Well I think your idea of all of us studying/reading a chapter together is the best thing I have seen on the entire net from the beginning. This book "The Pilgrim Church" should be a required reading for anyone who is a seeker. I have my copy, paid $27.99, and now we can view it free on line. Later today, after our 2 mile walk and Dutch Brothers coffee, I will add to the first chapter. Thanks!
I feel like I have been drinking watered down milk at my picnic table and IRB just came to the BBQ and threw a rack of brontosaurus ribs on our table.
Well if we are viewing chapter one this week, I have my first post from page Index 3 (page 27). Thanks again IRB, this is my first book club and on a most important view.
"The meetings (of the Church which is the people, not he building) being held in private houses, or in any rooms that could be obtained, or in the open air, no special buildings were required. This drawing of all the members into service (No clergy/laymen, all are priests) , this mobility and non-organized unity permitting variety which only emphasized the bond of a common life in Christ and indwelling of the same Holy Spirit, fitted the churches to survive persecution and to carry out the commission of bringing to the whole world the message of salvation".
Well IRB, we will see that later on, someone decided to change the original pattern of house Church to organized and to call the building the church instead of the people "being" the church. BIG MISTAKE, organized by the EE. The early Church had the funds to "feed the hungry and clothe the naked" but the steeple house systems needed those funds to pay for idols, buildings, lands, clergy gold chests, autos, mansions, and vacations. The systems have actually duped the people into believing that the system is the "storehouse" and that all funds belong to them. This is exactly like the wolf informing the chicken farmer that the chickens are his for the taking.
We repented long ago as we were also fooled by the steeple houses and we paid them their fiat. What is one to do today? Do things directly as the Lord opens your eyes to the needs before you. The needs are everywhere and that is where the funds should be going. See Matthew Chapter 25.
This is what is coming to mankind in the future and nothing will hold it back.
This is my first posting on TF metals. I have been watching and reading on the forums. I am so excited about the book club and will be very interested in following the posting of comments. And I will also be reading the pilgrim church. Thank you IRB and NW view and others for giving me the opportunity to learn from each of you.
Like Spartacus Rex, I had never noticed this forum thread. IRB thanks for bringing it to my attention! I did begin to read The Pilgrim Church last night, beginning with the preface and now just slightly into the first chapter. This book looks to be very fascinating and informative, to be sure. Personally, I will need more than a couple of days to read/digest per chapter. I would like a week, but whatever the case, I'll be reading it and following this forum. A book that combines the spiritual with the historical... I sure like the way it is starting!
IRB, this idea of yours is a great one, I am glad that others feel the same. A big THANKS to NW VIEW also for bringing the book to our attention and for all of his posts which I have read. Lemonade please!?!
NW View - You are too kind. Thank you for everything. I had thoughts on the very section you quoted when I read it in the book. But I'll wait until we get a few more involved here so my posts can be a reasonably sized and not out-sized part of this.
Stackaloha - you, Brother.
SWM - I am so happy to see your post! PLEASE post actively, and everyone else too! I want to be active, but not at the risk of dominating the discussion. So please POST. Everyone! But please, SWM, learn from NW View and others. I'm stumbling and bumbling here.
If my 'amateur parable' below is in any way inappropriate for anyone, just say and I will make it go boom with the delete button. I only tried it because I think it might clarify why much of the 'standard dialog' that brings in others didn't always speak to me.
There are many fish and many fishers of men. Like using a fly, or a popper lure, or even stinkbait, each is 'caught' differently. We've spoken about 'prosperity preachers' and for some the hook is 'praying hard enough for a new Cadillac'. I understand why it's frowned upon, but maybe that's the only hook that could get them near the boat without snapping the line, and maybe the plan is to just keep them close enough to 'net in' when they tire of struggling. Fishing requires patience, let us be patient with them. A different 'hook' is personal salvation, eternal peace and joy, and freedom from tribulation. I think that one gets you all the way into the boat, and it's one that I think brings in the most and best fish. And here's where I feel like a strange fish indeed. The 'hook' for me wasn't avoidance of tribulation. It WAS tribulation. From the outside, I sensed the same time coming that some of you do, a time when Christians are tormented for their faith. And that when it happens, it will be by a school of fish that I already considered my bitter enemy fish, and I see them eyeing you up. And, that your gentleness might not serve you well, but that from in the water I could bite them with my teeth. Eating me will make them choke on a bone and take a small bit of the fun out of eating the sweet, juicy fish. So I always lingered near the boat for that day. But it seems I've been hooked anyway. In the boat, I'm not even allowed to use the harpoon . But I did read something to the effect “Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to” use the harpoon . In the meantime, I guess I'm supposed concentrate on staying in the boat and picking up a rod like you nice people have. Don't let me fall out.
I hope I don't over-post here as time goes on, but hopefully you people won't mind me putting some reminders to myself of interesting things I find on side journey's I take from the book? I may not recall them later, also some you may find them interesting too?...
Chap 1 Page 3-4: Jews of the Diaspora led me to:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diaspora which led me to:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Septuagint and https://www.ecmarsh.com/lxx/ (English translation); and then:
Chap 1, page 6-7: https://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/1clement-lightfoot.html I read through 16 chapters and will hopefully come back to later?
page 7: Polycarp: https://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/131christians/martyrs/polycarp.html https://www.earlychristianwritings.com/polycarp.html
also: Irenaeus : https://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/2007/issue96/1.18.html
page 8: Origen: https://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/432455/Origen/5404/Influence main existing work(?): Hexapla: https://archive.org/stream/englishhexaplaex00schouoft#page/n9/mode/2up ................ see also Leonidas and Demetrius of Alexandria: https://orthodoxwiki.org/Demetrius_of_Alexandria
opposing view reasearch: Cyprian, bishop of Carthage: https://www.earlyafricanchristianity.com/research-resources/figures-texts/cyprian-of-carthage.html
now you see why this will take me more than 2 days, too fascinating! I will of course never find the time to go down all the side trips of research possible but it's nice to have some links readily available in any case.
If anyone has any comments, warning, or encouragement regarding side research they are most welcome!
I don’t wander out of my thread too often, I have checked in here from time to time as well as Foggy’s ‘sock’s’ forum and I agree,……….. great posts all…. thanks NW for keeping the light on here.
I will would like to join the conversation and I promise to take ‘my Jj hat off’ when I do speak , post, and visit here, as just ‘another pilgrim on the way to the celestial city’ to quote John Bunyan from ‘Pilgrims Progress’
I am no ‘Prophet’ yet I was given a burden, a burden that I have been tasked with, one I really don’t like, trust me, I really do have a Jeremiahan Spirit, I weep over what is coming, that few truly see, even in the 'church', and that burden will stay in the Zionism folder for what it’s worth, I promise, actually, this very much refreshing.
Glad to be here,
Blessings to all in Christ
Thank you for the encouragement to post.
I have started reading and find something very encouraging in chapter one, page 3,
"The practice of founding churches gave permanence to the work and as each church was taught from the first its direct dependence on the Holy Spirit and responsibility to Christ."
With so many voices the teaching of direct dependence on the Holy Spirit is freeing.
I like your parable of the fish and fisherman.
We see in Chapter number one, the statement "James, the Lord's brother". We also see in the N.T. that His family arriving>
"Then Jesus' mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone to call Him".(Mark 3:31) Now if one is raised in the RCC, this is fighting words. As the world would have seen it, these were his full brothers but really only half brothers from the mom's side. The Blood Line was divine. Do we really believe that Mary did not have any children and no relationship with her husband after the birth of Jesus? The scripture teaches otherwise.
The statement "As the Church was first formed in Jewish circles, the Jews were its first opponents". How true and again one must understand Acts 15 and also the modern day Judaizers. If one wants to come back under the law and the prophets, just fall into that old trap, many have.
Next: "Jewish religion affected the Church (the called out, saved ones), not only in the form of physical attack, but also, and more permanently, by bringing Christians under the law (into death and without the work of the Cross), and we hear Paul in the Epistle to the Galatians crying out against such retrogression: "a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ" (Gal. 2:16). Oh this is an important topic and it may be a good time for me to set off a bombshell:
The ten commandments, we know them, many see them as holy, court houses defend them, and the basic teaching of the law of God was within them. They were given to the Jewish Nation, out in the wilderness, placed in the Ark along with other items and placed in the temple, now destroyed. Today, we are a type of Ark, we are the temple, we are the housing of God, we are the Body, we are the Church, we carry this precious Gift in earthen vessels. The ten were not given to the gentile nations but we were given the Work of the Cross and the Gift of the finished Work of the Cross and we were delivered from the law. DELIVERED (shouting again). "For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing". Galatians 2:19-21.
So just exactly what pre-cross law do we want to live under and follow that will make Christs work on the Cross of no effect? One actually become "an enemy of the Cross by doing so". I realize that this is heavy material to post but someone must speak to these issues that have been damaged by the steeple house bible colleges.
Well, I feel like a man who is finally climbing out of a desert into an oasis.
I've driven by the junction of the Hazel and Thornton rivers in Virginia and seen a baptism taking place. They were down in the river.
Well are we reading, pondering, studying and seeking? YES!
There are so many topics in chapter one that I feel like a kid in the candy store:
was continued in later times. The first clear reference to the baptism
of infants is in a writing of Tertullian in 197, in which he condemns
the practice beginning to be introduced of baptising the dead and of
baptising infants. The way for this change, however, had been prepared
by teaching concerning baptism, which was divergent from that in the
New Testament; for early in the second century baptismal regeneration
was already being taught. This, together with the equally striking change
by which the remembrance of the Lord and His death (in the breaking
of bread and drinking of wine among His disciples) was changed into an
act miraculously performed, it was claimed, by a priest, intensified the
growing distinction between clergy and laity. The growth of a clerical
system under the domination of the bishops, who in turn were ruled
by “Metropolitans" controlling extensive territories, substituted a human
organisation and religious forms for the power and working of the Holy
We see here on page 8 a few thoughts. "The practice of baptizing believers on their confession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as taught and exemplified in the New Testament was continued in later times (And should only be now). The first clear reference of the baptism of infants is in the writings of Tertullian in AD 197. Well it took about 150 years to develop that new concept and it is still here today.
We also see that the clergy/layman division was gaining strength and they needed something to make the clergy look more heavenly than the common man so the mystery of the changing of the bread and wine into the Body of the Lord>>> BOOM, mission accomplished.
I like stories and tell of my many experiences. I have told this story before but it needs to be added to this post again:
My mom was married two times and had five kids in her first marriage. Then during WW2, she met dad and they were married and I came along as a baby boomer, the youngest of a total of seven. There is over 22 years difference in our ages.
Well one of those brothers is Don. I did not know very much about him, I had seen him a few times but he lived in Georgia and I in Wash. State plus he was just out of a different generation.
Well, about 3 years ago, Don called me. He said "Hi, this is your brother Don. I have always felt that we should spend some time together and we never have. I am 85 years old and cannot travel but I would like to see you some day. I have been going to a country church here in Georgia lately. The preachers want to be baptised but I told them that no man on earth would ever baptise me unless it was my brother (Yes NW)."
Well, I thought, I do not know much about Don and does not know much about me and this is an unusual conversation.
I said "Don, I did not know that you were a Christian". He said, "Oh no, I am not a Christian, I do not believe in God at all." I said, Don, are you telling me that these country preachers want to dunk you in the river and you are an atheist?" He said "Yes".
Well, I told him that the only thing he would get out of his dunking was that "he would get wet". THAT IS ALL! I was in a bit of a shock, more blind guides leading the blind and trying to boost their steeple house membership along with a new giver. Well Mrs. NW and I drove to Georgia and I spent several days with Don and explained the Good News of receiving "Christ within" to him. He had a wonderful experience and he was changed forever. We dunked him in the swimming pool next door and we took several pictures that day in the pool. It was wonderful to help my brother to be directed onto the road that leads to Life that so few ever find. I gave him my bible and he started reading the Truth from that day onward.
Well be drove back to Olympia and the wife and I decided that we should visit Don every year and get to know him better. I received a call a couple of months later . Don had gone into the hospital for a minor event but died of a heart attack while he was there.
It is a blessing to have met him and to have been there at the most important era of his life. I am also thankful that I did not teach him that "baptismal regeneration" was the truth nor that being dunked by some clergyman will gain him the Kingdom but that Faith in Christ along is the Doorway to eternal life.
P.S. After we work our way through the entire book, IRB and I are inviting all to meet at the picnic table to discuss your dunking and we will be there to help you with your journey.
Time to go to work.
p. 8 - "The growth of a clerical
Spirit and the guidance of the Scriptures in the separate churches.
This development was gradual, and many were not carried away
by it. …
p.10 - “As the churches increased, the first zeal flagged and conformity to
the world and its ways increased also. This did not progress without
IRB - This already begins to answer the question I had asked about the 'continuity of the Church' and whether there was a “Christianity” apart from the one I understood as being 'tied' to that timeframe. Of course there was. But the winners (short-term winners, anyway...it's not over ) write the history. Another reason to be grateful for the "direct dependence on the Holy Spirit and responsibility to Christ." from p.3
p.10 - “The fact that the Catholic Church system later became the
dominant one puts us in possession of a great body of its literature, while
the literature of those who differed from it has been suppressed, and they
are chiefly known to us by what may be gleaned from the writings di-
rected against them. It is thus easy to gain the erroneous impression that
in the first three centuries there was one united Catholic Church and a
variety of comparatively unimportant heretical bodies. “
Pilgrim Church, page 14- slightly paraphrased
"Amidst the confusion of conflicting parties there were true teachers able and eloquent and directing souls in the way of salvation. One whose name is unknown, writing in the second century to an inquire sets himself to answer the questions asked as to the mode of worshiping God among the Christians, the reason for their faith and the devotion towards God and the love to one another, why they neither worship the gods of the Greeks nor followed the Jewish religion. He writes “Christians are distinguished from other men neither by country nor language”, living in such places as the lot of each of them has determined and following the customs of the natives in respect to clothing, food and the rest of their ordinary conduct, they display to us their wonderful and confessedly striking method of life. They dwell in their own countries, but simply as sojourners…
They pass their days on earth but they are citizens in heaven. They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives. They are reviled and bless.
Then, speaking of God, he says, he who is almighty the creator of all things has sent from heaven and placed among men, Him who is the truth and the Holy and incomprehensible word and has firmly established Him in their hearts. He did not send an angel or ruler but the very creator of all things by whom he made the heavens and whom the stars obey. This messenger he sent to them as a king sends his son who is also a king so sent he Him to them; as God he sent Him; as to men he sent Him; as a savior he sent Him. Not as judging us he sent Him, though he will yet send Him to judge us, and who shall endure his appearing.
In order to pass our days as sojourners, be reviled and bless we need to depend on Him to be firmly established in our heart.
You have posted a wonderful message from page 14. There are some very deep truths within these concepts. Yes we, (the Church) are sojourners here on earth but that is not taught from the pulpit in the fullness of what it really means. To understand that we are citizens of Heaven is also a deep message and the Christian world has been blinded to this truth. We are suppose to stay out of the affairs of the world once we have changed our citizenship from 1st Adam to Last Adam, Jesus. However, that is not what we see for the majority of Christian posts that are showing the believers are quite tangled up in the entire affairs of the world.
Oh how I would want to write on this subject and "put the skunk on the table". It would turn into an argument quickly but the people still need deliverance from the bondage of this current world. I may be later. Thanks SWM for the great view.
IRB, I take great comfort in the fact that I will see relatives and loved ones who have died but were Believers. For example, my grandfather, who loved Jesus and was a fine Christian man but as a kid I didn't appreciate that enough about him. This world is truly not our home and we are but a short time here compared to eternity when the Church will be together. I look forward to that day, and sometimes think about the questions I want to ask Paul, or Esther, or even George Washington! :)
Mr. Fix, I took a look at that link and all I can say is I have seen other writings such as those that take Scripture out of context or don't fully explain the intent of why God would say what He did. Maybe it would be more helpful to you if you set that aside and read The Pilgrim Church?
We see the edict of Milan referred to on page 16. Constantine has done loads of damage to the existing true Church as we will see as we travel through as pilgrims:
Only a few months earlier Constantine had become the first Roman emperor to throw in his lot with the Christians. Although the Milan summit decreed only strict parity for Christians alongside other religionists, hindsight reads between the lines and discerns the hint of things to come. Before the end of the fourth century, orthodox Christianity had become the sole official religion of the Roman Empire.
For Christianity, the changes were momentous. To this day state churches perpetuate the alignment between Christianity and the Empire worked out in the fourth century. Meanwhile, Christians in independent, “free” churches have long regarded the Constantinian revolution as little short of the fall of Christianity, almost as calamitous as the fall of Adam and Eve.
One thing is clear: The unqualified toleration for all decreed at Milan did not last long, nor has it often prevailed in later centuries. The rescript’s noble sentiments surely warrant our attention today for that reason alone.
I noticed that an "advertisement" popped up when I copied this article. That just shows how difficult it is for net surfers to stay away from the religious systems of the world and seek Him and Him only. What brand of Rome or its daughters will be found and at what cost? As the ad says, "explore your faith" and obtain a bachelor of science degree but that paper will not save one soul.
I found this article this morning it really shows how messed up the world has become. They have departed from the Faith long ago that was first delivered to them:
I'm getting ready for Chapter 2, but off to work for me.
I hope we can use the full week per chapter without anyone getting bored. I find I can read it several times and get more out of it.
p 6 - “These spec-
ulations and philosophies formed the basis of many heresies which from
the earliest times invaded the Church, and are already combated in the
later New Testament writings, especially in those of Paul and John. The
means adopted to counter these attacks and to preserve unity of doctrine
affected the Church even more than the heresies themselves, for it was
largely due to them that the episcopal power and control grew up along
with the clerical system which began so soon and so seriously to modify
the character of the churches.“
Outward manifestations of power brought harm to the Church. By enemies, yes. But also by those who would 'rise in defense' of the Church by consolidating 'power'. This gets to some meaty issues about staying true vs. just staying in existence. And taps into ideas of 'power' and what that really means. I look forward to the book developing the theme.
I have something that hit me on a more visceral level and made me think more of the early Church and what they did for us. I don't know whether to share it or stick to a nice walk in the sunshine. It's no 'prosperity preaching' for sure.