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Fellowship 31 October 2009. Fellowship The challenges to fellowship.

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Presentation on theme: "Fellowship 31 October 2009. Fellowship The challenges to fellowship."— Presentation transcript:

1 Fellowship 31 October 2009

2 Fellowship The challenges to fellowship

3 Fellowship The challenges to fellowship Things that can prevent us sharing together What to do when fellowship breaks down

4 Fellowship Fellowship can break down

5 Fellowship Fellowship can break down

6 Fellowship Fellowship can break down

7 Fellowship Fellowship can break down

8 Fellowship “Fellowship” is a scriptural term, as we have seen

9 Fellowship But “disfellowship” (despite Google linking it strongly with Jehovah’s Witness and Christadelphian websites) is not a scriptural term A more scriptural idea is “withdrawal”

10 Remember that the “binary” fellowship model Fellowship Remember that the “binary” fellowship model is wrong… …fellowship is something which you can have to various degrees Χ

11 Fellowship There are various degrees of withdrawal too Whereof comes envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw yourself. 1 Tim 6:5 KJV

12 Fellowship There are various degrees of withdrawal too Whereof comes envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw yourself. 1 Tim 6:5 KJV “withdraw yourself” here is a poor translation

13 Fellowship There are various degrees of withdrawal too From these come envy, dissension, slander, base suspicions, and wrangling among those who are depraved in mind and bereft of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. 1 Tim 6:5 NRSV

14 Fellowship There are various degrees of withdrawal too keep away from believers who are living in idleness 2 Thess 3:6    stand aloof Don’t be idle with them

15 Fellowship There are various degrees of withdrawal too Rom 16:17 keep an eye on those who cause dissensions and offenses, in opposition to the teaching that you have learned; avoid them.    stay away from Don’t join in their schemes and schisms

16 Fellowship There are various degrees of withdrawal too Titus 3:10 After a first and second admonition, have nothing more to do with anyone who causes divisions    decline/refuse Warn him once, warn him twice, after that don’t entertain his accusations.

17 Fellowship There are various degrees of withdrawal too 2 Thess 3:14 Take note of those who do not obey what we say in this letter; have nothing to do with them, so that they may be ashamed. Do not regard them as enemies, but warn them as brethren.    don’t mingle/tangle with

18 Fellowship There are various degrees of withdrawal too 1 Cor 5:11 I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother or sister who is sexually immoral or greedy, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber. Do not even eat with such a one.    don’t mingle/tangle with

19 Fellowship There are various degrees of withdrawal too 1 Cor 5:5 hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. This is the ultimate sanction! You could hardly be more severe than this on any scale of withdrawal!

20 Fellowship 2 John 9-10 whoever abides in this teaching has both the Father and the Son. Do not receive into your house or welcome anyone who comes to you and does not bring this teaching.   take,  welcome There are various degrees of withdrawal too

21 Fellowship 3 John 9-10 I wrote to the congregation, but Diotrephes, who enjoys taking the lead, will have nothing to do with us. So when I come, I will draw attention to the things he is doing: he lays nonsensical and spiteful charges against us; not content with that, he refuses to receive fellow Christians himself, he prevents others who would receive them, and expels them from the congregation. There are various degrees of withdrawal too

22 Fellowship 2 Thess 3:14 Do not regard them as enemies, but warn them as brethren. 1 Cor 5:11 I am writing to you not to associate with anyone called a brother who is... do not even eat with such a one. AS BRETHREN NOT AS BRETHREN Note the distinction

23 Fellowship Rom 16:17 Keep an eye on those who cause dissensions and offenses, …avoid them. Titus 3:10 Have nothing more to do with someone who causes divisions From these come envy, dissension, slander, base suspicions, and wrangling 1 Tim 6:5

24 Fellowship What challenges fellowship? Immoral behaviour – open sin False doctrine – wrong teaching Disagreements - dissension and strife

25 Fellowship Immoral behaviour - Open sin It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not found even among pagans; for a man is living with his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Should you not rather have mourned, so that he who has done this would have been removed from among you? For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present I have already pronounced judgment in the name of the Lord Jesus on the man who has done such a thing. When you are assembled, and my spirit is present with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. Your boasting is not a good thing. 1 Cor 5:1-6

26 Fellowship Immoral behaviour - Open sin I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with immoral persons— not at all meaning the immoral of this world, or the greedy and robbers, or idolaters, since you would then need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother or sister who is sexually immoral or greedy, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber. Do not even eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging those outside? Is it not those who are inside that you are to judge? God will judge those outside. “Drive out the wicked person from among you.” 1 Cor 5:9-13

27 Fellowship Immoral behaviour - Open sin I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with immoral persons— not at all meaning the immoral of this world, or the greedy and robbers, or idolaters, since you would then need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother or sister who is sexually immoral or greedy, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber. Do not even eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging those outside? Is it not those who are inside that you are to judge? God will judge those outside. “Drive out the wicked person from among you.” 1 Cor 5:9-13

28 Fellowship Immoral behaviour - Open sin “Drive out the wickedness from among you.” 1 Cor 5:13 If there is found among you, in one of your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, a man or woman who does what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, and transgresses his covenant… …and you make a thorough inquiry, and the charge is proved true that such an abhorrent thing has occurred in Israel, then you shall bring out to your gates that man or that woman who has committed this crime and you shall stone the man or woman to death. On the evidence of two or three witnesses the death sentence shall be executed; a person must not be put to death on the evidence of only one witness. The hands of the witnesses shall be the first raised against the person to execute the death penalty, and afterward the hands of all the people. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. Deut 17:2-7

29 Fellowship Immoral behaviour - Open sin “Drive out the wickedness from among you.” 1 Cor 5:13 If there is found among you, in one of your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, a man or woman who does what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, and transgresses his covenant… …and you make a thorough inquiry, and the charge is proved true that such an abhorrent thing has occurred in Israel, then you shall bring out to your gates that man or that woman who has committed this crime and you shall stone the man or woman to death. On the evidence of two or three witnesses the death sentence shall be executed; a person must not be put to death on the evidence of only one witness. The hands of the witnesses shall be the first raised against the person to execute the death penalty, and afterward the hands of all the people. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. Deut 17:2-7

30 Fellowship Immoral behaviour - Open sin “Drive out the wickedness from among you.” 1 Cor 5:13 So you shall purge the evil from your midst. Deut 17:7 Deut 19:19 Deut 21:21 Deut 22:21-24 Deut 24:7 serving other gods perjury stubborn, rebellious, drunkard son harlotry, adultery, rape kidnap, trading in persons

31 Fellowship OT precedent: execution, destruction Immoral behaviour - Open sin Yet Paul’s purpose is both destructive and redemptive: 1 Cor 5:5 hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. This punishment by the majority is enough for such a person; so now instead you should forgive and console him, so that he may not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I urge you to reaffirm your love for him. 2 Cor 2:6-8

32 Fellowship Immoral behaviour - Open sin Withdrawal from the table appears appropriate for: Open unrepented sin, as per Paul’s vice list (1 Cor 5:11), especially if it is actually leading others astray Lesser degrees of withdrawal appear appropriate for: Repented sin Minor issues Sin which is not “contagious” As for those who are sinning, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest also may stand in fear (1 Tim 5:20).

33 Fellowship Disagreements - dissension and strife Romans 16:17 watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. 1 Corinthians 1:10-11 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. 1 Corinthians 3:1-4 But I, brothers could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. … for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human?

34 Fellowship Disagreements - dissension and strife 1 Corinthians 11:18-19 For, in the first place, when you come together as an ecclesia, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, for factions among you are inevitable in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. Titus 3:10 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him Galatians 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions James 4:1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? Jude 1:19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.

35 Fellowship Disagreements - dissension and strife

36 Fellowship Disagreements - dissension and strife

37 Fellowship Disagreements - dissension and strife

38 Fellowship Disagreements - dissension and strife

39 Fellowship Disagreements - dissension and strife

40 Fellowship Disagreements - dissension and strife

41 Fellowship Disagreements - dissension and strife

42 Fellowship

43

44

45

46 Fellowship blocs form

47 Fellowship Fellowship blocs form

48 Fellowship Fellowship choices

49 Fellowship If blocs form, they need to decide what to do about those who “sit on the fence” Fellowship choices Do they fellowship “exclusively” ? Or do they fellowship “inclusively” ? Or is there another way ?

50 Fellowship Fellowship choices Exclusive fellowship Traditionally the position among Christadelphians associated with “Bereans”, “Dawn”, “Old Paths”, “Lightstand”, etc., and all minority (schismatic) fellowship groups Also the position adopted by many “Amended” Christadelphians in North America “He that is not for us is against us”

51 Fellowship Exclusive fellowship

52 Fellowship Exclusive fellowship – “daisy chain”

53 Fellowship Exclusive fellowship – “daisy chain”

54 Fellowship If both sides’ approach is exclusive then everything remains nice, clean, and simple

55 Fellowship If both sides’ approach is exclusive then everything remains nice, clean, and simple… and broken

56 Fellowship Unfortunately reality is not so simple

57 Fellowship

58 Fellowship choices Inclusive fellowship Traditionally the position associated with “Suffolk Street” Also the position adopted by moderate “Unamended” Christadelphians in North America Practised by the “Central” fellowship in many parts of the world since 1957 “He that is not against us is for us”

59 Fellowship Inclusive fellowship

60 Fellowship Exclusive or Inclusive fellowship? pushes those “on the fence” awaypulls those “on the fence” back ExclusiveInclusive

61 Fellowship New Testament Fellowship Principles The NT doctrinal litmus test i.e. the difference between Christ and Antichrist The NT basis of fellowship is baptism i.e. if you recognise someone’s baptism you should break bread with them The NT targets bad teachers not the badly taught i.e. there is a higher standard for the platform than the table

62 Fellowship Doctrine     doctrine, teaching False doctrine  false teachers  apt to teach  taught  Master, teacher  teach 2 Pet 2:1

63 Fellowship Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. James 3:1 Doctrine = Teaching it is inconsistent with the NT for someone who is not a teacher to have “false doctrine”

64 Fellowship New Testament vs. Christadelphian History Guilt by association guilt by dis-association, “hireling” “Strengthen the things that remain” by leaving and remaining separate “Strengthen the things that remain” by remaining e.g. in Sardis Disfellowship whole ecclesias: herding the sheep towards the wolf Paul only disfellowships targeted individuals: Alexander over to Satan All brethren able to teach. Therefore all judged as teachers Only a few teach. Teachers may be “gagged” and still break bread 1. std. for platform = std. for bread 2. separate standard for baptism 1. higher standard for platform 2. std. for baptism = std. for bread The test for In-Christ[adelphian] or Anti-Christ[adelphian] is any detail, no matter how small, of BASF etc. The test for In-Christ or Anti-christ is denying that Christ came in the flesh (“another Jesus”) Christadelphian traditionN.T. teaching

65 Fellowship Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “no idol in the world really exists,” and that “there is no God but one.” Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as in fact there are many gods and many lords— yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. It is not everyone, however, who has this knowledge. Since some have become so accustomed to idols until now, they still think of the food they eat as food offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. 1 Cor 8:4-7 Paul’s platform-ban list for teachers is not the same as John’s list for being “in Christ” See also Phlp 3:15Jude 22 and

66 Fellowship In fact Paul appears to have been prepared to break bread with brothers and sisters who were uncertain or confused about: who will be raised how we will be raised the timing of the resurrection(s) marriage and divorce the devil the holy spirit prophecy marriage out of the Lord..but he wouldn’t let them teach it.

67 Fellowship We are not expected or required to act as thought police

68 Fellowship We are not expected or required to act as thought police Basically, what goes on in here is none of our business

69 Fellowship We are not expected or required to act as thought police Qwerty uiop asdfg hjkl zxcv bnm qgsty jhussg lhhors u ytrjc xu poyij lancando But what is taught here is very much our business

70 Fellowship Qwerty uiop asdfg hjkl zxcv bnm qgsty jhussg lhhors u ytrjc xu poyij lancando

71 Fellowship Qwerty uiop asdfg hjkl zxcv bnm qgsty jhussg lhhors u ytrjc xu poyij lancando

72 Fellowship Galatia who prevented you from obeying the truth another gospel… perverting the gospel of Christ these agitators... who unsettle you Qwerty uiop asdfg hjkl zxcv bnm qgsty jhussg lhhors u ytrjc xu poyij lancando

73 Fellowship Corinth how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? not everyone, however, has this knowledge [ that idols are not real ] someone [ “these super-apostles” ] comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed Qwerty uiop asdfg hjkl zxcv bnm qgsty jhussg lhhors u ytrjc xu poyij lancando

74 Fellowship Crete – Titus there are many, especially among Jewish converts, who are undisciplined and lead others astray with their wild talk those who contradict sound teaching Qwerty uiop asdfg hjkl zxcv bnm qgsty jhussg lhhors u ytrjc xu poyij lancando

75 Fellowship Ephesus – Timothy teachers of the law, although they do not understand what they say or the subjects about which they are so dogmatic teaching erroneous doctrines Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth by claiming that the resurrection has already taken place, undermining people’s faith Qwerty uiop asdfg hjkl zxcv bnm qgsty jhussg lhhors u ytrjc xu poyij lancando

76 Fellowship Galatia who prevented you from obeying the truth another gospel… perverting the gospel of Christ these agitators... who unsettle you Qwerty uiop asdfg hjkl zxcv bnm qgsty jhussg lhhors u ytrjc xu poyij lancando My little children, for whom I am labouring until Christ is formed in you, I wish I could be with you now Gal 4:19 I warned you in the past, and now I warn you again, if anyone preaches a gospel contrary to what you received, let him be banned! Gal 1:9 these agitators who unsettle you must bear God's judgment Gal 5:10,12

77 Fellowship Corinth how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? not everyone, however, has this knowledge [ that idols are not real ] someone [ “these super-apostles” ] comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed Qwerty uiop asdfg hjkl zxcv bnm qgsty jhussg lhhors u ytrjc xu poyij lancando you must acknowledge that what I am writing to you is a command of the Lord. Anyone who ignores this is to be ignored. 1 Cor 14:38 And I do what I will continue to do, in order to deny an opportunity to those [sham apostles, v13] who want an opportunity to put their apostleship on the same level as ours 2 Cor 11:12

78 Fellowship Crete – Titus there are many, especially among Jewish converts, who are undisciplined and lead others astray with their wild talk those who contradict sound teaching Qwerty uiop asdfg hjkl zxcv bnm qgsty jhussg lhhors u ytrjc xu poyij lancando such men must be muzzled / silenced Titus 1:11 He must have a firm grasp of true doctrine, so that he may be able both to preach with sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict it. Titus 1:9

79 Fellowship Ephesus – Timothy teachers of the law, although they do not understand what they say or the subjects about which they are so dogmatic teaching erroneous doctrines Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth by claiming that the resurrection has already taken place, undermining people’s faith Qwerty uiop asdfg hjkl zxcv bnm qgsty jhussg lhhors u ytrjc xu poyij lancando certain persons have suffered shipwreck in the faith; among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have turned over to Satan, in the hope that through this discipline they may learn not to blaspheme. 1 Tim 1:19-20

80 Fellowship Ephesus – Timothy teachers of the law, although they do not understand what they say or the subjects about which they are so dogmatic teaching erroneous doctrines Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have swerved from the truth by claiming that the resurrection has already taken place, undermining people’s faith certain persons have suffered shipwreck in the faith; among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have turned over to Satan, in the hope that through this discipline they may learn not to blaspheme. 1 Tim 1:19-20 proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favourable or unfavourable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. 2 Tim 4:2 Qwerty uiop asdfg hjkl zxcv bnm qgsty jhussg lhhors u ytrjc xu poyij lancando remain in Ephesus so that you may instruct certain people not to teach any different doctrine 1 Tim 1:3

81 Fellowship Galatia: “another gospel” Crete (Titus): “contradicting sound doctrine” “wild talk” Corinth: “another Jesus” “no resurrection” Ephesus (Tim): “denying the resurrection” “shipwreck”

82 Alexander & Hymenaeus Fellowship Crete (Titus): “must be muzzled” Ephesus (Tim): “command not to teach” Galatia: “let him be banned” Corinth: “anyone who ignores this, is to be ignored”

83 Fellowship Crete Ephesus CorinthGalatia

84 Fellowship Church of God of the Abrahamic Faith Unamended Central Bereans Dawn Companion Fellowship (potential) Church of God (Atlanta Conference)

85 Fellowship Conclusions The NT teaches fellowship with faulty understanding (1 Cor 8:7) and doubt (Jude 22) The NT method of dealing with error is: –First follow Matt 18:15 to avoid hearsay –Remove from speaking/publishing if needed –If he or she refuses a gag, then disfellowship for the individual –But not disfellowship of whole ecclesias –Nor bloc-disfellowship of groups of ecclesias

86 Fellowship The End The faster you cut off the fringes, the quicker the cloth unravels…

87 The basi ( c ) s of fellowship The extent of fellowship The responsibilities of fellowship The challenges to fellowship Fellowship Refresher

88 Fellowship is about sharing, not about being separate. Fellowship is what you are doing, something you have (to various degrees). It isn’t a state you are in (or out of). Fellowship is about far more than the bread and the wine. Fellowship boundaries are personal; bloc-fellowship (and bloc-disfellowship) are not biblical concepts. Fellowship

89 Thanks for sharing your time today


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