"House Church" or "Institutional Church" Attendance
I’m kinda stuck in the middle of something here.
I’m back in my home state because (of personal reasons)... The “community” I was with a year ago here no longer really exists; lots of people moved away, and there’s just a handful of people left. So anyway, there’s a “house of prayer” nearby. And there’s some “mega churches.” There’s a “house church” in the area that I have a lot of connections with—and while a lot there is right, most of the time it’s just a lot of noise.... (like, playing drums for an hour with an occasional sentence with meaning thrown into the middle...).
Ok, well, here’s my reality at the moment, which you are free to dissect or correct or whatever, ok?
I’m 32, single, and definitely hungry for fellowship with people even outside of the “single” issue. Like I crave praying with people, worshipping together, etc. At least in the institutional settings, I can find people that are hungry for the same sorts of things. In the house church here or the “community,” I can try to provoke things in that direction but a lot of times I’m just scratching my head... So anyway, I’ve ventured lately into some institutional settings, wanting to be in an environment that ironically, seems more conducive to spiritual depth and interaction (at least in this neighborhood) than I am finding anywhere else.
I am very clear with others that I don’t agree with the way that institutional churches operate, I just feel though that there are times that the Lord is working there despite it being an institutional church—that people are still growing in the Lord and even in relationships with each other at times there—and I guess right now I believe that it (ug, am I saying this?) can be somewhat beneficial in certain situations for people to take part in a limited way with other believers in institutional churches? Even though i disagree with the format, the structure, the lack of community, etc etc...
But anyway, some of my close friends (who are “house church” people) heard that I visited some “churches” and now they are not speaking to me because I visited an institutional “church” a couple of times, and they are horrified. And I am reeling from the rejection here... wondering if I’m totally wrong for visiting a “church” and should repent, or how to make things right with them, etc...
WOW... Percentage-wise, do they REALLY believe that “house churches” inherently have more people who are genuinely Blood-bought and Saved, then the “institutional churches”??? You go on and “attend” where you want, as long as there is no totally false Gospel (THAT is the test, and it is no better and no worse than the average “meeting in a living room” with minimal relationships, sans Heb.3:12-14, instead of a “sanctuary”!!). There is nothing inherently more Spiritual about “pooling of ignorance” in a living room, than listening to a seminarian pontificate from a pulpit. Personally, I am GLAD you are getting in and meeting some folks in that environment and spreading some Truth there. What kind of “bunker mentality” has the “house church movement” gotten into? It sounds like the Roman Catholics who used to tell me that if I set foot in a “protestant” building, even for a wedding or funeral, that I would go to Hell. Please “go for it” and I would love to hear of your adventures. : ) Good grief. You hang around some pretty “small” people sometimes, to be getting rejected for that. What an ironic “reversal” where NOW the living room is the Holy Place, and the structure is unHoly? NEITHER are Holy. It is the RELATIONSHIPS ALONE, with Jesus and one another to the CORE, daily, that are either Holy or unHoly. You ARE doing the best you can (we’ve known that about you for years now)—and if there is nothing more you locate in your area than drum beaters and such, and can’t seem to yet build or find deep, meaningful Christ-centered honest relationships, then go at least and get some decent teaching and find some people to share with in some big ole place! : ) Love, us
PS As a brief elaboration, in this City where i live and love, we’ve been “meeting in homes” (and many other places—since no “homes” are even close to being large enough when “everyone is together”-1Cor.14) for 22 years now. It’s not a “new topic” or something we’re “just guessing” about. : ) It has been a beautiful Eph.2-4 Gift from God for over two decades, with grandparents, parents, children, grandchildren—born, reBorn, and prospering in Christ, all. And certainly, here, since there is NOTHING on the calendar to “attend regularly”—only LIVES to MERGE INTO, we find ourselves “daily in public and from house to house,” with no “assignments” of “group” or “leader” or any such thing. There is, of course, no way to advocate “attendance” in a “building-appropriated-for-religious-functions” OR “attendance” in a living room, as having anything to do with Father’s Plan for His Church. There will be awesome people in BOTH, however. And, when one is not near or familiar with any Biblical Church that is DEFINED by 100% real, alive, intimate, daily relationships with Father, His Son, and His Body... then certainly many are forced to look for Opportunities, Divine Appointments to share their lives with other truly Blood-bought saints—in whatever other “fishing hole” they can find. And, frankly, Father may well have Designed such situations for many, to force them to Grow and Know Him in ways they could not, if they “had everything they wanted for themselves, right now.” : )