Paul's Passing Thoughts

Home Fellowship Distinctives Will Continue to Develop

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on September 3, 2017

As TANC ministries launches into a focus on alternatives to the church this year, a major one was brought to the forefront this week. Andy Young, our contributing author, gave permission to address the attached letter sent to him recently. Andy himself will have much more to say about this letter in the coming days.

Before I address the letter, let’s review some developing distinctives. First, the fact that we meet in homes is a statement of our gospel. It says we are a literal “household of God,” and not an institution. We are a literal family; that is important.

Meeting in homes with an intentional avoidance of institutional religion proclaims the new birth. Institutions function by law and top-down authority. Home fellowships proclaim justification by new birth and not perfect law-keeping. We deny the supposed double atonement of Christ which is not an atonement to begin with; Christ came to end sin, not merely cover it up. The true gospel is not a cover-up.

Hence, home fellowships function as a cooperative body and not a top down authority. In contrast, those who meet in purpose build sanctuaries deny that individual members of Christ’s body are God’s temple in and of themselves.

Furthermore, the denial of individual bodies as God’s temple also denies the ability of the true saints to use their bodies to offer living sacrifices to God in all matters of life.

We deny, with extreme prejudice, that men appointed by virtue of buying seminary degrees have authority over our salvation. This is another home fellowship distinctive; the authority of Christ alone as the head of His one body. One authority, and one body.

In the attached letter, it is clear that these men believe they have authority over Andy’s salvation. This is a Protestant distinctive whether Baptist, Methodist, Charismatic, or any other stripe that came out of the Protestant Reformation.

In home fellowships, body members do not wait for permission to use their holy temples to offer living sacrifices to God in all matters of life, and the love we perform is from our own temples and not a substitution.

Keep in mind, by virtue of stated orthodoxy, a love performed by the “saints” themselves would deny the Protestant doctrine of double imputation.

paul

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21 Responses

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  1. Republican mother said, on September 3, 2017 at 9:41 AM

    Wow. They just continue to parody themselves. Twenty years ago, one couldn’t imagine a real church sending out stuff like this. The LARPing language of “submit” and “rebuke” is almost hysterical! I love how they revert to the king’s English for dramatic effect when it serves their purpose.

    On a related note, homeschool co-ops are developing this same institutional mentality. I got a scowl from a pastor’s wife when I rejected an offer for the small homeschool group I run at my home to meet at the church. I confess it secretly tickled me that I could get more kids over at my house on a Friday than they could get together on a Sunday.

    I’m looking forward to the home fellowship discussion!

    Like

    • John said, on September 3, 2017 at 10:56 AM

      Republican Mother, their true colors are awful, eh? If only they’d realize what a big joke they are…if only souls weren’t at stake I’d laugh about places like that all day.
      I love your enthusiasm and frankness. Keep on pushing; keep on telling the truth.

      Blessings.

      Like

  2. truthseeker00 said, on September 3, 2017 at 9:59 AM

    As an individual who has come to many of the same opinions you share concerning the false authority and need for the institutional church, I nonetheless have many questions concerning the long term viability of ‘home fellowships’. Having spent a good deal of my life in the christian homeschool movement, I am familiar with many who experimented with the concept of home fellowship. Indeed, my former church tended to attract those coming out of failed house churches. Perhaps it was the fault of those participating, as nearly all come out of the same sort of church background. Perhaps it is, as you tend to suggest, having a faulty lens due to a Protestant misreading of the gospel. I also have questions about what and how lines can be drawn in a genuine assembly that respects the right of the individual to own their own relationship with God, and look to the Holy Spirit for understanding. I have come to a place personally, in which I can be fairly open to varying opinions, yet what happens when a pesky concept like gender inclusivism arises? I reject the patriarchal leanings of Calvinism, but I am not sure I am ready to allow that God did not create men and women with genders, with a purpose. I just know that there are genuine challenges and pitfalls, including legalism and conflicts among strong personalities. Do you have knowledge of many ongoing, longterm home fellowships that are doing well? Have you any ideas, suggestions, etc. that might give direction to a new home fellowship in order to avoid the common pitfalls?

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    • John said, on September 3, 2017 at 11:18 AM

      The home fellowships that TANC is promoting are not free-for-all laissez-faire events. Have you had time yet to view TANC’s conference on the subject? Andy’s presentation was appropriate as can be. I understand your fears, as there are home fellowships and home fellowships, some which are “little churches.” We’re talking something else here, something that has zero Calvinist/Reformed/Protestant leanings, as those movements are not Biblical in any shape or form or smell. I will continue to say that. And that is something one needs to understand. We should let go of the Endowment Effect, etc. and see the truth as it is.

      These home fellowships are a family of God thing, Truthseeker, and I’m sure that as time goes on, the debris/flotsam of Protestantism will disappear completely, leaving us with a clear way into the future. A silly scenario: 500 miles from the next home fellowship and the guy who usually facilitates the gathering of born-again believers falls off his tractor and is incapacitated. Shall his wife, or adult daughter be wrong if they take his place while he recuperates? No. It’s a family thing. There’s no boss. As I said…a silly scenario, but the faulty Protestant lens has done much damage on every single level and to everything it has touched. It’s time to get it out of our system for good…and live in love, for Christ, because of Christ. There is one mediator…you know the rest of that sentence.

      Stay well, and please have a look at the conference videos, if you have not yet done that.

      Blessings.

      Like

    • Paul M. Dohse Sr. said, on September 3, 2017 at 9:04 PM

      More than likely, these failed groups were churches in homes. Home fellowships are not home churches. Secondly, it is unlikely that those who really understand the issue would go back to church. In other words, the fellowships were not defined in accordance with a strong enough “why?” or purpose. Perhaps they saw it as a mere alternative rather than an answer to an unacceptable tradition. Though home fellowships are free, freedom for the sake of freedom is not the goal; unity around the mind of Christ, which all born again Christians have, is the goal. If Christ is the head of the body and He is truth, and He is, the goal is unity in truth. In regard to what that mind is, the Bible states that each member should have the freedom to be convinced in their own mind. If anyone can’t live with how a certain group interprets truth, they should simply start a group in their own home and fellowship with other likeminded Christians accordingly. This would mostly serve in multiplying home fellowships. “Legalism” would be a problem among those who really don’t understand justification by new birth. I sense the traditional deeply ingrained fear of chaos resulting from a lack of authority seen in the church, but what defines chaos more than the church? The goal of the fellowships should be to witness the kind of power unleashed by the Spirit when each member is fulfilling their roles.

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  3. John said, on September 3, 2017 at 10:52 AM

    Andy, Paul: I am writing this with strained fingers and with an invisible hand covering my mouth. The letter from that “church” is pure blasphemy. They are playing “god”; they are evil. I hope they see my response; so let me repeat it slowly: That “church” is evil. Who the hell do they think they are? Andy, you must first repent (of telling the truth?) and/or submit to this false church’s “Biblical rebuke” before you are allowed (here they are playing “god” again) to be enrolled in their class about their idols’ Deformation?

    Andy, you were divisive? By telling the truth? Ah, I’ve seen this a hundred times and have been through it myself.

    Pay them no mind. They are not Biblical; they are EVIL. And I will stand by that statement. Absent in their letter (which is so pathetic that I cringed numerous times trying to read through it) is the name that’s above all names; isn’t that significant? No, I don’t mean the name of Calvin, MacArthur, Sproul, Luther or any of those.

    But that Name they do not know because being born-again Biblically is a foreign concept to them. Leave them be; let them worship man and man’s deadly ways. Andy, you have told them the truth. What more should you do? I sincerely pray that you have no family members or dear friends in this ‘Calvary Bible Church.” Their spiritual lives are in grave danger indeed.

    At least I laughed at this bit of self-important, self-appointed delusion of grandeur in their blasphemous letter:

    “David Saxton
    Pastor of Discipling/Counseling.” (Pray tell: Who thought that up? Smoking what? Pages of Calvin’s Holy Institutes? What? Pages of a signed copy of the ESV? Pot?)

    I bet you my broken toaster that that lot has ties to the vulgar and unbiblical ACBC. I can see it; fell it, almost darn well touch it.

    Andy, you rebel you, I am with you…not that you need it, but that they should know it. The deceived are slowly waking up to the deceivers. May their church members all leave ASAP. That place is evil.

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    • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on September 3, 2017 at 12:36 PM

      Fret not, John. I am planning a carefully crafted response after the holiday weekend!

      Like

  4. Jerry said, on September 3, 2017 at 11:43 AM

    Jesus Christ’s death is never called an atonement in the New Testament, as you noted: “Christ came to end sin, not merely cover it up. The true gospel is not a cover-up.” The New Testament does call Jesus death a Passover
    “Christ is our Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7) … the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29, 36).” The Day of Atonement was God’s way of having Israel’s sin ‘covered over’ yearly. It was the means of maintaining fellowship with God after the Passover. However, the Passover was about being passed over for judgment which Jesus death secured for all who believe. Instead of calling Christ’s death on the cross a “substitutionary atonement” it’s more accurate to say “Christ is our Passover.” The cross did not just cover our sin. It paid for it.

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    • Paul M. Dohse Sr. said, on September 4, 2017 at 8:09 PM

      “The cross did not just cover our sin. It paid for it”…once and for all. Good comment Jerry.

      Like

  5. Susan said, on September 3, 2017 at 6:53 PM

    Oh good heavens! That letter is downright creepy. Can we spell “passive and aggressive”? Yep, I thought we could. Andy, I am looking forward to your carefully crafted response. I hope you share it with us. Maybe I can add a #25 as to why sporting events beat the institutional church. #25 Letters to fans usually contain incentives and promotions — discount or early-bird special tickets, free drinks/ snacks, club membership, discounts and coupons at affiliates ….. whereas letters to former church goers contain all forms of nastiness and rebuke.

    Like

    • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on September 5, 2017 at 3:06 PM

      I like that one very much!

      Incidentally, I drafted a 5-page response today. I am proofreading it and hope to get it in the mail tomorrow. Once I have done that, I will post it here on the blog for all to see.

      Like

  6. lydia00 said, on September 4, 2017 at 6:32 AM

    The letter is cracking me up. Maybe that is because I have been away from that bubble thinking long enough it doesn’t even make me angry. It’s more like watching middle school boys project their perceived power over others. If you push back, they go bananas. It’s just silly. Arrested emotional development.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. johnimmel said, on September 4, 2017 at 10:10 AM

    I like Hebrews and Ephesians chapter and verse references. I mean who can argue with that right? When the writer of Hebrew put his quill to parchment he knew some 21st century “pastor of discipling/and counseling would need a justification for keeping someone from taking a class. And don’t you know the substance of those very verses say “Andy, you are divisive and can’t come to class!” You should find that revealed in the Greek somewhere.

    Like

  8. johnimmel said, on September 4, 2017 at 10:35 AM

    “I’m sorry to inform you . . .” what a load . . . He wasn’t sorry. He was pleased to exercise his “right” to exclude

    Like

    • John said, on September 5, 2017 at 5:09 AM

      I was thinking along the same lines, John Immel. The CEO and his senior staff of this “business” were probably all present when they came up with that euphemistic line for you-know-what. Oh, what men! Oh, what power! Oh, what authority! Oh, what fools! And it’s with that same attitude and pomposity that they decide who does or doesn’t go/deserve to go/groveled enough to enter their heaven, which, I hope, turns out to be somewhere in the Mojave Desert. Right in the middle of the darn thing.

      “Arrested emotional development” indeed, as Lydia has said above. Imagine the utopia should the writers and staff of that “business” be in charge of an entire country. Now wouldn’t that be fun?

      Like

      • truthseeker00 said, on September 5, 2017 at 9:03 PM

        You are no doubt aware that at least a segment of this ‘back to historical Protesantism’ movement involves Reconstructionist Reformed Presbyterians who desire to recreate the Theocracy of Geneva in America. It may be far bigger than most realize, as they keep their goals and agenda very close to the vest. Wouldn’t that be something scary, if these guys regained the power of the sword they so eagerly desire? Calvin’s Geneva 2.0 – and my former pastor would no doubt love to see me burned at the stake for daring to challenge his authority! He was caught up in all this closet Reconstructionism, even though he mostly kept it secret from the congregation, preferring to subtly indoctrinate them with his viewpoints. I only found out when he thought I was on the bandwagon, and he started giving me reading material that pushed this stuff. Scary, scary stuff!

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      • johnimmel said, on September 6, 2017 at 12:16 AM

        uh . . . what now? For real? you have any of the materials he was handing out? I’d love to see it.

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      • Paul M. Dohse Sr. said, on September 6, 2017 at 1:49 AM

        Right, actually, it is a huge movement behind the scenes. A young aspiring politician in the area that Susan and I have counseled has made us privy to it on several occasions. Reformed churches are heavily involved in getting people of the Reformed stripe into political offices on many levels.

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  9. truthseeker00 said, on September 6, 2017 at 1:10 PM

    The materials I was given included copies of the now defunct ‘The Christian Statesman’ of the, I believe also now defunct National Reform Association. For a more detailed history of this movement, I refer you to the first of a multi-part blog series, called: ” Christian Reconstruction, ATI, Abuse & Submission”, which begins by saying: “Christian Reconstruction is a strange perversion of Christianity, Old Testament rules and regulations that never really existed, the very worst expects of Calvinism, with just a hint of Mormon theology thrown in to make it interesting. It was created by R. J. Rushdoony, back in the early 1970s. He modeled his movement on the hierarchy of the John Birch Society, of which he was a great admirer. Rushdoony was a racist. He was a sexist, basically hating women, and children. His new ‘Christian’ religion brought together the very worst aspects of the Bible. It is long on punishment, has no love, and basically ignores the teachings of Christ. Salvation is an als0-ran. In many ways, it doesn’t really matter as long as one follows the rules and regulations, of which there are very, very many.” See http://www.thepinkflamingoblog.com/2014/05/30/part-i-christian-reconstruction-ati-abuse-submission/ If it sounds a lot like your typical conservative Calvinist tyranny, it’s because it stems from the same roots. Initially called Dominionism, then Reconstructionism, it then went further underground, always striving to remain undetected by any but those committed to he cause. I would not be surprised to find its fingerprints in the New Calvinist history you frequently explore. It is definitely behind the Patriarchy and ‘Make America Great Again’ movement Rushdoony infused into christian homeschooling.

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    • truthseeker00 said, on September 6, 2017 at 2:19 PM

      BTW, I should have read all of these posts before suggesting this particular blog as a source of information. The title and first page seemed promising, but I’m afraid it is more diatribe than scholarly information. She is correct, to a degree, about the influence Reconstructionism has had on homeschooling and conservative Calvinist churches. In any case, one can do their own homework and find a good deal of information concerning the more factual history and goals of Dominionism/Reconstructionism.

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      • John said, on September 7, 2017 at 8:07 AM

        Truthseeker, I believe what you wrote here: “You are no doubt aware that at least a segment of this ‘back to historical Protestantism’ movement involves Reconstructionist Reformed Presbyterians who desire to recreate the Theocracy of Geneva in America. It may be far bigger than most realize, as they keep their goals and agenda very close to the vest. Wouldn’t that be something scary, if these guys regained the power of the sword they so eagerly desire? Calvin’s Geneva 2.0.”

        If these oafs try to control Andy (who is not even a member of that EVIL place anymore), I can imagine how they ‘d like to control those they don’t know by selling them their complete and utter bull droppings. I, too, have seen the true Calvinism (aka the Geneva-style joke) breathing and rattling its scary bones behind the scenes, in car parks, and via subtle indoctrination that slowly but surely became not so subtle . . . all in the name of the sovereign gawttt.

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