1st Cen. Christianity - One Organization

by StandFirm 144 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • StandFirm

    Here is the promised debate. The subject is whether or not God has an organization. I'll start things simply:

    The dictionary defines organization as this:

    " an administrative and functional structure"

    Acts 16:4 reads:

    "As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey."-Emphasis added.

    As we can see from this, all the Christians of that time obeyed the direction of the Apostles. All Christians were one "administrative and functional structure." Christianity was one organization. This would make it God's organization.

    Those who disobeyed the organization were thrown out. Thus the oneness of the organization was to be kept.

    "As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer"-1 Timothy 1:3.

    "It is necessary to shut the mouths of these, as these very men keep on subverting entire households"-Titus 1:11.

    "Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned."-Titus 3:10, 11.

    "Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work."-2 John 9-11.


    The 1st century Christians confirmed their Bishops, Deacons, Preist by the Holy Spirit and the laying of hands. They would pray over and for people. They gave alms to the poor, to the hungry, to the sick and the widows. They baptized entire families and households [children included] at once. They all accepted the decisions regarding doctrine from Peter/Simon.

    Which church was that again?


  • mamalove

    StandFirm, can you prove those scriptures to be true? Is there historical evidence of the unity? Any other documentation to back up the scriptures you picked to make your point? I guess I would need that to reaffirm the logic and explaination you provide. Looking forward to your answer. Thanks!

  • Satanus

    Seems to me that there was a big controversy between the apostles of jesus at jerusalem, who stayed within the jewish sphere, and paul/saul who hung out at antioch. Paul broke w the jerusalem apastolic authority and struck out on his own into nonjew territory. Paul won, of course. He had his own jesus. Paul was more organizationally oriented. He set up churches and church rules, wherever he went, while the jerusalem apostolic christians did their jewish festivals and parties w much less attention to nt/paulian structure, as they already had one, the jewish ot one.


  • pbrow

    You have started things simply but have not stated your side of the debate. I wonder what the definition of the term "generation" was to the apostles in the first century? I wonder also if some were declaring 1874 as the date of christs return vs 1914. Which one would have been "false doctrine" back then?

    I would say christ came to establish a personal relationship with each and every person that he made his covenant with. Each person who accepts that covenant is part of that "organization" if thats the term we are using in this thread. All these individuals are united/organized by love of christ and by his sacrifice for us. In what each of us think, say and do in our everyday lives we bear witness to our lord. If thats talking to people at their homes or place of work or simply by our actions with people we come into contact with every day we can teach who christ was and what he was about.

    I hate the secular man made incorporated "organization" of "Jehovahs Witnesses". There are some fine people inside the secular organization of Jehovahs Witnesses that I beleive are indeed united in christ, but its not because they are "Jehovahs Witnesses" It is because they are united by christ sacrifice for us. Same as catholics and lutherens or baptists.

    I still say troll, but that doesnt have to be a bad thing at the end of the day.



    Satanus- certainly people are aloud to disagree on issues and openly discuss them. Paul was a different kind of apostle who met the glorified Jesus. The other apostles had known the man. So one could see how they make look at things a little differently. That said, The Jerusalem Council in Acts [15] was presided over by Peter, not James [who was the bishop of Jeusalem], and not Paul. Peter led it and his decisions were accepted by all there.

    It is also worth noting some other examples showing that Peter was the Rock of which Jesus spoke [aside from the obvious Mathew 16;18].

    In John 21;15-17 Jesus asks Peter to feed his sheep [3xs]

    In Luke 22;32 Jesus prays that Peter's faith would be strong so that he could in turn stregthen the other apostles.

    In Acts 3;6-12 Peter performs the 1st miracle after the Pentecost.

    Acts 2;41 he was the first to perform a mass baptism.

    In Mark 16;7 an angel of the Lord tells the women at Jesus tomb to tell Peter and the other apostles about the risen Lord.

    To name a few examples of Peter's authority.



  • JeffT

    Reread Acts 15. The council at Jerusalem didn't decide anything. When the controversy arose over circumcision, they sent out a letter stating something that was already obvious: Gentile Christians did not need to be circumcised. God had already made that clear to anybody that was paying attention.

  • sizemik

    The bible accounts of how the Christians "organised" themselves . . . Paul's letters etc . . . contain as much about the strife such organisation caused as the benefits.

    To me they are a warning as to the folly of organisation . . . not a "pattern" for the rest of us.

    Where does the Bible say that ALL future followers of Christ MUST imitate the first century Christian "organisation"? I don't believe I've read that scripture.

    The much touted founder of the WTS himself said . . . "Beware of Organisation . . . it is wholly unneccessary"

  • wobble

    The decision over the circumcision issue originated in Jerusalem. The ones who felt that Gentile folowers of Jesus should be full proselytes went out from Jerusalem and caused debate in other cities.

    Paul knew they would not accept his view alone, so he took it back to the Apostles and Elders of Jerusalem to be resolved, but only because it sprang from there, not because the Jerusalem congregation was a 1st century "Brooklyn".

    It seems each group was autonomous to a great degree, hence the need for the pastoral letters.

    There was no 1st century "Governing Body" and very little true organization, let alone an Organization.

  • metatron

    Wobble is correct, there was no "organization" in the first century. This assertion is just another anachronism and deception fostered by the Watchtower Society to justify its corporate existence.

    It is difficult for me to understand how anyone could feel otherwise after reading the Christian Greek scriptures from cover to cover. The only reason for such an achievement in self deception must be that everything observed is seen through the Watchtower's distorted prism.

    The idea of a "Governing Body" - whether in the 1st century or the 20th century is nonsense. How do I know this? Well, Fred Franz said so! He gave a Gilead graduation lecture in which he analyzed the position of the Apostle Paul in the first century. Fred felt that the organization had been greatly blessed by having a strong President and him, as chief prophet, in effect. He pointed out from Galatians that Paul was directly appointed by Christ, without any input from the group in Jerusalem - and makes negative remarks about Peter and James.

    In the 20th century, references to a Governing Body before the 1970's are baloney. Knorr and Rutherford ruled with an iron hand and the Judge even FIRED the existing "Governing Body" in his day.

    In the 1st century, Paul was attacked as a lousy speaker and he couldn't get everyone in Corinth to go along with a disfellowshipping. John was openly undermined by Diotrephes and couldn't stop apostasy. People were speaking in tongues and cursing Jesus. The congregations were overwhelmed with "Judaizers" , likely with some support from James, who gave crappy advice to Paul, that got him in big trouble at the Temple.

    Basically, imagine congregations filled with people who ALL CLAIMED to be inspired by Holy Spirit! You might as well try to "herd cats". That is why the letters of John and Paul reveal that things were an undisciplined mess.


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