The End of the Argument

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If you, like me have participated in house church discussions for any length of time, either online or in person, you’ve experienced it. One minute everyone is talking about Jesus and encouraging each other to follow Jesus and the next minute the conversation turns to the evils of the institutional church. Like an atheist bitter at a god he claims not to believe in, the house church folks begin to argue with people who aren’t even there.

There are a million topics that can turn the topic this direction:

Buildings

Programs

Tithing

Pastors

Discipleship

The Bible

Authority in the church

…the list goes on and on.  But for whatever reason, these are the most popular, uniting, fervent conversations within the movement. It’s almost as if the unifying element in these groups is not Jesus, but our opposition to some form of traditional Christianity.

Let that sink in for a moment.

This type of attitude can become a problem. Left unchecked, we become evangelists for organic/simple/house churches among traditional church members instead of fishers of men among those who have no hope in Jesus.

Now, I’m an advocate for house churches. I write articles frequently where I talk about the advantages of house churches and why they make sense in light of Scripture and history. Hopefully you’d identify me as a friend of the house church movement. But as a friend of the movement, let me say that we need to leave behind our arguments with the traditional church. We need to stop arguing with those who are no longer part of our lives and let Jesus cleanse us of the bitterness of the past.

Most importantly, we need to start having conversations that encourage and strengthen the type of church that Jesus is building. We need to start becoming evangelists for Christ who both saved us and led us into this organic way of living out Christianity. We can let new followers of Jesus and new, healthy churches be the evidence of what Jesus is doing in our midst instead of our arguments.

So can bury the arguments with the past and move forward building the church called us to? I think we’ll be better for it.

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About traviskolder

Travis Kolder is a follower of Jesus, a husband, a father of five, an organic church planter, and a writer. He lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he serves as part of the Cedar Rapids House Church Network.

4 responses to “The End of the Argument”

  1. gunnarlarmstrong says :

    Amen!. I don’t even like using the term “institutional church” because it has come to mean “the Bogeyman”, or the “source of all evil”. I am a big advocate of house church, and I think the more traditional church structure and practice has all kinds of problems with it — but just transferring our attendance to a group that meets in a house and sits in a circle and has discussions will not solve anything by itself — the answer is in utilizing the freer “structure” to allow us to more purposefully pursue Jesus and his calling on our lives. Gunnar.

  2. David Bolton says :

    Yes, brother! Spiritual pride is the bane of any movement and usually creeps in when we get our eyes off of Jesus Christ and onto some distinction that differentiates us from others. We so quickly fall into the “I am of Paul”, “I am of Apollo”, “I am of Cephas” camp mentality that Paul rebuked the Corinthians for (1 Cor.1-3.) We need to ever keep our bond of unity, purpose, and vision the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and not ANY other person or thing. That alone will keep us humble and walking in the true spirit of unity (not the false one that is based on spiritual pride or having a common “enemy.”) Very few have stayed that course however! May God give us grace!

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