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Discussion Forum : General Topics : C.H. Spurgeon on House Churches?

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narrowpath
Member



Joined: 2005/1/9
Posts: 1053
Germany NRW

 Re:

House churches need mature apostolic leadership in order not to be caught up in excesses. I found many institutional churches here in the UK sound in doctrine but void of the expression of the Holy Spirit in the body of believers. How sad.


 2011/6/3 14:49Profile
Oracio
Member



Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2035
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

StarofGOD wrote:

Quote:
This is interesting brother. Though house churches can be good in some ways, I have always wondered if God would want a church to stay in that way. Is it possible for a church to function fully as a house church is my question? I am not sure. I would be interested in studying and knowing more about it. Thanks!



As far as God wanting a house church to stay small, there are different models being debated among Christians and I am still not too sure which is the best. The vast majority within the house church movement would argue that new house churches should be started when one gets too big, and acquiring bigger church buildings should be completely avoided. Of course those who favor traditional churches would argue for moving into a bigger location as the local body grows. Then there is what is known as the "cell" church model which meets in a big facility on Sundays and breaks up into home meetings during the week. In the "cell" home groups, the difference between them and the house churches is that they are not viewed as independent churches whereas the house churches are. The "cell" groups are typically under the authority of the leaders who lead the bigger Sunday meetings. As I stated before, I am leaning toward the idea of favoring both big and small gatherings like most have posted here so far.

As to whether or not a house church can function fully as a house church, I would say definitely yes. I say yes because that is what we see in the book of Acts and in the epistles.
For the first two hundred plus years there were no Christian church buildings so most of the basic church practices(such as partaking of the Lord's Supper, administrating church discipline, etc.), took place in believers' homes. That is one of the points that Spurgeon seems to be arguing in the OP. He seems to be exhorting "common" believers to step up and live up to their God-given authority as kings and priests of God in their own homes, like the first century church did.

KripyKritter wrote:
Quote:
What IS wrong with house churching is when it is permeated with an "us against them" mentality, and a "rage against the institutional church". Sadly, my experience has been that that permeates most house churches. I was involved in that and I know of what I am speaking about. I have had to do a lot of repenting for that.



I agree. I've had the same experience. It seems to me that there may be a healthy middle ground between the current prevalent mindset of those in the "house church movement" in the west, and the mainline western "traditional" churches. In the former it seems that there is not enough respect for the preaching of God's Word, order in meetings, and leadership, and in the latter it seems that many times there is too much strictness and abuse of leadership which ends up quenching the Spirit. In other words, one seems to be too loose and the other too strict.

In the traditional western churches the main event is the Sunday church service which is pre-programmed and very orderly and the main focus there is the preaching of the Word. In the house church movement they tend to have no such big orderly services or meetings. They focus more on encouraging everone to get involved in developing their gifts within gatherings as described in 1Cor.14. So I've been thinking, why can't we have both?


_________________
Oracio

 2011/6/3 16:10Profile
KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

I think the emphasis of the Scriptures has always been about Whom you gather with than the style and size of the box you are meeting in. The emphasis has been upon the edification that happens when you gather together as a community with the risen Lord.

Everything else is cosmetic detail, that while good to talk about from time to time, is frankly, just a little bit on the boring side for me. Is God there? Is the Gospel being preached? Are the saints loving one another? Are people growing in their faith?

That stuff is much more important to talk about... which is why Paul never expounded on meeting in homes vs. meeting in rented quarters vs. meeting in public spaces. Surely, it was talked about. Practical things have to be done in the work of the kingdom. But, he surely didn't waste any valuable paper and ink to do such.

:-)


*edited*


_________________
Jimmy H

 2011/6/3 22:00Profile









 Re: House churches

Has anybody been following God's work in Iran? Voice of the Martyrs estimates that 500 to 600 people a day are coming to Christ. Since these new converts are from a Muslim background and there are no Farsi evangelical churches allowed by the Iranian government, these precious believers meet in home fellowships for study and worship.

 2011/6/4 0:56
StarofG0D
Member



Joined: 2007/10/28
Posts: 1232
United States

 Re:

Thank you for the reply Oracio. I am agreeing with the majority consensus here concerning both/and. However just a couple thoughts. Acts 2:46 they continued daily with one accord in the temple. And also the churches in Revelation certainly do not appear to be house churches. Though I wonder if houses churches were considered to be part of each church.

I agree with Krispy.


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Michelle

 2011/6/4 6:53Profile
allaboard
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Joined: 2011/5/28
Posts: 100


 Re

What Does a Normal Church Look Like?

 2011/6/4 9:07Profile









 Re: Re

Goof question. Actually what is normal in a church?

 2011/6/4 13:12
KingJimmy
Member



Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

That's a loaded question with no easy answer. I know this, if the church is iron sharpening iron, it will often be a loud and abrasive place, where friction and heat exist, and where sparks often fly.


_________________
Jimmy H

 2011/6/4 13:32Profile









 Re: Some observations

As I thought some more on this issue of house churches some observations came to mind. In those parts of the world where the Spirit is moving the believers meet predominately in house fellowships. We see this most notedly in China, Iran, Vietnam, and other persecuted countries. We read in Acts that the early believers met in house fellowships. One might even say the upper room where the 120 prayed was a house fellowship. All this being said this question comes to mind. Can we expect the next movement of God to come in the organized church as it currently exist in America? If we are really honest it is the organized church that kills any movement of God's Spirit. When one looks at Jesus where did his greatest opposition come from? Was it not from the religious right of his day. I would suggest that any revival in America may take place in something akin to house churches as new wine skins. Let's say that the next movement of God could be in the homeless camps, biker bars, gang hang outs, etc. It is quite possible the Spirit may completely avoid our nice air conditioned power point mega complexes. I remember Kevin Turner sharing at the SI conference in Dallas that revival was taking place in the shipping containers in Eritrea. Is it possible the Spirit may be more at home in a stinky homeless shelter or N. Korean death camp than a nice respectable church??? Just some food for thought. I apologize if I have offended any. My only desire is to have us think about what God may be doing and not miss it.

 2011/6/4 13:49
Oracio
Member



Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2035
Whittier CA USA

 Re:

StarofGOD wrote:

Quote:
Thank you for the reply Oracio. I am agreeing with the majority consensus here concerning both/and. However just a couple thoughts. Acts 2:46 they continued daily with one accord in the temple. And also the churches in Revelation certainly do not appear to be house churches. Though I wonder if houses churches were considered to be part of each church.



Good questions. They caused me to do a little digging this morning. I will be doing further research and maybe posting some findings later. So far It seems clear that the first Christians met in the Jerusalem temple not only for evangelism but also for fellowship and public worship. For quite some time I bought into the view that they met there only for evangelistic purposes and not for fellowship, and that they only met in houses for fellowship. But it seems to me now that verses like Luke 24:53 clearly refute that view. Also from Acts 9:1-2 it seems that they also met in the Jewish synogogues for public worship. I may post more Scripture references at a later time. What does seem to be clear is that there were no special buildings dedicated as "Christian" only. Those in the house church movement argue that the first century Christians could have built church buildings of their own but chose not to purposely, that it was not just due to persecution. But I'm not too quick to agree with that view anymore.

As to the churches in Revelation, Christ is addressing the whole church in each city. In each city there was only one main church and they often, if not always, broke up into multiple house churches. So for example the whole church at Ephesus was very likely broken up into multiple house churches in the city(see Acts 20:20). A clearer example of this is in Romans 16:3-4 where Paul is addressing the whole church of Rome but specifically greets the particular house church that met in Acquila and Priscilla's home. Each house church was independent from other house churches(they could function fully as a church).



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Oracio

 2011/6/4 17:57Profile





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