Are House Churches The Answer?

28 Mar

Not long after Christianity began it became illegal and was forced underground. People had to meet secretly and oftentimes it was in someone’s home. One cannot help but wonder if history will repeat itself in the last days with the increase of persecution against  followers of Jesus Christ all over the world and the rise of Muslim voices and violence. Will Christians again be forced to worship in secret? It is very hard to find a good bible believing church anymore.

So many churches are  filled with liberal pastors who have a liberal view of the bible. Who dare to make the claim that the Holy Bible is not the fallible, inerrant word of God. Those of the Reformed faith have no problem saying the Bible has uninspired additions. In the apostle Paul’s day a woman could open up her home to a handful of Christians to meet every Sunday where they broke bread, sang songs and shared what they had of God’s word. Every member participated and used his/her spiritual gifts. There wasn’t this elaborate organization, structure or hierarchy. Those things started with the Church of Rome after 300 AD when Christianity was declared the state religion and buildings could be erected. This was the beginning of a split into clergy and laity. Church became leader and program centered.

 Today there are some house churches and it is growing in popularity, largely because Christians feel their churches have failed them. Pastors are no longer the kind of spiritual leaders like Charles Finney, Dwight Moody, Billy Sunday. I did some research on great men of God today and here were some of the names on the list:

Kenneth Copeland

Creflo Dollar

Jessie Duplantis

Benny Hinn

T.D. Jakes

Joel Osteen

Jimmy Swaggart

Kenneth Hagin

Rick Warren

Many pastors are vehemently against house churches. Their objections are the self-ordination, the lack of elders and the disruption to the unity and peace of the institutional church. Some have even written books about it. That it’s a form of apostasy when men who are not called to be preachers start teaching the word of God.

 

When I look at a lot of churches today, I marvel how the pews are filled with spiritually dead people, the unsaved who know nothing about God’s grace and love. There are many baby Christians who never really grow up. Their walk with God is sporadic and not intimate. They never use their spiritual gifts in church, but are passive listeners instead and then they go home feeling all religious because they had done their part by merely assembling with others and hearing a sermon. Their motivation is just to attend, not to give praises to God from deep within the bottom of their soul, or because they are hungry and want to be spiritually fed from God’s word. Dead churches can only produce dead people. A pastor who doesn’t teach sound doctrine or about the horrors and eternity of hell, who doesn’t keep preaching the need to be born again is not only lazy but disobedient to God. He is preaching to many unsaved people who eventually die in their sins.

 I don’t know exactly where I stand on home churches. I like the idea mainly because I believe a lot of pastors have failed to properly feed their sheep and care for their souls. Any man of God who uses a diluted paraphrased bible version is doing a disservice to his flock. I have been to churches where never not once did the pastor ask me if I was born again. The Church has forgotten  its first love: Jesus Christ. Our Lord is hidden behind all these elaborate rituals. The gospel of Jesus Christ is so beautiful in its simplicity that even a child can teach it. I got saved in the school cafeteria when I was in the 3rd grade thanks to the witnessing of an 8 year old classmate. I was catholic and in darkness. That church failed me. It took a born again child to tell me about Jesus who is the light of the world.

 

I once emailed a Baptist pastor who has an excellent website and who does a wonderful job exposing false teachers. He is against house churches because he sees them as a movement and thus a threat. So he is a forerunner in trying to stamp them out. Or at least expose them to the point that they might eventually die out. I asked him where are the bible believing churches and why wouldn’t a home church be an alternative. He said he would move to the ends of the earth to find a true church and live in a tent if that’s what it would took. What is one to make of that? Is this what it has come to? Do we have to travel far and wide to hear a scripturally sound sermon? If pastors aren’t doing their job, you can bet laypeople will take matters into their own hands.

 So, which is the lesser of two evils? Which does the least damage? A house church whose members believe the Bible to be the infallible, inerrant word of God, or an institutional church with thousands of members, whose pastor believers that any Bible we hold in our hands, even a Bible in the original Hebrew and Greek, cannot be called “inerrant?”

 

 

 

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