House Church Talk - City Meetings - was: hc, women JL

DanG flash at
Sun May 9 19:24:43 EDT 2004

Let me try to clarify some clear distinctions between a
> whole church gathering and an institutional church meeting:
> -A scriptural whole church gathering has no clergy/laity distinctions, nor
> is preference given to any special class of ministers. Any believing man
> the city has opportunity to speak for the edification of the saints. But
> are to be the vocal participants and women are to be silent.
> -"The agenda" for whole church gatherings do not include many things that
> are common in IC gatherings...such  things as (1)an order of service that
> set in stone before the gathering begins (2) one man who is "MC", (3) the
> taking up of an offering, (4) congregational tongues speaking,
> congregational praying, or congregational singing, (5) monologue
> sermonizing, (6) breaking of bread or communion,.
> -The venue for a whole church gathering is not a building that is owned,
> controlled by the church or a particular denomination. It is a facility
> is used for other purposes. It may be a temple Acts 2:46, it may be a
> Acts 19:9, it may be a facility that is owned by one of  the believers (a
> warehouse, an auditorium, a theater, a stadium) Romans 16:23, it could
> be an open air gathering in a park, field or  forest.
> -The hallmark of such a gathering is that unsaved people who may attend
> convinced by the order that God is in you of a truth!
> -A variety of purposes are fulfilled by different whole church gatherings:
> -instruction of new believers after mass conversions (Acts 2:46), dealing
> with specific problems relative to the care of saints in a particular city
> (Acts 6), Gospel testimony to the unconverted (Acts 2:47 and 19:9 etc),
> dealing with doctrinal disputes that have practical effects on the
> and relationships of the saints. (Acts 15)
> -There is no indication in scripture that such meetings were "opened or
> closed with prayer" as if the saints  entered and left the presence of the
> Lord when they gathered and dispersed!  New covenant saints have constant
> access to and, in fact, live in the holiest of all 24/7! (Heb 10:19-22,
> Eph.2:6)
> Trust these may help us all to see, to desire, and to pray that God would
> bring about the necessary transformation in us that will be necessary if
> are ever to see such gatherings in our day!
> Your brother in Christ,
> Bruce

You certainly have definite ideas, Bruce.  That is admirable.  I will
further disect in my mind this summary of city meetings.

I can sense that given a number of small "cell" groups or homechurches that
there will be quite a variety of people and agenda.  Yet, with a stated goal
as you suggest, there is potential cross pollination and growth accross the
city in these meetings.  Unfortunately, I do not see this happening here in
my city.  I am out of touch completely with christians in this area -
absolutely isolated.  We live here and I go to work, but that is all there
is here.  No community interaction at all.  And that follows somewhat with
the ideas we have ingested relative to homeschool and housechurch.  Clear
ability to state why? - no, certainly not like you, but in general the
premise is that if family is not of prime importance, then something else
is.  And then that defines the limits and extent of our activities and that
leads to general isolation.  I am wrong in many people's eyes, I know, but
that is where we are as a family and we are not correct in all ways, but God
is at work in us - that is known for sure by scripture.

Question: Do you Bruce or anyone else know this type of city meetings?  Is
this coming with the general growth of housechurch?  Is this merely a dream
in these days of seeming rampant evil?  Perhaps these days are not rampant
evil any more than other days, I dunno, but it seems each generation says it
is worse than the previous - just a human foible, perhaps?

DanG ChicagoArea

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