How church should be

Some of my posts sound like a big whinge don’t they?

But it’s because we did and still believe in ‘the priesthood of all believers’ (1 Pet 2:5-9. I Cor14:26).

We didn’t want to draw to ourselves or take over! Just contribute!

The New Testament tells us how church should be:

What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.

I Cor 14:26

That’s a Scripture ignored by almost all churches. The modern church has got it wrong since the 1st century AD.

MCF (Melbourne Christian Fellowship) had been on the right track and then Vic destroyed it with control.

Only smooth talkers and Yes Men could speak at MCF after Vic. Except at home group, but there you could only contribute about how the ‘present word’ was helping you overcome your short-comings.

The typical pleb could no longer give a word of instruction’ as 1 Cor 14:26 says. Only a word of testimony on Vic’s current word.

How about a ‘revelation’ (! Cor 14:26)? They were 100% banned.

But that Scripture makes it clear that church is a place to minister stuff that the eldership has not originated doesn’t it?

Church is meant to be place of worship and sharing and edification.

Not control or entertainment . . or even slick sermons.

Jeff & Annette Hammond

And we still believed in multiple eldership and the restoration of all things as well.

Not just because of Ray Jackson Snr but because we had seen it in Scripture and it had been confirmed in Jeff Hammond’s Master’s thesis (the book below is based on it). Mainstream academic theologians couldn’t deny the core claims of the thesis.

I secretly read Jeff and Annette’s book and it led me to move from a mainstream church to MCF in the mid 1980s. Nothing at MCF was ever as clearly documented Scripturally as Jeff’s book, or practised as we’d hoped.

But it was all we had.

Jeff & Annette Hammond’s (was Harvey) book, based on his Master’s thesis. Mainstream experts couldn’t deny the core claims of the thesis.

5 thoughts on “How church should be

  1. Hi Paul
    I think it is a bit harsh to say the modern church has got it wrong since 1AD. There are plenty of churches who share the ministry around and give different people opportunities to minister every time the church gathers. Churches also reflect the culture of the people – and that means that not all will fit a 1st Century lifestyle but they will still be doing things that edify and build up. Was the church in Corinth doing the same things as the church in Ephesus? Or Rome? We don’t know. Paul’s letters were pastoral and covered different things according to whom he was writing.
    You also said MCF was on the right track … in some respects yes but the fact it was being led by a philandering adulterer who, like Vic, was a narcissistic megalomaniac causes me to question any of the teaching that came out of that place. If the foundation is corrupt then the whole building should be pulled down.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, the preponderance of churches don’t allow much room for the congregation to minister.

      ‘The Church’ = mainstream and Pentecostal churches pretty much don’t. And I’ve been around 6 churches all together that cover those two branches (minus Catholicism).

      Anything else is on the fringe and good for them!

      Although Paul’s letter may have been pastoral, it’s hard to see 1 Cor 14:26 being anything but a strong guide for how church should be. If you’ve seen anything like he describes tell me where!

      And I don’t really buy the cultural excuse. It’s certainly a factor. Paul was being a bit Jewish there. But what’s wrong with that if that’s how God wants it? It’s certainly how the early church operated. We can’t let culture get in the way that God wants to operate.

      And, I fully agree with you, those core leaders fell. But around them were very solid men and women like Kevin Connor, Jeff Hammond, Phil Baird, Tony Lyon, my father Charles and even I and my wife Justine. These men, and their wives, even Kevin Connor near his death bed, still pine for or work hard to practice the Priesthood of All Believers model.

      I was never swayed by Jackson Snr himself or the silly ‘deep and meaningful’ touchy feely stuff.

      I was very impressed with Jeff Hammonds Master’s thesis (from age 16), which I have a copy of in front of me (apart from the emphasis on one church in a city which is certainly nice but unnecessary).

      I discovered when I left that many people just ‘loved the fellowship’ and it almost didn’t matter whether the teachings had deviated from being Biblical.

      Like

  2. Hi Paul,

    I am in New Zealand. You might be interested to learn that my husband and I went to a church here some years ago which was founded by Jackson Snr. Guess what? That church is a cult. Same dynamics, same control, same disturbing sexual abuse overtones from the male elders. We were there for a couple of weeks, it was totally mind blowing. We were able to nail them on their behaviour, knowing as we do from personal experience about the CF abuses and activities. Totally hilarious. They actually shun us in the streets and practically run screaming from the grocery store if they see us there. Can’t even bring themselves to look us in the eye. And we thought we had left all this behind in Australia.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I had heard about the NZ connections of course. I’m so sad to hear that the bad stuff seems to persist and the good stuff wanes!

      Like

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