House Church Talk - Why we gather

jim sutton goodword at
Tue Aug 3 08:04:31 EDT 2004

Glenn Frank wrote:

>...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.

Yes, you're right.  We all need to face the issues and the feelings, fears, 
any anger, etc. as human beings.  That's a fact of life that even the most 
sincere Christian believers must face and deal with.

So there will be a certain amount of talking it out.  I've seen this in any 
situation where believers have come out from under a "regime" of any kind.  We 
often need help to sort out the right from the wrong, the good from the bad. 
 It can take some time.  And it can be very challenging to our faith.

And that's where those who are more grounded and settled in their spirits with 
the Lord can help.  Hopefully, that's all of us who've been in hc for a while. 
 If we are healthy in our own hearts -- walking in the love and peace of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, then we can be a real help to others who are healing up.  

But if we still carry our own open wounds, then we're more likely to be 
gathering forces for continued war, rather than simply being a true light to 
the whole body of Christ.  

A good light in a very dark place is all that most folks will need, if they're 
weary of the darkness.  And that's not to say that all Christians outside of 
hc are in some kind of darkness. But if we who appreciate the freedom of 
simply meeting around Jesus Christ -- without all the added structure of human 
politics, and institutional laws -- can simply be a city on a hill, then all 
in the body of Christ can see, and those who long for that light will be able 
to find their way.  

It's very scary for many to just up and leave religious bondage.  Some have 
been told by severe authority figures that leaving, or even questioning the 
authority structure, is spiritual death.  But if they can see real freedom and 
the simple -- but awesome -- reality of Jesus Christ Himself in us, then many 
will find the courage they need to draw in closer to that same reality.  

We can help to turn their eyes more to the Lord Jesus and less to the 
conflicts of religion itself.  As He becomes true center in their hearts and 
minds, then all the other things will begin to settle into proper perspective.


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