From: Eau Claire, WI USA
|In the New Testament, it talks a fair amount about the Church, or body of Christ. Membership in the Church seems to be pretty important and the church (and leaders of the church) are given a significant amount of authority. There are quit a few things that I found surprising, such as Jesus tells his disciples before he leaves that He is giving them the power to forgive, or not to forgive sins. His exact words were something like "whatever sins you remit, they shall be remitted, but whatever sins you retain, they shall be retained."
Its pretty evident in scripture that the leaders of the church had the authority to cast someone out of the church (which meant more than just the local fellowship) and also Paul as an apostle exercised similar authority when he turned someone "over to the devil" to punnish the man and open his eyes. This seems to indicate that the church has the power to remove God's protection from someone and leave them open to persecution by the devil.
Also in scripture healing is specially related to the leadership of the church, the elders are supposed to annoint the sick and pray for them..
So my question(s).. is how does all this relate to our modern church which is fragmented into hundreds of factions which more often than not oppose each other. Does the church still have these authorities? or have they been lost due to the fragmentation of the church? If the Church still has them, why do they not seem to be happening? Or even known about by most people?
|well, by my experience in the general baptist presbytery it's because they're brought up by doctines(man-made ones that is) and not strictly on the word of God. i'm no longer in the presbytery. we(true Christians) know there is only one church, one baptism, one faith, and one God, but a lot of so-called Christians don't, or at least don't act like it. i don't believe that women can be preachers, or at least not what most would consider a preacher. i know they can share the gospel, and they can prophesy, but they're not suppose to hold any authority over a man. but on the other hand, i know there a full blown pentecaustol/holiness/charismatic/whatever-else people that are truely serving and following God. most of the problem is in how people express what they believe, sometimes i think people just follow what they're church leaders/parents teach/taught them, instead of seeking God and studying His word. well, i hope some of what i said had to do with your post...sorry if i got off topic.
www.gfa.org - Gospel for Asia
www.persecution.com - Voice of the Martyrs