House Church Talk - agenda

Claire Bennett clairebnntt at
Tue Apr 20 19:46:02 EDT 2004

Since some of you are on multiple lists, I don't just want to repeat everything here.  On koinonialife at and new-wineskins at there is some discussion and I answered some questions and mentioned some of the uncanny similarities between Christian legalism and Talmudic Orthodox Judaism; I believe it is the same spirit.  

I didn't say that these men taught that one must homeschool, have a non-working wife, not have debt, have their women properly attired according to their specifications.  Their statement is that this is necessary for a leadership position and that one must be more than an ordinary Christian to aspire to leadership.  The above-mentioned practices are considered evidence of ruling one's house well and implies that practitioners are better Christians rather than the Joe Schmo brethren.

I see this as drawing conclusions that are extra-biblical.  One thing I notice about the "control" people is that it is always the same ones; if they are doing such a good job of discipleship, we ought to see some new faces among their leadership.  I wasn't involved in the heavy shepherding movement, but I had a number of friends that were.  No one ever seriously examines what went wrong afterwards - it is all forgiveness and lets move on.  Usually it takes 15 to 20 years before you see a repeat performance, and often a worse one.

I don't question anyone's sincerity, and remember Proverbs says that a gentle voice breaks the bone.  Like Bill Gothard, the soft voice can hide a iron will, and it doesn't fool me.  The wisdom from above is easy to be entreated, and these are rigidly held positions concerning leadership, the role of women, etc.

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