Irresistable Fellowship

Twice over the last month I’ve had people pull out the Hebrews 10:25 gun when a group of folks I’m with start talking about finding real community in places other than the Sunday morning congregation. It makes me cringe. Not for the people I’m with, because they usually know that Hebrews is talking about something incredibly more powerful than just having your fanny in a pew on Sunday morning. It’s about having your lives intersect with other believers in ways that allow each to encourage the others and in doing so stimulating each other to love and good deeds. That’s not about what meetings we attend, but how we live our lives each day.

The reason I cringe is for the person saying it. If the only reason they go to a congregation is because they’re convinced Scripture tells them to, then they have missed what’s beautiful about fellowship. It’s not a chore, it’s a joy! When we reduce body life to a ‘have to’ instead of a ‘get to’ we’ve already admitted that we’ve lost the life in it.

Someone on the Lifestream list the other day used the word irresistable to talk about their connections with other Christians. I loved that. Because sharing our life in Christ with other believers on similar journeys is not onerous. It’s irresistable!

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8 Comments
  1. tommy kurtyka March 4, 2006 at 1:19 am

    You indicate that why we meet is as important as that we meet. If the world can’t stop our ‘gathering together’ it will try to corrupt/trivialize it. One such seduction would be sin management.
    Imagine you woke up this morning and could see sin and its lingering effects clinging like a thick grey mucus to every thing. Gazing in your morning mirror you realize with horror that globs of it are clinging to you – a shawl of slime on your shoulders, a clot next to your nose, strands sticking to your hair. You perform your morning quiet time with extra enthusiasm and are glad to see the clots slowly evaporating as you focus on the Word.
    The trip to work made you nauseous as well as producing a few surprises. Green slime oozing out of the windows of that new churches parsonage, Mrs. Klupps yard – the neighborhood sour pus looked better then yous! Approaching down town you wondered how people could breathe. The slime was up to their nostrils — pouring out of the movie theater, oozing from the book store, gushing out of office buildings.
    You nearly lost it at work, politely shaking hands with people who had sludge dripping from their finger tips. Rubbing shoulders in the elevator while curdled clumps of cast off snot soak through your jacket.
    By noon all you could think of was church. Clean fresh uncontaminated church. People who don’t look like they’re melting. A place to sit down with out sticking . Air that doesn’t smell like sewage.
    Church dear immaculate church!
    At last it’s 7 PM.
    Met at the door by the mirror of James (Jas 1:23) they immediately begin attacking the collected grim by scrubbing in the water of the Word. Clots that continue to stick are scaped with the Sword of the Spirit. The little ones are being decontaminated with Gos – pills. A few antiseptic songs are sung and then it’s time for Pastor. He’s soooo wonderful. Little surprise his messages are being broadcast on an increasing number of stations. “How to Make Soapâ€, “Soap – Ingredients for Success†“The application and Use of Soap,†,“ Soap – It’s Not Just for Showers Anymore.†The congregation, in obedience to the “one anothering†scriptures preen each other like so many monkeys.
    The service at last closes and you step out into the polluted night. Looking back over your shoulder your gaze lingers on the sign over the door. “First Church of the Gospel of Sin Management.â€
    ‘I wonder,†you think, “I wonder what it would be like if Jesus Christ was here?â€
    Will this be contined?

  2. tommy kurtyka March 4, 2006 at 4:19 am

    You indicate that why we meet is as important as that we meet. If the world can’t stop our ‘gathering together’ it will try to corrupt/trivialize it. One such seduction would be sin management.
    Imagine you woke up this morning and could see sin and its lingering effects clinging like a thick grey mucus to every thing. Gazing in your morning mirror you realize with horror that globs of it are clinging to you – a shawl of slime on your shoulders, a clot next to your nose, strands sticking to your hair. You perform your morning quiet time with extra enthusiasm and are glad to see the clots slowly evaporating as you focus on the Word.
    The trip to work made you nauseous as well as producing a few surprises. Green slime oozing out of the windows of that new churches parsonage, Mrs. Klupps yard – the neighborhood sour pus looked better then yous! Approaching down town you wondered how people could breathe. The slime was up to their nostrils — pouring out of the movie theater, oozing from the book store, gushing out of office buildings.
    You nearly lost it at work, politely shaking hands with people who had sludge dripping from their finger tips. Rubbing shoulders in the elevator while curdled clumps of cast off snot soak through your jacket.
    By noon all you could think of was church. Clean fresh uncontaminated church. People who don’t look like they’re melting. A place to sit down with out sticking . Air that doesn’t smell like sewage.
    Church dear immaculate church!
    At last it’s 7 PM.
    Met at the door by the mirror of James (Jas 1:23) they immediately begin attacking the collected grim by scrubbing in the water of the Word. Clots that continue to stick are scaped with the Sword of the Spirit. The little ones are being decontaminated with Gos – pills. A few antiseptic songs are sung and then it’s time for Pastor. He’s soooo wonderful. Little surprise his messages are being broadcast on an increasing number of stations. “How to Make Soapâ€, “Soap – Ingredients for Success†“The application and Use of Soap,†,“ Soap – It’s Not Just for Showers Anymore.†The congregation, in obedience to the “one anothering†scriptures preen each other like so many monkeys.
    The service at last closes and you step out into the polluted night. Looking back over your shoulder your gaze lingers on the sign over the door. “First Church of the Gospel of Sin Management.â€
    ‘I wonder,†you think, “I wonder what it would be like if Jesus Christ was here?â€
    Will this be contined?

  3. Steve March 4, 2006 at 7:27 am

    Yep, gathering with other believers is a passion.

  4. Steve March 4, 2006 at 10:27 am

    Yep, gathering with other believers is a passion.

  5. Rob Horton March 5, 2006 at 9:52 am

    Awesome point!!! I have recenlty discovered the resources you offering to the Body and to the Others. I am very impressed and thankful and will send brothers and sisters this way. It is so awesome what the Spirit of the Living God is doing in our day.

  6. Rob Horton March 5, 2006 at 12:52 pm

    Awesome point!!! I have recenlty discovered the resources you offering to the Body and to the Others. I am very impressed and thankful and will send brothers and sisters this way. It is so awesome what the Spirit of the Living God is doing in our day.

  7. Robert Gillard March 18, 2006 at 3:48 am

    I too have been bludgeoned by the improper use of Hebrews 10:25. The following is something I shared with my brothers in England recently about meeting together….
    I was talking to one of the young ladies from my old ‘church’ today and I was saying that I didn’t need to go to church, I am Church. (in the sense that all of us, who are called, are the Church.) She agreed but stated that all of us who are Church need to meet together. That is true as well, but I think that my major argument with the churches is how they meet together.
    If one member is excluded from being a fully functioning member of the Body, for whatever reason then the meeting together is flawed. We can exclude or be excluded because we are not clergy, or eldership; excluded because we are babes, or thought to be immature or not settled or committed enough; we can be excluded because we are considered not pure enough or break some of the local congregation’s un-written rules; we can be excluded because we are new to the congregation or because we do not belong to one of the founding families.
    All of this denies us the opportunity to be a fully functioning member, bringing that ministry to the Body which the Spirit, in His wisdom, “divides to each man severally as He wills.â€
    Furthermore if a church operates in such a way that the Spirit is quenched then the seeds will sprout, but quickly wither away, lacking that vital life-giving Water that flows from the throne of God. If a meeting is overly planned, regimented and squeezed into a 1 ¼ hour time slot, if one man blathers away from the front and runs it as a carefully choreographed entertainment, then it is something “ made with hands†and, as scripture plainly teaches, “God does not dwell in a temple made with hands. He will come by his Spirit or not at all.
    The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that the way that we meet together should be at the behest of God and that we should bring to each other the wonder of Christ as He reveals Himself to us. Our relationship with Him becomes all important at this point because to bring what we know about Him is to describe apple trees as ‘green’ and water as ‘wet’ but does nothing to describe the taste of apples or the experience of diving on the Great Barrier Reef!
    I have been thinking lately of an old Sally Army song we used to sing….

    “Christ is all, is all in all
    My Christ is all in all.â€
    Church, as I understand it is not about bishops and towering Cathedrals, or sitting in pews reading dry words from dusty missals, it’s not about big bass drums and bonneted babes playing tambourines. Church is not about Sunday school, men’s fellowship, women’s aglow, choir practise, youth group, over 60’s club, mid-week bible study, 3 meetings on a Sunday and back to work on Monday morning for a well earned rest. Church is about Jesus. Him, hor doeuvre, main, desert and after dinner mint !! Everything. Whewwwww !! Will he ever stop preaching? Whaddya reckon?
    We need a massive, intra-venous injection of Jesus and the truth that He is and that He speaks into our hearts. We need to know that we are sinners but also that His love for us is so profound, so deep, so far reaching that nothing we ever do or say or perpetrate on our poor un-suspecting brothers and sisters can stop that tsunami of love from overwhelming the rottenness that threatens to obliterate us!!! This is the Jesus I know. Not the kind of jesus that looks down at us as if we are something he just stepped in because we like a beer, or we looked at something on the net we shouldn’t have, or are not measuring up to the commitment required for the program driven church. “There is, therefore, no condemnation.†If the Bible is true, what about that verse?

    So I turn up on judgement day with my garment washed spotless in the Blood of the Lamb, trembling before the Glory of God and His voice comes to me, “ Depart from me, thou weasel, thou pitiful excuse of a man, thou didst not support Promise Keepers and missed three Bible studies in a single year!â€
    Anyway enough of this. I guess what I’m saying is that the answer does not lie in church program or church systems, nor does it lie, necessarily in house churches if they simply perpetuate old patterns in a new way. You know how it is when you meet somebody that loves God. Simply because he loves God, you can fellowship with him and not realise that its suddenly one o’ clock in the morning? Somebody suggested that if a bunch of Christians get together for a barbecue, Church will happen quite naturally. Who said that communion couldn’t be done with a couple of slightly overdone sausages and a cold Lager?

    I hope this is helpful, Bless all you blood-bought sinners out there

    Robert Gillard. Whangarei, New Zealand.

  8. Robert Gillard March 18, 2006 at 6:48 am

    I too have been bludgeoned by the improper use of Hebrews 10:25. The following is something I shared with my brothers in England recently about meeting together….
    I was talking to one of the young ladies from my old ‘church’ today and I was saying that I didn’t need to go to church, I am Church. (in the sense that all of us, who are called, are the Church.) She agreed but stated that all of us who are Church need to meet together. That is true as well, but I think that my major argument with the churches is how they meet together.
    If one member is excluded from being a fully functioning member of the Body, for whatever reason then the meeting together is flawed. We can exclude or be excluded because we are not clergy, or eldership; excluded because we are babes, or thought to be immature or not settled or committed enough; we can be excluded because we are considered not pure enough or break some of the local congregation’s un-written rules; we can be excluded because we are new to the congregation or because we do not belong to one of the founding families.
    All of this denies us the opportunity to be a fully functioning member, bringing that ministry to the Body which the Spirit, in His wisdom, “divides to each man severally as He wills.â€
    Furthermore if a church operates in such a way that the Spirit is quenched then the seeds will sprout, but quickly wither away, lacking that vital life-giving Water that flows from the throne of God. If a meeting is overly planned, regimented and squeezed into a 1 ¼ hour time slot, if one man blathers away from the front and runs it as a carefully choreographed entertainment, then it is something “ made with hands†and, as scripture plainly teaches, “God does not dwell in a temple made with hands. He will come by his Spirit or not at all.
    The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that the way that we meet together should be at the behest of God and that we should bring to each other the wonder of Christ as He reveals Himself to us. Our relationship with Him becomes all important at this point because to bring what we know about Him is to describe apple trees as ‘green’ and water as ‘wet’ but does nothing to describe the taste of apples or the experience of diving on the Great Barrier Reef!
    I have been thinking lately of an old Sally Army song we used to sing….

    “Christ is all, is all in all
    My Christ is all in all.â€
    Church, as I understand it is not about bishops and towering Cathedrals, or sitting in pews reading dry words from dusty missals, it’s not about big bass drums and bonneted babes playing tambourines. Church is not about Sunday school, men’s fellowship, women’s aglow, choir practise, youth group, over 60’s club, mid-week bible study, 3 meetings on a Sunday and back to work on Monday morning for a well earned rest. Church is about Jesus. Him, hor doeuvre, main, desert and after dinner mint !! Everything. Whewwwww !! Will he ever stop preaching? Whaddya reckon?
    We need a massive, intra-venous injection of Jesus and the truth that He is and that He speaks into our hearts. We need to know that we are sinners but also that His love for us is so profound, so deep, so far reaching that nothing we ever do or say or perpetrate on our poor un-suspecting brothers and sisters can stop that tsunami of love from overwhelming the rottenness that threatens to obliterate us!!! This is the Jesus I know. Not the kind of jesus that looks down at us as if we are something he just stepped in because we like a beer, or we looked at something on the net we shouldn’t have, or are not measuring up to the commitment required for the program driven church. “There is, therefore, no condemnation.†If the Bible is true, what about that verse?

    So I turn up on judgement day with my garment washed spotless in the Blood of the Lamb, trembling before the Glory of God and His voice comes to me, “ Depart from me, thou weasel, thou pitiful excuse of a man, thou didst not support Promise Keepers and missed three Bible studies in a single year!â€
    Anyway enough of this. I guess what I’m saying is that the answer does not lie in church program or church systems, nor does it lie, necessarily in house churches if they simply perpetuate old patterns in a new way. You know how it is when you meet somebody that loves God. Simply because he loves God, you can fellowship with him and not realise that its suddenly one o’ clock in the morning? Somebody suggested that if a bunch of Christians get together for a barbecue, Church will happen quite naturally. Who said that communion couldn’t be done with a couple of slightly overdone sausages and a cold Lager?

    I hope this is helpful, Bless all you blood-bought sinners out there

    Robert Gillard. Whangarei, New Zealand.

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