The End of the Argument
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:
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.