[House Church Talk] Pattern or simply an adaptation?

jim pierceall jpierceall at brtc.net
Tue Jan 27 10:11:19 EST 2004

Ha, RJ!  Old Cemetery Textbook!  Now that caught my attention, and
springboards me from what I might like to add...  Remembering Cemetery
speaks of matters settled back to "earth to earth and ashes to ashes"...
But our/His church is born from above...  Not in the blood of man, will of
man, from the hands of man, but by the will of God...  Not by power or
might - but by My Spirit...  for unless the Lord builds the house, those
that build do labor in pointlessness... O:>)

More on that in a minute, but first....

Granted that there have been preserved several old references/writing to
Christians, having some form of "dedicated assembly" in dedicated building
form (oh how I like that word dedicated assembly... ha!)  Todate, there has
been "no such archeological find"...  Even as late as four or five years
ago, a widely circulated and excited "dig", was being hoped in - to actually
being an early Christian church building, unearthed in Syria.  The dig
showed evidence of 225 to 240AD dating, and a PHD from Univ of N.C., was one
of the active directors of that project...  I remember vividly, him saying
<hoping in> that this would be the FIRST such proof, that the early
Christians had church buildings, prior to Constantine's many such unearthed
"evidences"...  But again, the point being, while their's is wide belief
that christians may have had church buildings - they have "unearthed no
proofs"...  Excited at the prospect that this was the proofs inwhich they
had hoped - BUT evidences later revealed this as NO such church building!

BTW:  They have unearthed any number of Jewish Synagogues and even found
christian artifacts among the rubbles, which have anthropologist believing
that, early Jewish Believer's, continued to go to synagogue even after
conversion/completion - but never was a dedicated Christian only

But then I would trust we all know how persecutions came upon the Jews - and
believers or not - they were meet w/ resistance to fellowship even among
gentile believers, as it was not political expedite to hangout w/ or
identify w/ a Jew.  Point being:  To have any form of fellowship and
community support, in a dry and barren/hostile atmosphere of that time
period, it is NOT inconceivable to me that Jewish believer's would go back
to synagogue for some hint of meaning and purpose... NOT unlike many today,
who go back to IC surroundings, even though they know of IC shortcomings,
errors of practice, errors of spirit, illegitimacies, etc...

And now for the comments I hope you all might weigh/evaluate...  IF they
found evidence of a church building dedicated to God, dating 225 or 125 - So
What?  What difference would that make to us?  I mean REALLY - how would
that have ANY meaning for His Church...?

As far back as there is record of man's efforts to "reach out" to God - as
far back and throughout Antiquity itself, there are the cemeteries of
edifice...  Temples and Religious Altars litter the earth...  And that
includes ALL cultures in EVERY age! While some have returned to earth in
which they arose, there are plentiful example, that still remain standing as
records, that man believed in god and gods and was dedicated to building
him/them;s a house...  NOT unlike the errors of even today - IF you want to
bless your god, or be favored by him/them...  get up and go to your favorite
religious ceremony, where your gods are housed, and the chief priests and
functionaries of those arrangements will put in in contact w/ him/them....
If you want god, plug into our church - and by this basic thought and now by
default, the church has become god for many...

Again:  The common denominator of ALL those well intentioned building
programs - as was held commonly - they housed god!  If you wanted needed a
god, you would have to come to his house ...  the house that man's hands
have framed!  And by the addition and deletions of building materials, they
have become the controllers of god they serve - themselves!  When the way to
church becomes idealized and then idolized, it will but become another
expression of earthen ways...  dirt unto dirt and ashes unto ashes...
another Cemetery, RJ - another cemetery full of dead men's bones...

But how is true Christianity differing from ALL of those other commonly held
practices that litter the earth's surface?  It is best seen in the
children's song :

You lead us, You guide us, You live right inside us...
Almighty God, what a wonder You are!  \O/

Am I in error or did Jesus say something like?:    You seek the Kingdom -
I'll build my church!

JimP - respectfully from kentucky

BTW:  Does anyone know the story of the first century "God fearers", and
what role they may have played into Paul's first century evangelistic
efforts?  DavidM, these would certainly plug-in w/ what you were sharing...
Paul goes to synagogues, proclaiming the Christ, some indeed heard and
departed the OT holdings, now making application of the Good News!

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