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 Re:

Hi Greg,

When you say "Assemblies", do you mean any gathering of Believers? Or does this refer to "Brethren" Assemblies?

 2013/7/8 16:21
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 Re:

Brother,

I believe the word: Church, Assemblies, (gatherings of believers) are all words intending to bring the same meaning forth. The greek for Church is: Ekklesia which can be translated Assembly also. It does not refer to any denomination or grouping just the Biblical intention of God to see gatherings of saints together as the Body of Christ.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2013/7/8 16:23Profile









 Re:

That's good to know and from most of your writings which are non-sectarian, that is what I was assuming but just wanted to make sure.

Really appreciate your response.

The Assembly of the Righteous are the "Called out ones" (Ekklesia).

 2013/7/8 17:40
havok20x
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 House Churches

I am a firm believer in doing things biblically no matter the cost. The idea of house churches is intriguing to me, but I am very slow to jump on the current bandwagon. Why? Because the house churches I have been to had 0 leadership. The Bible gives example after example of a body of believers being led by Elders (not a singular pastor). A few house churches that I have visited claimed to be being led by the Spirit, but I knew immediately that something was amiss. Doctrine was tossed out the window in place of being 'led' by the Spirit--a move that I find very dangerous. Yes, the movement of the Holy Spirit is important, but God didn't write the Bible so that it could be subjectively looked at and tossed out the window the moment we feel 'led' to do otherwise. Liberal, emergent theology was running amuck there, doing damage to a lot of key doctrines and moving the importance of the Gospel from God to man. Evangelism was still EXACTLY like it is in almost every mainstream church--"let's invite that lost person to church/house church so that they can see what we are doing and become interested and maybe saved somewhere down the road."

I believe there MUST be a reformation in the church. I believe that it must be Holy Spirit AND Scripture driven, Gospel-Centered and Christ-focused. I believe that house churches can benefit the body of Christ in America.

However, I also know that the enemy is running around seeking our destruction. If we are going to push toward house churches, I think it should be because we get kicked out of every other church after trying to push it in love in the direction of Biblical Christianity. Those are our Brothers and Sisters in there! Should I abandon them just because I feel like we aren't doing things right? No. I will labor for reformation within my church until a move of God occurs or until I get excommunicated.

In foreign countries, house churches work because of persecution and the constant cleansing that provides and because they have no other choice than to do that. We cannot look at the results and say "So THAT'S how we gotta do it!" That's exactly what we have been doing for the past 150 years. Pragmatism is NOT the Gospel. Whenever we start actually preaching the Gospel and living according to the Word of God, then I believe persecution will come and house churches will function like they ought to. But in an environment that is relatively persecution free, it is easy to have a form of godliness but deny its power. It is easy to look Biblical but really be meeting together with EXACTLY the same problems PLUS the problem of no leadership, claiming that it is more Biblical all because it doesn't occur within a church building.

I want to see house churches work. I just haven't seen it yet. So I am leery concerning the current movement I have seen as of late.

 2013/7/9 13:16Profile
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 Re: House Churches

Brother,

You bring up valid concerns that have been normal of many house churches in the West in the last 30 years. We believe God is raising up house gatherings that believe in leadership, that truly desire Jesus Christ to be Head of the meetings.

We definitely need the cleansing you spoke of and it will take effort on all brothers and sisters parts to submit to each other and allow the Lord to guide the establishing of a network of house churches under Jesus Christ.


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 2013/7/9 13:39Profile
passerby
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 Re: House Churches

Perhaps if we will do it out of bitterness, cynicism, or for the mere reason or argument of perceived doctrinal correctness, then as said 'we will have a form of godliness but deny its power'.

The church has been described in the bible as having a line of leadership, orderliness in activities, sound doctrine, fear and love of the lord, love and support of one another, exhortation and discipline, and so on.

 2013/7/9 13:56Profile









 Re: House Churches

You have to do what the Lord is leading you to do, havok. He has individual work for all of us and without judging others we must fulfill His will for our lives.

You seem to have direction from the Lord and have made your decision so you must go with it

Quote:
I will labor for reformation within my church until a move of God occurs or until I get excommunicated.



However, it would be wise of you to admit that your experience is limited (as is the experience of each one of us). Meaning that you do not know about all house churches in America and cannot assume that they are being reactionary rather than led by the Spirit.

Many house churches work in America, simply because of renewed, individual and corporate focus on Jesus Christ. Nothing else makes any gathering "work" except Jesus Christ. Just the fact that people are now gathering unto the Lord and not to man is a big step in the right direction.

We must also remember that the Apostles did not "lord over the sheep" (take over meetings). From practical experience, I can see them preferring others in meetings and many times taking a back seat yet acting as an overseer, watching out for the sheep. I believe they encouraged the movement of the Holy Spirit and the expression of Christ through all the members and did not require everyone to listen to their "teaching" at every gathering. If they taught as much as people think they did, we would have thousands of letters from them, today, yet we only have 27 NT books. Somehow, because of contemporary Christianity, we seem to think they produced message after message every Sunday and Wednesday. Early Church Christianity was not about who preached the most and best messages. It was more about church life rather than church messages or programs.

Gathering unto Christ who is our LEADER, is so much different than gathering together unto men to listen to a message. Most gatherings are not about listening to prepared messages but allowing the Holy Spirit to spontaneously move amongst His Church and bring forth living testimonies, words of encouragement, prophetic words, etc, etc, in a very supernaturally natural way. You cannot choreograph or design what the Lord should do in each gathering. These thoughts are very foreign to those who have always been used to gathering with other saints, and sitting still for a couple of hours while one man preached his message.

Because our institutional Churches are so regimented, pre-planned and choreographed (starting and stopping on time) we somehow think that true leadership is still about certain men speaking all the time. That is not what leadership is. Jesus said, "I am among you as one who serves".

Let's look at a smaller example of a family.
A mother and father in a family allow much interaction and expression from their children while providing leadership in many ways. Moms and Dads teach their kids to serve by serving them and one another. Their kids learn to interact in their relationships because they have seen the example of their parents interacting with each other and them. Their kids learn to care for one another (shepherd one another) because of the example of their "main" shepherds (mom and dad). As their Mother and Father monitor and oversee their activities and interactions, they provide correction and teaching where and when needed. Children learn to forgive and be humble from the example of their parents. Children learn about being polite and orderly from the examples of their parents. And you can continue with many more examples of the leadership that Moms and Dads provide in their families in order to raise emotionally and spiritually mature adults.

Don't you think it would be strange if parents required their kids to wake up in the morning and sit in a chair and listen to their daily pre-planned speech to them for a couple of hours? Is that how families are conducted? Yes, that is exactly what happens in Organizational/Institutional Chrisitanity.

The organic relationships in a family give many clues to how our organic relationships in the family of God are maintained and continue to grow. They all revolve around the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.







 2013/7/9 14:08
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Quote:
Nothing else makes any gathering "work" except Jesus Christ.



Amen.

For those who have not seen this, the Principles Book is a free ebook in various formats on house churches and gathering as God's people in the End Times: http://gospelfellowships.net/principles-book/


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 2013/7/9 14:14Profile
havok20x
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 Re: Spontaneity in our Meetings

You are right. My experience is limited. But I don't need experience if I have 66 books of divine revelation starring me in the face with blatant instructions on how things are supposed to be.

I want house churches to work. I really do. And I am not saying that the majority of house churches are not Biblical. What I am saying is this: I have read and studied a lot church history and I have seen how certain fads have risen and fallen without Jesus Christ although everyone said it was by Him. Everyone can tag the name of Jesus to everything and say it is Biblical. Look at the false prophets who are going to be cast into hell on the judgment day. They all cried out "Lord, Lord!" However, the mark of something truly Biblical is that it follows the whole council of the revealed Word of God. Not logic only. Not what seems right in the eyes of men. But true, genuine submission to what has been revealed--an honest attempt to bring everything into submission to Jesus Christ. Like the Bereans.

I just don't want to jump on any bandwagons and find myself on a wagon train that has taken me further from truth rather than closer to it.

 2013/7/9 14:44Profile









 Re:

Brother, it's not whether we want house churches to work or not. Some don't work simply because of men's hearts. You can be in a house church that has a controlling spirit and then again you can be in one where the liberty of Christ exists.

I think it is important not to camp out on the outward structure, yet it is ok to observe them and draw some wisdom from the contrasts. We see throughout the Bible that everything comes down to men's hearts.

Why, you could own a building and meet people every week in that building and have a glorious time in the Lord. The fellowship could be very healthy and yet, the building or lack of one has nothing to do with men's hearts.

So, it's not about structures, per say. We should not think that house churches are a panacea. We always have to accept the responsibility of the orientation of our own hearts. If they are oriented away from self and towards the Lord, then gathering with others who are of the same mind is joyful and edifying, even if you are at Denny's or sitting in a park.

We really make gathering together much too complicated. We are fearful of too many things going wrong and that is precisely why the institutional organizations have such a high level of control and every minute seems to be regulated and regimented. Again, I ask, are households conducted this way?

Are you married? Do you have children? (I sense not) If so, then you know things can get quite disoriented and chaotic in the family, sometimes. If so, what do you do? Do you split from them and go your own way? Absolutely not! You work through the problems with love and patience and bathe your family with prayer until all your children grow up and mature and then you still bathe them with prayer and love. Some things will never stop while we are on this earth.

Commitment is vital. If one keeps jumping around they get used to running away when things get chaotic. Paul stuck with the Corinthian church because he understood the principles of raising babes in Christ, and growing in the Lord.

Afterall, he did write this:
Eph_4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Quote:
You are right. My experience is limited. But I don't need experience if I have 66 books of divine revelation starring me in the face with blatant instructions on how things are supposed to be.



Since God's instructions to you are "blatant", then can you tell me what a local expression of the Body of Christ looks like?

I would just like to add that it is only through experience that we prove the Word of God and come to understand it more and more. He does tell us to prove His word. That means we are to step out in faith and obey it and then we will understand it. Here is a supporting verse for that truth:

Joh_7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

Do His will, then you will know.

We are not to ask the Lord, "why"? Just do it, and then your questions will be answered.

I can read a book on parenting, but it pales in comparison to experiencing what it is really like to raise a son or daughter, day in and day out.

I can read about being born-again, but experiencing it gives me volumes more information than reading about it.

I wish the word was blatantly understandable and that we were zapped with perfect knowledge so that we have no use for experience. Actually, I don't. If we did not learn through experience, then Christianity would be classrooms and Bible study all day long. It is very important to experience life and the truth of God's word and the joy of relationships.



 2013/7/9 16:41





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