House Church Talk - conferences/agendas/our freedom

Claire Bennett clairebnntt at
Sat Apr 17 12:38:00 EDT 2004

I knew I'd be sticking my neck out here.  I have no experience with past conferences, but it appears there is an agenda here, to seek control over the house churches that the Lord has planted, to exchange organic body life and connection to the head of the body, Jesus, with a hierarchal system that they control.  It reminds me of how the Florida 5 heavy shepherding movement took over the many independent churches that sprang up during the Jesus movement.  They offered them organization, accountability, teaching - but the end result was a yoke of bondage, much abuse and much destruction.

We have seen cult-like house churches and I see that an authoritarian, hierarchal IC style leadership is far more dangerous in the hc than it is in the IC, due to the hidden nature of house churches.  I am not impugning these men's intentions, they want to straighten us out and get us all behaving in a way that they deem scriptural.  But the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  We don't appear to learn from history.  I see the hc much like this child's rhyme, "When she was good she was very, very good, but when she was bad she was horrid.  

A lively discussion is taking place about this on New-Wineskins; I felt it was safe to share there as they strongly support non-hierarchal views and equality of women.  I have learned that these organizers believe women should keep silent, believe in hierarchal leadership, and only homeschoolers are allowed to be in this authoritarian leadership (the elitist hc/homeschool/ nexus) and now they want to have their work funded.  I suggest they take their cue from others, which may already have occured, and promise the religious right large families full of Republican voters in return for support.

I believe the hidden agenda here is not honest.  They may be able to deal with people from all backgrounds in order to indoctrinate some.  I have received some e-mails from people who see similiar things and have enlightened me on past examples of what they see as traps set to ensnare the body, tear it out from its roots.  So, I guess I am trap shy.  I feel I am sticking my neck out here, as there are many who would consider it unloving to point out dangers, especially to the young and weak.  So, I hope the several people who have written me privately will share their thoughts on the board and I hope no one will attack them as "divisive" or "unloving."   If this sort of thing is allowed to take over the house churches, we will all be attacked as "rebellious," unsubmissive," "covenant breakers," - I think you know the story.

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