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mikebr
Jun 26th 2008, 08:44 PM
A book that details the practices of modern Christianity and their roots in pagan practices. Things like dressing up to go to church, pews, sermons every week, steeples, etc. What do you think about most of the practices that we participate in on a weekly basis being pagan in origin?

Sold Out
Jun 26th 2008, 09:02 PM
A book that details the practices of modern Christianity and their roots in pagan practices. Things like dressing up to go to church, pews, sermons every week, steeples, etc. What do you think about most of the practices that we participate in on a weekly basis being pagan in origin?

If don't know it's pagan, then so what. God looks at the heart.

mikebr
Jun 26th 2008, 09:25 PM
If don't know it's pagan, then so what. God looks at the heart.
What if it keeps you from the relationship that Christ intended?

Sold Out
Jun 26th 2008, 09:26 PM
What if it keeps you from the relationship that Christ intended?

I'm personally not aware of any pagan practices that I do on purpose that would hinder my relationship with God.

9Marksfan
Jun 26th 2008, 09:34 PM
There are pagan influences that have crept into the church - most are unaware of them but God hates anything pagan - we need to be on our guard - apparently even the fish symbol is pagan!

Where do you get the idea that weekly sermons are pagan? The early church preached the word all the time - one of Paul's last exhortations to Timothy was to preach the word all the time - Jesus prayed that we would be sanctified by the truth and said His word is truth - the first believers devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching etc etc.

Athanasius
Jun 26th 2008, 09:37 PM
You need to be careful with a book that raises questions and proposes no answers.

Clifton
Jun 26th 2008, 09:47 PM
There are pagan influences that have crept into the church - most are unaware of them but God hates anything pagan - we need to be on our guard - apparently even the fish symbol is pagan!

Seems that now knowledge is increasing, saints are becoming aware of this, and have become concerned because we don't want to compound paganism and Christianity together - I've been witnessing these concerns on these boards and newsgroups in the past several years - at firsthand, I thought, 'are they out of their minds?'.:blush: I guess all in due time we'll get the pagan stuff cleared up/out (at least I hope so) - but old habits die hard.


Where do you get the idea that weekly sermons are pagan? The early church preached the word all the time - one of Paul's last exhortations to Timothy was to preach the word all the time - Jesus prayed that we would be sanctified by the truth and said His word is truth - the first believers devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching etc etc.I've heard and read a lot, more than I have been able to keep up with, but I've never heard that "weekly sermons" are pagan either, or weekday, mid-week for that matter. Sounds a bit too extreme to me. Hope REESE'S CUPS are not pagan - I'll have great difficulty in aborting those.:D

Blessings.

Vicki-Photo
Jun 26th 2008, 09:49 PM
God can use anything for the good of thoes that love Him.

Wern't we all pagen before accepting Christ? And He changed us!

However, we should be noticiably different on the outside after being changed.

Vicki :)

Joe King
Jun 26th 2008, 10:02 PM
What about the cross as the symbol? Is that pagan? I know when I bow to a statue of Jesus or the make the sign cross, that I am bowing to respect my LORD and savior.

markedward
Jun 26th 2008, 10:06 PM
The statue of a European, long-haired, light-skinned six-foot-six man and a cross are not your Lord and Savior.

The very reason that God prohibited any "graven images" to be made was so that the Hebrews would not bow down to them. Even in His tabernacle and temple He forbade that any sort of objects would be used to represent Him, which completely baffled the pagans.

We can thank God for what resulted from the cross, and I'm personally okay with even wearing a cross necklace or something similar to show that you are a follower, but actually bowing down to the cross or a statue of "Jesus" is more along the lines of unknowing idolatry: you're associating that object with God in your own mind, even if you don't intend to. We're followers of the Lord in heaven, not the crosses or statues that people make to depict Him.

matthew94
Jun 26th 2008, 10:26 PM
It's a thought provoking book. The author uses a lot of overstatement and is biased toward the house church movement. He seems to have an axe to grind against the institutional church. That being said, he raises some good points.

I've been leading my Sunday School class through the book (using it as a discussion starter). It's been great to take a fresh look at our traditions and weigh them against Scripture. For anyone interested, I have handouts (study guides) on each chapter of the book available.

9Marksfan
Jun 26th 2008, 10:34 PM
It's a thought provoking book. The author uses a lot of overstatement and is biased toward the house church movement. He seems to have an axe to grind against the institutional church. That being said, he raises some good points.

I've been leading my Sunday School class through the book (using it as a discussion starter). It's been great to take a fresh look at our traditions and weigh them against Scripture. For anyone interested, I have handouts (study guides) on each chapter of the book available.

How come it suggests that weekly sermons are pagan? It's basically an emerging church-type book, right?

theleast
Jun 26th 2008, 10:52 PM
I can name many pagan practices.

The celebration of Christmas and Easter come to mind.

The cross is a graven image.

The robes of many priests and pastors are paganistic.

The saying of the Lords prayer in repition is paganistic, as is any other prayer in repitition.

That's just to name a few.

Clifton
Jun 26th 2008, 11:53 PM
I can name many pagan practices.

The cross is a graven image.

The robes of many priests and pastors are paganistic.

Yea - heard that too.


The saying of the Lords prayer in repition is paganistic, as is any other prayer in repitition.Don't recall this - but note a scripture somewhere, that Yeshua referenced some hypocrites being "repetitive in their prayers" (to falsely make them "look good").


The celebration of Christmas and Easter come to mind.Yea, they are pagan festivals. Christmas has become commercialized too much anyway - it is a burdening toil, and grief for some whom have lost loved ones around that time of the year. The Bible does not tells us what date Yeshua was brought into the flesh, so apparently that part did not seem important to the early writers - we are left to just know He did come, and our Faith is in that part, and "remember" that everyday. :pray:

Blessings.

theleast
Jun 27th 2008, 12:08 AM
Hey clifton,

Just to back the repitition in prayer...

Matthew 6:7 (http://bibleresources.bible.com/passagesearchresults.php?passage1=Matthew+6:7&version=9) (Whole Chapter) (http://bibleresources.bible.com/passagesearchresults.php?passage1=Matthew+6&version=9)
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

And yet the Lord's prayer is said in vain repitition.

I did a break down on the Lord's prayer the other day but perhaps I'll start a thread on it for discussion when I have more time.

mikebr
Jun 27th 2008, 12:15 AM
You need to be careful with a book that raises questions and proposes no answers.

..........and you've read this book?

mikebr
Jun 27th 2008, 12:20 AM
There are pagan influences that have crept into the church - most are unaware of them but God hates anything pagan - we need to be on our guard - apparently even the fish symbol is pagan!

Where do you get the idea that weekly sermons are pagan? The early church preached the word all the time - one of Paul's last exhortations to Timothy was to preach the word all the time - Jesus prayed that we would be sanctified by the truth and said His word is truth - the first believers devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching etc etc.


I suppose, (I've not read the book either) that the author is saying that weekly sermons by one person in the same building was a Greco-Roman practice. His concern is that it keeps the body as a whole from functioning by using individual gifts.

Clifton
Jun 27th 2008, 12:24 AM
Hey clifton,

Just to back the repitition in prayer...

Matthew 6:7 (http://bibleresources.bible.com/passagesearchresults.php?passage1=Matthew+6:7&version=9) (Whole Chapter) (http://bibleresources.bible.com/passagesearchresults.php?passage1=Matthew+6&version=9)
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

And yet the Lord's prayer is said in vain repitition.

I did a break down on the Lord's prayer the other day but perhaps I'll start a thread on it for discussion when I have more time.

Hey, thanks for reminding me where that scripture is located. :thumbsup:

Looking in the Tanak:

Do not be hasty with your mouth, and let not your heart hurry to bring forth a word before Elohim. For Elohim is in the heavens, and you on earth, therefore let your words be few.
Ecclesiastes 5:2 The Scriptures 1998+

I guess that means, make it "short and sweet, and to the point".

Blessings.

matthew94
Jun 27th 2008, 12:24 AM
How come it suggests that weekly sermons are pagan? It's basically an emerging church-type book, right?

Here is my typed summary of the chapter on the sermon...

Chapter 4: The Sermon

Summary
Viola points out that 'the sermon' is central to protestant worship services, but has no root in Scripture. It's not that Jesus and the Apostles didn't preach, it's that "there is a world of difference b/w the Spirit-inspired preaching and teaching described in the Bible and the contemporary sermon." In short, Viola rejects the Greco-Roman based contemporary sermon (routine, regulated, passive, prepared) in favor of biblical preaching (sporadic, informal, participative, spontaneous).

Reaction:
I have no problem with Viola's quest to make sermons more participative. But I do feel compelled to question many of Viola's premises in this chapter. First, he claims that many of the 'early church fathers' were recent pagan converts AND that this tainted their remarks. His argument seems to be that we can't take the writings of the early church as representative of the thinking of the early church. Well, there is certainly some truth to this premise, but it is also very convenient for Viola. It allows him to dismiss what evidence we have of the early church and fill the void with his 'house church' mindset. Second, I disagree with Viola's seeming assumption that a prepared sermon and a Spirit-led sermon are in contrast. Can't the Holy Spirit help us prepare and cultivate a message? Third, Viola continues his previous pattern of equating EXTRA-Biblical practices with UN-Biblical passages, except in this case the practice actually is quite Biblical! He ends with what I think is the most ridiculous question so far in the book: "How can a man preach a sermon on being faithful to the Word of God while he is preaching a sermon?" I reply, 'Quite easily!'

mikebr
Jun 27th 2008, 12:30 AM
I don't know the answer to this question, but how many sermons in scripture were preached in a building called a church?

mikebr
Jun 27th 2008, 12:33 AM
I am at present a worship leader and long before I heard of this book, (just this week) I have been questioning our reason for the concerts that we put on each week. I really need to know where this was in the NT church. Any help will be greatly appreciated?

Brother Mark
Jun 27th 2008, 12:37 AM
I am at present a worship leader and long before I heard of this book, (just this week) I have been questioning our reason for the concerts that we put on each week. I really need to know where this was in the NT church. Any help will be greatly appreciated?

Hi Mike. I am not sure it is in the NT. But we do see something similar in the OT. God said that those who were skilled should be the ones that play.

As for your previous question about buildings, I think we have freedom in that. Why? Because we see that Jesus went to a building to worship and to teach. He taught in temple and worshiped there. He also taught in a synagogue. Neither of those buildings were homes. Perhaps the NT doesn't record any meetings in buildings per se, because they did not have the financial resources to purchase a building or build one. But that's pure speculation.

calidog
Jun 27th 2008, 12:44 AM
What if it keeps you from the relationship that Christ intended?I don't think that is possible



Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
Rom 8:39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

mikebr
Jun 27th 2008, 12:50 AM
I don't think that is possible



Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
Rom 8:39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


I should have stated it differently. What if it keeps us from relating to the Body correctly? I agree exactly with what you said above.

davidandme
Jun 27th 2008, 12:58 AM
They are going to far. What are we supposed to seat on, rocks?

calidog
Jun 27th 2008, 01:00 AM
I should have stated it differently. What if it keeps us from relating to the Body correctly? I agree exactly with what you said above.
That's a good question, I'll have to chew on that one for a while because we certainly don't relate perfectly. It seems we need to often look at the early church (Acts)
I have preferred the home meetings to the larger congregations.

mikebr
Jun 27th 2008, 01:16 AM
That's a good question, I'll have to chew on that one for a while because we certainly don't relate perfectly. It seems we need to often look at the early church (Acts)
I have preferred the home meetings to the larger congregations.

I don't relate at all during the time that I am there. Other than the greeting time, which I'm convinced spreads more germs than love,:lol: I don't relate much to folks at all. My wife made the comment the other day that you really don't know people until you get them away from church. So Sad.:cry:

calidog
Jun 27th 2008, 01:23 AM
I don't relate at all during the time that I am there. Other than the greeting time, which I'm convinced spreads more germs than love,:lol: I don't relate much to folks at all. My wife made the comment the other day that you really don't know people until you get them away from church. So Sad.:cry:When the church I last attended quit the only service time I could attend, I was more than relieved.

mikebr
Jun 27th 2008, 01:30 AM
When the church I last attended quit the only service time I could attend, I was more than relieved.

I would bet that you are no less a lover of Jesus since then. I'm talking to more and more people who feel the same way. They are sick of church but the still love Jesus and people passionately. Going to church is very self serving to me. I go because I'm expected to, by family and friends. I go because of what I get out of it. Nothing could keep me from Jesus though. Truth is He's not contained in a building. You and me are His container. We're vessels, temples, and vines.

Clifton
Jun 27th 2008, 01:44 AM
I don't relate at all during the time that I am there. Other than the greeting time, which I'm convinced spreads more germs than love,:lol:

:rofl:Take a small bottle of Hand Sanitizer with you to use after you finish shaking hands.:) I use it after coming out of the grocery store!


I don't relate much to folks at all. My wife made the comment the other day that you really don't know people until you get them away from church. So Sad.:cry:I guess that is why house churches is the NT method, though they met in the catacombs during times of great persecution. But nonetheless, everyone got to know each other at least fairly well. They had meals then too. Note the 'house churches' at:
# Ro 16:5
# 1Co 16:19
# Col 4:15
# Phm 1:2

Also compare:
# Ac 20:20
# Ac 12:12

Apparently, they had no intention(s) of instituting "buildings" for this, however, just prior to Constantine, some had gave up their homes for assembling. Constantine was the one that instituted "buildings" for Christians to assemble in. But there were "spins to doctrines" before "church buildings", so one cannot assume that will be "free" of improper teaching(s) in a 'house church (or, "meetings")'. Yeshua seemed to have issues with some of the sects of His days on Earth in the flesh, those sects making up stuff as authentic doctrines - thus, it was a problem even before He arrived in the Flesh.

Blessings.

mikebr
Jun 27th 2008, 01:47 AM
:rofl:Take a small bottle of Hand Sanitizer with you to use after you finish shaking hands.:) I use it after coming out of the grocery store!

I guess that is why house churches is the NT method, though they met in the catacombs during times of great persecution. But nonetheless, everyone got to know each other at least fairly well. They had meals then too. Note the 'house churches' at:
# Ro 16:5
# 1Co 16:19
# Col 4:15
# Phm 1:2

Also compare:
# Ac 20:20
# Ac 12:12

Apparently, they had no intention(s) of instituting "buildings" for this, however, just prior to Constantine, some had gave up their homes for assembling. Constantine was the one that instituted "buildings" for Christians to assembly in. But there were "spins to doctrines" before "church buildings", so one cannot assume that will be "free" of improper teaching(s) in a 'house church (or, "meetings")'. Yeshua seemed to have issues with some of the sects of His days on Earth in the flesh, making up stuff as authentic doctrines - thus, it was a problem even before He arrived in the Flesh.

Blessings.
Thanks. I by no means believe that house churches are the answer.

Brother Mark
Jun 27th 2008, 02:39 AM
Thanks. I by no means believe that house churches are the answer.

Hi Mike. I agree with you in that. House churches and churches in buildings can be fulfilling. It has more to do with who's controlling the service and the Spirit of the services and teaching than where it is happening, IMO.

Athanasius
Jun 27th 2008, 02:43 AM
..........and you've read this book?

I've flipped through a few chapters at... Chapters. But haven't bothered to buy it. Plan on it one day, but I've better things to read. But from what I did read, all they did was question without providing any sort of answer. I made sure to read the first and last chapter as well, so they don't bust out anything great in the last chapter in terms of answers.

servant of Lord
Jun 27th 2008, 03:19 AM
I have not read the book. But, this is something that I am seeing more and more clearly as the days go by..but Lord I ask what are we to do ? In revelation it says to come out of the babylon religion...which dates back to nimrod ...then continues down into many religons of today...

Here are just a few things that you can compare and see for yourself who this reseamables....

the High priest , nimrod, who was known as PONTIFEX MaXIUMS , meaning-bridge maker , wore a fish-mitre hat.It was the shape of a open mouth fish. He was known as the fish god. -dagon.

semiramis -his wife
developed a system of female devotees known as vestal virgins, later known by the chaldean word, NUN, which means "daughters of Nimrod"

she taught that devotees did not immediately enter heaven at death, but went to an interneditate place known as PURGATORY . This held the family to remain faithful to the Babylonian priesthood to assure their loved one could move on to heaven. Property and money could be donated to the babylonian Priesthood and this would help get the one out of purgatory sooner...this later became known as INDULGENCES....

Nimrod, semiramis, and tammuz..father mother son were known as seb , isis, and horus in egyptian language..thus IHS were imprinted on the wafer cakes..many christian churches still have this religious symblo of IHS on their churhc furniture and have no idea what it stands for.


semiramis herself was the way to God...she actually adopeted the title, Queen of heaven

we read about the worship of her in baal worship jeremiah 7:18 and 44:25

the pagan festival of Ishtar was celebrated hundreds of years before chirst and was mentioned in acts 12:3 and 4
The name was slightly changed to easter..

You proably have already seen this stuff..but it is new to me learning about it all...

My question is so, what are we to do ? we celebrate easter and when we do so..we do so on to the Lord, right? so, if in our heart we are not celebrating this tammuz or semir women or nimrod then what would it matter?

I am seeking God for those answers for myself...for In revelation He says come out of her...I want to make sure I am not with her in any way...but the bible says that she is a deciever and many are deceived by her...

Is this stuff falling over into thte church..Yes...it seems that more and more new age stuff keeps making its way into the pulpits ...

It alarms me and makes me vomit..oh, how I desire to hear the word of God spoken by the Holy SPirit through a called man or women of God....

seamus414
Jun 27th 2008, 03:42 AM
I can name many pagan practices.

The celebration of Christmas and Easter come to mind.

The cross is a graven image.

The robes of many priests and pastors are paganistic.

The saying of the Lords prayer in repition is paganistic, as is any other prayer in repitition.

That's just to name a few.

Celebrating events in Jesus' life is not paganistic.

How is the cross graven?

The vestments date to Roman civil and formal wear, not paganism.

The Lord's prayer has always been said by Christians, therefore not pagan. The Jews had and were given prayers to recite. Not pagan. God gave us the Psalms to recite. Again, not pagan.

seamus414
Jun 27th 2008, 03:44 AM
Hey clifton,

Just to back the repitition in prayer...

Matthew 6:7 (http://bibleresources.bible.com/passagesearchresults.php?passage1=Matthew+6:7&version=9) (Whole Chapter) (http://bibleresources.bible.com/passagesearchresults.php?passage1=Matthew+6&version=9)
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

And yet the Lord's prayer is said in vain repitition.

I did a break down on the Lord's prayer the other day but perhaps I'll start a thread on it for discussion when I have more time.


I recite the prayer almost daily and it is cetainly NOT said in vain. I think the generalized suggestion that it is said in vain is pretty insulting.

seamus414
Jun 27th 2008, 03:46 AM
I am at present a worship leader and long before I heard of this book, (just this week) I have been questioning our reason for the concerts that we put on each week. I really need to know where this was in the NT church. Any help will be greatly appreciated?


Respectfully, that you consider worship a "concert" is problematic on its face, IMO.

seamus414
Jun 27th 2008, 03:50 AM
I have not read the book. But, this is something that I am seeing more and more clearly as the days go by..but Lord I ask what are we to do ? In revelation it says to come out of the babylon religion...which dates back to nimrod ...then continues down into many religons of today...

Here are just a few things that you can compare and see for yourself who this reseamables....

the High priest , nimrod, who was known as PONTIFEX MaXIUMS , meaning-bridge maker , wore a fish-mitre hat.It was the shape of a open mouth fish. He was known as the fish god. -dagon.

semiramis -his wife
developed a system of female devotees known as vestal virgins, later known by the chaldean word, NUN, which means "daughters of Nimrod"

she taught that devotees did not immediately enter heaven at death, but went to an interneditate place known as PURGATORY . This held the family to remain faithful to the Babylonian priesthood to assure their loved one could move on to heaven. Property and money could be donated to the babylonian Priesthood and this would help get the one out of purgatory sooner...this later became known as INDULGENCES....

Nimrod, semiramis, and tammuz..father mother son were known as seb , isis, and horus in egyptian language..thus IHS were imprinted on the wafer cakes..many christian churches still have this religious symblo of IHS on their churhc furniture and have no idea what it stands for.


semiramis herself was the way to God...she actually adopeted the title, Queen of heaven

we read about the worship of her in baal worship jeremiah 7:18 and 44:25

the pagan festival of Ishtar was celebrated hundreds of years before chirst and was mentioned in acts 12:3 and 4
The name was slightly changed to easter..

You proably have already seen this stuff..but it is new to me learning about it all...

My question is so, what are we to do ? we celebrate easter and when we do so..we do so on to the Lord, right? so, if in our heart we are not celebrating this tammuz or semir women or nimrod then what would it matter?

I am seeking God for those answers for myself...for In revelation He says come out of her...I want to make sure I am not with her in any way...but the bible says that she is a deciever and many are deceived by her...

Is this stuff falling over into thte church..Yes...it seems that more and more new age stuff keeps making its way into the pulpits ...

It alarms me and makes me vomit..oh, how I desire to hear the word of God spoken by the Holy SPirit through a called man or women of God....



You got this information from Jack Chick didn't you? Virtualy nothing above has a basis in anything but imagination.

seamus414
Jun 27th 2008, 03:54 AM
The statue of a European, long-haired, light-skinned six-foot-six man and a cross are not your Lord and Savior.

The very reason that God prohibited any "graven images" to be made was so that the Hebrews would not bow down to them. Even in His tabernacle and temple He forbade that any sort of objects would be used to represent Him, which completely baffled the pagans.

We can thank God for what resulted from the cross, and I'm personally okay with even wearing a cross necklace or something similar to show that you are a follower, but actually bowing down to the cross or a statue of "Jesus" is more along the lines of unknowing idolatry: you're associating that object with God in your own mind, even if you don't intend to. We're followers of the Lord in heaven, not the crosses or statues that people make to depict Him.

WHat was described is not a graven image. Iconoclastism such as what you are suggesting was rightly driven out of the Christian Church in the 8th Century at the 2nd Counsel of Nicaea. The poster to which you are responding does not think that Jesus is actually in the image. The image, to him, represents a tangible worship focal point. It is and has always been acceptable for the Christian to do this.

markedward
Jun 27th 2008, 04:08 AM
It is and has always been acceptable for the Christian to do this.When?

In Scripture, I cannot find any instances of John, James, Peter, Paul, Jude, or any others using an object as their "focal point" for worship.

"A tangible worship focal point" is the very definition of an icon, in the sense we're speaking of. He's directing his worship at an object, which is precisely what God consistently stated He did not want throughout the Bible.

If it has "always been acceptable," it seems contradictory that Scripture says both (A) Specifically God said not to direct worship at objects (or mortal beings), and (B) There isn't a single case of God-sanctioned worship directed at objects (even in the New Testament).

Some religions direct their worship at flames. They aren't worshipping the flame, but they direct their worship at the flame; it's their "tangible worship focal point." If this was a practice that developed in Christianity, would you say it's okay to worship God by directing our worship at the flame?

mikebr
Jun 27th 2008, 11:16 AM
Respectfully, that you consider worship a "concert" is problematic on its face, IMO.


If you don't worship the Lord daily in more ways than singing its a concert. Maybe I shouldn't have used that word but I'm kidding myself and you are yours if you believe that people aren't entertained by it. Praise the Lord if its not that way in your life. Not every person is worshiping on Sunday morning. Although there certainly are those who are.

seamus414
Jun 27th 2008, 12:16 PM
markedward

When?In Scripture, I cannot find any instances of John, James, Peter, Paul, Jude, or any others using an object as their "focal point" for worship.

There are also very few verses that show any of them worshipping at all. The inclusion of such a detail was probably not seen as necessary by the Biblical Authors. Besides, that the detail is not included does not mean it was absent or is an incorrect detail. Further, the earliest of Christians used images (there are many images on the walls of the catacombs, for example).

"A tangible worship focal point" is the very definition of an icon, in the sense we're speaking of. He's directing his worship at an object, which is precisely what God consistently stated He did not want throughout the Bible.

No you are missing an important distinction. He, or me for that matter as I am not an iconoclast, do not worship the image itself. We understand the image is just that, an image. If God were opposed to this sort of thing he would not have authorized the looking at the image of the bronze serpant or the reverancing the Ark of the Covenant (which included the image of angels). Your suggestion that this is contrary to the Bible misses the point of the Bible: God is trying to discourage idolotry. An image in a church is not idolotry. Your position is rather gnostic as it advances the spiritual as preferred whilst degrading the physical as somehow evil. Humans are *both* spiritual and physical and ought to enage in worship that uses both.

If it has "always been acceptable," it seems contradictory that Scripture says both (A) Specifically God said not to direct worship at objects (or mortal beings), and (B) There isn't a single case of God-sanctioned worship directed at objects (even in the New Testament).

See above.

Some religions direct their worship at flames. They aren't worshipping the flame, but they direct their worship at the flame; it's their "tangible worship focal point." If this was a practice that developed in Christianity, would you say it's okay to worship God by directing our worship at the flame?

You seem to miss the biggest irony here. Jesus, himself, is an icon. ONe of the biggest objections made by the Jews (down to this day) is that God cannot be a man. God made himself into a man - an image to worship. We could have actually seen Jesus and focused upon him and worshipped. Bowing down to a man, which is what the Apostles did, is the height of blasphemy to the Jew who are iconclasts. As Christias, we have come to udnerstand that God is both physical and spiritual and has given us an object of worship, Jesus Christ, as a tangible and visable focal point. As a result, there is nothing wrong with continuing having icons thereafter.

Among Christians, the iconoclastic debate was heard and resolved over 1200 years ago. The resolution was that icons are perfectly acceptable as tools of Christian worship.

seamus414
Jun 27th 2008, 12:26 PM
If you don't worship the Lord daily in more ways than singing its a concert. Maybe I shouldn't have used that word but I'm kidding myself and you are yours if you believe that people aren't entertained by it. Praise the Lord if its not that way in your life. Not every person is worshiping on Sunday morning. Although there certainly are those who are.


A concert is a performance and worship is not a performance. The suggestion that it is a performance is rather humanistic. Worship should also include more than just singing: it should regularly include prayer (corporate and personal), confession of sin, affirmation of one's faith, alms giving, hearing reading and expounding of Scriptrure, and the Breaking of Bread.

I can tell you that the people in my church are not "entertained" by the worship, and nor do they go to be entertained and nor should they be. The worship is not for them it is for God and God alone. Taking "entertainment" into consideration when arranging and planning a worship service is simply wrong headed.

If worship is indeed a concert, then God should only get the every best music that we have to offer as anything less is substandard and God does not deserve that. Therefore, worship "concert" should consist of classical music and not the typical 3-chorded "praise songs" with a banal refrain repeated ad infinitim. Right?

eliyahu137
Jun 27th 2008, 12:54 PM
I have the book and many others by Frank Viola. Although there are things in the book that are vitally needed to be considered by the church today, there are too many disturbing things in the book for me to recommend it. I have witnessed the book's possible negative effects on people I know, since its publication.

There is more to the story of the origin of church practices than the book lets on. It sounds so believable. But it is misinformed on many fronts. It ends up leaving the reader with a powerful call to leave "organized Christianity" without telling the reader where excactly to go (unless you somehow contact Frank and join one of his own house churches).

It also, in all honesty, does have a bitter and disgruntled tone to it often. The Holy Spirit feels niether way. Frank comes across as a prophet in the wilderness. We need to carefully judge his words for ourselves.

The book weaves a subtle form of "replacement theology" throughout its pages. It suggests that the whole purpose of the church's existance is an end in and of itself. Israel is not a part of the equation, nor is a future reign of Christ from Jersalem taken into account. Frank is apparently amillennial- the twin sibling of replacement theology. Therefore, having the "perfect" church (in Frank's understanding) is the fullest purpose of the gospel aside from going to heaven when you die.

His definition of what is an "apostle" is lacking and unbalanced, in my view. He demotes the definition of "apostle" to nothing more than and "itinerant church worker" who gets people saved and discipled and then moves on or he is no longer an apostle. That just falls way short of the New Testament's example of the formation, lifestyle, and burden of a true apostle as exemplified by Paul in Acts and the epistles. His definitions of the five-fold gift ministries seem too matter-of-fact and lacking trepidation before God, in my view.

His teachings about corporate musical worship are highly questionable, and very constrictive. In short, he comes across like he is taking God out of the box, but he is also putting him in another one!

I know that some of the book's Greek word translation is incorrect. A Lexicon would reveal this. That should give us cause to take the book very carefully.

The book basically condemns "organized church" Christianity altogether, and that rather harshly. It presents things as though God is almost completely not in those churches and that they are basically pagan. He writes as though God's priority is to dismantel those churches. Really, most of those church practices are not "Christianized" pagan god worship. There is much more to the story about this than his book reveals. There is a lot of culture that the church has developed, to be sure. There are both good practices and, at times, unproductive or counterproductive traditions of many churches today. But to blanketly label those things as all carnal and pagan is going too far.

I praise the book for calling us back to real fellowship and a more organic Spirit sensative environment. I agree with questioning the ways we go about having church today. I agree with the need for allowing every member to freely function in the body without red tape and overly ridgid church hierarchy to control everything for power's sake. I agree with freedom in the believers' giving traditions and teachings- and not "the law of the tithe" mess http://www.christiandiscussionforums.org/v/images/smilies/wink.gif.

So there are good things and bad things in the book. I can't recommend it to most people because of the destructive potentials I read in it and have seen at work in a number of lives of some friends of mine. God has called us to love and receive one another, no matter what traditions we practice or what things we believe. As long as someone has the real Jesus in their life as their Lord, there is one body. I myself helped found the house church here I have been in for the past 6 years, from scratch. I am no stranger to these things, as a teacher in this local body. All of these things are wrestled through by most people outside of "organized church" or in any sort of house church.

mikebr
Jun 27th 2008, 01:02 PM
A concert is a performance and worship is not a performance. The suggestion that it is a performance is rather humanistic. Worship should also include more than just singing: it should regularly include prayer (corporate and personal), confession of sin, affirmation of one's faith, alms giving, hearing reading and expounding of Scriptrure, and the Breaking of Bread.

I can tell you that the people in my church are not "entertained" by the worship, and nor do they go to be entertained and nor should they be. The worship is not for them it is for God and God alone. Taking "entertainment" into consideration when arranging and planning a worship service is simply wrong headed.

If worship is indeed a concert, then God should only get the every best music that we have to offer as anything less is substandard and God does not deserve that. Therefore, worship "concert" should consist of classical music and not the typical 3-chorded "praise songs" with a banal refrain repeated ad infinitim. Right?

Simply because we like or dislike certain forms of music may be telling us that it either entertains or not.

I agree with most of your post. I believe that entertainment is determined by the listener and not the person who is singing. I can worship with all my heart as an individual who sings and it be entertainment to the congregation or portions of the congregation.

markedward
Jul 1st 2008, 03:47 AM
There are also very few verses that show any of them worshipping at all. The inclusion of such a detail was probably not seen as necessary by the Biblical Authors. Besides, that the detail is not included does not mean it was absent or is an incorrect detail. Further, the earliest of Christians used images (there are many images on the walls of the catacombs, for example).One; you're using the "it doesn't say they didn't" argument. I respectfully disagree, with the use of Occam's Razor. The simplest reason for why the Bible never mentions them using a "focal point" for their worship is... probably because they didn't?

Two; just because early Christians had images doesn't mean they directed their worship at them. You're throwing in an unnecessary correlation. I see no problem with having a drawing or statue of Jesus; but just because ancient Christians had these does not mean they directed their worship at said objects, and if they did it does not mean it was okay to do.


No you are missing an important distinction. He, or me for that matter as I am not an iconoclast, do not worship the image itself. We understand the image is just that, an image. If God were opposed to this sort of thing he would not have authorized the looking at the image of the bronze serpant or the reverancing the Ark of the Covenant (which included the image of angels). Your suggestion that this is contrary to the Bible misses the point of the Bible: God is trying to discourage idolotry. An image in a church is not idolotry.God never told the people to focus their worship at the bronze serpent. All He said was to look at the bronze serpent and they would be healed. Again, God expressly forbade people to direct their worship at objects. As with the images above, you're distorting what actually happened with the bronze serpent. The Bible does not say that they used the bronze serpent as a "tangible focal worship point." It says they looked at it and were healed by looking at it. Period. No directing of worship at the serpent involved. Having the artwork of "Jesus" (the statue) or a cross in a church is not idolatry in itself. Directing worship at the object is.


Your position is rather gnostic as it advances the spiritual as preferred whilst degrading the physical as somehow evil. Humans are *both* spiritual and physical and ought to enage in worship that uses both.Yes, Gnostics pretty much condemned the physical world; I'm not doing that. Here, you've actually twisted what I'm saying. I never said the physical world was evil. Don't you even try to put words in my mouth. I never even said images were bad. I said directing worship at images was bad.

You call me Gnostic because I direct my worship our God instead of a dead object?


You seem to miss the biggest irony here. Jesus, himself, is an icon. ONe of the biggest objections made by the Jews (down to this day) is that God cannot be a man. God made himself into a man - an image to worship. We could have actually seen Jesus and focused upon him and worshipped. Bowing down to a man, which is what the Apostles did, is the height of blasphemy to the Jew who are iconclasts. As Christias, we have come to udnerstand that God is both physical and spiritual and has given us an object of worship, Jesus Christ, as a tangible and visable focal point. As a result, there is nothing wrong with continuing having icons thereafter.Jesus Christ is God. It was not wrong for the apostles to bow down to Jesus and direct their worship at Him, because they were directing their worship at God.

Father in heaven; God.
Jesus in heaven; God.
Jesus on earth; still God.
Holy Spirit all around; God.
Man-made statue; not God.

apothanein kerdos
Jul 1st 2008, 03:51 AM
If you have grown up a human being then you do something at least everyday that came from a pagan practice. Anytime you say a day of the week (unless Hebrew) it came from a pagan practice. Anytime you say a month. Anytime you give the year. Anytime you give the date. Anytime you eat non-Kosher food. Anytime you speak the English language. In all instance, you are relying on something that came from paganism.

My question to all of this is - how does any of it affect our theology? The problem with paganism is when it begins to affect your understanding of the world or of God. Sitting on the pew, having a stained glass window, or anything of this nature does not necessarily affect our view of God. In light of this, these practices are quite fine.

Athanasius
Jul 1st 2008, 03:55 AM
Oh wait, you mean eating food dedicated to idols isn't a sin?:rolleyes:

apothanein kerdos
Jul 1st 2008, 04:26 AM
Oh wait, you mean eating food dedicated to idols isn't a sin?:rolleyes:

Not according to Paul. At that point it becomes a matter of conscience.