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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Call for "One Anothering"

Whychurchesdie_2 As many of you know, we are getting ready to cut our teeth on our first ever blog book study together.  We're actually going to start next week... it will be a study on the book "Why Churches Die:  Diagnosing Lethal Poisons in the Body of Christ" by Mac Brunson & Ergun Caner.  To get us started in a little pre-study (and to give us some things to think about) read this from Mac and Ergun:

Is it unrealistic to desire to want church to be a place of spiritual edification?  Not according to the biblical record.  Throughout the New Testament, the biblical authors call local churches to specific action.  One of the most enlightening studies is to examine the biblical teachings concerning our responsibilities to "one another."  Notice we are called to:

1.  Be in agreement with one another.
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.  --Romans 12:10

2.  Pursue that which builds up one another.
Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way.  --Romans 14:13

3.  Accept one another.
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus... Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God... I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another.  --Romans 15:5, 7, 14

4.  Show courtesy to one another.
So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for each other.  --I Corinthians 11:33

5.  Carry one another's burdens.
Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.  --Galatians 6:2

6.  Tolerate one another.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  --Ephesians 4:2

7.  Forgive one another.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  --Ephesians 4:32;

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  --Colossians 3:13

8.  Submit to one another.
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  --Ephesians 5:21

Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,  "God opposes the proud  but gives grace to the humble.  --I Peter 5:5

9.  Admonish one another in wisdom.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.  --Colossians 3:16

10.  Comfort one another.
Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other... Therefore encourage each other with these words... Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing...  Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.   --I Thessalonians 4:9, 18; 5:11,15

11.  Promote love and good works in one another.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  --Hebrews 10:24

12.  Love one another.
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.  --I Peter 1:22

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. --I Peter 4:8-9;

This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. --I John 3:11

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. --I John 4:7

FOR DISCUSSION:  Any thoughts on this list?  Which on this list do you see as the biggest problem in your local church?  (or even on this blog)?

Also, if you'd like to read the book along with all of us starting next week, please think about ordering a copy (it's around ten bucks at Amazon) and joining us.  If you plan on joining us, please add your name and let us know by posting your comment below on this thread.  I'm really looking forward to this!

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July 20, 2005 in Leadership Issues, SPECIAL: Why Churches Die | Permalink

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Comments

I have ordered the book and I am anxiously looking foward to this.

Posted by: Brian Schuler | Jul 20, 2005 9:34:16 AM

Wish I could join you on this one but I can't fit it in at this time.

I have a heart for the unity of the body and have witnessed that unity can exist even when there are tares among the wheat. God's power truly is poured out on a body that fights for his glory.

I trust that it is God's glory that this author anchors all of the principles outlined on the pages of this book.

Maybe I can fit in the next "Todd" book of the month. I'll be praying that God will be known by all in a greater way.

Press on, keep pressing on to know God. Hosea

Posted by: pmn | Jul 20, 2005 12:01:42 PM

Funny how this is all so elementary, as far as Christ's teachings go, yet the Church has a problem with it. The church wants to argue dogma, like eschatology, yet doesn't know the BASICS, as far as loving one another as Christ loved us, and the fruit of the Spirit. I guess it's the Pharisee in us:

Matthew 23:23
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

John 13:35
By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

...Bernie
http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/247/

Posted by: bernie dehler | Jul 20, 2005 12:25:37 PM

9. Admonish one another in wisdom.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. --Colossians 3:16

I would have to say #9 is the biggest issue I've experienced. Todd is right, some times the way I say things cause the admonishing to be rejected but that is not the case most times (especially face-to-face). I think this is more pride than anything. Many feel they don't need to be corrected or reproofed in any way (I know sometimes I fall into this too). What's really hurtful is when Christians confuse "judging" with admonishment and say things like "we shouldn't judge one another" and accuse me of not loving the Believer. It IS Love for the Believer and The Body of Christ that I engage in all the discussions that I do. I just need to learn how to say it better, clearer and gently.

3. Accept one another.
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus... Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God... I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another. --Romans 15:5, 7, 14

This is my biggest issue in me sometimes and usually because I'm frustrated at the lack of Scriptural knowledge or understanding but in the end, it's not the person I'm frustrated with, it's God and I'm sinning against Him in this frustration. I need to remember to allow God to use the Seed of the Word even with Believers. I must remember the that not all are able to receive it (1 Cor 3).

Posted by: BeHim | Jul 20, 2005 7:57:00 PM

One of the great problems that I have seen in my years as a believer (37+) and I'm only 43--having grown up in the church--we have started treating God's Church as a corporation, instead of the "Body." We parishioners are expecting CEOs, but really yearning for shepherds.

All of the "one another" statements are vitally important.

These are vital outside the four walls as much as they are inside them.

Maybe even more so.

Posted by: Phil Hoover-Chicago | Oct 26, 2005 11:06:55 AM

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