim. 1:13-14). In addition to these we are to shun the traditions of men (Col. 2:8) and the wisdom of this world (I Cor. 1:20 & 3:19), and two provide witnesses to interpret Mat 18:16 & Deu 17:6 and: 2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. And during Christ ministries, what references did He use? Luk 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Why the ENTIRE OLD TESTAMENT, not from a single passage like you have. The remaining article that you have composed has been in vain. In Romans 12 Paul is instructing us in this passage of the different talents given to individuals in the “Body of Christ and looking through the verses; v.3 Warnings of boastfulness…. V.4 Members of the Body of Christ with different functions/gifts…… So let’s really take a closer look at V.5 Concordant Literal Translation: Rom 12:5 thus we [That "WE" would be brethren V.1], who are many, are one body in Christ, yet individually [ Greek: one at a time; separately] members of one another. V.5 Has zero implications of the body of Christ becoming weak from believers engaging in isolationism. Show us where you see this? v.6 Different gifts allotted by grace. v.7 Dispensing and teaching of the Gospel v.8 continues from v.7 on utterance of the word with gladness and joy with teaching in simplicity. Nowhere in Romans 12 do the scriptures portray any evidence that the body of Christ becomes weak when fellow believers are in isolation, or when failing to assemble in the modern day church of christendom. You made this up Mr. White! This is noting more than a straw man erected by you in your effort to support an opinion which is not scriptural truths. Since there are no indication at all of this premise of a weaken body of Christ brought about by the “Lone Ranger” or “isolationism” mentality that you claim, one can easily verify in I Corinthians chapter 12 where we read that Paul continues his teachings on the exact same subject of the Body of Christ. Read it Mr. White! Quote: The lone-ranger Christian is weaker because he or she doesn’t have the support of fellow believers, and the body of Christ is weaker because we can’t receive what they have to offer. Lone-ranger Christians don’t serve the body and also prevent fellow believers the opportunity to serve them. Let’s peel back this onion a little further with that comment you made: Concordant Literal Translation: 1Co 12:11 Now all these [body of Christ/believers] one and the same spirit is operating [Doesn’t specify what locations, with whom or how many], apportioning [to distribute or allocate proportionally, divide and assign according to some rule of proportional distribution] to each his own [individually], according as He [That would be God Mr. White, not man] IS INTENDING.”. God’s Spirit which works in the true believers, in the body of Christ, are working as God “IS INTENDING”! This would include the suspected “Lone Ranger” types lurking in the back ground of the body of Christ that you claim are weakening the body in some mysterious fashion. 1Co 12:18 Yet now God placed the members, each one of them [on an individual basis], in the body according as He [God] wills. There it is, and when it’s time to bring this body of Christ together how does God state he will do it? 1Co 12:24 Now our respectable members have no need, but God[ Who Lone Rangers? Man? No GOD!] blends the body together, giving [That’s God doing the blending and the giving here!] to that which is deficient [Ah yes Mr. White!! The ones who are deficient- lacking some element or characteristic; defective, maybe the Lone Ranger types?] MORE EXCEEDING HONOR There is no doubt in my mine that most people who post essays on Spiritual topics have a heartfelt desire to preach the word of God and obtain a greater understanding and closeness with our Lord, and that includes you Mr. White. But this is not how it’s done! Stop injecting ideas that are totally devoid in the scriptures that you represent. When you state that meager men, or “Lone Ranger Types” have the ability to weaken the Body of Christ by being isolationist is nothing more than a direct insult to God by verbally diminishing His sovereignty and glorious power of our Lord Jesus Christ in their plans for believers and all of humanity and nothing more. What does God have to say about these weaker members in the body of Christ, or the suspected “Lone Ranger” Types Mr. White?: 1Co 12:22 Nay, much rather, those members of the body SUPPOSED TO BE INHERIENTLY WEAKER [Lone Ranger Types that are supposedly dragging down the Body of Christ] ARE NECESSARY. When God completes his giving and blending in exceeding honor to the members of the body of Christ, God then goes on to inspire Paul to preach of the events that will also occur in the body of Christ?: 1Co 12:25 that there may be no schism [division or disunion] in the body, but the members may be solicitous [anxiously desirous] for one another.” Not finger pointing at believers whose actions that you do not approve of Mr. White! What behavior should a true believer in the body of Christ be expressing in regards to other members of the body of Christ’s well being: 1Co 12:26 And whether one member is suffering, ALL THE MEMBERS ARE SYMPATHIZING [Not SUFFERING OR WEAKENING as you suggest Mr. White, nor MAKING ACCUSATIONS AT], continuing v.26… or one member is being esteemed, all the members are rejoicing with it.” See the contradictions here Mr. White with this “Lone Ranger” premise that you are attempting to support that totally lack scriptural support? Do you? God’s plan could never be thwarted by the actions of any puny member of the body of Christ and to even suggest this is nothing more than a sin. God and Christ cannot fail in any of their endeavors, why would you even suggest otherwise? Have you not studied Isaiah 46:10-12? KJV Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. How is God going to achieve any of His plans, desires, or will Mr. White? I have spoken it….. I will also bring it to pass…… I have proposed it……….. I will also do it……… I will do, I will do Mr. White. That is what God says he will do! Second witness: Eze 24:14 I the LORD have spoken it: IT SHALL COME TO PASS, and I WILL DO IT; I WILL NOT GO BACK, NEITHER WILL I SPARE, NEITHER WILL I REPENT; according to thy ways, and according to thy doings, shall they judge thee, saith the Lord GOD. Do all christians of your stature truly believe these scriptures that God will bring about in the body of Christ that will fall within God’s will and no one else can stay His hand? Or could it be that most christians simply do not approve of God’s plan in the first place? Can God accomplish all these things unhindered? Do you have faith Mr. White in these scriptures presented to you? Do you believe in what Paul is teaching us? Where did Paul teach that a weakness among the members of the body of Christ would take place? I’ll answer that for you, HE DIDN’T! God has this plan which is totally under God’s control only. KJV (Ecc. 3:11) “He [God] has made EVERYTHING FITTING in its season; However, He has put OBSCURITY IN THEIR HEART so that the man may NOT FIND OUT HIS [GOD’S] WORK, that which God [NOT MAN nor the Lone Rangers] does from the beginning to the end.” It’s amazing what the power of God and his Son Jesus can do in regards to God’s plan for mankind. No one can thwart this plan Mr. White and I will offer you one more outstanding scripture to prove to you Mr. White that God, nor his Son Jesus, will fail in God’s plan for humanity. It is in my greatest hope of expanding your faith: KJV Dan 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he [That would be GOD] doeth according to his [God’s] will in the army of heaven, and AMONG THE INHABITANTS OF THE EARTH: and NONE CAN STAY HIS HAND, or say unto him, What doest thou? What the heck, one more witness: KJV (Eph. 1:11) In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, BEING PREDESTINED [That’s called a P-L-A-N] according to the purpose of him [God] WHO WORKETH ALL THINGS AFTER THE COUNSEL OF HIS [God’s] WILL: Trust the scriptures Mr. White. There is no way Jesus or the Father is ever going to fail in executing any of God’s plan, no matter how many Lone Rangers and Tonto’s you feel maybe running around in the body of Christ. It simply cannot happen, or God is nothing more than a liar. Conclusion: Paul continues in his teaching of the Body of Christ and instructs us that some members of the body of Christ indeed lack in certain gifts: 1Co 12:29-30 Not all are apostles. Not all are prophets. Not all are teachers. Not all have powers. Not all have the graces of healing. Not all are speaking languages. Not all are interpreting. So what happens if one is a believer in the body of Christ and is found lacking in these gifts? What are we suppose to do? v.31 Yet BE ZEALOUS FOR THE GREATER GRACES. And still I am showing you a path, suited to transcendence [going beyond ordinary limits; surpassing; exceeding].” Stick with the scriptures Mr. White and nothing more. It is my greatest hope that God may open your understanding of the scriptures and increase your knowledge in order for you to abandon man’s wisdom and his ways in teaching of the gospel.

    • says

      Scott, what you’ve just shown is to what lengths MAN will go to justify his own isolation from fellow believers. Scripture: Romans 12:5 “so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” We can’t “belong” to one another if we are not loving and serving one another with the gifts we have been given. You can’t “belong” by yourself. And notice it doesn’t say we belong to just a few folks we happen to like. It says we belong to ALL the others. Hebrews 10:24-25 “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! ” Your comments about the body being the temple, and not needing to worship in a temple, and praying by yourself as Jesus often did, while appreciated, totally misses the point of this entire article. But that’s not surprising. You are trying to justify yourself to men. I don’t disagree with any of the verses you cited, but they aren’t really talking about the same topic of this article. You’ve injected your own definition of what a church is (presuming it to unilaterally mean a large, mega church…based on a large quantity of members). You’ve defined church as an “institutionalized” building of believers. Again, what you’re doing is taking (I presume) a past hurt or human conflict with a local church….which has caused you to reject all “institutionalized” churches, and are now using it as an excuse to not find a body of believers you can worship with and learn and grow from on a regular basis. That’s a speculation, so let me know if I’m wrong. But if it’s true, I’d love for you to share more about how you have been wronged by your local “institutionalized” church, and how or why this has kept from you from finding a different/better one near you that you could “belong” too. Did I say in the article you can’t be a church with a small handful of Christian friends? no. Because that WAS the original church model, and it’s still equally valid today. Scott, you are well read. So, I’m sure you understand from reading the New Testament that the original churches met in one another’s homes. I have no problems with that church model. Where Paul’s letters written to individual people living in isolation? Nope. They were written to the “church…in [fill in name of epistle]“…the body of believers meeting in one another’s homes. I’ve defined a lone ranger Christian this way: “Some people think it’s ok to be a lone-ranger Christian; a Christian who avoids fellowship with other believers or avoids going to church and being a part of a local body of believers.” Notice the “OR”. So, if you are regularly fellowshipping with other believers (outside of a church building), by my own definition you are NOT a lone ranger christian. If you do neither, then you ARE a lone ranger christian. If you AVOID fellowship with other believers, you are a lone ranger christian. 1 Corinthians 14:26 “What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.” Notice it doesn’t say “IF” you come together. It says “WHEN” you come together. And why come together? What does it say? “All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.” Go ahead and worship in the spirit and in truth. I applaud you for that and encourage you to continue. But as Hebrews 10:24-25 says, do not give up meeting together. And why do that? To encourage one another. Encouraging strengthens the body of believers. And logic and common sense would dictate that if you aren’t encouraging your fellow believers, it is weaker. Lastly Scott, I’m surprised that you, someone who is so well versed in scripture, can come to the conclusion that Christianity is a solo-sport. Yes, we must accept Christ individually. But we are a BODY of believers. We are NOT scattered, isolated, disconnected parts of a body. We are only a body TOGETHER. So, I’m happy to stick with scripture Scott. And I encourage you to do the same. May the peace and blessings of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

      • Ashley says

        I have a question here.. We are all of the same body. How many bodies are there? One. Does that mean that only one (physical) Christian church is the only body there is? No. Does it say that we are only to associate and fellowship with those in one physical body? No. It says uses your gifts to help the body as a whole. Does that mean that we can use our gifts outside of the physical church? Yes. Fellowship with other believers is important but the Bible does not support a particular type of fellowship.

      • Anonymous says

        Recently our family left our church after serving in our new community there for 7 years. It was very hurtful and I can see how so many believer’s have given up on the “church” as an institution from this experience. However, I claim to be a Christian and have been to church for the past 25 years, so we immediately went to another church the next Sunday. It has not been easy, I need to be healed over time, but will not give up on God’s people, the church, or myself in this difficulty. Let’s face it, people have a hard time getting along in any setting whether religious or other social organization. Sometimes we might be in the wrong place for our personality, or our time is up and we need to move to the next, or whatever. I trust the Lord with my life an the plans He has for us. I make mistakes and so do other Christians. Sometimes we just don’t get it right and offense is taken or given. I understand hurt feelings very well and it is difficult to overcome, but we must. Because that’s how we grow up in Christ and become mature Christians, hopefully better able to serve because of our experiences. And this is a great way to express feelings and thoughts without taking offense and hearing from others can help us better understand ourselves. Thank you for sharing and letting others share. That is good fellowship:)

        • says

          Very well said. And I’m sorry for the hurt you experienced at your former church. God refines us through people and the painful challenges of life. Psalm 66:10, “For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver.” But I think you have learned a valuable lesson…all people (including church-going Christians) are flawed. Being able to move on and forgive them is the key. Trusting that God will use this experience for good is a sign of a mature Christian as well. So thank YOU for sharing your experience.

    • says

      Scott, and pardon me for one additional follow-up response. My question for you is this: What is your spiritual gift? How has God gifted you to uniquely serve the body of Christ?

  6. Scott B says

    Mr. White, I will respond to your reply even though you elude the most pressing questions which in turn I will once again present, but for now let us review theses scriptures that you insist support this far fetched premise of a weakened body of Christ instigated by the Lone Ranger s practicing isolationism.QUOTE: Scott, what you’ve just shown is to what lengths MAN will go to justify his own isolation from fellow believers. Scripture: Romans 12:5 “so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” COMMENT: Mr. White, first of all let me point out that mere men did not invent scriptures. These verses were inspired by very same God that you perform lip service to, and it is the same God that has inspired these scriptures to his apostles, saints, and believers which have now been presented to you. Carefully read Rom 12:5 Mr. White and I’ll use your English translated version you offered……Rom 12:5 ……..”we [members] who are many[Mat 22:14] form one body[body of Christ figuratively in a spiritual sense] , and each [individual] member belongs to all the others” [remaining members figuratively in a spiritual sense]. When Paul wrote this epistle you can very well count on the fact that this information was sent to the remaining ecclesia in the form of a written letter hand delivered to key saints/elders/ believers. In doing so, Paul knew that there would be no excuse or claims of ignorance from within the ecclesia as we read in Rom 1:13 Now I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren…..Ignorant of what? Paul was staving off confusion when teaching about the entire body of Christ in order to avoid teaching that are erroneous such as this that’s what! Paul uses the same approach found in (Rom 11:25 & 1Co 10:1, & 1Co 12:1, & 2Co 1:8-2:11, & 1Th 4:13). The point of this rebuttal is NOT on the subject of ignorance at all, its all about warping the scriptures to fit a doctrine that isn’t supported by scriptures whatsoever. An injection of man made doctrine into the gospel which you Mr. White have done just exactly that. Paul is talking about the entire body of Christ which is opposite of your teaching which you have presented and I QUOTE: “a Christian who avoids fellowship with other believers or avoids going to church and BEING PART OF THE LOCAL BODY OF BELIEVERS” In quoting Romans 12:5 or many other verses that I have presented, God has never inspired, commanded, nor expressed in the scriptures that the ecclesia are to assemble and adhere to a set time on a specific day of the week, to assemble in a structure called a church in order to circumvent the onslaught of the weakening of the body of Christ from members whom by their very own acts of isolationism are now eroding the body of Christ, depriving the remaining members of their spiritual well being. This very same body of Christ that was formulated by God well before the foundation of the Earth began, and regardless of this fact Mr. White, you claim that mere man has somehow acquired an ability to intervene and thwart God’s weak willed wishes, desires, or plans for humanity, specifically the body of Christ with this current thesis you are attempting to pass off as scriptural truth. Unbelievable! It is beneficial, and insightful to all in reviewing the definition of this word “church” which will aid in the understanding of scriptural truths behind this absurd doctrine you are attempting to peddle. What is this “church” or the ecclesia [from Medieval Latin, from Late Greek ekklēsia assembly, from ekklētos called, from ekkalein to call out, from kalein to call]? During Christ’s ministry, Jesus spoke of “THE” church and “MY” church. (Mat. 16:18) For many centuries, Israel was God’s established church (Acts 7:37-39) ” This is that Moses, said unto the children of Israel, ‘A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; Him shall ye hear.’ This is HE, that was in the CHURCH [Greek- ekklēsia] IN THE WILDERNESS with the angel which spoke to him in the mount Sinai, and with our fathers who received the lively oracles to give unto us: To whom our fathers WOULD NOT OBEY, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt”. Here is “THE” church that Christ identified. Dr. Strong defines the Greek word “ekklesia” G1577 a calling out. (1b) Ekklesia, from ek, “out of,” and klesis, “a calling…” So this church of the wilderness is whom God has CALLED OUT to be His “called out ones,” hence, Jesus said for many are called, but few chosen. A statement is given by God as to whom He has called and whom He has not called. Admittedly, this is an entirely different subject at hand however it is imperative for one to perceive and fully understand that there are INDEED two different groups of people involved here in two different ecclesia that God has nurtured throughout the ages. Are you beginning to see the two different groups of people here Mr. White? I’ll state once again that it is of the utmost importance in recognizing the existence of these two churches that Christ spoke of. This awareness of the two ekklēsia has everything to do with the New Covenant ekklēsia and having gain this knowledge decimates this science fiction story of the long ranger doctrine you insist that is scripturally valid. QUOTE We can’t “belong” to one another if we are not loving and serving one another with the gifts we have been given. COMMENT: Says Mr. White! Scripture please? You simply cannot stand the fact that every action that takes place within the ekklēsia is exactly how God intended for all these actions to occur in the first place (1Co 12:11). Now Mr. White, do you have scripture to support this last statement that “We can’t belong to one another if we are not loving and serving one another”? Of course not! This is nothing more than the dogmatic doctrine spoken from the pulpit of Mr. White within the realm, teaching, and understanding of modern day christendom’s presenting a man made doctrine that lacks any scriptural support. Show me a chapter; show me a verse that supports this statement you proclaim is scriptural truth indicating that mere men must love and serve one another in order to remain “belonging to one another in the body of Christ”? Also, present scripture that indicates that man possess this unique ability in weakening the body of Christ! Remember, a second witness is required for scriptural truth, and not conjecture Mr. White! By chance, have you happen to run across a verse that plainly states that “Thus saith the Lord; there will be a day that there will be an uprising in the body of Christ where mere men have achieved an ability in weakening the body of Christ that I the Lord have predestined and created, by engaging in acts isolationism, which henceforth will weaken this spiritual body of Christ, and in that day, I the Lord will switch from plan “A” to plan “B’ to compensate for this destructive activity that these wayward, hard headed, stiff necked, frustrating, non-compliant, self centered lone ranger types who have subjected their fellow members in the body of Christ into a weakened state of dismay and hopelessness, and in that day I the Lord will gather the remaining members in a physical structure to partake in spiritual activities within the body of Christ…..Well, do you? QUOTE: “You can’t “belong” by yourself. And notice it doesn’t say we belong to just a few folks we happen to like. It says we belong to ALL the others”. Hebrews 10:24-25 COMMENT: But you initiated this home made doctrine with the following comments:” Some people think it’s ok to be a lone-ranger Christian; a Christian who avoids fellowship with other believers or avoids going to church and being a part of a LOCAL BODY OF BELIEVERS [you are implying a few, not the many].” Which side of this teaching are you currently on? All the body of Christ, or just the local body of believers located in your very own church? This is where the bending of scriptures begin to take place and your theology begins to wane, besides, I never mentioned anything in regards to one belonging to one’s self now did I Mr. White? Try to remain focused on your own personal doctrine that you are attempting to push onto the dumb sheep of the flock as scriptural truths. This attempt in sidestepping this theological can of worms you managed to open up is not going to work here. This “Lone Ranger/isolationism” composition you have compiled fails to be supported in scriptures, yet you decline to accept or acknowledge the New Covenant instructions given and documented by the Saints and Apostles. This doctrine that you have devised is the most disheartening characteristic that you possess Mr. White. Has it ever dawned on you that this teaching you have composed and presented publicly actually implies that GOD and His Son are nothing more than TOTAL FAILURES in their plans for humanity, and the New Covenant will never be realized, and if God fails in one plan that He has in store for humanity then that allows leeway in the thought that God will never be totally successful in any other endeavors that God contemplates! THINK ABOUT IT! This is God according to the doctrine of Mr. White? This Mr. White is blaspheme, nothing more than blaspheme. I presented many scriptures indicating that it is God whom builds, assign tasks, maintains, hand picks, predestines, all the members of the body of Christ, and AT THIS TIME, ALL these members are doing exactly what God is INTENDING, WHO works All in All (1Cor 12:6, 11), Scriptures state these facts beyond a shadow of a doubt and there is harmony present with these scriptures, and yet, AND YET these verses are totally unacceptable or worse yet, not approved of by general consensus of the clergy! These teachings and instructions given by God MUST BE extremely unsettling to your mindset, and when this realization of God’s total sovereignty finally prompts a momentary impression in your mind that reveals that God is really, truly, absolutely, positively, “ALL” sovereign over “ALL” things down to the very last molecule upon this planet Earth, this thought is offensive to you. Scriptures portray that there is not a remote chance that mere man can even begin to thwart any plans of the Almighty by practicing isolationism, or such carnal minded activity of man, and yet you remain relentless in proclaiming that carnal minded men indeed have this uncanny ability in doing just exactly that. The scriptures are devoid of any such statements, but Mr. White proclaims many scriptures are truly present in the Bible indicating a god like ability found in common man! This mindset you currently enjoy is not only dangerous, when attempting to teach scriptural truths of God, it’s down right EVIL in even suggesting such a thing. You have gone way off the reservation on this one Mr. White. We are in the last age and there will be some bitter repenting taking place when the end of this age finally arrives, and confidence is high that I will be excluded from that obligation unto the Lord. Whenever God proclaims, desires, proposes, wills, any and all ideas, thoughts, gestures, or whims, that may crosses the very mind of the Father, then what does God state will happen? (Isa 45:22-23) and of course in the same book we read (Isaiah 14:24) “The LORD of hosts hath sworn [Heb: 'shaba'--'swear (as by repeating a declaration) with an oath'] saying, Surely AS I HAVE THOUGHT [The Body of Christ for example], SO SHALL IT COME TO PASS; and AS I HAVE PROPOSED IT, SO SHALL IT STAND”. In other words Mr. White any and all of the Most High’s plans, desire, will, and thoughts will never be thwarted by any action of man nor will theses plans ever face any possible chance of failure or partial success, and here’s a fact that that will disturb your mind. Man’s meager minded actions will never change God’s plan, wishes or desires (Mal. 3:6, Heb. 1:12 & 13:8, Job 23:13 ) nor will God ever suffer half hearted successes based on weak willed wishes for humanity. Plans of failure are destine to be experienced by carnal minded men ONLY, not GOD the Almighty and His Son because; failure is foreign to the Father and the Son’s vocabulary! God is not a man. God will not fail in any and all plans or endeavors He has for humanity, even the formulated plan in regards to the body of Christ! And get this, you ready for this Mr. White? GOD DOESN’T NEED YOUR HELP IN HIS PLANS FOR MANKIND’S SALVATION nor does God require mine, or anyone else’s assistance for that matter! God doesn’t need anyone’s help WHATSOEVER FROM ANYONE. Really, it’s true! That’s the real beauty of being an all sovereign GOD! It’s powerful, it’s glorious, and this concept is unimaginable to CARNAL minded men (Rom 8:7), and it is very reason that most men will never ever grasp this concept of glory and power thaqt God truly possess! The Almighty created every square inch of this planet and is omnipotent over everything that resides on this speck of dust in the middle of the heavens and this status of God should never ever be challenged in anyone’s teaching, especially by the self proclaimed shepherds of the flock! But here it is staring everyone right in the face. You know what? Not a day passes that I fail to witness various sermons on TV, Radio, literature sent by mail, postings on the internet, from various denominations who claim to professes biblical truths, and the truth of the matter is, 99 percent of such statements made by the majority of these denominations always manage to belittle God verbally in one form or fashion, by reducing God down to the very same level as mere man, it never fails, and the sad part is that the majority who are issuing these outrageous statements bear a veil of darkness so complete that they fail to recognize their participation in these insulting acts of blaspheme and heresies towards God in the first place! QUOTE: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the day approaching. COMMENT: OK Mr. White, let’s pay very close attention here to each and every word shall we? CLV-Heb 10:24-25 And we may be CONSIDERING [continuing action- to observe fully, taking into account; in view of] one another to INCITE [to stir, encourage, or urge on] to love and ideal acts, V.25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves,[ STOP RIGHT THERE… Is there any suggestion of a set schedule for the assembly to gather? No! or an implication to gather in a temple made with man’s hands? No! Or the amount of people that should partake in any given assembly? No! Maybe a warning that if one fails to assemble at all with the body of Christ , then this body of Christ becomes weakened? no, No, and NO! continue… according as the custom of some [Does Pauls start finger pointing at this group of people Paul refers to as “SOME”]? Well Mr. White does he? This would be a perfect opportunity for Paul to utter a great warning about these few in whom Paul refers to as “SOME” so, where is Paul’s warning?…continue… is, but entreating [Greek parakaleo par-ak-al-eh'-o: to call near, i.e. invite, invoke (by imploration, hortation or consolation)] and so much rather as you are observing the day drawing near. Did Paul mention in this entire passage that the body of Christ will be weakened by acts of “forsaking of the assembly”? Well Mr. White did he? If so, then why didn’t Paul verbally confront this group Paul referred to as the “SOME” as mentioned before. Does Paul remember his teachings in (1Cor 12:11) where as he shares his insight on how God is operating all things in the body of Christ? You bet he does! Is Paul encouraging the assembly to incite love and “ideal thoughts” towards one another WHEN THE ASSEMBLY SUCCESSFULLY GATHERS? Paul indeed does! Is injecting additional thoughts that are not conveyed in scripture by the inspired author a very bad practice in the first place? More that you can imagine!! And as a member of the body of Christ, our responsibility and actions within the members goes well beyond this assembling of the body of Christ Mr. White (Mat 25:37-40,45 Rom 12:20, Mat 5:17) These activities should be practiced everywhere the ecclesia go individually or as a whole and in all things that the members of the ecclesia do. Stop creating a phantom enemy and attempt to pass judgment upon this enemy Mr. White. 1Co 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God. For clarity I never mentioned giving up fellowshipping in its entirety, now did I? I am pointing out this flawed unscriptural theory that you have formulated which enables you to express accusations at a select group of people that you do not approve of their actions, and this Mr. White is adding to the teaching of the scriptures (Rev 22:18). QUOTE: “Let us not give up meeting together” COMMENT: I agree however; does the context of this verse suggest in any form or fashion or maybe the slightest inkling of a suggestion that the members of the body of Christ are required to erect a structure in order to meet with one another on a scheduled basis? No it does not! Does this verse suggest that any member of the body of Christ has an uncanny ability in weakening the body of Christ with acts of isolationism by refusing to attend any form of gathering with fellow members? No it does not! Does this verse suggest in the tiniest of implications that the ecclesia are weak and need to gather in order to strengthen itself ? It is apparent that you disregard Paul’s inspired teachings that God has all members doing exactly what God has intended them in doing and God is working all in all. Are there any warnings of such activities as these in any and all scripture that you have presented? Of course not! Has any member of the body of Christ, prophets, saints, apostles, and believers been warned about this extreme evil act of the weakening of the body of Christ? Another big fat juicy NO! Has God planned this form of great evil to take place after the sacrifice of his Son and gave no warning to the ancient prophets in scriptures stating that man would one day obtain this god like ability in weakening the body of Christ and commit this great act of evil? Amo 3:6-7 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it? Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. Where was this warning given by the prophets and servants in regards to these acts of isolationism that weakens the body of Christ? The Apostles said nothing of the sort. Sadly, what is taking place here is conjecture. Once again you need to divulge scripture that states that God has ordered new temples for worshipping and meeting in, and offer a second witness. Show me explicitly where the scriptures indicate that God’s will for the body of Christ is threatened or weakened by non-conformist, or Lone Ranger types practicing isolationism? Show me where the Apostles share this fear in this type of recourse from fellow members of the body of Christ. Once again, there remains a need in exhibiting scripture with a second witness that states that man now has ability in performing such feats within the body of Christ by his very own actions of isolationism. Not a verse that you may think or feel might imply this type of activity, just straight up scriptural truth is what we are looking for here and I’ll give you an example of a commandment that any causal reader can easily determine to be “straight up”. Exo. 20:13 Thou shalt not kill. QUOTE: Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! ”.Your comments about the body being the temple, and not needing to worship in a temple, and praying by yourself as Jesus often did, while appreciated, totally misses the point of this entire article. COMMENT: OH No Mr. White! You really don’t mean that last remark of being appreciated, and the real point is you are suppressing the fact that you are teaching to everyone who has the ability to read that God is now a failure and cannot complete His plans in the body of Christ because of these dog gone overpowering lone ranger types that keep mucking up the Almighty’s plans. You are in error Mr. White when presenting Ecclesiastes 4:9-10. King Solomon had no knowledge that God would create this body of Christ in the New Covenant. This is just another fine example of CONJECTURE not scriptural truths. Am I sure about this? What saith the scriptures? The prophets THEMSELVES (even Isaiah himself), desired to see these things, but did NOT see them. All of the Apostles and New Testament writers understood that the patriarchs of old including the prophets themselves, did not understand their own prophesies, therefore they were not converted, and they are not saved. The revelation of these things is for those who come after Christ, not before: (1Pe 1:10-13) “Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto YOU [not unto them!]: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the suffering of Christ, and the glory that should follow [not come BEFORE, in their day and time]. (v.12)”Unto whom it was revealed, that NOT unto themselves, but unto US they did minister [‘for OUR ADMONITION upon whom the ends of the ages are come, (I Cor. 10:11) the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven; which things THE ANGELS DESIRE TO LOOK INTO. Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto YOU AT THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST” Pay attention Mr. White: (Heb 11:39-40) “And these all [all the saints and all the prophets found in Heb 11:32], having obtained a good report through faith, received NOT the promise: God having provided some better thing FOR US, that they without US should NOT be made perfect [be saved]“. So you see Mr. White King Solomon wasn’t referring to a gathering of members of the body of Christ because Solomon had no knowledge of this PART OF God’s plan whatsoever. This “comforter” which is the main thought in this entire passage found in verse 1. Solomon’s has a limited perspective in this verse you offered and this verse is based on the comforter which is also found in Isa 51:12 and John 14:16 and this passage has nothing to do with the ecclesia assembling, nor the description of the body of Christ. In (Ecc 4:12) the message given indicates a certain strength that cannot be undone as we read “ And if somebody can overpower him who is single, Then two can stand firm in front of him who attacks. A THREEFOLD THREAD CANNOT BE quickly pulled apart.”.” Care to try THAT again? QUOTE: But that’s not surprising. You are trying to justify yourself to men. COMMENT: Be specific Mr, White. First you state that you have no problems with the many scriptures presented to you, then you make this type of remark? When exactly did I perform such an act? Mr. White, you are the one that is under scrutiny here so stop trying to sidestep this unscriptural doctrine and creating distractions by suggesting I am attempting to justify myself to men? What a crock! You take it upon yourself to set up this straw man theory in order to support this high minded judgmental finger pointing towards a group of people whose actions you simply don’t approve of, based on a single solitary passage out of Romans, and then, AND THEN, along comes a member of the dumb sheep of the flock that you soon discover, is not really all that dumb after all, and presents scripture, not his very own doctrine, opinion, or wisdom of the world, but ACTUAL SCRIPTURES that totally destroy this straw man theory you have created then, you get upset after the head of this idol of the heart you worship, has been broken off and discarded, and to top all things off, this is the mentality of most church authorities, who continue to pondering thoughts of why people refrain from attending any modern day temple when teachings of this nature are accepted and encouraged amongst the clergy of modern day christendom. Wow! QUOTE: I don’t disagree with any of the verses you cited, but they aren’t really talking about the same topic of this article. COMMENT: Is it possible that you might be able to be a little bit more specific? The scriptures I have presented most certainly do relate to this topic Mr. White. And yes you most certainly do disagree with all these scriptures, and what topic do you think Paul was preaching about here? Underwater basket weaving? Maybe Paul was teaching about a secret society of believer’s that requires a secret handshake in order for one to gain membership, or maybe Paul was teaching on a subject that most believers have simply never heard of until now, nor have been taught before? This teaching that you stand by is alien in the scriptures. I see confusion when someone is preaching it. I see Blaspheme when I hear it or read it. Can you even begin to support your statement with scriptural truth? Of course not! You even go so far as to blaspheme God by stating that man has an ability to thwart God’s plan! That man’s has this mysterious power in weakening the members of the body of Christ with acts of isolationism. Mere CARNAL MINDED MEN HAVE NOW AQUIRED THE VERY SAME POWER AS GOD and now, AND NOW these carnal minded men now have the very same powerful ability to UNDUE WHAT GOD HAS DONE. This false premise that you fancy which has zero scriptural support! And then when confronted with many, many verses indicating the exact opposite of this foolish premise, you conveniently avoid the subject by simply stating that you first, you don’t disagree with the many scriptures presented, then disagree, or state that scripture presented to you are irrelevant to subject at hand pointing out that this wasn’t the whole point of this outrageous essay you are currently fumbling through with no scriptural success. You would make an excellent politician Mr. White with these tactics that you currently use. QUOTE: You’ve injected your own definition of what a church is (presuming it to unilaterally mean a large, mega church…based on a large quantity of members). COMMENT: This description of modern day churches of christendom is shared by many more people than you could ever begin realize Mr. White, but I will speak for myself. Actions speak louder than words Mr. White so try to muster up a hint of honesty here and let’s take a closer look at the actions and teachings of modern day churches and you would soon come to realize that the church you represent, most likely would be the perfect poster child of modern day churches of christendom regardless of its size. How exactly do I know this? Because I have personally witness incredible, questionable, OUTRAGEOUS TEACHINGS throughout the 25 years in multiple churches I have attended and this realization came through God’s divine intervention and gift of understanding in perceiving damaging teachings in the churches which are more than grossly apparent. It is more than obvious that modern day institutionalized churches worship the god of “FAILURE”! A god Who always has to go from plan A to plan B which contradicts-( Heb. 1:12, Mal. 3:6, Job 23:13, Titus 1:2) A god Who is running a “disaster control operation” from the throne room in heaven. A god, who supposedly created HIS OWN creatures THAT HE CAN NO LONGER CONTROL. A god of failure who created creatures that will wreck His original plans and one of the most foolish and unscriptural teachings that I have heard to date, besides this one, is that God created a PERFECT archangel / cherub / light-bringing / angel (Lucifer?), who then SINNED AND REBELLED AGAINST God, but … But,… BUT, here is the real EVIL behind this teaching: God did not INTEND, neither did GOD EVER KNOW that this was ever going to happen!!! Then, and THEN, supposedly, God created A PERFECT MAN and put him in the Garden of Eden, and never intended for him to sin or rebel, nor did GOD know it was going to happen! This god IS FOILED ONCE AGAIN AND HAS FAILED MISERABLY! Then God commissions His Son Jesus Christ TO BE: “The SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD” (I John 4:15). And now we are taught from the pulpits of christendom that JESUS CHRIST HAS FAILED AT THIS ATTEMPT AS WELL!!! He wanted to save the whole world, He really, Really, REALLY TRULY DID try to save the WHOLE world, it was, in fact, CHRIST’S VERY WILL that all mankind be saved (I Tim. 2:4 & 4:10), but CHRIST SIMPLY COULDN’T DO IT because man’s phantom free will/free moral agency has proven to be FAR TO POWERFUL FOR THE SON OF GOD TO OVERCOME. Now, this god AND his son HAVE FAILED AGAIN AND HAVE NEVER BEEN SUCCESSFUL, OR WILL THEY EVER BE SUCCESSFUL IN ANY ENDEAVOURS THAT THEY DEVISE, and according to the pulpits of modern day institutionalizes churches GOD AND HIS BELOVED SON HAVE NEVER SUCCEEDED IN ANY OF THEIR ENDEAVOURS SUCCESSFULLY TO THIS VERY DAY!!! Mr. White, how many times must this god of CHRISTENDOM FAIL until CHRISTENDOM LOCATES ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL god? I will not mince words any longer with you Mr. White: IT IS BLASPHEMY TO EVEN THINK THAT GOD CANNOT completes any of his plans without man interrupting or foiling these plans. MAN DOES NOT HAVE A WILL THAT IS FREE TO OPERATE INDEPENDENTLY FROM OUR VERY OWN CREATOR! GOD IS THE POTTER, WE ARE THE POT. GOD IS THE POTTER, WE REMAIN AS THE CLAY! NOTHING HAS CHANGED THROUGH THE COURSE OF TIME! THE POTTER MOLDS THE CLAY INTO THE VESSEL HE SO DESIRES! THE CLAY DOES NOT FAIL TO CONFORM TO ANY SUCH DESIRES OF GOD. THE CLAY HAS NO SUCH POWERS!!!! NONE! (See Rom. 9). God created EVIL, not Satan or any other supposed power greater than God Himself, and that would INCLUDE MERE MEN! (Isa. 45:7). God uses evil for good. GOD planted the tree of the knowledge of good AND evil in the garden. If man wanted to know “good” he had to partake of the tree of EVIL as well. BOTH WERE IN THE SAME TREE, IN THE SAME FRUIT AND LOCATED IN THE ONLY GARDEN on this single solitary life supporting planet! Both good and evil experiences are necessary in the building of Godly Character, and so God provided both! God KNEW what He was doing from the VERY beginning, He KNOWS what HE IS CURRENTLY DOING, HE WILL CONTINUE doing exactly what He planned! When? (Isa 46:10-12) FROM THE VERY BEGINNING!!! The amazing thing about it all is that MOST church authority’s stand there scratching their heads in wonderment in attempting to evaluate the REAL reason why people alienate themselves from the institutionalized churches and up until this day the answer continues to elude them? Unbelievable! QUOTE: You’ve defined church as an “institutionalized” building of believers. Again, what you’re doing is taking (I presume) a past hurt or human conflict with a local church….which has caused you to reject all “institutionalized” churches, and are now using it as an excuse to not find a body of believers you can worship with and learn and grow from on a regular basis. COMMENT: Let’s define institutionalized church shall we Mr. White? “Institution” means something that is usually highly developed with laws and customs approved of by larger segments of a culture or society. Or any smaller such institute which follows the teachings and practices of a larger institution. That is about as short and sweet that this definition of the word “institutionalized” will get. There are tens of thousands of mega, medium size, small, and extra small congregations of “Christians” around the world. Most all of them, however, follow the SAME pattern and customs of the larger well established Churches. If your church follows and practices such laws, customs, and teaching, then your church is currently a bona fide member of the institutionalize CHURCH OF MEN. In Christendom, where there is not one teaching or doctrine that is completely Scriptural, NOT ONE! I wish this was simply an exaggeration, sadly, it is not. Virtually all churches believing in and teach the following unscriptural doctrines, and here are just a few examples: Tithing is Biblical for the New Testament church. Sunday is the “Lord’s Day” of worship. Man has an immortal soul. Death is LIFE at a different location. Judgment takes place instantly at death; therefore all dead people go immediately to heaven or hell at death. The wicked and unbelieving will suffer eternal torment (in a Christian hell). Jesus will not save the world even though that is what His Father commissioned Him to do (I John 4:14). Resurrection is a useless SCRIPTUAL doctrine, seeing that people supposedly go to heaven at death without first being resurrected, therefore rendering I Corinthians entire chapter 15 TOTALLY USELESS SCRIPTURE! Christmas and Easter are Biblically sanctioned holy days. God is a Trinity of three different persons. Prayer changes God’s mind. What Christians are “saved” from, is an eternal hell of torture. Salvation means going to heaven. God gave mankind “free will/free choice/free moral agency.” Anyone can repent and come to Jesus ANYTIME THAT PERSON CHOOSES. Speaking in tongues is the sign that one is a truly converted Christian. It is a virtue to become a soldier and kill our nation’s enemies. The King James Bible is inerrant. The Apostle’s Creed is a true outline of Scriptural truth. Jesus was wrong when He called His followers a LITTLE flock, seeing that Christianity is the LARGEST flock in the world, and the “MANY CALLED BUT THE FEW CHOSEN” Is now the “MANY CHOSEN” seeing that there are now over two billion Christians in the world. There are many things that God desires, BUT WILL NEVER COME TO REALIZE, even though the Scriptures tell us that God will fulfill ALL of His GOOD pleasure and desires. According to Genesis chapter one, the heavens and earth are only about 6000 years old. Noah’s flood killed every living thing on earth except those things in the ark. Etc., etc., etc. So Mr. White, if your church teaches and believes the above unscriptural heresies, then they are an “Institutionalized Church” of men and to be honest with you Mr. White, I will no longer drink from that cup of abominations that the modern day churches of men are currently offering. QUOTE: That’s a speculation, so let me know if I’m wrong. COMMENT: Speculation is the very root of all erroneous theology so you can stop practicing speculation now Mr. White, you are excelling well beyond measure in this endeavor. Get back to the subject at hand! You really should refrain from engaging in acts of psychology 101 it is not your greateast asset. This is just another method of distraction that you are engaged in and as I have mentioned before I presented plenty of scripture that disproves this outrageous theory of how man has an ability in ruining God’s plan for humanity when engaged in acts of isolationism and how MAN himself is no longer required assembling in the temple system of the Old Covenant which Christ stated that this will come to an end. QUOTE: Scott, you are well read. So, I’m sure you understand from reading the New Testament that the original churches met in one another’s homes. COMMENT: The word church or churches is not in the Greek Linear, and why is that? Because it is a man made doctrine that has been injected into the gospel of Jesus Christ by our beloved, trustworthy God fearing, ancient elders bent on a personal agenda that’s why. Greek “ekklesia or ecclesias” is defined as the out-called and is a certain group of people and as time passed liberties have been taken in corrupting this definition “ekklesia or ecclesias” into the word church which is a building or structure of worship. Notice: (KJV-Rom 16:16) Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you. Now notice a more responsible translation by Concordant Literal N.T.: Rom 16:16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. Greeting you are all the ecclesias [out-called] of Christ…. Rotherham Emphatic N.T. Rom. 16:16 Salute ye one another, with a holy a kiss. All the assemblies [Greek-ecclesias-not church or a temple] of the Christ salute you. Revised Young’s Literal Translation N.T. Rom 16:16 salute one another in a holy kiss; the assemblies [an assembling or coming together of a number of persons [imagine that!], usually for a particular purpose] of Christ do salute you. Emphatic Diagalott N.T. Rom 16:16 Salute you each other with a kiss holy. Salute you the congregations [Greek-ecclesias- Called out, not church or a temple, or structure. An act of assembling, A body of assembled people or things; A GATHERING] all of the Anointed. Christ stated that there would be no other way to worship God except by what is found in John 4:21-24, so read it again from the previous post which apparently you read through like a headline news article. Usage defines the word Mr. White and the word church was never used in the Greek manuscripts in describing New Covenant gatherings or where the members are suppose to assemble. QUOTE: I have no problems with that church model. COMMENT; Good thing because God wasn’t asking for your opinion in the first place Mr. White and the secondly, The word “church” remains alien in the Greek Linear. QUOTE; Where Paul’s letters written to individual people living in isolation? COMMENT: I am not going to continue repeating myself. I presented scripture of the VERY NAMES of the elders in different locations that Paul corresponded with and these were just a few. QUOTE: Nope. They were written to the “church…in COMMENT: CHURCH IS ALIEN IN THE GREEK MAUSCRIPT. [fill in name of epistle]“…the body of believers meeting in one another’s homes. I’ve defined a lone ranger Christian this way: “Some people think it’s ok to be a lone-ranger Christian; a Christian who avoids fellowship with other believers or avoids going to church and being a part of a local body of believers.” Notice the “OR”. So, if you are regularly fellowshipping with other believers (outside of a church building), by my own definition you are NOT a lone ranger christian. COMMENT: (THIS MR. WHITE, IS THE EXACT PROBLEM YOU ARE FACING IN THIS MAN MADE DOCTRINE YOU CLAIM TO BE SCRIPTUALLY TRUE, AND THIS IS YOUR GREATEST STUMBLING BLOCK IN YOUR SPIRITUAL GROWTH AND UNDERSTANDING. This lone ranger premise has always been JUST YOUR DEFINITION and not SCRIPTUALLY TRUE! Opinions are adding to and taking away from God’s word and you don’t even realize it EVEN AFTER ADMITTING that this premise is JUST YOUR DEFINITION!! I rely in what the scriptures reveal Only and the weakening of the body of Christ just isn’t there! Yes Paul states that we should consider not forsaking the “ecclesias” that there is no doubt. But to even suggest more than what is revealed in these verses is adding to the word of God. QUOTE: If you do neither, then you ARE a lone ranger christian. If you AVOID fellowship with other believers, you are a lone ranger christian. COMMENT: I’ll tell you one thing Mr. White you certainly are consistent in attempting to distract everyone from the subject at hand. The people whom are like minded that I was referring to also, refuse to attend modern day institutionalized churches as well, and since you are teaching this premise using these statements, either in blind ambition or in deliberate malice, then, allow me to ask a simple question. Why, oh why, would you ever believe that any one who refuses to assemble with believers or flat out refuse to mingle with your fellow church goers in their temples, are actually members of the body of Christ TO BEGIN WITH? If you continue to insist that this group of people truly are members of Christ and true believers then, are they not currently engaged in doing exactly what God is intending? (1Co 12:11) Does Mr. White trust in the Living God to follow through with this proclamation that Paul expressed REPEATEDLY? Will God make good on His plan, or is God a flat out LIAR? Well? QUOTE: 1 Corinthians 14:26 “What then shall we say, brothers? When [Read all the words carefully Mr. White “WHEN”- Greek-hotan /hot'-an-whenever (implying hypothesis or more or less uncertainty); also causatively (conjunctionally) inasmuch as at the time or IN THE EVENT THAT] you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.” COMMENT: So are you suggesting that the current status of the ecclesia is weak? You see this god of failure you worship Mr. White? Present a verse that reveals this astounding declaration you just made in the strengthening of the ecclesias? It is amazing how quickly you can mutilate a verse in a couple of milliseconds Mr. White! Paul is not even suggesting that weakness even exists in the current ekklesia in the first place. Paul is not suggesting anything of the kind! What is Paul conveying to the ekklesia here Mr. White??? ………..CLV.N.T (1Cor 14:26) What, then, is it, brethren? Whenever you may be coming together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a language, has a translation. LET ALL OCCUR TO EDIFICATION [Greek oikodome oy-kod-om-ay' feminine (abstract) of a compound of G3624 and the base of G1430; architecture, i.e. (concretely) a structure; figuratively, confirmation, improvement, instruction, or ENLIGHTENMENT, esp when morally or spiritually uplifting]. Notice KJV v.26 ….. Let all things be done unto edifying. Paul is giving specific instructions in sound teaching within the ekklesia WHENEVER, or IN THE EVENT THAT…. THEY ARE TO ASSEMBLE in order to expand the spiritual knowledge [EDIFICATION] in truth, so READ CAREFULLY “WHEN” the ecclesia gather , NOT “IF”, WHEN” read it Mr. White ( Emphatic Diaglott 1Co 14:26) Why then is it, brethren? WHEN YOU MAY COME TOGATHER……… Ah yes Mr. White! This is verse, and the remaining verses are all about the edification of the teachings WITHIN the ecclesia whenever they gather. The definition of the word edification [moral improvement or guidance.] Paul is pointing out that “WHEN the ECCLESIA MEET, THEN SOUND TEACHING IS REQUIRED AT ALL GATHERINGS THAT TAKE PLACE! Whenever these gatherings take place! Read it Mr. White! Why is sound teaching required? BECAUSE: (1Co 14:33) For God is not for TURBULENCE [CONFUSION], but peace, as in all the ecclesias of the saints.” Ok, Mr. White as an overview, Paul is stating that all teachings and forms of speech must be made intelligent and in alignment with Christ’s teachings in order to ensure edification [confirmed teachings] of the members of the ECCLESIA to stave off confusion, not weakening or strengthening as you suggest Mr. White.” QUOTE: Notice it doesn’t say “IF” you come together. It says “WHEN” you come together. And why come together? What does it say? “All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.” COMMENT: I can read Mr. White however, you still have this uncanny desire in adding to the teachings of Paul, and Paul, to this day, doesn’t need your help. Trust me on this one. Christ has also given stern warning about this type of activity (Rev 22:18-19). Now, did this last verse state “When you come together [Greek-sunerchomai; to convene, depart in company with, associate with, or (specially), cohabit, conjugally] IN A CHURCH?” Well does this verse say that Mr. White? Did that verse remove any shadow of doubt that the ecclesias are to meet on a weekly scheduled day, with x amount of people, in a structure designed for the specific purpose of assembling, at a dedicated location ????? Of course not! ONCE AGAIN! Does it state when or how often, or how many of the ecclesia are to gather, and in what location, or structure or time? NO! We read in Acts 15:1&5 The Pharisee as well as some of the Jews from the temple system of worship desired to observe the Old Covenant and desired in keeping the entire Law of Moses which includes the temple system and Paul and Peter wouldn’t hear of it! The Pharisees continued to desire the temple worship and the tithes and alms and all of what was included in Moses Law, EVEN TO THIS VERY DAY IN AGE, so I’ll ask one more time Mr. White. Where in the scriptures does God’s New Covenant command the body of Christ to convene in a dedicated building or structure called a church on a dedicated day of the week at a specific time period, with a rough estimate of a body count, with warnings of members failing to do so will literally weaken the members of the body of Christ? I will alleviate you from any additional heart ache Mr. White with a friendly suggestion which is “Don’t answer my last question!”. There are believers out there with enough God given common sense that will begin to pick up on these scriptures and if God is willing, sound reasoning will aid all who can decide for themselves that when the pulpit begins emitting SCRIPTURES LIKEN TO gibberish such as 2×2=20, then people may consider that something is sinfully wrong here! QUOTE: Go ahead and worship in the spirit and in truth. I applaud you for that and encourage you to continue. COMMENT: I will Mr. White because, [John 4:20-24, Rom 7:6, 1Co 2:10-15] Christ DEMANDS this! THIS ISN’T A FRIENDLY REQUEST FROM OUR BELOVED SAVIOUR! Do we not share the mind of Christ, 1Co 2:16 For who knew the mind of the Lord? Who will be deducing from Him? Yet we have the mind of Christ. [See my last Post] QUOTE: But as Hebrews 10:24-25 says, do not give up meeting together. And why do that? To encourage one another. Encouraging strengthens the body of believers. WE ARE ADMONISHED TO ASSEMBLE TOGETHER: COMMENT: That is exactly what I am doing at this point. You see Mr. White if two people are members of the body of Christ ekklesia, and are meeting right now and engaged in truthful conversation on the subject of God’s will and the TRUE Gospel of Jesus Christ and even though two of us have never met in person this would not be an obstacle AS FELLOW MEMBERS IN THE BODY OF CHRIST and an assembly would be taking place here (Mat 18:20). Let’s just say for a moment that God has allowed someone such as yourself to be an active member of this ekklesia, that being said when would you feel is a good time to encourage others Mr. White? When? You are so wrapped up in setting up this straw man theory and making accusations at others you disapprove of, claiming that the ekklesia are weak even though God declares that these traits of weakness are sometimes necessary?!? How can one reason with anybody using solid scriptures with this type of mindset you possess? You can’t! QUOTE: And logic and common sense would dictate that if you aren’t encouraging your fellow believers, it is weaker. COMMENT: Mr. White, there is a fine line between logic, common sense, and injected opinion, or man made doctrine into the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and this type of theology is called conjecture, and as it stands, you yet have been unable to present sound scripture that indicates that the members of the body of Christ become weaker due to isolationism that fellow believers engage in. Speculation on your behalf? That there is no doubt! YOUR OPINION? You bet, and nothing more. God‘s members of the body of Christ will never fail or become weakened or is currently weak. Spiritually immature I would agree on, but spiritually weakened state. No way! You act as though God’s gift of spiritual enlightenment is nothing more than a flawed gift that requires the nurturing power of common man to bring this gift into full strength. Problem is man possess no such nurturing power WHATSOEVER! Members of Christ will be tried and tested that much is certain, but the members will never be weakened or destroyed (Mat. 16:18) Christ and the Father’s plans will be executed in it’s fullest completion and here’s the mindset that you are portraying here Mr. White, are you ready for this? You really truly believe that God requires Mr. White’s complete assistance in accomplishing God’s very own plan that has been declared from the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10-12), before the very foundation of the world began. Well Mr. White, God doesn’t require Mr. White to pursue unscriptural profiling aimed at these alleged Lone Ranger people practicing isolationism? Give it up Mr. White! QUOTE: Lastly Scott, I’m surprised that you, someone who is so well versed in scripture, can come to the conclusion that Christianity is a solo-sport. COMMENT: Really? I said this was a solo sport? I don’t mind that much when you begin adding words to my rebuttal, however Mr. White, you are trampling into areas that angels fear to tread when you make practice of this with God’s inspired scriptures and then suggest that I am reducing the truths of the scriptures down to a sport? Never ceases to amazes me what expressions will be uttered from the church authorities once they become entangled in their man made doctrines. QUOTE: Yes, we must accept Christ individually. COMMENT: Scripture please, and second witness is required. That statement contradicts many verses found in scripture. (John 6:44) “No man CAN come to ME except THE FATHER DRAW[Greek-drag] him”, But some christians claim that they came up with this idea of accepting Christ that they can profess the name of Christ and be saved by their very own accord (Act 2:21). Wrong! (Prov. 16:1) “The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord.” Well, you know, 2 witnesses are totally unsatisfactory when revealing a scriptural truth with most christians, especially church authorities, so here’s another: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that [that faith] NOT of yourselves; it is the gift of GOD” (Eph. 2:8) But the churches cry out that GOD really needs EVERYONE’S consent and acceptance of Christ in order for one’s salvation to take affect and yet there are no verses to support this ability to accept or decline salvation. (Joh 3:27) John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. Believe it or not most christians cannot, or will not accept these scriptures as truths that are found in the manuscripts. (Luk 10:22) And being turned to the disciples, He said, “All was given up to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, AND WHOMEVER THE SON MAYBE INTENDING TO UNVEIL HIM. (Eph. 1:11) “The One Who is operating ALL [that includes man’s salvation] in accord with the counsel of His [Mr. White’s will? Man’s will? NO! God’s will!] will .” God does the choosing Mr. White, He always has: (Joh 15:16) Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you……But this once again is an entirely different subject for those who perceive and hear not (Luke 10:24) QUOTE: But we are a BODY of believers. COMMENT; No Mr. White, the true “called out” are MEMBERS OF THE BODY OF CHRIST who are considered the” CALLED OUT’ AND ARE BONDED AS ONE IN SPIRIT. This isn’t yours, mine, or anyone else’s scheme taking place here. It’s God’s and no one else! IT IS BY GOD”S design and you don’t LIKE IT, DESPISE IT, OR SIMPL;Y DON’T believe it! QUOTE: We are NOT scattered, COMMENT: Paul spent a minimum of 25-30 years writing and traveling to different assemblies and in different regions in order to visit members of the body of Christ all because these members were not scattered? I would ask for scripture in regards to that last statement, but I‘ll not get one that I am sure of. QUOTE: isolated, disconnected parts of a body. COMMENT: Please present scripture that specifically deals with this statement Mr. White. QUOTE: We are only a body TOGETHER. COMENT: Well you better start taking up collections beginning with your next sermon, in order to purchase whole bunch of airline tickets Mr. White. You have members of the body of Christ that are located all around the four corners of the Earth to this day, and let’s keep in mind that throughout the ages, many members are dead and buried so shovels may also be required at this point if you really feel the need to gather with them. I am waiting for you to ridicule these supposedly un-scattered and dead members of the body of Christ that have been called out and are also failing to mingle in the man made temples of christendom. Do you see how this theology isn’t working? Paul speaks of the body of Christ as a whole, and in a spiritual way, Paul preaches we are bound members of Christ in Spirit. Paul was inspired to declare that God will maintain every member of Christ that He sees fit, and Mr. White simply doesn’t approve of this outrageous plan and despises it so much that Mr. White is willing to make claims that this body of Christ, that God had conceived before the entire realm of our existence was created, is now in dire straits due to the actions of a few non compliant members of the body of Christ that is simply making Mr. White irritable with their repulsive behavior in isolationism. Mr White It is more than apparent that you simple despise the fact that God’s actions will take place no matter how disgruntled you get! Do you recall what God inspire in (1 Cor 12)? V.4-7 apportionments of graces v.5…. are apportionments of services, by the same Lord…v.6 apportionments of operations, yet the same GOD WHO IS OPERATING ALL IN ALL, ….. This “WE” that you keep referring to is in reality, GOD! That’s right Mr. White, it is GOD, not Mr. White, not man, not this “We” you keep referring to, and certainly not me (Mat 10:20). It is G-O-D! The ONE who dictates what transpires in the body of Christ! That would be all activities Mr. White, and most of these activities can be executed in S-P-I-R-I-T and at times, WHENEVER we gather. The scriptures cannot be any clearer. Drawing you pictures is a fruitless effort that I am sure of. Or, I could break down and concede to all of this nonsense and be just like the majority of the pulpits of modern christendom and just say “SCREW WHAT GOD HAS INSPIRED TO BE SCRIPTUALLY TRUE’ but I won’t indulge in that type of theology nor will I BOW DOWN TO THE GOD OF FAILURE. QUOTE: So, I’m happy to stick with scripture Scott. COMMENT: When? QUOTE; And I encourage you to do the same. COMMENT: You are going to have to get specific Mr. White. What scriptures that I presented are untrue and fail to harmonize with one another? What part about Christ’s teachings under the New Covenant that you didn’t like? Was is Joh 4:20-24? Acts 6:14&17:24-25 & 7:48, or maybe how God inspired the teachings of his total sovereignty in the body of Christ in Romans 12, & 1 Corithians 12? Wait how about the part where the inspired scriptures instructs the called out to worship God in Spirit (Joh 4:24, Rom 2:29 & 7:6, 8:9, 1Co 3:16, 2Co 3:3) I’ll await your answer and in the mean time make it your best attempt to present scripture where God demands as a perquisite that men are to erect structures in order assemble in, including a set time, how many members and in what exact location, and what happens to the remaining members that are hard headed members and refuse to comply? Here’s an example of instructions for the first physical structure in the wilderness (Exodus 26) One last time, please present scripture indicating that the body of Christ will be weakened if 1. The body of Christ is weakened due to some members of the body of Christ who refuse to fellowship with one another by engaging in isolationism. 2. God’s plans will be foiled by carnal minded men’s evil actions. 3. The location in scriptures indicating a time or place that carnal man achieved this god like ability to thwart God’s plans in regards of the body of Christ or any plan that God has formulated throughout the ages. You know Mr. White, I don’t know you on a personal basis however, when observing your picture, there appears to be a friendly and pleasant looking face which I suspect is accompanied with a similar personality, and if by chance we were to met on a street, confidence is high that we would get along famously until you begin preaching in this fashion. What I find most disturbing to the soul is your doctrine, and this inborn need to inject additional theories into verses that you deem as scriptural truths, thus the stinging sarcasms, and if you feel that theses sarcastic remarks are way out of line then simply review (Matthew 23) were Christ puts me to shame when addressing the church authorities. Are we not expected to achieve the mind of Christ (1Co 1:10 & 1Co 2:16 & Col 4:12)? Two theories, or opinions does not dictate a scriptural truth Mr. White and this is the exact opposite of what the scriptures instruct us, which is reference two witnesses (scriptures) that harmonize with one another when seeking out a biblical truth and therefore can be reakized as spiritual and scriptural truth. Not conjecture, not what one feels or thinks, not an opinion, not injected teachings of the wisdom of men, nor reference to the wisdom of this world, but scriptural instructions only. Once one has an understanding opened up to them by God, then it doesn’t require an I.Q. of 190 or higher, and six doctorates to perceive if one is witnessing a scripturally sound teaching or a small piece of science fiction that men enjoy sharing in their variety of worldly doctrines. The more digging and studying that one performs, the more one can verify a true or false teaching. Mr. White, you have assumed the role as a shepherd tending the flock, and one day you, as myself, along with the rest of MANKIND will face judgment (2Co 5:10 & Rom 14:10) just as all believers and Saints will endure, and as a friendly suggestion, I highly recommend you exercise a great deal of caution from here on out when PREACHING, TEACHING, and tending to the flock. Quote: Scott, and pardon me for one additional follow-up response. My question for you is this: What is your spiritual gift? COMMENT: My gift is the same as revealed in Christ short parable: (Mat 13:44) Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. So if you know what this man had hide in this field, then you may indeed have an understanding opened up to you by God when the subject of gift giving is being taught in the scriptures. (Matthew 6:21) QUOTE: How has God gifted you to uniquely COMMENT: The way you pose this question implies that I am supposedly special in a unique way when you use the word “uniquely” Let’s define this word shall we? Unique: existing as the only one or as the sole example; single; solitary in type or characteristics, having no like or equal; unparalleled; incomparable, limited in occurrence to a given class, situation, or area limited to a single outcome or result, not typical; unusual. God has never defined his gifts to any member of the body of Christ in this fashion in any scripture, why would you pose such a question to me as such? QUOTE: serve the body of Christ? We are not to serve the body of Christ, that is unscriptural. We serve Christ and the Father first and foremost: (Joh 12:26) If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. Luke also harmonizes this verse with (Luk 1:73-75) The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him [GOD] without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him [GOD], all the days of our life. (Luk 4:8) And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, AND HIM ONLY THOU SHALL SERVE.(Col 3:24) Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. (1Th 1:9) For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God…. (2Ti 1:3) I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience…. (Heb 9:14) How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works TO SERVE THE LIVING GOD? (Heb 12:28)Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, WHEREBY WE MAY SERVE GOD….So when it comes to serving anyone, we need to shy away from (Heb 13:9-10) Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein We have an altar, whereof THEY HAVE NO RIGHT TO EAT THEY THAT SERVE THE TABERNACLE. Also, (Rom 16:18) For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly[Focus hard on that one Mr. White, these serve in the flesh not Christ]; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. Here is the SCRIPTUAL extent of my servitude towards the ekklesia: (Gal 5:13) For you were called for freedom, brethren, only use not the freedom for an incentive to the flesh [Harmonizes with Rom 16:18], BUT through love be slaving for one another. And when does this Slaving for one another come to pass Mr. White? 1Co 12:11 Now all these one and the same spirit is operating, apportioning to each his own, according as He [GOD] is intending.” And a second witness: (Eph. 2:10) “For we are His [God's, not our own] workmanship [Gk: 'achievement' the body of Christ is His workmanship and achievement] created in Christ Jesus…” And another: Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance[Including all of Romans 12, 1Corithians 12 and everything in the New Testament], being predestinated [A plan that will not change] according to the purpose of him [GOD] who worketh all things [EVERYTHING] after the counsel of his own will [including the body of Christ] the end from the beginning (Isa 46:10-12). All scriptures tie in together Mr. White. The question you asked is unscriptural when you state to serve one another. This act of serving is an entirely different subject altogether that I simply don’t have time to debate with you now, but perhaps another time? The called out are to have compassion to all see (Luke 10:33 & Mat 14:14 & 18:3, Mar 6:34) Be merciful (Mat 5:7-12) (Rom 9:23) it is that He should also be making known the riches of His glory on the vessels [called out] of mercy, which He makes ready before for glory -” (Luk 6:27 & Rom 12:20) ….ect., ect., and many more commandments. Good luck with your ministry Mr. White. You need to cast a blind eye on the teachings of men and trust God to reveal to you what is hidden in the scriptures from the very beginning in the Garden of Eden. I know for a fact that If Jesus came upon this Earth, dressed in a 3 piece suit, unannounced, to preach in any given church of christendom, on any given topic, Christ would be thrown out in less than 5 minutes into His sermon. Nothing has changed throughout the centuries within the temples. Before I depart allow me to give you a better understanding for this rebuttal. (Tit 1:9) upholding the faithful word according to the teaching, that he [Apostle, Saint, shepherd, priest, minister, elder, teacher, believer] may be able to entreat with sound teaching as well as to expose those who contradict.” Scott

  7. Trabaho says

    Scott, from what I read of your long winded posts, you seem to want to try and bury anyone who asks a question of you with drivel.

    • Scott B says

      Spoken as a true Christian. Care to elaborate? When people contradict the word of God it appears that most christians sit in their pew with a blank look and a smile on their face nodding their head yes in agreement, with little regard about truth of the gospel. Be specific with accusations you readily level at me Trabaho.

      • Trabaho says

        Scott, I did not make accusations it’s called “observation” you rambled on and on off topic, therefore DRIVEL!. Now you mentioned something about sitting in a pew listening to people who contradict the Bible = God’s word nodding and agreeing, you make a broad statement without knowing anyone’s heart or their walk with the Lord. So to re-speak what you said, be specific with your “broad statements” of others, and perhaps get the log out you eye instead of the spec in others eyes. Good Bless.

    • says

      Scott, it’s pretty simple. Re-Read the original article (572 words). It’s about spiritual gifts and how we should use those spiritual gifts to serve one another….because when we use those spiritual gifts to serve one another, WE (the body) are encouraged (by those gifted to encourage), educated (by those gifted to teach), built up, etc… I never mentioned anything about a building, yet you have spent thousands of words (4,141 words in your 1st response and 11,211 in your 2nd response) (what Trabaho is referring to as “drivel”) in each reply rambling on…in my view, to defend your own choice to not fellowship or serve within a church/body (which I did NOT define as a building). Of course that is just an assumption on my part since you haven’t really or clearly/concisely attempted to address the content of the article). I asked a very simple question of you, “What is your spiritual gift? How has God gifted you to uniquely serve the body of Christ?”. And what we get back (Trabaho’s “accusation”) is a long-winded (15,000+words) response that has nothing to do with the question nor the original article. You mince words (needing to define “uniquely gifted”? as if it’s not obvious what the intent of the phrase is)? Scott, are you not a unique creation of God, specifically purposed by Him to do good works, receiving various spiritual gifts that not every one else has, having had earthly experiences that not everyone else has? Is there anyone on earth exactly like you Scott? No! You are indeed uniquely gifted. But the fact that you choose to dissect that phrase (among many others) shows me that you are too far into the trees to see the forest. And as much as you want to help educate or correct us, I feel your efforts are not bearing fruit. Quite frankly no one has the time to sift through your long responses to see if you might have answered the question or addressed the topic. I did, and I notice that you call out not only the question of how are you serving the body as being unscriptural but also the premise…saying, and I quote you above, “We are not to serve the body of Christ, that is unscriptural.” ??? unscriptural ??? Then I suppose the following verses from the Bible are unscriptural??? Galatians 5:13 “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” 1 Peter 4:10-11″As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another…” Ephesians 4:11-16 “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ…” (building up the body is an act of service) 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good….” (note the ending…”FOR the common good”) Romans 14:19, “So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.” (building one another up is an act of service) 1 Corinthians 12:25, “so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.” (caring for one another is an act of service and love) Scott, My suggestion to you, from experience, is to limit your replies to 750 words OR LESS and see what happens. You’ve spent a lot of time writing your replies but I don’t think anyone is going to read it….which is a waste of your time and sincere energy. I’m not convinced you have the gift of teaching. But if you believe you do, it’s a gift that needs to be refined (possibly with the help of the Holy Spirit …and other believers (aka “the body”) so that your responses are able to be consumed and understood. Unfortunately, you’ve amassed such a large volume of words that it’s had the opposite effect. Proverbs 10:19, “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.” Ecclesiastes 5:1-3, “…Therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes with much business, and a fool’s voice with many words.” Even though I think your participation on our site is grossly under-appreciated, I do thank you for making an attempt to engage on this topic. God Bless. Brad

  8. Scott B. says

    Well Trabaho, it is real easy to sit there and point a finger using this type of response to say the least. You have nothing spiritually to debate on this subject and didn’t even make a feeble attempt at doing so. I commented on each and every quote that Mr. White was attempting to peddle to the public as scriptural truth and not once did you question or challenge any scriptures but you did manage to muster up a real keen single word critic of my response with the use of the word “drivel”. One would have to assume this is the extent of your scriptural knowledge and in addition I have some sad news for you Trabaho, these are not my scriptures but scriptures inspired to the Apostles that you just simply despise, and since you have nothing else worthy to discuss I would suggest you just sit on the sidelines and look up in your dictionary another “Big” word of the day you can throw out there on a whim when you are feeling upset and have to get this anger off your chest. Here’s another bit of bad news for you as well. When some one questions your faith or presses you for comments or answers regarding a spiritual truth or topic what are you commanded by GOD to do? What has the God you give lip service to commands you to do? Well? Give up? Here it is (1Pe 3:15 ) and I’ll make you look that up Trabaho it may very well do you some good and try to have a good day Trabaho.

  9. Scott B says

    Mr. White, this is the very last time you will hear from me which I am certain is quite pleasing for you to hear. I would have stopped responding sooner, however you never asked me. QUOTE: Scott, it’s pretty simple. Re-Read the original article (572 words). It’s about spiritual gifts and how we should use those spiritual gifts to serve one another….because when we use those spiritual gifts to serve one another, WE (the body) are encouraged (by those gifted to encourage), educated (by those gifted to teach), built up, etc… I never mentioned anything about a building COMMENT: YOU MOST CERTAINLY DID IN YOUR FIRST POST? STML syndrome? (short term memory loss?), yet you have spent thousands of words (4,141 words in your 1st response and 11,211 in your 2nd response) (what Trabaho is referring to as “drivel”) in each reply rambling (definition of ramblings: 1. Often or habitually roaming; wandering. 2. Extended over an irregular area; sprawling: a large rambling country estate. 3. Lengthy and digressive= digressive – of superficial relevance if any; “a digressive allusion to the day of the week”; “a tangential remark”): on…in my view, to defend your own choice to not fellowship or serve within a church/body (which I did NOT define as a building). COMMENT: Really thousands of words indicating why I would not attend a physical structure, thousands? Really? Excuse me, but are you not the one who insisted that there is a group of believers that are diminishing the body of Christ with in acts of isolationism and you call my responses RAMBLINGS? Wow! Mr. White it is obvious that you are practicing sensationalism when making these statements. It is very difficult to keep responses to a minimum when many heresies YOU PREACH are involved and pointing out these discrepancies by presenting SCRIPTURE, NOT CONJECTURE, and no I am not going to re-read this 572 word essay you wrote on this topic of the phantom lone ranger believers that you swear are a threat to the body of Christ in practicing isolationism. UNBELIEVEABLE! I went point to point in every comment you have made that even a seven year old could easily follow along with, and have made request repeatedly on specific topics and quite frankly Mr. White you avoid these request like the black plague so then, it appears that you enlist the help of “Trabaho” to REINFORCE a foothold in any debate you feel like partaking in and sad to say this person hasn’t an ounce of positive scriptural input to offer you as assistance. He will eventually embarrass you sooner or later so; you may want to consider abandoning that idea? Just saying. I am not going point to point on this topic any longer Mr. White. Really, I mean you have gone way off reservation and a veil of darkness has shrouded your better judgment and you are siding with man’s traditions and the wisdom of the world. I have put more emphasis on this subject in the last 2 postings that any one on any given day could possibly learn in a months worth of sermons and I will not be repeating myself any longer. Basically I am done casting pearls to the swine just to watch them be trampled under foot (Mat 7:6). One last time. There is no man or group of God’s creations (including Satan) on this planet that has the ability to hinder the body of Christ to the point of weakening it. NONE! There are no warnings by the prophets or servants that this event would even take place. Christ stated that his church could be destroyed(Mat 16:18 ) If you wish to continue to gather in a building and play church worshipping the god of failure, then knock yourself out, but for crying out loud stop making up a group of people that have an ability to weaken or compromise the body of Christ with such activities.It’s a flat out lie to insist upon that premise! Ultimately, Paul is the authority on this subject of worship and where we are to worship: (Act 17:24-25, Act 7:48, John 4:20-24, Rom, Mar 14:58, Joh 2:19-21, 1Co 6:15,1Co 6:19-20) One last thing Mr. White, here is just a few more reasons I among several others have refrain from attending the modern day institutionalized church’s of men so I present 10 scriptures that cannot be broken nor disputed, even by the likes of you: 1. ” (I John 4:14) “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to BE THE SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD” ! I believe this, but does the Church teach that Jesus will save “the world”? NO! 2. (I Tim. 1:15) “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to SAVE SINNERS; of whom I am chief” [Gk: foremost--paramount, preeminent]“! I believe this, but does the Church teach that Jesus will save all”sinners?” NO! 3. (Luke 19:10) “For the Son of man is come to seek and to SAVE that which was LOST [that's everyone]“! I believe this, but does the Church teach that Jesus will save all who are “lost?” NO! 4. (John 1:29) “The next day John sees Jesus coming unto Him, and says, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world”. I believe this, but does the Church teach that Jesus will take away the “sin of the world?” NO! 5. (I John 2:2) “And He is the propitiation [to atone for, conciliate, look upon with mercy and favor] for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the WHOLE WORLD” ! I believe this, but does the Church teach that Jesus will atone for the “sins of the world–the WHOLE world?” NO! 6. (I Tim. 2:3-4) “God our Saviour Who will have ALL MEN to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth”! I believe this, but does the Church teach that God will have “ALL men to be saved?” NO! 7. (II Peter 3:9) “The Lord is… not willing that ANY should perish, but that all should come to repentance”! I believe this, but does the Church teach that the Lord is not willing that any perish, but that ALL should repent, therefore, none will perish and all will repent? NO! 8. (I Tim. 4:10) “For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who IS the Saviour of ALL MEN, specially['specially' does not mean 'exclusively' or 'only'] of those that believe”I believe this, but does the Church teach that God is not only the Saviour of those that believe, but ultimately “God is the Saviour of ALL men?” NO! 9. (John 12:47) “…I came not to judge the world, but to SAVE the world” I believe this, but does the Church teach Jesus will actually accomplish what He came to accomplish – “to SAVE THE WORLD?”NO! 10. (John 4:42) “…we have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD” . I believe this, but does the Church teach that the One to Whom they give lip service “is indeed the Christ, THE SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD?” NO, it does NOT! Joh 10:35…………and the scripture cannot be broken; Well Mr. White, it’s been real and it’s been fun, buts’ it hasn’t been real fun. You are not my enemy and if I see anyone else practicing heresies such as this I will respond to them as I have you so don’t feel like you have been singled out, and no, I am not suffering from a holier than thou attitude as most do nor will I be accused of wrestling with the flesh (Eph 6:12) P.S. Good luck with the building worship. I hope you really know when the Sabbath is.

  10. says

    We stumbled over here from a different website and thought I may as well check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to going over your web page repeatedly.

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