This rant is not so much aimed at the errors of the Home Church movement in general (well, it is) but also aimed at a website where I found the Commandments of the New Testament listed.
That was good. I was pleased to find those. But there seemed to be a fundamental error in the website (maybe three or four!). We’ll start with the obvious ones.
“A number of years ago God warned me in a dream that we needed to leave the Godly conservative church that we were members of and that if we stayed the cost would be greater than what we were willing to pay in losing some of our children spiritually.”
Did he test the spirits? I downplay dreams and messages automatically, because I’ve had people say to me, “I saw this happen in a dream…” and nothing happens. You know, sometimes a dream is a dream.
If he had written, “I felt led to leave my church because a number of problems were bothering me…” or even, “I’d been reading the Bible and I felt that my church was violating too many precepts…”, I’d give this more credence. I can remember meeting a man who’d been warned in a dream to quit his job, sell his house, and travel the country in his mobile home with his wife and two kids so he could spread his dire word that the Rapture would start in 2006. I later warned his wife that her husband was possibly mentally unstable. She had long ago realized it.
Or someone else I talked to who had sold his home and business to go hide far from civilization in 1999 for fear of the riots in the Y2K bug. Well… That never happened. Again, I wonder if it was mental instability to blame for it.
Sometimes dreams are just dreams. That’s a good thing. Or I’d be endlessly worried about all kinds of things!
If you are worried about your church being unable to save your children, guess what? They can’t. You Can’t. You and your church can only present a Biblical Gospel message (I say Biblical, because certainly there are many unBiblical ones…), and your children must choose to follow it, or not. Your Children must choose to repent and accept Jesus Christ. And GUESS WHAT? The odds are that they PROBABLY WON’T!
This is going to be harsh. But sometimes people need harsh.
So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen. Matt 20:16 (KJV)
Not everyone who hears the Gospel will accept it. Sadly for a lot of Child converts, most “accept” Jesus because they want to please an adult. And they profess Jesus without possessing Jesus, never having been born again and never having repented.
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matt 7:13-14 (KJV)
By taking away the presence of other Godly families and creating a Home Church, he has
Put himself into a position he was never called nor trained for (Pastor) – and made himself accountable at the Judgment seat of Christ as a Pastor when he was never gifted. called or trained for
- Advocated others to do the same, bypassing God’s plan for the Church as a divine local institution and in many ways shown a rebelliousness by doing so and
- Kept the watchful oversight of the pastors and the deacons of the church from helping to offer the Gospel. And believe you me, statistics have shown that the average person needs the Gospel message presented to them at least five to seven times before they accept Christ.
How often will they hear an altar call at your house? They won’t. And if you cram it down their throats, as soon as they’re 18 they’ll run. If they’d been at a church, they’d have heard the Gospel presented every week. The urgency for it. The horrors of Hell.
Statistics show that fewer than 2% of mankind truly repent and are born again. That’s “Few” statistically. And this man somehow never put it all together how that would be the Church’s fault. It betrays a cultish thinking he’s been trained in somehow in the past: “Being in this church will get you saved.” Nope. It won’t. Only Jesus Christ can save you.
So far, he’s shown a lack of real understanding in the sign gifts being finished, a lack of understanding of salvation, a lack of knowledge of true doctrine, and since he further confuses sanctification with salvation, I completely understand his fear for his children. Right now, I’m afraid for them too! And for him as well.
The Local Church is God’s plan for the redeemed. One is not to deny the right of assemblage with other believers. And the fruit of that rebellion is showing itself now, by his emphasis on works to keep your salvation. Unless he gets a good understanding of what Salvation is, Not only his children, but very probably he and his wife will awake in Hell after death, and know that the Lake of Fire awaits them for all eternity. Because you cannot make these kinds of mistakes and possibly be saved.
Getting back to the home Church movement briefly, let me close with this thought. If the Local Church is God’s plan for his called out assembly, then it by implication must be the most important place on the earth. And you are in rebellion against God by rejecting His plan.
The Millennial Temple in Jerusalem will be a place of worship for all believers. How do you reconcile the Temple as a type for the church… and your local family church?
You say there’s no Biblical example of the Church in the New Testament. I worry that you’re saved. How else can you be reading the same Bible I do… and not understand it? Because I don’t know, I can see over 90 examples of Churches in the New Testament. And how you can plainly read that several thousand believed and were baptized in one day… and somehow imagine them all meeting in a home… What about the Jerusalem church meeting in Solomon’s Portico??? That seems pretty clear cut that A). There was a lot of them and B). They obviously weren’t meeting in a home. Sounds like a church to me!
A lot of the confusion is about the “breaking bread from house to house.” Seriously, I think a course in Jewish custom should be required for any would-be pastor. This way they could learn about the Shabbos Seudah tradition.
And what about the divisions in the church body, and the man in Corinth sleeping with his father’s woman? Are you telling me this was a home church? Just a family? I don’t think so.
No Pastors except the father? How do you account for Timothy and Titus being pastors to a flock?
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 1 Tim 4:12 (KJV)
this would make no sense if he was the father. Think on this.
The churches may have met for a time in peoples homes. But this was because they were so new they didn’t have any need for their own buildings yet. The Jerusalem church met at the Temple until its destruction in AD 70. And in many places, the only concept of a special building for worship was a Temple. It probably took a while for them to invent the concept of, “We could have our own buildings, like a Beit Ha’Knesset (Synagogue)”
That would have made things easier.
I see no problems with churches getting started in houses. But eventually, with every Christian in America owning their own cars, the need arises for everyone to park that car. And suddenly with zoning laws and angry neighbors, you end up needing a church building. “We could have our own buildings, like a Beit Ha’Knesset (Synagogue)”.
Yes, I’d love a home like some of the million dollar homes in Colorado, with the breathtaking views, and the seven thousand square feet nestled among the pine trees and rocks. But in reality, and like a lot of Pastoral Candidates, that’s out of my reach. Renting a 900 square foot home is all I can afford. (Besides, wouldn’t living in such a huge, empty home make you depressed and lonely?)
There’s so much wrong with the concept of the Home Church movement, and especially all the doctrinal problems I see with this website, that I don’t have all day to address it.
That’s for future rants.