House Church Talk - Why we gather

Glenn Frank glennfrank at
Tue Aug 3 00:59:39 EDT 2004

On 8/2/04 8:00 AM, "jim sutton" <goodword at> wrote:

> Why do we gather for worship and fellowship as hc?
> I've been pondering the things I've observed -- especially lately -- among
> believers.  And I notice that we in the hc can be tempted, just as anyone
> else, to neglect the very best reasons for gathering as we do....

> Some in the hc have learned that they can avoid facing their own problems by
> deflecting the attention of the group away to a "common enemy" -- the ic...

> Our function as believers is to glorify the Lord Jesus, to worship Him, and to
> encourage and "build up" the body.  Our lives, and certainly our times of
> gathering with other believers, should be centered on Jesus Christ Himself.

Thanks Jim, I REALLY REALLY REALLY appreciated reading what you wrote! It
really is so easy to fall into focusing on the issues that drove us from the
IC (hopefully because we desired something more authentic and deeper with
our Lord rather than simply frustration and hurt from the IC).

I for one, know that the reason I am not involved in the IC is because I
desire something deeper and more authentic... Although it is true that there
were situations in the IC that God used to get my attention and make me
examine why I did what I did... Making me 'take the plunge' and leave the
IC. Some of those things were frustrating... But I know the reason I changed
was because I NEEDED something more real and life-giving that would bring me
closer to Him. Even if some act of the IC was the 'last straw' that made me
make the change.

It has not been completely easy... (although it is a breath of fresh air)
And there is a tendency to go back and talk about the problems with the IC.
Maybe that is because (as you say) we are avoiding personal issues that we
don't want to share openly, or maybe it is simply because our 'Christian
culture' in America is so inundated with religiosity that there is a real
'withdrawal period' and process that needs to happen when people who grew up
understanding their faith and the scriptures in the light of the IC
structure... Suddenly find themselves confronting much of what they once
held to be true and right (in regards to the church).

I don't think that it is an excuse, but maybe a reality. People we meet who
might eventually grow with us and gather with us to enjoy the freedom and
authenticity of a HC will have baggage from the IC church and will need to
discuss it and "detox" (if you will). Now I totally agree that we should be
focusing on much more than just our past, but I think the "IC discussion
issues" will come up frequently in a HC gathering simply because most who
come into an open HC group will have had some misconceptions and exposure to
the things that are typical in the IC.

All that said. I totally applaud your admonition for us to consciously NOT
try to make bagging on the old IC straw man a focus in our gatherings. I
long for freedom from that too... And long for simple loving worship of our
Lord and the freedom that brings! Your email has refocused me again on the
real reason!


Glenn F.

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