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

Bruce Woodford bwood4d at
Mon May 10 20:53:00 EDT 2004

Hi Dan (G),

You wrote:"I can sense that given a number of small "cell" groups or 
homechurches that there will be quite a variety of people and agendas.  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."

Dear brother, in our culture it is very easy to be isolated, not just from 
other Christians, but from other people in general! Could I encourage you 
and your wife and family to take the initiative to seek to locate and get to 
know other Christians right in your own community?  A couple of suggestions: 
  Since you homeschool, there are usually homeschool associations/support 
groups where ever there are a number of homeschool families in an area. Have 
you inquired about such a group in your area?  Not all who homeschool are 
Christians, but many do homeschool for scriptural reasons so you could 
probably meet and get to know others through local homeschool activities. We 
also have wanted to get to know other Christians in our area and so have 
started attending the midweek prayer meeting of a local evangelical 
congregation.  (It is in the midweek prayer meeting that you will likely 
meet the most committed Christians in any congegation!!!)   We have also 
invited many of the Christians we know to a weekly morning prayer meeting 
for our community. It is held in a centrally located "neutral" spot, the 
local Youth For Christ drop in center. We also seek to attend another prayer 
meeting recently begun for the same purpose in a nearby community every 
month.  I figure that if I allow my convictions regarding home church or 
homeschool to isolate me from other saints of the church of God in my 
community, I am just as guilty of denominationalism as any other group of 
Christians! But if I take the truths concerning the Body (i.e. Romans 12 and 
I Cor 12) seriously, I will seek to be part of the solution rather than part 
of the problem of denominationalism.

You also asked:" 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, 

I have said here many times that I doubt if any of us have ever heard of or 
witnessed this kind of whole church gathering in any modern community!  But 
that is not because such gatherings are noit the will of God, but rather 
because we have been steeped for generations in a whole denominational 
mindest which is violently opposed to such gatherings which have nothing to 
do with denominational controls!!!   (That is why I say that 
denominationalism is one of  the greatest hindrances to the chuirch being 
the church which God intends it to be!)

One might also ask, "Do you see Ephesians 4 "unity of the Spirit" being kept 
in our communities?  Certainly not in any very apparent ways!  But does that 
excuse me, personally, for failure to obey the comand of Eph 4:3??? 
Absolutely not!

Ed Silvosa, an Argentinian evangelist, defines a "stronghold" (II Cor 
10:4,5) as: "A mindset permeated with hopelessness which causes me to accept 
as unchangeable something which I know is contrary to the mind of God."

Some years ago, I recognized that I had allowed the enemy to erect in my own 
mind a stronghold called DENOMINATIONALISM!   I knew that it was contrary to 
the mind of God (I Cor.1:10-13) but I had accepted the denominational system 
as an "unchangeable given". Therefore I had surrendered to that hopeless 
resignation that denominationalism was here to stay and would be here until 
the Lord returned!  Because of that, I was unwilling to make any attempt to 
minister or to receive ministry across denominational lines! THEREFORE, I 

But when I heard Ed Silvosa define "strongholds" with such clarity, I knew 
immediately that I had a responsibility to use the weapons of spiritual 
warfare with which God has equipped me to "pull down that stronghold" by 
"casting down every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of 
God and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."   
Just as wrong thinking is always the root of wrong behaviour, so too right 
thinking is  the root of right behaviour.  So only as we allow the Word of 
God to transform us by the renewing of our minds will we actually begin to 
walk in obedience and submission to the will of God.

I have begun to ask myself these questions:
- "If a whole church gathering of the church of God in my community was 
planned in the next few weeks, WOULD I BE WILLING TO PARTICIPATE? WOULD I BE 
-Until believers generally in my community are prepared to support such a 
gathering, what am I doing personally that will be a hindrance to such a 
gathering ever happening here?  What am I doing personally to be a catalyst 
to hasten the day when the whole church in my community will gather together 
into one place???

My response to such  questions indicates how much of a 
denominational/sectarian mindset remains in me!

Brother, it is certainly a human affliction that causes us to so easily 
surrender our minds to strongholds of the enemy, but only by giving 
ourselves to get to know God and His Word and being willing to allow Him to 
change our thinking and behaviour will we become vessels fit for His use.

O Lord, take us up, cleanse us, fill us and use us to accomplish your 
purposes and to fulfil the assignments that You give us!



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