CHURCH  TRUTH   -  Bible Counsel  -  Section C    
 
 

CHRISTIAN  EXPERIENCE

 There seems to be three great spheres of Christian experience:  Redemption Way,  Church Truth, &
Spiritual Life  (John 14:6).  Most believers can ap-preciate redemption way and spiritual growth, but church truth seems to be much neglected.  We need to value "unity of the faith" and take "all the counsel of God" (Acts 20:27).
It is not required by God to be gathered in a scriptural assembly, but there is and will be blessing for saints to meet on that ground and  be part of a collective testimony worldwide, as God intended for His church, and by His revival of 1827 AD.  Faithful readers here can gain some understanding of such fellowship, and may desire to be associated to also express the "one body in Christ", embrace "all the counsel of God", and show forth "unity of the faith" by the "Word of Truth".  There is no such thing in the Bible as going to "the church of your choice", as many believers say.   Write to the Site Manager for further understanding and to find a Scriptural fellowship.
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CHURCH TRUTH  is about faithful compliance and conformity to what God intended in Acts 2: 41- 42 at the beginning of the church, and then the Epistles.  It speaks of obeying and honoring God collectively without innovations. One who is saved (Jn.3: 16) ought to follow the Word (see Jn.14:23-24; Jn.17:17; Titus 1:9; Phil. 2:2);  including baptism, the gathering locally, the collective testimony in the world; and obedience to the Word, a Godly walk, the Lord's glory and honor, etc.  A local gathering in accord with Scripture may be near to one to visit, if interested.

From time to time papers will be set forth here and on the Feature Pages herein, concerning various aspects of this truth.  We ought to love all saints everywhere and be a help, even if we cannot walk with all (Amos 3:3).    - RLD
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NOTE: When we speak of a scriptural assembly we need to be prepared to show what it is biblically, and what it is not by the innovations of men. This writer feels free to invite inquiry on each issue or order of Scripture ---and distinguish between what men have invented (and often prefer), and what some of us are holding as true to God's Word and that recovery of 1827 AD. One might disagree, and that is a choice, but Scripture is quite plain as to what God has intended for His testimony in the world. One can write for help herein to find such a fellowship.
 - RLD 08/15
Thoughts On Assembly Balance
Some thoughts shared to consider for personal help and peace and the good of God's testimony. --R. L. DeWitt 

A QUESTION HEARD: What should a person do when "legalistic and rigid thinking" is heard in a Christian assembly? 

RESPONSE: A saint needs to be sure of the truth of their feeling and under-standings, and speaking with some elders there might help one sort out their thoughts. When any assembly, otherwise gathered scripturally as Bible-only and in accord with God's testimony universal in the world, seems to be unbalanced we will likely see trouble. The matter of balance is even true in our personal lives, and we much need grace. EXTREMES ARE NOT GOOD, so proving all things by holy Scripture is important ---which does not mean finding verses to prove one's view, but comparing "all the counsel of God" and "rightly dividing the Word of Truth".

  As an assembly grows in size the so-called LOOSE and the LEGAL brethren (those viewed as thinking in extremes), may find others to support their views, which often leads to conflicts and trouble and sadly even division of an Assembly. Let us hope and pray there are well-balanced and godly moderates who know Scripture well, and will address the extreme views with much prayer, courage, wisdom, grace; and others will consider it too in humility. We need to help our brothers and sisters in Christ see what is truly Scriptural, the mind of God, and then of what is much of personal views. Individual saints need not always be confronted, unless many saints support the concerns.  
It is not sufficient to say one is TIGHT or LOOSE, for specific issues ought to be addressed and resolved in a Godly spirit. The thought should not be to change one to our own views, but that all saints learn scriptural balance (“all the counsel of God”), not criticize, but allow conscience, and seek the good of all while holding essential truth. There is no perfection among any saints, but harming God's testimony, disregarding holiness, and stumbling the saints is a serious matter before God. Local saints of the Bible-only fellowship in a community need to be mindful of extremes and speak to one privately at first, if one perceives serious matters. The good of the local assembly gathered scripturally is paramount. 

If the behavior or ministry from certain ones continues over a time to be divisive in spirit, and seemingly misapplying the scriptures, it ought to first be discussed with such a one by the elders, and perhaps then in a brother's Care Meeting by all brothers if not resolved ---somewhat similar to Matt. 18: 15.  Many brothers will say: "I am just following the Word of God". There would likely be no problem if that were true. It is a WRONG SPIRIT toward the saints and before God that causes most assembly prob-lems, and God speaks much against this. One may insist he is right, but he needs to be careful he is not "righteous overmuch"
(Eccl.7:16). Pressing our own conscience on others (that is beyond clear Scripture requirment) is sin broadly speaking (Rom.14), whether it is a loose or legal conscience.  

In the brother's Care (business) meeting there might need to be a humble and Godly discussion of the matter with much prayer if personal discussions fail, and all should be reminded the "unity of the Spirit" is essential. Hopefully, a discussion can settle things without bringing it before the whole assembly. If some brothers are silent and yield wholly to the more vocal ones, they are giving assent to them. If only one or two brothers are speaking on one side of the issue, and many more are speaking contrary, all should realize that majority opinion in the things of God does NOT ALWAYS mean it is right. The minority in the assembly ought to be prayerfully considered. God will not hold a haughty spirit guiltless. There is such a thing as "winning the battle and losing the war", as one has remarked (getting our own way, and bringing down ruin overall). Having our own way presently may bring deep regrets in a day to come. We surely would not want to be found fighting against God and His testimony in love and truth.

This does not allow that the assembly should be paralyzed because a few brothers will not yield. The whole assembly may need to come together in prayer for unity, and the overseers in the gathering should ultimately conclude the matter when there is not unanimity. 

QUESTION: If one cannot bear up under the criticism or judgment they feel, what should he or she do ---leave?

RESPONSE: They should not leave, for the scriptural assembly is God's testimony (if it was properly established in the godly way with all other gatherings of that mind in this universal fellowship, just as surely as the Tabernacle in the wilderness. Israel could not go off and start something new when displeased. It is God's place of appointment, and He places the "candlestick testimony". It is His assembly until He very clearly shows His mind otherwise to the biblical universal fellowship worldwide. There is "one body" testimony, which we need to maintain; and an assembly that refuses to judge evil should be corrected by the other assemblies if possible ---which means the extremes which is unacceptable by God.  

One might see the papers on Discord and Government in the CHRISTIAN COUNSEL COLLECTION at the Bibleconsel.net Internet site. We surely do not need more sects formed, which divides the expression of the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:25).  God disdains the sectarian spirit ---both legal and loose. When one leaves, he is not leaving a few brothers he disagrees with, but God's assembly. This, of course, understands that it was established by God by His Word, not as a sect of men from some division group.

Often the one who feels persecuted has not been willing to be still and trust God to put things right, nor is seeking help from shepherds among the saints which is very important. The feeling of persecution comes mostly from persisting to press or hold some contrary views and disrupting the assembly. If one cannot find the assembly in support of their views, then they need to hold their peace, wait upon God, and be faithful ---not trouble or divide the assembly. We must remember a scriptural assembly is God's testimony, and He will preserve it. We need to be yielded to God and His government.  
 - RLD: Cd-L; 03/03; add 08/19.