| Home Churches?|
Charles Spurgeon from "Additions to the Church"-
These first believers were in such a condition
that their homes were holy places. I beg you
to notice this, that they were breaking bread
from house to house, and did eat their food
with gladness and singleness of heart.
They did not think that religion was meant
only for Sundays, and for what men now-a-days
call the 'House of God'.
Their own houses were houses of God, and their
own meals were mixed and mingled with the
Lord's Supper. They elevated their meals into diets
for worship. They so consecrated everything with
prayer and praise that all around them was holiness
unto the Lord.
I wish our houses were thus dedicated to the Lord,
so that we worshipped God all the day long, and
made our dwellings temples for the living God.
Does God need a 'special house'?
He who made the heavens and the earth,
does he dwell in temples made with hands?
What crass ignorance is this!
No house beneath the sky is more holy than the
place where a Christian lives, and eats, and drinks,
and sleeps, and praises the Lord in all that he does.
There is no worship more heavenly than that which
is presented by holy families, devoted to his fear.
To sacrifice home worship to public worship
is a most evil course of action.
Morning and evening devotion in a cottage is infinitely
more pleasing in the sight of God than all the cathedral
pomp which delights the carnal eye and ear.
Every truly Christian household is a church, and
as such it is competent for the discharge of any
function of divine worship, whatever it may be.
Are we not all priests? Why do we need to call in
others to make devotion a performance? Let every
man be a priest in his own house.
Are you not all kings if you love the Lord? Then make
your houses palaces of joy and temples of holiness.
One reason why the early church had such a blessing
was because her members had such homes. When
we are like them we shall have "added to the church
daily of the saved."
| 2004/2/3 5:16||Profile|
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
| Re: Home Churches?|
One of the things that has interested me the past few years is the "House Church", "Cell Church","Multi-Housing", and small group church movements throughout the world. I'm with you when you said:
"Are we not all priests? Why do we need to call in others to make devotion a performance?"
I've had enough of building projects, programs, and PLAYING CHURCH. I want to BE the church, with signs following. ;-)
| 2004/2/3 6:54||Profile|
| 2004/2/3 7:30||Profile|
Here is half a hymn we sing in our meetings...
1 Happy the souls that first believed,
To Jesus and each other cleaved;
Joined by the unction from above,
In mystic fellowship of love.
2 Meek, simple followers of the Lamb,
They lived, and spake, and thought the same!
Brake the commemorative bread,
And drank the Spirit of their Head.
3 On God they cast their every care,
Wrestling with God in mighty prayer
They claimed the grace through Jesus given,
By prayer they shut, and opened heaven.
4 To Jesus they performed their vows,
A little church in every house;
They joyfully conspired to raise
Their ceaseless sacrifice of praise.
5 Propriety was there unknown,
None called what he possessed his own:
Where all the common blessing share
No selfish happiness was there.
6 With grace abundantly endued,
A pure, believing multitude,
They all were of one heart and soul,
And only love inspired the whole.
7 0 what an age of golden days!
0 what a choice, peculiar race!
Washed in the Lamb's all-cleansing blood,
Anointed kings and priests to God!
8 Ye different sects, who all declare,
"Lo, here is Christ!" or, "Christ is there!"
Your stronger proofs divinely give,
And show me where the Christians live.
9 Join every soul that looks to Thee
In bonds of perfect charity;
Now, Lord, the glorious fulness give,
And all in all for ever live!
ps propriety.. unknown in this sense means 'ownership' not that they were swinging from the chandeleers, although I don't know...
| 2004/2/3 8:53||Profile|
| 2004/2/3 9:25||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
Surely a topic that has come up before here and to be truthful there is a lot of validity on both sides.
Some of us are of the opinion that the 'church' can be saved, restored, renovated, revived, repaired, rebuilt..whatever you want to call it.
Others are feed up and have pulled out either completely or have gone into the 'house church model'.
Sure, I am stating the obvious. I empathise with both. Frankly it's a mess and I am feeling caught in the muck. I have pulled back in recent weeks from attending church and even bible study for reasons I am not even totally sure of, not passivity or ill will...something just isn't right. Been seeking the Lord's direction in [i]ALL[/i] things. It's a confusing time, to stay or to go? Hang on or abandon ship? What is it that [i]I[/i] am doing to rectify the situation? Where are peoples hearts? Should I go to a different church?
Or at all?
It's not about me anyway, [i]what would the Lord[/i] have us do?
Other questions come up; Society is becoming more and more isolated and independent, are we not falling into the same trap by giving up on the local churches?
We who are of a serious breath by breath nature of walking with the Lord, is it us who should be attempting to 'rally the troops' or do we draw back because it's just gone to far?
If David Wilkerson was to suddenly uproot TSC and plant it in your neighborhood, would you go there?
I really don't have the answers, only questions.
This much I do know. I only want to do what the Lord want's.
If that means staying in the 'system' and praying until He fills the local congregation with His Spirit or tears it to the ground in judgement, what does it matter? Wait, travail, weep, mourn, plead, prophesie, shut-up, sit still or be thrown out. Go to another church, a house church or no 'church'.
Are we willing to do what [i]He[/i] want's?
But, for all that I have this sneaky suspicion that this little excerpt taken from something I received from our brother Lars is happening:
"[i]Let us not think, as we plead for revival, that we have to move God to share our concern and burden about the matter. We feel as we do because God has stirred us to share but a fraction of His concern. Our longing is but a feeble, pale reflection of His own. Our exercise of patience should draw us into deeper fellowship with the God of patience, who has manifested such longsuffering towards the sons of men. How long has He waited for us before we began to wait for Him? Let us also remember that for nigh on two thousand years the Son has been at the Fathers right hand engaged in this very ministry of praying and waiting till His enemies be made the footstool of His feet (Heb. 10:13). The Lord direct [our] hearts into the love of God, and into the patience of Christ (2 Thess. 3:5).[/i]"
IN THE DAY OF THY POWER
The Scriptural Principles of Revival
By Arthur Wallis
| 2004/2/3 10:11||Profile|
Valley of Decision
One of the things that has interested me the past few years is the "House Church", "Cell Church","Multi-Housing", and small group church movements throughout the world.
I have also been interested in this, and it is truly a good thing. to be in fellowship with other believers is important in my life. much of what has impacted me over time has come through one of these "small groups."
| 2004/2/3 10:18||Profile|
Valley of Decision
Society is becoming more and more isolated and independent, are we not falling into the same trap by giving up on the local churches?
"where two or three are gathered..."
"a strand of three is hard to break..."
I totally agree. we cannot allow ourselves to separate from other believers. the early church fellowshiped together not just in large meetings, but in it's homes also.
| 2004/2/3 10:24||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
To add a twist to all this.
Could it not be said that what we have right here is 'church'?
To me it is.
Fellowship, meeting together with believer's from all over the planet, [i]daily[/i]...
Sharing our thoughts and experiences.
Sure it has it's limitations, I would gladly feed you all baloney sandwiches if I could get them through my modem without slowing down my connection... :-)
It's hard to pick up inflections, to pray, etc.
Be we are gathered and in ways that never would have been possible in years past.
Thankfully, the Lord had led Greg to start this 'church' if you will, it may not be traditional, it may not be a lot of things.
But it is a labor of love from his heart and I for one am glad to have found it and to have found the like hearted members who come to 'church' here.
| 2004/2/3 10:29||Profile|
| 2004/2/3 10:33||Profile|