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Friday, December 3, 2010

Simple Church Minute 38--orator

38—orator
My name is Tom; this is Simple Church Minute        
            You know how some death metal bands describe things in their music that, if they really did those things, they’d be in jail or a mental institution?  Why are some people attracted to that?  At the least, its an emotional charge.  Back in the time of Christ, in the Roman Empire, a rough equivalent in their culture were some orators.  The man would come in and give the crowd an experience through their words.  There were various types.  Like some musicians, attorneys, politicians, and actors today, the orator may not have believed what he was saying, and probably there were times that some in the crowd knew it.  But, the good ones did it with talent and skill.
            The modern sermon descends from that.  Some orators came to faith in Jesus or at least said so for a regular gig.  Clement of Alexandria, in the 2nd century, commented on how little Christian growth came out of believers listening to sermons.  The Bible directs believers to build up each other, as opposed to one-directional communication.  In an open sharing situation, everyone in the church can grow through the wisdom God has placed among various believers, young and old, male and female, rich or poor, highly educated or having learned at the school of hard knocks.  From my experience, even someone getting up and saying the absolutely wrong thing, when the group is being guided by the Holy Spirit, becomes a learning experience for all.  The church was not built by the Holy Spirit having people relate to the back of other believers’ heads.  During the Vietnam War, George Carlin joked that a certain amount of money had been spent for every person in the country, and that we could have bribed them cheaper.  Sometimes it looks like the traditional church is trying to do the same thing, so the Holy Spirit is touching lives at a record pace in countries where you can’t spend money in many ways, much like the early church.
            You can email me at simplechurchminute@gmail.com.  For more info on organic church*, visit http://www.simplechurch.com/ or locally at (local website)
On the recording, at this time, it says, “house churches.”  While that phrasing is OK, to say “organic church” is better.  I comment on that in blip 94.

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