Christian Insights From the Q Tree

I just read an interesting discussion on the Q Tree that I wanted to retain & share on Special Connections…this is a link to the original discussion & so much more!!!

https://wqth.wordpress.com/2019/10/11/hanlons-razor-and-the-mamet-principle-must-get-off-our-lawn/

From within the main post:

The link won’t work in the tweet image. Try these links. FIRST, a variety of translations of Matthew 10:16.

https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/Matthew%2010%3A16

Next, a useful exposition on it.

http://www.bible.ca/ef/expository-matthew-10-16.htm

Now from within the Comments to the above post:

 

  1. Sidebar (just for reflection or consideration, not derail or change the direction of discussion)

    “This brings me to a final point. The disarming of modern Christianity…”

    _________________

    This raises a fundamental question.

    Without a written record (e.g., the New Testament), how would anyone know how the Author of Christianity intended for Christianity to be followed and practiced?

    This leads to a follow up question:

    Has the New Testament — which contains the examples, commandments and pattern for Christianity — changed since it was written down? Yes there are minor discrepancies due to translation and other anomalies, but to my knowledge not even scholars who are critics claim any of those anomalies result in any conflict of doctrine, practice or belief.

    If the New Testament has not changed since it was completed in the 1st century AD, and the New Testament contains the examples, commandments and pattern for Christianity — then what difference could there be, between 1st century Christianity and ‘modern’ Christianity?

    Or to ask it another way, WHAT practice or doctrine or belief found in the New Testament and practiced by Christians in the 1st century is not also applicable today?

    And if we do anything today that was not practiced in the 1st century and recorded in the New Testament, then by what AUTHORITY do we do that thing?

    By the power and decree of Toby?

    Was it Toby’s idea?

    Is Toby in charge?

    Are we going to be judged by the word of Toby?

    Or by the Word of God?

    Has the Word of God changed since it was written down?

    Has God indicated that He has changed His mind about anything, or added anything, or subtracted anything, since the New Testament was completed?

    If the answer to that question is ‘No’, then how can ‘modern’ Christianity be even the slightest bit different than 1st century Christianity?

    .

    [The reason the question is relevant to this discussion is because the closer we adhere to what the Scriptures actually say / authorize / approve by command / example / necessary inference, the LESS likely we are to be deceived or led astray into false doctrines by wolves in sheep’s clothing.]

    This is profound.

    1. A. This is a great point.

      B. This is why we are constantly “going back to the beginning” to try to re-understand Christianity in today’s context.

      C. This is why it’s useful to think of Christianity in its origin as a school of Jewish thought, just like the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, Baptists (John’s movement), Samaritans, etc.

      D. This is why I sometimes describe my outlook as proto-Christian (I prefer to go back all the way – to when Christ was WALKING and TEACHING and JEWS but more and more GENTILES were his audience.

      Now, this gets into a BIG DEAL where I see the arguments of all sides having some validity.

      On the one hand, you have the “red-letter Christians” who say we should only REALLY pay attention to Christ’s own words and directly paraphrased parables, as recorded in the Gospels, with the other, apostolic works (which are mostly Paul) being treated as essentially the Talmud of Christ.

      But at the same time, we realize that Christ understood that a CHURCH would arise AFTER he was gone, and he left explicit instructions for GROWTH.

      That is why your idea of TIMING of “First Century” is probably about right, IMO. I tend to agree that everything after that may be fundamental to the CHURCH, but it is still FLOORBOARDS that can be ripped up if need be, for example after MAJOR FLOODING or FIRE. But such serious renovation cannot really take place without a LOT of discussion within the ENTIRE congregation. Major renovation has its risks, too. Sky-garden “Church of Gaia” plans for Notre Dame come to mind!!! o_O LOL!!! NO THANKS!!! But making things look OLD AGAIN (Retro-Christianity?) has some appeal!

  2. “Next, a useful exposition on it.

    http://www.bible.ca/ef/expository-matthew-10-16.htm ”

    ___________________

    It is amazing that you found and linked that website.

    More than 10 years ago, when I was searching to find if there was any church today that practiced New Testament Christianity simply as it is written and authorized in Scripture — not more, and not less — that is the first Christian website I found, in which I could not find anything to trip them up, or anything which was taught, that was not according to what the Scriptures actually say and teach.

    And it took a long time to find it. There are THOUSANDS of websites which self-identify as Christian. Probably tens of thousands. It was like searching for a needle in a haystack. A BIG haystack.

    I saved it / bookmarked it (that particular website is in Canada), and kept searching. About a month later, I stumbled across another website (this one is in America) which is completely different, but which taught the same things, on every subject that was covered by both websites: http://www.gospelway.com/

    It turns out that both websites are owned/managed by members of the same worldwide church, which is not to say they are related by any human governing body, but autonomous, independent congregations without any umbrella Authority organization, just as the congregations at Corinth, Ephesus, Loadicea, Thessalonica, etc.

    Each congregation’s sole Authority is the Scripture, and there are independent or autonomous congregations of this church all over the world, in fellowship with one another, but with no congregation having any authority over any other. Decentralized, organized according to Scriptural example, with the governing power and authority being God’s Word, and only God’s Word, for each congregation.

    It is the second website link above which I eventually contacted, and who in turn put me in contact with a faithful congregation near where I lived, which is where I was later baptized and have been a member since.

    If anyone has a Bible question and is looking for a Bible answer, I would recommend either of those two websites. 👍

    1. I should probably mention that I have not spent a lot of time on either website in recent years, as once I identified the church itself I could easily find lots of other websites managed by members of other mostly small, autonomous congregations of the same worldwide church.

      I have no reason to think either of them are not still faithfully teaching and practicing according to Scripture, but as they would say and encourage themselves, check everything they might say against God’s Word to see for yourself whether those things are so (cf. Acts 17:11). And they make it easy to do so, providing the Scripture references, and often the verses themselves.

      It may be hard to internalize or remember at first, but try to bear in mind that these websites are run by individuals, there really is no ‘synod’ or ‘board’ or ‘president’ or governing Authority behind these websites or over the congregations of the members who are responsible for these websites, and this is in stark contrast to most churches.

      The men who run these websites don’t speak ‘for the church’ because that’s not how it works, any more than I speak for the Lord’s church when I discuss Christian subjects. God’s Word speaks for the church. God’s Word is the Authority. As such, each website will somewhat reflect the personality of the man who maintains it, but the teaching should be the same, whenever it comes to doctrine, practice or belief. What these men are doing is pointing out what God’s Word says about different subjects, with extensive Scripture references to back it up.

      Where they might be different is, as I recall, the website Wolf linked goes more into history, and pointing out conflicts between various churches (denominational, Protestant, Roman Catholic, non-denominational, etc.) and reflects that particular member’s views on various subjects, which is certainly his right, and I may agree or disagree with some of his views — but what is Authoritative is the Scriptures, which he references extensively.

      The history is also fascinating, but I remember that he is very blunt in his assessments, which may be off-putting to some. That’s his style, and everyone has their own style, and the style of the man who manages the second website is maybe a little less aggressive, which may be preferable to some, but where it comes to actual doctrine or practice, they should both be teaching the same and referencing largely the same Scriptures.

      I could post links to many other independent congregations of this same church, and each one reflects the style of the individual who runs the website, they are all going by the same Authority and teaching the same doctrines and practices, all cross-referenced to the same Scriptures.

      I hope that makes sense. It’s not complicated, and I might be making it more complicated than it is.

       

Please ignore any strange numbering or margins above as they occurred when I removed some of the intervening comments to keep my post focused on what I perceive to be the meat of the Q Tree discussion….Blessings to All!!!

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