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THE PRIMITIVISM RATIONALE. FIVE REASONS WHY I AM A NEW TESTAMENT PRIMITIVIST. The Restoration Spirit.

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the primitivism rationale
THE PRIMITIVISM RATIONALE

FIVE REASONS WHY I AM A NEW TESTAMENT PRIMITIVIST

the restoration spirit
The Restoration Spirit
  • I Peter 4:11If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
a new testament church pattern thinking
A New Testament Church: Pattern Thinking

1. An organization—Phil. 1:1; Acts 14:23; I Tim. 3: 1ff; Titus 1:5ff.

2. An Assembly—Heb. 10:25; I Cor. 11:15

3. Taught—Acts 20:7; I Cor. 14:15

4. Prayed—Acts 12:5; I Cor. 14:19

5. Sang—Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16

6. Lord’s Supper on 1st Day—Acts 20:7; I Cor. 11:20

  • Gave on 1st Day—I Cor. 16:1,2; Acts 2:44-45
  • Treasury—Acts 5:1-4
  • Relieved Needy Saints—Acts 4:34-35; 11:29-30; I Cor. 16:1
  • Supported Preaching—II Cor. 11:8; Phil. 4:15-16

11. Discipline Unruly Members—I Cor. 5:1-5

right or sincere error 1
RIGHT OR SINCERE—ERROR # 1

1. Salvation by works!

Depending on right doctrine

Depending on right conduct

right or sincere
RIGHT OR SINCERE

1. Salvation by works

2. Being right is important

we must find the right way
We Must Find the Right Way
  • Matt. 7:13Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
right or sincere8
RIGHT OR SINCERE

1. Salvation by works

2. Being right is important

  • Even the “little stuff”?
how about the little stuff
HOW ABOUT THE “LITTLE STUFF”
  • Matt. 5:17Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Who defines the “little stuff?”

right or sincere10
RIGHT OR SINCERE

1. I am right!

Depending on right doctrine

Depending on right conduct

2. Being right is important

  • Even the “little stuff”
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT:

We can be right for the wrong reasons

right for wrong reason
Right for Wrong Reason
  • Matt. 6:5And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 7But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
right or sincere12
RIGHT OR SINCERE

1. I am right!

Depending on right doctrine

Depending on right conduct

2. Being right is important

  • Even the “little stuff”
  • Can be right for the wrong reasons
  • We can do right things and be LOST
being right is not the only measure
Being Right is NOT the Only Measure
  • Matt. 7:21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
right or sincere14
RIGHT OR SINCERE

1. I am sincere!

I have had a personal encounter with God

  • I may be wrong, but I love God
  • I have a good feeling in my heart
right or sincere15
RIGHT OR SINCERE

1. I am sincere!

I have had a personal encounter with God

  • I don’t know much, but I love God
  • I have a good feeling in my heart

2. Being sincere (acting out of love) is important

love is important
“Love” is Important
  • 1 John 4:7Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
right or sincere17
RIGHT OR SINCERE

1. I am sincere!

I have had a personal encounter with God

  • I don’t know much, but I love God
  • I have a good feeling in my heart

2. Being sincere (acting out of love) is important

3. I just want to “know” the Lord

a personal encounter with jesus has consequences
A “Personal Encounter” with Jesus Has Consequences
  • 1 John 2:3And hereby we do know that we know him,if we keep his commandments. 4He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.5But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
right or sincere19
RIGHT OR SINCERE

1. I am sincere!

I have had a personal encounter with God

  • I don’t know much, but I love God
  • I have a good feeling in my heart

2. Being sincere (acting out of love) is important

3. I just want to “know” the Lord

  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT:
  • One Can be sincere and LOST
conscience can deceive
Conscience Can Deceive
  • Acts 23:1And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.

Rom. 10:1Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.

right and sincere go together
Right and Sincere Go Together
  • 1 John 3:20For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 21Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. 22And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

WE HAVE CONFIDENCE BECAUSE OF GOOD HEARTS

right and sincere go together22
Right and Sincere Go Together
  • 1 John 3:20For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 21Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. 22And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

WE RECEIVE BECAUSE WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS

we must be right and sincere
WE MUST BE RIGHT and SINCERE
  • 1 Peter 3:18For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: . . . 21The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
english dissenters puritans
English Dissenters (Puritans)

John Hooper (1495-1555) Puritan Bishop of Gloucester

“Nothing should be used in the church which has not either the express Word of God to support it, or otherwise is a thing indifferent in itself, which brings no profit when done or used, but no harm when not done or omitted.”

John a Lasco (1499-1560) Stranger’s Church in London

“There is one way of safety if we altogether turn to repentance: believe the gospel of Christ, walk in innocence of life, and retain nothing in the church which does not either have the express word of God, or else take its infallible origin from that source.”

Richard Baxter (1615-1691) Kidderminster, England

“What man dare go in a way which has neither precept nor example to warrant it....? For my part, I will not fear that God will be angry with me for doing no more than He has commanded me, and for sticking close to the rule of His word in matters of worship; but I should tremble to add or diminish.”

why 2 following god s directions is the only basis of unity
WHY?—2. FOLLOWING GOD’S DIRECTIONS IS THE ONLY BASIS OF UNITY

The alternative is disunity and chaos

1 Cor. 1:10Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

RESTORATION (PRIMITIVISM) REQUIRES A UNIFIED COMMITMENT OR MINDSET

the scandal of division
THE SCANDAL OF DIVISION

Aaronic Order: 2,000 (4 recs.)Abecedarians(2 recs.)AbelitesAbenakiAbenaki, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot(2 recs.)AbiponAbkhazian: 594,500 (5 recs.)Aboriginal Evangelical MissionsAbyssinian Frontiers Mission(2 recs.)Acharya's Yoga and Meditation Centre: 5,000 (2 recs.)Acheh(3 recs.)AcholiAchomawi(2 recs.)ACLUAcolapissa and Tangipahoa(2 recs.)Acts Full Gospel ChurchAdai(2 recs.)AdamitesAdja(3 recs.)Adoniswww. Adherents.com

33,800 listings of Christian religious bodies in David W. Barrett’s World Christian Encyclopedia

why 3 god s expectations
WHY?—3. GOD’S EXPECTATIONS

GOD ALWAYS PUNISHED DISOBEDIENCE

  • 1 Sam. 15:22And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 23For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
why 4 apostolic intent
WHY?—4. APOSTOLIC INTENT
  • 2 Tim. 2:2And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
  • 1 Tim. 3:14These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: 15But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
why 5 that god may be glorified
WHY?—5. THAT GOD MAY BE GLORIFIED
  • I Peter 4:11If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorifiedthrough Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
why 5 that god may be glorified31
WHY?—5. THAT GOD MAY BE GLORIFIED
  • Rom. 11:33O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 34For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? 35Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
why 5 that god may be glorified32
WHY?—5. THAT GOD MAY BE GLORIFIED
  • Eph.3:10To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,11According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: 12In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. . . .14For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 20Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21Unto him be glory in the churchby Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
will biblical primitivism work in the modern religious world

WILL BIBLICAL PRIMITIVISM WORK IN THE MODERN RELIGIOUS WORLD?

Benton Johnson, Dean R. Hoge and Donald A. Luidens, “Mainline Churches: The Real Reason for Decline,” First Things, March, 1993, pp. 13-18

LOOKING INSIDE THE BOX

the question what makes people remain faithful
The Question: What Makes People Remain Faithful?

“In our study, the best predictor of church participation turned out to be belief—orthodox Christian belief, and especially the teaching that a person can be saved only through Jesus Christ. Virtually all our baby boomers who believe this are active members of a church.”

PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR A CHURCH WHERE PEOPLE BELIEVE SOMETHING!

finding the way to restore vitality to churches
Finding the Way to Restore Vitality to Churches

Jane Lampman, “A Return to Primitive Christianity in a Modern Age,” Christian Science Monitor, March 6, 2003.

“As many seekers have set off in recent years to pursue spirituality outside the bounds of organized religion, another trend has quietly emerged within and across Christian denominations: a return to orthodoxy. . . . It is perhaps most visible in the least expected place—the liberal mainline churches—where many ‘renewal’ groups are taking an assertive stance, seeking to replace what they consider secularized theology and political activism with biblical authority and evangelical fervor.

two steps to finding the way
Two Steps to Finding the Way

Thomas Oden [Drew University], The Rebirth of Orthodoxy: Signs of New Life in Christianity (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 2003).

  • Oden notes a return to “classic Christianity” based on a willingness to “think with the early church about the sacred text” and a return to “Christian tradition as defined by the sacred texts of scripture, the ecumenical councils of the first five centuries, and the teachings of the ‘fathers of the first millennium.’”
two steps to finding the way37
Two Steps to Finding the Way

Thomas Oden [Drew University], The Rebirth of Orthodoxy: Signs of New Life in Christianity (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 2003).

  • 2. Learning “to say ‘no’ to false doctrine.”

“There is an avid new interest in setting boundaries for Christian teaching.”