onenewsnow has a story out of Dallas about home churches also called organic church or simple church.
The lack of knowledge of the primary character is this news article is simply astounding. This man left a church where he was a missions committee chairman. This man reached a position in a church that would indicate that he should have some knowledge of God’s word, yet it is evident that he missed Paul’s passage to Timothy – “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. II Timothy 2:15,16.”
The first comment I want to make is that from the time of Christ there have been house churches. Almost every missionary has started in some ones home. Often this home was the missionary pastor’s home. Take a look at Philemon verse 2 – “And to our beloved Appia and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the Church in thy house.“ Home churches were known from the time of Christ until this very day. May I offer a phrase given to us by the writer of the book of Ecclesiastes – There is nothing new under the sun. House churches were mentioned several times by Paul. Now if these people were real sincere about getting to the most simplistic style recorded by God’s word, they would be a traveling church like the one Jesus called from the seashore of Galilee.
They brag about not having a pastor. How pompous can this be to deny the very office given to the Church in a shepherd capacity. God calls pastor for a reason.
Note that Paul instructed Timothy to not neglect the Gift of God. “Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. II Timothy 1:6.” Paul left Timothy at different churches to help them. Acts 14:23 says that Barnabas and Paul ordained elders in every church. Elders comes from the Greek word presbuteros and Thayer says – among the Christians, those who presided over the assemblies (or Churches). The New Testament uses the term bishop, elders, and presbyters interchangeably according to Thayer. Paul and Barnabas were ordained and sent with authority to begin Churches.
If I understand this article correctly, they have no right to observe the Lord’s Supper but yet they go through the motions by pinching off pieces of sour dough bread and drink wine and give the kids grape juice. They have no authority to baptise and I saw no mention of baptism. This indicates to me that they feel baptism is unimportant. It is amazing that Christ walked about 60 miles to be baptized by the only one that had authority, John the Baptist.
Take a close look at this quote – “In general, house churches consist of 12 to 15 people who share what’s going on in their live, often turning to Scriptures for guidance. They rely on the Holy Spirit or spontaneity to lead the direction of their weekly gatherings. Now we find that the Scripture is not their sole guide but a guide often. This is perplexing in it’s implication of the importance they place on Scripture. Is this a situation where we apply Scripture when it is convenient and thereby only use that part that we are in agreement with? What about the Holy Spirit they speak of? For the individual, the Holy Spirit convicts and draws and seals those that are saved. For the Church the Holy Spirit impowers to do the work that Christ has given it to do.
Now let us look at the Church that Jesus built upon Himself. To begin with it was a traveling Church that met on the side of a hill and received what we call the Sermon on the Mount recorded in Matthew chapter 5,6, and 7. Every one of His Church members had been saved and baptized by John the Baptist (Acts 1:21.) We see Jesus and His Church as a traveling Church, a Church that met in upper rooms and homes. They were organized and had a pastor (shepherd) Jesus Christ. They even had a Church treasurer (Judas Iscariot). Matthew 28:19-20 gave this Church 3 things to do. Proclaim the Gospel. Baptise those that were saved. Teach them all things whatsoever I have commanded you.
In the 8th chapter of Acts great persecution came upon the Church and it was scattered. Follow Philip into Samaria and see the great work he did in preaching the gospel. Many were saved and baptised. Acts 8:14-17 tells us of Peter and John coming to examine the work that Philip had done and approved it and organized a Church there in Samaria by laying hands on the people and they “…received the Holy Ghost.” What a great example of mission work and Church organisation. O yes, the Church at Jerusalem gained about 3,000 souls in one day.
One more thing if I may. This house church was not about worshipping God. The statement, “… share what’s going on in their lives…”. Worship is all about God and not about us. God has called us to worship. This day everything is back wards. The terminology – I Think, I feel, indicates to me that it is about the people and not God. These people have come together and done something that they believe is religious and now they are satisfied with themselves. They can go home happy. No baptisms because no authority to baptise. The supper they observe does not honour Jesus because of wrong elements and they are not commanded to observe the Lord’s Supper. No doubt those that are saved will go to heaven but standing before the Bema seat and not have any rewards will not be good.
Understand, I have been part of house churches and they have been given authority and they baptised and scripturally observed the Lord’s Supper and grew and bought property and built church building because they needed a place to meet and a house was too small.
Zeal without knowledge is not good. A selfish inward turning of attention to do what pleases us is just as bad as misdirected zeal.Technorati Tags: house, church, organic, Jesus, John the Baptis, baptise, baptism, The Lord’s Supper