Jesus4King.net – The Spiritual Revolution

2008-01-01

Meet in homes v. Maintain a building

Why maintain a church building? I’m not condemning those who do, I’m just asking why. Is it really necessary? Is it the best meeting environment for the Lord’s church? Why not meet from house to house as described in the Bible? I think these are valid questions as I don’t think God wants Christians to practice blind obedience to the traditions of men.

Those accustomed to modern denominations have a hard time imagining a highly relational home church because they imagine formal church in a home. Forget it. If you want authenticity, try turning off all of your preconceived ideas and taking a fresh look at the New Testament.

If holding title to property and maintaining a building were the ideal situation and best meeting environment, don’t you think God would have mentioned something to that effect in the New Testament, the blueprint for His church? Somebody help me out; I haven’t found any such idea.

Church Buildings Are An Unnecessary Expense

Jesus said to go make disciples, baptize them, and continue to teach them to observe all that He commanded. He did not say to go buy real estate, build buildings, put a sign out front, and entertain visitors in hopes they drop something in the offering plate.

Billions of people around the world lack nutrition and lack the gospel while churches keep their investments in real estate. Many do just enough good works to create a facade as they build their portfolios and legacies based on worldly wisdom. How many billions of dollars have been spent acquiring and maintaining church properties?

Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Why not invest those billions in helping the 1/3 of the world’s population who have never heard the gospel? Did Jesus pay the ultimate price for acres of land or for the souls of men?

Why Won’t They Change?

Some wise guy once told me that reforming entrenched institutions won’t work because of the power brokers who have something to lose. What’s required is an exodus and a new start. With sincere intentions I ran some experiments and found this advice to be accurate.

Look at Jesus’ example and how He exposed the Pharisees and Sadducees in Matthew 23 and other places and you’ll see that power and control is one of the biggest motivators of organized religion. They killed Jesus for it. Don’t be surprised when they persecute you.

God has always had more confidence in common people than any religious bureaucracy has ever had. The word of God was written for common people. Those who want to control people have a hard time with the idea of meeting from house to house. What really scares these guys is people discovering that they don’t need a ‘professional’ in order to connect with God.

Mega-Church Mindset

Churches get further away from an environment conducive to meaningful relationships the larger they get. Cramming lots of people under the dominion of a religious bureaucracy is not the goal of Christianity. The professional entertainment system invented by church-growth gurus:

Compare this to the humble New Testament church that met from house to house in a simple, relaxed, real life environment. They spread the gospel all over the world. Each one had a psalm, a teaching, an exhortation. Mutual edification, accountability, and genuine relationships were expected.

Sanctuary Mindset

A formal, almost rigid atmosphere resides in church buildings. This likely has roots in the erroneous idea that the building is a holy place. It leads to a split lifestyle: holy in the holy place and profane everywhere else. Makes me think of the supposedly godly nations of modern America and ancient Israel. Jesus called the Israelites hypocrites. Hypocrite means actor; someone who puts on a show.

Anyone who’s honest will acknowledge that church as most know it is not producing the desirable fruit described in the New Testament. Continuing to practice church as most know it will only produce more of church as most know it. It has been tweaked, repackaged, and sold a zillion different ways, but the various brands of organized religion taste pretty much the same.

Christianity is a way of life, not a series of religious events. Life doesn’t happen at an orchestrated religious performance. Life happens every day and is composed of meaningful relationships. Instead of compartmentalizing it, why not bring Christianity home? You, your family, and everyone else in your life will benefit.

 

Next up: Worship in spirit all the time v. Worship in a building at designated times >>>

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9 Comments »

  1. Alright!!!!!!! I am so happy i found this post, I agree with almost all of it and we sure have been given a great revelation straight from the mouth of God, have a Blessed day ……simply me,…marie come visit my posts please, and rem. it takes the spirit of truth to reveal these things.

    Comment by maries709 — 2008-01-02 @ 14:05

  2. Still, even faithful Jews met in the synogogues. And sometimes a larger group of close brethren need a larger building or place other than a house to gather.

    Comment by Jersey — 2008-01-02 @ 17:16

  3. Dear Chris,
    thank you very much for your post.
    My family thought, we were the only one who refused to be part of sunday sermon church clubbing.9 years ago we converted to Christ and a lot of people tried to bring us into their (not His!) church, we tried to have fellowship because it is scriptural to have fellowship, but no place was good enough for us. In fact, our concern
    was that Jesus would not like to attend such or such a church.. and on the other side, we were nowhere welcome because of a faith too fundamentalistic, or too much lovers of the truth, heresy-hunters or too spiritual or too individualistic or not submissive enough…the spirit in me never felt familiar with more than a very few persons , I mean, I met so many churchgoers with whom I felt a strong spiritual disapproval and I was not able to call them brothers, because we had not the same father. We always had the habit, to search the scriptures and – guess why- found so often different or even contradicting passages. Then we finally gave up attending services.
    Since we decided to stay away, we were drawn closer to Jesus and our love for him and his truth increased. We found so many signs of false teaching and false annointings in the churches, on God Tv and other places and we do not want to be part of it. No compromise! Listen carefully, it is all about money, miracles and blessings.This is the church that will unify in order to be the congregation to worship the false Christ, the Antichrist.
    Since the temple is destroyed, there is no more house of God, except our body, if the Holy Spirit dwells in us. We are adopted children of God, so we have to behave like children towards a father…which father has ever put his children in rows
    below a pulpit and has forced them to pay him tithes …we have direct access to the father through Jesus. Eph4 says plainly clear, that the so-called five-fold-ministry is only for the new-converts, “…until we become mature” …
    building churches and employing “leaders” is ridiculously
    mocking Jesus, it be not so among you, he warned us, exploiting people instead of sharing the wealth among the brothers,creating bureaucratic ministries that devour plenty of money and only serve the ministers pride, but neglecting the poor and faible members. Big communities always leave so many needy people behind, there are churches, where you can remain anonymous for years, but everybody is supposed to be a brother! What a sad caricature of brotherhood! I dare not call me a prophet and I am scared to say anything that I receive is spoken by God (I heard so many lies thus said the lord) but it seems to me , that Jesus wants the faithful to get out of the churches and to depend on Him only, to abstain from ritual religion – sunday worship, here is the presence of the … feel it, because Jesus is present within us, not in the buildings, and to have a vivid, personal relationship with him and to leave all pastors, apostles and annointed out of the loop.

    Comment by arabella — 2008-01-02 @ 17:48

  4. Thank you for the comments.

    Synagogues were another manmade tradition invented after the Babylonian captivity and were run by the organized religion that Jesus exposed. He, along with Paul and others, participated in the synagogue for revolutionary purposes, not because synagogue participation was part of the Law of Moses.

    Comment by Jesus 4 King — 2008-01-02 @ 18:08

  5. I found this post in a sidebar on Next Wave e-zine. I grew up in the Restoration Movement myself, but concluded years ago that their biggest problem was that the 2nd and 3rd generations got the idea that they HAD restored the NT church (And they proceeded to drift farther and farther away from the thinking of their founders) (BTW, for years I have regarded myself as an “unreconstructed Campbellite”). I have only read this post and the “Open Letter” so far, but I will be back to check out more later on.

    Comment by Phil Hawkins — 2008-01-02 @ 18:39

  6. Great post!

    I really appreciate much of what you said here.

    I grew up in a church where my father was my pastor and we meet with other Christian believers from house to house. There were positives and negatives. I believe the negatives stemmed from not being connected with enough other families meeting in homes to constitute a corporate church or “community “, if you will. Something about the early church in Acts that makes it Godly is the presence of community.

    Just because you meet in homes in a personal and fundamental manner and you don’t go to a church building to sit under a power tripping hierarchy does not mean that you are worshiping in the fullness of God’s intent for church. If you’re lacking connection with “the body” as lifestyle way you are really missing out. Especially is you are meeting with just one race of people.

    I thoroughly agree however about the lack of discipleship often church buildings, mega churches and sanctuaries settings.

    The traditional church I am a part of now is making progress the things you talk about. Visit:http://calvary-temple.blogspot.com/2007/09/new-series-mosaic-starts-september-9th.html

    Comment by hermipowell — 2008-01-02 @ 23:00

  7. Hi Chris,

    I was so pleased to read your post today. So much of it reverberated with my soul. Just last night I was thinking about the exact same thing. That church as we know it is fundamentally anti-Christian. That what Jesus brought, is so much simpler, and so much more revolutionary than what is preached in churches.

    I hope that many more people read what you write and will be inspired to find their own ministry, and make God’s love for us all visible through following the true gospel of Jesus.

    There is only thing that I want to say with regards to your views on child baptism. I don’t want to get into a debate about child baptism vs. adult baptism other than you seem to fall into the same trap by assigning a dogma to a sacrament that seems to have no prescriptive values in the Bible. Your views on whether somebody should only be baptised after 20 or 30 are really ridiculous.

    Focus on the love of God, the liberating gospel of Jesus Christ like you have been doing and don’t fall into the same trap of developing any dogma around a symbol that God instituted to show his love for us.

    In peace, and love, in our Brother Jesus Christ.

    Comment by Leon — 2008-01-03 @ 06:44

    • your comment on babtism having no prescriptive values. I would be glad to have a study with you to prove the bible is the word of God, as it appears you dont belive that it is. Bozeman, mt. 406-581-2216

      Comment by paul landsgaard — 2010-01-07 @ 08:26

  8. Greetings: Visit website: gatewaytotruth.com

    God has obviously given us a similar spiritual mission of reaching out and calling other truth seekers out of the men built ‘institutional churches’ with their traditions and into Christ alone to be individual members of His body united by the same spirit…

    I look forward to talking more with you on this and other Biblical teachings…

    In His service,
    RF

    Comment by Rich Fulton — 2015-11-02 @ 11:09


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