House Church Talk - darkness, light and elitism

Jonathan Phillip Lindvall lindvall at
Sat May 8 16:01:49 EDT 2004

"Claire Bennett" <clairebnntt at> wrote:

> Am I misunderstanding, or is JL stating that we, who do not hold to his
> views, are in darkness and he is seeking to bring us into the light?

Hi Claire. You are misunderstanding. I have no doubt that you have light
from the Lord that I don't have. In those areas, I am blind. If you choose
to phrase that as "in darkness" I won't argue with you. But I am not using
such inflammatory language.

Claire, this may not be what's happening, but it feels like you're putting
words in my mouth ("in darkness"), laying a trap for me, because if I said
you were "in darkness," you could then claim I'm attacking you. You could
quote 1 John 1:5-6:

5  This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that
God is light and in Him is NO DARKNESS AT ALL.
6  If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie
and do not practice the truth.

Sister, I'm not saying folks who disagree with me are walking in darkness. I
could be the one who is wrong.

You and I obviously believe certain things to be true, that other true
believers in IC's simply don't see. We are not attacking them when we
acknowledge the truth. We're not even attacking them when we try to persuade
them of the truth.

If you don't want to hear what I say, that's OK. But please don't accuse me
of attacking you, just because I honestly believe I see something you don't.

> JL, if you have visited many types of house churches, do you believe that they are
> operating in an ungodly manner?

I have enjoyed tasting the Lord in many settings, including IC's. I would
not accuse them of "operating in an ungodly manner" even when it's clear
there are things they don't see, that you and I do see. And if you came
among the saints my family walks with, you might see areas where we are
blind. Yet I hope you could also recognize the life the Spirit has deposited
among us.

Similarly, if I visited with you in person or among the saints you walk
with, there would undoubtedly be things I would disagree with and bear, but
I'm confident I would also taste the Lord without having to condemn any
perceived lack as "operating in an ungodly manner."

> There is so much elitism among Christians. ...I would think we would do
> everything we can not to encourage it.

Claire, this feels like an unjust accusation. I simply don't see how it is
elitism to honestly embrace truth as I see it, and share it with those
interested in hearing it. I could be the one who is wrong. You apparently
think so. Does that make you elitist, just because you disagree with me? I
don't think so. It's an honest difference of understanding. 

> There was a question I asked that was not answered. Is it true that those
> of you who believe women should be silent in the church refuse to
> fellowship with us on lists like this one because women are participating?

I'm here interacting with you. And I delight in having fellowship with
sisters as well as brothers (whether real fellowship or virtual fellowship).
But there are likely some among those of us who believe scripture teaches
that women should be silent at some point in the life of the church, who
would be uncomfortable on many of the House Church lists. They would
especially likely be uncomfortable on lists where they are not allowed to
express that perspective, but the opposite is openly encouraged.
(Thankfully, HC-Talk is not one of those lists with such rules.)

> Are women from these groups forbidden to participate on these sorts of
> lists or discussion boards, kept from where they could encounter something
> contrary to what this theology?

I'm sure there are groups where some domineering leadership imposes such
rules on the women. But I can't imagine any of the groups I have
fellowshipped with setting up such rules for people's individual lives.

Until recently, most (not all) of the house churches I have personally connected with
have been made up largely (though not exclusively) of Homeschool families
who believe the scripture teaches husbands to lovingly lead their families,
and wives to joyfully follow that leadership. Most of these folks are too
busy caring for their families and pursuing face-to-face fellowship, to
spend much time on internet lists. They are honestly shocked when I tell
them that the house church e-mail lists tend to reflect a consensus that
differs from their understanding of God's design for male-female roles.

Everywhere I go, giving homeschooling and family seminars, when I mention
that my family gathers with saints house to house, rather than being part of
an IC, I have people come up to me and share that they're doing the same
thing, and that they thought they were the only ones in the world doing
this. God is doing an incredible thing today, and it's mostly not visible or

Please don't assume that the consensus on internet discussion groups
regarding any issue is an accurate measure of the consensus among actual
house churches. It might be, but it might not be. Those of us who
participate on e-mail lists are not a particularly representative sample. 

And the possibiltiy that sisters holding certain perspectives are
under-represented on the lists doesn't mean they are somehow being forbidden
by some heavy-handed church leadership. They may simply prefer face to face
fellowship, and consider virtual fellowship a questionable use of their

Claire, I don't mind reasoning with one another as long as we can honor each
other in the process. Can we do that without accusations and questioning
each other's motives? I'm not upset with you for honestly believing what you
believe. Are you upset with me for honestly believing what I believe?

For Jesus' pleasure,

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God bless you.

Jonathan Lindvall                    Lindvall at 
Bold Christian Living    

PO Box 820                                         Voice 559-539-0500
Springville CA 93265                               Fax   559-539-0804

...He who has begun a good work in you will complete it...  Phil. 1:6 

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