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Old 10-20-2013, 12:46 PM
 
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I look around and I see denominations struggling. Are they dying, or merely going through a period of change? Recently, a Baptist church in the town I live in got a new sign. It no longer reads Victory Baptist Church. The new sign proclaims Victory Church-A Home For Everyone. Wait a minute. Everything is still the same; same pastor, same cars in the parking lot on Sunday. What compelled Victory Baptist Church to drop the word Baptist?

We've no doubt all heard the joke that most Methodists today were there when the denomination was founded. You could insert most any mainline denomination into the joke.

If you think of Christianity as a tree, the branches are the denominations. Even non-denominational churches like Pastor Vizio's are still a branch in structure and substance sharing many denominationalism attributes. Pastor Vizio, hear me out.

What do denominations do? Presbyterian minister David Lewicki breaks it down in an easy to grasp manner. Pastor Lewicki writes:
1. Denominations are the vehicle by which we experience Christianity.
2. Denominations shape the structure and style of worship.
3. Denominations validate certain ways of thinking and talking about our experience with God.
4. They communicate in their organizational structures how the tradition understands power, authority, and proper modes of decision making within the community of the church.
5. They do the work of translating a transcendent concept ("church") into a particular cultural setting in which it can be lived by flesh-and-blood bodies.

Denominations have different customs and traditions. The way the sacrament of communion is celebrated ranges from never to daily. Theologically though, they're all part of the same tree. When I read the various Declarations of Faith I find all share the basic core beliefs of Christianity. It's not core beliefs, but our denominational traditions that distinguishes us from one another.

Many denominations proudly trace their roots back to the reformation or soon after. Their ways of "doing church" are deep seated. Many take a "it's worked this long, why change it" mentality. They rest on past laurels hoping what they see as rebellious youth find their way home.

Can the tree survive without its branches? In a real tree food does not move from the roots and other branches to supply a starving branch. The tree seals off the branch. Proper pruning prevents this. Is it time for the tree to be pruned?
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Old 10-20-2013, 01:09 PM
 
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The watering pot and pruning knife of time, cuts away the twigs and branches making room for new growth.
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Old 10-20-2013, 02:53 PM
 
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I went through a pruning years ago , and it is not a pleasant time , as for ministries to grow more sin has to be identified and removed for more of the Lord to have more authority , so the gifts of the Holy Spirit can flourish , as Holy Spirit does not want to be constantly cleansing spirit to abide in His ministries which He abides for the callings to be in victory all the time ................... So a constant authority In the Spirit is what the Lord Jesus needs ., like the scripture which in John 15 :1-2 ...Jesus said ``I am the true vine , and my Father is the husbandman...Every branch in me that bears not fruit he takes away, and every branch that bears fruit he prunes it , that it may bring forth more fruit ``..................I have heard of whole churches which had to prune the religious spirit out of the church to move forward , and they had a fast , and remove some of the traditional altars and furniture , and then they called a corporate fast for the whole church , to remove any division which was not wanted in the spirit , and about twenty people who were attendants in the church since the very beginning left the church and never came back , then God moved and grew the church ................ So pruning does work for God .....
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Old 10-20-2013, 03:05 PM
 
Location: New England
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Be transformed by the pruning of the mind.
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Old 10-20-2013, 06:17 PM
 
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The entire church system will be pruned.

And there wasn't much of a reformation, anyway.
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Old 10-21-2013, 06:39 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
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trees need good soil and sun also. the photosynthesis of the sun makes the root of the tree give off certain foods for fungi. most people look at the root as only taking up water and nutrients. but the root also gives to the soil. without the strong soil, we get weak fruit. then we begin to fertilize with cheap chemical fertilizer, which washes away once it rains. we need strong organic fertilizer that stays in the soil. Pruning the branches make the roots stronger. however, there are some branches that must be cut off. those are just sucking up energy from the rest of the tree.
Those branches on tomato plants are actually called "suckers". Jesus is the Vine, we must not try to become the vine. too many churches do exactly that. they try to replace Jesus. Making Him say things He never even thought of saying.
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Old 10-21-2013, 07:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bartstarr1960 View Post
I look around and I see denominations struggling. Are they dying, or merely going through a period of change?
Many denominations proudly trace their roots back to the reformation or soon after. Their ways of "doing church" are deep seated. Many take a "it's worked this long, why change it" mentality. They rest on past laurels hoping what they see as rebellious youth find their way home.
Is it Reformation's roots, or does mankind's religious family tree trace back further to ancient Babylon's religious roots ?

As the people migrated from ancient Babylon their population grew and spread throughout the earth. The people took with them their old myth religious beliefs and practices and spread them world wide into a greater religious Babylon or Babylon the Great. The pagan nations practiced the ' worship of Nimrod ' under various religious names and titles.

Then, as the Jews mixed with the Greeks [ Grecian philosophy ], Judahism absorbed Platonic thought and foreign ideas crept into their teachings, and those foreign or alien teachings began to be taught as Scripture although not really found in Scripture. Not what the Bible really teaches. Created was a religious syncreteim or reconciliation or fusion of differing systems of belief that has now resulted in new teachings [ denominations ] that can Not be reconciled to 1st-century biblical teachings of Christ. Non-biblical religious-myth teachings were wrongly grafted into Scripture.

At the time of Constantine, the pagan people were allowed to keep their old religious ideas and practices but Christian names and titles were used to replace the old, and that helped create modern religious Babylonians in religious thought and practices. That is why we see overlapping similar religious concepts in the world's religious sector.
The secular or pagan became blended with the holy or sacred and has taken on a life of its own shape or form, but still is connected to practices tracing back to ancient Babylonian roots. Any added modification to biblical 1st-century Christianity is Not Christian.
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Matthew 4:4 View Post
Any added modification to biblical 1st-century Christianity is Not Christian.
But, they were Jews and worshiped like Jews. They did all the things Jewish people do with the addition of Jesus on top of that. You can call then Christians, but the term Christian does not appear very often until the second century in Antioch. I think it might have been Ignatius a disciple of Peter that used the term Christian regularly. Even Paul didn't know he was a Christian.

Last edited by Julian658; 10-21-2013 at 08:58 AM..
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:48 AM
Status: "The nicest curve on a woman's body is her smile" (set 24 days ago)
 
Location: Florida/Tennessee
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How do you prune a Fig tree?
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:25 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Julian658 View Post
But, they were Jews and worshiped like Jews. They did all the things Jewish people do with the addition of Jesus on top of that. You can call then Christians, but the term Christian does not appear very often until the second century in Antioch. I think it might have been Ignatius a disciple of Peter that used the term Christian regularly. Even Paul didn't know he was a Christian.
My mention of 1st-century Christianity was that Christianity started at Pentecost. Even after Pentecost Jews could have become Christians. See: Acts 2 vs 22,38. That is Not 2nd century but after 1st-century Pentecost. The writing of the Bible was completed by John at the end of the first century. John, the last Bible writer, was Not alive in the 2nd century.

Paul was already involved with Christianity in Acts chapter 9. By Acts chapter 11 v 26 Jesus' followers were called Christians.

What did Agrippa say to Paul at Acts 26 v 28 ?________

Apparently Peter, who knew Paul, also considered himself as a Christian at 1st Peter 4 v 16
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