Yea, bitterness plays into it too. Looking back on it in retrospect I can say that my experience was that I have rarely ever been in a house church environment where there wasn't some sort of bashing of "institutional" churches, or looking down the nose at them. Generally there was an "us against them" mentality.Someone is bound to jump in here and disagree with me, but please keep in mind that this is MY experience. If someone else has had a different experience that was way better... I accept that. And not all of my experiences in the house church movement were that way! There were a lot of good and deeply spiritual things that happened too.Anyway, I agree that "church membership" as we know it in most churches today is not found in the Bible persay. However, that does not make it sinful or wrong either. I think that is between the believer and the Lord. God will lead each one of us.As for me and mine, the Lord led us to a "regular" church that immediately became family to us. Our pastor is one of the best Bible teachers I've ever been around. If someone shows an interest in learning more and more about the Bible he will bend over backwards to help that person... but understandably he will limit how much time and energy he will invest into someone who is not a "member". That makes sense to me.Joining this church was as natural as anything we've ever done.I told you guys when I came back to SI the other day... Krispy: New and Improved! lol...God's been working in me more than ever before.Krispy
Oh agree with you 100%, I have had similar experience but its definitely not the rule. I would say talking with the pastor at the church I attend now has helped greatly with my bitterness because he was able to show me "Hey we're not all the same." Also I agree that church membership isn't sinful but between You and God, if the Holy Spirit says yes then go for it. As of now I haven't felt that conviction nor do I think I ever will, but its good to know that I won't have my arm wrenched out of place if I refuse membership. Something that always seems to be a sore spot is the "praise and worship" Its like the war department of every church lol I am actually leading worship today as a fill in because the majority of the worship team is gone this Sunday. I really love leading worship and the Lord has given me tough skin when it comes to critics and complainers, though I am still "newish" to some of the people so I believe I will be received graciously. I am going to have an opportunity to preach this summer and the topic of choice is "A Heart of Worship" read out of 2nd Sam 6.I think this is the first time I have ever had a supportive pastor that wasn't looking to exploit me in some way and it has been quite refreshing. I meet with him every other Monday and we have been working on bible study practices, one area I am seriously working on is the Application part because Observation and Interpretation seem to come easier for me but Applying it to life seems tough.
Music in the church has always been sticky! We have a band, but our worship is a good mix of hymns and modern... and our pastor reviews each song for lyric content. If the lyrics are not 100% Biblically accurate it doesnt get sung in our church. Especially no "Jesus Is My Girlfriend" songs. There is meat even in our singing.Our pastor is also a football coach (part of what attracted me to his style)... so talk about thick skin!The sound volume is nearly perfect, not overbearing at all, and the style is generally conservative. No jumping around or concert feel. Very reverent in fact.I think application is the tough part for any believer, brother. I struggle with it too, you are not alone.Krispy
Harold Camping was opposed, corrected, and rebuked for his teachings by numerous Christians over the years during his radio call-in show 'Open forum". The was never any lack, so far as I could tell, of people willing to openly and publicly confront Mr. Camping, and that to his face(so-to-speak). And rightly so. But his destructive teachings continued in-spite of it, not in the absence of it, and his call-in radio program could in one sense be described as a venue for Christian controversy where Harold Camping was always able to have the final say in exercising his control over the air-waves, and the mic. Two out of the three people that I personally confronted more than once over spreading Camping's teachings on the street I saw out spreading them right up until the end.Perhaps as few as two or three days after Mr. Camping's failed prediction I saw his now televised version of open-forum, and a man was once again contending with him over his teachings about the Bible.He was eventually cut-off from the mic, and Mr. Camping was left the with final word of correction for his audience.One powerfull remedy for this has already been suggested: that more and more people would cut-off the money they had been giving him. There can be no doubt now that to continue to fund him in any way is to be complicit with something destructive in the extreme, regardless of the rest of his radio content, good or bad.It may be that false teaching will continue and grow worse until the end of time. It may be that there will never be any shortage of people willing and eager or lured and tricked into speaking for themselves instead of being sent by God and given a mouth to speak.In the meantime, sound teaching and pure light is what is useful and nescessary in the midst of confusion and darkness. So God's people can hear Him to follow Him, and keep walking with Him on the way home.
_________________Christopher Joel Dandrow