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The Prevailing "Church System"

Member
A fatal thing is that which is represented by the present "Church system." The present system which obtains in the largest realm is almost entirely a matter of congregations and preaching places, places where people gather together or congregate in a religious way-- yes, maybe an evangelical way, yet but congregations-- and they come together to go through a certain rota and, in the main, to hear something preached, and they go away. Now, while there are variations and degrees in that system, that very largely is the postion; and that is not a corporate expression of Christ. That is a congregation . That is not a body. That is not the Body locally expressed and functioning. It is something less. What is the result? Namely very little spiritual growth.

I am being very frank now. I want to talk out of my heart because I feel the Lord wants to get us somewhere is this hour on this matter, and I must run the risk of treading upon sensibilties in order to get there. The result spirtually in this instance is very largely the same as in the other case of the merely individualistic, and we are elsewhere finding people today in that present Church system who has not a glimmer of light on the Lord's fuller purpose and do not know what you are talking about; and multitudes of them have no interest in anything else. This thing, this going through a rota, this place of the public worship line of things has come into the place of the true local expression of the Body of Christ, and has set that aside.

Today , speaking of the Church in that sense, it is the Church like that which is in a state of terrible spirtual infancy and immaturity and unenlightenment after all these centuries, and people born and brought up in it do not grow spiritually. I know there are some who do grow despite it, but I am speaking of the thing itself. It has become a fatal menace to the real purpose of God.

This is an excerpt from the book "God's Spiritual House" by T. Austin Sparks.
 
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Member
Scripture says it a little differantly.


Mat 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
 
Member
CliffS said:
Scripture says it a little differantly.
Mat 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
The excerpt was taken from a book titled "God's Spiritual House", The author is addressing here spiritual growth. I think the scripture that you quoted is dealing with new birth and entering the kingdom of God. But both show how religious attitude can get in the way.
 
Member
jiggyfly said:
The excerpt was taken from a book titled "God's Spiritual House", The author is addressing here spiritual growth. I think the scripture that you quoted is dealing with new birth and entering the kingdom of God. But both show how religious attitude can get in the way.
IMHO
I agree in this excerpt Mr. Sparks is speaking of spiritual growth, . But It seems to me that he sees it as a more serious problem than simply lack of maturity. He starts and finishes with the word fatal.
While Mr. Sparks does not mention the cause of this problem, only that it exists and the result of it's existance. The simularities between the falure to recognize God by those at that time and the deteriated condition of the church today cannot be denied. In Mat 23:15 Jesus lays the responcibility for that squarely at the feet of the religous leaders.
We don't need another church system, another program, plan, ministry, and certianly no more massive church buildings.
What we need is to follow the plan set forth in scripture.

Worship God,
pray to the father,
follow Jesus,
listen to the Holy Spirit,
then fellowship in the church.
 
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Member
jiggyfly said:
A fatal thing is that which is represented by the present "Church system." The present system which obtainsin the largest realm is almost entirely a matter of congregations and preaching places, places where people gather together or congregate in a religious way-- yes, maybe an evangelical way, yet but congregations-- and they come together to go through a certain rota and, in the main, to hear something preached, and they go away. Now, while there are variations and degrees in that system, that very largely is the postion; and that is not a corporate expression of Christ. That is a congregation . That is not a body. That is not the Body locally expressed and functioning. It is something less. What is the result? Namely very little spiritual growth.

I am being very frank now. I want to talk out of my heart because I feel the Lord wants to get us somewhere is this hour on this matter, and I must run the risk of treading upon sensibilties in order to get there. The result spirtually in this instance is very largely the same as in the other case of the merely individualistic, and we are elsewhere finding people today in that present Church system who has not a glimmer of light on the Lord's fuller purpose and do not know what you are talking about; and multitudes of them have no interest in anything else. This thing, this going through a rota, this place of the public worship line of things has come into the place mof the true local expression of the Body of Christ, and has set that aside.

Today , speaking of the Church in that sense, it is the Church like that which is in a state of terrible spirtual infancy and immaturity and unenlightenment after all these centuries, and people born and brought up in it do not grow spiritually. I know there are some who do grow despite it, but I am speaking of the thing itself. It has become a fatal menace to the real purpose of God.

This is an excerpt from the book "God's Spiritual House" by T. Austin Sparks.
Jiggyfly,

I agree with you. Many churches have decended into the abyss of "11:00 Sharp to 12:00 Dull". They have eased God off the throne and replaced Him with religiosity. How sad, how very sad.

But God is not sitting still. He is raising up Spirit-filled churches that are drawing people in great numbers; the true seekers fleeing dead religion for new life with Jesus.



SLE
 
Member
CliffS said:
IMHO
I agree in this excerpt Mr. Sparks is speaking of spiritual growth, . But It seems to me that he sees it as a more serious problem than simply lack of maturity. He starts and finishes with the word fatal.
While Mr. Sparks does not mention the cause of this problem, only that it exists and the result of it's existance. The simularities between the falure to recognize God by those at that time and the deteriated condition of the church today cannot be denied. In Mat 23:15 Jesus lays the responcibility for that squarely at the feet of the religous leaders.
We don't need another church system, another program, plan, ministry, and certianly no more massive church buildings.
What we need is to follow the plan set forth in scripture.
Worship God,
pray to the father,
follow Jesus,
listen to the Holy Spirit,
then fellowship in the church.
I agree with you Cliffs that we don't need another church system, I don't believe that we need a system at all. What brother Sparks is pointing out is that if those who are a participant in a religious system it will be very unlikely that they will become spiritually mature.
 
Member
SpiritLedEd said:
Jiggyfly,
I agree with you. Many churches have decended into the abyss of "11:00 Sharp to 12:00 Dull". They have eased God off the throne and replaced Him with religiosity. How sad, how very sad.
But God is not sitting still. He is raising up Spirit-filled churches that are drawing people in great numbers; the true seekers fleeing dead religion for new life with Jesus.
SLE
Oh I agree SLE, God is raising up people, Jesus said the He would build His Church, and Peter said that God is using living stones to build up this spiritual temple. The religious system(the clergy/laity system for example) that many christians employ is not to God's liking, but rather their own. Sparks just points out that in such a system it is very doubtful that one will ever become spiritually mature.
 
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Member
What we need is to stop following a 'plan', and start following the leading of the Spirit. For a surety, the Spirit of God is still yearning to lead His people out of this spiritual wilderness, He is still willing to be a cloud by day and a fire by night to His people, but the glory of God is driven from the camp, because His people still want to worship things created instead of the creator. How is it that man still wants a system, when God sent a SAVIOUR!


Deu 8:3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

2Ch 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
 
Member
I hadnt read that scripture portion you referred to in awhile jiggy...it blessed me to read it again...glory to God!

1Pe 2:3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
 
Member
Coconut said:
I hadnt read that scripture portion you referred to in awhile jiggy...it blessed me to read it again...glory to God!
1Pe 2:3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
Amen Coconut it has the sound of LIFE in it, kinda like rivers of living water flowing up and out.
 
Member
I believe that the church of God does exsist, and that He is in control of it through prophets, apostles and other church leaders. The Holy Ghost is also there to lead us, and to comfirm the truth to us. I hope you search out the true church and find it as i have.
 
Member
jiggyfly said:
Sparks just points out that in such a system it is very doubtful that one will ever become spiritually mature.
I must also agree with this. I've seen it many times. The question that comes to mind is... is this lack of maturity the result of the system of worship, OR is the system of worship a product of a lack of maturity? Is it the cause or the symptom? What I mean is, birds of a feather flock together, so are people who are content not to grow coming together, or are people coming together and then becoming content with the system, and becoming stagnate? Just a thought.

God bless,
Nigh
 
Member
Nigh said:
I must also agree with this. I've seen it many times. The question that comes to mind is... is this lack of maturity the result of the system of worship, OR is the system of worship a product of a lack of maturity? Is it the cause or the symptom? What I mean is, birds of a feather flock together, so are people who are content not to grow coming together, or are people coming together and then becoming content with the system, and becoming stagnate? Just a thought.
God bless,
Nigh
And a very difficult question at that. One that may take some real digging into the word and church history to find. May take a day or two .
 
Member
friendtoall said:
I believe that the church of God does exsist, and that He is in control of it through prophets, apostles and other church leaders. The Holy Ghost is also there to lead us, and to comfirm the truth to us. I hope you search out the true church and find it as i have.
I have found it and it is awesome. It's not full of clergy and laity but brothers and sisters.
 
Member
I attend a "brick and mortar" church. There I found my "spiritual parents", and brothers and sisters. There is, of course, a system in place, but it's when I leave there and hold bible studies at our house, or attend a mens conference, or a prayer meeting, that I find the most growth.

This leads me to believe it is as much the individual as it is the church system. If you as and individual rely on your church for all of your growth, then you are missing out. Even in the most stagnate, dead churches, I bet you can find people who are still growing, because their focus in on the Lord and not the church.

"Seek first the kingdom of God". "Draw nigh to him, and he will draw nigh to you". Seems to me, it's up to us to take the first step, and God promises to meet us half way.

God bless,
Nigh
 
Member
churchs are a great place to lean and grow, but ther is no better place to teach the gospel than in the home of the family. Another thing i have found about some people who dont like to go to church is that they dont like being told what to do or how to this or that, they want it ther way not the Lords way so they stop going.
 
Member
friendtoall said:
churchs are a great place to lean and grow, but ther is no better place to teach the gospel than in the home of the family. Another thing i have found about some people who dont like to go to church is that they dont like being told what to do or how to this or that, they want it ther way not the Lords way so they stop going.
So are you saying that the Lord's way is to participate in religious liturgy in a specific building and on a specific day, friendtoall?
 
Member
friendtoall said:
yes its an important part of worship, but just part of it, ther is much more to living the gospel than just what goes on in the church.
Do you have any scriptures to confirm that religious liturgy and ceremony are the Lord's way for us to come together?
I know it is important that believers in a community come together in the name of Christ, but I haven't seen any scripture that says I need to do it the way that most of christianity does it on Sunday. And I can't imagine the Lord wanting me to participate in a system that teaches the doctrines of man while ignoring some of Jesus' commands.
 

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