House Church - How does that work (and not work)

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Re: House Church - How does that work (and not work)

Postby Bare_Truth » Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:23 am

jjsledge wrote:For additional information.
.......
http://house2housemagazine.com/
........

Possibly enough to sate your curiosity?

Jerry
I think the one showing above may be more problem than help. One of the sub pages was titled: "The Lost Practice of Church Discipline. By Bart Breen" and in the opening paragraphs he comments on the practice of a church requesting information on new prospective members moving into the area by contacting their former church.

He writes:
....they would ask for a letter of recommendation assuring....this person (or family) had been members in good standing and weren’t subject to church discipline. They especially wanted to know if the person or family in question had a reputation of trouble-making.
He then writes the following justifying statement:
The practice of “letters of commendation” is thoroughly biblical. In the New Testament era, if you relocated from one church to another, a “letter of commendation” went ahead of you. That letter was to inform the church to which you were relocating if you had a “good report” or if you had a “bad report.”
I am hard pressed to know how he comes up with this as a standard practice of churches in the "new testament era". I see a few examples of Paul commending someone who will be in the area of another congregation but I see nothing to justify the claim that this was a standard practice followed as a matter of course as the author implies. Nor can I image such a universal level of bureaucracy as this description suggests.

Indeed my hackles go up immediately. Having the victim of pastoral abuse and having seen it perpetrated on others as well. I would have nothing to do with a congregation that insisted on this as a mandated standard practice. I would not let an "off the track" vindictive pastor dog my heels. I am not a vindictive person and I would be loathe to take the man to court. I have no problem with a new church group checking me out, but the author's view of "church discipline" seems to assume that all pastors are saints of the purest order.

Uh-uh, been there done that, got the t shirt and baseball cap.

That former pastor apparently did not like that I actually followed the scripture, read it, and asked him why he was accusing me of something I did when I enquired about problems with some ill considered eisegesis that his deacon was publishing. He ignored my enquiry and accused me of rebelliousness against "authority" etc. etc. I guess I would have to say the guy was pretty cultic in the worst sense.

I cannot say for certain but Bart Breen sounds too much like he is likely cut from the same authoritarian cloth or is at least supportive of it.

This rant brought to you by aggravation of old scars
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Re: House Church - How does that work (and not work)

Postby jochanaan » Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:01 am

The Seventh Day Baptists have a church planting overseer. He usually waits until he gets word that there is a home study or fellowship that would like a more formal affiliation, then visits them to talk or walk them through the process. There are established procedures for becoming a Seventh Day Baptist congregation, but the original growth is usually simple and organic.

When a member of one SDB congregation wants to join another, his former church sends a letter of transfer. I've never heard of a church refusing to send such a letter.

I've read some of our denominational history and found that in its early years, the churches met and worked much more like house churches than is now the norm. So perhaps the "house church movement" is not a new thing at all, but a return to a repeated cycle in church history, a move away from hierarchies and denominationalism back to being families of God.
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Re: House Church - How does that work (and not work)

Postby Bare_Truth » Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:06 am

jochanaan wrote: When a member of one SDB congregation wants to join another, his former church sends a letter of transfer. I've never heard of a church refusing to send such a letter.
As described I would not find this to necessarily be problematic. My concern is for when the fomer church can send a character assassination and the victim has no recourse and may not even have a chance to review /refute any charges levelled against him/her. From what we see of Paul's commendations and even his criticisms, they were apparently public in that they were in letters addressed to the congregations and not something done in secret. I would hope that any church receiving such a condemnation would take a Berean attitude and search appropriate resources to see if these things were so. Let me cast it in this light. how many here would be comfortable with a former church making the major point in their evaluation that you were disfellowshipped for going naked in the presence of others, and using the most lurid of terms to characterize those actions. rather than at most simply declaring that you believe in and practise social Naturism. The first description would make you sound like a pervert, the latter would make you a bit heterodox.
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Re: House Church - How does that work (and not work)

Postby Petros » Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:02 am

Having not a little experience writing and interpreting recommendations regarding prospective faculty, students, tenure candidates, fellowship applicants, I would expect the pastor / congrgation receiving such incomer credentials to read intelligently.

One can tell who lards the letter with unmerited praise and who is spare and to the point, who is out to backstab and who describes honestly. As I told a student who thought her letter was not effusive enough, the Committee will know my style and how to interpret it.

Of course, humanity being humanity, you have to watch for the pastor or elder who hates the guts of the previous pastorf or elders.
The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
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Re: House Church - How does that work (and not work)

Postby bn2bnude » Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:15 am

Today (7/31/14), Frank Viola's Reimagining Church is available on Kindle for Free...

http://frankviola.org/2014/07/31/believingingod/

By the way, you don't need to purchase the KINDLE hardware, they have readers for Windows and OSX (maybe Linux?)
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Re: House Church - How does that work (and not work)

Postby Bare_Truth » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:43 am

Well, to save a bit of time the following URL is where to go to get the kindle version for free. (Or at least it seems so, as it took me a bit of reading and clicking and being shifted to other pages and general cookie acceptance to get there.)
http://www.amazon.com/Reimagining-Church-Pursuing-Organic-Christianity-ebook/dp/B005N4O5Q8/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

But that is a bit confusing because when you get there you are buying it, it is just is that the price is zero. However if you are not familiar with kindle, you really do not know what you are buying. Is it just going to be a download? or are you going to receive a disk by snail mail or what. Since I do not have a "kindle" or any familiarity with one I am a bit mystified by it all.

Further clicking in an effort to get the "book" leads to a page where I must become a registered customer of Amazon, (what ever that means) and have to give them my e-mail address (I do not need any more junk mail or to be on some list that they sell, etc.) And I have to open my computer up to cookies that I probably do not want.

So in reality the book is not free, they want something in return and exactly what it is that they want in return is not clear, especially because they ask for it in small increments. This is the world of the internet commerce today. That which is free is not really free and the quid pro quo is undefined. I get very suspicious in such situations. In 69 years I have learned to be suspicious of "Greeks Bearing Gifts" to use a phrase from the aftermath of the Trojan wars.

If they really want to give it away for free, they do not have to ask me for anything..... Just make it a simple download.
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Re: House Church - How does that work (and not work)

Postby Petros » Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:05 am

"No such thing as a free lunch"
The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
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Re: House Church - How does that work (and not work)

Postby Bare_Truth » Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:23 am

Petros wrote:"No such thing as a free lunch"

No problem there, It is theirs to sell or give away as they see fit.
But to hide the quid pro quo is an act of dishonesty Indeed they hide both the quid and quo to some degree. honest dealing requires full disclosure of the one offering the deal.
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Re: House Church - How does that work (and not work)

Postby Petros » Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:16 am

Nae doot. Yet almighty few in sales or politics make it a point to list flaws and drawbacks and catches, unless it be in the finest print.
The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
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Re: House Church - How does that work (and not work)

Postby jjsledge » Sat Aug 02, 2014 7:10 am

A lot of people already have Amazon accounts, so for them it is a simple click and a free download. Most of the other people are, at least, acquainted with the Amazon name and realize that they will get "special offers", but they can always unsubscribe.
Those who judge the motives of othere are simply revealing what's in their own hearts. Frank Viola "Revise Us Again" p.89
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