• Welcome to Talk Jesus

    A true bible based, Jesus centered online community. Join over 13,000 members today

    Register Log In

Do Churches Need Rules?

Users who viewed this discussion (Total:0)

Active
I was visiting a church once and the minister was preaching, explaining that in that church there was only one rule, do not flush wet wipes down the toilet! He went on to explain that Jesus gave us lots of advice but only two commandments, the new commandment in John 13:34 and the great commission Matthew 28:16-20.


The Apostles to gave more advice to churches about God's will and how we as churches and individuals can please Him but not really rules or regulations as such.


This compares with the not ten but 613 commands of God in the Old Testament as well as prescribed feasts and fasts. These ranged from tethering an ox through to the fabric of your shirt right up to murder, marriage and idol worship. These commands were rules that had to be adhered to strictly and if you broke one, you'd broken them all. I suspect that there were many many more that God would have given the Jews, but what was the point? He knew that none would keep them. Adam only had one command, and still he only achieved nought out of one.


So why the change? Why did God move from a myriad of rules and cut them down to two? I believe that God actually hates rules, I know that Jesus wasn't a fan. Take the woman caught in adultery John 8:1-11. Jesus was wrong and the Pharisees were right, the penalty of adultery according to God's law was immediate death Leviticus 20:10. Had that sentence been carried out she would have gone straight to Hell. Jesus sought her forgiveness and may well have saved her soul. There was a precedent for this forgiveness in 2 Samuel 12:13. Again, Jesus was not a fan of the laws of Sabbath keeping, or the way the Pharisees had morphed them.


I believe that God would much prefer us to adopt the approach in Isaiah 59:21, Jeremiah 31:33 and Ezekiel 11:19. We want God's pleasure and approval so we do what pleases Him and in many ways that goes beyond the Old Testament commandments. It's not rules and regulations that keep us in check it's our love of our saviour and our father, particularly as there's no punishment for breaking the rules any more.


So why do churches still need regulations? Dress codes for women, qualifications to take communion, morality rules, priests celibacy (Catholics) female speakers, no pets ... some of these rules seem to have fallen by the wayside but do churches need rules or is it an admission that the verses in the previous paragraph no longer apply?

What lessons can we draw from the seven churches in Revelation Chapters 1-3?

If rules are good, which ones and why?
 
Loyal
The New Testament gives guidelines / rules for keeping order in a church service. Guidelines for preachers/ deacons. For tongues. For marriage.

Our local laws are found in the Ten Commandments, actually.
 
Member
There are only two rules. They replaced the ten. Love Thy neighbour as Thy self. And love the lord god almighty above all other things.
 
Loyal
Yes, for daily living. Aren't we talking about the church?! If everyone did whatever they felt led to do -- there would be chaos during the church service.
 
Active
Yes, for daily living. Aren't we talking about the church?! If everyone did whatever they felt led to do -- there would be chaos during the church service.
Hi Sue, I'm not talking about guidelines, I'm talking about rules. I grew up in a church with a whole raft of rules. For example women weren't allowed any participation, one teen girl had the temerity to pray in a prayer meeting but was interrupted by a senior who declared, 'Either she shuts up or I walk'. Girls without hats were offered a headscarf and if they declined were advised to jog on. If you hadn't been baptised (full immersion) you couldn't take communion. I was caught having a meal in a cafe on the Sabbath and reprimanded, and so on and so on. I actually loved that church, that's were I got a hunger for the Bible, but the rules ....

Most churches these days are a little bit more relaxed than that, but still, you don't have to step far out of line before you find yourself being admonished for breaking unwritten rules. To me rules should be treated like antibiotics, use only when absolutely necessary. I remember chatting to a Jewish colleague some years ago, he was moaning about all their rules. He drove his car to the synagogue which is a definite no no so he'd park down the road, around the corner. He was telling me that Jews are limited as to how far they were allowed to walk on a Shabas so they had to live inside that distance of the synagogue. Women are forbidden from carrying babies or pushing them in prams so were forced to stay at home until the baby could walk by which time they were often expectant again because family planning was frowned upon.

For me, if we each of us truly love God, we want to come together to experience corporate worship, love, praise and adoration of our God. Rules have no place in a church founded on this principle.

And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:4‭-‬6 NKJV

Confession. I have got an axe to grind on this. I'm not going to detail which particular daft rule I'm talking about, I just wanted to event my spleen. Rant over!
 
Loyal
I suggest you read the book of Timothy there are rules that must be followed for instance

1 Timothy 3:1-7
The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? .
.


yeap these are rules God set in place for his church and its best to follow them t
 
Loyal
@Andyindauk -- I can understand your reluctance for the rules of that particular church. Very stringent. Possibly some 7th Day Adventist with other beliefs included. Strict obedience. A lot of people feel 'safe' within the confines of lots of strict rules.

God wants to have relationship with us -- not us having our relationship with rules and regulations.

that which you've shared is different than things like order during a church service. For instance if everyone was free to do what ever they wanted -- someone felt led to sing a song, another felt led to pray -- another felt led give a testimony -- there would be chaos, So - people in a congregation do things at the same time. When the person directing the singing of songs, everyone sings the same song at the same time or sits or stands quietly if they don't want to sing. When someone is praying out loud -- everyone is quiet and listens. When the offering place is being passed around - a person is free to give to it or not. But they don't decide to stand up and give a testimony or sing a song.

The book of Titus , chapter 2 also gives those guidelines.

There is one leader of a group. The rest follow his leading. that might change from week or week or month by , but there is only one leader at a time
And the group the determines who the leader is Does need to follow the Biblical guidelines.
 
Loyal
Hi Sue, I'm not talking about guidelines, I'm talking about rules. I grew up in a church with a whole raft of rules. For example women weren't allowed any participation, one teen girl had the temerity to pray in a prayer meeting but was interrupted by a senior who declared, 'Either she shuts up or I walk'. Girls without hats were offered a headscarf and if they declined were advised to jog on. If you hadn't been baptised (full immersion) you couldn't take communion. I was caught having a meal in a cafe on the Sabbath and reprimanded, and so on and so on. I actually loved that church, that's were I got a hunger for the Bible, but the rules ....

Most churches these days are a little bit more relaxed than that, but still, you don't have to step far out of line before you find yourself being admonished for breaking unwritten rules. To me rules should be treated like antibiotics, use only when absolutely necessary. I remember chatting to a Jewish colleague some years ago, he was moaning about all their rules. He drove his car to the synagogue which is a definite no no so he'd park down the road, around the corner. He was telling me that Jews are limited as to how far they were allowed to walk on a Shabas so they had to live inside that distance of the synagogue. Women are forbidden from carrying babies or pushing them in prams so were forced to stay at home until the baby could walk by which time they were often expectant again because family planning was frowned upon.

For me, if we each of us truly love God, we want to come together to experience corporate worship, love, praise and adoration of our God. Rules have no place in a church founded on this principle.

And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:4‭-‬6 NKJV

Confession. I have got an axe to grind on this. I'm not going to detail which particular daft rule I'm talking about, I just wanted to event my spleen. Rant over!
I'm with you in spirit on this. But its worth saying that problems also rear up when there aren't clear rules. I know churches that are chaotic because of lax discipline

It's striking a balance that enables freedom and at the same time keeps us safe.
 
Top