For what it's worth, in our house church, which I have been apart of for 6 years, I have never heard anyone speak in a derogative way about anyone in the institutional churches. What would be the point? Many of us have friends and family there and it is a bad witness to one another, especially the kids. We don't want to be known for what we "are against" but rather for Who we "are for".It had always been understandable that people in the IC don't quite understand or accept why we meet in homes but we all still remain friends. At weddings and funerals we are usually 50-50 with regards to the mixture off individuals from both HC and IC. It is important to keep your relationships and not alienate others and a sure way to do it is to rail against the religious system all the time. So, we have a very good relationship with people, and I wish to underscore, people, not clergy. We seldom run into clergy. The regular people, what the clergy call "laymen" have always been more understanding than the clergy and I have seen a wider acceptance of the House Church over the last 35 years. And we are not really trying to do things that make us accepted, we just live and work and treat people with respect and love, not taking advantage of them in any way. And they see that we don't alienate them. We often have visitors, some don't come back but others do. When they meet with us they see that noting weird is taking place and they are usually very blessed.Here in this forum we extend to one another much more freedom to talk about issues that we never talk about in our house church meetings. In our homes, but not in our corporate gatherings. It has no place in the corporate gathering where we come together to worship the Lord and encourage one another.
I guess this is the bottom line for me on this. Many Christians are completely opposed to fellowshipping at any and all traditional churches regardless of whether or not there may be a sound or healthy traditional church nearby. To them there is no such thing as a sound or healthy traditional church. If they came across a new believer (let’s say online or by phone) who was not fellowshipping anywhere, they could never bring themselves to encourage that new believer to search out a healthy traditional church if no house church was available in their area. Again, this is a prevalent sentiment I’ve seen both online and in person from Christians who do not like traditional churches.Now, many of these brethren will provide all manner of reasons for feeling the way they do. But to me, respectfully, it all boils down to majoring on non-essentials, again, such as meeting in a building, using a pulpit for preaching, etc. The question was asked, what about attending a traditional church and not really “belonging” there intimately? Yes, there are some who just “go to church” on Sundays and then don’t desire to fellowship more than on Sunday. But I’m like hey, at least it’s something, isn’t it? At least we can come together as a body of believers once a week and lift up are hearts together to the Lord in corporate praise and worship and get into the Word together corporately and then possibly fellowship more after the “service”, and possibly even go out to lunch with one or two other believers to fellowship even a little further on a given Sunday. But many brethren do not see any benefit in that because they are too opposed to all traditional churches for one reason or another. It’s as if they see all traditional churches as being beneath their dignity. Again, I’ve seen this sentiment both in person and online. I myself used have that same type of sentiment. So in the end, for some of us here, we’ll just have to respectfully agree to disagree as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Oracio, I can only speak for myself, I don't know any healthy traditional churches, because I have not been in that world for many, many years. I do know house churches so I would naturally recommend them.
Fair enough brother. I do understand that it can be pretty tough in our day sometimes to find even a solid-enough traditional church with so much apostasy taking place.
Oracio,It is a tough subject. I have never found a healthy one (years ago) as the system is geared to take advantage of people even if the heart of the clergy is right. And of course only God knows that.