Churches and denominations have a system set up that if you’re ambitious enough, and you get in the right channels, you might have an ecclesial career. So, let’s say you were willing to go to seminary, meet the qualifications, and then willing to market yourself you can probably get into a church that is willing to pay your salary. Just know the right hands to shake and answer the stuff that makes people nervous. People generally frown upon outright ambitiousness and resume career tailoring so a person would have to work things so as to not appear ambitious and even then there are no guarantees that the person will be at all successful where they’re ministering. God gives the increase after all.
I’ve come across a bunch of files, and I put them up on my drop box. I think they’re mostly public domain, but since others might find them helpful, I put them up here. Some of these documents are distinctly against PB’s though my list will not make that apparent.
Someone, either Billy Graham or John MacArthur (can’t remember which) said that “we’ve all milked from the Plymouth Brethren Cow”. Too often people raise the banner of the Plymouth Brethren as a byword to be hissed at because of the damage that has been or is being done (ie: Aleister Crowly, Brian Mclaren, pop-Left-Behindism, etc.). Anyway, I wanted to underline the rich culture found in the Brethren Movement and the way it has benefited the corporate Body of Christ to try to regain some balance. The Brethren Movement was sort of like the Emergents, it wasn’t defined by any denomination and it spread from the ground up. But in stark contrast, the Plymouth Brethren was a Back to the Gospel movement focused on the truth of the Gospel by studying the Bible, adherence to the Lord’s Supper, and preaching the Word to as many as possible. The Movement in English speaking countries has greatly diminished although places like India have seen tremendous growth.
What I’ll do for these features is quote Wikipedia or something similar and link to some good reading, either about them or by them..
Today’s feature: F.F.Bruce. Yeah, He was one of us.
Congregational and Bible Churches have long raised a banner that lays claim to New Testament Principles. Disagreeing vehemently with their banners, hierarchal churches within the single pastor systems have taken to questioning Congregational reasoning and shaken sympathetic pastoral heads. Over all this the Roman Catholic Church has pointed to the shaky claims of the entire Protestant movement, stuck its thumbs in its theological breeches and scoffed. But I have to ask: who is right? What does a church established on New Testament principles actually look like?
The argument goes something like this: The Bible says that where two or three are gathered there is Jesus in the midst of them (Matt 18:20). That indicates that a gathering of two or three includes the very important presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. People wear their best clothes when they meet someone Important (like if one had a meeting with the President). This indicates that the esteem put on the person justifies the better clothing. Christ is more Important than anyone and to be greater esteemed. Therefore, when going to any meeting of the church a person should wear their best clothes.