| The Home Church Celebrities|
What we do with our actions is always our true message, as opposed to what we say.
I will not use any names in this article, but there are men in the home church movement who have built big names for themselves, while their true experience in church life is questionable or limited at best.
I am not saying these guys dont have good things to say. I actually like these men and appreciate their contributions. Some have done helpful research. The Lord can and will use these brothers. But the concern is that they draw men unto themselves and set a bad example of what we are trying to do in home church that we would stop following men.
If youve written a book, why sell it for a profit? Is it to cover the publishing costs? OK, fair enough. But why not offer all the chapters for free on the internet as well? Its because certain people want to make money from selling books. This is the kind of thing we are sick of and trying to get away from by leaving the traditional church men trying to make money from the church and build a name for themselves. We now have rich and famous Christians even in the HOME CHURCH MOVEMENT!
If you are providing a home church conference, why charge money for people to attend the conference? Why cant the local brothers, with whom the brother doing the conference is walking with, all pitch in to pay for the conference, so that people can attend for free? Maybe its because the biggies who put on home church conferences are not usually walking closely with anyone! Maybe its because the home church celebrities charge so much to come speak that there has to be a registration fee to cover the costs.
I e-mailed a couple of the biggies a while back and asked if I could come hang out with the groups they were apart of in their home towns. I just wanted to see what the Lord was doing in those groups and connect with others, which I do as often as I can. Do you know what they said to me? One of these famous home church speakers told me that they dont accept visitors right now. The second one told me that the few families he was with were transitioning and that I couldnt come for a visit. What is that supposed to mean? Hmmm, this certainly doesnt seem like the heart of the Lord.
I understand the excuse of these guys being famous and if they let everybody come then they might be over run with people. But that sounds like a good thing to me! Wouldnt it be great if tons of people were coming all the time to learn, grow, and fellowship with all the saints! Visitors could be loved on and refreshed. The group they were visiting could show hospitality and be refreshed by their faith as well.
A third and different biggie in the home church movement recently contacted me to tell me about a meeting in which all the biggies got together and had a home church leaders meeting. They do this periodically. This meeting was for men who are supposedly influential in the home church movement or for men who have started multiple home churches. To even hold such a meeting seemed very wrong to me. When men do things like this it causes all sorts of problems. By even having such a meeting these men are subtly making a distinction between those who are biggies and those who are just regular brothers. This should not be. We are all just brothers and there shouldnt be meetings that recognize some men in a certain category apart from others. What a temptation these men must feel when they are all together See, Im a big shot here with the other big shots. I absolutely refused to attend their meeting.
The truth is some of the big names in home church arent really walking with anyone, they dont have established groups for you to visit, and they speak mostly from theory as opposed to true experience. A couple of them use language as if to say they are the true apostles given to America by God and that the church cannot be planted in any city unless they start it. This is nauseating.
The formats and venues of many of the home church conferences are ridiculous as well. I went to one of these about three years ago. We were all in a very plush hotel conference room. In order to attend, we had to pay money in advance in order to register. When I got there, there was a man in a suit and tie standing behind a pulpit with a worship band behind him. He talked to us a couple of hours about how to do home church (while wearing his suit behind the pulpit). I kid you not. After two hours, I couldnt stand it anymore. I raised my hand in the middle of his talking. He ignored me at first, but I kept my hand up. Yes, he said. Um, excuse me, can I say something, I said a little sheepishly. Uh, would you mind if we maybe broke up into small groups at some point, or maybe we could arrange the chairs in a circle so that we could meet other people here and everyone could share their experiences in home church? Im sure we would all like to hear from other people here too. People might have some questions, or maybe we could all learn from one another some different things. You could have heard a pin drop in the room.
Now that would be interesting. A home church conference where we actually CONFERENCED TOGETHER, as in the heart of 1 Cor. 14 What is the outcome when you assemble, each one has something to contribute. I would actually enjoy going to something like that!
So, why do most home church conferences feel like you are in a traditional church meeting? And we are going to these, why? To learn from the men who are leading them? Huh.
There is nothing wrong with an experienced brother speaking for an hour, but for one man to dominate the time, or for people to come to a conference in order to primarily hear from and see one man, AND THEN PAY FOR IT is the complete opposite of what we are trying to do in New Testament home church. Yet, this is the very thing we are doing at home church conferences. Are you kidding me?
What kind of example are we giving people when we do this sort of thing and what are we really teaching them? Why cant we do a home church conference in a large home or even a park? Why cant the local brothers (plural) who are providing it, pay for it and even feed the attendees so its free for everyone to come. Why are famous home church celebrities charging money to come speak at home church conferences? I would understand this if it were a traditional mainstream Christian function you expect money, hype, and men with big reputations. But to have all this at a home church conference is a complete slap in the face of what we are trying to do! Some of the best men that are really walking with the Lord and living New Testament church life are totally hidden youll never know their names. These are the guys we should be seeking out to learn from.
Often the home church celebrities refer to themselves as church planters. Where in scripture are church planters charging money to come plant a church? In fact, the whole idea of a church planter is found nowhere in scripture. Paul only planted a seed (not a church), Apollos watered the seed, but God caused the growth (I Cor. 3:6). The term apostle means one who is sent out. Thats all it means. I want to know, who sent out these celebrity home church stars? Where is the healthy group of believers behind them that together, heard the Lord corporately to send these men out? To whom are these men accountable to? Anyone should be able to easily contact the sent out mans home base fellowship in order to find out about his faith, and his life. If these self proclaimed home church experts dont have a valid functioning group behind them as evidence and proof of their experience and wisdom, then what makes us think they are qualified to teach the rest of us, let alone start a home church?
The seed that Paul planted was only as good as his relationship with the Lord. The seed that many men are planting in various groups is corrupt seed. This leads to bad foundations in the group they are working with. The things these men do and the flavor they have all reveal what their true relationship with the Lord is like. I wouldnt want some famous guy who charges money to speak and charges money for his books to be the major influence of any home church I was a part of. Would you?
If all you are doing to learn about home church is reading books or going to conferences, you will never get very far. Its interesting how so many people will set aside their time to spend two or three days at a home church conference, but they wont set aside two or three days to be with the church itself. What does this tell us about ourselves? Its that we love learning about Christ more than we love Christ Himself. We love learning about church, more than we love the brothers we are with. First, you should never be more excited about home church than you are of Jesus Christ. Secondly, if you really want to learn something, you need to visit with home church groups, and stay with them as long as possible to experience New Testament church life. You need to observe and then ask questions. It cant really be taught, it can only be caught.
A conference or a book will never teach you how to live church life! Only truly living church life will teach you this. Dont bother asking the home church stars if you can visit their fellowships, they dont have time for you and they probably dont have any for you to visit anyway. And may the Lord help you during your search, because from my experience, people living life together in Jesus is very rare even amongst home church groups. True life together in Jesus is very far and few in between, but pockets are actually happening in certain places.
There is nothing wrong with reading a book or going to a conference. But sometimes attending these can contribute to the worship of men. Even if worshipping a man is not where your heart is in going, many people are going for that reason so why contribute to the cause?
Lets forsake following men as we desire to meet in simpler ways. And as you meet, please dont read or discuss mens home church books as being the focus of your meetings. Jesus is much better than any book that any man has written! Men will always regurgitate concepts theyve heard and try to re-sell them to you in order to make themselves rich and famous. Let God be true and every man a liar. (Rom 3:4) And dont forget Psalms 62:9
men of rank are a lie.
by Terry Stanley
| 2011/6/19 16:28||Profile|
| Re: The Home Church Celebrities|
This reminds me of a thread I started a while back on a particular book and so many were trying to get me to buy the book and read it before I commented on it. No one who has read the book as of yet has been able to prove me wrong.
I stated that this book was dangerous and hurtful to the body of Christ. Someone will still say to me how you know since you havent read the book. I would still say to them I read enough of the reviews and seen enough of the fruit from those who have read it and read enough of the previews myself to say it is dangerous to the body of Christ. The bible says woe to him that causes discord among the brethren.
The bible says that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Many have profited off of the misfortune of others and also have led many astray from the true path of God.
Allaboard, we need men and women of God today who will be about restoring the true message of God given to the Apostles beginning at Pentecost. The church is the body of Christ and where ever the body meets in the name of Jesus, He is in the midst. We need to be about getting back to the faith once and for all given to the saints. The location (house or building) is irrelevant but Holy Spirit filled men are not; for they are a necessity.
Ephesians 4:7-12 (KJV) 7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Luke 24:45-49 (KJV) 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And ye are witnesses of these things. 49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
Acts 1:8 (KJV) But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Acts 2:1-4 (KJV) 1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
I believe that we must be striving for the full gospel message and not a half of a gospel where people dont believe in the power of God to deliver on all His Promises. We are to teach and preach a gospel of power that causes His people to overcome all the power of the enemy.
Blessings to you!
| 2011/6/19 19:10||Profile|
| Re: |
2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but DENYING the power thereof: from such turn away.
| 2011/6/19 23:20||Profile|
| Re: The Home Church Celebrities|
Religion is religion be it home church or traditional church. When I began my walk with Jesus I was taught we were in a relationship. Not a religion.
| 2011/6/20 0:09|
| Re: The Home Church Celebrities|
There is an old saying in the South; ..."You can take the boy out of the country, but you cannot take the country out of the boy!"
The current Clergy/Laity System that has created an over-class of "ministers" is the "country", in this case. We see the church functioning around "THE PASTOR"...which is nothing less than the professional and hired Master of Ceremony.
Out of this, we see the utter destruction of the functioning body....a holy church relegated to LAY...The Laity...while supporting this self appointed Priest-Class.
Out of this, we derive the "TITHE"..[an unscriptural rite in the New Testament..]...the "SANCTUARY"..the builing..[unscriptural]...the pulpit...[ the sacred focus point ]...all centered around the "MEETING"..and the One Man Show with spectators......US!
The House Church movement is often just a shrinking of the Larger model hammered into more palatable New Testament doctrinal set-up. The spirit is the same...the game is the same.."I'm your Minister!" "I'm in authority!"
Jesus called this spirit NICOLAITAN...which is the Ministry Class here...."The Kings over my people!" Jesus Himself went on to say that He HATES!!..their deeds...and their teaching...Hate is His Word.
Because we change the model, and might have the symbolism correct, has nothing to do with the Spirit of the function. It is sad to hear this testimony...but I believe it. There always will be men unwilling to be a good brother, or a good sister...but demand that others see themselves as of a superior ilk...A spiritual Priest!....and take charge.
They do not consider that they usurp the authority of the Mighty Holy Spirit Himself...and soon may be found guilty in His court of not rightly discerning the Body....and be severely judged. This will, I promise...will soon come to pass.
The Lord is NEVER defeated, nor ever discouraged. This Holy body that is filled with equal love and manifold ministries from the least of the Brothers...all the way through will be formed...and IS!..no matter how much man may howl about others not submitting.
"As much as you have done it to these...the Least of my brothers...you have done it unto ME!"...Jesus.
All of the saved has a ministry,,all born again...and the Priest Class...the ministry Class...happens to be a Nation of Priests....not a select few of arrogant ones.
| 2011/6/20 9:07|
| Re: |
hi, there are good large churches and bad there are good home groups and bad.leadership is a very biblical function and without it you could have chaos.why people have to be critical of everything blows my mind. i have been involved in the ministry for over 40 years and have been in some great churches that have shaken the world for Jesus. ihave also been in churches that real revival broke out and it so upset the statis quo that the pastors were fired and those involved in the revival were kicked out of the church by the laity.i have seen hundreds of miracles and thousands saved and filled with Gods Spirit in this time.you do not have to curse the darkness with criticism,just turn on the light of the true gospel and the darkness abates.there is a great move of God going on at this time throughout the earth.get involved!jimp
| 2011/6/20 9:37||Profile|
| Re: |
I agree with jimp... there is a tendency for some "snootery" on this forum, and also a tendency to throw the baby out with the bathwater. We can not throw a blanket of condemnation on everything just because there are a couple of examples where things may not be exactly as they should be.
And it's funny how the winds of change blow over this forum too. A couple years ago house churching was all the rage, but I've noticed since I've re-entered the SI discussion that the trend is now to condemn house churching. Surely there are some issues with house churching that need to be addressed... as I have been very open to point out... but to completely condemn an entire community of believers over a book that one man wrote... thats intellectually lacking. It's wrong. I think it's even sinful.
Thats like condemning every preacher on TV because of someone like Benny Hinn. Really? What about MacArthur? What about Todd Friel?
"Snootery" has effected SI. Actually, it's been here for a long time, and I have been drawn into it sometimes too. We gotta stop looking down our noses at everything and everybody. At some point we have to admit that we dont have the corner on all sound doctrine... we dont necessarily know all the answers to all the questions... etc etc.
The church has enough pharisees.
| 2011/6/20 9:46|
| Re: The Home Church Celebrities|
Good thread. So much need to be said found in these threads.
I suppose that at the end of the day, only the sheep understand the relational Shepherd. While the goats follow the religious 'other' jesus and the wolves in various sheep's clothing.
Perhaps we are truly living in the very end time; it's getting more and more difficult to discern who is and who isn't one of the His flock.
| 2011/6/20 9:54||Profile|
| Baby with bathwater?|
Hey Krispy! always good to hear you.I must have missed something though...I didn't see this article..[ did not read the book, nor do I intend to..]....condemning the Home church movement as a whole...but rather an outrage upon seeing the clergy/laity Nicolaitan spirit invade something meant to be so pure.....as the first church in Jerusalem was...and as Paul strove to establish.
I see the End Time bride formed into something like the Home church model we see today. My point is that the model does not necessarily create the true Spirit of the Church...the Spirit of Brotherhood and equal love, and each [ male and female ] possessing his or her portion; in gifting and in Love...and in service. No one is abandoned..young or old, or because of sex.
I see an equal plurality of Shepherds, Elders, overseers, pastors...[ALL THE SAME EXACT THING!]....serving the body...1.] TO FEED THE CHURCH.
2.]TO PROTECT THE CHURCH.
3.]TO MANIFEST THE LORDSHIP AND RULERSHIP OF JESUS, AND HIS HOLY SPIRIT IN HIS CHURCH.
These Elders are all male...for a woman should not teach over another man...[ in areas of doctrine especially], nor usurp authority over men. It does not mean anything that would prohibit the ministry of the Holy Spirit in sisters...in gifting, and in love.
All of Isaiah 61...no local Shepherding over men. That is given to the appointed shepherds , male only. The woman is the weaker vessel also, and Paul points out that when he states in the same passage that Eve was first deceived.
I love the Church! The house church/Home church movement is where I expect to see the holy End-Time-Bride emerge. The issue today is that we have been buried...by the Lord...Put to death....banished into the wilderness. The thing that God has sown, will blossom...but without the baggage and debris of the older, corrupt system that honors man above Jesus.
Glad your back....Tom
| 2011/6/20 10:27|
| Re: |
The current Clergy/Laity System that has created an over-class of "ministers" is the "country", in this case. We see the church functioning around "THE PASTOR"...which is nothing less than the professional and hired Master of Ceremony. Out of this, we see the utter destruction of the functioning body....a holy church relegated to LAY...The Laity...while supporting this self appointed Priest-Class. Out of this, we derive the "TITHE"..[an unscriptural rite in the New Testament..]...the "SANCTUARY"..the builing..[unscriptural]...the pulpit...[ the sacred focus point ]...all centered around the "MEETING"..and the One Man Show with spectators......US!
Sometimes I get the feeling that this is all you know how to post anytime a church in a building is even slightly mention. It is almost like this is your vendetta against all visible churches in existence today. Brother I dont know who hurt you but I know Jesus can heal any hurt that has been caused by man or Satan.
I know there has been a lot of hurt because of how that many have operated in the Clergy/Laity System but there have also been many anointed Pastors who have brought healing to the lives of many people. There are Pastors out there who would lay down their lives for the sheep because of their love for the great shepherd of the sheep. There are some who are following 1 Peter 5:1-4 (KJV) 1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
There are some taking the message of Paul seriously in Acts 20:28 (KJV) Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
The reason I bring this up is because I would like to know if you believe there are any good Pastors out there in the visible church and because I believe where at all possible we should be visible. I would also like to know what you are doing with all the wisdom of God and experience of the Lord that you have receive over your many years in the masters service. Do you have a church gathering in your house? Are you going anywhere else to gather with other saints? Are you still ministering to others and helping to win the lost to Christ? I was just wondering, what is your system and what are you doing in going about the great commission?
Blessings to you BrotherTom and I didnt feel like being direct with you would offend you because you are about the toughest person on SI and well-seasoned in the Lord that I know of even if I believe you are still a little flawed.
Love you in Christ!
| 2011/6/20 11:46||Profile|