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Home churches

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Pah, Jun 17, 2006.

  1. Faint

    Faint Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm...why do you think more and more religious people are choosing home churches? What are the benefits of this or what's wrong with the churches they've been going to? Anyone?
     
  2. royol

    royol Member

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    If everyone takes their own path, religion is in danger of fragmenting, different views and ideas come from isolation, interpretations change, in this case I think size matters, bigger is better.
    Two old sayings spring to mind:
    Divide and conquer.
    Safety in numbers.
     
  3. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

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    No doubt you would get almost as many different answers as the number of people you ask. … And therein lays a clue to the real answer for they have been taught that that is OK. The problems seen within Christendom are self-imposed because its adherents blindly follow those who claim to be shepherds but who in actuality are not. At Matthew 15:14 Jesus described the situation this way: “Blind guides is what they are. If, then, a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” Clearly Jesus puts the blame on both, the blind guiders and the blind guided. Jesus also aptly described the imitation shepherds of his and our day at John 10:12-13: “The hired man, who is no shepherd and to whom the sheep do not belong as his own, beholds the wolf coming and abandons the sheep and flees—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them— 13 because he is a hired man and does not care for the sheep.” The resulting bad situations then and now are similar: “On seeing the crowds he felt pity for them, because they were skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples: “Yes, the harvest is great, but the workers are few. 38 Therefore, beg the Master of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.”” (Matthew 9:36-38)

    When it comes to true worship “bigger [IS NOT] better”. Let me show you why:

    (Matthew 7:13-14, 21-23) “Go in through the narrow gate; because broad and spacious is the road leading off into destruction, and many are the ones going in through it; 14 whereas narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are the ones finding it.” . . . “Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will. 22 Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?’ 23 And yet then I will confess to them: I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness.”

    (Matthew 22:14) “For there are many invited, but few chosen.”

    (Matthew 5:10-12) “Happy are those who have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake, since the kingdom of the heavens belongs to them. 11 “Happy are you when people reproach you and persecute you and lyingly say every sort of wicked thing against you for my sake. 12 Rejoice and leap for joy, since your reward is great in the heavens; for in that way they persecuted the prophets prior to you.”

    Yes from a worldly point of view there is “Safety in numbers” but in the long run it is a false safety as the majority is never the subject of persecution and Jesus prophesied that his true followers would be persecuted. Jesus’ words are as true today as when he spoke them!

    .
     
  4. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    The quoted verses is not a numerical count of the over all church but of those who actually make it. Are you advocating keeping the numbers small because only a few will make it anyways?
     
  5. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

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    Victor,

    You are correct there is “not a numerical count” within the Bible for the approved vs. the disapproved. Yet there is always a juxtaposing of the two groups with those approved called “few” or something similar and those disapproved referred to as “many” or something similar. What I am saying is that the ratio is persistent for a reason.

    There are 6 billion plus people living on earth, if the end were to come tomorrow and only a very small percentage of that number, say only 1/1000th, are approved that would be 6 million people. That is a huge number compared to the size of a home church group. Or as I stated earlier being part of either extreme is an unhealthy place to be.

    The record compiled by the “large” denominations pretty much speaks for itself but that does not mean that the answer is going to be found in a group so small that it cannot fulfill Jesus’ prophecies/commands given to his true followers:

    (Matthew 24:9-14; 28:18-20) “Then people will deliver you up to tribulation and will kill you, and you will be objects of hatred by all the nations on account of my name. 10 Then, also, many will be stumbled and will betray one another and will hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and mislead many; 12 and because of the increasing of lawlessness the love of the greater number will cool off. 13 But he that has endured to the end is the one that will be saved. 14 And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come.” . . . “18 And Jesus approached and spoke to them, saying: “All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you. And, look! I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.”

    (Acts 1:6-8) “When, now, they had assembled, they went asking him: “Lord, are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?” 7 He said to them: “It does not belong to you to get knowledge of the times or seasons which the Father has placed in his own jurisdiction; 8 but you will receive power when the holy spirit arrives upon you, and you will be witnesses of me both in Jerusalem and in all Ju·de´a and Sa·mar´i·a and to the most distant part of the earth.”

    (John 17:15-23) “I request you, not to take them out of the world, but to watch over them because of the wicked one. 16 They are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world. 17 Sanctify them by means of the truth; your word is truth. 18 Just as you sent me forth into the world, I also sent them forth into the world. 19 And I am sanctifying myself in their behalf, that they also may be sanctified by means of truth. 20 “I make request, not concerning these only, but also concerning those putting faith in me through their word; 21 in order that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in union with me and I am in union with you, that they also may be in union with us, in order that the world may believe that you sent me forth. 22 Also, I have given them the glory that you have given me, in order that they may be one just as we are one. 23 I in union with them and you in union with me, in order that they may be perfected into one, that the world may have the knowledge that you sent me forth and that you loved them just as you loved me.”

    The good news in all this is that the end has not yet come and therefore there is still time to ferret out those who are approved and join with them.

    .
     
  6. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    The book of Acts gives us our best insight into the primitive church, but references to house churches are found throughout the New
    Testament...

    Acts 16:40After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia's house, where they met with the brothers and encouraged them. Then they left. NIV

    Acts 20:20 You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. NIV

    Romans 16:5 Greet also the church that meets at their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia. NIV

    1 Corinthians 16:19 The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house. NIV

    Colossians 4:15 Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. NIV

    Philemon 1:2 To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker, to Apphia our sister, to Archippus our fellow soldier and to the church that meets in your home: NIV

    So, you can see that the primitive church made quite a bit of use of these House Churches.
     
  7. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Amen... the primitive church was adamant about one thing only: Seeking and saving the lost. They did anything and everything to bring others the Gospel. Too often, we want to draw lines in the sand that were never meant to be drawn. Paul became all things to all men so that he might save some. This should be our driving force as well.
     
  8. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Religious freedom.

    Many are beginning to realise that there is more than one response to a faith in Jesus. Everyone praises God in a unique way, and large corporate worship tends to overshadow this. We are all priests in God's eyes.
     
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  9. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

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    Please expound, did Paul mean he became an unrighteous person to those that practice unrighteousness, a thief to thieves, a drunk to drunkards, and so on? (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) Or did he mean that, like Jesus, he treated everybody with respect and discernment not overpowering the weak with his knowledge and faith but rather established common ground and talked to people at their level and about their interests?

    I know you said it to Faint but I thought I might point out that Adam, Eve and everyone that died at the flood did so because they insisted on their “Religious freedom”. Do not misunderstand, God gave us free will but too many of us abuse it using it as an excuse to please our self rather than him.
     
  10. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Paul died to sin... how could he live in it?

    Galations 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. 2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4 You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 56 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. NIV

    I think I will go with Paul here. I have been set FREE from the law and all of these self righteous regulations.
     
  11. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Let's look at more of that heretical "Freedom Talk" from Paul:

    I Corinthians 9:19 Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. NIV

    Now, I would like to know: Where do YOU draw the line???
     
  12. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

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    NetDoc,

    Unlike yourself I do not consider “the law” of God, part of which is in fact the only part of the Bible written directly by God himself (Exodus 31:18), to be “self righteous regulations”. Nor do I view Paul as a heretic.

    I have already asked you to expound on what you mean when you say: “Too often, we want to draw lines in the sand that were never meant to be drawn. Paul became all things to all men so that he might save some.” Since I still do not understand what you are trying to say and the point you are trying to make, let me again ask a few more questions and hope that this time you will answer.

    Normally “drawing a line in the sand” is associated with trying to pick a fight. Are you trying to tell me that you think Paul was telling us to disregard any or all prohibitions found in the Bible so as to not start fights? Again, “did Paul mean he became an unrighteous person to those that practice unrighteousness, a thief to thieves, a drunk to drunkards, and so on?” Is that the point you are making? That is what it sounds like to me but I want to be sure and that is why I asked what I did and why I am asking again. PLEASE EXPOUND.
     
  13. Mystic-als

    Mystic-als Active Member

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    Soooo.... about the home point of the OP. I was told by someone I trust to know about these things that the early church also had church meetings in the graveyards. Late at night. Perhaps 12 or 3 am. Is this true!?
     
  14. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    I was being facetious when I referred to Paul as being "heretical"... Let's look at what Paul has to say about "lines in the sand":

    Colossians
    2:13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. 16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. 19 He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.
    20 Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: 21 "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"? 22 These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. NIV

    But what about Jesus? Did he have ANYTHING to say about this? Actually, he did.

    Matthew 23:1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. 3 So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. NIV

    The great thing is that Paul imitated Jesus in this. Jesus was WAY OUTSIDE the box in his dealings with others:

    Matthew 11:16 "To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others:
    17 " 'We played the flute for you,
    and you did not dance;
    we sang a dirge
    and you did not mourn.' 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.' 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." ' But wisdom is proved right by her actions."
    NIV

    But maybe you should create a new thread to pursue this line of discussion. This is about home churches.
     
  15. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    I believe it is true. When they were persecuted they hid. Sounds reasonable.
     
  16. HOGCALLER

    HOGCALLER Active Member

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    It is a subject that seems important to you and that you brought up. I have always enjoyed our conversations in the past and would enjoy a good, friendly discussion of this subject. Please start a thread and lay out your points and concerns regarding these "wrongs" and send me an invite to join--I will. OR IF YOU PREFER, I already have a thread started and this subject fits right in with its subject. I invite you to come and make your case there: http://www.religiousforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=33855
     
  17. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    That's true, and I shared enough to link it to the subject at hand. We seem to be departing from that OP a bit.
     
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