Church of Wells/YMBBA Ministries

You are not logged in. Would you like to login?

8/08/2013 4:12 am  #1

On New Testament Churches

Good information by Jack Spender. An easy-to-read comprehensive explanation of doctrine, philosophy and practices.


How do we know if we are a New Testament Church?

Common mistakes:
Legalistic standards:  a list of bare minimums is provided by some authority which then proclaims that
        no church can be a NT church lacking these.
Creating a new denomination:     "We're not Baptists or Roman Catholics;  we're the NT Churches" 
        It's important to keep NT church terminology from becoming titles. 
Pride about truth:    Real truth humbles.  Jesus (Who is the Truth) invites those who come to Him to learn of Him
        for He is humble of heart.
Cutting off those who differ:    Jesus calls us to follow Him.  As we do, friends may turn back from following
        but that is their decision, not ours.  We cut off no child of God.
Rationalizing:    Some hold that since so-called NT churches have similar practices, this proves that they are really
        just another denomination.  But there is another (obvious) explanation.  Perhaps such churches have been
        reading the same book and being led by the same Spirit!  Would we really expect churches following a divinely
        supplied pattern to have nothing in common?


What is a New Testament Church?

"Fundamentals of the faith": the doctrines of the inspiration and authority of the Scriptures, the virgin birth, the literal, bodily resurrection of our Lord; the substitutionary atonement, the second coming of Christ, and the doctrine of the trinity. 

Now all of us would agree about the carnality of those who sided with Paul, Apollos, and Peter. But what was wrong with those who sided with Christ? How could they be wrong? They were wrong, not so much in their doctrine as in their attitudes. So, also, we may look down our noses at those who say, “I am a Baptist” or “I am a Lutheran,” and we smugly think to ourselves, “But I go to a New Testament church.” God keep us from this kind of pride.


Lesson 22: Prescription For A Healthy Church (1 Peter 5:1-5)



The opposite of serving under compulsion is serving eagerly. But some serve eagerly for the wrong reasons, either financial gain (here) or power (next phrase). As I mentioned, Paul taught that it is proper for some elders to be supported financially for their work, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching, which takes a lot of time (1 Tim. 5:17-18). But a man’s motive must not be to make money through the ministry, but rather to serve God with eagerness.

Some go into ministry because they like the power or status of leadership. I heard a well-known pastor say that he thought that most men in pastoral ministry were insecure and that they were after the affirmation they received from their people. I thought, “If he’s right, we’re in big trouble!” A man who goes into the pastorate or who serves as an elder because he wants power or strokes is not qualified to serve.

Discussion Questions

•  When does shepherding cross the line into authoritarianism? Is this a danger?
•  Agree/disagree: American Christians do not understand the concept of submitting to spiritual authority.
•  Do some people need to “improve their self-esteem”? Cite biblical evidence. What does true humility involve?

Copyright 1992, Steven J. Cole, All Rights Reserved.


New Testament Christian Churches of America

Headquartered in Graham, Washington. An evangelical church, the NTCC believes the Bible to be the pure word of God and the church's mission to change the nature of humanity by spreading the Gospel.
The NTCC is an insular organization with dozens of former members of NTCC, including many former ministers, stating that the NTCC is a cult. According to the Dispatch, church services are used to bully and humiliate members, whose perceived sins are cited during sermons. The Dispatch further states there is rigid control of the relations between men and women, especially in the context of courtship. According to the Dispatch report, when members leave NTCC, current members are instructed to shun them.

Also according to The Dispatch report, sports are discouraged at NTCC because members are expected to spend their time serving God; simple social gatherings such as birthday parties are also restricted. Members are forbidden to watch television, referred to as "Devil-vision" by church leaders, or use the internet, referred to as "the sinner-net." Women are not allowed to wear make-up, wear anything other than dresses and are forbidden to cut their hair. Women are further prohibited from holding jobs if they are married. Even if ordained at NTCC's Bible seminary, women are not allowed to run a ministry. The NTCC ministerial leadership arranges engagements of teenage girls to much older ministerial students, many of whom are in their twenties. Divorce is strongly encouraged when one of the marriage partners leaves the church.

"Many ex-members describe a system whereby a young man wanting to date a woman would first have to ask permission of Rev. Davis during a public fellowship service. If Davis approved, he would then move to the women's section and ask the young woman if she would like to court the man. If she concurred, then the couple could "sit along the wall" in pre-arranged chairs and chat. In addition, they would be forbidden to meet outside of this time, although they eventually would be permitted to go on dates with a chaperone." —Bruce Smith, The Dispatch


Part 1   A look within the "church behind the fence"
Part 2   Life and worship in theNew Testament Christian Church
Part 3   NTCC: Is it a cult?


Last edited by Hythlodaeus (8/08/2013 4:13 am)


8/08/2013 10:12 am  #2

Re: On New Testament Churches

Lot's of good material for thought, thank you for sharing.  I particularly like your section on "THE RESPONSIBILITY OF SHEPHERDING IS TO EXERCISE OVERSIGHT WITH THE RIGHT ATTITUDE (5:2-3)" and the discussion questions.  Hope to hear some responses! As a newbie here I am reviewing the content on the site when I have time.  Will be reading the links too.  

Thanks Hythlodaeus.  (not Utopia, eh?)

Heb 4:12

8/08/2013 2:55 pm  #3

Re: On New Testament Churches

NTCC, as described by The News Tribune and The Dispatch, has a familiar ring, similar to what I know of the CofW. It’s just a slightly different flavor. False doctrines develop different twists. Notice the NTCC encourages divorce of a spouse who leaves their group. God hates divorce. Such a practice of divorce is not shown in scripture. I suggest it is a view adopted by them for their own convenience. I am not aware of that type of doctrine being held at CofW, nor do I see that doctrine developing in another cultish group taking shape in the PNW (described on this forum, under “Faulty Views may lead to a Cult”).

As for the discussion questions, allow me to address #2: My response is this: So many Americans  do not (IMHO) understand the concept of submitting to spiritual authority. God is leading many Americans to become aware of deceptions coming out of American pulpits and ‘inspirational’ books.

The Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth is King of Kings and Lord of Lords; He is the chief Shepherd; no man (pastor, elder, study-group leader) can righteously lead God’s people into pastures that Jesus has not blessed.

I am currently doing a study of Romans 13. Although I am not yet able to present all the findings from my study, I want to share a preview: Rom. 13 identifies principles by which we may know the authority over us. To whom must we submit? To those who present the ordinance of God, that’s who. Rightful rulers are a terror to those who do evil in the sight of God. God’s wrath is against evil men. God executes His wrath on evil rulers who pretend to rule with rulings that are outside of God’s ordinances. I say such evil rulers are, in fact, “usurping rulers”.

A usurper is a fake. Once you know he is a fake, you know you have no obligation to fear him (nor obey him). If a usurper speaks forth a word that is in accordance to God’s ordinance, then I will heed that word, because its source is from God. If, on the other hand, a usurper speaks a word (decree, counsel or judgment) that negates God’s ordinance or twists it, then I refuse to heed that word. I have no obligation to obey it, just as I have no obligation to obey a word spoken from a demon.

Make no mistake about it. Demons know the Word of God. So often, they speak using the Word of God in a twisted manner. (See Matt. 4:6).

God Almighty, we run to You, to receive Your wisdom and understanding; we fear You, Most High God.

A leader who is godly may speak a word that is not rightly aligned to God’s ordinances. Being a true man of God, he will also humbly submit under God’s ordinance when his error is shown him. Therefore, this shows the duty we have as those who are under godly leadership, and the honor shown to a godly man continues as he remains humble under the mighty hand of God.

We render to God supreme authority. Honor and fear are due to those whom God honors and ordains. God allows corrupt rulers to operate, but does He ordain them? They get license to destroy because people (their victims) have turned away from God.

This is a warning to God’s children, that they should not turn away from God. All must repent and be repentant. His children draw near to Him. God chastens those whom He loves. He chastens when they turn away and fail to heed His Word. Scripture shows this clearly.

Perfect love casts out fear. You have no good reason to fear what man (a usurper, for instance) can do to you. Cult leaders instill fear through their teachings.

Cult leaders are evil usurpers. They are viewed as foolish men, by God’s children, but evil usurpers proclaim their power. What a lie! Should we believe they rule? The man who rejects God’s Gospel is a liar, and the man who justifies the killing of unborn children is a liar. Liars come in sheep’s clothing ... many flavors, based on which ordinance of God they disregard.

If a cult leader came to your door, you would reject his message. It is pollution. However, you should love the man, because he is confused. He serves powers of darkness. Your love must not permit you to agree with his views, but you may listen to him (if God grants you peace to do so). God may direct you to plant seeds or to water seeds of His law that already grow within him. Stay away from any inclination to submit to him. Only submit to God. Honor God by recognizing His Word being practiced in your fellow man.

Treat any usurping ruler or officer in the same way. The cult leader proclaims spiritual authority, but he is a deceiver. The usurping ruler proclaims carnal authority, but he is a deceiver when he defies God’s ordinances.

I don’t care what title is put upon a usurping ruler. He could be your earthly father. If his policy opposes God’s, then God will judge; he may bear the wrath of God upon his soul, if his heart is not turned to God. Why should you be partaker with him, in his practice and in the consequence of God’s wrath because of his practice? Choose to serve God, and separate from those who do not.

Now, lest that be taken wrong, I mean separate by doing what is holy, and while doing that, rescue from the fire those who have allowed themselves to serve demons. Therefore, do not stop talking with those from whom you are separated. You only refuse to participate with them in their deceptive practices.

Children of God are not destined for receiving the wrath of God; their heart is turned to obey God, even in the face of terror at the hands of wicked men. Read about the “wrath of God” ... John 3:36; Rom. 1:19; Eph. 5:6; Col. 3:6. Trust God. Stand firm on His ordinances. One of His ordinances says; Love the Lord your God ... with all your heart and soul (Joshua 22:5). Do that, and trust God for the outcome of that.


8/10/2013 1:57 am  #4

Re: On New Testament Churches

Facts Concerning the New Testament Church. P. H. Welshimer. ca. 1940


     Thread Starter

8/10/2013 5:06 am  #5

Re: On New Testament Churches

For wanting to be a simple body of people worshipping together unencumbered by the weighty trappings of "mainstream" conventional churches, they sure do have a lot of hierachy, organizational flowcharts, rule books, and structure. And church "growing."




     Thread Starter

10/21/2013 1:08 am  #6

Re: On New Testament Churches

That's cute, isn't it.

Mark Driscoll,


The New Testament church continued growing in large part through preaching Jesus to groups large and small. Virtually the only chapters of Acts that do not include preaching record seasons when the preachers are in prison for preaching and therefore temporarily unable to preach.

What we do not see in Acts is Paul taking years or decades to befriend people before he feels he has the right to tell them about sin and Jesus. In short, he does not have a lot of relationships. In fact, he has more enemies than friends and seems to initiate far more riots than group hugs. But he does win a lot of converts because he preaches and God blesses.

In short, the Apostles’ strategy in Acts seems to be:

   1.  Pull into town and say something controversial and offensive.
   2.  Wait for a crowd to show up.
   3.  Preach the gospel and call people to repent of sin and trust in Jesus.
   4.  Get out of town before being murdered.
   5.  Send in people like Timothy and Titus to straighten things out and establish a local church by gathering the converts.
   6. Repeat the process.

At our church, I do riot evangelism while our people do relational evangelism. Either way, however, in order for people to meet Jesus, we have to tell them about Jesus.

Okay. I think I'm gettin' it.

     Thread Starter

10/21/2013 1:18 am  #7

Re: On New Testament Churches

New word: Emerging Church
Basically, a creepier vintage version of the Mars Hill Church movement in Washington state.

     Thread Starter

10/21/2013 3:26 pm  #8

Re: On New Testament Churches

I cannot imagine them wanting to be associated with the 'emergent church'
emergent churches are known for meeting unbelievers in their environment.. if it means entering a pub.. then they enter a pub...

Donald Miller has made the term emergent church mainstream and he definitely meets unbelievers in their comfort zones. 
Ecclesia Church in Houston has been big advocates of the Emergent Church and they welcome homeless into their services, feed them every sunday after service and hold art gallery showings for the homeless who express interest in the arts...

definitely not up the welldurs alley.. LOL


10/21/2013 7:16 pm  #9

Re: On New Testament Churches

Just as you might expect, people apply all sorts of meanings and definitions to the term "emerging church." Interchangable with the word "alternative" except that some people feel like that implies abberant. You're using it to refer to some specific movement under a particular leader. The materials I'm researching are using it in a very general way to describe the phenomenon, not a specific "church." I know nothing about it.

From Wikipedia: "The emerging church is a Christian movement of the late 20th and early 21st centuries that crosses a number of theological boundaries: participants can be described as Protestant, post-Protestant, Catholic, evangelical, post-evangelical, liberal, post-liberal,conservative, post-conservative, anabaptist, adventist, reformed, charismatic, neocharismatic, and post-charismatic.
Some attend local independent churches or house churches while others worship in traditional Christian denominations. 
What those involved in the conversation mostly agree on is their disillusionment with the organized and institutional church and their support for the deconstruction of modern Christianworship, modern evangelism, and the nature of modern Christian community.
Emerging churches are fluid, hard to define, and varied; they contrast themselves with what has gone before by using the term "inherited church." Key themes of the emerging church are couched in the language of reform, Praxis-oriented lifestyles, Post-evangelical thought, and incorporation or acknowledgment of political and Postmodern elements. Terminological confusion has occurred because of the use of words with similar etymology. When used as descriptors "emerging" and "emergent" can be interchangeable. However, when used as names, they are different. In this case "Emerging" refers to the whole informal, church-based, global movement, whilst "Emergent" to a formal, organisational subset associated with Brian McLaren: the "Emergent stream."

One set of religious professionals suggest three categories within the movement: Relevants, Reconstructionists and Revisionists. [Keep in mind this is one guy's interpretation. Doesn't mean they're right. Personally, I don't see it as that clear and simple to sort.]
• Relevants are theological conservatives who are interested in updating to current culture.
• Reconstructionists are generally theologically evangelical, and speak of new forms of church that result in transformed lives.
• Revisionists are theologically liberal, and openly question whether evangelical doctrine is appropriate for the postmodern world.

The term may have been first used in 1970, predicting a movement characterised by: contextual and experimental mission; new forms of church; the removal of barriers and division; a blend of evangelism and social action; attention to both experience and tradition; the breakdown of clergy/laity distinctions.
Marcus Borg says: "The emerging paradigm has been visible for well over a hundred years. In the last twenty to thirty years, it has become a major grassroots movement among both laity and clergy in "mainline" or "old mainline" Protestant denominations." He describes it as: "a way of seeing the Bible (and the Christian tradition as a whole) as historical, metaphorical, and sacramental, [and] a way of seeing the Christian life as relational and transformational. 
"The Heart of Christianity" p. 6, Marcus J. Borg (



10/22/2013 8:06 pm  #10

Re: On New Testament Churches

Church of Wells is a New Testament/Old Testament local house church. With a need to change lineage by having babies. And maybe a little bit Jewish. Operating under Sharia Law.

Nice work. Love the diversity. Next thing, they'll starting saying the rosary and throw some icons on the walls and then they can be Catholic and Russian Orthodox, too! Very very old religions. It'll fit right in with the Jewish part. 

Attention, fundamentalist evangelical Calvinist/Armenian(?) seminarians and preachers: hate to break it to ya, but this sounds like brand spankin' new theology to me. Is there anybody out there left with even the tiniest shred of integrity? Do any of you actually understand what it is that you believe in and know what the "doctrine" is that you're instructing in your churches and spewing from street corners?


     Thread Starter

Board footera


Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum

©2012-2018 all rights reserved.

This is a conversation, an open dialogue, in the tradition of Free Speech. The purpose is to promote independent investigation, public debate and dialogue on cult and mind control issues critical to our social and individual well-being. Statements made reflect the writer's opinion. This forum acts to provide a space for electronic medium of information transfer, with the explicit understanding that each user will independently evaluate it and carefully make up his or her own mind as to its factual accuracy and usefulness. Independent individuals, organizations, authors, researchers, academicians and contributors may be exercising constitutional rights of petition, free speech, participation in government, or freedom of religion in researching, evaluating and freely discussing any matter. These discussions or statements may be constitutionally-protected opinions, speculation, allegations, satire, fiction, or religious beliefs or religious opinions of independent individuals, organizations or authors and as such, may or may not be factual.