Paul's Passing Thoughts

TANC Will Finally Participate in Xenia’s First Fridays Tonight 5pm to 9pm: PLEASE Give Your Input!

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 4, 2018

Xenia, Ohio, home to TANC Ministries, has an annual event called “First Fridays.” Organizations buy booth space downtown, which is closed off to traffic, and open to the public. The booths make up various businesses and organizations. There is also food vendors and live music. This occurs the first Fridays of May, June, and July. I have wanted to be involved in this for the past six years, but have always been too busy to pull it off. This year I was determined to make it happen.

Our booth will be used to promote the restart of our home fellowship which has recently been limited to our online Bible study. Our online study will still happen every Sunday morning, but our initial meetings will be on Saturday mornings. This is because home fellowships are incredibly flexible, and we want to fellowship with those interested to get input for our future meetings; i.e., best days and times, etc.

The following will be our primary presentation piece, the focal point of our introduction to TANC Ministries. WHAT DO YOU THINK? WE NEED YOUR INPUT!! Comment below or email us at mail@tanc.online

 

What is the Home Fellowship Movement?

A body, not an institution; leadership and gifts, not authority; fellowship, not membership.

The Home Fellowship Movement is very young and originated right here in Xenia, Ohio. It evolved from a research organization, TANC Research Organization (TRO) which is ten years old. It is presently a non-profit LLC. The Home Fellowship Movement and its Xenia representation, the Potter’s House, TANC Publishing, its blog, and the aforementioned research organization are all under the auspices of “TANC Ministries.” All of these endeavors operate from the old Calvary Baptist Church located at 58 West Harbine Avenue.

A home fellowship is a fellowship of believers in Christ who gather together in private homes. Primarily, the purpose of the meetings are stated in the New Testament; fellowship, the breaking of bread together, Bible study, encouragement unto good works, and service to others.  

Meeting in private homes and other non-institutional settings is vital because it is a visible statement concerning the gospel we believe in: justification by new birth. We believe in a literal new birth that baptizes us into God’s literal family. Therefore, our format will look like, and feel like, an informal family gathering, but not without organization.

In addition, we function as a body and not a top-down authoritative institution. We believe the body of Christ is made up of members who have their own unique gifts working together in a cooperative effort with Christ as the only head. The recognition of gifts, and how those gifts work together are key to being organized toward a common goal.

We believe that salvation is not a process within the believer, but rather a settled issue via the new birth. Once a person is born again, he or she cannot be unborn. Nor is a birth a process, it is a onetime event. Once born of God; always God’s child. The transformation of a person from “under law” to “under grace,” from death to the quickening of the Spirit, and from darkness to light is a once and for all time finished work through the new birth. Hence, justification and sanctification are completely separate, and the standard for justification is the new birth and God in us, not the law. Once saved and sealed until the day of redemption by the Spirit, we do, in fact, move on from our day of salvation to sanctified living.    

We believe the Bible is instruction for loving God and others, and we believe in a literal and plain sense interpretation using individual reason. Specifically, we hold fast to historical-grammatical interpretation. We believe God uses His word to sanctify believers. Those who have the gift of teaching should be apt in persuading through the study of “sound doctrine.” The Bible is wisdom for loving others and living a life worthy of God’s family.

We do not believe that authority is a gift; all authority has been given to Christ. We believe that judgment is between the individual and the one mediator between God and mankind, Jesus Christ. Again, we believe that the assembly of Christ is a body with members cooperating together towards a common goal, and unity is increased as members agree more and more concerning the one mind of Christ in all born again believers. This is in contrast to a top-down authoritative caste system indicative of institutions.

“Membership” in a home fellowship is determined by fellowship. If you fellowship with us, you are part of the fellowship. There is no formal membership based on a written covenant which in reality, according to most state laws, is a binding contract and forfeits various personal rights. A person not living a life congruent to a member of God’s household may be uninvited from fellowship until the behavior is corrected. This is a not a judgment regarding the person’s salvific standing.  

Monetary giving is according to need. We do not tithe. Infrastructure is supported by the normal use of families and their personal incomes. There are no paid positions of authority or support for institutional overhead. God’s people operating as a family affords vast flexibility in regard to world missions and other projects. We suggest that home fellowships have a giving box somewhere in the host location so participants can contribute to meal costs or other expenses.

The future vision is New Testament-like which is strength in numbers. Each city will have several home fellowships that make up a vast network worldwide. This is a strong focus on individual gifts working together for common purposes stated in the New Testament.

A cult?

Invariably, due to institutional conditioning, this concern will arise. In contrast, a cult is defined by the combining of authority with faith. Any religious institution that claims a co-authority with Christ is a cult by definition. EVERY major cult in human history has flowed from institutional religion. One example is Jim Jones, an ordained pastor, and his “Peoples Temple” [sic]. Authority has never prevented any cult or cult-like behavior, but in fact, is the source. The vast cult of personalities present in the institutional church of our day is the best example complete with its scandals and cover-ups.

There is a reason for this; when authority is truth, personal discernment is given over to that authority. Where authority is truth, leadership and reason are completely unnecessary. Authority as a prevention for chaos flowing from individual freedom is a misnomer to begin with. Among the so-called religious authorities there is disagreement, so individuals merely choose the authority that best suits them. Freedom of the individual is inescapable, and freedom of conscience results in far less chaos than institutional authority. Institutional authority has produced an innumerable amount of religions and institutions. In contrast, if you think about it, families function naturally within a relatively unchaotic norm.

Does this mean institutions are unnecessary? No, but their purpose is pragmatic, and for the sole purpose of supporting the individual’s pursuit of purpose, happiness, and liberty.

We do not believe this is anything new, but rather a model that will work in any geographical location under any political or economic conditions. Not only is this model the only thing that will work in countries like China where the underground church exists, but we believe that it is, and always has been the intended New Testament model. Does it not make sense that God would design a method that wouldn’t be hindered by any geographical condition?

We invite you to our first gathering here in Xenia at the Potter’s House home fellowship, Saturday, May 13, 2018, at 10am. Brunch will be served, there will be a fellowship around this meal, and an open forum to answer questions and to hear ideas for our gatherings and the ministry surrounding it. The beauty of this model is its flexibility.

If you are interested, call us and leave a message at 937-376-3511, or email us at mail@tanc.online

It is critical to know how many are coming in order to plan for the meal and other matters.

About the Hosts  

Paul Dohse is a former pastor and author of, The Truth About New Calvinism; Its History, Doctrine, and Character (TANC Publishing 2011). It was the very first book written on the New Calvinism movement and a primary source for subsequent books written on the subject by other authors. He has studied the Protestant Reformation as the director of TRO for ten years.

Susan Dohse has been a teacher in Christian schools and public schools for 45 years, and is presently a Developmental Specialist (birth to 3 years old) for the Montgomery County Board of DDS.    

 

 

 

2 Responses

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  1. republican mother said, on May 5, 2018 at 8:20 AM

    Whoops, I was going to leave input, but I realize the event already happened! How did it go?

    Like

    • Paul M. Dohse Sr. said, on May 5, 2018 at 9:32 PM

      It went well…there are 2 more and we will be using the same document.

      Like


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