What is the House Church? It is NOT the fact that we meet in a house! Romans 16:5 1 Cor. 16:19 Philemon 2 Colossians 4:15
What is the House Church? A movement seeking to reform the “traditional structure” of the church! It all but condemns authority for owning a building Found in many denominations
What is the House Church? Influenced by “brethren” “This book challenges traditional thinking, calling brethren to throw off the denominational thinking which obscures our historic commitment to biblical restoration,…
What is the House Church? Influenced by “brethren” “…and to consider how wonderfully revitalizing true restoration might be, as he proposes: vibrant small group fellowships, weekly love feasts, informal and spontaneous mutual ministry in the word…”
What is the House Church? Influenced by “brethren” “…and radically-motivated, counter-culture disciples of Christ.” Radical Restoration, F. LaGard Smith, “Scholar in residence for Christian Studies” at David Lipscomb University
True Gospel Preaching… They meet in homes in informal and casual setting. HOWEVER, not uncommon for “churches” in a city to occasionally come together. (Houses that Change the World, pg. 27-28) What Happens in a House Church?
True Gospel Preaching… Worship is spontaneous ANYONE can speak up anytime (men and women) Upbeat songs (camp style) with hand clapping, etc. Usually associated with a social gathering (a “potluck”). What Happens in a House Church? - Was priesthood spontaneous? - 1 Cor. 14:27, 33-34
True Gospel Preaching… The Lord’s Supper centered around a “fellowship meal” – a regular shared meal – with a loaf of bread and jug of juice in middle of table. What Happens in a House Church? 1 Cor. 11:20-22, 34 “Do you not have houses to eat and drink in?”
True Gospel Preaching… Argued that Lord’s Supper was part of the Passover meal and therefore to be taken with a common meal of remembrance What Happens in a House Church? What about the specific foods for Passover (bitter herbs, lamb, etc.) Luke 22:20, 1 Cor. 11:25 “After Supper” The Lord’s Supper is a memorial to be observed with reverence 1 Cor. 11:27-29
True Gospel Preaching… NOT real and substantive preaching – POSITIVE preaching, shallow and informal (anyone can speak up) Elimination of “traditional” leadership roles (elders, located preacher, etc.) What Happens in a House Church? Located Preachers – 1 Tim. 1:3, Ac. 8:40, 21:8, 19:10, 18:11, etc. Elders as shepherds (leaders) Ac. 20:28, 1 Pet. 5:2-3 As to preaching – see Positive Preaching Movement! 2 Tim. 4:2-4
True Gospel Preaching… Churches met in houses in first century. Yes they did, but also in the temple ( Acts 2:46, 5:12 ), in a school ( Ac. 19:9 ), etc. Where is NOT the emphasis of scripture 1 Cor. 11:22, Do you not have houses…? Heb. 10:25, 1 Cor. 11:17, 20 – authority for bldg. “Justification” for House Churches
True Gospel Preaching… “Traditional church model” has become ineffective Emphasize problems – boring, not emotionally stimulating, not relevant, “I’m not getting anything out of it.”, bickering among brethren, legalistic, too formal,… “Justification” for House Churches
True Gospel Preaching… “Traditional church model” has become ineffective Are local churches perfect? NO! But that does NOT justify throwing out the pattern! DEAL with the problem! REPENT! ( Rev. 2:5, 3:3, 3:19 ), “Justification” for House Churches
True Gospel Preaching… “Everything we do is worship!” “Worship is uninterrupted.” Romans 12:1, Text used to justify this “I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” “Justification” for House Churches
True Gospel Preaching… Various translations lend to this idea. Romans 12:1 “… which is your reasonable service” (KJV, NKJV) “(which is) your spiritual service” (ASV) “…which is your spiritual service of worship” (NASU) “this is your spiritual act of worship” (NIV) “Justification” for House Churches
True Gospel Preaching… The word “service” while at times is INVOLVED in worship does NOT always mean worship! Matthew 4:10 Romans 1:25 Hebrews 13:10 “Justification” for House Churches Worship is something we INTEND to do! John 4:23-24, Acts 20:7, 1 Cor. 14:26 - In ALL we do, we SERVE God, but NOT everything IS worship! RESPECT HIS PATTERN!
True Gospel Preaching… It is divisive! 1 Cor. 1:10 How does a “house church” begin? 2 or 3 “spiritual” families move in They question preacher & elders Attack worship service They attack the elder and preacher Disseminate literature Draw members away! Why House Church Movement is Wrong “These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him… One who sows discord among brethren.” Prov. 6:16-19
True Gospel Preaching… It is unscriptural Rejects God’s pattern for the church AND her organization (weakens eldership – if any; women take leadership roles, no preacher allowed, …) Why House Church Movement is Wrong
True Gospel Preaching… Perversion of N.T. Worship Spontaneous and NOT according to God’s pattern (Lord’s Supper a common meal, “camp” songs, hand clapping, “What is your experience?”, etc.) 1 Cor. 14:40 Why House Church Movement is Wrong
True Gospel Preaching… It is Man-CENTERED! More about what man wants than what God expects and commands. NOT directed toward God as HE commands it! Sure one goes away feeling good, but why? Emotion driven! Why House Church Movement is Wrong
The House Church Movement is another product of weak preaching and man-pleasers
May we NEVER neglect our assemblies to WORSHIP Him as He asks us to!